Inaugurated eschatology – What is it?
Inaugurated eschatology is an understanding of Bible prophecy that states the end times began or were inaugurated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. According to this understanding of eschatology, some aspects of biblical prophecy have already been fulfilled while other parts are not yet fulfilled. Theologian George Eldon Ladd popularized this view in the twentieth century.
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Inaugurated eschatology is generally seen in contrast with dispensational theology that sees a distinction between Israel and the Church. Dispensational theology views inaugurated eschatology as breaking or blurring this distinction that is noted throughout Scripture.
A look at inaugurated eschatology shows that one distinctive is the focus on the fulfillment of kingdom promises now in our lives. For example, since Isaiah 35:5 says the eyes of the blind will be opened, adherents of inaugurated eschatology believe the blind can be healed today. As such, this view is popular within the charismatic movement as a basis for miracles and healing.
There is one way in which inaugurated theology could be seen as biblically accurate. The apostles wrote that believers were to be prepared for the imminent or any moment return of Jesus because the time was near (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11). Other passages share this theme. For example, Paul wrote the end of the ages has come (1 Corinthians 10:11) and that in the last days, some will depart from the faith (1 Timothy 4:1) and there will be times of great difficulty (2 Timothy 3:1). Peter noted that scoffers have come in the last days (2 Peter 3:3-5). The author of Hebrews wrote that in these last days, God has spoken through Christ (Hebrews 1:2).
In this sense, we do live in the last days. However, the kingdom promises of Scripture are not yet at their fulfillment. Jesus clearly taught that His kingdom "is not of this world" (John 18:36). We should not expect promises that apply to His kingdom to function within our current world today.
In another passage, Jesus taught that the kingdom of God was near (Matthew 4:17). Yet when Jesus was rejected and crucified, the coming of the Messiah's kingdom was revealed as a yet future event. There will be a millennial kingdom over which Jesus reigns on earth (Revelation 20:1-6) during which a new Jewish temple will stand (Ezekiel 41—45). At this time, the kingdom of God will see its promises fulfilled as biblically promised rather than in the various ways inaugurated eschatology attempts to present partial fulfillments in our current world.
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What is partial preterism? Is it biblical? What do partial preterists believe?
Can we trust biblical prophecy? Does biblical prophecy really predict the future?
What is going to happen in the end times?
Truth about the End Times