Print Friendly and PDF


Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment
Behind scences

The wry and sometimes disparaging humor of Ambrose Bierce is recorded in his Devil’s Dictionary. There he defines “Revelation” as follows: “Revelation. n. A famous book in which St. John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.” He would have loved our modern tele-evangelism use of Revelation.

Though Revelation was given to be a “revelation,” it has generated much confusion. As a consequence, four basic schools of thought have arisen regarding Revelation. I am continuing a series on this matter. In this study we will consider “Idealism.”

The idealist school is also called the “timeless symbolic” and the “poetic-symbolic,” or more technically übergeschichtlichen. This view sees a “repeated pattern of fulfillment” (Poythress 29). This school is ahistorical — or perhaps better supra-historical — in that it sees the point of Revelation as not so much painting an objective, historical portrait at all. Rather, John’s concern is to provide a non-historical, allegorical summation of various significant redemptive truths or historical principles. It attempts to provide the scene behind the scenes; that is, it offers a look at the philosophical/spiritual issues working themselves out in history, rather than at historical events themselves.

Print Friendly and PDF

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.


Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>