Cosmology, Eschatology, And Soteriology In Hebrews: A Synthetic Analysis -- By: Alexander Stewart

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 20:4 (NA 2010)
Article: Cosmology, Eschatology, And Soteriology In Hebrews: A Synthetic Analysis
Author: Alexander Stewart


Cosmology, Eschatology, And Soteriology In Hebrews: A Synthetic Analysis

Alexander Stewart

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

This study analyses the spatial and temporal dimensions of the metanarrative undergirding the author’s world view in an attempt to understand the relationship between the present possession and future attainment of salvation in the theology of Hebrews. The thesis of this study is that the present possession of salvation functions to enable believers to persevere to final salvation.

Key Words: eschatology, soteriology, narrative theology, world view, perseverance, faith

The book of Hebrews plays a crucial role in theological discussions concerning assurance, perseverance, salvation, and the potential loss of salvation.1 On the one hand, many argue that the warning passages within Hebrews indicate that genuine believers can lose their salvation through apostasy. Others argue that Hebrews teaches the impossibility of genuine believers’ losing their salvation because of the finality and sufficiency of the completed work of Christ. The debate often focuses on the meaning of various words (γεύομαι, μέτοχος, and so on), the syntax of various grammatical constructions (the conditional clauses of 3:6 and 3:14, verb tenses, and so on), and the author’s use of the Hebrew Scriptures.2 While these factors

are essential, elements of the author’s world view are often neglected. The author’s world view, among other things, includes his perception of the temporal and spatial dimensions of the metanarrative undergirding reality and the unfolding of history.3 Lack of attention to these spatial and temporal facets of the book of Hebrews can result in misinterpretation.

This study is a synthetic analysis4 of the present and future aspects of salvation in light of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the metanarrative undergirding the author’s world view.5 It will proceed in three parts: (1) an introduction to the metanarrative undergirding our author’s world view with analysis of its spatial and temporal components, (2) an analysis of the future and present descriptions of salvation in Hebrews, and (3) a discussion of the relationship between the present possession and future attainment ...

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