Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Influence of the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius

Written in Syriac in the late seventh century, the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius shaped and influenced Christian eschatological thinking in the Middle Ages. Falsely attributed to Methodius of Olympus, a fourth century Church Father, the work attempts to make sense of the Islamic Conquest of the Mediterranean world. The Apocalypse is noted for incorporating numerous aspects of Christian eschatology such as the invasion of Gog and Magog, the rise of the Antichrist, and the tribulations that precede the end of the world.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Justin Martyr's Eschatology

By L. W. Barnard

This study has been prompted by an article by Professor C. F. D. Moule of Cambridge on the Influence of Circumstances on the Use of Eschatological Terms (1). Briefly Professor Moule's thesis is that it is an error to seek for a sequence of development or evolution in eschato­logical formulations within the New Testament as the hope in the Parousia weakened: my point is not only that these (i. e. New Testament statements about the last things) are incapable of being built into a sin­gle system, but also that they have, intrinsically, no logical sequence or successive order of evolution, but may arrive on the scene at any mo­ment, and in almost any order, whether to 'peg' two opposite ends of a paradox or to defend different aspects of the truth as they chance to come under attack. They are produced (to use Papias' celebrated phra­se) πρός τάς χρείας to meet each need as it arises (2). Professor Moule has no difficulty in showing that the language of realized eschatology is used more when the individual believer is in mind; futurist eschatolo­gy when the group destiny is being emphasized; the mythical and quasi - physical language of apocalyptic when the future of the entire cosmos is in view. So Paul can use realized eschatology, apocalyptic and non - apocalyptic language according to his theme, not according to the stage of his theological development (3). The question of the delay in the Parousia was hardly in view in the New Testament and did not affect the shaping of theological thought (4).

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Renewal of the Universe: A Mystery of the Last Times

“Creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21).

“But we, the pious, cry unto Thee, O Comforter, in a God-inspired manner: ‘Blessed art Thou, O Renewer of the universe.”’1

The Great Feast of Pentecost, provides us with the opportunity to delve further into what is also a great Mystery of the last times: the renewal of the universe.

The Church was engendered on earth by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of transforming the earth into a Church — to Baptize the earth in the waters of the Incarnation of the Word and in the fiery flames of Pentecost.