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Reading the Apocalypse in the 21st Century

2020 Calvin Symposium on Worship | Workshop

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Of all the books of the New Testament, Revelation is perhaps the most intimidating. A few passages offer clear spiritual and pastoral insight for modern Christians—Christ coming on the clouds, the victorious Lion who appears as a sacrificed Lamb, the new heaven and new earth. But others are riddled with challenges: rampant violence, questionable depiction of women, bizarre symbols, befuddling visions, and the text’s widespread use in predicting the end of days. Can Revelation be salvaged? This workshop addressed the challenges of reading Revelation, offered some strategies for thinking through them, and concluded with reflection on what the Apocalypse offers 21st-century Christians, such as its value for the topics of empire, injustice, and ecology.