In the End, God… by John A. T. Robinson

In the End, God…focuses in on the ‘Four Last Things’ traditionally linked with eschatology; death, judgement, heaven and hell. Examining each of them with trenchancy and lucidity, and providing a vital new understanding of how these themes relate to contemporary Christian life.

This revised edition includes an extended introduction by Trevor Hart of the University of St Andrews, the exchange between the author and Thomas F. Torrance first published in the Scottish Journal of Theology in 1949, a preface by Robin Parry and a foreword by Gregory McDonald.

“At the very heart of this book lies a profound insight: that eschatology is not a road map for the future but is, rather, a function of our doctrine of God.” Gregory McDonald from the Foreward

Identifying a gap that exists in the treatment of eschatology within the Christian faith, Robinson points out, eschatology had traditionally dealt with the last things in a way that is remote and removed from everyday life and Christianity, and the goal of his book is to make eschatology fully relevant to the modern world. Although it is commonly held that eschatology within modern Christianity is centred on the fact and moment of death, Robinson shows that the true nature of eschatology is something quite different. It is not about the last things after everything else, but rather is about the relation of all things to the ‘last things’ or, as it were, about the ‘lastness’ of all things.

“For Robinson, the universalistic vision or “hypothesis” is the only one that properly “fits the facts” being grounded “in the very necessity of God’s nature” apprehended by those who have made the leap of faith and stand now in the truth of Christ.” – Trevor Hart

Revealing the foundation of biblical eschatology to be the experience of God by the community of faith, Robinson calls readers to embrace the eschatological vision of the Bible, but to do so in a way that is alert to its mythic character. In the course of these explorations he also lays bare his own theology of universal salvation. However, contrary to what one may expect, this universalism is one that seeks to take both human freedom and the reality of hell with the utmost seriousness.

In the End, God...About the Author: John Arthur Thomas Robinson (1919-1983) was a New Testament scholar, author and a former Anglican Bishop of Woolwich, England. He was a lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later Dean of Trinity College until his death in 1983. Robinson is also famous for his contributions to liberal Christian theology and for pioneering the field of secular theology.

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