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THE SECOND ADVENT AND BALANCED THEOLOGY

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  1 Comment

The second coming balances the theology of God in Scripture. This glorious doctrine not only finalizes Christ’s redemptive victory (pouring eternal glory on his redeeming love) and completes the plan of God (demonstrating divine wisdom in his creational plan). But it also provides us with a full-orbed doctrinal system balancing out majestic biblical truths. Were it not for the second advent:

We would have a creation (Ge1:1; Heb 11:3) without a consummation (Ac 3:20–21; Rev 20:11), resulting in an open-ended Universe (1Co 15:23–24; 2Pe 3:3–4).

We would have a world eternally groaning (Ro 8:22; 2 Co 5:1–4), without any glorious perfection (Ro 8:21; 2Pe 3:12–13).

We would have a Savior quietly departing before his followers (Lk 24:50–52; 1Co 15:5–8), without ever enjoying a victorious exhibition before his world (Ro 14:11; Php 2:10–11).

We would have a redemption spiritually focused (Ro 8:10; Eph1:3), without a physical dimension (Ro 8:11; 1Th 4:13–18).

We would have a Redeemer bodily ascended into heaven (Ac 1:8–11; Col 2:9), without any physical family joining with him (1Co 15:20–28; Php 3:20–21).

We would have a gospel continually necessary (Mt 28:19; Ac 1:8), without any final victory (Mt 28:20; 1Co 15:24) — the number of the elect would never be filled.

Truly, the second coming is a “blessed hope” upon which we must carefully focus. Unfortunately, though it is “blessed” and hope-filled, “eschatology, perhaps more than any other branch of theology, is laden with divisiveness, and this is particularly true in conservative evangelical circles.” Tragically, this issue “has been a matter of debate, sometimes acrimonious.” Indeed, “perhaps no doctrine has more divided modern evangelical Protestantism.” So, before we can properly understand all the implications of the second coming, we must establish our theological context.

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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

One response to THE SECOND ADVENT AND BALANCED THEOLOGY

  1. curtis beaver May 10, 2012 at 6:30

    Keep up the Lords work on informing the world about a better understanding of the Word of God concerning the proper reading of our Great Lords meaning of the last days! You have been an great help in my life for the last 25 years! May God continue to bless your thoughts and understanding of His Blessed WORD! your Brother in Christ CSB

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