Revelation: A Liturgical Prophecy


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Item No. 006021

by Patrick Henry Reardon

This is no book for biblical beginners, and one suspects it is a work more often misinterpreted than correctly understood. Unless a person is extraordinarily familiar with all the rest of Holy Scripture, understanding very much of the Book of Revelation will be an extremely arduous task. Since the book’s arcane symbolism is so rich and subtle, Christian humility will especially prompt the devout reader to be more than usually careful and tentative in his study of it, bearing in mind that the book’s purpose is not to satisfy our curiosity about the final times (inasmuch as not even the angels in heaven—and therefore certainly no one on earth—truly know the day and hour, as our Lord insisted in the Gospels) but to summon our ongoing repentance.

Fr Patrick Henry Reardon argues that the Book of Revelation is “liturgical prophecy.” Like the prophets of old, it is not a work of theological abstraction, but grounded historical realities: it is only timeless by being timely. Revelation conveys the call to repentance in all times with equal immediacy. Likewise, the Apocalypse is liturgical. The vision begins during the Sunday liturgy, and it conveys the profound meaning of Christian worship. When Christians gather together in the liturgy, they do not escape from the painful history of the world. On the contrary, they go to the very source of that history, the eternal throne of God. Surrounded by the seeming chaos of the world and the events of men, threatened by social and political forces dominated by the direction of hell, Christians are strengthened by John’s vision of their worship being assumed into the very worship that takes place before God’s throne.

About the Author: Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints' Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and a senior editor of Touchstone. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms and Christ in His Saints, in addition to the books in the "Orthodox Christian Reflections" Bible Commentary series. He has also written more than 500 articles, editorials, and reviews, published in Books and Culture, Touchstone, The Scottish Journal of Theology, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Pro Ecclesia, St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, and other journals on three continents.


Author: Patrick Henry Reardon

Paperback: 144 pages

Dimensions: 5 X 7 inches

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