Protestant Eschatology

Dear Sir,

Regarding the letter by Mr. Parsons [EC 8078] and his plea for a Protestant Eschatology, I’m a little unsure what he means by a protestant view. If he is looking for a modern protestant view of eschatology with overall commonalities shared by Evangelicals then such a position does not seem to exist. The various millennial views and extravagant prophecy mongering, etc., says it all.

If however, he is thinking of an historical Protestantism as expressed by our Anglican Reformers then it was not a subject that they had time or inclination to deal with in a systematic manner. They were surrounded by numerous millennial sects, groups and ne’er do wells, but there were other doctrines far more pressing at that time which demanded their full, clear and unambiguous expositions. This is not to say they did not have views on eschatology, they did.

A good introduction to the whole topic, with ample bibliography for further study, might be Resurrection and Eschatology in the Reformation Formularies of the Church of England, 1536-1571, by Timothy Raoul Christopher Patrick, PhD dissertation, 2013. This is available free, online. The Reformers were not alone, either. For Roman Catholic views, another way in might be found in, English Catholic Eschatology, 1558 – 1603, by Coral Georgina Stoakes, PhD, dissertation, 2016. This is also free online. Full bibliographies are supplied, or course.

The material for such a study is ‘out there’. If the EC were to find a writer to explore the Reformer’s views [as opposed to the Puritan] as a series for the paper, as Mr Parsons wonders, it might, indeed, prove profitable.

John Dunn
Isle of Wight