He Ascended Into Heaven

This is an absolute must-read when it comes to the study of ecclesiology and eschatology: Ascension and Ecclesia by Douglas Farrow (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999).  It is a theological masterpiece that relates Christ’s ascension to the doctrines of the church and eschatology.  Here’s how Farrow ends the first chapter (giving a main point of the book and then explaining it):

“To the extent that the doctrine of the ascension is used to dissolve Jesus’ humanity, ecclesiology also deteriorates into the impersonal and, indeed, the irrelevant.”

“To open up a fruitful discussion of the ascension today…we must be prepared to take Jesus-history far more seriously than our own.  Christians have never believed that the cross was the end of that history, nor even the resurrection.  To adopt such a view would put us in the strange position of having to fall silent midway through the creed.”

“Yet to continue in full voice is not possible without the renewed commitment to the absolute priority of Jesus-history.  And here we may recall another occasion, recounted by Luke no less than three times, when after the ascension a small band of travelers again met up with Christ on their road.  This time it was not Jesus whose path was temporarily arrested at a mortal’s bidding, but just the reverse.  Only one of the travelers saw anything specific at all, but what he saw and heard completely overwhelmed the confident categories of his own existence.  The collision knocked him from his seat, provided him with a new identity, and thoroughly rearranged his theology in the process.  That is what may be called a new starting point! (p.14)”

Douglas Farrow, Ascension and Ecclesia.

shane lems
hammond wi

1 thought on “He Ascended Into Heaven”

  1. My response to the quotes above was simply, “WOW!” Perhaps that is because I am currently preaching through the book of Acts! Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and whetting our appetites with such meaty quotes!


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