Schleiermacher: ?Eschatology is essentially prophetic and is therefore vague and indefinite, like all unfulfilled prophecy.? Schiller?s Thekla: ?Every thought of beautiful, trustful seeming Stands fulfilled in Heaven?s eternal day; Shrink not then from erring and from dreaming, ? Lofty sense lies oft in childish play.? Frances Power Cobbe, Peak of Darien, 265 ? ?Human nature is a ship with the tide out; when the tide of eternity comes in, we shall see the purpose of the ship.? Eschatology deals with the precursors of Christ?s Second Coming, as well as with the Second Coming itself. We are to labor for the coming of the kingdom of God in society as well as in the individual and in the church, in the present life as well as in the life to come.
Kidd, in his Principles of Western Civilization, says that survives which helps the greatest number. But the greatest number is always in the future. The theatre has become too wide for the drama. Through the roof, the eternal stars appear. The image of God in man implies the equality of all men. Political equality implies universal suffrage; economic equality implies universal profit. Society has already transcended, first, isolation of the city, and secondly, isolation of the state. The United States presents thus far the largest free trade area in history. The next step is the unity of the English-speaking peoples. The days of separate nationalities are numbered. Laissez faire = surviving barbarism. There are signs of larger ideas in art, ethics, literature, philosophy, science, politics, economics and religion. Competition must be moralized, and must take into account the future as well as the present. See also Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianity and the Social Crisis.
George B. Stevens, In Am. Jour. Theology, Oct. 1902:666-684, asks, ?Is there a self-constituted New Testament Eschatology?? He answers, for substance, that only three things are sure.
1. The certain triumph of the kingdom. This being the kernel of truth in the doctrine of Christ?s second coming.
2. The victory of life over death. This is the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection.
3. The principle ofjudgment. The truth is at the basis of the belief in rewards and punishments in the world to come. This meager and abstract residuum argues denial in both the unity and the sufficiency of Scripture. Our view of inspiration, while it does not assure us of minute details, does, notwithstanding, give us a broad general outline of the future consummation and guarantees its trustworthiness by the word of Christ and his apostles.
Was this article helpful?