Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Insights on Revelation by Charles R. Swindoll

book cover

Insights on Revelation
by Charles R. Swindoll

ISBN-13: 9780310284345
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: August 2011

Source: Review copy from the publisher through a freelance publicist.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Combining rich, rock-solid scholarship with a storyteller's imagery and passion, Chuck Swindoll has a gift for sweeping people into the immediacy of the Scriptures. Featuring maps, timelines, Holy Land images, and more. God's Word will come alive for you, filled with drama, power, and truth.

My Review:
Insights on Revelation is a commentary on Revelation. While the previous book I read in this series (Insights on James, 1 & 2 Peter) read like a Bible study (with plenty of Bible background information and enlightening word studies), this book read more like a sermon. The style was more telling the reader what to think about the verses rather than helping the reader understand the verses so they can potentially form their own conclusions.

Rather than discuss the different beliefs about the rapture, Swindoll simply assumed that a pre-Tribulation rapture was true. In one place he said that we're not told exactly what all the symbols mean so we shouldn't get dogmatic about them or that prophecy isn't always given in chronological order, then a little bit later he'd say that such-and-such a symbol means this or things happened in this specific order and timing when the text didn't even hint at that.

He also proposed some ideas I've never heard of before and which don't line up with what the whole Bible teaches, in my opinion. For example, he believes in four separate waves of resurrections with separate times of Judgment for each group.

If you agree with him or just want someone to tell you what to believe, then this won't bother you. However, there were times that I felt the author let his theology force his interpretation of the verses rather than letting the verses form his theology. This didn't happen much in the first half of the commentary (even in the initial prophecy sections), but it became more frequent in the last half.

The author explained who wrote Revelation, when it was written, and who it was written to. Then he took related chunks of the text and looked at each section as a whole and then verse-by-verse. At the end of each section, he discussed how we can apply the writer's message to our own lives. Since Swindoll doesn't believe that any true believer living today will live through the Tribulation, his application points for the prophetic part of Revelation were very general principles.

While his commentary on the messages-to-the-churches part of Revelation was good and mostly what I've heard preached before, I was disappointed by much of the commentary on the prophetic part. However, if you believe in the pre-Tribuation rapture of Christians, you'll probably like it.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt.

No comments: