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Introduction and Key

Gary DeMar shows the failure of John Murray's "Historical Idealism"
(Contrasted with Modern Idealism - the native hermeneutic of PreteristArchive.com.  MI is to Historical Idealism as HP is to HyP.)

Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation By Todd Dennis, Curator
 (Futurist: 1979-1996; Full Preterist: 1996-2006; Idealist: 2006-Eis tous aionios ton aionion)

Preterist-Idealism: The Wintery Flight (1876) "All who believed in Jesus Christ remembered what He had said, and left their homes hurriedly, and fled to a little town called Pella, on the other side of the river Jordan. Not one Christian perished in the siege of Jerusalem. The Jews who had refused to believe in Jesus, trusted to their strong walls, and their weapons, and stayed in the city..  Now, my children, I have not told you these things only as a chapter of history. I want you to learn some very important lessons from these words. For us there is an escape, a flight, to be undertaken, and for us there is a place of refuge like Pella. "

Though full preterist systems don't deny that spiritual truths can be applied from the events of AD70, the idealist takes exactly the opposite view -- that AD70 itself was an application (outward show) of eternal spiritual realities - and was not the Substance in itself.  The foot of Calvary is the focal point of all Bible prophecy. (Not "Re-Fulfillment" and not "Hyper Preterist" -- test out method for proof.)

Preterist Idealism

Study Archive

AD70 Storyline Fundamentally Different from Historical Christianity's | The Lord Jesus Christ : Telos and Eschaton | Jerusalem as the Heart | Israel's History a Type - From Beginning to Very End | Not HyP: Matthew 10:23 | Matthew 16:27-28 | Matthew 26:64

Introduction to a Hybrid of Preterism and Idealism | DuBois: My Thoughts and Understanding of Preterist Idealism | The Covenants, The Jerusalems, The Flesh and The Spirit | Jerusalem as the Heart | Historical-Typological Method of Giblin


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All terms are intended solely for the organizational purposes of the website, and are not meant to define the Preterist Movement.  A fuller presentation of all the new classifications can be found here and here.

On Leaving Full Preterism
After a Decade

and the advancement which comes from properly seeing
AD70 as Symbol not Substance


By Todd Dennis, Curator

(Updated from 2006 Article)

 "The quickest and most revealing way to describe this preterist/idealist hybrid is to consider which is the true nation of Israel.  "Preterist Israel" -- aka "Israel after the flesh" -- found its beginning and end in the process of time.  "Idealist Israel" -- aka "the Israel of God" -- was always that eternal nation in Christ for which the temporal nation only served as a representative.  All elements associated with "Preterist Israel" in history are tools, given for revelation in our hearts of the everlasting fullness found in Jesus Christ alone, both now and forever."
 


"The foot of Calvary is the focal point of all Bible prophecy."
 

 

THE RECLASSIFICATION OF FULL PRETRISM
AS "HYPER PRETERISM"

During the first decade of archival work at PreteristArchive.com, there were only three different categories employed to represent the entire spectrum of studies represented at the website: Partial Preterism (PP), Full Preterism (FP), and Anti-Preterism (CA).    Not long after the turn of the millennium, however, awareness of  increasingly radical differences of opinion emerged, which brought about the necessity to re-evaluate the validity or desirability of using those terms.    It has become clear that full preterism is only a tiny splinter group in the overall "preterist movement,"  and that the profile it had been given was disproportionate to the reality of its demographics.   After all, historically there have been millions of partial preterists, yet just a handful of true full preterists.  Accordingly, I am now classifying the major views at PreteristArchive.com like this:

  • Futurism - (No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types at most)

  • Historical Preterism - (Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

  • Modern Preterism - (Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

A greater concern was whether "full preterist" views should be classified within Modern Preterism.  I tried doing so for two years, but it became obvious that there was far too much distinction between full preterism and the many other forms of modern preterism -- all of which retain a respect towards futurity when it comes to the great consummative aspects of Bible prophecy.   Ultimately, closer inspection led to the astonishing realization that full preterism is not only wrong, but that its naturally-focused hermeneutic is a trap into which preterists and futurists fall alike.   I'll explain that a little bit later, but for now, it will suffice to say that I came to view full preterism as hyper preterism indeed, and have categorized it accordingly. 

Unlike in the past, I now strongly believe that there is indeed such a thing as dangerous hyper-preterism (and have come to see that most preterists do as well - such as the teaching that once the kingdom was delivered by Jesus to the Father in AD70, there was no more need to go through Jesus) ; therefore, the issue became simply where the new lines were to be drawn. All prophecy points to Jesus Christ so, for me, the line was best made when natural Israel was put on a plane above types and shadows.   In other words, declaring that the parousia of Christ, great judgment, general resurrection and consummation of the ages are to be limited exclusively to a moment in the history of natural Israel is taking the God's revelation imagery too far -- in effect, declaring the revelation itself to be the substance of that which it was given to reveal... and as the old saying goes, "symbols do not symbolize themselves." 

The issue of maintaining a historical terminus which divides the work of God is critically important to consider.  It is precisely what certain preterists mock Dispensationalism for employing, and yet making AD70 the consummation of the ages accomplishes the very same end.   What Futurism and Dispensationalism have going for them that the full preterist view lacks is the absence of a historical terminus in the past.  Those views may be ultimately wrong in their identification of the historical moment of prophetic consummation, but at least they place it in the future, so that believers in Christ remain a part of biblical Christianity today.  

If you really pay attention, you can recognize that according to full preterism, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the Christianity as shown in the New Testament.   Such a wholesale overthrow of biblical Christianity is worthy to be called out, and so it is here at PreteristArchive.com through the "hyper preterist" classification.

I've now had the opportunity for a couple of years, since that realization, to observe the doctrines of full preterism from the outside, and am now convinced that the rejection of full preterism throughout Christian history is for a proper cause.

Consequently, as this "AD70 terminus" is part and parcel of all full preterist systems, it now squarely falls into the "hyper preterist" category along with any other "resurrection past" views which might not otherwise qualify as full preterism. 

  • Hyper Preterism - (Total Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 and Revelation - All Full Preterism and "Resurrection Past" Teachings)

Virtually every link to outside Hyper Preterist materials has been removed, and all internal links are now segregated under the /Hyper subdirectory, which is not reachable from the rest of the site, except in a very few clearly marked places.  In addition, every page of Hyper Preterist materials has been fitted with this type of warning :

Warning: "Full Preterist" material is being archived for balanced representation of all Christian Preterist views, but its premise is deemed by the opinion of the curator (a former full preterist) to be "toxic theology."   Due to its brash and "letter-based" appeal  to the flesh and "things seen," it very subtly draws people away from the truth of the Spirit and His "unseen things" (core components of the system being extra-biblical history and logic -- because there is not one full preterist verse which looks back to fulfillment in ad70, it is based entirely upon deductive reasoning).  If you have already adopted this viewpoint, please seriously consider that according to full preterism, AD70 was not only the end of Old Testament Judaism, but it was also the end of the revelation of Christianity as seen in the New Testament.  This is done by teaching that AD70 was a "dispensational line" regarding redemption and the like which makes the revealed New Testament Christianity completely different from that of today (faith vs. sight ; hope vs. fulfilled, no more paraclete work of the Holy Spirit, much etc.).   Teaching such a wholesale overthrow of biblical Christianity is hugely irresponsible and catastrophically dangerous, is it not?   If the New Testament scriptures do not reveal our circumstances as Christians, then what does?  If you find yourself reading the Bible through the filter of AD70, trying to decide what applies to today and what does not, then you know you are already coming under the influence of this tendency.  Please also note that the earliest known adherents of full preterism later abandoned it, as have many contemporary former full preterists, including the curator of this archive (after a decade of promotion). The "past spiritual resurrection" view is the theology that Paul condemned in II Timothy 2:17-18, and the cessationism of this view likewise overthrows faith and hope -- by doctrinal insistence that faith has been turned into sight, and that hope became a tree of life in AD70, etc. 

As an olive branch to clarify my motivation, this comment has been added to the Hyper Preterism Archive:

Here is my plainest assessment of the danger, in terms that any seasoned Full Preterist should be able to understand: The valor and determination of Full Preterists to conquer error is reminiscent of the Roman soldiers who first came upon Jerusalem, and who, simplistically seeing an opening overzealously charged up to her very gates, only to find themselves suddenly surrounded on all sides (with Providence alone saving the life of Titus).  Full Preterism, driven by its initial sincere and noble desire in the pulling down of Futurist error, has charged too hard and far in the setting up of perceived truth, having incorrectly assessed the situation due to the speed of attack, and the pride that always comes with easy victories.   There is no question that Jerusalem's history is rich with theological wealth and meaning ; however, she was - and will always be - a deadly harlot who betrays those who succumb to her alluring charms.  If you approach too closely to her she will strike you like the serpent she is -- and her poison goes straight to the brain.  Please consider my decade of leadership experience in the movement -- and my observation of countless people in this situation -- by accepting at face value my warnings for what they are - sincere attempts to help .   If you have gotten too close to the harlot, having lost your senses in wonderment (as did John prior to being rebuked), AWAKEN AT ONCE while you are still able !!  Set your eyes upon the spotless bride instead of the filthy whore, and you will be saved to carry on the battle with the Banner of Truth.

LEAVING FULL PRETERISM FOR IDEALISM

"This view dominated the history of interpretation from Augustine through the Reformation."
Jonathan Edwards's interpretation of Revelation 4:1-8:1 By Glenn R. Kreider

The Idealist method of interpretation has had a long association with Preterism.  Examples can be traced back to St. Augustine, Origen Adamantius, Justin Martyr, and to the author of Hebrews -- not to mention the Apocalypse of John.  Recent scholarship has been no less enlightening. Charles Homer Giblin (1929-2002) expresses this idea well:

 The fate of Jerusalem is brought about by two major facts. First, the people are insensitive to the terms for peace...  Second, the rulers of the people (the Romans not excepted, but not considered as primarily responsible) have committed injustice and thus bring about the ruin of the people. The fate of Jerusalem, however, is not ultimately weighed as an event in itself - it is a sign for others, and is expressly related to time for judgment of nations. All this proves to be relevant, parabolically, to Luke's readership, a man of affluence and influence, educated, who is expected to perceive in "a history" what should be done and what should be avoided, to discern models of good and of evil, with their consequences for society as he knows it. In effect, Luke's lesson apropos of his account of Jerusalem's destruction is to be construed as a question prompted in the typed reader's mind: If this is what happened to Jerusalem because of the way Jesus and those who represent him, his disciples, were treated, what will happen to my city/nation/society if he (and his followers, who stand for him) are treated similarly? What am I, as a respected man with some influence, expected to do? (The Destruction of Jerusalem According to Luke's Gospel: A Historical-Typological Moral, Biblical Institute Press, 1985, 123 pages), viii 

This hermeneutic has long been associated with Preterism, but never (to my knowledge) with the view that ALL of Israel's national eschatology was fulfilled in AD70.  The Preterist-Idealism View, first released on PreteristArchive.com in 2006, blends modifying elements of Preterism within an overall Idealist system.    Post-biblical examples of forms of PI date from the immediate aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem, as Christians struggled with explanations for the seeming "parousia delay."  However, Saint Augustine (A.D. 354 - 430) is generally credited with being the "Father of Idealism" as a systematic approach.  Consider this highly developed Idealist mode of thought, which makes the visible manifestations of history the copies of everlasting forms:

"Ideas are certain original forms of things, their archetypes, permanent and incommunicable, which are contained in the Divine intelligence. And though they neither begin to be nor cease, yet upon them are patterned the manifold things of the world that come into being and pass away. " (De diversis quaest., Q. xlvi, in P.L., XL, 30).

This is precisely where Idealism differs from Preterism, when looking at AD70.    Though certain preterists would make that event in history the focal point of prophecy, Idealists would see it as an expression or pattern of a permanent and incommunicable reality in Christ.  This includes the cross, which is the masterpiece of Jesus Christ, in opposition to the types and shadows of natural Israel... serving as it does as the substance of revelation.

Over the centuries, the tendency to look beyond historical events for a fuller comprehension (of that for which they were given to represent) has developed into very prominent systems and schools of thought.   The Middle Ages, in particular, saw intense development of the allegorical and tropological approach to the scriptures, as manifested most systematically in the output of the School of Saint Victor in France.

In the past, entire nations have been caught up in developing Preterist/Idealist approach to scriptures and life, as in the case of Germany in the 19th century.  As a result of this development, Idealism was found to be a fundamental approach to theology, philosophy, artistry, and even politics. 

Today, there are a number of different theological approaches which employ more of an Idealist perspective -- some which are futurist in orientation, some which are preterist in orientation, and some superior systems which have dispensed with either extreme of these historical approaches.  Among Modern Preterists, there is a profound recognition of the power of seeing the "AD70 generation" as signifying those eternal realities which find like application throughout every generation.

Steve Gregg, in his book "Revelation: Four Views," notes the profitability of synthesizing what he calls the Spiritual/Idealist view with Preterism:

"..most modern commentators, both of the evangelical wing and of the literary-critical type, have mixed some of the ideas of the spiritual approach with one of the other historically-based approaches.  This is not a difficult merger to effect, as Pieters rightly observes: [Spiritual] interpretations combine readily with those of the Preterists or of the Historicists, because any symbol, understood by them to refer to a certain force or tendency may be considered fulfilled in any event in which such a force or tendency is dominant."

"The most common tendency is to mix the spiritual approach with the preterist and then either call their view preterism, leave their view unlabeled, or give it an original name." (Revelation: Four Views, p. 44)

HERMENEUTICAL NUTS & BOLTS

The fundamental approach of this particular form of Idealism may be best encapsulated in an axiom taken from II Cor. 4:18:   That which is seen in Israel's history is only the temporal shadow of the eternal substance.   The natural nation of Israel ("after the flesh") was given as a shadow of the eternal nation of Israel ("of God"), who is Jesus Christ.  The temporal nation was not the substance of the kingdom in itself.   To break down the hybrid term according to this approach to the nation of Israel, the natural "Israel after the flesh" can be considered "Preterist Israel," whereas the eternal "Israel of God" would be "Idealist Israel."   The incarnation of Jesus brought Idealist Israel face to face with Preterist Israel.. and they killed him because of the way in which He challenged their superiority and authority.

This view serves as a common ladder for previously bitterly opposed views, as it oversteps the dispute regarding the "when" by focusing on the "where."   Being united in the spiritual realm -- where all prophecy finds its true substance in Jesus Christ -- we find that not only is there no "male nor female" in Christ, but that there is also no "Dispensationalist nor Full Preterist."   By focusing on the "everlasting age" (which Jesus brought with Him - "the kingdom is at hand") as the ultimate realm of fulfillment, this view has appeal to any person (whether Preterist or Futurist) who is willing to see beyond history and recognize that the true transition takes place internally and individually in Jesus Christ -- and not externally and collectively in history (cf. Luke 20:35 ; II Cor. 5:17)

This approach can be a particularly appealing to those partial preterists who can clearly see the many things that Full Preterism has to offer, yet cannot and will not accept that "the resurrection was in AD70," for instance. 

A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT DIFFERENTIATES
 IDEALISM FROM  PRETERISM

DEMANDING BETTER ANSWERS THAN PRETERISM CAN PROVIDE

Preterist-Idealism is not just another form of preterism.   In fact, in many cases, the view approaches Bible prophecy in a completely opposite direction than that of either partial or full preterism.   This is not to say that there are not a lot of beneficial aspects to both views; however, they are not to be considered any type of "final destination" in the study.. but rather a point of reference.  Whereas in the past I had believed that partial preterism represented half of the biblical story of prophetic fulfillment, it is now seen that all preterism -- having nailed down the historical scope of Israel's prophecies and fulfillments, but generally neglecting that to which they pointed -- is the actual "half-way point" to a proper comprehension of the everlasting substance of prophetic fulfillment.

It is like me, living in San Diego, seeking Los Angeles as a destination.  What sense would it make, upon seeing a sign along the way that says "Los Angeles - 25" to stop there, and declare myself to have arrived?  Would it not be silly to see the sign which is pointing to the proper destination and declaring IT to be the destination itself?  Of course it would ; likewise, AD70 is not to be seen as the prophetic destination, but only as the signpost pointing the way to the everlasting substance -- which is found only in Jesus Christ, not in Israel's history.

Accordingly, the differences between Preterism and Idealism are actually quite fundamental, resulting in a countless number of divergences.   The key difference, as pointed out in the signpost illustration,  is in where one sees the ultimate destination of prophetic fulfillment -- whether seeing prophecy referring exclusively to natural events (with perhaps consequential spiritual application) fulfilled once-for-all in history, or in seeing Israel's prophecies and natural events as pictures signifying the greater realities fulfilled in Jesus Christ, as is the case with modern forms of Idealism.  This distinction will be explored in greater depth below.

After ten years of promoting the full preterist movement (though in as non-partisan a way as possible), errors and inconsistencies accrued in such a way as to demand a better answer than full preterism could provide.  

 In spite of doctrinal problems, however, it was also the clear inability (and general disinterest) of the view to answer the most important questions people were asking,  such as "what now?" and "why do I struggle if the sin, death and devil were utterly destroyed in ad70" that drove my quest for an explanation that could address the deepest needs of Christians.   Though this motivation has been dismissed as compromised by being "seeker sensitive," it is the pastor's heart within that seeks to protect the flock by driving off the wolves (which are bad doctrines, not people.  Therefore, please forgive my style if you think that I am being too harsh or short with FP systems ; it is truly only my desire to equip those without degrees or study resources to see that there is not only a biblical alternative to FP within the context of natural Israel's fulfilled eschatology, but that it is a far superior approach for the sake of biblical consistency, and -- much more importantly -- superior for internal spiritual growth and peace.   My approach can seem a bit urgent also because I believe there are very real consequences to looking on the outward nation for the substance of prophetic fulfillment -- consequences that are, in some cases, being shielded from people by "true believers" who have absolutely convinced themselves of the "absolute gospel truth of full preterism.").

Please notice that no names are given below, as the problem is not about any one particular view, but rather the entire hermeneutical approach to scripture which sees the substance of prophetic fulfillment in natural things.  Therefore, there are many reference to "full preterist systems" instead of "full preterists."  Please note also that a great deal of effort is being put into avoiding offence or alienation.  My desire to fellowship with full preterists will never change.  The only real desire with that fellowship is to find as its basis Jesus Christ and his work in their lives today ... not the Covenant Eschatology of AD1971.
 

IS THE SPIRITUAL OR THE NATURAL THE APPLICATION?

Though most full preterist systems don't deny that spiritual truths can be applied from the events of AD70 (though some do), the Idealist hybrid being presented in this article (which is just one of many) takes exactly the opposite view -- that AD70 itself was the application of everlasting spiritual realities -- and the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.  (That the fall of Jerusalem was given to illuminate greater things is completely consistent with the entire history of Israel's "schoolmaster" role to point to realities in Christ Jesus.)   Therefore, by focusing primarily on the shadows and types given to signify true prophetic fulfillment, one misses their true significance altogether.  This is not to dismiss the natural show, but rather to illuminate it, allowing the temple to stand (and fall) for that which it was always intended - a visible show of the invisible kingdom.

As an aside, please allow me to defend against the charge that this view is "anti-historical" -- as though it is so 'heavenly minded' that it disdains the things of the natural realm.   Some even make the charge of Gnosticism, though this is preposterous.   If it were true that the natural was despised once the spiritual was discovered, then adherents would commit suicide of the flesh once they believed they were born again of the spirit.  But, of course, this is not even contemplated.  As we learn in Sunday School, the flesh has its place, and MUST BE KEPT IN ITS PLACE.  To glorify the flesh, and the pursuit thereof, is roundly rebuked by all Christian testimony.  AD70 should be no exception to this rule.

The book of Hebrews reveals this inferior/superior relationship between the natural and the spiritual -- in every case showing the spiritual to be "better" or "true" ; the natural, however, is shown as the "figure" or the "example" or the "pattern" conveying the idea of the true and genuine :

The things we see help us understand the things we can not.   In this light, the Roman-Jewish War was an even more significant event than is appreciated by even the most informed.   It was, after all, not only the dramatic end of the people of God as a separate external nation, forever ending those religious and political things which were only ever "in part" or "copies of the true," but it was also the visible show of God's invisible hand as it works throughout all generations -- within His people, and upon His enemies.    Even so, this manifestation of the true is not even remotely as important as the work of Jesus Christ in AD30 - so witnesses the last 1,900 years of blessed Christians who knew next to nothing about AD70, and yet enjoyed sweet fellowship with their Saviour. 

The reason why the entirety of Christian history on earth could thrive spiritually despite nearly complete ignorance of the Roman-Jewish war has to do with the fact that "AD70" didn't fulfill the eternal promises in Christ, but simply pointed thereto -- including back to AD30.   To focus on the shadow as the substance of prophecy is to give greater glory to the type than is due... neglecting to properly glorify the substance to which it ministers (and herein lies the real beast lurking behind full preterist systems -- that false focus which manifests itself in the gradual hardening of hearts).  The Mosaic Era was filled with limitless forms of imagery and symbolism and historical types common to the entire era ; however, again, symbols do not symbolize themselves. 

There is a growing list of axioms and hermeneutical principles which are currently being assembled.   A study archive of these principles is available at Idealistarchive.com.   For now, consideration of just a few ideas will suffice in the context of this introduction to the hybrid of Preterist-Idealism.


ISRAEL'S HISTORY THE VISIBLE SHOW OF INVISIBLE WORK

Though we may be tempted to consider what can be seen as being superior in nature to the unseen (as though natural equals literal, and spiritual equals figurative -- which they do not).   Maturity in spiritual sight, however, instructs us to look at the unseen things as being primary, everlasting, and vastly superior.  This consideration must be applied to every bit of external imagery, but for the sake of this page, it primarily contemplates the events of the first century, including the fall of Jerusalem in AD70.  Just looking at "the big three" events that tend to make full preterism appear heterodox, we can see how fundamentally different the Idealist approach can be:

- AD70 was not the Second Coming.   AD70 was only an outward show of the parousia of Christ.  It was a "SIGN" of the Son of Man in heaven.  The number of times words such "manifesting," "appearing," "revelation," and the like point out that what was revealed in time was already a spiritual reality in the eternal realm.  This is akin to Christ declaring, "thy kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven." 

As witnessed in John 14:17-24, the Lord comes to abide within His people.. He doesn't come to the world at large.   This is the intent of Christ's declaration to the heart hearted "true believers" of Temple leadership, "you will not see me again until you say 'blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"     The kingdom does not come with visible observation, despite the teaching regarding the fall of Jerusalem being the proof that the kingdom had arrived.

Though it may be tempting to think that the appearing of Christ and His Kingdom was world-wide in some external sense in AD70, this is not the case.   The glory of the Lord specifically dwells within His temple - which is the "body of Christ" or "bride."  There are a number of verses which point out that the Spirit and Kingdom dwells within..  not just 'around' (except insofar as the people of the kingdom are around).  Therefore, the world at large cannot see Him or know Him  or have any part of His kingdom until such time as they say "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."    There are numerous passages which intimate this idea, but here are just a few:

The everlasting kingdom is something that is received individually and internally in Christ, and not collectively and externally in AD70.   Put another way, the king and kingdom is received by each within, not to the world at large without.   How could it come historically in its fullness "in AD70" anyway?    After all, how does a spiritual kingdom come in its total fullness in the natural realm, if not within God's people?

Notice how Jesus told the hard hearted, "You will not see me again until" -- not AD70 -- but "until you say 'blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matt 23:39).    This is exactly what is signified by the triumphal entry of the "king" and "kingdom" in Mark 11:

11:8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strewed them in the way.  9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:  10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.  11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple


- AD70 was not the final Judgment.   AD70 was only an outward show of the Great White Throne Judgment.  To be precise, AD70 was an external judgment, but certainly not THE judgment, which is outside of the natural realm:.   Evidence for this is given in the fact that dead people are said to participate.  Knowing that no full preterist believes that they were raised into the natural realm for this event, this fact becomes important.

Though most full preterist approaches might claim that this passage was only for the "pre AD70 age," there is another explanation, which does not resort to dividing God's workings into different historical dispensations.
 

- AD70 was not the "Resurrection of the Last Day".   AD70 was only an outward show of the cleansing that takes place at resurrection, the fullness of which takes place after physical death (Heb. 9:27).  This one should be easier for Immortal Body at Death preterist systems to acknowledge, but strangely this historical dating of the second resurrection is treated as axiom.    It is surprising that this position would be so staunchly defended, as nearly all recognize that Paul wrote, "it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body."  I know that some see this as a corporate resurrection in AD70, but that is nothing less than Universalism in my opinion, which will be addressed below.  Obviously, spiritual bodies are not raised in history nor naturally, but into the eternal realm.   There may be some confusion differentiating the resurrection to life with the resurrection at the last day, but Ephesians 1:11-14 provide the downpayment/full redemption dynamic at work there.

At any rate, Paul warns against the teaching that the resurrection of the last day was past;  2 Timothy 2:18: "Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. ." 

Those who had passed away before AD70 were not resurrected by AD60 (when Paul wrote this), and Paul would not be satisfied with the teaching that they were raised "in AD70", as though the heretics H & P were only a few years off.  Now, make no mistake, people came to life in the natural realm,  "being raised to walk in newness of life," which is the earnest of our inheritance.  Christ certainly came to indwell people living in AD70, but even they were not resurrected into historical life, but into kingdom life that everyone in Christ receives as downpayment of the inheritance.  Likewise, those who were not yet born did not receive the indwelling kingdom "in AD70", just as those who had died before that time.

When that spiritual gathering takes place, though from man's perspective it appears disjointed, it encompasses the entire Body of Christ from all generations, with no direct connection to time (Dan. 7:13).   And if there was to be any time which would be directly connected to this heavenly event, it would be the ascension of Christ, not the fall of Jerusalem.  Despite common misconception, AD70 in the natural realm does not equal AD70 in the eternal realm.   This concept is no different than the working of the cross and how Christ could die for all nations and generations (before and after His own), though His body was crucified at a particular moment in time.

Though nearly every full preterist system will appeal to a higher spiritual meaning of the events shown in the Cross and the Parousia (by which most mean AD70), they are almost always given a back seat to  (or made synonymous with) the external revelation, and are treated as having been established by the historical, instead of seeing the natural as simply the copy of the invisible true which was simply waiting to be revealed.    Though some form of this higher explanation may be in the hearts of full pret authors, it does not seem to be coming through in what is written.   This may explain the turnover witnessed in the movement, as people desperately seek for that which, above all, ministers deep within their hearts -- as opposed to simply edifying their minds with "the truth of Covenant Eschatology".


CONFUSING APPLICABILITY FOR EXCLUSIVITY

 By looking at one historical manifestation of the everlasting substance and declaring it to be the only application contemplated by the Word of God has consequences upon peoples' lives.   One dramatic consequence of looking to events of the natural realm as the complete fullness of prophetic intent is to divorce the applicability of the internal tensions and pressures of the New Testament people from our lives -- as well as the solutions they found to settle the inner turmoil in the midst of persecution. 

We mustn't insist that one manifestation of a truth is the only one forevermore.   This viewpoint approaches ancient Israel as though it was an island completely removed from the human situation at large in the rest of the world, and throughout all other generations.   This is curious, because it is generally agreed by Christians through the centuries that Israel "after the flesh" served as a teacher regarding the true spiritual things of Christ.  Therefore, why would one expect the manifestation of those things in Israel to be the exclusive manifestation for all time?  

What is true in the Spirit is true throughout all generations, and Israel serves as but one of countless manifestations of that everlasting Truth.   Therefore, for instance, the manifestation of Israel's national eschatology shouldn't be considered the only manifestation of eschatology which it was given to manifest.   This may seem like a tongue twister, but the point is that what took place in the first century, under their peculiar circumstances, point to the exact same realities as what took place in every other century, under the peculiar circumstances of that day... and is not at all the exclusive application for all time!   

Declaring that first century Israel and Jerusalem is absolutely the only application of prophetic utterance for all time removes for our lives, and our circumstances, the understanding of "what now?" circumstances where Covenant Eschatology so famously fails.   More will be shared on this point in the section called "where full preterism fails the individual."
 

THE CREATION OF THAT WHICH IS IN FULL, OR THE REMOVAL OF THAT WHICH IS IN PART? -- ESTABLISHMENT VS. MANIFESTATION

Much is made in this article of the distinction between the establishment (creation) of a reality, and its manifestation (revelation).   This is particularly obvious in the discussion of the kingdom of Christ.  What David called characterized as being "from everlasting to everlasting," full pret systems declare not to have been established until AD70.  This is opposed to the view that what exists from everlasting to everlasting, was manifested in the events of AD70.   Establishment and manifestation are not synonymous, despite heartfelt appeals to the contrary.   Something can have long been a reality, yet not have been made manifest for an even longer period.   Though "that which is in part" may serve to point to the perfect reality, its removal doesn't equal the establishment of "that which is in full" -- quite the contrary!

Coming in this spot will be a list of verses which record Jesus and others speaking of the revelation of the truth which had been hidden since the foundation of the world.   This will serve to show that what is being characterized as the creation is really only the revelation

That which is by nature "hid" ; "covered" ; "veiled" ; "not seen" (under construction)

And that which is being "revealed" ; "manifested" ; "seen" (under construction)

This distinction between the manifestation and the substance (as well as the hiding and the revealing) will serve as a springboard for many different items of consideration below.   As time allows, the concept will be developed here in a fuller way, as will many of the consequences of error therein revealed.


THE EVERLASTING COVENANT AND KINGDOM NOT ESTABLISHED UNTIL AD70?

Having seen the usage of that which is "hidden" which was going to be "revealed" generally, we can begin to look at theological issues -- such as the kingdom -- more specifically.    This kingdom is identified by King David - demonstrating Judaistic Idealism - as being "from everlasting" and "to everlasting".

Though not all full preterist approaches teach that the Kingdom and/or New Covenant was established in AD70, it is taught by many within those circles.    If we recognize that "Idealist Israel" existed before the foundation of the kosmos (whether one sees that kosmos as the creation of the world or of Moses' Law), then this suggestion may begin to appear silly and short-sighted.   Passages such as 2 Cor. 5:17 show that the passing away of the old things (by Christ) was a reality prior to AD70, even if it had not yet been made plain by the events of Israel's history.     In other words, even though followers of Christ were the true sons of God, there was definitely an expectation for the manifestation of who indeed were the sons of God.

There are, in fact, many other passages which likewise speak of the transition as being in Christ, not in history  (though AD70 certainly signifies that transition).    A major problem with the historical viewpoint is reading once-for-all historical time into passages which refers to each individual in their time.  For instance, terms of proximity (near, at hand) coming out of the mouth of Christ are often taken to mean 40 years later, when this idea is completely foreign to the intent.   These passages are included below with those which speak of the pre-AD70 possession of realities (eternal life, raising of the dead, the end of the law) which the typical full pret system says were not obtained until after the Jewish temple fell:

Shockingly, full preterism has been defended against this charge by the declaration that in the Bible past tense can mean future tense!   Clearly, therefore, this has become the razor sharp point upon which full preterism is either defended or impaled.   If any one of these passages actually means what it says -- that the substance of prophetic fulfillment was available even before the full outward signal -- then the point has been proved.

For more information, see:

And it is not like there are just a few passages which speak of believers partaking of the promises even before the full revelation thereof to the world at large.  Not at all.   The "time" of fulfillment can be taken back farther and farther -- as far back as you could ever wish to take it, and farther!   David often spoke of the kingdom as a present reality, and Christ as the everlasting King even in his day.  Here are just a few examples of King David referring to his King, Jesus Christ.

During the Exodus, Jesus Christ was more than revealed to the people -- He was their actual source of nourishment:

Long before David or the Exodus, Abraham saw Christ's kingdom, and was glad.  In fact, we are told that the gospel itself was revealed to Abraham:

Job appears to be recounting the possession of the prophetic blessings for those who call upon the Lord:

  • Job 33:23-26 If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him; 24 and he is gracious to him, and says, `Deliver him from going down into the Pit, I have found a ransom; 25 let his flesh become fresh with youth; let him return to the days of his youthful vigor'; 26 then man prays to God, and he accepts him, he comes into his presence with joy. He recounts to men his salvation (RSV)

It might even be acknowledged that Adam was in the kingdom and was cast out.   After all, how can we be restored into the kingdom, if Adam had never dwelt therein? At any rate, it can be taken back even farther... to before the very creation: 

Throughout these lists, though, perhaps the most important was that declaration by Jesus Christ Himself:  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. " (John 5:24-25)  Understanding the weight that time texts have with FPs, this passage should settle the matter that what was waiting to be manifested fully in the fall of Jerusalem was already a present reality before AD70!

SUMMARY: Looking at the book of Hebrews, we can recognize how neither the natural elements of natural Israel, nor their historical circumstances were the focal point of prophecy, nor the substance of the true things themselves.  Rather, the things done by the hands of men were only the pictures of that which exists in the timeless realm from everlasting:

Though all history-based systems assume that the covenant and the kingdom, etc., are established at some point in history, it will be more helpful to see that it was the manifestation of those eternal things that was in history, not the establishment. The mystery and the grace were in existence even before the foundation of the kosmos (before the foundation.. even if one believes -- mistakenly -- that the kosmos is only the Mosaic Law).  Note the distinction between the reality and the manifestation of that reality:

Notice how many of these passages have been pointed out above in their constituent elements of teaching, that 1) the mystery existed before the foundation, 2) that it has been hidden from the foundation and 3) that it is revealed in Christ.   For those interested in pursuing the concept of the everlasting covenant and kingdom more, I suggest reading John Gill's "Body of Divinity" where he lays out the "everlasting covenant" between Father and Son:

"When we speak of the Abrogation of the [Old] Covenant this is to be understood, not of the covenant of grace, as to the matter and substance of it, which remains invariably the same in all periods of time; it is an everlasting covenant; it is ordered in all things and sure; it can never be broken and made void; every promise of it is unalterable, and every blessing irreversible; the covenant of peace can never be removed; it will stand firm to all generations; but with respect to the form of the administration of it only, even the form of it, under the former, or Old Testament dispensation, before described; and in order to set this in its true and proper light"
 

DRIFTING AWAY FROM HISTORY-BASED ANSWERS  

"I began to ask myself questions, however, not questions like, "What does this Biblical verse mean to me?" or "What is this verse saying to me?," but such questions such as, "What did the Bible mean to the people it was written to?" I wanted to know, "What was the Biblical writers original intent?" This thinking drove me deeper, to try to understand what the Bible really is or was, where it had come from, and most importantly, what it must have meant to its original audience. The historical-critical approach began to radically change my view of what I had thought the Bible was really saying.  When the Bible is not viewed in a devotional or confessional way, it becomes axiomatic that a biblical text means only what its author intended it to mean and, therefore, the meaning is necessarily tied to the author's historical context." Bryan Lewis, 2010, explaining the destructive drift

In explaining my shift away from previous doctrinal positions into a modified form of Idealism, it is perhaps easiest to make reference to shifting from a man-centered historical view to a God-centered eternal view.   What began as a focus solely on the future with Dispensationalism, became a focus on church history with Partial Preterism, which then became a focus solely on the past with Full Preterism.   Even though these three viewpoints may seem radically different from each other, they are actually the exact same approach in that they look to the natural realm for the focus of prophetic fulfillment.    After all three failed to live up to initial expectations, and with the increasingly narrow identification of prophetic imagery with a certain generation, a particular city, and in some cases, and individual person (such as Nero or John of Gischala), there was nowhere left to look but "up."

By focusing on historical realities (first century Jerusalem, Israel and Mosaic Law) as the focal point of prophetic intent, the passing of those things creates a completely different mode (dispensation) of God's operation with the entire world.   In the case of full preterism, it is generally treated as axiom that beyond AD70, in the historical "new covenant age," or "new heavens and earth," there is a new administration between God and the world at large... as opposed to simply a greater level of revelation of that which has always been the reality.   This is why so many verses of the Bible are dismissed as being "before AD70," such as "thy kingdom come, thy will be done" and "it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment," or more disastrously "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 

There are predictable consequences of viewing scripture solely in its "historical context," considering it as only to Jews under the "old covenant age" and the "old heavens and earth" -- and not to anyone "today."   (many will say "the scriptures were not written TO us, but they are FOR us.. to which I disagree, considering that the author is not truly the historical man who put words to paper, but is the eternal Logos, speaking to His offspring - "See Original Writers' Intent Not Final Authority on Meaning").   This distinction between the written words and the Living Word reveals the bigger picture, in that we can either approach the study according to our man-centered level of comprehension, attempting to box in redemptive history with our futile systems of explanation (letter killeth), or we can recognize that what is at play is something completely transcendent and timeless (spirit giveth life).


INVESTIGATING THE "HYMENAEAN CHARGE"

I hope this page helps explain why I'm personally making the move as far away from full preterism as possible.    It is recognized that dogmatic full preterist "true believers" will always take issue with the points on this page; however, my intent is really only to show the open-hearted that there is a need to question the legitimacy of full pret assumptions and seriously evaluate all its claims to the point of registering the consequences.   This applies to all doctrinal shifts during our lives, which process will hopefully never end.  Having promoted the view for over a decade, though, I feel a real sense of responsibility to point out the errors discovered.

We can often find ourselves in trouble when we build assumptions upon unproved assumptions.  It is easy enough to get so far ahead of facts, that what was left unproven quickly turns into a fundamental point upon which layers of further assumptions are built.  Please take, for instance, the following line of reasoning from the earliest known full preterist author.  Notice that between his 'if' and 'then' logical argument lies piles and piles of assumptions -- all of which are taken as a whole, and treated as settled and obvious :
 

Now, if at the destruction of Jerusalem there was a taking away of the first covenant; a removing of .the old heaven and earth, and a burning up of the same ; and if sin, Satan, death, and hell have their true and scriptural meaning in reference only to the two covenants of Sinai and Sion, as consequent upon the Adamic transgression - and proof to the contrary is defied - if these things be so, then are we warranted in concluding.

By attempting to make the fullness of the consummation of the ages fit into the historical year of AD70, full preterist systems build upon a fundamental truth which is very much still a matter of debate.    Accordingly, those systems seek to find natural imagery in that period which answers to the prophecies of the Bible according to that fundamental, unassailable presumption.

When those settled issues are challenged, the systems are so committed to what lies far ahead -- generally unwilling to investigate the critical principles which lay far behind -- that the objections are typically dismissed with a wave of the hand and treated with scorn.  This is a problem.

This  anti-Berean approach yields many negative consequences, doctrinally and interpersonally.  

Doctrinally, the trend of using natural events in history to replace the spiritual realities in Christ results in the declaration that the shadows are actually the substance.  As noted, the substance is regarding "things not seen" -- AD70 being best seen as the confirmation, but not as the actual substance of the promises and inheritances to God's people -- which are spiritual in nature, and much more glorious (II Cor. 1:20).   (It is helpful to consider the "Land Promises to Israel" in this regard.  More details regarding this hermeneutical method are listed here)

The consequences to interpersonal communication and intrapersonal behavior are apparent enough, and are displayed on message boards from every Christian system around the Internet.  It seems axiomatic that the sowing of absolute self-certainty in one's own position yields a sense of superiority and pride.  This is particularly offputting, considering that there is not one single verse in the entire New Testament which looks back at AD70 and declares that it was the fullness of anything! (making FP systems entirely dependent upon man's faulty deductive reasoning). If this self-certainty gets frustrated, very often the person who has made their system their life get frantic, and the "magical thinking" quickly turns into narcissism and can even be deadly to people and marriages -- ten years of observation have revealed this pattern time and again.   It makes sense, though, considering that logic and the science of hermeneutics are very poor anchors for the soul, indeed. 

In regards to the "hyper preterist" charge, it appears that upon both of these grounds - doctrinal and personal - those who claim that the resurrection is "in AD70" actually do fulfill the charges against the heretic Hymenaeus:  2 Timothy 2:18: "Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. ."  (by the way, this doesn't mean that the resurrection is to be expected at some single historical point in the future either, so the charge of my view being partial preterism is mistaken).  

Without any regard for the argument that Paul was merely stating that he was a little ahead of his time (the resurrection coming within 10 years), this is not germane to the point in question.   Whether stating that the resurrection was in AD60 (Hymenaeus), 70 (Full Preterism), or 2006, if one is teaching that the resurrection of all the dead is past already, then they are placing themselves underneath the consideration of this statement by Paul.   And lest one think that the common teaching is that the resurrection started in AD70 yet continues to this day,  it is taught that because Hades was cast into the lake of fire in AD70, there is no place for believers to be resurrected from ; instead, believers go straight from "life to life."

There are also other aspects of Paul's problem with the teaching of Hymenaeus besides simply his timing of the resurrection.  By seeking to "overthrow the faith" of sincere people, the heretic was treating the body of Christ destructively and with disrespect -- placing his love for his beliefs above his love for his brother.  This same 'scalping' tendency can be seen among many full pret "true believers," who openly relish overthrowing the faith of Futurists in order to establish their own.   No longer is the focus on leading the lost to Christ; instead, evangelistic zeal is given over to 'teaching the truth of Covenant Eschatology' and overthrowing the beliefs of brothers and sisters in Christ.   This is no small issue, particularly considering the violence and venom that is associated with a lot of that work which pits itself against the Body in a wholly divisive way.   This methodology is explicitly condemned in the Word.

In addition to the previously mentioned "hymenaean hallmarks" of teaching that the resurrection is over, and in seeking to overthrow the faith of believers, there is a third significant reason why this view is being investigated as "hyper-preterism" -- which is the suprisingly common teaching that there is no longer need for faith at all.   The reasoning is that, since AD70 brought the fullness, and, no longer seeing through a glass darkly we now see face to face, our faith has been turned to sight.   This is akin to the common teaching that since believers were given all of Christ in AD70, there is no more need for the Holy Spirit.   By believing that the fullness came in history, it is often taught that there is no longer place for those things in part.   Therefore, by teaching that there is no more need for faith, that view would indeed "overthrow the faith of some" -- and I have seen it happen many times.

The claim from a former full preterist that the hymenaean charge rings true (in both the error and the overthrow of faith) would hopefully raise serious flags of warning.   And yet, those who are "true believers" in the view reflexively dismiss the hymenaean charge with a wave of the hand, and will say something like "this charge is nothing new, and has been dealt with before."   Regarding this infamous "oh-so-certain" self-assurance of certain Christians, ignorance is bliss.   

As a result of the hobbyist approach to theology, which is in large part a child of the World Wide Web, systems are typically sculpted in a very shoddy manner.   That which doesn't support the predetermined result is typically put aside pending further study -- or ignored altogether.    Perhaps there is a legitimate reason why certain arguments against the view are used time and again.
 

CONSISTENT FULL PRETERIST CONCLUSIONS LEND THEMSELVES TO UNIVERSALISM

Walter Balfour "To Mr. Stuart of Andover, I am indebted for making me a Universalist"

Despite the appearance of broad consensus, there are really precious few areas of general agreement among (or even within) the various full preterist hybrids.   It has been joked that there are as many full preterist leaders as there are full preterists, but it is not far from the truth to say that each has their own unique spin on doctrine.

Regardless of the differences from one system to another, however, what may be most important to observe is the level of consistency presented within themselves.    It seems that all full preterist approaches can be seen as falling within varying degrees of consistency in application of their fundamental hermeneutic of AD70 consummation. 

Those who are relatively new to the view tend to think that they know what is all about based upon a cursory reading of Matthew 24:34, but it really does take a few years to get past the initial burst of re-discovery in order to recognize the logical and scriptural conclusions of the hermeneutic itself.   Without waiting on the Lord and patiently learning as the Spirit provides, we may learn the errors of our ways through negative experience.  This is one reason why it is important to resist the impulse to "know everything overnight."

Consistency within the system is really what sets the newbies apart from the more experienced, generally speaking.    Just like with Dispensationalism, one can believe that Jesus is King now, but if the system will not allow it, then they are just inconsistent, and inexperienced within their own hermeneutic, not really representing it for what it teaches.   The same is true, in my opinion, with that form of full preterism (most notably found among the Reformed) which teaches that everything was fulfilled historically by AD70, and yet that not everyone in the world enjoys its benefits.

By assuming a fundamental hermeneutic which applies the blessings of prophecy to all people in history post AD70 -- not making the  important clarification IN CHRIST -- the errors start to compound, and a particular trend of doctrine starts to emerge.  This particular stream has been recognized by a large number of people who are now embracing doctrines of Universalism, or comprehensive grace and redemption.   

It is often said in full preterist circles that one's eschatology directly effects their doctrine of salvation.. and this is certainly the case.   Forms of Universalism, as a result of a more consistent application of the completely fulfilled eschatology, are being increasingly recognized, from with and without, as the true face of full preterism.    According to a recent article written by a full preterist, fully 30-50% of all such believers embrace Universalism.  Though a trend within a system cannot disprove a system, the fundamental hermeneutic can.

There are a number of uniquely full preterist conclusions which, though they may not naturally lead to doctrines of Universalism, certainly do lend themselves to this view.    And though I do not embrace Universalism myself, I absolutely recognize that to them belongs the progressive banner of full preterism, and that they are correct to declare themselves the most consistent preterists.

With the basic assumption (which I do not share) that the passing of the Mosaic Law was the focus of eschatology, and that AD70 was the "consummation of the ages," a number of Universalist-friendly conclusions emerge.  Though not all systems embrace every one of these conclusions, they are all certainly representative of general full preterist views :

  It must be clearly stated again that the charge is not that full preterism or covenant eschatology leads to Universalism, but that this trend of thought lends itself to those conclusions.  For instance, there are views of "Comprehensive Redemption" and "Comprehensive Grace" exploding throughout the movement, and finding wide exposure at the leading websites.  Although some disclaim any direct connection to Universalism, there seems little point in denying that they are just a pace or two away... perhaps even walking up to the edge of the cliff, if not taking the fatal step.   From the founder of Covenant Eschatology himself, to vocal contributors on many websites (pro and con), to numerous private individuals with whom I correspond, the direction of inquiry relates to how the destruction of sin and the law relates to the broad application of redemption in the post ad70 world.  The numbers do not lie, and point directly to the intimate relationship between all forms of full preterist eschatology and Universalism.  In the coming months, the two hundred year history of Preterist Universalism will be presented here.  For now, notice that the earliest known Full Preterist book was written by a man who shortly thereafter adopted Universalism: 
 


EARLIEST KNOWN FULL PRETERIST BOOK, WRITTEN SHORTLY BEFORE HIS CONVERSION TO UNIVERSALISM


The Second Advent of Jesus Christ: A Past Event
(1845)


Robert Townley


HERMENEUTICAL INCONSISTENCIES (AND NOVELTIES) WITH NON-UNIVERSALIST FORMS OF FULL PRETERISM

I recognize that full preterist Calvinists absolutely reject the broadening of redemption to every last person in the world, but I believe this fact is based more on their commitment to Reformed soteriology than to their determination for absolute full preterist consistency.   Clearly, a Calvinist would never embrace Universal redemption outside of Christ, regardless of how consistent it may or may not be with their chosen eschatology.   This is akin to Pentecostal Preterism maintaining the continued applicability of the Apostolic administration, despite have passed beyond their consummation in AD70, as their full preterist eschatology teaches.   Not being willing to leave the greater aspect of their theology, yet wishing to hold to full preterism, a happy (though inconsistent) median is found, and the rest is "winked at" in regards to consistency.

Besides this, many FP Calvinists I have read or heard actually DO believe that the entire world will be Universally converted to Jesus Christ in the future.  Even David Chilton published his certainty about this point of "eventual gospel universalism" -- which was also championed by James Stuart Russell:
 

CHILTON ON REVELATION 21 WHEN A PARTIAL PRETERIST:

""It is certainly true that righteousness does not dwell in the earth in an absolute sense; nor will this world ever be absolutely righteous, until the final enemy is defeated at the Second Coming of Christ.. according to God's promise, the saving knowledge of Him will yet fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea." (Days of Vengeance, 544)

CHILTON ON "NEW HEAVENS / EARTH" AS A FULL PRETERIST:

 "Once the Lord came to destroy the scaffolding of the Old Covenant structure, the New Covenant Temple would be left in its place, and the victorious march of the Church would be unstoppable.  According to God's predestined design, the world will be converted; the earth's treasures will be brought into the City of God, as the Paradise Mandate (Gen. 1:27-28; Matt. 28:18-20) is consummated (Rev. 21:1-27)." (from "New Heavens and Earth")

ONE SOLUTION TO FP UNIVERSALIST CONUNDRUM IS PLACING UNIVERSAL CONVERSION FARTHER INTO THE FUTURE -- BUT DOES SUCH A GRAND FUTURE EXPECTATION (THE "PARADISE MANDATE" YET TO BE CONSUMMATED) STILL QUALIFY AS FULL PRETERISM?    IF THE BIBLE ANTICIPATES WORLD-WIDE CONVERSION.. WOULDN'T THAT BE A PROPHECY AS OF YET UNFULFILLED?


In light of the question of consistency, it should be considered how a consistent full preterist view, which acknowledges that the law, the devil, sin, and such were utterly destroyed in AD70, could not be considered lending itself to Comprehensive Redemption?  

Considering the sweeping nature of the fundamental assumption of world-wide New Covenant / New Heavens and Earth application in the post-AD70 environment, the answers given to that question demand intense scrutiny.    Though particular answers to that dilemma have been offered, they usually require the creation of a previously unknown damning "law of Christ" or some other "doctrinal patch" to cover this hole -- such as a redefinition of "second death,"  or the creation of a brand new laws which secure for them the balance between particular atonement with universal eschatology.  One such suggestion was offered using the new-fangled phrase "new heavens and earth death"!

Obviously, the Reformed answer will be that Adam's death still applies to those not in Christ -- which is precisely the point of this article.. Consummation is found IN CHRIST only, and not in history.   To say that the "consummation of the ages is in ad70" in a universal fashion, and then to make the reception of atonement individually in Christ regardless of that consummation is the inconsistency with which the "historical corporate consummationism" of the Reformed (all limited atonement full preterist systems) are forced to live.

To frame the consistency issue in terms of the consummation of atonement itself the question must be asked : how many "consummations" are there?  Is AD70 the only consummation.. or are there multiple consummations - with a second one which takes place when the person in Adam is "dead and raised in the likeness of Christ", as per certain full preterist systems?  Those FP systems which teach "Immortal Body at Death" seem to suggest three different consummation: first in AD70, then in being "born again", and then after physical death.  Universalism, on the other hand, typically teaches that there is but one consummation - that in AD70, which settled the issues of Adam and Christ.  Preterist-Idealism, on the other hand, though likewise teaching that there is but one true consummation, focuses it as being in Christ, which settles the matter of death, atonement and consummation - AD70 being the outward show of that work of Christ as likewise revealed in AD30. 

For now, suffice it to point out just two other dilemmas regarding the consistency of the Reformed approach.   Consider the destruction of death and the devil.   It is taught among Reformed full prets that death was defeated for all, yet that one must be in Christ to receive its benefits.  This is unlike the teaching regarding Satan, though, who is said to be destroyed regardless of one's status in Christ.  The issue of consistency with the Reformed also plays itself out in recognition of the limitation of the term 'world.'  On one hand, a rightful limitation to being 'in Christ' is seen in terms of "first things," but when it comes to "last things" these limitations are discarded in favor of an end that effects absolutely all. These points will be given a fuller presentation in the months to come.

At the very least, it should be considered that Max King, the founder of Covenant Eschatology, and the man most experienced in the view -- therefore the most likely to have developed a consistent approach -- has developed a Universalist-friendly message of "Comprehensive Grace" to maintain consistency between his eschatology and his soteriology.   It appears that countless other full preterists have walked down the path created by the Reformed preterists into the Universalist camp.   Certainly, the most vocal and visible -- if not fastest growing -- group of full preterists are the Universalists... whereas the Calvinist influence and numbers appear to be diminishing.

So just as Apostolic / Pentecostal Full Preterism accepts the message of complete fulfillment in that generation up to a point (stopping short of the apostolical gifts), Limited Atonement Full Preterism accepts the message of absolute consummation of all things in AD70 up to a point (stopping short of the effects of Adam's fall).  I don't begrudge them their right to do it.. I completely understand and would expect nothing else ; however, so far as consistency goes, they are challenged in my opinion.  My point being that in order to truly judge full preterism, it must be done using the most consistent approach.
 

HOW FULL PRETERISM FAILS THE INDIVIDUAL

 In spite of this critical look at the trends within Full Preterism and Covenant Eschatology to Universalism, theology is not the motivational factor in this article's call for a much closer re-evaluation of the consequences of looking to history for ultimate prophetic consummation.  Having been a church pastor, and recognizing how much responsibility lies in the role of protecting a flock, it is the horrendous consequences of this theology upon the hearts and spiritual lives of listeners which is of primary and most urgent concern.

For those who wonder why more people do not embrace full preterism, perhaps the best answer lies in this systems inherent coldness.   Not only doesn't that theology reach within the hearts of people, it doesn't even try.   Though those in positions of leadership may tend to think that convincing the minds of people is the critical part of their work, no amount of head knowledge can cover for heart or soul suffering.   The dramatic turnover in full preterism has been particularly noticeable over the last 10 years, and the inability of the mind to satisfy the soul is what I think leads most people to seek better answers -- or, rather, to embrace any eschatology, so long as the more important aspects of that theology are able to minister deep within to the very real tensions and tears that are experienced today.

This appeal is meant to be a recommendation to the authors and teachers within the movement , to search within and see if the head certainty that full preterism provides sufficiently provides the peace and rest that are promised for God's people.  

FORSAKING THE INDIVIDUAL FOR THE CORPORATE & THE NOW FOR THE THEN

The most common complaint against the full preterist view is its inability to answer the "what now?" questions... but there is a concern that runs much deeper.  By identifying  the corporate "consummation of the ages" as having been settled for all time in AD70, the individual believers' "transition period" is removed from today, being made a first century reality alone.  This error neglects the importance of the "glory to glory" process at work in the life of the believer, (as they pass from old to new within themselves) and chooses rather to accept that there is no sin, death, or devil to be contended with today.  Without getting too deep into the different types of "sin" in full preterist doctrine (such as sin and "the sin"), suffice it to say that concern for "sin" is radically removed from the life of the preterist.  The same is true for "the devil" who, according to full preterism, is no longer walking about seeking whom he may devour!   This point exposes an inconsistency which will be dealt with more later, whereby the devil is 100% eradicated, and yet sin and death are not... just "judicially eradicated."

Inconsistencies such as these expose how the drive to protect and promote Preterism vastly overrides any concern for the life and the Christian walk of the individual.  Like all other systems, fundamental inconsistencies such as these are just par for the course in the game of defending Preterism.    In short, full preterist doctrine chooses the corporate over the individual, and this betrayal results in much suffering for those left grappling with the very real 'darkness to light' process within their lives.

By insisting that the devil, the law, the sin and the death have been utterly destroyed for all in AD70, it leaves a sense of failure within those who find themselves still very much under the chains of law and sin in their own lives.   Though many teachers may think that a proper doctrinal explanation of the victory we have in Christ should be sufficient to overcome this internal crisis, it is not nearly so effective; in fact, when your heart is suffering, the last thing that is needed is a pep talk or a mind game.   No amount of head knowledge can heal soul suffering... rather, it makes the pain even more acute, and the situation seem even  more hopeless.

This plight has been the reality for countless simple students, who don't have the luxury of the self-certainty displayed by many of the professional authors and teachers.   And what is striking is that even as many of those in leadership positions in the past have dropped out as a result of their own inability to find rest and peace within the full preterist framework, the fundamental problem is left unaddressed.  

Dismissing the applicability of the tensions displayed in the New Testament, I believe, has a lot to do with the lack of warmth in FP systems.  By assuming the perfect has come once for all thousands of years ago -- with total completion of redemption -- we lose the message and results that come from the tension between old and new, and are only left with confusion as to why things aren't better than they are.  Consequently, some have left the faith altogether, believing that full preterism -- representing gospel truth -- exposes the failure of the gospel.   Clearly, this line of thought does not reflect a large percentage of those who have fallen away from the movement.   Nor is the dropout trend intended to be portrayed as inevitable.   There are those in every movement, such as the true believers in the last days of Jerusalem, that will never turn from their certainty in the cause, no matter how much struggle is happening within them, or how many people are suffering around them.

It is my sincere message to any "true believer" full preterists who are in crisis personally, to consider that there is an explanation within the context of fulfilled eschatology that will comfort the heart, while providing understanding for the tensions of your circumstance.  
 

FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL HERE AND THE CORPORATE THERE

Part of this answer is recognizing that what is accomplished corporately in the spiritual realm plays itself out in the process of time.   Like the work of the cross of Christ, what is a corporate reality in the eternal state must be applied to each individually in time.   We would not say that we received the benefit of the shed blood in AD30, not having yet been born (or born again), even though Christ died in that historical day.   Rather, we would tend to see that corporate fulfillment dispensed to each sinner saved this day and beyond.  The redemption purchased for the entire Body of Christ is given when you "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead -- then thou shalt be saved."   Likewise, focusing solely on a corporate consummation in AD70, placing it as settled for all time in the natural realm, without individual application today, denies the "transition period" within the individual, and the importance of the "glory to glory" process at work in the life of the convert today.

If we can contemplate what the personal imagery of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ means, besides just one man coming back to life (as had been done before), then we begin to see what spiritual reality that event signified, and how it all points straight into the deepest part of our hearts.  Approaching the cross of Christ from a purely natural mindset, however, cannot help but yield a lower view of just what was accomplished then.

Likewise, the fall of natural Israel in AD70, which has been given as an banner to bespeak the same reality -- only this time using national imagery -- should be approached with the same view towards internal realities.  For a closer examination of this concept, read about Jerusalem as a picture of the Heart


EXTERNALIZING VS INTERNALIZING SCRIPTURE
 
"I began to ask myself questions, however, not questions like, "What does this Biblical verse mean to me?" or "What is this verse saying to me?," but such questions such as, "What did the Bible mean to the people it was written to?" I wanted to know, "What was the Biblical writers original intent?" This thinking drove me deeper, to try to understand what the Bible really is or was, where it had come from, and most importantly, what it must have meant to its original audience. The historical-critical approach began to radically change my view of what I had thought the Bible was really saying.  When the Bible is not viewed in a devotional or confessional way, it becomes axiomatic that a biblical text means only what its author intended it to mean and, therefore, the meaning is necessarily tied to the author's historical context." Bryan Lewis, 2010, explaining the destructive drift

Another consequence of embracing the view of a consummation of the ages as a past event in history is that felt within the heart of the individual.   By removing that prophetic imagery which speaks of our walk in Christ into the very distant past, we are left looking outward for revelation, as opposed to inward.   The lessons of the Word which are meant for today, are limited to time and place, and restricted to the past.

The Word of God is indeed written TO us.. and not just FOR us.   It is meant to be deeply internalized, and taken to refer to our day.. not that now-extinct world leading up to the fall of the temple in Jerusalem in the historical year 70.


 
SCRIPTURES "NOT FOR TODAY" WHEN SEEING AD70 AS THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGES

Another consequence of the assumption that AD70 was the "consummation of the ages" is that all the writings of the Bible are understood as having a context of the old age, seeing as how all scriptures are believed to have been written prior to the coming of the new administration.  At the very least, all scriptures are made suspect, pending further review.   In most cases, the purpose of the Bible is limited to the "Old Covenant age" and are considered to represent an entirely different administration of God.   With this "AD70 terminus" view, many passages of Scripture as not seen as being for today.   In fact, there is a great debate as to which passages actually do apply to the New Covenant age.   A few, such as Revelation 21 and 22, with the leaves of the tree of life being used for the healing of the nations, are generally accepted as referring to the "historical New Covenant age".   However, numerous key passages, such as Christ's prayer "thy kingdom come," are seen as referring to the era "before AD70".  

This trend of thinking slices and dices the Word, eliminating, in some cases, the need for prayer, the need for faith, and the existence of the Holy Spirit -- as well as the applicability of the Gospel of Christ itself !

At the very least, all scriptures are made to pass through the "AD70 Filter" to see how the historical consummation might effect the outcome of the passage in question.   It is this wary eye which crosses over key verses such as "it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment," seeing as how the judgment is taken as a past event in AD70. 

  To state that we are in a completely different administration than they were is a fundamental presupposition which yields much of the conclusions under review here.  The first generation of Christians cannot be cut off from all subsequent generations, as though they lived in a different dispensation than we do today.   We mustn't let the external particulars of history turn us away from the fact that the gospel was being preached, and that the tensions they faced in their day are precisely those we feel in ours.   As noted above, Paul wrote that if any was in Christ, they were already a new creation -- well before AD70.   Instead of seeing the New Testament as revealing the way things were, I believe it reveals the way things are


THE BONES OF FULL PRETERISM

It is my hope with the latest direction of the website that partial preterism can be employed as the primary means of reaching the truth of shadow and substance.   Though full preterism is a bit more precise with the external fulfillments of prophecy (by not looking the future history for end-times fulfillment) whatever advantage this may provide is more than nullified by the vast amounts of damaging doctrines reached as a result of embracing its fundamental conclusions.

Though many might get upset with me characterizing full preterism as dangerous, it is an issue that must be addressed squarely and honestly.   Is it dangerous to one's faith to say that the Holy Spirit is no longer for today, having been marginalized by the parousia of Christ?  Absolutely.  It is an overthrow of people's faith to claim that faith itself is not for today, having been superseded by sight?  Certainly.  Is it destructive to teach that the gospel is not for today as many do, having been a specific message to the Jews of the approach of the kingdom?  Without question.  (I am in the process of archiving the many different Full Preterist definitions of "hyper-preterism")

Obviously, those who embrace the full preterist view have no desire to believe or propagate dangerous doctrine.  However, it is not enough to say this, while icily dismissing critical commentaries which come out against the view as being "nothing that we haven't heard before."   Considering the seriousness of the charges (and I hope also considering the credibility of the source), dogmatism and self-certainty should be set aside in favor of a sober and humble approach.   

Those who find themselves agitated at the content of this letter have missed my sincere call for healing and growth.    I am not demanding that anyone else see things the way I do -- and I am certainly not expecting others to repent of full preterism, as I have been led.  I would hope that a serious re-evaluation be considered, at least.  And this reflection need not be based solely upon the points that I have presented, but should also include whatever nagging heart feelings may have always been around, yet which have been dominated and overthrown by an unhealthy certainty of mind.

This study is the result of more than a decade of intense study on the doctrines of all forms of Preterism.   I pray that it has been helpful to you in some way. 

mercy and truth,
todd

P.S. My call to full preterist authors is to clearly identify those doctrines within the movement you believe represent "hyper preterism."  I know that most do indeed believe that AD70 can be taken too far.  If you take this study (or the lives of those who study at your websites) at all seriously, then please show it by adding to your website a definition for hyper-preterism.   Since the original version of this article appeared in 2006, not one full preterist who has read this article (to my knowledge) had done so.  
 

What do YOU think ?

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Date: 10 Sep 2006
Time: 17:40:12

Comments:

Todd,

When I first came across modern preterism a few years ago I felt like I was just placed inside of a vacuum bottle.

Part of the problem is that I was raised mostly (and only) on the popularized futuristic dispensational views of the "millenium" and the "second coming". So when it is now announced that the Parousia occurred in AD 70, my mind subconsciously brings along with it those popularized views. This is guaranteed intellectual disaster. It is pending shipwreck to put forth eschatological views isolated from a harmonious soteriology.

My main concern though is the direction that some "novice preterists" have taken. For example, some of those novices have concluded that John 3:16 only has a pre-70AD application.

So I have concluded that any form of modern eschatology that obliterates the love of God (or reduces it to a footnote) shall be where I concentrate my challenges. The love of God was not opened up to us in the destruction of Jerusalem, nor even in the resurrection of the dead. So I am pressed to first seek out those things that makes everything else look like a footnote in comparison.

Thank you for sharing your concerns.

-EM


Date: 16 Sep 2006
Time: 19:48:27

Comments:

My name is Juan C. Pena Marrero. Iam a pastor from Puerto Rico. Since The Presterist Archive started I have read several articles of this preterist eschatology. I understand that you are entering in a more comprehensive understanding of the scriptures by taking the best of full presterist with the idealist view understanding that the spiritual things are invisible and we all have to recognize this reality to participate in our internall process and redemption. I hope that a more clear understanding be for you in this process. Be the Lord Jesus with you in it. Amen.


Date: 20 Sep 2006
Time: 06:02:03

Comments:

Thanks Todd, You have been an ongoing inspiration to me and PA is a regular landing pad. Curiously the other day I was struggling with similar issues to yours. I seem to have landed at something like the Idealist/Preterist position.

For what it is worth, be encouraged to steer away from the need to criticize hardcore MPMer's. I think we are all heading to some form of idealism.
 


Date: 26 Sep 2006
Time: 13:03:49

Comments:

Isn't the main point of preterism the fact that all men no longer need rely on other men/rituals to be in God's presence/kingdom. No waiting necessary either, ala dispy futurism, as now the kingdom of God IS WITH MEN. Be in Christ , and you are in God's presence/kingdom.jwr


Date: 29 Sep 2006
Time: 07:02:05

Comments:

So how many more views are there when it comes to Preterism? Each view are claming that they are correct and the others are wrong.

A "House" divided will fall. The scriptures only have ONE meaning not many. Now we have FP. MP, PP, LP, HP, IP, what is left.

In teaching Preterism, which type do you teach? Which one is "Truth"?

Richard K.McPherson
www.preterism-eschatology.com


Date: 02 Dec 2006
Time: 06:25:35

Comments:

Todd,

It really doesn't matter which view of Preterism you believe in. Sure the Bible is for us and not to us, but it still shows us how we should live and act in everyday life.

Preterism is just a name and there is nothing in a name. I am a FP or MP. That doesn't mean I believe what another FP believes. Knowing who God is and what He has done in all that matter. Todd, I read why you left FP to become IP. It make sense, but what is in a name. I am a FIMP.

What is the duty of man? It is not to have a certain believe name, but to fear, honor and love, to live your life that the world may see Him in you. I know this was coming when the name was changed from Covenant Eschatology to Preterism to FP and PP to FP, PP, HP, MP, and IP. All of them have their good and bad points. Any type of Preterism goes too far in certain area, but that make life so fun to life. Each person is different. Why do we live, to get the message out on what God has "really" done for us is such hard work. That is why we pray for wisdom. Each person is different in their walk with God.

To love our spouses and children and to be faithful to Him that gave us more than what we deserve. Freedom, and with that freedom come responsibility.

Keep up the good work,

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year,

Richard
www.preterism-eschatology.com


Date: 20 Nov 2006
Time: 09:04:16

Comments:

Why does it seem to me as I view the general direction of thought that there's an inevitable tendency back towards the broad theology found in the Catholic Church where actual differences of opinion seem to be tolerated without arousing the need to slaughter one's opponents albeit only verbally. Sadly I suppose that it is at the root of Protestantism that proud independence and an unconscious self-aggrandizement will always emerge as the dominant spirit. Mcpherson states the scriptures have only one meaning, how absurd a suggestion when the gospel writers employ the OT in an entirely new way, but how reflective of a dogmatising and dictatorial tendency that desires to think independently. Peter's insistence that Christ operate according to his view was met with 'get thee behind me Satan' and do we not all fall foul of Peter's error when we elevate our own opinion above the unity of the body which is Christ?


Date: 14 Apr 2007
Time: 10:20:37

Comments0:

I'm reminded of a simple quote that goes like this:

"The rulership of the world by the British Empire (New world Order) is a usurpation of the sovereignty of Jesus Christ." The Union Jack

To recognize it, all you have to do is look for some concept of a kingdom of God on earth as opposed to Christ's spiritual Kingdom which is "not of this world."

The New World Order is not new at all. It can be traced continuously back to Genesis 4:7.

Larry


Date: 26 Apr 2007
Time: 14:08:03

Comments0:

Rev. Dennis,
Thank you for your exposition on the subject of Preterism (full) vs. Idealism. Several years ago I was led (immediately) to your website after earnestly praying that The Lord would help me understand the truth about his "Second Coming". Since that time I have indeed felt the "what now?" syndrome. How ought one live in view of this information? The Word (except for specific readily identifiable passages) is the "Living Word" applicable today and throughout eternity forever. Idealism and the timeless application of historical manifestations tends to put matters into better perspective for me. I eagerly look forward to reading more of your insightful expositions on the matter.

Eternally His,
<Al><


Date: 16 Feb 2008
Time: 11:29:51

Comments:

You state that ALL forms of Preterism is wrong, which includes yours.

The OT, does that not deal with "History" of the Jews and God's relationship wtih them.

The NT, continues with that "History". Jesus death, buried and resurrection, is that History fact?

How many meanings does the Bible have? You are no better off than the rest of the world. 600+ different views (denominations) and all of them are claiming to be the true.

What makes you all of a sudden right and everyone else wrong?


Date: 19 Feb 2009
Time: 20:14:06

Your Comments:

Well done Todd. Andrew Corbett (www.andrewcorbett.net)


Date: 12 May 2009
Time: 14:59:49

Your Comments:

Confessions of an orthodox preterist...

The essence (the important part) of Christianity is not historical but ontological. Everyone is in Christ now - the way we used to be in Adam. i.e. immortals - everyone is to be resurrected and everyone will confess Christ in the end because everyone will go through the fire. (I'm not making this up.)

Gee, God actually loves mankind. What a novel idea.

The fact, Todd, that Universalism bothers you, tells me that you're still not getting it.


Date: 28 May 2009
Time: 22:19:17

Your Comments:

Todd--I run a web ministry for a reformed church. The Pastors and I are researching the preterist position and would like to talk to you. You can contact us here. www.reformedapologetics.net

I am listed as (Webministry, Darin)
Thanks


Date: 13 Jun 2009
Time: 02:25:47

Your Comments:

See my Idealism Commentary at Lulu.com under REDIRECTIONALISM. I formally had a preterist view, but now understand these things to pertain to ideas, thus making AD 70 only the ultamate type. Questions: Directionalism@yahoo.com / Donald Perry Kearny, NJ


Date: 07 Sep 2009
Time: 10:59:24

Your Comments:

Todd, I think Benjamin David Olsen's work clears up so many of problems. I would like to send Chapter 20 from his "The Revelation Unveiled". It is about 4000 words. How do I send it to you?

Jim Adams
Oroville, CA
jadams2hd@yahoo.com

 


Date: 08 Dec 2009
Time: 21:46:33

Your Comments:

Who are you Mr. Dennis to call anyone "hyper" or anything else. You and I will one day find out exactly what is the reality. On that day I don't think you will be so high and mighty in your "ideals". We are all working out our understanding of the 3500-2000 year old texts, and I don't think you have any kind of liberty or right to call someone hyper. Compared to the fearful predictions of the end of the world and the millions of dollars that have been spent on the end times books, a complete and fulfilled bible/prophecy and promises is a much better teaching. I live in Gilbert Arizona, if you are so inclined you can respond and I will give you my contact info for a face to face anytime and you can define me to my face. You are in good company with the Popes that have tried to "define" people as heretics!
 

[TD: Why so hostile?  Am I not allowed to define truth and error as I see it?  Isn't that what all of us are doing?   Obviously, you fall into a classification I consider to be "beyond the acceptable" when it comes to preterism.   You are in good company.   If you think I am not allowed to classify doctrines, then don't come back.  That has always been the M.O. of this site, from the time it opened 13 years ago. ]


Date: 23 Dec 2009
Time: 03:40:05

Your Comments:

Thanks for the very interesting explanation on preterism from an ex-preterist POV. I have been on a journey of enquiry on this subject for some time and can see most scripture as 'double-sided' in interpretation such that it can satisfy both a futurist and preterist interpretation as desired (that's often the nature of scripture and how people choose to understand prophecy). However, I am stumped by Hebrews 10:37. The writer of Hebrews clearly believed Jesus was returning very soon. Either he was correct and preterism is sound or he was misguided which brings into question the inerrancy of scripture and how we interpret epistles. Any thoughts?

James


Date: 14 Feb 2010
Time: 15:39:06

Your Comments:

Hi Todd,

Your full Preterist site in the past was an info source for me when I wanted "another way of looking" at an issue to clarify my own understanding.

Recently I have been reading "universal restoration" sites and authors such as the late A. E. Knoch at Concordant.org and Gary Amirault at Tentmaker.org and others to better understand the competing errors of "universal salvation" and "eternal punishment" and the common theme of "life after death" and the concomitant conclusion of "salvation for all" and of "eternal punishment for some"... because not all will accept life.

The idea that Jesus saves all... eventually, is definitely appealing at first glance, but it seems to be the opposite extreme of eternal punishment in conscious agony.

Both "universal salvation" and "eternal punishment" assume life continues at death... hence the two extremes to deal with the "life after death" error ascribed to the bible, although I do agree that the "universal salvation" authors do a very good job of countering the "hell" and "eternal" part promoted by the "eternal punishment" authors.

My understanding forever has been that "life after death" is not a biblical teaching but "life after resurrection" is definitely and explicitly taught. Yes, I know the verses, such as John 11:26, "... never die...," but the Greek is not "never die" but "not ever shall die into the age/eon," i.e., "into the age" = die... but not forever.

This brings me to my point for writing to you today to give you a "verbal pat on the back"... yes, Jesus is the ONLY focal point in the bible, not an arbitrary date such as AD70, or 1844, or 1917, or "soon"... Jesus will return.

I will definitely return to PreteristArchive.com to better understand you and your sites unfolding exposition of Jesus as the eternal focal point of history past "... it is finished", present "... choose you this day whom you will serve", and future "... look up, your redemption is drawing near".

>From the nano-second Jesus decided in heaven to "empty" himself of deity and become "one with us" by conception, and the time on the "mercy seat of the cross" where his blood was sprinkled and he said "... it is finished" and then died, and until he returns to resurrect us and thus "... receive us to himself," Jesus is the ONLY focal point of the history of Israel and the universal "... called out of the darkness into his marvelous light" church... us.

Art
http://liftupjesusonly.blogspot.com

Lift Up Jesus Only and Jesus Will Lift You Up...
See You At The Resurrection

Words To Encourage Those Who Know They Are On The 'Narrow Way'
And Friendly Words To Evangelize Those On The 'Broad Way'


Date: 30 Mar 2010
Time: 11:34:26

Your Comments:

Todd -

Wow - I bookmarked your site early on as a (hyper) preterist resource, and had not kept up with your journey and changed POV. While I am not familiar with many of your terms, I do understand your basic arguments against hyper-preterism and hope to articulate them to some of my HP friends.

For those still searching for answers against hyper-preterism, I have found Mathison's collection (referenced in your archive) valuable, especially Richard L. Pratt, Jr.'s artical on Unfolding Biblical Eschatology.

Thanks so much for sharing your journey - it gives me hope for my friends.


Date: 28 Oct 2010
Time: 18:17:47

Your Comments:

In response to...

"At any rate, Paul warns against the teaching that the resurrection of the last day was past;2 Timothy 2:18:"Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. .""

Your logic fails here. At the time that Paul warns against such teaching, the resurrection hadn't past already. So, the position of the FP is not warned against here, since the FP believes that the resurrection occurred after this statement. All Paul was saying was that it hadn't happened yet (i.e., at the time of his writing).

The resurrection occurred when the OC had fully been removed.

 

[The OC was left without standing at the cross.  Any other teaching is something other than Christianity as it has always been known.  BTW, your argument is one from silence.  Those don't fly.]


Date: 30 Oct 2010
Time: 19:33:24

Your Comments:

In response to...

"At any rate, Paul warns against the teaching that the resurrection of the last day was past;2 Timothy 2:18:"Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. .""

Your logic fails here. At the time that Paul warns against such teaching, the resurrection hadn't past already. So, the position of the FP is not warned against here, since the FP believes that the resurrection occurred after this statement. All Paul was saying was that it hadn't happened yet (i.e., at the time of his writing).

The resurrection occurred when the OC had fully been removed.

[TD: Ipse Dixit]


Date: 28 Mar 2011
Time: 15:35:17

Your Comments:

Todd,

I did not understand where you were coming from before, but this article helped clarify things for me. I started my journey here in 2003, left for a bit, but am back now. Thank you my brother.

Chris

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