Amen! Hallelujah! Insights Into The Book Of Revelation, by Dave Wells
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
When someone seeks to provide insights into the Book of Revelation, a book that has more bad commentaries and expert analyses than one can shake a stick at , they have a lot to overcome in terms of skepticism in terms of showing biblical knowledge and taking the right approach to Revelation. It is not by coincidence that the best commentary I have ever read on the book of Revelation decided to take the best of all perspectives on the book of Revelation and put them side by side in a parallel commentary allowing readers to decide which of the interpretations of given passages (or, all of the above in the case of some) were worthwhile to explore and entertain. This author would have been wise to take that approach himself, but unfortunately the task was far beyond him because as a preterist Hellenistic Christian who doesn’t take Revelation all that seriously except as the source for various number games and inexact symbolism, he has no interest in understanding the multiple layers of depth that can be found in Revelation but rather is insistent, like every other heathen-influenced Hellenistic Christian, with propounding one true view that is woefully incomplete and biblically inaccurate . One might wonder how a book that manages to get more right than most biblically inept accounts managed to end up self-published, but the fact that the author is not very likable nor very humble has a lot to do with it.
The contents of this book are wildly imbalanced and uneven. Roughly half of this large book (it must be at least 300 pages, if not approaching 400) in length, although I read it on my kindle app, is taken up in the historical context of the first century including a dubious theory on when the book was written as well as the letter to the seven churches of Revelation. The author also manages to stumble into pontificating on the meaning of numbers and symbols in the book of Revelation and manages to repeat this toward the end as filler material. When the book finally finishes covering the context and preliminary material to the book, the author conceives of the book of Revelation as a series of sevens. One might think that this would lead the author to have an understanding of and a concern for following the Sabbath day given its function within biblical cycles of time, but instead the author adopts a heathen and unbiblical eighth day approach based on the Sybelline oracles–and there is nothing biblical about them, it should be noted. Over and over again, in chapters that get shorter and shorter as the author has less and less to relate to the specific history of the first century AD, the author notes various cycles. He has some occasional word studies that are useful as well, and his knowledge of biblical prophecy is at least more profound than that of Hal Lindsey, who the author pointedly insults here. Yet the author fails to properly understand Revelation because he does not follow the scriptures, especially concerning the importance of Sabbath and holy day observance, and because he attacks two of the ways that Revelation can be understood (namely the historicist and futurist approach) and totally ignores the spiritual approach altogether. As a result he fails to see the present relevance of the book of Revelation to our own times, fails to see a physical kingdom of God ruled over by Jesus Christ, and fails to see the resurrection in a meaningful sense. In order for an author to provide insights to the reader, he has to have insights to provide. If the blind lead the blind they will both fall into a ditch, as is the case here.
Ultimately, although the author ends every one of the book’s 40 chapters with “Amen! Hallelujah!” he fails to provide biblical approach to the book. Although he looks up the Greek words and looks up Hebrew scriptures that are referenced by the apostle John, and even though like a blind squirrel he occasionally stumbles upon a useful acorn of knowledge and insight, ultimately his arrogance makes him no more wise than the false prophets whose interpretations he mocks and derides. Those who are narrowly focused on the past and have a false view of what Jesus Christ expects of us can understand this book no better than those who look only at its future fulfillment and seek to squeeze current events analysis into the Scriptures. Both approaches, and a host of other ones as well, will lead one into error. This would all be a lot easier to take, and the worthwhile insights the author gives about the preterist perspective itself would be easier to appreciate, if the author approached his task with a sense of humility and graciousness towards others. Unfortunately, he does not, and so the reader who does not share the blinkered perspective of the author will find this book a tedious and often unrewarding chore, as lacking in insight as those commentators whom the author criticizes.
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