Category Archives: Eschatology

From Death to Life

“Scripture teaches that history does not degenerate from life to death but is translated from the reign of death into the reign of life.”

~ Peter J. Leithart, Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, and Hope in Western Literature (Moscow, Id.; Canon Press, 2006), xiii.

God Gives with Interest

“Viewed as a whole, . . . the Christian account of history is eschatological not only in the sense that it comes to a definitive and everlasting end, but in the sense that the end is a glorified beginning, not merely a return to origins. The Christian Bible moves not from garden lost to garden restored, but from garden to garden-city. God gives with interest.

~ Peter J. Leithart, Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, and Hope in Western Literature (Moscow, Id.; Canon Press, 2006), xi.

The Point of The Story Has Been Disclosed

“All telling of history is, of course, selective. No history is written except on the basis of judgments about what is significant. No ‘facts of history’ exist, except in so far as what happened was judged significant. The recorded facts will vary according to the judgement of what is significant, and that in turn depends upon what the ‘point’ of the story is. Normally we do not see the point of a story until the end. But we are not in a position to see the end of the cosmic story. The Christian faith is the faith that the point of the story has been disclosed: the ‘end’ has been revealed in the middle. The point of the story is not the triumph of human technology over nature, nor the cyclical rise and fall of civilizations. There is one human family and it has one centre, Jesus Christ, one history, the history of the making of faithful relationships with its maker. To accept that means to live as part of a potentially universal community, looking towards a consummation whose character has been revealed in Jesus Christ, and of which we have already a foretaste in his risen Body.”

~ Lesslie Newbigin, “Our Missionary Responsibility In The Crisis Of Western Culture”

The Cosmic Story

“The Bible is an interpretation of universal history as the history of the divine enterprise of creating faithful relationships, covenant relationships between God and his creatures, God and the human family, faithful relationships between persons and peoples founded on the covenant faithfulness of God. It has the whole cosmos as its theme. It sets the human story within the context of the cosmic story. It has its centre and turning point in the death and resurrection of Him who is the word of God, through whom all things came to be and are. It looks towards a consummation, which is beyond history and which yet gathers up all that has been wrought through history.”

~ Lesslie Newbigin, “Our Missionary Responsibility In The Crisis Of Western Culture”

Living in the “Overlap of the Ages”

“The meaning of this ‘overlap of the ages’ on which we live, the time between the coming of Christ and his coming again, is that it is the time given for the witness of the apostolic church to the ends of the earth. The end of all things, which has been revealed in Christ, is — so to say — held back until the witness has been borne to the whole world concerning the judgment and salvation revealed in Christ. The implications of a true eschatological perspective will be missionary obedience, and the eschatology which does not issue in such obedience is a false eschatology.”

– Lesslie Newbigin, Household of God: Lectures on the Nature of the CHurch (New York, NY: Friendship Press, 1954), 153.

The Lordship of Christ & the Kingdoms of this World

“Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the first and final assertion Christians make about all of reality, including politics. Believers now assert by faith what one day will be manifest to the sight of all: every earthly sovereignty is subordinate to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. The Church is the bearer of that claim. Because the Church is pledged to the Kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, it must maintain a critical distance from all the kingdoms of the world, whether actual or proposed. Christians betray their Lord if, in theory or practice, they equate the Kingdom of God with any political, social or economic order of this passing time. At best, such orders permit the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom and approximate, in small part, the freedom, peace, and justice for which we hope.”

~ Richard John Neuhaus, quoted by D. A. Carson in Christ & Culture Revisited (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Eerdmans, 2008), 203.

Spanning Two Eternities

“The world-wide preaching of the gospel throughout the historical process is the bridge which spans the two eternities of past promise and future fulfillment.”

~ John Stott, Guard the Truth (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 170.