The Coming of the Kingdom
This study will pursue a Biblical theological explanation of the Kingdom of Heaven in the New Testament. The nature of the kingdom is that it was inaugurated in yet has not yet fully consummated. Christians live in a tension of suffering yet blessed, sinners yet saints, regenerated but not yet resurrected. This tension leads the reader of the New Testament to see that the kingdom has already come in power, but has not yet come to fruition. This paradigm of inaugurated eschatology explains the Christian’s relationship to the Old Testament, the Law, the Gospel, the reign of Christ, the present age, and the future.
When most studies of eschatology pursue a secret knowledge of the future, or code to unlock the secrets of the antichrist and the current administrations of power, a sober Biblical look at what the New Testament actually teaches is welcome and refreshing. Therefore, this class will not so much focus on the bits and pieces of eschatology, but on the discipline itself. The goal is to give the student an educated impression of what God was doing in the New Testament and how to interpret specific passages in light of this whole. Eschatology is like a thread that brings the Biblical tapestry to life. It gives contexts, meanings, interpretative tension, etc.
This class will closely follow the work of the imminent 20th century Dutch scholar Herman Ridderbos. For further reading I recommend purchasing his book, The Coming of the Kingdom, and reading the appropriate chapters as we proceed (http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Kingdom-Herman-N-Ridderbos/dp/0875524087/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275414280&sr=8-2).
Schedule of Topics:
- July 12- Definition of Kingdom (Ridderbos 1-2)
- July 19 The Kingdom has Come In Fulfillment (Ridderbos 3)
- July 26 The Kingdom has Come Provisionally (Ridderbos 4)
- Aug 2 “The Gospel of the kingdom” (Ridderbos 5)
- Aug 9 The Gospel of Salvation (Ridderbos 6)
- Aug 16 The Commandments of the Kingdom (Ridderbos 7)
- Aug 23 The Church (Ridderbos 8-9)
- Aug 30 The Future (Ridderbos 10)
Ben Rochester, June 1 2010