Revelation: God’s Word For The Biblically-Inept, by Daymond Duck
When a book promotes itself as being a Bible commentary encouraging neophytes in the Bible to learn from such “experts” as Hal Lindsey, Vernon McGee, and John Hagee, among many others, one has reason to doubt that there will be much expertise to be found in such a book and one considers oneself likely to find the book of largely entertainment value, if any. Without knowing in advance the precise perspective of the “God’s Word For The Biblically-Inept” series came from, I did not have high hopes that the people involved would actually be biblically knowledgeable, and this suspicion and skepticism was certainly well-founded. It was perhaps a bit surprising, even though it should not have been, that some of the experts showed some humility in the face of widespread disagreement about the contents of Revelation and the many mysteries that we simply do not know fully about. It is seldom a good sign when something that should be ordinary enough to be taken for granted becomes surprising in light of the general absence of biblical literacy on the part of those who consider themselves fit to instruct those who do not know any better. One is reminded of the saying that if the blind lead the blind they will both fall into a ditch, or at least both remain ignorant about the book of Revelation .
Despite its general ineptitude and the great frequency of unbiblical thoughts on such matters as the Lord’s Day, the Rapture, and the general refusal of the book to properly address the preterist, historicist, and allegorical perspectives the book at least manages to be coherent on some level, raising this far above the level of the worst possible books. The book is organized largely into three sections, the first dealing with the “Church Age” from chapters 1-3, the period from the supposed rapture to the second coming from chapters 4-19 of Revelation, and the Millennium and beyond for the last three chapters of Revelation. Overall the contents of this book take up 350 pages, filled with pictures and occasional humorous text that is in the vein of the Dummies series of books, only with a biblical focus. Each chapter has a regular set of features, including the appeal to supposed experts, study questions, points to ponder, and reflections based on current events in the 1990’s. Some of the supposed prophecy experts ended up not being sufficiently discreet enough to avoid beclowning themselves with speculations about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, earthquake patterns, and the Shoemaker-Levy comet.
Ultimately, it must be freely confessed that this is not a very good book in terms of its content. Nevertheless, it is good when it comes to its intentions and its structure, and it is possible that other books in the series may be better. Unfortunately, this book must be honored, if it is to be honored at all, for its cautionary value to those interested in prophecy and for the fact that it seeks to put Revelation in a whole biblical context. This may not be all that the book sets out to do by being written in such a basic fashion that it explains any word, biblical or not, that could possibly confuse an audience interested in scripture, but if the book cannot possibly meet its ambitions as a volume it is worthwhile that it has at least some accomplishments. It is to be hoped, if I ever look at other volumes in this series, that their experts are genuinely knowledgeable about the Bible and not merely pretending to be or experts in their own minds. In general, it is likely that the authors of the entire series and the experts come under the point of view of fundamentalist Christianity. Let us hope that the other volumes are better, even if I am in no hurry to find out.
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