With its enigmatic symbolism and its apocalyptic imagery that many say predict the End of Days, the book of Revelation has long been a controversial part of the New Testament. In Laodicea, author B. Lising attempts to tackle this divisive text, hoping to explain why so many have misread its words and signs and what readers can do to prepare for Christ’s return.
The heart of the author’s explanations can be found in the title of his book. Laodicea is a city that contained one of the seven churches addressed in Revelation. The church of Laodicea is emblematic of mankind’s erroneous choice in the mixing of New Covenant (faith) and Old Covenant (law) teachings. This cocktail, Lising argues, a pouring of new wine into old wine skins (a metaphor Jesus used in one of his teachings), sours both. What to do? To prepare for the Second Coming, the author contends, we must put our faith solely in Jesus Christ and not be duped into thinking our actions (or laws) can save us.
Laodicea is thought-provoking and perceptive, although is does have its flaws. Readers should be advised that this is not light reading. Those without a basic understanding of Revelation or the Old and New Testaments may find themselves at a loss. Yet it is not the density of the text that is problematic. Instead, it’s the fact that certain parts of the book can be confusing and that there is quite a bit of repetition (for instance, the way the “seven woes” are described on p. 23-24: Why repeat the phrase, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you hypocrites!” numerous times?).
Still, the author’s use of etymology to reveal some of the secrets embedded in the New Testament is compelling, offering more than a few “ah-ha” moments. While many will find the text challenging, there is enough interesting material here to intrigue serious readers of eschatological literature.
Also available in ebook.