Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A review of Revelation by Alun Ebenezer

A review of Revelation by Alun Ebenezer.

Publisher description:

Revelation is the last book in the Bible. It may appear at first to be a very difficult book to understand and full of puzzling symbols. But far from trying to confuse its readers, the purpose of Revelation was, and is, to comfort and give hope to people who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a letter (1. 4, 11; 22. 21), a prophecy (1. 3; 22.10, 18, 19) and a revelation (1.1).

As a letter it was intended for specific people at a specific time in history. In the letter the writer wants to comfort the church in its struggle against the forces of evil. He wants them to know that God sees their tears (7.17; 21:4); that their prayers are influential in world affairs (8.3, 4). He wants them to know that the death of their fellow Christians was precious in his sight and that the final victory of Jesus Christ and his people is assured (15.2). He wants them to know that Christ lives and reigns for ever; he governs the world in the interest of his church (5.7, 8); He is coming again to take his people to himself and live with them forever (21.22) and He is also with them now. (1.12-20).
For most of us the book of Revelation is confusing and scary, and a book we spend little time in.  It doesn't help when we are bombarded with terrifying stories of being left behind after the rapture, suffering in a great tribulation, receiving the mark of the beast, or suffering under the world ruler known as the anti-Christ.  Sadly in the evangelical world, that pre-tribulation, pre-millenial view of the end times has so sensationalized the book of Revelation that most of us miss out on the comfort and hope offered by this mysterious book.
This review isn't the place to discuss the merits the various eschatological (end time) views that fall within Christian orthodoxy, so all I will do is mention them briefly.  Historically in the church there have been three views of the millenium (seen in Revelation 20), amillenialism, pre-milleniallism, and post-milleniallism.  For much of the church age amillenialism (no literal millennial period) was the most popular position, but in the last 150 years or so pre-millenialism has become much more popular, particularly with the advent of dispensationalism in the 1800's.  Confused, no worries, Alun does a great job covering all of this in his appendix entitled "Approaches to and basis for interpreting Revelation". Actually, that may be a great place to start if all of this is new to you.  This is just one more reason why I like this book, it is one of those books that is perfect for giving away because it is the perfect tool to introduce Christians to Revelation.
This book takes an amillenial postion but don't let that deter you from reading it.  In fact this book is the perfect place to start learning about amillenialism and how it affects the reading of the book of revelation.  This book is written in an easy to follow style and is a great way to start learning what the book of revelation has to say to Christians not only in John's day but in our own.  Alun does what all good bible teachers do, he shows us how the book of Revelation fits into the whole of Scripture, and shows how it really wraps up the Scriptures and leaves us comforted against all tribulation and affliction as we wait for our blessed hope, the return of our God, Saviour, and King, Jesus Christ.  He shows us how deeply the scarlet thread of redemption runs through Revelation.
Alun does a great job opening up Revelation to us in a way that all believers, young or old, mature or new, can  benefit from. Clearly and concisely Alun walks us through each chapter of Revelation explaining the mysterious symbolism that permeates the entire book.  It's clear from the outset that Alun knows what he is talking about and he does a great job communicating to us the message of Revelation.  He manages to take a book that most are intimidated by and open it up to us in way that warmly expresses the love of Christ for us through the gospel and leaves us renewed afresh by our blessed hope, He will come once more and He will wipe every tear from our eyes.  Soli Deo Gloria!  When you finish this book Revelation will no longer be the intimidating mystery it was when you started.
If I had a must read list, Revelation by Alun Ebenezer would be on it!  If you want to know more about the book of Revelation, get this book.  If you are already well versed in eschatology, buy this book anyway and give it away.  I really feel strongly that this book is a gift to the church in our day and I highly recommend it!!!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Alex! I'm glad Alun's book would be on your must read list.

    Shaun Tabatt
    EP Books Blog