Thursday, August 30, 2007

Eschatology Precedes... Pretty Much Everything

I'm going to make a bold claim and then attempt to back it up in the next few posts, in the hope that you, the faithful readers, will either convince me I'm wrong or reinforce my thesis with your own input. So here goes:

An individual's or church's eschatology has a direct bearing upon everything else.

To ask a few questions by way of example: Will a two kingdoms proponent have a different rationale than a transformationist for Sabbath-keeping (or breaking, as the case may be)? Will the need for cultural relevance be more accute for one than the other? Is a transformationist more likely to promote political activism than an advocate of the two kingdoms doctrine? Whose church, Tim Keller's or Darryl Hart's, is more likely to have cars with "I-Heart-NY" bumper stickers in their parking lot?

My own ongoing observation is that everything from one's concept of true piety to one's way of defining the gospel's success is determined in large part by whether one distinguishes between the civil and spiritual kingdoms, allows one to swallow the other, or just collapses them altogether.

OK, fire away....