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Militant Grace

The Apocalyptic Turn and the Future of Christian Theology

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This clear and comprehensive introduction to apocalyptic theology demonstrates the significance of apocalyptic readings of the New Testament for systematic theology and highlights the ethical implications of the apocalyptic turn in biblical and theological studies. Written by a leading theologian and proponent of apocalyptic theology, this primer explores the impact of important recent Pauline scholarship on contemporary theology and argues for a renewed understanding of key Christian doctrines, including sin, grace, revelation, redemption, and the Christian life.


Part 1: The Shape and Sources of an Apocalyptic Theology
1. An Eschatological Dogmatics of the Gospel of Grace
2. Apocalyptic Theology: Background, Tone, and Tasks
Part 2: Christ, Spirit, and Salvation in an Apocalyptic Key
3. A Sovereign Love: The Royal Office of Christ the Redeemer
4. Christ Must Reign: The Priority of Redemption
5. Not without the Spirit: The Eschatological Spirit at the Origin of Faith
6. Thy Kingdom Come: The Lordship of Christ and the Reign of God
7. The Final Triumph of Grace: The Enmity of Death and Judgment unto Life
Part 3: Living Faithfully at the Turn of the Ages
8. Creation, Redemption, and Moral Law
9. The Fate of Natural Law at the Turning of the Ages
10. The Adventitious Origins of the Christian Moral Subject: John Calvin
11. Crucified to the World: Kierkegaard's Christian Life of Humility and Gratitude
12. A Theological Ethics of God's Apocalypse: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
13. Discipleship: Militant Love in the Time That Remains


"Philip Ziegler is one of our best new-generation theologians, with a fearless proclamatory voice. His rigorous, imaginative explorations of radical biblical theology are particularly valuable in an era when romanticized spirituality seems to be displacing the church's apostolic confession. This book will be tremendously rewarding as a resource for those seeking to be refreshed in their confidence in the essential integrity of the Word of God."

Fleming Rutledge, author of The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ

"Working at the creative interface between biblical studies and systematic theology, Ziegler brilliantly develops the apocalyptic turn in Pauline scholarship into a rich theological program. On this profound reading, Paul's gospel speaks directly and boldly to the delusions and fears of a world in crisis."

John M. G. Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University

"Anyone who believes that Christian doctrine cannot be grounded in an apocalyptic perspective needs to read Militant Grace by Philip Ziegler. With his typical breadth of knowledge, clarity, and insightful observations, Ziegler shows that apocalyptic can inform Christians' thinking about salvation and grace, ethics and discipleship. This book demonstrates that apocalyptic is not a fad but an essential aspect of interpreting the Bible and thinking theologically."

Nancy J. Duff, Stephen Colwell Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Princeton Theological Seminary

"In attending to the apocalyptic dimensions of the gospel message, Philip Ziegler addresses a theme of central contemporary import in both biblical studies and systematic theology. With characteristic acuity and insight, Ziegler draws the reader into the extraordinary vision of Paul's evangelical witness and thence leads the reader to consider what this might mean for the work of the Christian theologian--not only academically but also existentially. Treating a range of substantive doctrinal themes and drawing on an array of significant Protestant theologians, Ziegler in turn exposits, analyzes, reflects, and instructs. The result is the commendation not merely of a new and fruitful way of approaching the New Testament but also of a fresh vision of the dogmatic task and the Christian life. Beautifully written and graciously argued, this book is worthy of the widest attention."

Paul T. Nimmo, King's Chair of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen

"Philip Ziegler's long-standing interest in Pauline apocalyptic here engages the Reformed theological tradition to produce theology in 'an apocalyptic key.' Characterized by deep and generous engagement with exegetes and theologians alike and replete with stunningly fresh insights, Militant Grace will more than repay the careful reading it deserves."

Beverly Roberts Gaventa, distinguished professor of New Testament, Baylor University

"From the title to the last word, Ziegler expounds God's gracious apocalyptic advent in human history, and its outworking: a faith that is 'militant in love.' Bracing, erudite, passionate, exegetical, provocative--Militant Grace is destined to become a classic. Read this book."

Susan Eastman, associate research professor of New Testament, Duke Divinity School

"This remarkable volume establishes Ziegler as the leading figure in shaping Christian theology in Pauline apocalyptic mode. Anchored by two programmatic opening chapters and six theses on apocalyptic in contemporary theology, the writings gathered here combine to form something far more powerful than the sum of its parts. Drawing on Martyn and Käsemann, Barth and Bonhoeffer, Calvin and Kierkegaard, Ziegler presents a clear, coherent, compelling vision of dogmatics and ethics 'funded by a fresh hearing of New Testament apocalyptic.' This is a serious work and demands to be taken seriously by all who would be faithful theologians in our time."

Douglas Harink, The King's University, Edmonton, Alberta

"In a day when the word 'apocalyptic' is popularly used for the worst news of cosmic proportions, it may come as a surprise to discover that in the gospel of the New Testament, most decidedly in the testimony of Paul, it is used precisely for the best news. Nothing less than a new creation, empowered against all opposition by what happens with Jesus Christ, is said to be 'apocalypsed' as the turn of the ages. Ziegler provides a brilliant account, unsurpassed in expositional depth and clarity, of what this good news entails and how realistic it is today. For those familiar with the subject, this valuable text is an encyclopedic compendium of the major thinkers. For students new to the issues, it offers a most inviting place to become informed and engaged. Such is the author's exemplary tribute 'in memory of and gratitude to J. Louis Martyn.'"

Christopher Morse, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor Emeritus of Theology and Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York

"Rigorous, deep, rich, scholarly, judicious, clear, but most of all exciting, Militant Grace is the very best of systematic theology. Bridging the gap between systematics, ethics, and biblical studies through its serious engagement with the apocalyptic turn and its significance for thinking about the Christian faith and the Christian life, this book offers exciting new angles on traditional theological questions and figures. For students of theology at all levels, it is a must!"

Tom Greggs, Marischal Chair of Divinity, University of Aberdeen

The Author

  1. Philip G. Ziegler

    Philip G. Ziegler

    Philip G. Ziegler (ThD, University of Toronto/Victoria University) is personal chair in dogmatics at King's College, University of Aberdeen, in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is a senior fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and is cofounder and cochair (with...

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