In reading the viewpoints of Reformed Theologians I have moved away from seeing Revelation as a strict chronological timeline like that of Dispensationalists. What is recapitulatory parallelism in the progressive unfolding of Revelation?
PROGRESSIVE RECAPITULATORY PARALLELISM
"Parallelism" refers to the identification of seven parallel sections of Revelation:
"Recapitulatory" refers to how each of these sections is seen as being somewhat overlapping, with one section recapitulating what another has said, but in a different way. Each of these sections is by most thought to culminate with Christ's return:
-ch 1-3....Describing the church age up to Christ's return
-ch4-7.....Earth described with godly and ungodly people, culminating with Christ's return
-ch8-11...The ungodly are punished and the godly will triumph
-ch12-14.Tracks Satan's activities and defeat from creation until the return of Christ
-ch15-16.The judgment of the world (some argue, the final judgment)
-ch17-19.False religions are created and gain influence, but are finally destroyed
-ch20-22.The final judgment against evil, and a long description of the fate of the righteous
"Progressive" refers to how new information is revealed in a different way each time the history of the world is tracked, and how we are helped understand events by being given different perspectives. For some, "progressive" also refers to the time periods described: that in the beginning they see more focus on this age and physical realities, but as we approach the end of Revelation, we get an increased focus on spiritual realities and the eternal state. Some have likened this to the waxing tide: waves splash in over the sand and quickly retreat, but with time, the tide advances the waves further and further up the shore.
Thus progressive recapitulatory parallelism refers to the movement of thought through several parallel sections of Revelation which tell and retell the same story from different angles.