Which Bible books spring to mind when you think about eschatology? Perhaps Daniel or Ezekiel. Maybe the book of Revelation or Paul's epistles to the Thessalonians.
But what else do these books have in common? They were all written to God's people in times of great suffering. Whether to Jewish exiles in Babylon or persecuted Christians in the first century, we see that God's answer to times of great distress is to point his people to the future.
God's answer to times of great distress is to point his people to the future.
This is not what we would expect. We often think about eschatology as an abstract intellectual pursuit or a point of fascination for fringe groups, but rarely do we think of it as God's gift to suffering believers.
From 17-20 January 2022 we had the pleasure of welcoming Rev Dr Jonathan Master, president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, to deliver a week of lectures on precisely this topic.
"Eschatology in particular has very rich pastoral applications. If you understand the end, the telos, then you will be equipped to understand the present"
It was a joy to see Dr Master bringing eschatology to life throughout the course of his lectures: honing in on the life-changing impact of the resurrection in the lives of believers right now, bringing out the comfort and dignity the Christian finds in the hope of glory, and showing how revelation about the future shapes our evangelism. As Dr Master summed up in his course introduction: "Eschatology in particular has very rich pastoral applications. If you understand the end, the telos, then you will be equipped to understand the present."
The focus of this course, understanding how divine revelation impacts our life and ministry, reflects the priorities of Westminster Seminary. We believe that theology should never occur in a vacuum. Theology must also lead to worship - and changed lives. You can find out more about studying theology with us here, or start your application online by clicking on this link.