Eschatology. A daunting word to be sure. It’s the kind of word you bring to Christians and get coffee spilled on their Sunday suit. “You’re trying to complicate things”, they’ll say. It means the doctrine or study of the end times. Biblically, I think it’s better taken to mean “ultimate things” rather than “end times”. Cheerfully, this isn’t a relevant topic because I don’t know anyone who’s been to the end of time, or I guess that’s how you can come to think of it. Bleakly, we have to deal with this subject because there is actually a book out there that a few men wrote who said they did know how the end of the world will come about, and who will bring it about.
I found in my studies of theology that eschatology should be a constant context for reading the holy scriptures. The letters of the New Testament use eschatology as a hinge for their message, and you can’t really ignore it’s significance when reading the ancient passages. To those authors, the end times were upon them. When Paul wrote about false teachers and antichrists coming in the end times he was referring to those who were antichrist in that day.
It’s a huge issue, I think, because if the writers claimed to be infallible in their written and oral assertions, they also claimed to know how the end of the world would come into effect. So, not only were they perfect in their analysis of the present state of mankind and God and the heavenlies and their God’s feelings and opinions and judgements, they were unquestionably right about their claims as to what the future would hold. Conveniently, most of their claims in regard to these events were very “symbolic” in nature, as the intellectual Christians call it, making their inerrant ideas very ambiguous. For a word for all time they sure did make it hard for us to understand. If these things were so important, why didn’t God bless these guys with clarity that would surpass the knowledge of their times so that we could benefit from their writings?
I think it is more likely that they were wrong. Anyone who claims to be without error, and his reasoning for this looks like an appeal to something that told him, and this thing is without error, and it is without error just because, is not telling the truth. I don’t know how else to put it. Eschatology is interesting and to me is very fun to think about. It just shouldn’t be taken too seriously. You don’t want to ingest this stuff. Just chew on it a little.