What do theologians mean by the term "inaugurated eschatology?"

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The term "inaugurated eschatology" refers to the overlap of two ages: the old and the new coexisting at the same time. The reason that the New Testament speaks like this about our eschatology, or the overlapping of the ages, is because, as the apostle Paul realized, a man has risen from the dead in the middle of time. And the significance of that is resurrection from the dead was supposed to happen at the end of time. And so, when Paul encounters the risen Jesus on the Damascus road, he realizes the end has come and broken into our current age, and so, that both ages exist together at the same time. Which is why Paul can say, on the one hand, we are stuck in the flesh that is subject to sin, but on the other hand, we live by the Spirit, who is a sign of the age to come and will one day come in full when the old is done away with completely. Only the new will remain.

Answer by Dr. Constantine R. Campbell

Associate Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School