John of Patmos, the author of Revelation, raises the big questions of spiritual life. He doesn't settle for simple, glib answers. Instead he probes deeply, offering more and more satisfying answers as the Revelation progresses. He expects you to bring your mind along, not to leave it outside the church door. He even expects you to question what he himself says.
The messages to the seven churches in the book of Revelation (Rev. chapters 2 and 3) are part of the introductory material that precedes the “action part” of the main body of Revelation. These seven messages introduce the main themes of Revelation, the big questions of spiritual life.
The seven messages are all different but they all have some common elements. Each message includes the following:
Each of these elements is different for each church’s message. The four common elements introduce the four predominant themes of Revelation, the four big questions of spiritual life:
The main body of Revelation has all sorts of answers to those questions, just as our typical religious beliefs have all sorts of answers. However, Revelation organizes the answers into a logical sequence and progression. The main themes that the Revelation story develops are the changing and evolving answers to these big questions of spiritual life, from ancient Bronze Age belief systems through the development of Judaism and the founding of Christianity until far into our future. The whole book From Fear To Love: Transforming Revelation explains the development of these themes through the whole Revelation story.
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