Can I be honest? Whenever someone tries to talk to me about Revelation and their interpretation of the seven headed beast, I want to fall asleep or at the very least start scoffing (I’m a very good scoffer). I’m the same way with any conversation about dispensationalism. In fact, I don’t even know what that word means because my brain shuts off when someone mentions it in my presence. Maybe there’s a time and a place to discuss things like that, but I have a problem when people make it their whole spiritual purpose to deduce the Truth of free will vs. Calvinism, or when the 4th seal will be broken.
This attitude leaves me cynical and apathetic about any end times things because I’ve never thought to re-frame End Times teachings in a way that is applicable and not-theoretical.
Enter: Brandon Andress
Brandon liked one my blogs a few weeks back so I reciprocated. His blog is funny. He talks about kingdom theology, which draws me like a moth to a flame. He posts things, like this letter of reconciliation to the world, which makes my heart sing. Let’s just say, I already like this guy’s style.
Turns out that Brandon’s an author and he’d written a book about the End Times.
Let’s pause there for a moment. We all know what kind of books I like to currently read (fairies/science fiction/teenage geniuses/dare I say it, books with actual plots?) Now, Brandon posted the cover of his book on his website and it’s what kept me reading. If the cover had looked something like this:
Then, I would have up-chucked on my computer and moved on. But, the cover doesn’t look like that. It looks like this:
BOOM. Bold, interesting, a tad bit ironic. I took the bait.
Next, let’s get to the summary. (In part from the book jacket)
Combining his funny, charming and heartfelt message with a knack for simplicity, you ill ride a wave of emotions as Andress lays out the five things every follower (and potential follower) needs to know today about the End Times in order to make sense of an increasingly upside-down world.
Simple? Funny? Practical? End Times? I ain’t never heard them words put together like that, so you can imagine I was mighty interested. Brandon was doing a blogging project where he’d send you a free book in exchange for an honest review so I emailed him. A few weeks later, I get the book in the mail. I took it to work with me to read on my lunch break.
Introduction? Hooked. First chapter? Couldn’t put it down. I read the whole thing in 3 days. Which, again, considering the young adult action books that I normally read, is quite impressive. The writing style is probably unlike anything you’ve read before (what my husband likes to call one-word paragraphs, but he reads astrophysics textbooks for fun so we’ll ignore his opinion about that for now). It’s almost like you’re having a conversation with Brandon. I don’t even know the guy, but I can hear his inflection, maybe even picture his facial expressions as I’m reading. It’s what my 3 year grad school program has taught me to identify as “voice”.
The real star of the book, though, is the point. Each chapter starts with something Jesus said about the End Times. Brandon goes into the cultural background, the context of the verses, and heavens to Betsy, the Greek meanings, if he needs to. Then he says, “Here’s what this means for us today.” Simplicity is the perfect way to describe the book. He gets rid of all the fluff that has accumulated around the End Times phenomena and gets straight to the heart of the issue.
If we aren’t living like Christ presently, when times are relatively good, then we will never live like Christ if times get really difficult in the future. (p. 137)
Where the book lands is that all of us, whether we’re curious, zealous, apathetic, or cynical about End Times, have been called to live like Christ now, in this moment. How can we be ready for when Jesus comes back? We can do what He asked of us, by loving God and loving people.
Brandon’s ability to interpret these passages into “Here’s what you do with this” could be unifying in the Body of Christ. Whether you think the book of Revelation is literal, metaphorical, or bologna, Brandon gives us some Truth that we can all grab on to.
I’ve told several people about it and they all seem interested, even Alex, my Academic husband, who likes to study the heck out of things. He’s been reading it and, while there aren’t enough statistics or graphs for him, he wholeheartedly agrees with the message.
If you’re even remotely interested, I highly recommend that you check it out. There’s something unique and unifying about Brandon’s take on the End Times. People need to hear it…
And Then The End Will Come! website (download two free chapters!)