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Understanding the theme of atonement as articulated in Revelation requires awareness of apocalyptic and prophecy, time and space, biblical and mythological imagery. Christ’s victorious self-sacrifice, as Revelation reveals it, is a counterintuitive notion whereby a slain Lamb defeats the Great Red Dragon. This overthrow of evil by God is hardly by any act of violence.
God’s way of expelling the Accuser is by a much more powerful means than the cruelty and harm that Satan and his emissaries have inflicted on the world and its people through deceit, lies, seductions, and distortions of the truth. Satan, instead, is responsible for his own demise.
Revelation calls believers to see themselves through the unique lens of redemptive atonement and to live and model daily that they see themselves in the present moment as redeemed people. Having thus seen themselves, believers likewise are directed to see and to relate to others in this world the very way that God has seen them from eternity.
While many colorful threads exist in the tapestry of the Apocalypse, the thread of the atonement is not often teased out. Robert Canoy, with an adept and perceptive reading of the biblical text, traces this thread and illustrates it as a major focus both for the original audience and contemporary. This book will challenge readers to see the redemptive work of Christ through the apocalyptic lens of the author of the Apocalypse.
—David M. May
Professor of New Testament
Central Baptist Theological Seminary
In this careful, detailed analysis, Robert Canoy offers an insightful examination of the idea of atonement in the book of Revelation. Canoy demonstrates why Revelation’s redemption language needs to be under- stood in light of the book’s own historical and theological concerns rather than made to fit the views of other biblical writers or later theories of atonement. This is an excellent study of an often overlooked, though crucial, topic in the Apocalypse. Canoy’s work is the result of informed exegesis, critical dialogue with other scholars, and theological reflection on the significance of John’s understanding of the redemptive work of God (for ancient as well as contemporary readers).
—Mitchell G. Reddish
Professor and Chair of Religious Studies
Atonement in the Apocalypse: An Exposé of the Defeat of Evil, is a fresh and insightful work that features the often neglected theme of atonement in John’s apocalypse. Canoy’s contribution offers a unique and refreshing perspective on foundational theological themes so prominently (and intricately) woven through John’s work. The work is solidly biblical, written with clarity for both scholars and laypersons in mind, and it challenges the reader to revisit important themes and images in Revelation that are either ignored or misappropriated in fanciful eschatological systems. Canoy’s work is a serious and helpful attempt to add yet one more voice to the conversation.
Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Studies, School of Divinity