I absolutely recommend this resource to anyone who wants take a serious look at the book of Revelation. The classes I have led with this resource (and myself) have found that having an visual for all the symbols and allusions helped us not only understand the details and language better, but also the overall theme of the book.
This was not at all what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a DVD of Debbie's paintings but instead it was a DVD of Debbie explaining Revelations through her one painting. I found it fascinating. The painting technique would probably be described as basic early folk art. The painting is one large picture comprised of smaller tableau's depicting different scenes from Revelations. Revelations is definitely a picture rather than a word view of the future. Debbie stands in front of the painting narrating the story of Revelations while the camera picks out the area of the painting that she is describing. It is a very effective way to teach a very difficult book of the Bible. She chooses common terms so that anyone watching the movie can understand the prophecy. Although it is obvious that she knows what she is talking about, she doesn't overwhelm the viewer with theory and technical divergence, she merely tells the story of Revelations. At the beginning of each section Debbie walks through the woods at her home explaining how she came to paint the story. The DVD also contains a bible study guide and leadership guide. It is an interesting and effective way to tell the story of Revelations. I think it is well worth while and would definitely recommend it.
It is difficult to express the beauty of what Topliff has created. When viewed on the whole her painting is stunning, though simple in execution. It is as though the spirit of God has anointed her work, and the glory shines through the painting, rather than drawing its aesthetic appeal through technical merit. Her verbal tour through her work is certain but never strident, both authentically honest and loving. While the reality of eternal punishment is never hidden, Topliff draws viewers into the recognition of the safety, joy, and eternal love that is found within the promise of Revelation for those who follow Jesus.The message of Painting Revelation is one that reaches viewers no matter their age. In one chair our three-year-old was as equally captivated as her 43-year-old father. Topliffs delivery is always calm and reassuring so that even the most graphic events described in Revelation, when illustrated by simple figures with little detail, never created a sense of fear or alarm in our young ones. As easily as small viewers receive this orientation to Revelation, older individuals can dig in deep with the extensive study resources provided on the DVD-ROM for use on personal computers. These same resources are also available for download at the Painting Revelation website. With instructions for planning a study, discussion guides, worksheets, leaders guide, a visual key to the painting, and a JPEG of the entire work, adults can dig deep individually or in a small group setting. Repeated viewings will add further depth and understanding as well.Oh, what a blessing Topliffs work will prove to be for so many. I was deeply moved by her simple, heartfelt, spirit-filled approach to the end of the story that God has written for our world. Painting Revelation will hold a treasured position in our familys home library for years to come.
I think this DVD could be be nicknamed "Revelation for Fraidy-Cats." I have always felt a deep disconnect when it comes to end-times prophecy. It was too weird, and I couldn't picture it. After experiencing Painting Revelation, I realize that my fear, intimidation, and lack of imagination have helped cause that. I'm not sure I'll ever read the Bible the same way again.