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Eschatology 201 Guidelines

This area of the forum is primarily for Christian theists to discuss orthodox views of Eschatology. Other theist participation is welcome within that framework, but only within orthodoxy. Posts from nontheists that do not promote atheism or seek to undermine the faith of others will be permitted at the Moderator's discretion - such posters should contact the area moderators before posting.


Without turning this forum into a 'hill of foreskins' (Joshua 5:3), I believe we can still have fun with this 'sensitive' topic.

However, don't be misled, dispensationalism has only partly to do with circumcision issues. So, let's not forget about Innocence, Conscience, Promises, Kingdoms and so on.

End time -isms within orthodox Christianity also discussed here. Clearly unorthodox doctrines, such as those advocating "pantelism/full preterism/Neo-Hymenaeanism" or the denial of any essential of the historic Christian faith are not permitted in this section but can be discussed in Comparative Religions 101 without restriction. Any such threads, as well as any that within the moderator's discretions fall outside mainstream evangelical belief, will be moved to the appropriate area.

Millennialism- post-, pre- a-

Futurism, Historicism, Idealism, and Preterism, or just your garden variety Zionism.

From the tribulation to the anichrist. Whether your tastes run from Gary DeMar to Tim LaHaye or anywhere in between, your input is welcome here.

OK folks, let's roll!

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Why Study Eschatology?

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  • Why Study Eschatology?

    To begin, I assure everyone that this is not meant to personally demean anyone who enjoys studying, discussing, or debating eschatology.

    As a child and young teen, I was obsessed with eschatology, particularly Revelation from (subtitle) "The Throne in Heaven" onward.
    For years I was a pre-trib/premillenialist focused on interpreting what I considered the "limited vocabulary of the time" to mean technology which had not been invented (ie, horses shooting fire and burning sulfur out of their mouths = tanks) and astronomical phenomena which had not been categorized or identified (ie, burning mountain = asteroid) at the time of writing.

    Nowadays.....I don't really see the value.
    Somewhere along the way, probably during my college theology classes, I realized my previous obsession doesn't matter in my day-to-day life, and arguing about it with people doesn't resolve any of my or my wife's or my friends' daily struggles.

    So now I tend to chuckle or scoff when people sigh about bad things happening and claim "It's a good thing Jesus is coming back soon," or try to fit current events into their own or somebody else's apocalyptic framework, or try to pin the Antichrist merit badge on this or that public figure whom they dislike.

    The field of eschatology doesn't seem to encourage anyone to more closely emulate Christ, it doesn't build relationships (I personally had two close friends in college split because one had gone from premillenial to postmillennial), it doesn't resolve spiritual, emotional, or interpersonal struggles, and it really doesn't seem to improve your life.

    Worse, it has the potential to create a fatalistic attitude toward the here-and-now that gives church people all kinds of excuses to avoid improving conditions on this planet (ecological conservation, nuclear disarmament, stopping and avoiding war, bringing peace and understanding instead of swinging the truncheon, etc.) for their children and descendants, because they become convinced that they will outlive the planet.
    Even though Paul warned against this very attitude with the Thessalonians.

    The worst of which that I have witnessed personally is a Baby Boomer pastor describing an atrocity on the other side of the planet and praising God for it, because he honestly believes that any escalation of human atrocity will "force God's hand" and bring about the apocalypse faster.

    So in the midst of all of this, why expend the effort?
    What positive return do you receive from reading, discussing, and/or debating this field of theology?
    Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White

  • #2
    I agree with most of what you have said. From a Christian perspective, studying it does shed some light on whether as Christians we need to take a particular stance on support of modern Israel (and I say no myself).
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      Other than it's interesting, it can certainly be a big distraction from focusing on being faithful to the "occupy til I come" tenant.
      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        Other than it's interesting, it can certainly be a big distraction from focusing on being faithful to the "occupy til I come" tenant.
        I've been meditating on this topic for a while now (especially with regard to one of my RL acquaintances and his... obsession... with the topic). Yeah, we're supposed to be vigilant and be aware of the season, but that's not an excuse to let it occupy your life. Whether Jesus is coming back tomorrow or ten thousand years from now, the Church still has a job to do.
        Have You Touched Grass Today? If Not, Please Do.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Buzzword View Post
          To begin, I assure everyone that this is not meant to personally demean anyone who enjoys studying, discussing, or debating eschatology.

          As a child and young teen, I was obsessed with eschatology, particularly Revelation from (subtitle) "The Throne in Heaven" onward.
          For years I was a pre-trib/premillenialist focused on interpreting what I considered the "limited vocabulary of the time" to mean technology which had not been invented (ie, horses shooting fire and burning sulfur out of their mouths = tanks) and astronomical phenomena which had not been categorized or identified (ie, burning mountain = asteroid) at the time of writing.

          Nowadays.....I don't really see the value.
          Somewhere along the way, probably during my college theology classes, I realized my previous obsession doesn't matter in my day-to-day life, and arguing about it with people doesn't resolve any of my or my wife's or my friends' daily struggles.

          So now I tend to chuckle or scoff when people sigh about bad things happening and claim "It's a good thing Jesus is coming back soon," or try to fit current events into their own or somebody else's apocalyptic framework, or try to pin the Antichrist merit badge on this or that public figure whom they dislike.

          The field of eschatology doesn't seem to encourage anyone to more closely emulate Christ, it doesn't build relationships (I personally had two close friends in college split because one had gone from premillenial to postmillennial), it doesn't resolve spiritual, emotional, or interpersonal struggles, and it really doesn't seem to improve your life.

          Worse, it has the potential to create a fatalistic attitude toward the here-and-now that gives church people all kinds of excuses to avoid improving conditions on this planet (ecological conservation, nuclear disarmament, stopping and avoiding war, bringing peace and understanding instead of swinging the truncheon, etc.) for their children and descendants, because they become convinced that they will outlive the planet.
          Even though Paul warned against this very attitude with the Thessalonians.

          The worst of which that I have witnessed personally is a Baby Boomer pastor describing an atrocity on the other side of the planet and praising God for it, because he honestly believes that any escalation of human atrocity will "force God's hand" and bring about the apocalypse faster.

          So in the midst of all of this, why expend the effort?
          What positive return do you receive from reading, discussing, and/or debating this field of theology?
          Paul didn't warn the Thessalonians not to be preoccupied with signs. The Thessalonians were concerned that Jesus had already come, and so Paul clarified the signs that would lead up to that and actually gave them specific signs to look for prior to that coming day. As bad as people like Herald Camping were, not even they believed Jesus had already come.

          Now that I corrected your error, what exactly would you define as "expend the effort." Also, I take issue with "improving the planet." I don't really see any correlation there with just eschatology, I see a conflict with Christian theology in general. Were we ever really instructed as Christians to improve the planet?

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          • #6
            I agree that one should not be obsessed with eschatology. But we should, I think, know what God's word teaches in that regard, that we may live and serve our Lord accordingly (Matthew 4:4).
            . . . the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . . -- Romans 1:16 KJV

            . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV

            Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1 KJV

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            • #7
              Originally posted by seanD View Post
              I don't really see any correlation there with just eschatology, I see a conflict with Christian theology in general. Were we ever really instructed as Christians to improve the planet?
              The thesis of John Stackhouse's book Making The Best Of It is that the creation commandments in Genesis 1:28 are essentially a commandment to subdue and improve the world, and that these commandments were never rescinded.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Chaotic Void View Post
                I've been meditating on this topic for a while now (especially with regard to one of my RL acquaintances and his... obsession... with the topic). Yeah, we're supposed to be vigilant and be aware of the season, but that's not an excuse to let it occupy your life. Whether Jesus is coming back tomorrow or ten thousand years from now, the Church still has a job to do.
                EGGzackly, and the evil one would delight in using the Bible to circumvent that. Years ago, I heard the expression ... "he's so heavenly minded he's not earthly good". I don't want to be that guy.
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  EGGzackly, and the evil one would delight in using the Bible to circumvent that. Years ago, I heard the expression ... "he's so heavenly minded he's not earthly good". I don't want to be that guy.
                  Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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                  I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    EGGzackly. I forgot that's prolly where I got it from!
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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                    • #11
                      My take on it is that we will all meet Jesus when we go to him, so why worry about when he is coming back? It could be tomorrow or 5,000 years from now. But to me it will be soon, when I die and go to be with the Lord.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                        My take on it is that we will all meet Jesus when we go to him, so why worry about when he is coming back? It could be tomorrow or 5,000 years from now. But to me it will be soon, when I die and go to be with the Lord.
                        Yup, so just stay faithful til He comes.
                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                          The thesis of John Stackhouse's book Making The Best Of It is that the creation commandments in Genesis 1:28 are essentially a commandment to subdue and improve the world, and that these commandments were never rescinded.
                          Aside from the fact that this is before the fall (you know before the curse of thorns and thistles and the sweat of your brow and all that), I wonder how that works alongside "I've called you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

                          Buzzword, what say you?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 37818 View Post
                            I agree that one should not be obsessed with eschatology. But we should, I think, know what God's word teaches in that regard, that we may live and serve our Lord accordingly (Matthew 4:4).
                            I agree. For some reason, there is this false dichotomy being argued: you're either discussing eschatology and not being faithful to other things, or being faithful to other things and not discussing eschatology. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

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                            • #15
                              Sean, why are you so worried about the endtimes, man? You're such a buzzkill, brah. Like, why don't you chill and enjoy life, brah? I mean, yea, Christians are being wiped out in the Middle East, but how does that impact my daily American life, or my American wife's life, or the lives of my American friends? Brah, brah, brah, your constant watching so that the day does not come upon you like a thief doesn't strike me as very Christian.

                              I read verses like Daniel 11:32 With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist himThose who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plunderedcaptivity,
                              into captivity they will go.
                              If anyone is to be killed with the sword

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