Saturday, December 17, 2011

Inaugurated Eschatology Central to Christianity

Since I first came to understand the Biblical scheme of inaugurated eschatology, I've been a "fan." By fan I mean that it is Biblical and I'm committed to what is presented in Scripture. But by fan I also mean that is was formative in shaping my understanding of the New Testament and the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the New. I had grown up reading the Bible, but when I discovered the concept of inaugurated eschatology as it related to Jesus' teaching of the Kingdom of God, it was for me like major pieces of a puzzle were dropped into place. Soon I began to discover that inaugurated eschatology was core to Pauline epistles and the rest of the New Testament.

Thanks to Dane Ortlund for posting these two great quotes on inaugurated eschatology. I reproduce them here:

William Manson, 1953:
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 favor of His Son, but is the inauguration, the entrance into history, of the times of the End. 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. 
--William Manson, ‘Eschatology and the New Testament,’ in Scottish Journal of Occasional Papers 2 (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1953), 6

Joachim Jeremias, 1971:
There is nothing comparable to the resurrection of Jesus anywhere in Jewish literature. Certainly there are mentions of raisings from the dead, but these are always resuscitations, a return to earthly life. Nowhere in Jewish literature do we have a resurrection to doxa as an event of history. Rather, resurrection to doxa always and without exception means the dawn of God’s new creation.
Therefore the disciples must have experienced the appearances of the Risen Lord as an eschatological event, as a dawning of the turning point of the worlds. 
--Joachim Jeremias, New Testament Theology: The Proclamation of Jesus (trans. John Bowden; New York: Scribner’s, 1971), 309 
I'm still a fanboy of inaugurated eschatology. I love reading stuff related to the topic and concept. Major portions of the NT are clarified and brought to a clearer understanding when we see that inaugurated eschatology permits their thinking.

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