I’m glad this fine book is getting some press. Ideas have consequences, in this case, both political and spiritual. Thigpen’s book is a really fine piece of work that deals, not only with loony dispensational theories of The End, but also with how to deal with various loony Catholic notions, as well as private revelations of all sizes and shapes, and interesting legends from various sources. I learned quite a bit from his work. A valuable addition for anybody who wants to get a feel for healthy Christian eschatology.
Oh, and while I’m plugging eschatological stuff, if you have 50 odd bucks burning a hole in your pocket and want to get The Best Work of Exegesis on Revelation I know of, get Scott Hahn’s outstanding tape series The End. This is a million miles away from the fevered speculations of Hal Lindsey and does a terrific job of setting Revelation in the real human context of early Christianity, rooted in the liturgy (the Mass and Revelation are inseparable), in the Old Testament imagery which clearly dominates the thinking of St. John, and in the events surrounding the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. You won’t get any Jeanne Dixon predictions about the European Common Market or Saddam Hussein, but you will get what is easily the most sensible reading of Revelation there is.