Theological treasures & Apocalyptic thieves The delay of Christ's seemingly-imminent return imperils the whole of the Christian theological project. Indeed, the divine savior myth and all its concomitant parts depend upon the accuracy of Christ, his apostles, and their scriptures. Matters of eschatology are particularly vulnerable in this regard: If Jesus, Paul, and John prophesied … Continue reading The temple at time’s end: An insufficient apocalypse
Where does the brunt of New Testament eschatology actually land? When did the disciples see the son of man coming in his kingdom? Did they see him at all? In attempting to answer these question we first looked at a number of problematic Jesus-sayings. These sayings associated the day of judgement, the coming of the … Continue reading When did the disciples see the son of man coming in his kingdom?
Certain preterist eschatological models are becoming more and more popular in Christian circles because they address an urgent problem: If we are going to read Jesus' statements about the date of the eschaton ("Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place," etc.) in a straightforward way, … Continue reading Did the disciples see the son of man coming in his kingdom in AD 70?
Paul outlines what appears to be a novel eschatological scenario in his first letter to the churches at Thessalonika. He writes that at the coming of Christ believers will be raised from the dead, collected into the air, and brought into the presence of the Lord (4:16-17). At the sound of the last trumpet there … Continue reading Functional eschatology at Thessalonika
Christ died and was raised Scholars characterize certain New Testament texts as discrete confessions or hymns. The most well-known among these is Paul's good news "of first importance" in 1 Corinthians 15—that Christ died in accordance with the scriptures, was buried, was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and then appeared … Continue reading Christ died and was exalted
Eschatological woes The conceptual merging of the kingdom of God with the church appears to be a prudent theological move. The scheme relieves us of our eschatological woes, offering a remedy for the urgent and awkward apocalyptic eschatology we find in the New Testament. Once we have conflated the kingdom and the church there appears … Continue reading The kingdom of God is not the church
In my previous post I failed to explain the significance of the Son of Man's coming with the clouds of heaven as it was envisioned in Daniel and in the New Testament. Let's clear that up. Daniel 7 When Daniel first introduces the one like a son of man, the figure is approaching God on … Continue reading What is the coming of the Son of Man?
According to popular Christian tradition, the titles Son of God and Son of Man refer respectively to Christ's divine and human natures. Jesus is the Son of God because he is God and he is the Son of Man because he is man. But as is the case with the designation 'Immanuel,' I argue that … Continue reading Why did Jesus call himself the Son of Man?
We've discussed before how Jesus' apocalyptic expectations in large part determined his teachings on violence. In light of the wrath coming upon Jerusalem (Mark 13/Luke 24, Matthew 21:1-14) and upon Greco-Roman Paganism (Matthew 25:31-36, Revelation 18, Acts 17:31, 1 Cor 2:6), Jesus considered retribution and self-defense to be acts of disbelief. God was about to … Continue reading Jesus and Violence: The Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat