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Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness

, 2011
ISBN: 9781606085608

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Reading Revelation Responsibly is for those who are confused by, afraid of, and/or preoccupied with the book of Revelation. In rescuing the Apocalypse from those who either completely misinterpret it or completely ignore it, Michael J. Gorman has given us both a guide to reading Revelation and a theological engagement with the text itself. He takes interpreting the book as a serious and sacred responsibility, believing how one reads, teaches, and preaches Revelation can have a powerful impact on one’s own well-being.

Gorman pays careful attention to the book’s historical and literary contexts, its connections to the rest of Scripture, its relationship to Christian doctrine and practice, and its potential to help or harm people in their life of faith. Rather than a script for the end times, Gorman demonstrates how Revelation is a script for Christian worship, witness, and mission that runs counter to culturally-embedded civil religion.

For more by Michael J. Gorman, see Select Works of Michael J. Gorman (2 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • Provides a balanced reading of Revelation that is neither obsessive nor indifferent
  • Careful assessment of historical and literary contexts of Revelation
  • Contends that Revelation is not a script for the end times

Top Highlights

“But prophecy, in the biblical tradition, is not exclusively or even primarily about making pronouncements and predictions concerning the future. Rather, prophecy is speaking words of comfort and/or challenge, on behalf of God, to the people of God in their concrete historical situation.” (Page 23)

“Revelation is (primarily) good news about Christ, the Lamb of God—who shares God’s throne and who is the key to the past, present, and future—and therefore also about uncompromising faithfulness leading to undying hope, even in the midst of unrelenting evil and oppressive empire.” (Page 12)

“Worship is so important in the book of Revelation,’ writes Mitchell Reddish, ‘because John rightly understood that worship is a political act. Through worship one declares one’s allegiance, one’s loyalty.… [Public worship] is a statement to the world that the church will bow to no other gods.” (Page 34)

“‘Following the Lamb into the New Creation.’ This subtitle attempts to express my conviction that Revelation is fundamentally a book about Christ, worship and discipleship, and final hope for the world.” (Page 12)

“Babylon’ means Rome, but it also means something more than Rome. Indeed, the absence of the word ‘Rome’ from Revelation is significant, even if Rome is in view. The absence of the word forbids us, so to speak, from limiting Revelation’s significance to the first century. ‘Any society whom Babylon’s cap fits must wear it.’7 Thus Revelation is also a critique of all idolatries and injustices similar to those of Rome, throughout history and into the present.” (Pages 33–34)

With an exceptional blend of scholarly insight and confessional grounding, this book restores Revelation to relevance for the mission of the church.

—J. Nelson Kraybill, author, Apocalypse and Allegiance: Worship, Politics, and Devotion in the Book of Revelation

Sometimes I think there are only two kinds of Christians in America: those who’ve never read Revelation and those who read almost nothing else. This book can help either kind.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author, The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture

  • Title: Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness: Following the Lamb into the New Creation
  • Author: Michael J. Gorman
  • Publisher: Cascade
  • Print Publication Date: 2011
  • Logos Release Date: 2016
  • Pages: 230
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. N.T. Revelation › Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • ISBNs: 9781606085608, 9781621892625, 1606085603, 162189262X
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T20:45:04Z

Michael J. Gorman holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland. A highly regarded New Testament scholar, he has also written Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness and Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers.


3 ratings

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  1. Steven Chapman

    Steven Chapman


    Revelation can be a difficult book to get a grasp of, especially when you get a hold of the fanciful exegesis that often is associated with end times that leaves Revelation inrrelevant to the original recipients. Gorman shows us how easy it can be to get a clear grasp of the message of Revelation. As we grapple with the issue of living a devoted life of a citizen of God's kingdom in ungodly empire, the importance of Revelation is clear for the twenty-first century as well as the first. This exposition is just valuable as some of the volumonous commentaries.
  2. Ryan Carson

    Ryan Carson


  3. Matt Mouzakis

    Matt Mouzakis



Digital list price: $19.99
Save $4.00 (20%)