An extraordinary book. As difficult to classify as it is to put down. While the opening sections read like an allegory—sharing a format similar to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and Dante’s Divine Comedy—overall Joyner’s vision feels more like the apocalypse of John the Beloved. Joyner assumes the reader is a Christian. His frequent references to the Bible and church history will make little sense to non-believers.
While this book shares the challenging tone of many apocalypses, it is not about End Times so much as the individual readers reaction to the person and message of Jesus Christ. Joyner uses himself in his “visions” as an Everyman representation of all believers. While he seems to allot himself the role as an exemplar of perfect endtime Christian, a close reading will note that he castigates himself at almost every turn for his failures.
Joyner’s vision of the Last Battle differs markedly from Revelation (and you know which one we should take as scripture), but the difference struck me as inconsequential as Joyner focused on the internal preparation of the Christian and the church while Revelation focuses on the external conflict between the church and the world. Some will undoubtedly quibble about Joyner’s concerns about divisions and failure with the Church, but it certainly squares with what one sees happening in churches today. Regardless, it has valuable insights about living today.
A challenging book as relevant today as when it was written twenty years ago.