Life after Death: A New Approach to the Last Things

Life after Death: A New Approach to the Last Things

Life after Death: A New Approach to the Last Things

Life after Death: A New Approach to the Last Things

Synopsis

Writing in the wake of a near-fatal stroke, eminent theologian Anthony C. Thiselton addresses a universally significant topic: death and what comes next. This distinctive study of "the last things" comprehensively explores questions about individual death, the intermediate state, the return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, hell, the final state of the redeemed, and more. At once scholarly and pastoral, Thiselton's Life after Death offers biblically astute, historically informed, and intellectually sound answers -- making this book an invaluable resource for thinking Christians.

Excerpt

I very much hope that pastors and churchgoers, as well as scholars, teachers, and seminary students, will benefit from this book. I have signposted three or four more technical clusters of two or three pages, which the nonspecialist reader may prefer to omit. However, I hope no less that scholars and teachers will read this work, not least because a number of features and arguments are genuinely new and distinctive. About half of the chapters include logical clarifications of biblical problems, which may at first seem “philosophical” but have been included, not to draw on philosophical arguments to impose them onto the Bible but entirely to solve certain supposed contradictions or paradoxes which often perplex many ordinary readers.

These following twelve chapters vary greatly in their degree of novelty. Hence this Introduction offers the opportunity to survey what is new in each chapter, one by one, and to survey the arguments of each in advance of reading this book.

Chapter 1 was not originally part of this book, and was the last chapter to be written. This is because the interest of the New Testament writers concerning “the Last Things” relates not primarily to individual death or to individual survival after death, but to the great last acts of God, namely, the Return of Christ in glory, the resurrection of the dead, and the Last Judgment. Yet in the end there seemed insufficient reason to omit what remains a pressing concern for so many, including the writer. Many tell me that clergy are often nervous or ill prepared to speak on this subject. This may perhaps constitute the least original chapter of the twelve. It owes something to Jürgen Moltmann on mourning and death, and to Wolfhart Pannenberg on wholeness of meaning.

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