Continuing with the Problems of Full Preterism

As we continue to probe the matter of Full Preterism we have to keep in mind that it is a fairly new interpretation schematic. Indeed, some would contend that we only find Consistent Preterism showing up in 1970 or so. However, even if you date it back to J. Stuart Russell one is at that point only going back as far as the mid 1800s. (Though, J. Stuart Russell was not a Full Preterist in the way that is typically understood today as Russell was not comfortable with the idea that Revelation 20:10-14 was a past occurrence.)

Because Full Preterism is so new on the scene (like its polar opposite Dispensationalism) we should be extremely cautious about jumping into the Hymenaeus pool. Remember, with the embrace of Full Preterism is the embrace that everyone for almost 2000 years of Church history were wrong about eschatology. If we are to conclude that all the saints for almost 2000 years were wrong we better be very careful about the evidence we are going to accept in order to make that leap.

Keep in mind before you make that leap that Preterism, like all systems that can be characterized as being taken up by ideologues, is a system that is based on deductive reasoning that then requires all the particulars to be forced into the deductive system despite how the particulars may testify against the deductive system. Preterism, will not allow any contrary evidence from particular texts of Scripture because Preterism has as straight-jacket template that requires all to fit the system. Preterism, is a procrustean bed that will take texts and force them to fit their system. To the Preterist hammer all the eschatolgical texts are nails.

What the above paragraph means then is that having a conversation with a Preterist on this subject can be excruciatingly difficult because for them this is not just about eschatology. Indeed, for them Preterism is their whole weltanschauung. For a Partial-Preterist to argue on this point with a full Preterist is no different than a Calvinist arguing with an Arminian. The worldviews are so vastly different that there really shouldn’t be much expectation of success since each discussant have a different world and life view. This difference in worldviews is also seen in chaps like Don Preston and Max King as the ripple effect of their Full Preterism has rearranged all kinds of other Christian doctrinal systems.

Now let’s talk about the coming of Jesus for just a bit. First, we should observe how interesting it is to compare Dispensationalism and Full Preterism here. On one hand Dispensationalism is the eschatology that makes much of Christianity about the Israel of the future, while on the other hand full Preterism is the eschatology which makes much of Christianity about the Israel of the past. Both Full Preterism and Dispensationalism are preoccupied with Israel and the Jews. For Dispies the eschaton is about the Jews of the future. For Full Preterist the eschatological texts are about the Jews of the past.

I prefer the Christianity that says the Jews are eschatologically irrelevant since God divorced them as His people in AD 70. (And this doesn’t even take into consideration the whole Khazar issue.)

Let’s round off this post look a wee bit at the “coming” of Jesus. We would note that given the range of meaning of the Greek word “παρουσία” all because the Lord Christ or Scripture speaks of  Christ’s coming several places we need not conclude that every mention of  παρουσία  (coming) is in reference to what is commonly referred to today as His one and only “second coming.” It is true that many of the references of “coming” could well point to yet to be realized future second coming judgment. It is equally true that many references of Christ’s “coming” in the NT could also point to Christ’s AD 70 coming.

If it can be demonstrated from Scripture that just one “coming” of Jesus was NOT related to AD 70 or to Jesus “second coming” return then the insistence that the coming of Jesus has to be either what happened in AD 70 (Full Preterism) or what happens at the end of time (Christ’s bodily return) is kaput.

And we have just one of many “coming” (έρχομαι/παρουσία) examples found in Daniel 7 where the text speaks of the coming of Jesus that is neither a coming that is to end the world nor a coming that relates to AD 70;

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Here the coming of Jesus is neither AD 70 nor the final return at the end of time. Here the coming of Jesus is to the Father. We could produce many more examples where coming  (έρχομαι/παρουσία) is used to express a range of meaning that cannot be limited either to Christ’s AD 70 coming or Christ’s bodily return at the end of the age.

The point here is that the Dispensationalist are wrong when they insist that  παρουσία every single time means yet some coming future event and the Hyper-Preterists are wrong when they insist that παρουσία every single time must refer to the AD 70 judgment coming. The same word, depending upon the context can be used for both the “Second coming” of Christ or for Christ’s coming in judgment in AD 70 or some other time.

Both groups make a basic exegetical error and so both Dispensationalism and Full Preterism should be eschewed.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

3 thoughts on “Continuing with the Problems of Full Preterism”

  1. Thanks for continuing to write on this subject. Would you please provide the texts, and a little exegesis, where you feel that the coming of Jesus is the 2nd bodily coming at the end of time? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *