Friday, December 07, 2007

The End has Come! The End has not Come!

One of the greatest needs in the church today is a shift in our understanding of the term "eschatology". There needs to be a dismantling of this "left behind" futuristic only ideology of the "end times" and a reshaping of it to what it biblically is. I'm reminded of a couple quotes from a paper I have just read by G.K. Beale entitled "The Eschatological Conception of New Testament Theology" where he quotes two people specifically who have helped shape and redefine a right paradigm of the "latter days"....

In his book entitled "Christ and Time" Oscar Cullman uses the analogy of World War II to help understand the events of the Eschaton. With D-day being the decisive day/battle of the war and V-day simply the culmination of what has already been done at Normandy. He writes:

"The hope of the final victory is so much more vivid because of the unshakeably firm conviction that the battle that decides the victory has already taken place."

Another quote by William Manson also helps our understanding:

"When we turn to the New Testament, we pass from the climate of prediction to that of fulfillment. The things which God had foreshadowed by the lips of His holy prophets He has now, in part at least, brought to accomplishment...The supreme sign of the Eschaton is the Resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church. The Resurrection of Jesus is not simply a sign which God has granted in favour of His son, but is the inauguration, the entrance into history, of the times of the End."

Also, he writes "Christians, therefore have entered through the Christ into the new age...What had been predicted in Holy Scripture as to happen to Israel or to man in the Eschaton has happened to and in Jesus. The foundation-stone of the New Creation has come into position."

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