Don’t Be Biblically Illiterate in Your Reading of Revelation

One of the unintended and unhappy consequences of St. John’s Armageddon vision is that it has inflamed the imaginations of the biblically illiterate into consuming endtime fantasies, distracting them from the daily valor of dogged obedience, sacrificial love, and alert endurance. This is exactly what St. John did not intend, as even a cursory reading of his Revelation makes evident. When people are ignorant of the imagery of prophets and gospels, and untutored in the metaphorical language of war in the story of salvation, they are easy prey for entertaining predictions of an end-time holocaust at Mount Megiddo in Israel, conjured up from newspaper clippings on international politics. Jesus told us quite clearly that the people who make these breathless and sensationalist predictions are themselves the false Christs and false prophets that they are intending to warn us against (Matt 24:23-26).

– from Eugene Peterson, Reversed Thunder, p. 165

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