Systematic Theology (4th Volume)
The Church and the Last Things
By Norman R. Gulley
What is a Christian Church? How will the church survive? How will Jesus return? How will the Cosmic Conflict end? These questions and more are ardently probed in light of scriptural revelation in this fourth and final volume of Norman Gulley’s Systematic Theology. Here he culminates this work of a lifetime by examining the doctrines of ecclesiology and eschatology within the theological framework of the cosmic controversy between Christ and Satan.
This volume examines controversial questions about God’s church: Who is its Head? Who is its Vicar? How does it receive God’s grace? Who has ultimate authority? Gulley both examines and critiques some of the traditional answers by his interpretive framework of Scripture enunciated in his system. The Reformation is not finished, and there is thus a need for increasing clarity.
The Bible refers to a coming tribulation, and this work examines how it can be understood and survived. The books of Daniel and Revelation play a pivotal role here, as Gulley surveys and critically examines various approaches to prophetic eschatology that have been held throughout Christian history—preterism, futurism, historicism, and idealism—including their related views regarding the return of Christ. He builds his eschatological outlook on a historicist approach, with biblical prophecy fulfilled throughout Christian history, as well as in the present and the future. The foundational principle employed is that which Gulley began in his Prolegomena—sola scriptura. This final volume of the immense and wide-ranging Systematic Theology thus culminates where the first began with the primacy of Scripture in the cosmic conflict worldview. And it fittingly climaxes with the final resolution of that conflict—the Second Coming of Christ and the final judgment.
About the SeriesIn this monumental, comprehensive theological system, Norman R. Gulley argues pervasively and persuasively that Scripture, and Scripture alone, must be the sole foundation of authentic evangelical Christian faith.
Throughout, Gulley engages deeply and thoughtfully with all topics of theology, including God as Trinity, Creation, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Old and New Covenants, Salvation, and the Sanctuary. He critiques them always against his basic credo of tota, prima, and sola scriptura.
This ambitious work is designed for both the committed student of theology and the general reader who will appreciate each chapter’s opening summary, concise conclusion, and helpful set of study questions.
About the AuthorNorman R. Gulley is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee and holds a Ph.D. degree in Systematic Theology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has worked in the Far East and in the United States during a long career of pastoring, teaching, academic administration, professional society involvement, writing and extensive worldwide travel as a visiting lecturer. He has authored several books including Is the majority moral, Christ Our Substitute, and Christ Is Coming! as well as more than 150 professional papers and popular articles on a wide range of issues in theology and practical religion. He is an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society and is a past president of the Adventist Theological Society. He lives with his wife Leona near Red Clay State Park in Tennessee.
David S. Dockery
Trinity International University
“Authentic apostolic succession can only be found in unchanging truth rather than in human/church tradition through the Christian era—truth that reflects the unchanging God. This is so because Christ alone is head of the church and the Holy Spirit is His only vicar. Gulley’s bold and frank assertions about the papacy in the Scriptures (the books of Daniel and Revelation) and Christian history challenge readers of every faith community—whether scholar, pastor, priest, or layperson—with forceful biblical reasoning, which cannot be easily dismissed. It is a landmark systematic theology in the Protestant tradition—forceful and cutting-edge.”
Larry L. Lichtenwalter
Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Theology
Director of the Institute for Islamic Studies
Middle East University, Beirut, Lebanon
“This final volume’s treatment of the doctrines of the church and final events is both perceptive and thorough. We are indebted to Dr. Gulley for a book that puts the biblical and historical pieces together to form a vivid mosaic of these two closely related topics.”
George R. Knight
Professor Emeritus of Church History
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
“I am honored to endorse this final volume of Norman Gulley’s Systematic Theology. As in his earlier three volumes, this work on the doctrines of the church and final events reveals Dr. Gulley’s carefulness of research and clarity of thought.”
H. Wayne House
Evangelical Theological Society
Distinguished Research Professor of Theology, Law, and Culture
Faith Evangelical College and Seminary
“Gulley interacts with ancient and recent positions as he develops and unfolds a knowledgeable Seventh-day Adventist theology. Committed to biblical truth, Gulley does not shy away from apologetic fervor as he insightfully analyzes different positions.”
Frank M. Hasel
Biblical Research Institute
Section Introduction: The Church
CHAPTER 1: Daniel and Revelation: Contribution to Ecclesiology and Eschatology
CHAPTER 2: Doctrine of Ecclesiology: Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox
CHAPTER 3: Apostolic Church: Nature and Mission
CHAPTER 4: Apostolic Church: Holy Spirit as Vicar of God
CHAPTER 5: Roman Church: Further Background
CHAPTER 6: Roman Church: Apostolic Succession
CHAPTER 7: Roman Church and Paganism
CHAPTER 8: Roman Church: Replacement Theology
CHAPTER 9: Roman Church: Replacement Theology, Sabbath Debate 1
CHAPTER 10: Roman Church: Replacement Theology, Sabbath Debate 2
CHAPTER 11: Roman Church: Replacement Theology and the Rise of Sunday
CHAPTER 12: Reformation Unfinished: What Is Missing?
CHAPTER 13: Reformation Unfinished: Church Ordinances
CHAPTER 14: Reformation Unfinished: Church and State
CHAPTER 15: Finishing the Reformation: Toward a Theology of the Remnant
Section Introduction: The Last Things
CHAPTER 16: Eschatology: Importance of Sola Scriptura
CHAPTER 17: Eschatology: Apostolic Teaching 1
CHAPTER 18: Eschatology: Apostolic Teaching 2
CHAPTER 19: Eschatology: Apostolic Teaching 3
CHAPTER 20: Eschatology: Global Gathering
CHAPTER 21: Eschatology: Global Test, Left-Behind, and Armageddon
CHAPTER 22: Eschatology: Second Advent
CHAPTER 23: Eschatology: Millennium
CHAPTER 24: Eschatology: New Earth
APPENDIX A: Evidence against Antiochus IV Epiphanes
APPENDIX B: Where Did Purgatory Come From? Biblical Refutation
APPENDIX C: Rejection of the Biblical Sabbath
APPENDIX D: Sacred Times Compared
APPENDIX E: Preble’s Thesis Examined
APPENDIX F: Sabbath as One Day in Seven
APPENDIX G: Tertullian’s Answer to Marcion
APPENDIX H: Justin Martyr’s Sunday Statement
APPENDIX I: Gnostic Roots of Sunday Keeping
APPENDIX J: In Defense of Christ’s Divinity
APPENDIX K: Sacramentum Mundi (Twentieth Century)
APPENDIX L: Islam
Author: Norman R. Gulley
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