Revelation, the Lamb and the reign of God (Michael Gorman)

Many would agree that Michael Gorman’s Reading Revelation Responsibly (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2010) is a good book. Here are few excerpts from the book.

Professor Gorman suggests five concrete strategies to approach the Book of Revelation. Here are two of them.

Recognize that the central and centering image of Revelation is the Lamb that was slaughtered. In Revelation, Christ dies for our sins, but he dies also, even primarily, as the incarnation and paradigm of faithfulness to God in the face of anti-God powers. Christ is Lord, Christ is victorious, and Christ conquers by cruciform faithful resistance… (page 78)

Focus on the book’s call to public worship and discipleship. Revelation calls Christians to a difficult discipleship of discernment – a non-conformist cruciform faithfulness – that may lead to marginalization or even persecution now, but ultimately to a place in God’s new heaven and new earth. Revelation calls believers to nonretaliation and nonviolence, and not to a literal war of any sort, present or future. By its very nature as resistance, faithful nonconformity is not absolute withdrawal but rather critical engagement on very different terms from those of the status quo. This is all birthed and nurtured in worship. (page 79)

Here is something that will cause us to worship the Crucified Christ.

The Throne: The Reign of God and the Lamb [as a theological theme in Revelation]. God the creator reigns! Jesus the redeemer, the slaughtered Lamb, is Lord! The reign of the eternal God, the beginning and the end, is not merely future or past but present, and it is manifested in – of all things – the slaughtered Lamb. God is inseparable from the Lamb, and vice versa. Each can be called the Alpha and Omega, and they rule together on one throne. This is a cruciform (cross-centred and cross-shaped) understanding of divine power. (page 75)

(See Nijay Gupta’s review of the book here.)

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