Here are the eschatology podcasts all together on one page for easy access. Notes are also available on this site that go with each session. Use the menu above to open the pages that you want and find the notes that have been prepared to go with each of the podcasts that I have recorded. Some notes are also translated into German.
1: Introducing eschatology with a focus on the issue of worldviews, where a Greek viewpoint is non-creational affirming and escapist. The Hebrew / biblical view point is creation-affirming, hence movement is from heaven to earth.
2: Removing rubble. Resurrection not life after death as the biblical hope has to shape our eschatology.
3: Language - eternity, prophetic and apocalyptic language.
4: Apocalyptic language and examples. Non-literal langauge / extreme imagery to underline significance not to suggest a literal interpretation.
5: The rise of Dispensationalism against a backdrop of a loss of optimism. The significance of Edward Irving.
6: J.N Darby and the emphasis on the 'secret rapture' and how this developed as an influence in North America.
7: The Scofield Bible became hugely influential. It gave a system (seven dispensations) within which the Bible was to be interpreted.
8: Hal Lindsey is a prolific author making popular the Dispensationalist approach to eschatology. His interpretations of history as being the fulfilment of Scriptures feeds the desire to be 'in the know'. He often changes his interpretation and I show this from his various books.
9: How does the claim of the secret rapture match up against Scripture. The appeal to texts that are focused on something so different to the rapture explains why such a view is non-existant prior to 1830.
10: The need to relate eschatology to creation; for eschatology to be fitting conclusion to protology.
11: Creation as 'temple'. The fulfilments are the total transformation of creation, not its destruction.
12: This is a summary podcast, drawing together the threads of the previous podcasts. Worldviews, language, movements in Scripture.
13: Now we look at a New Testament framework. The hope of Messiah coming to reverse the flow of history. Jesus as fulfilment brings the future into the present.
14: The NT presents us with the need for the people to be set free from exile / bondage. The 'coming of the son of man' should not be interpreted as some future event but as the vindication of Jesus on behalf of the people.
15: The Olivet discourse (Matthew 24 and parallels) should not be taken into a context other than the one it addressed - the destruction of the Temple.
16: This second podcast on Olivet shows that interpreting it against the Jewish War of 66-70AD not only makes sense in the context, but was a very common way of understanding it in history.
17: First podcast on Revelation. Not so much about ‘the end times’ as about revealing to us the realities. The battle-ground for our allegiance. We serve God or the Imperial powers as they offer us rewards.
18: Interpreting symbols and numbers. With the final issue in this podcast being that we are presented with a question: who rules? We – like the first hearers of the book – have to decide what we believe.
19: This podcast gets to the heart of the book. Seeking to pose questions such as: who overcomes and who rules the kings of the earth. The book is a book of contrasts of acceleration, all set in the context of being very highly structured.
20: This looks at the structural marker of ‘I was in the Spirit’. This occurs four times and is one of the markers through the book. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, as he went to the throne room of God, as he saw the prostitute to be judged, and the bride to be married.
21: This podcast expands on the third ‘in the Spirit’ marker from the previous podcast, then picks up another movement in the book. How the scroll moves from God to Jesus to the angel to John.
22: The first in a series on personal eschatology. Looking at Limbo, Purgatory and Universalism.
23: The nature of humanity, with a central discussion on the immortality of the soul (not biblical but Greek in origin) opening up possibilities of non-existence beyond the grave.
24: The fate of the unbeliever. Three possibilities: universalism; eternal punishing or eternal punishment. The difference between the two latter positions being that of ongoing conscious torment, or the fate passed being non-reversable, leading to (eventual) non-existence.
25: The final state of the lost and the NT. Imagery drawn from Sodom and Gomorah, and the smoke rising up ‘forever’. Is the fire eternal and consumes all or is it an ongoing experience?
26: Summaries on the state of the unevangelised. Optimism: a wideness in the mercy of God, salvation is through Christ. With a those who receive Christ saved, and those who reject him lost.
27: The difficult subject of the intermediate state. Difficult because this is not the focus of the Scriptures, but the question of many today. Sheol, hades and some vague conclusions.
28: More on the intermediate state and in particular the parable of the rich man, Lazarus and hades. The point of the story not to teach theology, but to undermine the Pharisees who loved money, but were ‘safe’.
29: A summary podcast. Suggesting we need a good conclusion to a good beginning (Genesis) and an optimism about who will be ‘saved’.
30: The four common views of the millennium. The last touched on, a-millennial, becoming the most likely. However, next podcast pushes it further.
31: The Millennium. I suggest it is essentially a metaphor. Millennial hope is what we work for, and yet the description stands to judge all visions that promise it. We never ‘arrive’ but our participation in the warfare is what contributes to (and perhaps catalyses) the outcome.
32: This podcast looks at the term antiChrist, with some historic comments, and then the passages in John’s letters. The conclusion is that there is not a clarity that John teaches that there will be a future (final) antiChrist. The language is ambiguous.
33: The ‘man of lawlessness’ in 2 Thess. 2 is an obscure passage. I seek to take if from a future date, and suggest it fits better in the AD70 type scenario. There is also a suggested possibility that with respect to the manifestation of this person (?) that it is not in the context of the *parousia* in the passage: this by suggesting in v.8 that it is the *parousia* of the man of lawlessness not the parousia of Christ that Paul is referring to.
34: This opens discussion about Israel. I seek to set this in Israel’s own story with a look at Matthew’s Gospel: the nation that is called to be the means of God’s redemption coming to the world is in need of deliverance herself, so we see that he presents Jesus as the (Jewish) Messiah and thus the Saviour of the world.
35: In Galatians there is the insistence that the Gentile believers are descendants of Abraham. Jesus becomes a curse for us (Jews), salvation flows to the Gentiles and Jew and Gentile can receive the Spirit. One new humanity in Christ. It is not about replacing Israel with the church, but about placing Christ central for Jew and Gentile.
36: In Romans 9-11 Paul answers a question: who is Israel. In history it cannot be defined by race (2 sons of Abraham – the promised line is only through one); nor on basis of law (2 sons, one chosen before their deeds are known). The 2 markers (race and Torah) are insufficient. Has God rejected Israel: no. But they find with the Gentiles their acceptance in Christ. Together they become one new humanity being formed into a temple for God to dwell in.
37: From Matthew’s description of Jesus as the son called out of Egypt to Peter’s description of the one people of God under Christ being a royal priesthood, a holy nation, I suggest the NT is clear that Jesus is the fulfiller of Israel’s destiny. The New Covenant promised to Israel is the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus. Also in the Messianic era there was the expectation of the Gentiles worshipping Israel’s God and thus causing Israel to be enlarged.
38: In understanding fulfilment there needs to be a core centre: Jesus is the fulfiller of the covenants. Salvation is through him – for Jew and Gentile alike. But I also suggest we need a ‘fuzzy edge’. That the kingdom has come (the old covenant has passed away) and yet not in its fullness (so there is a continuation).
39: Prophecy and prediction are not synonymous. The Scriptures could prophesy a one-world government but this would not necessarily mean that this is a prediction that we are expected to wait to come to pass. Prophecy is to open up the unseen to enable us to grasp it or perhaps even avert it.
40: Our eschatological beliefs shape us in the here and now. Mine are shaped by a perspective that we live in an eschatological moment. We are seeing many imperial forms of Christianity coming down. This will continue. That we will find legislation go against our faith; that martyrdom will increase. That all of that will mean the church is weakened. But I see that as necessary. If the church is to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ, it has to be the Christ who submitted to the Father, who ovecame through laying down his life not through preserving it.