Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review: Unveiled Hope

Unveiled Hope: Eternal Encouragement from the Book of Revelation. 1997. 244 pages. [Source: Borrowed]

First sentence: As I write these words I am sitting at the foot of the Swiss Alps in the little fishing village of Iseltwald, just outside of Interlaken.

Scotty Smith and Michael Card walk readers through the book of Revelation in Unveiled Hope. Scotty Smith's sections are prefaced "From the Word," and Michael Card's sections are prefaced "From the Song."

Is it a commentary? Yes and no. Is it a devotional? No and yes.
It does not go chapter by chapter, verse by verse. It is not an analysis of Revelation word by word or phrase by phrase. It is not a dry, scholarly approach intent on cramming your mind with hundreds of facts and details. The purpose seems to be to awaken a deep, passionate desire and longing for the LORD--to cultivate a heart of WORSHIP, of devotion. It serves the purpose of a devotional certainly. But. People have such narrow ideas of what a devotional is: One or two pages of text that can be read in under five minutes, preferably with cup of coffee or tea in hand, something clear enough that can be read with foggy early-morning mind. The chapters in Unveiled Hope vary in length.  But most are about twenty pages long!!!

One thing the book is emphatically not is a book about end-times prophecy.

Chapter 1: Revelation 1
Chapter 2: Revelation 2-3
Chapter 3: Revelation 4
Chapter 4: Revelation 5:1-8; 11-14
Chapter 5: Revelation 5:9-10
Chapter 6: Revelation 6:1-8:1
Chapter 7: Revelation 8:2-10:11; 11:15-19
Chapter 8: Revelation 11:1-14
Chapter 9: Revelation 12-14
Chapter 10: Revelation 15-18
Chapter 11: Revelation 19
Chapter 12: Revelation 20
Chapter 13: Revelation 21-22
Epilogue: Revelation 22:6-21

I love, love, love, LOVE, love-like-crazy the book of Revelation. The key for me was learning to read the book in one glorious sitting. Reading the whole book at once--one is overwhelmed magnificently with the glory of God, with the weight of his glory, with the incredible depth and beauty of the good news. How could you see the book as anything but a worship book?! When read in one sitting, one doesn't have time to be scared about this verse or that verse; one doesn't have time to speculate.

This book was a good fit for me--for the most part.

I personally have received more help in enduring my everyday problems from studying Revelation than from any other portion of God's Word in the nearly thirty years I have been a Christian. And I have received more guidance for how to live the Christian life and how to begin a new church from this book than from any other. Revelation is not just a guidebook for dealing with the end times; it is a guidebook for every day of our lives. ~ Scotty Smith
It is primarily written to call us to live to the glory of God, right here and now, with hearts filled with His peace. ~ Scotty Smith
No other book in the Bible gives us a more inviting and overwhelming picture of Jesus. Here is Jesus as He really is. Jesus, as He wants to be known. Jesus, who alone is worthy of our adoration, our affection, and our allegiance. ~ Scotty Smith
One of the greatest joys and one of the most sobering realities in the Christian life is to realize that we serve a God who has chosen to reveal Himself and to give us His written Word. ~ Scotty Smith 
Every generation of Christians needs to be reminded that our God reigns. The sovereignty of God, just like the grace of God, is a major theme that permeates all twenty-two chapters of Revelation. ~ Scotty Smith

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