Come Out Of Her My People: The Encouragement And Exhortation Of The Book Of Revelation Chapters 1-3, by Tony Kessinger
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Author Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.]
In reading this book, which is the first volume of a two-volume commentary on Revelation, one is reminded (ironically enough) of most of the letters of Revelation 2 and 3 that form the body of this book’s test. There are some things that this book is to be commended for, namely its excellent historical analysis and its placing of the seven cities in their first century AD context (which, as someone who has visited the seven cities of Revelation and written about the seven cities myself , I can appreciate from my own knowledge), as well as his helpful explanation of the different views of Revelation (futurist–Revelation as end time prophecy, the view this book takes, historicist–Revelation as relating to historical ages, spiritual–Revelation as representing the allegorical struggle of Christians, and preterist–Revelation as having only or largely 1st century relevance). For those readers who do not have access to the parallel commentary of Revelation that shows the interpretation of all the views of Revelation, this book is a useful introduction to a discussion about the interpretation of Revelation.
Nevertheless, I have a few things against this book that are worthy of discussion. For one, this book is written very dogmatically, in a viewpoint that fails to maintain the proper tension between being in the world and not of it, making its bias towards not being of it at all in any shape or form, even while this book exhibits aspects of false dilemmas (by denying the multiple layers of applicability of Revelation, particularly the church era view, even while it combines elements of futurist and preterist and spiritual layers of interpretation). Additionally, this book does not recognize its own debt to Hellenistic Christianity despite its fierce attacks on Hellenism, not recognizing that its own worship system was influenced by gnosticism and hostility to God’s ways (as exhibited in the Sabbath, for example) given the classic gnostic interpretation it gives of Colossians in the book’s chapter on the letter to Laodicea. Given the fact that the book manages to be very dogmatic and very biased, and somewhat muddled and inconsistent in its approach, it is not quite the definitive commentary that it clearly aims to be.
This particular volume is organized in a very excellent way and also includes a healthy bibliography, making this a work that combines historical and theological rigor (the book seems particularly fond of the eschatology of Tim LeHaye and others of like mind) with a great deal of personal commentary. Clearly, this author cares a great deal about Revelation and makes it clear that the material of that book is not incomprehensible. This is a vitally important aspect that needs to be more widely appreciated, and to the extent that this book can help others see Revelation as less an incomprehensible mystery and more a book whose symbols are related to the rest of scripture, this book has a worthwhile use and purpose for its readers. Although this book provides far more exhortation and rebuke than encouragement, it is not without value to the discerning reader.
 See, for example: