Monday, March 02, 2009

The relevance of Eschatology

Thanks to Paternoster for a review copy of What are we Waiting For? Christian Hope and Contemporary Culture, ed. by Stephen Holmes and Russell Rook.

Few things make for as much fun as bashing certain forms of crazy popular evangelical eschatology with a decent bit of scholarship. This volume includes essays, under the section headed Hopeful Word by Stephen Holmes ("Introduction: The dangers of being Left Behind"), John Goldingay ("Eschatology in Isaiah"), I. Howard Marshall ("Eschatology at the Heart of New Testament Theology"), Richard Bauckham ("Eschatology in the Book of Revelation"). Under the heading Hopeful Church there are essays concerning eschatology and the Church Fathers, evangelical history, mission, hell and heaven. Under the heading Hopeful Culture there are essays on eschatology and such themes as imagination (by St Andrew's Trevor Hart), pop culture and politics (by Luke Bretherton of King's College), including other issues. The final section, Hopeful Word, deals with environmental issues, among other matters.

In other words, there is a wealth of helpful information here all rightly motivated by the claim eschatology rightly conceived is of profound relevance for contemporary life. Some will find essays in this book provocative yet it could just be the best inoculation against the various whack-job eschatologies on the market, especially those haunting the evangelical bookstalls.

Speaking of eschatology, I am rather excited that we have Andrew Perriman (author of RE:Mission; The Coming of the Son of Man, Otherways) guest lecturing at St Mellitus next week.



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