What is the kingdom of God? Dodd , and an altogether future reality Albert Schweitzer , or the Church itself Augustine and many Protestants. The kingdom of God is a future consummation, a righteous end of history. The present kingdom is only partial—there is some justice, some forgiveness, some victory over the demonic. But still to come is a greater ending when history is brought to a righteous conclusion. There is an Age to Come, to be inaugurated with the Second Coming; it will commence with a general resurrection of the dead, a healing of the cosmos, the forgiveness of sins, and the judgment of sins and of the devil.
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It has been several years since I wrote it. Ladd was convinced that eschatology is the basic unifying structure for New Testament Theology. This rule is dynamic in that it was inaugurated at the first coming of Christ, yet consummation awaits the Parousia of the Son of Man in glory.
Ladd contends that the Kingdom of God invaded the present evil age in the person of Christ. Thus, the Kingdom of God is both a future eschatological victory over Satan and also a present reality. Further, in 1 Cor. Like many of the early church Fathers, Ladd holds to a posttribulational premillennialism, generally referred to as historic premillennialism. However, unlike many adherents to this position, Ladd does not identify the difficulties encountered by the Church throughout history as the time of tribulation.
Ladd holds to a future scenario in which the Church will go through the Great Tribulation. The Second Coming of Christ will conclude the time of tribulation as He gathers his people unto himself and judges the wicked.
His Second Coming will usher in the thousand year reign of Christ during which Satan is incarcerated in the bottomless pit. At the end of the thousand years Satan will be unbound and there will be a final eschatological war in which Christ will subdue all hostile powers.
Ladd identifies the Church as the spiritual Israel to whom the promises of the Old Testament are to be applied. When Israel rejected Jesus, Israel rejected the Kingdom and is now the object of judgment rather than blessing. However, sometime during the Millennium those of the literal Israel will be saved through faith in Christ. Thus, they will become a part of the Church but will retain their identity as a distinct people.
In a survey conducted in of members of the Evangelical Theological society, respondents indicated that John Calvin was the only theologian who had been more influential than Ladd in their theological formation.
George Eldon Ladd on “The Kingdom and the Church”
A distinguished professor for many years at Fuller Theological Seminary, Ladd passed away in Eight years before his death, he saw the first edition of his colossal book roll off the presses. Throughout the English-speaking world, students and pastors regularly consult its pages. While explaining the Kingdom of God, Ladd made six cursory references to one primary source, namely the mishnaic tractate Avot.
The Eschatology of George Eldon Ladd
Is it now or not yet? Could it in any way be both? If so, how? During the middle decades of the twentieth century, his books on the kingdom of God engaged Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology alike. And in each, he provided a rich biblical exposition on the subject. In this way, Ladd opposed both replacement theology and classical Dispensationalism.