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Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and…
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Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination (original 1988; edição 1991)

por Eugene H. Peterson (Autor)

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443542,959 (4.14)1
Peterson's eloquent meditation on the Revelation of St. John engages the imagination and awakens the intellect to the vitality and relevance of the last words on scripture, Christ, church, worship, evil, prayer, witness, politics, judgement, salvation, and heaven.
Título:Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination
Autores:Eugene H. Peterson (Autor)
Informação:HarperOne (1991), Edition: Reprint, 206 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination por Eugene H. Peterson (1988)

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Very good devotional commentary. Gets a little slow near the end. ( )
  tehoese | Aug 24, 2020 |
Peterson's unique viewpoint in meditations on Revelation. Very helpful and helps make Revelation a book of comfort that points to Jesus and builds faith in the midst of a world that is falling apart. ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
A clearly outlined commentary and interpretation of the Book of Revelation from an inslpired point of view. ( )
  Langley_Presbyterian | Nov 16, 2012 |
Among Christian readers, Eugene H. Peterson is known for many works, the most prominent of which is probably The Message (NavPress, 2003), his translation of the entire Christian Bible into contemporary English. I know of no other individual in recent times who single-handedly translated the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. To some readers, it is fresh and timely, just what a contemporary reader needs; to others, it is too loose and free, not close enough to the original texts. I used it for my daily Bible reading one year and found it often refreshing and provocative, but I must admit I was glad to get back to my old RSV (and to the NIV, New Inernational Versions, when I wanted something closer to a transliteration of the original).

But I had known Peterson’s work for more than a decade, since a minister friend gave us Reversed Thunder: The Revelaton of John and the Praying Imagination (HarperCollins, 1988) for Christmas of 1993. I knew how helpful his ability to render the scriptures into a contemporary idiom could be in interpretive commentary. Reversed Thunder reads the Revelation of John as a masterpiece of poetic symbolism, definitely NOT as a detailed prediction of several centuries of human history: “. . . we must not read it as if it were an almanac in order to find out when things are going to occur, or a chronicle of what has occurred.” He presents the writer of the apocalypse as a theologian, a poet, and a pastor. Citing W. H. Auden and Denise Levertov, he characterizes the poem as a text that “does not call for decipherment, as if it were written in code, but that . . . evokes wonder, releasing metaphors that resonate meanings and refract insights in the praying imagination.” One does not read a poem such as this for new information or rational explanation but for participatory experience. Quoting another reviewer, Peterson calls it not “an examination of what happens but an immersion in what happens.”

What was new to me in this (aside from many fresh insights into the symbols, their denotations and connotations) was the concept of the “praying imagination” as the reader’s stance in responding to the Revelation. Peterson himself credits Han Urs von Balthasar as the one who taught him “to pray the text.” One thinks of the psalms and the prayers of Jesus and Paul as texts to be “prayed.” But the Revelation of John? How does it teach us to pray?

A few statements from Peterson’s chapter, “The Last Word on Prayer,” commenting on Revelation 8 and 9, suggest his answer to my question:

“Prayer is the coming into awareness, the practicing of attention, the nurturing and development of personal intensity before God.” [p. 89]

“Silence in heaven for about half an hour: God listens. Everything we say, every groan, every murmur, every stammering attempt at prayer: all this is listened to.” [p. 93]

“Prayer participates in God’s action. God gathers our cries and our praises, our petitions and intercessions, and uses them. The prayers that ascended to God now descend to earth. God uses our prayers in his work . . . .” [p. 95]

Curiously, however, it was in his chapter called, “The Last Word on Politics,” refering to Revelation 12, that brought Peterson’s insights home to me. This is the chapter in which the woman in childbirth is confronted by a fiery dragon, intent on devouring her infant. But the child is snatched up to the throne of God and the dragon is engaged in warfare and vanquished by St. Michael and his angels.

The Great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him . . . .” [The Message, p. 2259]

Here is Peterson’s comment, a clear example of the “praying imagination” in action, of “an immersion in what happens,” of “coming into awareness,” of participatory prayer:

“This is not the nativity story we grew up with, but it is the nativity story all the same. Jesus’ birth excites more than wonder, it excites evil: Herod, Judas, Pilate. Ferocious wickedness is goaded to violence by this life. Can a swaddled infant survive the machines of terror? Can promise outlast horror? We want him to live, we long for his rule, but is it possible in this kind of world? Are not the means lacking? But we overestimate the politics of Rome and underestimate the politics of grace. St. John’s imagination is adrenaline to us of little faith, and we are again dauntless, unimpressed by dragon bluster, sure of God’s preservation. The child survives. God’s rule is intact.” [p, 121]

We want the Child to survive. We want the Dragon to be dragged to the ground, the forces of evil to be annihilated. Those are our petitions, ascending to God. We participate vicariously in St. Michael’s triumph and the glorification of the Innocent. That represents our prayers descending to earth, bolstering our courage and our faith. “Thus,” Peterson concludes, “the larger-than-life political world is reduced to manageable terms. The Christian, with St. John’s help, is not overwhelmed by big government, by sensational religion, by gigantic threats, by colossal odds, by breathless claims.” Now, of course, you have to read the whole chapter, to experience the “satanic trinity” of dragon, sea beast, and land beast, to reach such a conclusion. But what a different view this gives us of the holiday we call Christmas: not just hot chocolate for the carolers, but a determination to confront contemporary evil, with “high praise of God in our throats and two-edged swords in our hands.” In such a response (which Peterson develops in considerably more detail), awareness becomes commitment, we let the poet become our pastor, and the “praying imagination” becomes participatory prayer.

In Reversed Thunder (the title is drawn from a George Herbert poem), Eugene Peterson’s fresh and timely translation underlies fresh and timely interpretation, one that Christians probably need to hear in this twenty-first century. The Roman empire may have fallen, but Empire has not fallen. The Dragon still confronts the Child. Herod is alive and well and living in . . . .
1 vote bfrank | Jul 29, 2007 |
Eugene Peterson's short work on the Apocalypse was both interesting and enjoyable. It is not an exegetical commentary, nor does it address many of the usual questions that stem from reading Revelation (i.e., what's the deal with "666," what about the Rapture, what is the nature of the millennium, etc). Rather, Peterson provides a series of meditations on the "last words" that John gives on topics including worship, the church, evil, judgment, salvation and heaven, with particular emphasis on the pastoral implications that the vision has for each. I was particularly impressed by Peterson's ability to tie the Revelation's various themes and symbols back into the rest of the canon. Even those not interested in the minutiae of eschatology will likely find this book edifying and stimulating. ( )
  teamredd | Jan 3, 2007 |
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Peterson's eloquent meditation on the Revelation of St. John engages the imagination and awakens the intellect to the vitality and relevance of the last words on scripture, Christ, church, worship, evil, prayer, witness, politics, judgement, salvation, and heaven.

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