Growing up, my grandmother was constantly warning me about the coming of the Antichrist. There would be a one-world government led by this Antichrist, Satan’s servant. Some signs of this would be the world moving to one currency and attacks on God’s favored nation, Israel. The place all these ideas were found was the final book of the Bible, Revelation.
Evangelical Christianity of the late 90s was obsessed with the end-times. The release of the tremendously popular Left Behind series only enhanced this. It was all in the book of Revelation! The end is near! As a mostly uneducated Christian, I delved beyond the fiction of Left Behind into a few of the nonfiction books by the same authors, explaining their interpretation of Revelation.
A funny thing happened on the way to the rapture…I came to realize the whole thing was bunk. First, early on I recognzied the Left Behind series was just poor writing. Compared to other books I was reading – mostly John Grisham and Star Wars novels – the Left Behind books were just bad. I recall musing that if the Harry Potter series was witchcraft, as I was warned, then how come the book about witchcraft is so fun and engaging and the Left Behind series is bad.
Second, I read the book of Revelation and I just didn’t see it. If this was so obvious in the text, how come it did not seem obvious at all? I did not know what the text meant, but I had convinced myself I knew what it did not mean.
All this to say, I was blessed to attend Lincoln Christian Seminary and learn from New Testament professor Bob Lowery. His passion was Revelation and he opened my eyes (perhaps I should say “our eyes” as I know lots had similar backgrounds to me) to a whole other, more compelling and challenging, way of understanding the final book in Scripture. My favorite class, the class that probably changed my life, if any class did, was Dr. Lowery’s Exegesis of Revelation.
There is so much more I could say. But all I want to say, noting my top 100 books, is that Dr. Lowery’s book on Revelation deserves a place. It was published a few years after I graduated. Dr. Lowery has since passed away. But this book illustrates the best way I’ve seen to read and understand Revelation. If I had one wish for American Christianity, it just might be that this book would get a larger reading.
If you’re interested in Revelation, check this one out.