More and more lately I have been thinking about how eschatology is the lynch-pin for my theology. I can, for the most part, tie a lot of my motivations for particular doctrines and practices back to my eschatology.
Entire sanctification and holiness are about living a way of life in the here and now that will continue on into forever, into the Kingdom of Heaven. Being saved is about entering into the kingdom and becoming part of the church, the new Israel that will reign with Christ for eternity. Jesus is the Christ that will come back one day to judge the living and the dead, establishing his kingdom on earth forever. Mission is about advancing the coming kingdom in the here and now. Even the legalistic me sees it as avoiding being a goat (as in the parable of sheep and goats) come judgment day. My ecclesiology is about the church being the continuing incarnation of Christ in this world, a foreshadow of what heaven will be like. A little piece of heaven on earth. Literally. Spiritual formation is also about living a way of life that will continue in the coming kingdom and starting to live now like one will live in the new heaven and new earth when we have perfect communion with our Father in Heaven on Earth.
All in all, I can and do tie everything back to my eschatology. Christology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Missiology, it all comes back to Eschatology for me. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that Eschatology is not the end-all-be-all of the -ologies that make up theology. (Man that was a fun sentence to type.) But right now, at this time in my life, this is where I live. By no means do I think I will live here my entire life. I may. I may not. I’m okay with that. But for the time being, eschatology drives much of my theology.
Now the question becomes, what about you? What subject or area of theology tends to drive or motivate your thinking in all the other areas?