I've been tweeting out Theses on Eschatology this week. Here's the first 18. If you want read these and other thoughts as they come, click here:
Thesis #1: The leading motif of a Christian eschatology ought to be the parousia of Jesus Christ.
Thesis #2: Eschatologies that are overdetermined by concepts of divine justice or love and/or human destiny or decision are sub-Christian.
Thesis #3: The telos of God's love/justice and humanity's decision/destiny occur in the one God-human, Jesus, and so are known only in him.
Thesis #4: The telos of Jesus Christ in his divine-human unity is his living presence as the one who died and rose for us.
Thesis #5: In the first instance, the telos of Jesus' life is his death. The one who will return at the end is the one who died for us.
Thesis #6: But Jesus' death was not his final end. He also rose from the dead. So the one who will return at the end already LIVES for us!
Thesis #7: Therefore the one who died (#5) and rose (#6) for us not only will be present at the end but is already present with us now.
Thesis #8: Eschatology is not futurology. It is knowledge of the risen Christ who was and is and will be present (i.e., parousia, cf. #1).
Thesis #9: Eschatology is possible ONLY if the Jesus who will return at the end is the SAME as the one who came before and is present now.
Thesis #10: JESUS IS RISEN! So resurrection hope conditions all eschatological concepts--immortality, the soul, judgment, heaven, eternity, etc.
Thesis #11: Hope for the resurrection of the dead embraces the individual, communal, and cosmic dimensions of Christian hope.
Thesis #12: Christians aren't obligated to believe in the immortality of the soul.
Thesis #13: Christian are permitted to believe in the immortality of the soul as long as it does not render resurrection hope superfluous.
Thesis #14: Immortality of the soul is not the object of hope. It's just a theory that addresses questions raised by resurrection hope.
Thesis #15: Only the living God is by nature immortal. Human immortality is a gift, given for the sake of fellowship with the risen Christ
Thesis #16: Since for living beings death and time are existentially intertwined, immortality is functionally synonymous with eternal life.
Thesis #17: Eternal life IS fellowship with the risen Christ in his self-attestation. Eternal life is therefore irreducibly social.
Thesis #18: Sociality is mediated bodily, so resurrected bodies are indispensable to eternal life.