Ask The Pastor — What Of Immanentizing The Eschaton?

Dear Pastor,

As for the question of immanentizing the eschaton, you vote that we usher in the Christian one; I vote that we wait for Christ to usher in the eschaton.


Thank you for your insightful offering.

In reference to ushering in Eschatons. You seemed to miss the point that I was trying to make earlier when I said,

by insisting that the common realm belongs to common grace and natural law what they (R2K adherents) end up doing is creating a vacuum in which the other adherents of other gods will try to immanentize their respective eschatons. So while at least some amillennialists want to avoid immanentizing the Christian eschaton what their retreat ends up doing is allowing the immanentizing of other non-Christian eschatons. We must remember that it is never a question whether or not if some eschaton will be immanentized but only a question of which eschaton will be immanentized. I vote for the Christian one.

There is no neutrality on the question concerning immanentizing eschatons. The question isn’t, “Will we or will we not usher in a eschaton,” the question rather is, “Which eschaton will we work to incarnate?”

Concerning this matter keep in mind that culture is the consequential manifestation of what we believe concerning ultimate theological reality. Now since all theology is teleological and always has the end (eschaton) in mind, it simply is impossible for humans to build cultures where no consideration (whether epistemologically conscious of that consideration or not) is given of immanentizing the eschaton. The culture that we live in right now is the result of some successful theology managing to bring its vision of the future end into the present.

Let me note, that I quite agree that there can be dangers in non-humble considerations of eschaton immanentizing. However, for all the dangers I see there I see far more dangers in a escapism or retreatism which allows the eschatons of pagan gods to have their way.

We need to keep in mind here the words of A. A. Hodge when he wrote,

If the national life in general is organized upon non-Christian principles, the churches which are embraced within the universal assimilating power of that nation will not long be able to preserve their integrity.

A. A. Hodge, Evangelical Theology, p. 283-84

Now, Hodge doesn’t explicitly reference eschaton immanentizing but he has in mind exactly that which I am trying to get at. If we will not live in such a way that puts the feet to our prayers of “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” thus immanentizing the Christian eschaton, we will, as God’s people be embraced in the assimilating powers of non-Christian principles which are working to immanentize their version of their religions eschaton.

Thanks for the conversation David.