There are 10,000 different variations of Christianity. Most are welcomed here no problem, even some stuff that is weird by my standards. Once the Preterist view is brought up, for one it gets erased in my experience. Would someone care to enlighten me how this view cannot coincide with being an acceptable Christian?
Not only is it based on bad hermeneutics and bad theology, Preterism is an assault on God's character. Preterists believe that God is finished with the Jews and that because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, all of the covenantal blessings made to the Jews have been transferred to the Gentile Church.
This is problematic theologically because it means that God is unfaithful. If God transferred all of His promises to the Jews to someone else, then God was not faithful to the Jews and if that is the case, if God was unfaithful to the Jews to do what He promised then on what basis do we have any assurance that God will be faithful to us?
They view all prophecy as mostly symbolic. When it comes to the prophecies of the end of the age, for the whole world, the preterist views this as the end of the age for Israel, not the whole world. Thus everything in Revelation is interpreted through that filter. The destruction of Babylon, for example in Revelation 18 is the destruction of Jerusalem which they correlate to the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 AD.
But in Revelation 18, the destruction of Babylon is mourned worldwide by world leaders and by all of those who were major business owners who profited through their association with Babylon and by those who profited by in the shipping and distribution industries.
Jerusalem doesn't fit that description. No one mourned the destruction of Jerusalem.
The HUGE issue for preterists is the bodily second coming of Jesus. The bodily second coming of Jesus is prophesied more than the first coming of Jesus. Yet for the preterist the second coming of Jesus was symbolic for the fall of Jerusalem. They see the destruction of Jerusalem as the fulfillment of the second coming and in their view ends or sums up all of prophecy. They see all of prophecy as merely poetic and symbolic, so that nothing you read is as it seems. From that perspective, interpretation of Bible prophecy becomes arbitrary and the reader is free to make anything he reads to be "symbolic" without any justification from the text.
The beautiful thing about Bible prophecy is how so much of it has already been fulfilled, literally as written. When we look at the prophecies already fulfilled by Jesus and fulfilled historically to Israel and other peoples, we see an unmistakable pattern of LITERAL fulfillment. The prophecy about the city of Tyre and its final destruction can be historically verified. The prophecies of Jesus' virgin birth, sinless life, ministry, death, burial and resurrection are fulfilled literally, to the letter. There fulfilled prophecies about the return of the Jews to their historic homeland that are fulfilled historically to the letter. This nullifies the view of preterists that prophecy is nothing more than symbolic poetry.
And this really goes back to the faithfulness of God, again. God is glorified when we can point to who He is and what He has done. God's character and operations form the basis of both our faith in Him, that we can trust His character, but also our hope, our eager anticipation for the prophetic promises He has yet to fulfill. It is the fact of fulfilled prophecy that provides us with a testimony of God's faithfulness. If prophecy is purely symbolic poetry as the preterists claim, then there is nothing for us to anchor our hearts to. Notice the following Scripture:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
If prophecy is nothing more than symbolic poetry, then this passage in Titus makes no sense. Here Paul is calling Christians to purify themselves in view of Christ's coming. Why, if the second coming of Jesus is just symbolic of the destruction of Jerusalem, would Gentile Christians need to purify themselves in view of Jerusalem's destruction?
Secondly, since this Titus was written before 70 AD, would the original audience understand that Paul was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem? How would they have interpreted any reference to the second coming of Jesus as referring to the destruction of Jerusalem? The answer is that they couldn't have interpreted in that way.
So Preterism violates historical propriety in how it views prophecy. One important rule of thumb in biblical hermeneutics is that a passage of Scripture cannot mean today, what it didn't mean back then.
There is historical evidence that second century (100-200 AD) believers viewed the second coming of Jesus as still future and interpreted the Scriptures that way:
16:6 Then appear the signs of truth. With the first sign, heaven opens, then the sign of the sounding trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead.
16:7 Yet, not of all the dead, but as it is said : “The Lord will come and all his saints with him”.
16:8 Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven. http://www.sofiatopi...eon/didache.htm
Many of the early church fathers viewed the second coming as future to their lifetime as well.
So even the Christians who lived nearly a generation after the destruction of Jerusalem did not see the destruction of Jerusalem as fulfilling the prophecies of Jesus' second coming