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Realised Eschatology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the thesis that the early church wholly misunderstood Jesus' hope, falsely attributing to him the idea of a physical return to earth for judgement and renewal. It suggests that 'Realised Eschatology', so ready to affirm the real in break of the divine into the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, is strangely docetic with regard to the Parousia. Realised Eschatology rightly recognises that the New Testament emphatically declares that the Kingdom of God has come and is not 'wholly futurist'. However, this 'realisation' is connected in the New Testament directly with the person and work of Christ and therefore with the lowliness and hiddenness characteristic of his ministry. Realised Eschatology represents the swing of the pendulum from Schweitzer's extreme view, but it is doubtful whether the New Testament can be interpreted adequately at this extreme any more than it was at the opposite.

Keywords: Jesus Christ; New Testament; Parousia; Realised Eschatology; Schweitzer



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