Original Research

Towards a revitalisation of Calvinistic eschatology

J. Hoek
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 37, No 1 | a460 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v37i1.460 | © 2003 J. Hoek | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2003 | Published: 01 August 2003

About the author(s)

J. Hoek, Theological Academy of the Reformed League Johannes Calvijn, EDE, Netherlands

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Abstract

The theology of John Calvin has a structurally Christocentric and eschatological character. In Calvin’s theology eschatology does not deal with probabilities and speculations about the future, but with the reliable promises of God in Christ. The Kingdom is already a realised kingdom in the cross-bearing Church on earth. According to Calvin the Millenarians deprive Christ of His honour by assigning to Him a temporal kingdom. Calvin rejects the idea that the Old Testament prophecies of salvation and blessings will only be fulfilled to the people of Israel in future world-history.

According to Millenarianism, Old Testament prophecy – concerning the messianic kingdom – should be interpreted as referring to the physical kingdom of Israel on earth. The main route of God through history is His way with Israel. This way of thinking, however, overemphasizes the theologia gloriae. Nevertheless, in these millenarian views the insistence on the unique place of Israel in God’s plan of salvation has to be welcomed. Calvinists have a tradition (Puritans, Nadere Reformatie) of openness to a preliminary fulfilment of God’s promises in future history. Calvinists do not need to change their Christocentric paradigm when they accept the hope upon the future conversion of the Jews. A revitalisation of Puritan insights in this regard will be refreshing for contemporary Calvinism.

Keywords

Calvinistic Theology; Debate Chiliasm; Calvinism; Eschatology; Future Of Israel

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