Monday, April 6, 2009

Tertullian and Eschatology

Considering a lot of modern Christians' view on eschatology, I found this quote by Tertullian interesting.

"We pray, too, for the emperors, for their ministers and for all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for the prevalence of peace, for the delay of the final consummation." (Apology 39)

Tertullian is being accused of treason by the Romans and he replies as such. What's interesting to me is praying for the "delay of the final consummation." I'm not going to try and explain Tertullian's eschatological viewpoint here, but I do find it interesting how often modern Christians are at odds with the ancients. For instance, a lot of American Christians seem to think the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem would fulfill God's promises, but the ancients thought that its destruction was a fulfillment of God's promises (which is why Julian tried to rebuild it). I have a lot of modern Evangelical friends who pray that Christ will return and bring about a "final consummation", and Tertullian discusses here asking God to delay it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing that out Josh!

Anonymous said...


You should get Baucham's article in the Tyndale Bulletin on the Delay of the Parousia in the NT. He does a lot of work in the 2nd Temple lit. Also check out Charles L. Holman's book "Till Jesus Comes: Origins of Christian Apocalyptic Expectation".

Blake Reas

Anonymous said...

BULLETIN: "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" is now available for perusing on the "Powered by Christ Ministries" website. Reese