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Pauline Eschatology Paperback – December 1, 1979
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About the Author
Vos was born in the Netherlands an emigrated to the USA in 1881. He earned degrees from Calvin Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Strasbourg (Ph.D. in Arabic). In 1894 he was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in the USA. Before beginning his 39-year tenure on Princeton's faculty, he was professor of systematic and exegetical theology at Calvin for five years.
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Top customer reviews
He rightly contrasts Plato's Two-Worlds with Paul's Two-Ages, but he never fully capitalizes on that brilliant insight Indeed, one fears that if Vos is occasionally pressed hard enough, he himself would opt for the Platonic reading.
He gives a wonderful account of forensic justification's relation to eschatology. Also, good insights on Christ's relation to the Spirit. Doesn't develop any filioquist themes, but the material is certainly there. His critiques of premillennialism actually conceded the strength of the position to premils.
It was hard to get excited about this. I knew he had good insights but the style was so...yeah, that. Don't read this as a critique of Vos' theology. I am largely in agreement. I think his insights are important (and I love *Biblical Theology*), but we must be glad that Horton and Gaffin have developed in a clearer way.
"Only one thing more, and that of supreme importance, needs to be remembered: all eschatological interpretation of history, when united to a strong religious mentality cannot but produce the finest practical theological fruitage. To take God as source and end of all that exists and happens, and to hold such a view suffused with the warmth of genuine devotion, stands not only related to theology as the fruit stands to the tree: it is by reason of its essence a veritable theological tree of life." P 61.
"A so-called called Christianity proving cold or hostile towards the interests of the life to come has ceased to be Christianity in the historic sense of the word." P 63.
"2 Thess. belongs among the many prophecies, whose best and final exegete will be the eschatological fulfilment, and in regard to which it behooves the saints to exercise a peculiar kind of eschatological patience." P 133.
"It is the special function of the Church to speak unceasingly and unfalteringly for this one supreme aspect of the future world, to insist in season and out of season that in it God and the service of God are to the highest good and satisfaction of mankind, that without which all other desirable things will lose their value and abiding significance." P. 358 (from "The Eschatology of the Psalms").
"The Church of Christ in all its complex service to the world can never forget that its primary concern is to call man into and prepare them for the life eternal. Now, if one compares these obvious facts with the spirit in which the modern humanitarian estimates this life and the future life in their relative importance, it cannot be denied, that the Christian point of view is not only not always consistently maintained, but that sometimes it is openly scorned and rejected. The taunt of the masses, who feel themselves discriminated against in the treasures and comforts of this world, is that religion seeks to reconcile them to their spoiling of the present with the promise of an illusory or at best doubtful future. The temptation is strong to overcome this prejudice through giving greater prominence to the secular advantage connected with the Christian life and promoted by Christian activity... Leaving for a moment higher things out of account, it is obvious that from the Christian standpoint no greater injury can be done to the true progress and healing of humanity in this present evil world than to make it promises and offer it remedies which have no vital connection with the hope of eternal life." P. 363-4 (from "The Eschatology of the Psalms").
I don't have a firm grasp of the material he is putting forth in his work, but it tries to put forward his knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew into a historical interpretative prospective; meaning that he will break down what words mean in the original language and what it meant at the time of the writing. It is not an account at modern translations, but just how somethings can be lost in translation, or how people view what something could mean to us today forgetting what it could have met to the early church.
It isn't a book you can read through in a weekend. It helps to take a little bit at a time. It is not going to radically change your theology or anything like that, however it is wonderfully interesting. I would give this work 5 out of 5, however because of the difficulty in reading this, it deserves a 4 out of 5.