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Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination [Paperback]

By Eugene H. Peterson (Author)
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Item description for Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination by Eugene H. Peterson...

REVERSED THUNDER: The Revelation of John & the Praying Imagination Eugene 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, judgment, salvation, and heaven.

Publishers Description

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.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination by Eugene H. Peterson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Century - 10/16/2013 page 35

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 1991
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060665033  
ISBN13  9780060665036  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eugene H. Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson Eugene H. Peterson (born November 6, 1932), is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language[1] (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), a contemporary translation of the Bible.

Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington and grew up in Kalispell, Montana. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1962, Peterson was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

Eugene H. Peterson currently resides in Vancouver. Eugene H. Peterson was born in 1932.

Eugene H. Peterson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Experiencing God
  2. First Book Challenge
  3. Growing in Christ
  4. Lifeguide Bible Studies
  5. Message
  6. Navpress Devotional Readers

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Prayerbooks
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Devotionals
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Prayer
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination?

A Real Revelation  Jun 15, 2006
"Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination" is the most significant treatment of the book of Revelation that I have read (or indirectly experienced through such books as the "Left Behind" series). Eugene Peterson, himself a pastor, always works from the understanding that John was also a pastor, separated from his small, beleaguered churches as he endured exile on the isle of Patmos. John was writing to communities gathered around Word and Sacrament; communities that gathered to pray and ponder the Word of God; communities that struggled to live faithfully in the midst of a society that was dangerous, decadent, despotic, and demonic.

Peterson examines the book of Revelation as a series of "last words" upon various themes in Scripture: Christ, sin, power, the Church, worship, etc. They are poetic, imaginative, pastoral, and sometimes cryptic reflections and summations of what has already been treated elsewhere in Scripture. Thus Revelation does not merely quote Daniel and Ezekiel directly, but alludes to their images (often almost literally) while setting them in the context of the Church; the person, work, and lordship of Christ; and the final triumph of God over all that would seek to oppose him and destroy his people.

Peterson downplays the "future foretelling" that is so prevalent in many works by some interpreters and popularizers of Revelation. He believes that an overly literal "timetable" reading of the book distorts its message, flattens its poetry, and ignores its deep pastoral heart. On the other hand, Peterson never simply "explains away" or dismisses some of the difficult, often bizarre imagery of the book. Rather he strives to show how John, a faithful theologian, pastor and poet of the Church, used those images to grip the imagination and strengthen the nerve and the faith of his hearers.

Peterson's writing is both "meaty" enough for most pastors, and accessible enough for most interested laypersons. It is the one treatment of Revelation that I have unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended to both categories of readers; AND it is one of the few books that I've underlined lengthy passages and dog-eared just about every other page. Not only that - it's one I return to for the sheer pleasure of reading it.
Devotional study of Revelation  May 2, 2006
I'm not sure I would have said that you could read and understand Revelation as a "devotional" book, but with Peterson's insights I can now say it. Revelation is a wonderful study and adventure as you take along this book as your guide. You will find that it will inspire you to prayer, worship, devotion, repentance, and hope as you read through Reversed Thunder.

Everyone needs to have this in their library not for the didactics but for the amazing devotional that it is. I highly recommend this read.
Revelation  Mar 18, 2006
recommend this book because it addess the number one problem in USA Christians - head knowledge over heart knowledge - the Bible is the writen Word made Flesh and still lives among us - that we can have a personal relationship with Jesus - I have not finished the book BUT what I read has me moved to live a life to Him - if you are looking for a book on time tables about the end - this is not for you
More proof that eschatology matters now  Feb 18, 2006
Over the past year, Eugene Peterson has become my favorite author (along with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and John Piper). After reading Peterson's books Run With the Horses (the life of Jeremiah) and Where Your Treasure Is (the Psalms), I was eager to read more by him. I was not disappointed by this book.

Peterson sets off at the beginning to lay down the truth that the Apocalypse was not written as a treatise on "things that must soon take place," to be analyzed for chronology and fulfillment. Rather, it was written by a caring pastor guiding his people through the threat of caesar-worship. It is a book solely about the distant future, but a collection of poetic images that serve to evoke hope and order in the present churches of Ephesus. I am so grateful that Peterson emphasizes the fact that all apocalyptic is meant to be practical in the here-and-now. "Eschatology is the most pastoral of all the theological perspectives, showing how the ending impinges on the present in such ways that the truth of the gospel is verified in life 'in the middle'" (9). "There are predictive elements in some prophecy (and some in the Revelation), but they are always in service to a present message" (21).

Peterson walks through a chapter or two of the Revelation at a time, keeping in mind the three inseparable roles of John as he writes what is revealed to him: pastor, poet, and theologian. For Peterson, real theology is only seen and understood as it is worked out in our daily living; all theology is imminently practical. Just like the Apostle in his day, Peterson lives to combat the Gnostic duality that embraces the "spiritual" as something belonging to another world or sphere, and not upsetting our finely crafted lives.

If Peterson sees any unifying theme or purpose behind the images of the Revelation, it is undeniably WORSHIP. Worship--the fitting participation of God's people in response to his actions--is for God's people a taste of heaven even now. Worship matters: it orients our lives to God and keeps us hopeful. Failed worship--focusing on what people are doing rather than God--leads to chaos. "Worship is the essential and central act of the Christian. . . . Worship is the act of giving committed attention to the being and action of God. The Christian life is posited on the faith that God is in action" (140-41).

The book, though, is not without its flaws. Taking perhaps a bit too much poetic license in interpreting the visions, I believe Peterson often sees things in Scripture that, while they may ultimately be correct, are simply not evident from the text itself. For example, in reference to the "sea of glass", he writes of how this is clearly a reference to the baptismal font (63). All in all, though, this is an illuminating, stirring, and utterly pastoral reading of the New Testament's final book. With discernment--and do understand, this is NOT a commentary--this book will make an excellent aid to anyone wanting to learn more about the Revelation.
Insightful and thought provoking  Aug 29, 2005
As always Eugene Peterson captures the concepts and makes them practical. Revelation needs to be held as not just a "future" picture but also a guide to living today.

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