I’ve commented before on the issue of protology and eschatology, arguing along with Robert Jenson for understanding the future, rather than the past as ontologically primary. The future, rather than the past is determinative for the ultimate shape of our being. However, in line with Jenson’s own thinking, any conception of eternity is some sort of union of the past and the future, it is some form of temporal transcendence which encapsulates the present by bracketing the past and the future thus rendering all three tenses of time somehow meaningful and coherent. As such our notion of eternity, and the ontological priority of the future cannot simply play protology and eschatology off against one another as if there were no reality whatsoever to the Alpha, leaving the Omega alone with ontological status. Whatever else eternity is, it must include the reconciliation of past, present, and future in such a way that all temporal realities find their redemption and transfiguration, not their abrogation.
Thus, it seems possible to hold that we can indeed posit something like John Milbank and David Bentley Hart argue for in their narration of an ontology of original peace. What we cannot do is allow ourselves be sucked into the sort of timeless, cyclical ontology of emanation and return (as I fear Milbank sometimes comes close to). However, avoiding this problem should not necessarily deter us from openness to a notion of primordiality or original harmony. This original harmony must, if it is to be a fruitful concept be understood in an Irenaean manner in which the original harmony of creation is retroactively determined by and towards its eschatological end in Christ. We cannot dispense with the Alpha, but we must insist that the glory of the Omega, while in total continuity with the Alpha, is in some sense more glorious, just as the New Jerusalem is more glorious than the Edenic Garden. The end is greater than the beginning, and precisely in so being, infuses the beginning with meaning and beauty.