A Down Payment on What Is Ahead

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

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When we run across this term "eschatology," we are concerning ourselves with the biblical disclosure of what lies ahead, the future, God's plan for the linear progression of time. "Inaugurated eschatology" means that we envision God's plan for the future still incomplete. Not everything has fallen into place in perfect and complete fulfillment of the glorious promises. And yet, the "inaugurated" piece is the assurance that we're not waiting for the beginning of the fulfillment of his promises, but we have seen that beginning; it has been launched. It has been launched decisively, most decisively in the death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. And so, we are kind of in between the launch and the completion. This is what the term "inaugurated eschatology" is all about. It's very full of hope and expectation, but also confidence because we've seen the down payment on what's ahead.

Answer by Dr. Glen Scorgie

Dr. Glen Scorgie is Professor of Theology at Bethel Seminary in San Diego