Systematic Theology, Vol. 4 - The Church and the Last Things

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Who are we and where are we going?

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.

Norman 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 taught in the Far East (Japan and Philippines) at the collegiate and graduate seminary levels respectively, 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 fifteen books, contributed chapters to many others, frequently presented papers at professional societies, and authored numerous professional and popular articles in journals and magazines.

“This volume, which clearly and thoroughly articulates the doctrines of ecclesiology and eschatology from an intentional Adventist perspective, is thoughtful in its approach, balanced in its engagement with others, wide-ranging in its research and interaction, and clearly presented.”

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
Andrews University

“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
Past President
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
Associate Director
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

    Name Index
    Scripture Index
    Subject Index


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