A Brief Article Summary from Books At a Glance
by Steve West
In the 20th Century, a new emphasis was placed on studying the eschatology of the NT writers. This renewed interest does not confine eschatology to a narrow topic in dogmatics, but sees it as having both a future and a present orientation. Some complain that “eschatology” is now a word with no meaning, and although it can be hard to define with precision the newer understanding is welcome since it captures an important part of the gospel message. The coming of the Messiah was an eschatological expectation of the OT. The first coming of Christ is one part of the eschatological dawning of the Day of the Lord. When Christ came the kingdom broke into the world, even though it awaits consummation and fullness. Paul teaches that the general resurrection is rooted in the resurrection of Christ, and Christ has already been gathered as the first fruits of this eschatological harvest. The ministry of the Holy Spirit needs to be understood in this eschatological framework.
What the Bible teaches about the suffering of Christians in relationship to the suffering and death of Christ needs to be understood in terms of biblical eschatology. Second Corinthians 4:7-11 and Philippians 3:10 are the keys to understanding this relationship. In the former passage, Paul says that both he and his readers share in the sufferings of Christ. He pairs the life of Jesus and the dying of Jesus as the two parts which make up the whole. Christ expresses and manifests himself through the sufferings and life of Paul; the dying of Jesus is found in Paul, as is the resurrection life. . . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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WESTMINSTER THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, VOL 41, NO. 1, by Westminster Theological Seminary