The Thrill of Hope by Bruce Green
Pastor Bruce Green has given his readers an accessible and hope-filled look at the sometimes puzzling Book of Revelation. Bruce writes, “In the same way, Revelation was written to show Christians there’s no power like hope. As John will demonstrate, Satan is the ultimate evil and force behind Rome (14).” There is both a historical rootedness concerning John’s Epistle and a spiritual battle taking place that John sees in his vision that Bruce seeks to capture.
Speaking of the “testimony of Jesus” in Revelation 1:9, Bruce remarks that, “Revelation is a bugle call breaking through the haze and chaos of battle urging them not to retreat from the front lines, but to keep their banners raised high for Jesus (29).” Bruce takes the description of John’s presence on Patmos “on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus” to be indicative of John’s faithful witness to God by which he has been exiled to Patmos (28). This kind of battle ready witness for the faith is evident throughout the epistle as John gives warning to his readers to stand ready.
What I also really enjoyed about this book is Bruce’s interpretive strategy in interpreting Revelation. He writes, “John is telling us that God made the message known by signifying it through His angel by John. This is of critical importance because we’re entering a book of pictures, symbols, and representations. To try to literalize them is to disregard what we’ve been told; its’ to ignore the instructions we’ve been given (36).” Understanding the apocalyptic nature of Revelation is to see that John had in mind symbols that pointed to concrete realities in his ministry but also figures that pointed beyond him to the futre.
Overall, I think this was a very good resource on the book of Revelation. With research backed by the work of Bauckham, Gorman, Aune, and others, you can tell that Bruce has done his research.
Thanks to Book Crash and Start 2 Finish Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.