The book of Revelation and I have a complicated relationship. We flirted a little bit, back in high school, at least until it got me kicked out of church. I suppose I had a little something to do with it, given that I was an uppity teenager, full of questions and doubts in -- of all places -- a Baptist church in Texas.
This is where the end of time begins, where the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse first rode out of the starting gate, where the Seven Seals were opened and the Seven Angels sounded the Seven Trumpet blasts, where the blinding vision of Armageddon, final battle between good and evil, first burst forth.
In recent years, flash mobs have appeared in shopping malls, and surprised people by singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah. These eruptions of song appear to be spontaneous -- they are surprising and inspiring, bringing worship into the middle of typically secular spaces. The book of Revelation is full of surprises.
Combining visions, religion and politics in an apocalyptic drama, the Book of Revelation still captures our imagination 2,000 years after it was writt...