by Monte Sahlin
Many conservative Protestant/evangelical Christians read the Book of Revelation as a tool for predicting the end of life as we know it. Is that the way God intended it to be read and understood, or did He have a different purpose in mind?
The document "is about how Christians can follow Jesus while living in an empire whose political, economic and cultural power is seductive. Revelation sets up a tension between Christians who accommodate themselves to the empire and those who separate themselves from and oppose the empire." That is a very different perspective, advocated by theologian Warren Carter.
It is consistent with the language and theme analysis scholarship that links the Book of Revelation to the sermon of Jesus in Matthew 24-25, which begins with the question (from the disciples), "When" will be the time of the end of the second coming, but moves into a response by Jesus that is about "how" to wait for His return. This theme of "how to wait" connects directly to the above perspective on Revelation and is probably closer to the original reading than many of the currently popular ways of reading the book.
What do you think? Why?