Phillip J. Long at Reading Acts has been posting a very informative series on that very difficult book of the New Testament. In the first post he sets out his context:
All of the views can be held along with a high view of the inerrancy of scripture. Each of the major views discussed below employ the grammatical-historical method of biblical interpretation. Each of the major views claims to be developing a theology of Revelation which is applicable to the first century audience, the present modern audience, and every reader of Revelation in church history. Finally, each view struggles with the question of how hard to press literal interpretation of the symbols. The differences between the views have to do with theological assumptions (millennial positions) and hermeneutical assumptions (how literally do we take Revelation?)
I particularly recommend the first part of the series that deals with some of the general issues of how to read and interpret Revelation:
The next part of the series examines particular interpretive stances.
And the last part examines particular questions.
What does Revelation say..
– about God?
I haven’t formally studied this book, but what I’ve absorbed about it generally has been what I know now to describe as a particular preterist stance:
A number of commentaries on Revelation interpret the books as describing the situation of the church in the first century under Roman rule. The conflict in the book is not God’s judgment on the Jews for crucifying Christ, but rather then persecution of Christians by the Roman empire for refusing to worship the Emperor / Empire.
combined with an emphasis on the images of the heavenly liturgy and the eschatological fulfillment of the Church — one of the texts in my first ecclesiology course, Sacrament of Salvation, emphasized this.