by Eugene Peterson
Published by HarperSanFrancisco ©1988
- Famous Last Words A look at John, the writer of the
Revelation as theologian, poet, and pastor.
- The Last Word on Scripture Every line of the Revelation is
mined out of rich strata of scripture laid down in the earlier ages. The
scriptures are not a textbook on God; they are access to the living word
of God that speaks a new world into being in us.
- The Last Word on Christ Fire penetrates and transforms.
Holiness gets inside us and when it gets inside us it changes us.
Christ's gaze pentrates and purifies. He doesn't look at us, he looks
into us. We are not a spectacle to Christ, we are invaded by him.
- The Last Word on the Church The church is not what we
organize but what God gives, not the people we want to be with but the
people God gives us to be with a community created by the descent
of the Holy Spirit in which we submit ourselves to the Spirit's
affirmation, reformation, and motivation.
- The Last Word on Worship Worship is an act of attention to
the living God who rules, speaks and reveals, creates and redeems, orders
and blesses. Worship centers, gathers, reveals, sings, and affirms.
Worship rehearses in the present the end that lies ahead.
- The Last Word on Evil Christ is conqueror over all forms
of evil. Yet the forms under which the Christ conquers are those of
humility, love, and sacrifice. He does not conquer evil with evil.
- The Last Word on Prayer Prayer reenters history with
incalculable effects, immense force, reversed thunder. Prayer is access
to an environment in which God is the pivotal center of action. Important
things are being done while we wait.
- The Last Word on Witness Biblical faith insists that God
speaks and that we must listen and answer. "Witness" is a personal report
on the conversation. Witnesses first become what they then say. If
witness is to be anything more than gossip about God, it must be the word
- The Last Word on Politics People love to hear that God is
powerful and that he rules; they are not as enthusiastic when they
discover the means by which he exercises his ruling power. We
overestimate the politics of Rome and underestimate the politics of grace.
- The Last Word on Judgment Worship provides the context for
the paradoxical simultaneities of believing in justice while experiencing
injustice. The greatest evil the people of faith face from outside is the
obstruction of worship. The greatest evil that they face from inside is
the subversion of worship. Judgment is enacted in order to set people
free to worship.
- The Last Word on Salvation Salvation is the intimacies and
festivities of marriage; salvation is aggressive battle and the defeat of
evil. Salvation is neither of these things by itself. It is the two
energies, the embrace of love and the assault on evil, in polar tension,
each defined by the other, each feeding into the other. Salvation is not
simply something that God does: it is something that God is doing, and
not only for us but with us, enlisting us in the saving action.
- The Last Word on Heaven If we don't want God, or don't
want him very near, we can hardly be expected to be very interested in
- The Last Words Everything that John wrote was and is
immediately relevant. It is not something that can be pushed off to some
future date. The Revelation is about God. If we are not willing to relate
to him now, there is nothing the future can bring that will satisfy us or