Within just two years, I have
witnessed a spectacle truly amazing. A theology which was
formerly one of the great wonders of the internet world has
caught fire, and is now burning to cinders. I am speaking
of Hyper-Preterism, of course – the belief that the second
advent, resurrection, and final judgment occurred in A.D. 70. All
those who have access to the facts will bear me witness, that
wherever one looks, the doctrines espoused by Hyper-Preterists are
going “up in smoke.”
When did this conflagration start? It began in 2006, when Todd
Dennis, curator of PreteristArchive.com, announced his
rejection of the Hyper-Preterist position. Almost immediately
the solidarity of the movement showed signs of weakening. A
furious wave of attack was launched against Todd and others who
began defecting from the Hyper-Preterist scene.
Previous to this time, Hyper-Preterism was a flourishing
movement. It is no overstatement to say that the growth
of Hyper-Preterism among former evangelicals indirectly
triggered the publication of such epoch-marking books as “The
End Times Controversy” (edited by Tim Lahayeand Thomas Ice).
Shortly after Todd left Hyper-Preterism, a blog named Preterist
Heresy came along, the purpose of which was to archive quotes
fromHyper-Preterist leaders, and showcase the hypocrisy and
inconsistency within the movement. Despite its downplay by many,
this blog made a major dent in the Hyper-Preterist community,
severely compromising its leaders and causing them to be more
careful about statements made on public forums.
In 2008, Preterist Blog, another major site, was launched by Dee
Dee Warren and Roderick Edwards. This site has been prominent in
pointing out the errors of Hyper-Preterist theology, as well as
the behavioral trends evinced by leaders of the “conservative”
faction. The efforts of Dee Dee and Roderick may be directly
responsible for the recent “locking down” of one of the most
vocal trumpets of the Hyper-Preterist movement.
To show how far the Hyper-Preterist movement has deteriorated
since 2006, one only need see how far the conservative voices
have compromised their doctrinal standards, or lapsed into
silence. As the more liberal adherents speak up, the
conservatives are driven into their private corners, where their
voices are hardly even heard.
Kurt Simmons, one of the conservative proponents of Hyper-Preterism,
learned this the hard way. In 2007 his “Eschatology Conference”
seemed like it would become the next great beacon of
the Hyper-Preterist community. In 2008 the same conference
was seen overrun by liberals and “Covenant Creation” folks. In
2009… well, there WAS no 2009, for Simmons never repeated the
Over the past couple years, the conservatives have found
themselves up against an increasing wall of liberalism. Unless
these conservatives change their party-lines, or develop horns
and hooves, they risk falling into extinction — a necessary
corollary of the evolutionary principle.
Really, who ever hears of people like Ed Stevens and Walt
Hibbard anymore? The fact is, they who were on the bottom floor
of the penthouse have already been consumed in the flames of
progressive Preterism. Their tale is a venerable one (to them),
but one whose final chapter was written long ago. With this in
mind, who would dare say that Hyper-Preterism (at least as it
was known for so many years) has any kind of future?
Regardless of the grim statistics, however, a new legion
of Hyper-Preterist heroes has come along in recent months in an
attempt to rejuvenate the lifeblood of the moribund community.
Bryan Lewis, a rabid proponent of Hyper-Pret theology, recently
started a “church” (with Hermie Watford and “Dennis from
TN“) saying that the “time is ripe for Christianity to embrace
the truths of covenant eschatology.” Last time we checked he
was doing radio programs.
Kelly Nelson Birks, an old speaker who wangs his academic
credentials around to make the H.P. heresy seem more
respectable, has been on the radio promoting Hyper-Preterism as
well. He is also responsible for organizing the recent ”Omaha
Preterist Conference,” at which a disturbed individual stood up
and publicly cursed the movement.
Dave Green, leader of the
quasi-conservative Hyper-Calvinist faction, now poses as
ringleader of a group which purports to have a written “answer”
to Keith Mathison’s book, “When Shall These Things Be?“
But Larry Siegle, a once popular speaker at Hyper-Preterist conferences,
has grown increasingly reticent, and was recently reported to
have been studying the “End Times Controversy,” edited by Tim
Lahaye and Thomas Ice. This encouraging move may be a surface
indication that Hyper-Preterist theology is being recognized as
However one chooses to look at the facts, the prevailing trends
speak clearly. No matter where one looks, the conflagration is
rising higher, and there is no end in sight. Hyper-Preterism is
being consumed “in toto.” As the battle for theological
supremacy among its members becomes more and more conspicuous,
we can only hope that those seeking refuge on the rooftop will
realize that their hopes are futile, and jump to the
safety offered them below.