A basic Christian claim is that God is active in human history to accomplish his purpose, which he will do in the end. This book considers some of the implications of this far-reaching claim.
Christian faith is bound up with our personal history but beyond that stretches far into the past. Faith is not identical with historical knowledge, for example with knowledge of the facts about Jesus, facts which must be established historically. That involves using the historian’s methods of investigation. What does ‘God reveals himself in history’ mean? Christians claim to find an ultimate meaning in history. But how can that be? How is it possible to find an overall meaning in history, theistic or otherwise? Since Christians appeal to the New Testament in making the claim that God revealed himself in Jesus, we must go beyond that book to the Christian community which existed before there was a New Testament and out of whose midst its writings came. To understand those books we must interpret. So where do our principles of interpretation come from, and how valid are they? This is the question of tradition.
This small book is an introduction to these interesting topics. Hopefully it will help to clarify important issues and lead the reader to investigate such central matters further.
Edward W. H. Vick provides an unbiassed assessment of the claim that you can go on speaking of the Second Advent as ‘soon’ after having said so for centuries, followed by a constructive statement suggesting a more honest approach derived directly from the New Testament.
If you use ‘soon’ in the ordinary sense, you can’t go on saying that the Advent is soon. If you say the Advent is ‘soon’ in a qualified sense (meaning ‘in the unknown and indefinite future but not long into that future’) the claim is meaningless. So the claim that the Advent is soon is either false or meaningless.
That leads us into a range of interesting problems: knowledge, certainty, truth, claims to know the truth, the meaningfulness of religious claims, the status of claims about the future and of the argument from prophecy, and the gap between the first and twenty-first centuries.
Non-profit organizations that have sent us proof of non-profit status will receive an additional 5% discount. More information on non-profit or quantity discounts.