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

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What do theologians mean by the term, "inaugurated eschatology?" It's really a great term because eschatology, or the study of the end times, the study of the last things, is usually parsed by many people as that which we wait for, and that which we debate and we argue about ad nauseam, you know, and we go through the pre-mil and post-mil and a-mil and, you know, all of these, all of these different scenarios of how the end times are going to happen. And the discussions are much more detailed and distracting than fruitful. But when you realize that the eschatology is already here — that is, when Jesus came and established in fullness, he fulfilled those things that had been prepared in the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophecies, and when he came, he said, "I came not to abolish the law but to fulfill the law," and he established, incarnate, in the flesh, the beginning of the kingdom of God — then you realize, everything from then on is living out the kingdom as it is supposed to be. He taught us to pray this great prayer: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is heaven." And so, we have this perspective of the end that we're supposed to be living by right now. We have a power in the end that is ours right now. We have a purpose and an agenda that we have somehow gathered up into, "Boy, things are going to be great after we die," when it was really meant to be an in-breaking of the future while we live. And that is what is called "inaugurated eschatology." The inauguration has happened, the kingdom of God is here, and we are walking out that which God has for us, even as we live today.

Answer by Dr. Joel C. Hunter

Dr. Joel C. Hunter is Founder and Chairman of Community Resource Network in Orlando, FL, where he formerly served as Sr. Pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed.