A Book Review of Reading Revelation Responsibly by Michael J. Gorman

Reading Revelation Responsibly Book Cover


Reading Revelation Responsibly is a helpful book for anyone seeking to get a different or new perspective on the book of Revelation. Gorman provides a helpful analysis of the form and substance of the book and presents the reader with a brief summary of the different views interpreters take on the book of Revelation.

Gorman primarily uses what I would call a Semi-Idealist model for interpreting Revelation. His model could be incorporated with other positions, such as the Preterist or Historicist position, but it is really most at home in the Idealist framework.

Finally, Gorman presents a decent-length theology of Revelation and helps create a framework that incorporates Revelation as a synopsis and culmination of all of Scripture.

Reasons to Read
  1. Gorman presents a decent analysis of Dispensational Eschatology. For anyone looking to think through the ups and downs of “Left Behind” theology, Gorman presents what I think is a fair analysis of the view’s faults. Even if you are someone that holds strongly is Dispensational Eschatology, Reading Revelation may be a good work for critical analysis.
  2. Gorman calls Christians to consider themselves as people of the Kingdom of God rather than true citizens of any particular nation. In this, he specifically calls Americans to consider how theologically tied they are to their country rather than to God. I think this is helpful given that “America” and “Christianity” cannot be synonymous.
  3. Gorman presents a balanced theology for his Semi-Idealist position
  4. Ultimately, this book is great for anyone seeking to think through issues of Eschatology
  1. In considering point 2 above, I would say Gorman is a little too critical of America and tends to be down on military service. While I find his point on trying to only worship God and not America important, I think he does go a little far in attacking America.
  2. The view Gorman presents is what I would call radically pacifistic. I agree with him that Christians ought to minimize violence and should not be in support of warmongering, I think there can be a case made for Just War Theory and for the use of force in self-defense.
Final Thoughts

All-in-all, while I don’t agree with everything presented in Reading Revelation Responsibly, I think it can be a helpful work for anyone who wants to be thoughtful and open-minded when it comes to the difficult and confusing book of Revelation. If you are all-in on Dispensational Premillennialism, this book will challenge you to think critically about your position.

Any discerning Christian should consider reading, even if to assess views you disagree with.


Reading Revelation Responsibly by Michael J. Gorman

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Postmillenialism- Christ Church (This is a helpful video that explains some of the different views mentioned above. Even if you disagree with Doug Wilson’s view, it may be helpful in understanding the different ideas presented.)

Tyler Bauer holds an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University and is currently pursuing MAs in Philosophy and Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tyler is a former high school teacher and blogs regularly at The Navigation Project.