Item description for The Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism by George Eldon Ladd...
Overview After surveying the debate over eschatology, Ladd discusses the promise of the kingdom, the fulfillment of the promise, and the consummation of the promise. Throughout the book he develops his thesis that the kingdom of God involves two great movements--fulfillment within history and consummation at the end of history.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.16" Width: 5.28" Height: 1.02" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1999
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802815316 ISBN13 9780802815316
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More About George Eldon Ladd
Ladd was professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.
George Eldon Ladd was born in 1911 and died in 1982.
Reviews - What do customers think about Presence of the Future: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism?
THE book on the Kingdom Jan 23, 2008
Ladd's most complete work on the kingdom is perhaps the most important single volume to read on this subject. Ladd interacts in detail with the biblical text and other literature, and argues his "already-but-not-yet" view. A volume that anyone who wants to understand the kingdom should read.
Excellent Sep 18, 2006
George Ladd's contributions to scholarship on the kingdom of God and biblical eschatalogy are simply worth their weight in gold. Ladd survey's recent scholarship on the kingdom of God (recent at the time of writing, its a little dated now, but not much) and then dives into the Old Testament, inter-testamental literature, and especially the New Testament in order to understand just what the kingdom of God is and how it frames our understanding of the message of Christ, the mission of the church, and our future hope. Ladd persuasively argues that the kingdom of God is his dynamic rule and reign expressed through Jesus Christ, rather than the realm over which he reigns. The biblical words for kingdom (Heb. malkuth, Gr. basilea) refer more to king-ship, than to concrete domains. The mystery of the kingdom is that in Jesus, the rule of God dymanically entered into human history, fulfilling but not consummating the Old Testament promises. The kingdom is thus already here, but not yet here in its fullness. The task of the church today is to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in anticipation of its consummation in the second coming of Christ.
I studied this text in preparing for a class on the kingdom of God that I was teaching in a Perspectives on World Missions class. I found this very helpful and formative in my understanding of this important biblical theme. For a more popular introduction to Ladd's thought, see his shorter book The Gospel of the Kingdom. This more lengthy and scholarly work belongs in every scholar's and preacher's library. Simply excellent!
An excellent introduction to Biblical Eschatology Apr 22, 2006
If you are going to understand what Jesus was doing here on Earth, you've got to understand the notion of the Kingdom of God and to understand that you've got to take into account the Jewish and Old Testament background of the concept. This is what Ladd attempts to do in this book - he argues for what has become the dominant position among biblical scholars regarding the kingdom of God and New Testament eschatology. Ladd ably argues against views of the kingdom that interpret it as solely in the future and instead supports the view that the kingdom is already present, though not yet consummated - that we, as some say, are living in a time 'between the times' where the old age of sin and death and the new age of life and salvation are overlapping, the first defeated and to pass away and the second inaugurated and to be fulfilled. Ladd interprets the life of the church and of the individual Christian in kingdom terms and develops a very nice view of the church and salvation in relation to the kingdom of God. Some of his arguments are out of date and the views of Jesus and his ministry have become much more nuanced and better grounded in the Old Testament and Jewish backgrounds (I would particularly recommend some of NT Wright's work), but this book is a great place to start for the beginner of moderate intelligence or learning who is willing to spend the time to think things through and listen to what is being said. I first read this for my own personal edification while a Freshman in college and found it fairly easy to read for me and a great catalyst in introducing me to real biblical scholarship. For an easier, more accessible version of Ladd's basic views I recommend his 'Gospel of the Kingdom'.
Not my type of book but raises some interesting questions. Apr 16, 2003
The author says that Jesus didn't clarify what he meant exactly by the 'the kingdom of God', Jesus just assumed we should know what it means. The author then gives scripture verses to explain what he, the author, 'thinks' Jesus meant. I somehow don't think the Lord would be so vague about such an important issue. Stranger still is the Lord's words in the gospels. Speaking to the Pharisees, He says "the kingdom of heaven is within you". Jesus told the Pharisees the kingdom of heaven was 'within' them. What's with that??? I believe the author also mis-read the intent of many of the scripture verses. For example, when quoting Habbakuk, "God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mt. (?), His glory covered the heavens..." This verse is referring to the return of Christ but the author says it is related to an Old Test. dispensation happening. All in all I found this book a little hard to read. I stumbled over the big words which only distracted me and I lost the flow of what the author was trying to say. I gave the author 2 stars just for trying to explain this difficult subject.
An Excellent View of Already/Not Yet Eschatology... but Dec 8, 2001
George Eldon Ladd, former Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary (now dececesed) has written the foremost work on an already/not yet eschatology. His approach has been adopted by other covenant premills like D. A. Carson and the like, and even some progressive dispensationalists like Darrell Bock and Craig Blaising. While there are some heavy hitters out there who advocate a already/not yet view, the question arises if this is the best view.
Ladd, developed his view while interacting with various neo-orthodox authors of works on the Kingdom. He relied heavily on Barth, Scweitzer and others. He did differ significantly though as he did not advocate a full inaugerated eschatology like some men did. But, as some may know, based on a debate in Christianity Today, Ladd's biggest foe was Alva J. McClain.
McClain was President and Professor of Systematic Theology at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN. He published a monumental work entitled, "The Greatness of the Kingdom." It is currently available from BMH Books. McClain advocated the "postponed" kingdom view of many traditional dispensationalists of his time. What made McClain's book different was his amazing understanding of the Kingdom in the Old Testament. His book looked at the teaching of the Kingdom of God from Genesis all the way to Revelation and showed, with little doubt, that indeed Jesus never did change His view of the Kingdom. McClain also proved that you could not read the New Testament back into the Old Testament (as Ladd did).
Ladd reviewed the book and all he could muster against McClain was that he did not cite that many modern sources. Well, when that's all you got going, it's time to sit back and realize defeat.
So yes, Ladd's book is quite good, and informative. But, it should never be read by itself. It should be read along with McClain's excellent work to see the other side of the Kingdom of God issue. There are many of us today that follow McClain's view. It is not dead as many already/not yet people would like you to believe. It's still alive and kicking, and the critics of it have yet to explain it away. I recommend both books (but McClain's all the more).