Friday’s Question of the Day: Eschatological Views

What are you views ? Have they changed? Do they affect your other decisions, such as politics? Has it shaped your worldview? Do you think it is important how you view the Last Days?

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50 Replies to “Friday’s Question of the Day: Eschatological Views”

  1. Gosh that’s a biggie, especially for someone like me who has been through quite a paradigm shift of late. It’s a good question, gonna have to give this one some thought that’s for sure.

  2. Well, I think you know my view: If we take “The last days” to be the last days of mankind then it is most likely (> 99%) that I won’t be around when it happens. Since I will be dead and don’t accept the idea of an afterlife I will most likely not experience it. Hey, maybe mankind will evolve into something else before it is destructed….who knows.

    Does this affect my decisions? Well, it does mean that this is the only life I’ll ever have and I’d better make the best of it! We do “live on” in the memories of our descendants of course and I think that also influences our decisions.

      1. By the way, (totally unrelated to this post – sorry) my Robert Price book (Jesus is dead) has arrived today. My wife tells me it’s really ugly! She hates ugly books. I’ll have to judge that for myself when I get home. I’ll let you know soon what I think of the book (if you’re interested).

  3. This is easy:

    The end of the world will come, either because Christ returns or I will die first and it will be the end of the world – at least for me. Gotta be ready.

  4. I view eschatology as a paradigm shift writ large celebrating new ways of understanding — an end to this age and new beginning. Period. It may very well be that linear and cyclic time hit a critical convergence bump (2012?). A good many cycles are now concluding (Spengler 2,000-year, Mayan, etc.). I expect extraordinarily difficult days of Biblical proportions, as prophesied, but not as interpreted literally by some.

    In the next age, I believe people will look more to science, particularly quantum theory, and less to religion, for answers. I expect all theistic religions will be re-mythologized — no more Big Guy in the sky, Big Bang (replaced by Big Bounce), original sin, holy book inerrancy (obviously), and substitutionary atonement (obviously), among other long held beliefs and cherished superstitions. Christology will receive a long overdue overhaul as well.

    I understand my views make some cross, so to speak. I appreciate this, for I once walked in those shoes myself as a devout Catholic. For my part, the finger pulled from the dike was Biblical inerrancy, most notably those anathemas promoting Replacement Theology and notions that the Jews, not the Romans, killed Jesus. This deconstruction and reconstruction process has, in my case, taken 3 years. My reformed faith remains in tact.

    1. Modern science (mainstream, not fringe) does not expect anything out of the ordinary happening in 2012 or anywhere around there. Of course, there’s global warming and that will have rapid effects, but we won’t be able to point to a specific date or year. Things will just start to get worse (it already is of course). It wil definately not be the end of mankind, but it will be bad.

      I hope you are right that people will look more to science.

        1. Well, since I reject the existence of any kind of deity – also the specific deity you may have in mind – “the end of the world” is for me a naturalistic question.

          1. Bill, if you believe in the existence of “scientists” – people with effectively infinite knowledge and intelligence dwarfing Einstein and Newton, along with ethical purity beyond Mother Theresa – then you already believe in unseen spiritual beings. I spent 30 years in R&D, but never met one of these mythical beings who produce the “naturalistic” explanations.

          2. I love these conversations and it is really progressing nicely. Sorry, but I’ve been really busy, and frankly, I’m still trying to figure everything out. Toney, have you read NT Wright and his eschatological view point?

  5. My father always taught it to us out of Revelation and Matthew and Daniel, and, while he has his own opinions, told us that whether the accounts were literal or figurative, they were worth telling about. I really don’t know for sure how the end all plays out. I did, however, spend a few days at IHOP listening to a poorly argued scheme for exactly how everything was going to end. Since then, I’ve made it a personal rule that any biblical scheme of eschatology has to explain to me not only how it is derived from the Bible, but also why all the other major views are wrong. And since I haven’t come across such an explanation and refutation yet, I’m on the fence, living one day at a time, with the knowledge that God could show up whenever he wants and end/transform the world however he wants.

  6. Hey Looney,

    How will he return? Will he drop/fly/be lowered from the sky, will he be transported (or otherwise just suddenly appear out of nowhere), or will he be born again? If he comes from the sky, where will he come from? How does this stuff work?

    1. Bill, most of those questions are above my pay grade! The Bible gives answers already, although Joseph Smith disagrees.

      My suggestion is that to get a good understanding of eschatology, you should start by reading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It helps to start by asking the right questions.

  7. While I’ve not read Wright’s books, I’m familiar with his views. My own views are more aligned with John Dominic Crossan, Bishop Spong and Teilhard de Chardin. Thanks for the question.

    For everyone it’s a different path, they say. I, frankly, had to cut bait. I tried holding on, like Crossan and, to a greater extent, Wright, but the dike of “intelligent design” eventually broke. The water was refreshing. I see Jesus as a supreme human exemplar, divine as we all are divine. “Greater works than these, you will do.”

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