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Four Views on the Book of Revelation (Counterpoints)

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Is the book of Revelation a blueprint for the future that needs decoding if we want to understand current events? Is it a book of powerful imagery, with warnings and promises for the church throughout the ages? Or is it essentially an imaginative depiction of historical events in the first century? Four Views on the Book of Revelation explores the four main views in which Revelation is understood: preterist, idealist, classical dispensationalist futurist, and progressive dispensationalist.

Resource Experts
  • A Preterist View of Revelation, Kenneth L Gentry, Jr.
  • An Idealist View of Revelation, Sam Hamstra, Jr.
  • A Progressive Dispensationalist View of Revelation, C. Marvin Pate
  • A Classical Dispensationalist View of Revelation, Robert L. Thomas

Top Highlights

“John’s spiral structure allows occasional backward glances and a reconsidering of events from different angles, rather than a relentless chronological progression.” (Page 38)

“1) ‘Progressives’ believe that Jesus began his heavenly, Davidic reign at the resurrection” (Page 32)

“Revelation consists of a mixture of three genres: apocalyptic, prophetic, and epistolary” (Page 11)

“The hallmark of dispensationalism has been its commitment to a literal interpretation of prophetic Scripture” (Page 29)

“The closer we get to the year 2000, the farther we get from the events of Revelation. This claim, as remarkable as it may sound, summarizes the evangelical preterist view of Revelation.1 ‘Preterism’ holds that the bulk of John’s prophecies occur in the first century, soon after his writing of them. Though the prophecies were in the future when John wrote and when his original audience read them, they are now in our past.” (Page 37)

C. Marvin Pate taught for thirteen years at Moody Bible Institute. Now he is chair of the department of Christian theology and professor of theology at Ouachita Baptist University. Pate has authored, co-authored, or edited twenty books.


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