Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An Inaugurated, but not Overrealized, Eschatology

That's the trick, isn't it?

That's the big now/not yet tension. We are saved today, and our new life has begun. But the fullness of that salvation, and the fullness of our new lives in Christ, has yet to be fully manifested.

That's one reason I think it's important to be careful always to point to the Christian's hope being resurrection and the new creation, as opposed to our hope being heaven.

I don't think it's strictly inaccurate to say that our hope is heaven, but it's so incomplete as to invite the Hollywood misinterpretation -- that the Christian hope is eternal life as a disembodied spirit.

In contrast, the Apostle's creed rightly physicalizes our eternal hope, placing the "resurrection of the body" just prior to "life everlasting."

But just as importantly as insisting on an inaugurated eschatology, is not overrealizing it, and pulling in too much of the world to come into this age. And so Christians live in tension in this age, receiving a foretaste of the age to come, but yearning for its fullness.


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