A growing trend in modern Christianity is to take the teachings of the Scripture on eschatology and reduce them to some sort of cryptic, non-understandable, vague language. Since the exegesis is difficult (and it is), the assumption is made by many that God can’t possibly expect us to understand revealed truth in this area. Many end up saying something like, “Since so many Christians disagree on eschatology, we aren’t going to defend a certain position or make any dogmatic statements about any future events (or lack thereof).”
This attitude is prevalent in the emergent/emerging movement. Dan Kimball, for instance, shares this diagram on his blog. “How Jesus Will Return” is considered a non-core belief. I recognize that it is virtually impossible to make blanket statements concerning the emergent/emerging movement; however, many in the movement are willing to make very bold and assertive statements when it comes to desparaging dispensationalism or pre-millenial eschatology in general. The only eschatalogical view that is not tolerated with love and respect (which they constantly say fundamentalists lack) is that of the pre-trib., pre-mil., dispensationalists. One simple reason lurks behind this inconsistency; their understanding of the kingdom entirely drives the core of emerging/emergent belief. Dispensational eschatology is not compatible at all with the typical emerging/emergent view of the kingdom.
2 Timothy 2:16-18 16But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.
These two men went astray (lit. missed the mark) from the truth by spreading a flawed eschatology — they said the resurrection had already happened.
I will not allow the comments section to become a never-ending debate on eschatology. But let me make this plain: God cares what we believe concerning eschatology; missing it is to miss the truth itself.