Thanks to David Paul Kirkpatrick, former Production Chief at Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures and President of Paramount Pictures for this review!
Joel Watts’ Praying in God’s Theatre brings a brilliant and fresh viewpoint to the Book of Revelation. For those of you laymen or women, like myself, who have struggled with the meaning and nature of Revelation, no matter how many bible studies, Praying in God’s Theatre brings a spirited context to the Bible’s most controversial and enigmatic book.
A few years ago I filmed a documentary on contemplative prayer, Be Still, with Beth Moore, Mac Lucado, Peter Kreeft, Dallas Willard, and Robert Foster; but that documentary pales in comparison with the soulful observation that Mr. Watts is able to imbue in this remarkable literary and academic work regarding the contemplation of Revelation.
Mr. Watts returns to the grand tradition of “Lectio Divina” in which scripture and reader become one. What did the Yale Humanities Professor, Harold Bloom say? “You don’t read Shakespeare, Shakespeare reads you.” What Mr. Watts is suggesting in his smart but easy-to-read book is that a prayerful spirited heart is truly necessary so that Revelation can, in a way, read you. In so doing, this process brings new levels of vision in one’s own faith journey through the Holy Spirit.
In his remarkable book, Mr. Watts creates a practical pathway with a collection of wonderful prayers that will help the reader gain further insight into the mystic realms of the Revelation text. For so long, Fundamentalists have kidnapped the era in which we live. They have roped it around the end-of-days gloom seemingly inherent in Revelation. That interpretation only drives away the possibility of a truly meaningful life through Christ. Mr. Watts takes us to another place. “This is not just a chapter (Revelation) about endings, it is about new beginnings,” he writes. In his thoughtful and powerful way, he allows us to unlock “the most important message” of the “Fifth Gospel”.
What I admire about Watt’s writing is that it is inclusive. It brings “the body of Christ” together. His intelligent and compassionate analysis hopefully strikes up a new kind of revival in which all brothers and sisters in Christ can partake. As a body, we have become so closed to discourse especially in the realms of science. Mr. Watts’ viewpoint on scripture, opens us up, frees us, allows us to engage with others in, healthy, life-affirming ways.
Praying in God’s Theatre is for anyone who has struggled with Revelation. It opens your eyes and heart and mind to a fresh start. It may indeed alter your worldview in a way that will be surprising, loving, and Christ-like.