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Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination By Eugene Peterson

July 23, 2011

In this commentary on the book of Revelation by Eugene Peterson He begins foundationaly with the obvious and moves to the sublime. The obvious premise is that the book is a revelation of Jesus Christ and is more about Him and His Work and Glory than about details of the future “end time events” in this there is not much new most if not all reasonable scholarly commentaries have the same emphasis but it the second “lens” that Peterson uses to view the book that make this commentary a classic. The lens is a pastoral one because whilr Peterson highlights John as Apostle, Theologian, Poet but especially Pastor. He writes, “It is St. John’s pastoral vocation to reinforce this sense of connection in the chaotic first century. In the buzzing, booming confusion of Good and evil, blessing and cursing, rest and conflict, St. John discerns patterns and design. He hears rythms. He discovers arrangement and proportion. He communicates an overwhelming ‘sence of ending’……he is not concerned with heaven and hell as things in themselves. He has no interest in judgement and blessing apart from the persons to whom he is a pastor. He does not speculate or theorize. Every word, every number, every vision, every song is put to immediate use among these persons in the seven little congrigations to which he is the pastor.” It is this perspective that gives those of us with pastoral hearts and vocation such hope and help in dealing with this amazing but often missused biblical revelation. There may be better technical commentaries in print but none as pastoral or applicational. Every chapter is rich and multi leveled in insight but if you work in or have a heart for “the city” be sure to especially check out Chapter 12 The Last Word on Heaven Rev. 21:1-22:5 especially (pp. 177-181). This is a book to be read slowly and often even savored like fine chocolate it is really that good!

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