Original Research

Ho eschatos: The eschatological Christ and the future of reformed theology

Callie F.C. Coetzee
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 47, No 1 | a580 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v47i1.580 | © 2013 Callie F.C. Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 August 2012 | Published: 11 June 2013

About the author(s)

Callie F.C. Coetzee, Department of Dogmatology, North-West University, South Africa


The doctrine on Christ brings us to the heart of our Christian faith and also that of dogmatics and theology in general. It is therefore not strange that theological research throughout history, and even more so today, focuses to a great extent on Christology. The problem statement of this article is that the traditional reformed doctrine on Christ, and in close connection to that the traditional doctrine on eschatology, is threatened. The aim of the article is to investigate a certain aspect of the current debate from a South African point of view in order to determine what the road ahead should be for reformed theology. This is done from within the paradigm of the Calvinistic-reformed tradition. Apart from a short historical overview, the article deals with the viewpoint of four South African theologians, namely Spangenberg, Van Aarde, Müller and Bosch, whose viewpoints clearly illustrate the difference between a more confessional, Scriptural approach and a more critical approach, especially with regard to the divine nature and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One’s view on the resurrection of Christ has implications for one’s view on eschatology. It is the task of the reformed theology, in the interim period between the ascension and the second coming of Christ, to proclaim and glorify the risen, eschatological Christ.

Die leer aangaande Christus bring ons by die hart van ons Christelike geloof en so ook by die hart van dogmatiek en teologie in die algemeen. Dit is daarom nie vreemd dat teologiese navorsing dwarsdeur die geskiedenis, en ook vandag, op die Christologie fokus nie. Die probleemstelling van hierdie artikel is dat die tradisionele reformatoriese leer aangaande Christus, en in noue verband daarmee ook die tradisionele leer oor die eskatologie, bedreig word. Die doel van die artikel is om ’n bepaalde aspek van die huidige debat te ondersoek vanuit die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks ten einde te bepaal wat die toekomstaak van ’n reformatoriese teologie moet wees. Die ondersoek word gedoen vanuit die paradigma van die Calvinisties-reformatoriese tradisie. Behalwe vir ’n kort historiese oorsig, word die standpunte van vier Suid-Afrikaanse teoloë, naamlik Spangenberg, Van Aarde, Müller en Bosch aan die orde gestel. Uit hierdie standpunte word die verskil tussen ’n meer belydende, Skriftuurlike benadering en ’n meer kritiese benadering duidelik, veral met betrekking tot die Goddelike natuur en die opstanding van Christus. Die siening van die opstanding van Christus het verreikende implikasies vir die leer van die eskatologie. Die taak van ’n reformatoriese Teologie, in die interim tyd tussen hemelvaart en wederkoms, is om die opgestane, eskatologiese Christus te verkondig en verheerlik.


South African context Reformed Theology; Eschatological Christ; Christology; Eschatology


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