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Unraveling the End A Biblical Synthesis of Competing Views. “Few doctrines unite and separate Christians as much as eschatology... ...One of the most divisive elements in recent Christian history.” Christianity Today February 6, 1987; p-1-I. The Gloria Patri.

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Unraveling the End A Biblical Synthesis of Competing Views


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    1. Unraveling the EndA Biblical Synthesis of Competing Views

    2. “Few doctrines unite and separate Christians as much as eschatology... ...One of the most divisive elements in recent Christian history.” Christianity Today February 6, 1987; p-1-I

    3. The Gloria Patri Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end, Amen.

    4. FoundationalBeliefs: • Inspiration, Inerrancy & Infallibility • Trinity • Deity of Christ • Test everything, hold on to the good 1 Thess. 5:21 • More noble character Acts 17:11

    5. 2 Guidelines • Sola Scriptura

    6. MPC Core Values TRUTHThe Bible is our ultimate guide and authority, the standard by which we live. Our world is filled with competing ideas and values, voices everywhere demanding attention and allegiance. Sometimes, it's easy to become confused. Are there absolutes? Is anything absolutely right-or absolutely wrong? How can I sort things out and make sense out of all the confusion? We believe the Bible is God's written word. It helps us understand our world and ourselves. From beginning to end, it reveals the heart of God and His way of life. The Bible introduces us to Jesus Christ, God's Living Word. The Bible explains God's love and His desire to be in a life-giving relationship with us.

    7. 2 Guidelines • Sola Scriptura • In Love

    8. Overview – 13-Week Series • Lay out the divisive area of eschatology. • Explore 7 reasons why your view (or non-view) is so vital. • Contrast the essence of the end-time fiasco vs. divine perfection. • Present the four major views and their big problems. • Begin the unraveling process. • Offer a solution of synthesis.

    9. What is eschatology? • Technical: A subset/branch of Theology Gr. Theos (God) + Latin suffix- logy = the study of God and his relations with man and the universe. Eschatology: Gr. Eschatos (last) + logy = the study of last things. • Practical: Eschatology = the study of the completion of God’s plan of redemption (salvation).

    10. Four Chief Moments (Events) • The Return (Second Coming) of Christ • The Judgment • The Resurrection of the Dead • The Consummation – or “end of the world” • *The Afterlife

    11. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital

    12. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • How much of the Bible is involved?

    13. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • How much of the Bible is involved? “It has been argued that no less than two thirds of the content of the New Testament is concerned directly or indirectly with eschatology.” R.C. Sproul, “A Journey Back in Time,” Tabletalk, January 1999, 5.

    14. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • How much of the Bible is involved? “an eschatological dimension to every aspect of Christian faith and reflection . . . . because it touches so many of the central themes of faith.” Brian E. Daley, The Hope of the Early Church (Cambridge, MA.: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 2.

    15. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • How much of the Bible is involved? • How much salvation do we currently have?

    16. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • How much of the Bible is involved? • How much salvation do we currently have? • How much of the kingdom do we currently have?

    17. “One dare not think he or she can properly interpret the Gospels without a clear understanding of the concept of the kingdom of God in the ministry of Jesus . . . . [however] the major hermeneutical difficulty. . . lies with understanding ‘the kingdom of God.’” Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 1981), 131, 113.

    18. Supportive Quotes • "the great omission . . . why . . . today's church [is] so weak" Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, 40f. • "reductionism of the gospel" Darrell Guder, The Continuing Conversion of the Church, xiiif.   • “the gospel we proclaim has been shrunk” Robert Lynn, “Far as the curse is found” in Breakpoint Worldview magazine, Oct. ’06, 14. • “we have settled for a little gospel, a miniaturized version that cannot address the robust problems of our world” Scot McKnight, “The 8 Marks of a Robust Gospel” in Christianity Today magazine, March 2008, 36.

    19. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • How much of the Bible is involved? • How much salvation do we currently have? • How much of the kingdom do we currently have? • What do you do with the modern-day nation of Israel?

    20. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • It’s the focal point of the liberal-skeptic attack on the Bible and Deity of Christ.

    21. “In seminary I was exposed daily to critical theories espoused by my professors regarding the Scriptures. What stands out in my memory of those days is the heavy emphasis on biblical texts regarding the return of Christ, which were constantly cited as examples of errors in the New Testament and proof that the text had been edited to accommodate the crisis in the early church caused by the so-called parousia-delay of Jesus. . . . It is my fear that evangelicals today tend to underplay the significance of the problems . . . . .” R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 14-15, 17.

    22. “the phenomenon of disconfirmed expectation . . . . [not] particular to Marxian thought or limited to modern political structures . . . . back much further in time and thought to the early centuries of Christianity when various Christian communities struggled to come to terms with the failure of the parousia . . . . gave rise to the need for interpretation of the traditions so as to justify them in light of what had not happened.” Robert P. Carroll, When Prophecies Failed (New York: A Crossroads Book, 1979), 2.

    23. “it was the definite conviction not only of Paul, but of all Christians of that time, that they themselves would experience the return of the Lord. . . . around the middle of the second century . . . the Shepherd of Hermas thinks he has found a solution . . . the Parousia—the Lord’s return—has been postponed for the sake of Christians themselves . . . . At first, people looked at it as only a brief postponement, as the Shephard of Hermas clearly expresses. . . . But soon . . . it was conceived of as a longer and longer period, until finally—this is today’s situation . . . .” Kurt Aland, A History of Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980), 87, 91-92.

    24. “by-product of failed eschatological hope – a way of coping intellectually with the non-fulfillment of first-century apocalyptic fantasies.” “the fulfillment of their early hopes was surely delayed,” [it] “required” [a] “reorientation of the time-line of its eschatological hope.” Brian E. Daley, The Hope of the Early Church (Cambridge, MA.: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 3.

    25. “When the consummation was postponed,” [this necessitated] “the reinterpretation of biblical passages that had carried eschatological connotation . . . toward a more complex description of the life of faith . . . in the development of Christian eschatology.” Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of Development of Doctrine (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971), Vol. 1, “The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition,” 123-124.

    26. “I am concerned with Christ as He appears in the Gospels . . . there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise. . . . For one thing, He certainly thought that His second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at the time. There are a great many texts that prove that. . . . He believed that His coming would happen during the lifetime of many then living. That was the belief of his earlier followers, and it was the basis of a good deal of his moral teaching.” Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian (New York: A Touchtone Book by Simon & Schuster, 1957), 16.

    27. “The whole history of ‘Christianity’ down to the present day . . . is based on the delay of the Parousia, the nonoccurrence of the Parousia, the abandonment of eschatology, the process and completion of the ‘de-eschatologizing’ of religion which has been connected therewith.” Albert Schweiterzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus (New York: The Macmillan Company, eighth printing, 1973), 360.

    28. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • It’s the focal point of the liberal-skeptic attack on the Bible and Deity of Christ. • It makes a difference in your worldview.

    29. “If we think we are facing an irresistible cosmic force of evil, it will invariably lead to giving in and giving up - usually with very little resistance. If you can convince yourself that you are helpless, you can then stop struggling and just "let it happen." That will seem a great relief - for a while...But then you will have to deal with the consequences. And for normal human beings those are very severe.” Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (San Francisco, CA.: HarperSanFranciso, 1997), 343.

    30. 7 Reasons Why Your E/T View (or Non View) Is So Vital • It’s the focal point of the liberal-skeptic attack on the Bible and Deity of Christ. • It makes a difference in your worldview. • It makes a difference in your life and family.

    31. SUMMARY:7 Reasons Why Vital • How much of the Bible is involved? • How much salvation do we currently have? • How much of the kingdom do we currently have? • What do you do with the modern-day nation of Israel? • It’s the focal point of the liberal-skeptic attack on the Bible and Deity of Christ. • It makes a difference in your worldview • It makes a difference in your life and family

    32. Unraveling the EndA Biblical Synthesis of Competing Views