It is a common (mis)understanding that “the Old Testament God” is one of wrath, while “the New Testament God” is one of grace and love. The usual response is that in fact Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone else in scripture. But what exactly did he say about hell? And what did he mean? There are several different words and concepts that he used, and “hell” is an unhelpful word to summarize them all. The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus is Kim Papaioannou’s published dissertation from Durham that tackles these questions and texts.
Category: Eschatology (page 1 of 9)
Though 1 Enoch is not in either Jewish or Christian canons, its ideas were highly influential in the first century. In fact, in Reversing Hermon, Michael Heiser argues that many of the details in the New Testament “can only be traced to 1 Enoch” (p2). Though Heiser is not alone in this claim, it will be a new idea to many and Reversing Hermon is an accessible presentation from an expert in the field of all things weird in the Bible.
It’s commonly argued that God will snatch His people to heaven before the great tribulation. One go-to text is 1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God has not destined us for wrath”. How could believers face a future time of God’s wrath poured out on the earth? This can be expressed as a syllogism: believers won’t face God’s wrath, the great tribulation is a time of God’s wrath, therefore, believers won’t experience the great tribulation. This is the Pre-Tribulation rapture view. However, what if the great tribulation isn’t the time of God’s wrath? Alan Kurschner, director of Eschatos ministries, such in his Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord. If Kurschner is right, then believers need to wake up to a coming persecution and deception beyond the likes the church has yet faced.
In this post I will summarize the two presentations on Israel and the church in Progressive Covenantalism (my review). Though I very much appreciated both chapters (and the book as a whole), I want to respond to two shortcomings.
All Christians agree that Jesus fulfills the expectations of Psalm 2, but it’s debated if this reign has already begun or whether it entirely awaits His return. Much hinges on how one interprets NT quotations and allusions to Psalm 2 (e.g. Mk 1:11; Acts 13:33), although this does not exhaust the discussion. Other related texts and concepts help shed light on the question. One concept is that of Zion.
How does one even begin to review a book so profoundly impacting and paradigm-shifting? Perhaps with a personal anecdote? I used to lean towards skepticism when it comes to the supernatural. This is hardly healthy for a Christian. It’s not that I disbelieved God’s providence, Jesus’ miracles, the resurrection, or even the enduring nature of the Spirit’s gifts; rather, I had an unreasonable inclination to find “natural” explanations for “supernatural” experience claims. What was the cure? First, marrying a woman gifted in more observably supernatural ways. Second, study of the Bible: the unseen realm is just unavoidably there in Scripture. It is in this latter area that Michael Heiser’s work, especially The Unseen Realm, has been so important.