Eschatology: clarifications and implications

I recently led a series of informal theological discussions on the theme of eschatology for leaders in our gathering of The Crowded House. This final session clarifies the now and net yet of the kingdom by defining inaugurated eschatology. It talks about how the kingdom is both the rule of God and the realm over which he rules. Finally it looks at the implications of eschatology for mission and pastoral care.

Bookmark and Share

The kingdom of God and the atonement

I recently led a series of informal theological discussions on the theme of eschatology for leaders in our gathering of The Crowded House. This session continues our exploration of the kingdom of God and the coming of Jesus with a focus on the secret of the kingdom, the nature of the kingdom in the present age and the crucial link between the kingdom and the atonement.

Bookmark and Share

The New Age and the Holy Spirit

I recently led a series of informal theological discussions on the theme of eschatology for leaders in our gathering of The Crowded House. This session looks at the overlap of the new age and the old age and show how our new life conforms to this pattern. It also describes the crucial eschatological role of the Holy Spirit are the mediating of the age to come.

Bookmark and Share

Eschatology and the Bible story

I recently led a series of informal theological discussions on the theme of eschatology for leaders in our gathering of The Crowded House. This session looks at how the Bible is eschatological. The promise of God shapes the Bible story and his promise is a word in the present about an event in the future.

Bookmark and Share

A world made new

It is snowing outside as I write. Proper flakes of snow that are settling on the ground. I’m a middle-aged man, but I still get giddy when it snows. I think the reason is that in a matter of minutes the world is made new. Familiar vistas are transformed. And everything is transfigured by a blanket of whiteness. This grey, drab world of ours becomes a wonderland of beauty and delight.

For the last two or three winters I’ve seen this is a picture of the renewal of creation – and that’s just added to my excitement. A world which is recognizably our world will be transformed into a wonderland of beauty and delight. The dirty and drab will be transfigured. Everything will be made new. How can this be? I don’t know. But the falling of snow is perhaps a faint picture of the possibilities.

Of course, in a few days the snow will be gone and we’ll be walking around in an inch of dirty slush-water. The old world will come crashing back. But this morning at least I am giddy at the prospect of a world made new.

Eschatology and mission

I’ve just published a chapter I’ve written for a forthcoming book as an NTI Paper on the Northern Training Institute website.

Here the paper: The kingdom of God is at hand: eschatology and mission

And here are some quotes …

The gospel is an eschatological message. In evangelism we declare that Jesus is king and that Jesus will be king … We do not offer people a gospel invitation; we command people to repent and submit to the coming king … The pattern of New Testament discipleship is the pattern of suffering followed by glory reflecting the pattern of the cross and resurrection … Resurrection power is given to us that we might live the life of the cross. It is power to be weak … Without eschatology we are left with a limp Christian existentialism in which immediate experience is everything.

The is due to be published in What Are We Waiting For? Hopeful Theologians in Discussion, eds. Stephen Holmes and Russell Rook (Paternoster, forthcoming).