Caleb Nally Theology Discussion

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Caleb Nally Theology Discussion

Post by Caleb Nally on Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:04 pm

At first glance I didn't think James dealt with eschatology that much. To me James was always a book to give insight into what living a Christian life was like but upon further research I found that the book of James dealt with eschatology in multiple places in the book. The ethics that are presented in the book of James are similar to other Jewish writings and even pagan Greek literature but what makes James a Christian book is the eschatological context in which it is set. There are multiple places in James writing that give warnings to people after giving different guidelines a Christian should strive to. We see this in James 2:12-13 where James is saying that anyone who hasn't been merciful will be judged without mercy. But James also talks about the rewards that will be given to those who show faithfulness. James 1:12 talks about those who persevere through times of tribulation will receive the crown of life.

James speaks with this inaugurated eschatology that is similar in the New Testament which is that the days of the fulfillment of God's promises have begun but the culmination to these promises haven't happened yet. It's an already but not yet mentality that James is using as the basis of his ethics. We see this all come together in James 4:13-14 "...You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Here we see James speak on how tomorrow isn't promised and that our time here on earth is fleeting. This is cause to read the warnings James is speaking of and turn our faithfulness to the Lord. The time when Jesus returns is unknown to us which means it could happen very soon. This uncertainty of Jesus return gives James reason to call us into holy living.


1. Explain how the kingdom is both a present experience and a future hope.

We know that the kingdom is not fully here yet because we are still in a fallen world. There is still brokenness, sickness, and death everywhere on this planet. The healing of this broken world is where our future hope lies. When the kingdom of God is fully revealed all of the sin and pain in this world will vanish and it will be a perfect place where we will be in fellowship with God. But even though this world is fallen and we need the fully revealed kingdom to heal this broken world there are still aspects of the kingdom that are a present experience. The main one being Jesus. Jesus brought the kingdom with him. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus said "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This was in reference to himself. He said that the kingdom is here now and it is through him. We always refer to Jesus as king and if a king is present that means that the kingdom is present as well. So how can we experience this kingdom now even though it isn't fully revealed to us yet? I would say it lies in our assurance of salvation. When we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and repent of our sins the Holy Spirit will mark us with the seal of assurance of salvation. So even though there is death and brokenness all around us we are assured of the future hope that is to come. Romans 8:38-39 speaks on this "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul has been through imprisonment and persecution bringing the Gospel to different parts of the world and even though he faced this brokenness of the world firsthand he still has assurance in the kingdom and how that assurance of the future hope would never be trampled out.
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Caleb Nally

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Re: Caleb Nally Theology Discussion

Post by Bethany Hutson on Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:27 pm

Caleb Nally wrote:At first glance I didn't think James dealt with eschatology that much. To me James was always a book to give insight into what living a Christian life was like but upon further research I found that the book of James dealt with eschatology in multiple places in the book. The ethics that are presented in the book of James are similar to other Jewish writings and even pagan Greek literature but what makes James a Christian book is the eschatological context in which it is set. There are multiple places in James writing that give warnings to people after giving different guidelines a Christian should strive to. We see this in James 2:12-13 where James is saying that anyone who hasn't been merciful will be judged without mercy. But James also talks about the rewards that will be given to those who show faithfulness. James 1:12 talks about those who persevere through times of tribulation will receive the crown of life.

James speaks with this inaugurated eschatology that is similar in the New Testament which is that the days of the fulfillment of God's promises have begun but the culmination to these promises haven't happened yet. It's an already but not yet mentality that James is using as the basis of his ethics. We see this all come together in James 4:13-14 "...You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Here we see James speak on how tomorrow isn't promised and that our time here on earth is fleeting. This is cause to read the warnings James is speaking of and turn our faithfulness to the Lord. The time when Jesus returns is unknown to us which means it could happen very soon. This uncertainty of Jesus return gives James reason to call us into holy living.


1. Explain how the kingdom is both a present experience and a future hope.

We know that the kingdom is not fully here yet because we are still in a fallen world. There is still brokenness, sickness, and death everywhere on this planet. The healing of this broken world is where our future hope lies. When the kingdom of God is fully revealed all of the sin and pain in this world will vanish and it will be a perfect place where we will be in fellowship with God. But even though this world is fallen and we need the fully revealed kingdom to heal this broken world there are still aspects of the kingdom that are a present experience. The main one being Jesus. Jesus brought the kingdom with him. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus said "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This was in reference to himself. He said that the kingdom is here now and it is through him. We always refer to Jesus as king and if a king is present that means that the kingdom is present as well. So how can we experience this kingdom now even though it isn't fully revealed to us yet? I would say it lies in our assurance of salvation. When we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and repent of our sins the Holy Spirit will mark us with the seal of assurance of salvation. So even though there is death and brokenness all around us we are assured of the future hope that is to come. Romans 8:38-39 speaks on this "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul has been through imprisonment and persecution bringing the Gospel to different parts of the world and even though he faced this brokenness of the world firsthand he still has assurance in the kingdom and how that assurance of the future hope would never be trampled out.


Question 2. I really liked how you responded to this question and I agree with your response. After reading it, the question makes so much more sense because you were so clear with your answer. Our world is indeed broken and we are in need of fellowship with the Father and that is God’s desire is to restore and bring us into relationship with Himself. Jesus brought the kingdom to the present and we have that hope of the healing of this broken world. Through the process of salvation we can experience the kingdom now even though it is not fully revealed. What a beautiful reality!
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Re: Caleb Nally Theology Discussion

Post by stockmannk on Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:58 am

Caleb Nally wrote:At first glance I didn't think James dealt with eschatology that much. To me James was always a book to give insight into what living a Christian life was like but upon further research I found that the book of James dealt with eschatology in multiple places in the book. The ethics that are presented in the book of James are similar to other Jewish writings and even pagan Greek literature but what makes James a Christian book is the eschatological context in which it is set. There are multiple places in James writing that give warnings to people after giving different guidelines a Christian should strive to. We see this in James 2:12-13 where James is saying that anyone who hasn't been merciful will be judged without mercy. But James also talks about the rewards that will be given to those who show faithfulness. James 1:12 talks about those who persevere through times of tribulation will receive the crown of life.

James speaks with this inaugurated eschatology that is similar in the New Testament which is that the days of the fulfillment of God's promises have begun but the culmination to these promises haven't happened yet. It's an already but not yet mentality that James is using as the basis of his ethics. We see this all come together in James 4:13-14 "...You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Here we see James speak on how tomorrow isn't promised and that our time here on earth is fleeting. This is cause to read the warnings James is speaking of and turn our faithfulness to the Lord. The time when Jesus returns is unknown to us which means it could happen very soon. This uncertainty of Jesus return gives James reason to call us into holy living.


1. Explain how the kingdom is both a present experience and a future hope.

We know that the kingdom is not fully here yet because we are still in a fallen world. There is still brokenness, sickness, and death everywhere on this planet. The healing of this broken world is where our future hope lies. When the kingdom of God is fully revealed all of the sin and pain in this world will vanish and it will be a perfect place where we will be in fellowship with God. But even though this world is fallen and we need the fully revealed kingdom to heal this broken world there are still aspects of the kingdom that are a present experience. The main one being Jesus. Jesus brought the kingdom with him. In Matthew 4:17 Jesus said "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This was in reference to himself. He said that the kingdom is here now and it is through him. We always refer to Jesus as king and if a king is present that means that the kingdom is present as well. So how can we experience this kingdom now even though it isn't fully revealed to us yet? I would say it lies in our assurance of salvation. When we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and repent of our sins the Holy Spirit will mark us with the seal of assurance of salvation. So even though there is death and brokenness all around us we are assured of the future hope that is to come. Romans 8:38-39 speaks on this "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Paul has been through imprisonment and persecution bringing the Gospel to different parts of the world and even though he faced this brokenness of the world firsthand he still has assurance in the kingdom and how that assurance of the future hope would never be trampled out.

Caleb, I think it is a really cool choice to look into the eschatology of James. Even in a book known for its focus on works and practicality, the End Times are not ignored. This goes to show just how much Christianity is not just focused on making us better people in the present, but is a religion with a real hope and orientation toward the future. The "already not yet mentality" definitely shines through. I really like how you compared it to other Jewish texts and even the pagan greek texts (especially in the vein of wisdom literature). People critical of Christianity talk about how its writing and wisdom are not always incredibly different from other cultures and religions of the time, and how those have even influenced it. But I think that in many ways that strengthens it. It is not a religion isolated in its own hypotheticals, it is real, it is practical, and it is connected to historical events and context -- of course with the unique Christian hope and context cemented as the foundation.
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