The Teleology of Eschatology

I sat and listened as a preacher – perhaps unwittingly – revealed his eschatology. Satan, he argued, began as a garden snake in Genesis. By the time we reach Revelation, the garden snake has grown into a great red dragon. Beautiful imagery. Bad eschatology.

Though I did not get the opportunity to question this gentleman, I would have asked him where the ‘already not yet’ fits into his understanding of Satan. You see, Christ Jesus has inaugurated His kingdom. The kingdom of God is here. Already. But not yet.

Where is the already aspect of this gentleman’s eschatology with respect to the power of Satan? It seems Christ’s ministry has done nothing at all to hinder Satan. If anything, Satan has gotten worse since Christ came to earth. The kingdom of God may have come to earth in Christ, but the kingdom of Satan continues to gain power. Perhaps such an eschatology is defensible. I see no reason to accept it.

A separate, but related, question. What is the telos of creation in a non-progressive scheme of eschatology? Really, what’s the point of history if it moves in circles, or is wiped away in one fell swoop when Christ returns? To put it another way, where is the teleological aspect of eschatology with respect to non-progressive models of eschatology?


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