Friday, October 20, 2006

Patterson, Calvinism, & Revelation

A post on www.ratemyprofessor.com said this about Paige Patterson:

"Very knowledgeable. Very smart. Well-read. If he has a weakness, it may be that his Calvinism definitely comes through too often. This concerns me, b/c calvinists often don't make very good missionaries or evangelists."

Then, on amazon.com, this was a comment about his forth-forth-forthcoming commentary on Revelation (in the NAC series):

"This volume reminds me of Chrysostom's commentary on Romans. Patterson, like all great exegetes, does not tell us what to believe; he simply gives the student the information he needs to make up his own mind about this book. Regarding the great mysteries of the Revelation, Patterson does not pretend to have the answers, he does not give us what he thinks, he just gives us what he thinks we need. A true wordsmith; the words leap off the page. You will likely never read a negitive review on this commentary, Patterson has seen to that. My only regret is that it is currently unavailable; I seem to have misplaced my copy."

Then there was this one:
"Revelation--a word that strikes terror into the hearts of its hearers. Great minds like Calvin and Luther have skated past the aisle of the apocalypse, passed up a second helping of Great Dragon in a Lake of Fire, and cancelled flights on Air Revelation. But not Patterson. In this timeless wonder of a book Patterson sees this plate of mystery and says, "Yummy." Patterson's revelation is so concise with a kind of scholarly brevity that one wonders, "how did he do it?!" One reads with stupefied wonder, the words "I just can't believe he actually wrote it" going through one's mind. The excellence of the Summa Nihilo cannot be put into words. As Alison Krauss so astutely remarked, "You say it best when you say nothing at all." Throughout his exposition of the depths and mystery of the Revelation, Patterson has ingeniously found a way to retain these mysteries from cover to cover. Still, the profound scholarship herein causes the reader to often ask, "What is he saying?" just before realizing, the true genius is in what he is not saying. His utter humility in acknowledging the vast mystery of the book of the revelation causes the pages to virtually turn themselves. It is almost as if you are through with the book before you even start reading it. The only fitting words with which I may conclude are those of the author himself: "

And finally:
"It is not what you see in this commentary that is so remarkable. It is what you cannot see.
As shrouded as the meanings of the Book of Revelation, so is Patterson's illumination of the text to the prospective reader. The reality of his words must ever give way to the invisible pictures conjured in the mind as one meditates upon the depths of the Book of Revelation and upon the years, even decades Patterson has invested in the commentary's production.
As any commentary is forever a work in progress, this commentary is no exception. Only in the imagination of the consumer and Bible student does this work take full flight. Some would say that what we now see is as nothing at all by comparison. I would differ.
What we now see is what we now have. And what we have may be all that there is.
When that is said of a commentary, what more could be said?
Five stars."

4 comments:

ChristMyLife said...

Did I miss something? Was this commentary ever made available or is it still forthcoming?

dacroteau said...

It is not available ... that's the point of the comments: it's still forthcoming.

Matt Lytle said...

Hey Dave,

That first quote from ratemyprofessor.com was absolutely hilarious.

"Very knowledgeable. Very smart. Well-read. If he has a weakness, it may be that his Calvinism definitely comes through too often. This concerns me, b/c calvinists often don't make very good missionaries or evangelists."

That made my day.

CJohnson said...

I believe what the person who left the RMP comment meant was "His biblicism comes through."