The End Times are Now

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

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Answer

When we talk about eschatology, most people think about events that will happen right at the very end; it's something off in the future. Eschatology means "end times," so I understand that; we think about the end. But "inaugurated eschatology" has more of the sense of the end times are now; they've already begun. And I think one of the key passages to look at to understand this goes back to Pentecost. You know, Peter stands up on Pentecost, preaches, and makes a quote from the prophet Joel about the Holy Spirit coming and being poured out upon people and that this will happen in the latter days. And then Peter says, this is that. What just happened here at Pentecost is that pouring out of the Holy Spirit that will happen in the latter days. So, in Peter's mind, with that sermon, he's saying, we're living in the end times, it's been inaugurated, it has already begun. You know, the final events have already been put in place, and things are in motion for the eventual return of Christ and the consummation of all things. So, end times, eschatology is not just a distant future thing. It's something that really began to pick up speed, if you will, with the crucifixion, resurrection, and then the ascension of Christ, and then the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Answer by Dr. Dan Lacich

Dr. Dan Lacich serves on the pastoral team of Northland, A Church Distributed, in Orlando FL