How many times have you been talking to another Christian when the subject of eschatology comes up?
You’re discussing some current event or recent trend or a grave, cultural concern that you share. This naturally expands and leads into the subject of “end times” and prophecy and what the Bible says about all this bad stuff that seems to be spiraling out of control and mushrooming around the world unchecked.
Before you know it, without even announcing by name the newly-engaged topic of theological discussion, you’re talking about eschatology.
And eschatology (the doctrine of “last things”) tends to register high on the Richter scale when it comes to theological topics of discussion that may start out innocuously enough with quiet rumblings before quickly erupting and escalating into full-scale (and possibly heated) debate.
Not a bad thing, necessarily. Yet, a lot of Bible-believing Christians seem to equate healthy debate with “sin”.
Nonetheless, debate is just what needs to happen in order to address what Gary North wrote about in 1990 in his book, Millennialism and Social Theory, i.e., the impact on the Christian Gospel and its comprehensive mission of redemption in the world that our eschatological views, particularly how we understand the “millennium”–the age of Christ’s reign over His Kingdom on the earth before the final Judgment–have on the effectiveness of the Gospel in the world.
I will be reviewing Dr. North’s book, Millennialism and Social Theory, in coming posts.
The book is still available in hardback online, new and used. It is also available in PDF for free download here.
I strongly encourage you, especially if you are a Christian who is interested and knows something about this important “debate” over eschatology that has gone on now, more or less, since the 1st century A.D. (and will, no doubt, continue until the Lord himself returns–to settle all the arguments!)–to get and read this book.
It helps answer the question, ‘Why does eschatology matter?’
I know this much. It matters because bad eschatology can and does result in bad theology, which can and does lead to a defective (and ineffective) Christianity.
And that can NEVER be a good thing.
Please download and/or buy a copy of this book and read it for yourself. All of us Christians living in the 21st century need to become better informed and come to grips with this important subject. It colors the decisions we make in the here and now about the present and the future.
And, frankly, ALL of us can stand to become better informed on just about everything the Bible has to say about every area of our life!