BOOKS: BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)
David S. Clark -The Message From Patmos: A Postmillennial Commentary on the Book of Revelation (1921) "This early twentieth-century Postmillennial commentary on the Book of Revelation, written by the father of theologian Gordon Clark, offers an easy-to-read alternative to the popular Pre-millennial/Dispensational views of the best-selling Scofield Reference Bible and a multitude of other dissertations on end-time prophecy that litter the shelves of Christian bookstores. "
Though the dispensationalists were clearly wrong in much of their eschatology, they have maintained a belief in the Final Advent of Christ, a future, physical Resurrection, and the Day of Judgment. Our "new" group has denied the historic understanding of these doctrines. In this case they have rejected the errors of dispensationalism for errors that are far worse.
The new teaching which has arisen in response to dispensationalism has been referred to by its adherents as "fulfilled eschatology" and sometimes as "consistent preterism" (preter means past). Of course, no one wants to be "inconsistent," so they have made their opponents' position in error by definition. Christian communication can occur much more easily if we accept terms that appropriately define where we stand. In addition, the position presented in this book is that they are only consistent (in most cases) within their own system (which is not difficult—you merely relegate everything in Scripture to the past before you examine it). They are not consistent with Scripture itself. "Preterist" is obviously insufficient as a term for this group because they themselves find the need to add qualifiers like "consistent" to it.
Many within the church today find the act of departing from various doctrines of the historic Christian faith to be of no terrific consequence. I am not saying one needs have all of his eschatological "ducks in a row" in order to be saved. There are many Christians I admire very much whom I believe to be wrong in their understanding of eschatology.
What do YOU think ?
CommentsWhat I think is interesting is this: 1.It is not true, however, that the eschatology of the New Testament is exclusively preterist; some prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. This is my question for you: If there is prophecy yet to be fulfilled , then why are not the gifts of prophecy still relevant for today, if there is still something futuristic to be played out in history. 2.In addition, most have gone on to deny there is a future eternal state. My question is this: where did you get your information? If we are still in "Flesh" which is temporal, how is that anyone can deny the eternal state which has no beginning or end? I think you need to check your resources. - Elton Foster www.theprophetsvoice.com
In the introduction to Seraiah's book, he claims that full preterists don't carefully make the distinction between the NT texts that refer to His coming in judgment on Jeusalem/apostate Judaism and those that speak of His return to resurrect and judge all men at the end of human history. Texts are then cited that purportedly "speak for themselves" and clearly demonstrate this distinction. The problem here is three-fold. (1) The NT itself never explicitly makes such a distinction. Given the tremendous theological ramifications that ride on whether or not this distinction is valid, it seems strange that the NT writers didn't make it clear and unmistakeable, if in fact it is a valid distinction. (2) What exactly are the criteria supposed to be whereby one can reliably determine which NT passages refer to Jesus' 70 A.D. coming and which refer to His future judgment? To my knowledge, no partial preterist has ever provided a set of objective criteria by which this crtical distinction might be determined. In the abscence of such hermeneutical principles, the assertion that some texts refer to the former and others to the latter seem largely contrived. (3) Many partial preterists are convinced that full preterism is "obviously false" because of the absurdity of contending that the resurrection and final judgment occurred in 70 A.D. Taken in a certain way, yes, such a contention is preposterous, since it is obvious that a resurrection and judgment of all men did not take place on this planet in the year 70 A.D. However, this reading of full preterism is a thinly-disguised caricature. The vast majority of full preterists would not make the rather silly claim attributed to them above, but rather something like the following. When Christ came in judgment against the unbelieving Jews in 70 A.D., that historical judgment signaled the ushering in of a parallel judgment "in eternity" that all men will eventually undergo, a judgment befitting Christ's having brought God's redemptive purposes to their consummation (Acts 17:30-31; Heb. 9:26b-28). This claim is neither ludicrous nor devoid of biblical support. If partial preterists want to refute the more sophisticated and plausible versions of full preterism, they need to quit knocking down straw men and tackle the real thing. Otherwise, their arguments actually serve to help full preterism by refining it and showing the implausibility of its less well-thought-out versions. Matthew Power
I have been studying the various flavors of Preterism for some months now. I am fully convinced that the events of 70 A. D. are the real subject of Daniel 9, the Olivet Discourses, and the bulk of Revelation. However, there seems to be a rift in the Preterist community over the subject of the “Millennium” in Revelation 20. (For the record, I see the “1000 years” in Revelation as a figurativec expression for an undefined but substantial period of time that may or may not be a literal 1000 calendar years.) As I understand it, one of the rules of good hermeneutics is to carefully examine all the passages you can find on a particular subject. If the large majority of the passages seem clear in their meaning while a few others seem vague, then the rule of thumb is to form your position based on the clear passages. If only one writer mentions a topic in one place and you can’t find any corroborating passages, then what it means is anyone’s guess. The Millennium seems to be just such a questionable area. To me, it seems to be a thorn in the side of both Full Preterists and Partial Preterists alike. On the one hand, if you use the rule above, then the Pantelist position seems the way to go. In all fairness, John’s Revelation is the only place I know of that suggests that there is a (long) period of time between Christ’s parusia, (that seems to include a “First Resurrection” of martyred saints), and the “Last Day”, (i.e. the final defeat of Satan, the general resurrection of all the remaining dead, and the Judgment Seat of Christ). Actually, when he says “And the rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years was completed”, it almost seems as if that part of his prophecy was parenthetical; an afterthought if you will. On the other hand, while it may seem parenthetical but it is still there nonetheless. To discard it scares me. I don’t want to be guilty of “taking away from the words of the prophecy”. Also, the Preterist camp is real big on time phrases such as “near”, “at hand”, “at the door”, this generation shall not pass away”, etc… To say that “at hand” means literally some time within the current generation, and to spiritualize “1000 years” to mean the same 40 yr. span of time between ascension and parusia is the “Preterist Pot” calling the “Dispensationalist Kettle” black. It is right up there with “this generation” meaning “race”. At the moment, I dwell in the Partial-Preterist camp, not because I think it is exceedingly better grounded theologically, but because it just “feels” right. I realize that is subjective on my part, but I can’t help it. Satan is surely guilty as charged, convicted and bound, (that is “restricted”), but I can’t reconcile myself to the supposition that he is totally destroyed. When it comes to evil being present in the world, there seems to be something bigger at work than merely man’s sin nature. Who knows! After more prayer, research and a revelation of the Holy Spirit, I may someday find myself in the Full Perterist camp as David Chilton did shortly before his death. But in the mean time, I’ll continue to study, pray and meditate on these things. Whichever way I lean in this matter I know the following things are true; when my time is done in this earthly life I will either go immediately into His presense or “sleep in the dust of the earth” until I am raised at the “Last Day”. Either way, I know that His redemptive work is complete, I am “raised with Him in Heavenly places” right now, the Kingdom of Heaven is right now. There is really nothing to wait for but there is always plenty to do for the Kingdom, regardless of whether you serve in Heaven or earth. Thank God for His Holy Spirit which awakens in the hearts of men a burden for the things of God and His Christ. Your Brother, Cliff Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
We love Dewey Rowe! Sandie Young
Date: 21 Oct 2006
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