A little more than a year ago, a friend of mine told me that the book of Revelation terrified her. This friend loves Bible study, but Revelation absolutely freaked her out (her words).
I'm not going to lie: There are lots of passages and chapters in the Bible that I struggle with. I don't know what to do with them, how to talk about them, much less how to preach sermons about them. However, I've always felt like Revelation didn't have to be one of those books. It's loaded with tons of symbolism, imagery, and cultural references from the time it was written. The problem isn't that the book of Revelation is insane--it's that we don't live in the world that the original readers lived.
So I started doing research--I mean, a LOT of research--and proceeded to write what has become the biggest sermon series I have ever preached. Yesterday--after nineteen weeks and a few stops along the way--I finished the series. Part of me is really glad that it's over, but there's a part of me that's going to miss it, kind of like when you finish putting together a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle: It's so gratifying to be finished, but what are you going to do now?
The single most frequently-asked question people have raised with me during this series is, "Where can I learn more?" Most people I have encountered--once they begin to figure out what this book really is--want to learn as much as they can. It's fascinating. The history, the interweaving of Greek mythology, Roman cultural practices, and Hebrew tradition makes for the unique stew that is the book of Revelation, and it tends to pique one's curiosity.
So I wanted to provide some resources for people who wanted to go farther. If you want, check out the lists below, or if you like, you can click the lower links to listen to any part of my sermon series.
Thanks to everyone for your interest and your curiosity.
And thanks most of all to the people of Collective Church for indulging my curiosity and letting me do a ridiculously long sermon series on a super weird book of the Bible.
Here are the resources:
The Book of Revelation as a Whole:
- Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright
- The Theology of the Book of Revelation by Richard Bauckham
- Reading Revelation Responsibly by Michael Gorman
- Revelation and the End of All Things by Craig Koester
- Reversed Thunder by Eugene Peterson
Also, here are a list of other books I used throughout the writing of this series:
Reviving Old Scratch by Richard Beck (Part 15)
How to Be Here by Rob Bell (Part 14)
The Myth of a Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd (Part 18)
Rising Strong by Brene Brown (Part 14)
Disunity in Christ by Christina Cleveland (Part 12)
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Part 14)
The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen (Part 7)
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (Part 15)
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson (Part 7)
Surprised By Hope by N.T. Wright (Part 19)
And finally, here is the entire series, including visual elements:
Part 01: "A Fresh Word of Hope" (Revelation, chapter 1)
Part 02: "A Light We Can't Always See" (Revelation, chapter 2)
Part 03: "You are poor, yet you are rich" (Revelation, chapter 2)
Part 04: "Pergamum: A Very Religious City" (Revelation, chapter 2)
Part 05: "Thyatira: A Word of Frustration / A Word of Encouragement" (Revelation, chapter 2)
Part 06: "Wake Up" (Revelation, chapter 3)
Part 07: "The Voice of the Accuser" (Revelation, chapter 3)
Part 08: "Like Lukewarm Water" (Revelation, chapter 3)
Part 09: "The World of Domitian" (Revelation, chapters 4 & 5)
Part 16: "The Beast Wants Power" (Revelation, chapter 13)
Part 17: "A New Story / An Old Story" (Revelation, chapters 15 & 16)
Part 18: "Crosses and Flags" (Revelation, chapters 17 & 18)
Part 19: "Between Two Trees" (Revelation, chapters 21 & 22)