Chaos, famine, bloodshed and plague: there’s enough bad stuff in the Book of Revelation to keep anyone awake at night. Now a new book by Unity minister Ed Townley sheds a hopeful light on what is often considered the Bible’s darkest book.
Kingdom Come: Understanding the Book of Revelation decodes the Scriptures to reveal a navigational guide to spiritual progress – what writer Joseph Campbell called “the hero’s journey.”
It’s an odyssey that author Ed Townley knows well. Woven into the book is a harrowing account of his struggle to overcome drug and alcohol addiction. Along the road to recovery, the Princeton-educated actor, playwright and director found his true calling as a Unity minister. He was ordained in the 1990s after attending Unity Institute and Seminary.
Townley decided the best way to present Revelation was to combine a metaphysical interpretation of the 22 chapters with examples of how the Scriptures have helped put his own life into perspective. “Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore taught that all characters in Scripture correspond to ideas in our collective consciousness. And the greatest characters become what Carl Jung called archetypes – touchstones by which we can measure our own progress, and our own situation at any given point on our spiritual journey,” he said.
A visit to the island of Patmos, where John’s vision is believed to have occurred, inspired Townley to take on the Revelation. He writes in the introduction, “The seeds [of the book] grew out of a discontent with what seemed to me an innate conflict between the very deep and empowering energies I felt [on Patmos] and the very dark and negative reputation that had accrued to the Bible’s final book through the centuries.”
Kingdom Come challenges the popular view of Revelation as a prophecy of end-times—with eternal bliss for the chosen and hellfire for everyone else. Townley asserts that the kingdom of heaven is not the reward of an afterlife but the product of an expanded consciousness that allows us to fully embrace our human experience.
The battles between good and evil which play out so fiercely in Revelation symbolize the illusion of duality. In fact, it is only when we confront our own shadows that we can see beyond them to the divine order that is God. For that outcome, as Kingdom Come proclaims, the destination is well worth the journey.
Kingdom Come: Understanding the Book of Revelation is published by Unity Books. The softcover book is 260 pages, with a cover price of $15.95. ISBN: 978-0-87159-361-0. It is available through Unity Books, Amazon.com and distributors DeVorss, New Leaf and Ingram.
About Ed Townley
Ed Townley has been a Unity minister for more than 20 years, after an earlier career as an actor, director and playwright. He has served congregations in Beaverton, Oregon; Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas. He most recently served as senior minister at Unity of Hartford in South Windsor, Connecticut. Townley is the author of Meditations on the Mount (later released in paperback as The Secret According to Jesus). He is the host of The Bible Alive! on Unity Online Radio. He lives in Manchester, Connecticut, with his partner in ministry, a Welsh corgi named Bentley. Townley responds to requests for Bible interpretation on Unity’s website, www.unity.org.
Unity helps people of all faiths apply positive spiritual principles in their daily lives. The organization touches millions of people each year through books, a non-denominational prayer ministry called Silent Unity, publications such as Daily Word and Unity Magazine, an online radio network at www.unityonlineradio.org, and spiritual education classes and retreats. Unity Village, the world headquarters of Unity, is located at M-350 Highway and Colbern Road (1901 NW Blue Parkway), near Kansas City, MO.
Unity Books, the multimedia publishing division of Unity, has published spiritual books and magazines since 1903. For more information, visit www.unity.org.