Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Revelation and ritz lectures

Daughter Carrie left a copy of James Resseguie's new book, The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary, at our house the other day. He is the professor of New Testament where she works (Winebrenner Theological Seminary). I started reading through it and it looks pretty good. I must admit that I'm always hesitant to get in conversations about Revelation, because we've had a few problems in our church with "end-times fanatics." Maybe I should buy them all a copy, because it looks like this is just the thing they need. The Amazon blurb on the book says...
As the only book of its kind in the New Testament, Revelation can be difficult to understand, and for readers without specialized training, the historical-critical approach used in many commentaries can provide more complication than illumination. Here James Resseguie applies the easily understandable tools introduced in his primer on narrative criticism to this challenging book. He shows how Revelation uses such features as rhetoric, setting, character, point of view, plot, symbolism, style, and repertoire to construct its meaning. This literary approach draws out the theological and homiletical message of the book and highlights its major unifying themes: the need to listen well, an overwhelmingly God-centered perspective, and the exodus to a new promised land. Here is a valuable aid for pastor and serious lay reader alike.

I will also be hearing a lecture from Dr. Resseguie on the subject when I venture over to Winebrenner for their annual Ritz Lectures on May 13. If you live anywhere near Findlay, Ohio you should check it out. It's only $59. Registration information is HERE. At past Ritz Lectures I have had the privilege of hearing from the likes of Walter Bruggeman, Len Sweet, Gilbert Bilezikian, Scot McKnight, and many others. It should be a good time, and I'm looking forward to it.

Peace out; and in.


Jim said...

On the occasion of my grandparents' (Mom's parents) 70th anniversary in 2001 we had a family reunion and everyone went to their small church in St. James, MO, where there was a nice lunch put on by "the church ladies" afterward. The church was so small that they had a circuit preacher that day (in the even smaller country church my grandparents attended years before that near Mountain View, Missouri, I can remember my Grandpa being asked to "speak" when there was no circuit rider available - he was great).

Anyway, the preacher was young, but he did a good job, especially considering it was the weekend after 9/11 (a whole other story). His sermon was on Revelation, and he told a story I loved then, love now, and pass along at every chance I get, including here. I will repeat as well as I can:

When the pastor was in seminary he had played on a basketball team at the school. One day after practice the team members were arguing over the meaning of Revelation, which they were all taking a class on at the time. Meanwhile there was an old janitor sitting in the stands, waiting for them to clear out so he could sweep, and meanwhile listening to them bicker back and forth over the meanings of the symbolism, numerology, "Rapture," and what not. Finally, in a quiet voice he says, "I know the true meaning of Revelation."

The students all have a good laugh at that. "What can YOU know about Revelation, old man, when we're studying it in a fine seminary and WE can't even agree what it's all about."

The janitor just smiled and said, "It's simple. It all adds up to one thing..."

"Jesus wins in the end."


Go preach some Revelation, Dan.

dan horwedel said...

Nice story, Jim. Thanks for sharing it.

Yes, I've always ascribed to the "pan theory": everything will 'pan out' in the end.