eschatology

eschatology

[es-kuh-tol-uh-jee]

Theological doctrine of the “last things,” or the end of the world. Mythological eschatologies depict an eternal struggle between order and chaos and celebrate the eternity of order and the repeatability of the origin of the world. The most notable expression of mythological eschatology is in Hinduism, which maintains belief in great cycles of the destruction and creation of the universe. Historical eschatologies are grounded in datable events that are perceived as fundamental to the progress of history. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have historical eschatologies. Eschatology in the Hebrew Scriptures sees the catastrophes that beset the people of Israel as due to their disobedience to the laws and will of God and holds that conformity to God's plan will result in renewal and the fulfillment of God's purpose. In Christianity, the end times are thought to have begun with the life and ministry of Jesus, the messiah who will return to establish the Kingdom of God. Millennialism focuses especially on Christ's second coming and the reign of the righteous on earth. In Shīaynite Islam it is believed that the mahdi, or restorer of the faith, will come to inaugurate the last judgment, in which the good will enter heaven and the evil will fall into hell. In Buddhism, eschatological traditions are associated with the Buddha Maitreya and with Pure Land Buddhism, as well as with individual efforts to achieve nirvana.

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Eschatology (from the Greek ἔσχατος, Eschatos meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of") is a part of theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world. While in mysticism the phrase refers metaphorically to the end of ordinary reality and reunion with the Divine, in many traditional religions it is taught as an actual future event prophesied in sacred texts or folklore. More broadly, eschatology may encompass related concepts such as the Messiah or Messianic Age, the end time, and the end of days.

The Greek word αἰών (aeon), meaning "century" (connotation "age"), may be translated as "end of the age (or historical period)" instead of "end of the world". The time distinction also has theological significance; while the end of time in mystical traditions relates to escaping confinement in the "given" reality, some religions believe and fear it to be the literal destruction of the planet (or of all living things) – with the human race surviving in some new form, ending the current "age" of existence.

Most modern eschatology and apocalypticism, both religious and secular, involves the violent disruption or destruction of the world, whereas Christian and Jewish eschatologies view the end times as the consummation or perfection of God's creation of the world.

For example, according to ancient Hebrew belief, life takes a linear (and not cyclical) path; the world began with God and is constantly headed toward God’s final goal for creation.

Philosophy

Eschatology has also been a belief shared, sometimes theorized on, by philosophers. Saint Augustine stressed the allegorical method of interpretation. He was greatly influenced by Origen. He was followed by Ibn al-Nafis and Hegel with their philosophy of history, and, some (such as the author Albert Camus in 'The Rebel') have argued, Karl Marx. Theodicy has gathered together most Enlightenment thinkers, among whom are Kant and Rousseau.

More recently, many involved in futures studies and transhumanism have noted the accelerating rate of scientific progress and anticipate a technological singularity in the 21st century that would profoundly and unpredictably change the course of human history. Artist/futurist Michael E. Arth, for example, speculates about the emergence of a hive-like distributed being that would be self-conscious, integrated into a future version of the Internet, and also able to exhibit any individualized form, or speak any language. This collective intelligence, UNICE: Universal Network of Intelligent Conscious Entities, would connect everyone on the planet before it spreads outward into space.

Judaism addresses the End times in the book of Daniel. For Christianity, see the Book of Revelation. For the eschatological beliefs of various religions, see: End Times.

Islamic eschatology

Islamic eschatology has been very distinctly and vividly documented in the sayings of its Prophet Muhammad regarding "the signs of the Hour". Prophesies of the Prophet have been traditionally divided into major and minor signs. He spoke about several minor signs of the approach of the Hour; that is, the ending days of the life on earth. Describing the minor signs he said, "People would follow a way of life other than mine and give guidance other than mine”, “I fear for my people only the leaders who lead men astray”, “Before the Last Hour there will be great liars, so beware of them”, “When the most wicked member of a tribe becomes its ruler, and the most worthless member of a community becomes its leader, and a man is respected through fear of the evil he may do, and leadership is given to people who are unworthy of it, expect the Last Hour”.

Regarding the major signs, we have a Companions narrating: Once we were sitting together and talking amongst ourselves when the Prophet appeared. He asked us what it was we were discussing. We said it was the Hour. He said: It will not be called until ten signs have appeared: "Smoke, Dajjal, the Animal (that will speak to the people), rising of the sun from the West, descending down of Isa (Jesus), appearance of Yajuj and Majuj, and three sinkings (or caving in of the earth): one in the East, another in the West and a third in the Arabian Peninsula. The last (sign) will be that of the Fire that will start from Yemen and drive the people towards the place of Reckoning."

See also

External links

Selected bibliography

General (alphabetical by author)

  • The Invisible War (1965) by Donald Grey Barnhouse; Zondervan Publishing House (Ministry Resources Library).
  • How to Recognize the Antichrist (1975) by Arthur E. Bloomfield; Bethany Fellowship
  • The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (1983) by Constance Cumbey; Huntington House Inc.
  • Number in Scripture (1967) by Ethelbert W. Bullinger; Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49501 Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 67-26498; ISBN 0-8254-2204-3
  • A Planned Deception: The Staging of A New Age 'Messiah' (1985) by Constance Cumbey; Pointe Publishers, Inc.
  • Hidden Prophecies in the Psalms (1986) by J.R. Church; Prophecy Publications, Oklahoma City, OK 73153; ISBN 0-941241-00-9
  • Gorbachev: Has the Real Antichrist Come? (1988) by Robert W. Faid; Victory House Publishers.
  • The Man The False Prophet and The Harlot, subtitled The Name of the Antichrist Finally Revealed (1991) by Dr. Anthony M. Giliberti; Published by This Is The Generation Library of Congress Catalog Number 90-93451 ISBN 0-9628419-0-0.
  • Have A Nice Doomsday - Why Millions Of Americans Are Looking Forward To The End Of The World by Nicholas Guyatt. ISBN 9780091910877
  • Send This Message to My Church: Christ's Words to the Seven Churches of Revelation (1984) by Terence Kelshaw; Thomas Nelson Publishers.
  • The Truth About Armageddon (1982) by William Sanford Lasor; Harper & Row Publishers.
  • A Survey of Bible Prophecy (1951) by R. Ludwigson; (1973, 1975; The Zondervan Corporation).

'Code'-type books

  • The Bible Code'' (1997) by Michael Drosnin; Published by Simon & Schuster, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. ISBN 0-684-81079-4.
  • Bible Code II: The Countdown (2002) by Michael Drosnin; One Honest Man, Inc. Published by Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0R1, England.

The Book of Daniel compared to the Book of Revelation

  • Daniel and Revelation subtitled A Study of Two Extraordinary Visions (1978) by James M. Efird; Judson Press, Valley Forge, PA 19481 ISBN 0-8170-0797-0
  • Daniel's Prophecy of the 70 Weeks (1940, 1969) by Alva J. McClain; Academie Books/Zondervan House.

Dispensationalist school of thought (listed alphabetically by author)

  • A Cup of Trembling (1995) by Dave Hunt; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402; ISBN 1-56507-334-7.
  • Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist (1990) by Dave Hunt; Harvest House Publishers Library of Congress Cataloging in Publishing Data; ISBN 0-89081-831-2.
  • How Close Are We? (1993) by Dave Hunt; Harvest House Publishers. (NOTE: The author has a new, updated book titled When will Jesus Come?.
  • Peace, Prosperity, and the Coming Holocaust (1983) by Dave Hunt; Harvest House Publishers.
  • Whatever Happened to Heaven? (1988) by Dave Hunt; Harvest House Publishers. ISBN 0-89081-698-0 (pbk.)
  • Not Wrath but Rapture! by H.A. Ironside; NO DATE; published by Loizeaux Brothers, Inc.
  • Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis Revised (1974) by John F. Walvoord; Zondervan Publishing House, 1415 Lake Drive, S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506; ISBN 0-310-53921-8
  • Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth (1972) by Hal Lindsey with C.C. Carlson; Zondervan House.
  • The Late, Great Planet Earth (1970) by Hal Lindsey with C.C. Carlson; Zondervan House.
  • The Liberation of Planet Earth (1974) by Hal Lindsey; The Zondervan Corporation.
  • There's a New World Coming (1973) by Hal Lindsey; Vision House.
  • The Rapture (1983) by Hal Lindsey; The Aorist Corporation Bantam Books.
  • The Terminal Generation (1976) by Hal Lindsey with C.C. Carlson; Fleming Revell.
  • The Revelation Record (1985) by Henry M. Morris; Tyndale House Inc. and Creation Life Publishers.
  • Things to Come (1958) by J. Dwight Pentecost; Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506.
  • The World's Collision (1956) by Charles E. Pont; W.A. Wilde, Boston.
  • Dispensationalism Today (1965) by Charles C. Ryrie; The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
  • Israel In Prophecy (1962) by John F. Walvoord; Zondervan Publishing House.
  • The Church in Prophecy (1964) by John F. Walvoord; Zondervan Publishing House.
  • The Millennial Kingdom (1959) by John F. Walvoord; Dunham Publishing Co. Academie Books published by Zondervan Publishing House, 1415 Lake Drive. S.E., Grand Rapids Michigan 49506. (NOTE: See Millennium on Wikipedia).
  • The Nations in Prophecy (1967) by John F. Walvoord; Zondervan Publishing House. (NOTE: this book may have been combined with other similar titles by Walvoord into one new volume).
  • The Return of the Lord (1955) by John F. Walvoord; Zondervan Publishing House Library of Congress Cat. #77-106423.
  • The Rapture Question (1974) by John F. Walvoord (Revised & Enlarged); The Zondervan Corporation.

Post-Tribulation school of thought

  • The Church and the Tribulation (subtitled: A Biblical Examination of Post-tribulationism) (1973) by Robert H. Gundry; Zondervan Corporation.
  • The Tribulation People (1975) by Arthur Katterjohn with Mark Faculer; Publisher - Creation House.
  • Lord, When? (1976) by Arthur Katterjohn with Mark Faculer; Publisher - Creation House (Can be used independently or in conjunction with The Tribulation People by the same authors.
  • The Incredible Cover-Up (1975) by Dave MacPherson; by Logos Internation.
  • Christians Will Go Through the Tribulation (1978) by Jim McKeever; Alpha Omega Publishing Company.
  • Now You Can Understand the Book of Revelation (1980) by Jim McKeever; Omega Publications.
  • City of Revelation subtitled A Book of Forgotten Wisdom (1972) by John Michell; Ballantine Books (first printing: 11/73 Library of Congress Cat. No. 72-88116 SBN 345-23607-6-150. (NOTE: this book contains information on Gematria, a mathematical science).
  • The Secret Book of Revelation (subtitled: The Last Book of the Bible) ©1979; by Gilles
  • Quispel, Collins St. James Place, Comdon, 1979.
  • The Pre-Wrath Rapture of The Church (1990) by Marvin Rosenthal; Thomas Nelson, Inc. ISBN 0-8407-3160-4.

Amillenial school of thought

  • 1994? (1992) by Harold Camping;; Published by Vantage Press, Inc., 516 West 34th Street, NY, NY 10001. ISBN 0-533-10368-1; Library of Congress Cat. Number is Unknown.
  • Christ Will Come Again: Hope for the Second Coming of Jesus by Stephen Travis. 2004 Toronto: Clements Publishing. ISBN 1-894667-33-6
  • In God's Time: The Bible and the Future by Craig C. Hill. 2002 Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-802860-90-7
  • Shock Wave 2000! subtitled The Harold Camping 1994 Debacle; (1994) by Robert Sungenis, Scott Temple, and David Allen Lewis; New Leaf Press, Inc., P.O. Box 311, Green Forest AR 72638; ISBN 0-89221-269-1; Library of Congress: 94-67493.

References


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