Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Interpretation: Revelation as a Critique of the Empire

The latest issue of Interpretation focuses on the book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John. Titled as "Revelation as a Critique of the Empire," this issue also addresses the issues faced by "Christians living in the complicated religious and political environment of imperial power."

The essays in this volume "describe the enduring challenges faced by Christians who claim loyalty to the reign of God while experiencing the reign of secular authorities."

The essays in this volume, as extracted online, include:

Revelation addresses the ordinary challenges facing Christians under Roman rule, some of whom were struggling while others were affluent and complacent. The book’s visions seek to alter the way they see the political, religious, and economic dimensions of imperial life and to call them to renewed faithfulness to God and the Lamb.

JOHN'S IRONIC EMPIRE • DAVID R. BARR John’s Revelation wrestles with the question of how Jesus’ followers were to live under the imperial domination of Rome. While some see John as establishing an alternative imperial system, attention to the irony with which the story is told reveals a more compelling critique of power.

ACCOMMODATING “JEZEBEL” AND WITHDRAWING JOHN: NEGOTIATING EMPIRE IN REVELATION THEN AND NOW • WARREN CARTER Revelation addresses a struggle over how followers of Jesus might negotiate the complex imperial realities of Roman rule. The call for societal distance and disengagement resists and seeks to conceal other voices that urge greater levels of societal interaction. Revelation also raises the urgent issue of how contemporary followers of Jesus might negotiate the world's most powerful empire—the one we in the United States inhabit.

BABYLON BOYCOTT: THE BOOK OF REVELATION • ALLEN DWIGHT CALLAHAN Revelation challenges contemporary readers to escape the impending destruction of global imperialism, and calls upon Christians to boycott the imperialist political economy that murders “all the peoples of the earth” (Rev 18:24). To be true to their conscience and to their God, those in true solidarity with Jesus must withdraw from the evil system in which they live or suffer the consequences of their complicity with it.

Check out also the 7-day promotion where you could log in for free and have access to all its previous issues.

I think this is a very timely issue for those of us living in Malaysia in the midst of the current political situation.


Sze Zeng said...

Hi KY,

Thanks for the tips! :)

davinci said...

seminary teaches revelation, different from that taught in church context.

in churches pulpit, pastor teaches :

european union, united nation, russia, china, are all anti christ, will be meeting at armageddon to fight with heavenly army led by Christ...

and we could experienced rapture any time, so .... christian pilot could be lifted any time, leaving the plane dissaster....

haha, I recently heard some pastors still teaching the above, and they hold Dmin...


Why such disparity between seminary/biblical scholarship and church pulpit?

I am confused by Revelation...whose version is correct???

Kar Yong said...

You're welcome, JW

Kar Yong said...

I also dont know what to say - just had a chat from someone in the church. He was talking about his cell group having an introduction to revelation, and it is all about end times. I went..."huh?"

I am not an expert in Revelation - the best person is still Tony Siew at TTC!

Paul said...

My former pastor has been doing a series on Revelation that he started last year.

Not been easy as his interpretation is not dispensational and quite a number in church hold to a dispensational view. Not easy at all :-(

But some are now seeing another view and I am looking forward to tomorrow as he has to tackle the battle of Armageddon... and there will be quite a few disappointed people this Sunday :-)t

davinci said...

Hi KY tks for your candid reply.

once, Martin Luther rejected Revelation as canonised scripture, so is he still considered evangelical by today standard?

haha, I also share same idea, that Revelation and Daniel, are both apocalyptic literature of that time, perhaps, lacking the quality of scripture...

but then by saying so... I afraid would be ostracised as non-evangelical...haha..

Dear Luther, help me...

Kar Yong said...

Hi Paul,
I salute your former pastor. This is one book that I would preach with fear and trembling.

Kar Yong said...

Hi Davinci,

I just had a very brief discussion with someone about end times, rapture, tribulation. When I stated my view, the person looked at me with horror and disbelief. :-)

I just wish more people could study the bible carefully.