Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Missional Approach to NT Eschatology: Part One

The New Testament writers recognized that God’s victory through the life, death, and resurrection secured the future. The New Testament is full of visions of God’s future. God’s future is bright and good. It is one of abundant love and mercy. It is the full reversal of the effects of human sin and brokenness. It includes the full redemption of all creation. It marks the return of shalom and rest. It involves the climactic consummation of God’s future.

Our day has seen an ongoing fixation on figuring out dates and time tables. The Bible is mined ingeniously for insights used to predict the end of days. However, this is not a missional approach to Scripture. As humans, we may long to gain control of the future by connecting it to our calendar of events, but this is not the purpose of the eschatological visions of the New Testament. The New Testament writers describe God’s future as a means of inspiring a courageous faithfulness in the present. Since God’s future is secure, God’s people live as the people whom God created them to be in the present. The New Testament’s eschatological vision subverts the present struggles by proclaiming a dogged and audacious confidence in God’s final victory.

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