Many people think eschatology refers to events occurring at the end of history. In this book, two scholars with expertise in biblical eschatology argue that God’s kingdom breaking into this world through Jesus Christ has inaugurated a new creation, a reality that should shape pastoral leadership and be reflected in the life and ministry of the church. Brief and accessibly written, this book articulates the practical implications of G. K. Beale’s New Testament Biblical Theology and features an introductory chapter by Beale. Each chapter concludes with practical suggestions and a list of books for further study.
“Succinctly, the story line of the OT is the story of God, who progressively reestablishes his eschatological new-creational kingdom out of chaos over a sinful people by his word and Spirit through promise, covenant, and redemption, resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to advance this kingdom and judgment (defeat or exile) for the unfaithful, unto his glory.” (Page 5)
“Jesus’s life of covenantal obedience, trials, death for sinners, and resurrection by the Spirit has launched the fulfillment of the eschatological already-not yet new-creation reign, bestowed by grace through faith and resulting in worldwide commission to the faithful to advance this kingdom and judgment for the unfaithful, unto God’s glory.” (Page 9)
“The apostles understood eschatology not merely as futurology but as a mind-set for understanding the present within the climaxing context of redemptive history. That is, the apostles understood that they were already living in the end times, and that they were to understand their present salvation in Christ to be already an end-time reality.” (Page 4)
“All that the OT foresaw would occur in the end times has begun already in the first century and continues on until the final coming of Christ.” (Page 8)
“Every aspect of salvation was to be conceived of as eschatological in nature. To put this another way, the major doctrines of the Christian faith are charged with eschatological electricity. Just as when you put on green sunglasses, everything you see is green, so Christ through the Spirit had placed eschatological sunglasses on his disciples so that everything they looked at in the Christian faith had an end-time tint. This means that the doctrine of eschatology in textbooks should not merely be one among many doctrines that are addressed but should be the lens through which all the major doctrines are best understood.” (Page 4)
For those who think that biblical theology (especially the teaching about inaugurated and consummated eschatology) doesn’t relate to daily life and ministry, Gladd and Harmon demonstrate that eschatology permeates every aspect of ministry, from prayer to preaching to missions. The book is filled with practical suggestions, but what makes it unique and powerful is that the practical implications are rooted in what the Scriptures teach about eschatology. Readers will be instructed, edified, and encouraged.
—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
It’s long been repeated that Christians live in the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet.’ We stand in the middle of an old world dying and a new creation already born in our midst through Jesus Christ. How does this sense of living between the ages shape our conception of the church, pastoring, and ministry? In this book two younger scholars, with the assistance of Greg Beale, show what it means to be end-time people. They offer some great theological reflections and practical advice on how to lead people who are waiting with patience and purpose for the day when God is all in all.
—Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
Gladd and Harmon apply to pastoral ministry the inaugurated eschatology they learned from Greg Beale. The book repeatedly moves from sound exegesis to theology to application.
—Andy Naselli, assistant professor of New Testament and biblical theology, Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minneapolis
Benjamin L. Gladd (PhD, Wheaton College) is assistant professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He has coauthored two books with G. K. Beale, Hidden but Now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery and The Story Retold: A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament (forthcoming).
Matthew S. Harmon (PhD, Wheaton College) is professor of New Testament studies at Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He is the author of a commentary on Philippians and of forthcoming commentaries on Galatians and 2 Peter and Jude.