This book by Matt Waymeyer is about as perfect as it could be for its purpose. It’s a brief look at Revelation 20, which is the crucial passage in Scripture related to the “thousand years,” the millennium. Waymeyer compares the three main approaches: Premillennialism, Postmillennialism, and Amillennialsm, and provides the proposed answers of each view to the interpretive questions required to understand each paragraph. In his introduction he states, “the primary contribution of this book rests not so much in the area of original though as in its presentation of the arguments of writers who have gone before.” And it is a great contribution and service to the reader. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to know what’s in Revelation 20 more than what they need to bring in to it.
This is a book about when the book of Revelation was written. I started preaching through Revelation over a year ago, and it would have been just terrific to have read Gentry a long time ago, certainly before I started my Apocalyptic prep. Woe, woe, woe to me.
The title of Gentry’s book is also the answer to the question. Gentry aims all of his literary, historical, and interpretive guns at a before AD 70 date. As it turns out, his arguments misfired for me. I don’t mean that in the popularly subjective way; I can be persuaded by evidence. I found the evidence wanting. In brief:
He assumes throughout his book that Revelation is about how the church replaces Israel. This governs his observations. This makes some conclusions for him. That’s not the same as an argument.
He defends himself for dozens of pages before making his actual arguments. That’s at least true in the “third” edition I have. He begins with a Preface in which he replies to numerous critics on their numerous disagreements. It’s actually quite unenjoyable. “Me thinks thou protests too much.”
He also seizes humility in other authors as proof that he could be right. That is insufferable, if not actually unfair reading. While he admits in many places that there is evidence on both sides, he takes others making the same admission as reinforcement of his ideas.
I really do wish I had read this many years ago. I also wish I had more time to answer why I’m still unconvinced about his answers (and assumptions). But the book is too convenient, too affirming-the-consequent, and too hopeful in (possible) loopholes that (perhaps could be used to) make his point.
The book of Revelation urges Christians to conquer. The letters to all seven churches promise great things to the ones who conqueror. We conquer by the blood of the Lamb, we conquer by not loving our lives even unto death (Revelation 12:11). This Keep Calm and Just Conquer is the last Keep Calm you’ll need. Image credit goes to Glenn Wainwright.
The last time I shared a diagram was at the end of February, which was right before all the COVID-19 lockdown-pandemonium broke loose. Does this post mean things are back to normal? Well, is the dragon, that ancient serpent, any more happy?
So as we wait for the return of the King and His rewarding of the small and great saints who fear His name (Revelation 11:17-18), here’s my diagram for Revelation 12:13-18 (note: most English translations include verse 18 as part of verse 17).
The fifth seal in Revelation 6:9-11 is quite different from the first four, with attention on resting until the vengeance of the Lord is ripe.
Here’s the diagram for Revelation 6:1-8, as the Lamb breaks the first four seals and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are called to ride on earth in judgment.
Here’s the diagram for Revelation 5:11-14, as worship of the One who sits on the throne and of the Lamb widens to include all creatures.
When John turned to see the Lion, instead he saw a Lamb, standing as though it had been slain. He was worthy to take the scroll. Here’s the diagram for the central paragraph in the chapter, Revelation 5:6-10.
John’s vision of the heavenly throneroom moves to a focus on the one who is worthy to open the scroll in Revelation 5:1-5.
Here is the second half of Revelation 4 and the scene around the throne, with special focus on the four living creatures and their worship.