Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Eclectic Interpretation of Revelation?

I try and read people I disagree with. It pays to try to understand what they say, and you can learn a lot. Often they constructively inform you.

Recently I came across Brian Tabb's new book "All Things New - Revelation as Canonical Capstone." It isn't a verse by verse commentary on Revelation. Rather it is divided into five parts and subsections addressing different aspects of Revelation. For example, there's a section on The Triune God. The chapters may be read on their own rather than sequentially.

Tabb takes an Eclectic view. He's gracious where he disagrees with the Futurist view and in many areas quite insightful. I like that he cites Thomas and MacArthur rather than popular prophecy teachers. However, citations of these two are minimal compared to Beale, Bauckham etc. I haven't finished reading the book and this isn't a review. But I'm far enough into it to note that he can be as frustrating as informative.

Two examples...

Covenant Theologians aren't fond of the term "Replacement Theology" yet on page 107, Tabb writes that: "Revelation 3:9 presents further evidence that the church is true Israel." Elsewhere he (in my opinion) makes a huge deductive (eclectic?) leap by suggesting that the Ezekiel Temple and the New Jerusalem Temple are the same thing expressed in different ways.

Michael Gorman (Reading Revelation Responsibly) wrote that one should look at the Big Picture when reading Revelation. Yet I can't help thinking that, what too often happens, is a re-painting of what the original painter of the picture intended. The "big picture ending" may be the same, but the preceding details are important. These "systems of interpretation" end up being useful ways of avoiding what the texts do say - especially regarding national Israel.

Perhaps I'm being sophomoric (once again) but the eclectic view seems overly messy and fluid.

Anyway, Tony Garland's article "Systems of Interpretation" is most helpful to me.

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