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Discipleship on the Edge: An Expository Journey Through the Book of Revelation

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Revelation is probably the most read, but least understood book of the Bible. History is replete with examples of how not to interpret it, and books featuring end-of-world prophecy claims based on Revelation consistently top the bestseller lists. But how can the message of such an enigmatic book be applied to our lives today?

In Discipleship on the Edge, Darrell W. Johnson drives home the challenging and practical message of Revelation in thirty carefully crafted sermons. Paying careful attention to the original context of Revelation and the circumstances surrounding its composition, Johnson shows that the book is not a "crystal ball" but rather a "discipleship manual." Thoroughly researched and yet accessible, this collection of sermons is a helpful resource for pastors and small group leaders who are looking for models to help them preach and teach the message of Revelation in a time when there is much confusion about the end times. Darrell W. Johnson serves as Scholar-in-Residence at The Way Church and Canadian Church Leaders Network in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A popular conference and retreat speaker, he has also served as the preaching pastor for a number of congregations in North America and the Philippines, as well as serving as Adjunct Professor of Preaching for the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a Teaching Fellow at Regent College. His other books include Experiencing the Trinity and Fifty-Seven Words That Change The World.

412 pages, Paperback

First published May 31, 2004

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Darrell W. Johnson

22 books37 followers

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5 stars
261 (75%)
4 stars
63 (18%)
3 stars
18 (5%)
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5 (1%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
Profile Image for Blake Western.
Author 12 books68 followers
March 26, 2021
This is one of the most practical, helpful books you will read on the Book of Revelation. It is Christ centered. The author believes the book was written to teach disciples and not give a detailed program for the future. Regardless of your position on the last things, you will find much to encourage you in this detailed exposition.
Profile Image for Tim.
Author 4 books10 followers
December 27, 2011
Hands down best commentary on Revelation. Extraordinarily insightful and exegetically sound.
Profile Image for Virginia Perry.
28 reviews2 followers
November 15, 2022
Loved this one! This book helped me see Revelation in a completely new way - as a discipleship manual, rather than the wacky last book of the Bible that I never read. Johnson showed me a side of Christ that I hadn’t seen before, and I am grateful.
6 reviews
February 8, 2016
Excellent insight, interpretation and explanation of Revelation's structure.

The problem is the editing. The book appears to be unedited transcripts of a sermon series Dr. Johnson delivered. Each chapter is a sermon. That's great for a starting point, but definitely not as a finished product. Two instances to explain what I mean:

(1) Although someone attending Dr. Johnson's weekly sermons at church likely needs the same weekly reminder of Revelation's setting and context at the beginning of each sermon, a reader does not. If a reader finds a reminder is needed, flipping to the intro chapter works perfectly well. Each chapter has basically the same reminder intro, chapter after chapter, which gets tedious very quickly.

(2) Reading sermons isn't the same as listening. When reading, one can't hear the preacher's tone and passion. The text includes exclamation marks when the preacher must have reached his climatic point of his sermon. But placing them in the text just felts forced.

Dr. Johnson should revise this book - full of great content - so that it's in a reader-friendly form. I'd gladly give such a book the full five stars.
231 reviews
October 16, 2017
The absolute best book I have read on the book of Revelation. Darrell's insights, wisdom and ability to write to the layperson is amazing. I very highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding this book of the Bible. I used it as part of my daily devotions and often went back over pages to dig even deeper into the book.
Profile Image for Paul Burgoyne.
Author 1 book14 followers
September 2, 2021
If you find the last book of the Bible challenging and confusing (and who doesn't?) then Darrell Johnson's book is for you. Darrell is both a scholar and a teacher and in this well-written commentary on the Revelation of John, he clarifies the historical setting of the book and its meaning to its original readers as a means to help today's readers to understand God's truth for our generation. For students of the Bible, this is the best book on Revelation I have ever read.
Profile Image for Mike.
Author 8 books37 followers
August 3, 2022
Initially, I found the book a bit repetitious because Johnson uses a sermon format to work his way through Revelation. However, this proves to be useful in due course, as the regular reminders about aspects of what he's saying get reinforced by the repetition.
Beyond that this is an excellent exposition of a Bible book that's often held to be too difficult to understand. Though I've read it a few times, I've also avoided it more than other books of the Bible, because of that sense of difficulty.
Johnson's approach to the book shows how organised it really is, and how the symbols work together with other books of the Bible and aren't just things John the Apostle dreamed up. He's also very good at getting to grips with the numerology of the Book, showing how we ought not to treat the numbers as stats but as symbols too. This makes considerable sense of the 144,000 and 666.
In the seven letters to the churches section, which always seemed to me to be a different kind of book, he shows how it fits to the whole scheme, and he spends a lot of time on this section, going into the history of the various cities and how what is said about them is particularly relevant in each case.
All in all a valuable and useful commentary on Revelation, and one that I've already started to re-read.
Profile Image for Joe.
307 reviews10 followers
January 1, 2013
Revelation has always been a book I've steered clear of. My thinking was, I guess, that no one knows what the Hell it means and for every interpretation given, there are equally persuasive interpretations that might contradict it.
Johnson's book was tremendously helpful. In his very accessible reading of Revelation, Johnson finds something personally relevant in each chapter while constantly directing the reader back to Revelation's important broad themes.
6 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2022
I've read hundreds of commentaries throughout my life. This is the best, by far, hands down. It has not only increased my knowledge of the book of Revelation, but it has also increased my worship of the God who is at the center of the book of Revelation. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying, teaching, or just curious about the last book of the Bible. You will not regret it.
Profile Image for HK Matter.
60 reviews1 follower
May 28, 2022
I have almost no words for how impactful this book has been on my life.

I have used it as a devotional, guiding me through the book of Revelation for a couple months now, making me read through it slowly and deliberately.
The Lord has spoken to me daily through this book at the message rings true: “The time is near”.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Profile Image for Beth.
54 reviews38 followers
October 12, 2011
I read this book several years ago. It revolutionized my understanding of the book of Revelation. Johnson's explanation of John's vision of Jesus in Revelation 1 changed and deepened my understanding in significant ways.
Profile Image for Emily.
8 reviews
May 7, 2012
Great insight into the book of Revelation without being controversial. I appreciated the part on the seven cities because I have been there. I underlined a lot.
Profile Image for David.
74 reviews13 followers
March 16, 2022
I am really finding this expository study of Revelation helpful as it presents its information in a non controversial way that seems to take the text of the book seriously. It is well worth reading.
Profile Image for Tim Ellis.
30 reviews
March 25, 2022
Brooke Ligertwood recommended this on a podcast where she was interviewed! She said as a result of reading it, Revelation is now her favorite book of the Bible. Now I can totally see why! This is a powerful book! It has challenged me in my discipleship to Jesus. It has brought a better understanding to parts of Revelation that I have deeply struggled with. And it has brought me comfort in the middle of the chaotic waters that are life. This book is a new favorite!

He is coming! Even now! Things are not as they seem!
Profile Image for Kevin M.
28 reviews3 followers
November 22, 2018
Confused by the Book of Revelation?

What an absolute blessing to have this book to unveil God's Truth that is declared in Revelation.
It is not about how and when, but who and why.
"The biblical vision of the future is not about the end of creation. It is about the beginning of creation, the beginning of a new creation. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1).
Profile Image for Ariel.
896 reviews5 followers
October 27, 2022
I really liked this book, worth its emphasis on the practical and the powerful of Revelation , but written for a layperson’s discipleship. That’s the focus I personally choose, as well. I’m not trying to define or interpret every sign, seal, horn, angel or creature. I just know that what I DO understand is the Lamb on the Throne who makes all things new.

Available in kindle unlimited
Profile Image for Gavin Breeden.
352 reviews72 followers
April 15, 2019
Excellent and readable expositional guide through Revelation. Johnson frames it as a book on discipleship. The wild imagery is designed to show us that "things are not as they seem." Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Adrian.
72 reviews7 followers
September 11, 2019
Great practical and pastoral resource, based on solid Reformed theology. Importantly, Johnson takes seriously the historical and cultural setting of Revelation but also offers profound practical wisdom and modern examples of a life following Jesus "on the edge" still today.
Profile Image for Leslie.
706 reviews
June 2, 2022
I appreciated the concentration on discipleship and how a Christian should model Jesus rather than just using the book of Revelation as a "crystal ball". Everyone gets way too caught up in the timeline rather than the examples being set for us. Overall, a good tool to have in our box.
Profile Image for Russ.
83 reviews1 follower
July 10, 2017
Best book I've read on Revelation. Darrel's perspective draws out the relevance of some very complicated passages.
Profile Image for Bobbi Mccullough.
5 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2018
Excellent book on Revelation. Easy to read - easy to understand. I absolutely loved and will actually be reading it again. So much to absorb!
Profile Image for Adam Dollar.
3 reviews2 followers
July 12, 2020
Clearest perspective on Revelation I've read. And most consistent with the character of Jesus.
May 24, 2021
Wow! So, so good. Highly recommend to anyone wanting a practical understanding of the book of Relevation and its implications on how we live our lives today.
Profile Image for Ashish Mathew.
27 reviews2 followers
May 24, 2022
Exceptional commentary on Revelation. Really enjoyed reading it cover to cover while studying and meditating on the book
Profile Image for David.
114 reviews6 followers
December 18, 2022
Johnson provokes us to follow Jesus as we read
revelation, even while he stays faithful to helping us understand and interpret the text.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

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