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What's So Heretical About Preterism?

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#1
Trinitron

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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?



#2
Fez

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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?

Read Worthy's statement of faith SOF, and then tell me why it gets erased (usually after some discussion).



#3
shiloh357

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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.
(Tit 2:11-14)

 

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



#4
OneLight

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It is really simple.  Not all the prophecies have been fulfilled.  To claim they have been is false.  False teachings are not of Christ.



#5
Trinitron

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I see.  So full Preterism is the problem.  Although the intent seems to keep it completely out of site without room for analysis on the degrees of it for what reasons I cannot see.



#6
shiloh357

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Well even partial Preterism is problematic, because unlike full preterists, partial preterists are not considered heretical because they are able to accept the entire Nicene Creed which affirms the future return of Jesus.   Partial Preterism does believe in a future coming of Jesus, but they still claim that most of the prophecies of the end times occurred by 70 AD, that Nero was the anti-Christ, no future Tribulation period, and so on. 

 

The lynch pin for both partial Preterism and full Preterism is the date of authorship for the book of Revelation.   If the book of Revelation was written later than 70 AD, both full Preterism and partial Preterism completely fail. 

 

Most scholars believe that the book of Revelation was written between 80-96 AD, during the reign of Domitian.  Ireneus, who had listened to the teachings of Polycarp who was a disciple of John in his writings entitled "Against Heresies"  places the book of Revelation near the end of  the reign of Domitian. (Against Heresies, Book 5, Chapter 30 Section 3).

 

Neither partial Preterists nor full Preterists can offer up one piece of solid evidence in favor of the book of Revelation having been written before 70 AD.  They are putting the cart before the horse and are dating the book based on their theological position and nothing else.   During the first two centuries, all of the early Church Fathers were futurists.  You can find no evidence of the Preterist view in the first two centuries of early Church writings.

 

Preterists and partial Preterists will claim that John must have had the fall of Jerusalem in mind in Revelation because it was such a big event.  The problem is that not one Church father even mentions the fall of Jerusalem until the third century and nearly 300 years after the fact.  No one close to the events surrounding the fall of Jerusalem writes at all about it, which means that to the early Church, it may not have been as big an event as we think it is, today.

 

Preterism and partial Preterism depend on an allegorical or metaphorical method of interpretation when reading the Olivet discourse in Matthew or when reading Revelation and the problem with the allegorical and metaphorical methods is that the meaning of the passages are different depending on the reader.  There is no set allegorical meaning that will be true for every reader.  Each person interprets the allegory or metaphor differently.

 

Finally and in conclusion, both full Preterism and partial Preterism see no prophetic future for Israel.  In that way, both present a serious challenge to the faithfulness of God to His in terms of His integrity and faithfulness is keeping His word.   They both see the Church age as as fulfillment of God's promises to Israel being transferred to the Church, who they both see as the "New Israel." 

 

It is important to keep in mind that this is not what the prophets in the OT had in view.  Most people have never stopped to think about it, but there are no prophesies in the OT concerning the Church age in which we are living now.  The OT prophets didn't see the church.  In OT prophecy, they see the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection of Jesus and they prophesy of His Second coming, but they don't see the Church age and you cannot find one reference to the Church in the OT prophecies at all.   Paul called the Church a mystery hidden in Christ.  The mystery of the Church is not revealed until apostolic ministry of Jesus first apostles, including Paul.  

 

So the notion that the OT blessings of Israel actually being for the Church cannot be derived from the OT.  And as I said earlier, a passage cannot mean today what didn't mean when it was originally written.

 

Both views are Preterism are clearly shot through with theological error.



#7
Butero

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I see.  So full Preterism is the problem.  Although the intent seems to keep it completely out of site without room for analysis on the degrees of it for what reasons I cannot see.

Having read Shiloh's post about what all Preterism is, I disagree with all of it.  This is the first time I have heard the term Preterism, so I want to thank Shiloh for giving us such a comprehensive explanation of what it means.  You are asking about having a belief in some portion of this teaching, and why you can't consider it.  There was a time where I came to believe in pre-destination, but I would make the mistake of referring to this belief as Calvanism.  In reality, it is not, because to claim belief in Calvanism is to accept all of his teachings, and I reject most of what he taught.  If you don't believe in Preterism as a whole, you would be wise to only address things you do believe and see in scripture and stop calling it Preterism. 



#8
Salty

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The problem with Preterism is the same problem with many of the theological ideas of men developed in later centuries. Most of them simply are only Bible-based within a limited scope to serve a particular group of people's way of thinking about The Bible. This is why it's good to go back and read what the early 1st & 2nd century Church fathers wrote prior to those later doctrines that crept in the Church. And most importantly, read The Bible as written, always referring back to the manuscripts and beware of those on the old bottles thinking which cannot handle the new wine of God's Word.



#9
Fez

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The problem with Preterism is the same problem with many of the theological ideas of men developed in later centuries. Most of them simply are only Bible-based within a limited scope to serve a particular group of people's way of thinking about The Bible. This is why it's good to go back and read what the early 1st & 2nd century Church fathers wrote prior to those later doctrines that crept in the Church. And most importantly, read The Bible as written, always referring back to the manuscripts and beware of those on the old bottles thinking which cannot handle the new wine of God's Word.

Ok you gave us a lot of words. if your intent is to defend the doctrine of Preterism can you tell me if you are talking about partial or full (sometimes called hyper) Preterism, And if you are defending it, can you quote the scripture you are using?



#10
FresnoJoe

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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?

 

:thumbsup:

 

Beloved, Because Jesus, The Christ Of The Bible

 

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: Romans 11:26

 

And The Creator Of Israel

 

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Isaiah 54:5

 

Just Will

 

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Isaiah 66:8

 

Not

 

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. Ezekiel 11:16-17

 

Fail

 

And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:18-20

 

See?

 

The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. Joel 3:16

 

~

 

Dear One, Far Too Often I See The Preterist Viewpoint

 

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Genesis 3:1(a-c )

 

Used As An Anti-Israel Philosophical Platform

 

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. Psalms 83:1

 

To Launch The Hatred Of The Jew

 

For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. Psalms 83:2

 

And To Support The

 

They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. Psalms 83:3

 

Destruction Of

 

They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. Psalms 83:4

 

Zion

 

For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: Psalms 83:5

 

May It Never Be

 

Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:

 

If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

 

Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

 

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. Jeremiah 31:35-38

 

Amen~!



#11
Cletus

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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?

Read Worthy's statement of faith SOF, and then tell me why it gets erased (usually after some discussion).

I am not thatgood with computers and finding things on websites. Where is this statement of faith located? I would like to read it.

#12
Salty

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The problem with Preterism is the same problem with many of the theological ideas of men developed in later centuries. Most of them simply are only Bible-based within a limited scope to serve a particular group of people's way of thinking about The Bible. This is why it's good to go back and read what the early 1st & 2nd century Church fathers wrote prior to those later doctrines that crept in the Church. And most importantly, read The Bible as written, always referring back to the manuscripts and beware of those on the old bottles thinking which cannot handle the new wine of God's Word.

Ok you gave us a lot of words. if your intent is to defend the doctrine of Preterism can you tell me if you are talking about partial or full (sometimes called hyper) Preterism, And if you are defending it, can you quote the scripture you are using?

 

 

Me defend Preterism? No way. You misread my post.

 

I was raised in a Protestant denominational Church that relied on the doctrines of partial preterism. They didn't cover hardly any of the prophecies for the end of this world, which are essential to making a stand for Christ Jesus in these days by my understanding. Why did they hold to those preterist views then?

 

I think it was mainly because they wanted to be an evangelical type Christian organization mainly, staying away from Bible prophecy out of fear of creating controversy within their Churches. Problem with that though is it leaves the members all their lives to a 'milk' teaching from God's Word instead getting to the "strong meat" of His Word.

 

Full Preterism is actually very dangerous, because it includes factions that treat Christ's second coming as already past history.


Edited by Salty, 28 June 2014 - 04:30 PM.


#13
ayin jade

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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?

Read Worthy's statement of faith SOF, and then tell me why it gets erased (usually after some discussion).

I am not thatgood with computers and finding things on websites. Where is this statement of faith located? I would like to read it.

 

 

http://www.worthynet...tement-of-faith



#14
Cletus

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Thank you sheba. I enjoyed reading it.

#15
19Duggarfan

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Being more of a partial partial preterist who holds to Covenant Views and not being a Dispensationalist; I would remind everyone that their is a little more proof for an early writing of the Book of Revelation than for a later date. (Yes I meant to type partial twice)

 

Eternal Evidence

Syriac Vulgate Bible (sixth century):

States, The Apocalypse of St. John, written in Patmos, whither John was sent by Nero Caesar.  (Opening Title for the Book of Revelation).

 

The Muratorian Canon (AD 170)

...the blessed Apostle Paul following the rule of his predecessor John, writes to no more than seven churches by name. 

 

John too, indeed, in the Apoclaypse, although he wrote to only seven churches, yet addresses all.

ANF5:603

 

Clement of Alexandria

States that John was in Patmos at the time of the Tyrant and only one Roman Emperor earned that name Nero.   Clement also tells that the Teaching of the Apostles was completed at the time of Nero.

 

These are just a few example from outside the Book of Revelation as to it dates.

 

 

Internal Evidence

The Temple was still standing (Revelation 11)

 

As note in The Muratorian Canon, John wrote to seven Churches, if John wrote to all the Churches around 95AD, it would have been 9 or more.  Laodicea was destroyed by an earthquake around 60 AD, and on their own not accepting help from the Roman Empire, which would help to understand Revelation 3:17.

 

It seems to be that Revelation 2:2 states that there were other Apostles, if this is the case, it had to before 70 AD, as except for John all other Apostles where dead by 95 AD.

 

The Book of James is know to have been written before 70 AD.  And this great Apostle leave a gem of proof for the earlier date of the writing of Revelation.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.

James 1:12

And where is the only place in the NT where we read about the Lord Jesus promising the crown of life?

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a CROWN OF LIFE.

Revelation 2:10

 

This by no means proves that the Book of Revelation was written at the earlier date, but in my estimation it does show very good reason to believe for the earlier date.

 

Just passing in short over the other comments that Shiloh made:

We also see Israel having a future as stated in Romans 11:25-26; which is after the time of the fullness of the Gentiles.

 

I would also think James states that the Church Age was foretold (see Acts 15:13-17; and Amos 9:11-12; Isaiah 42:6).

 

 

Although I do not agree with the Dispensationalist, I know many in the group love God with all their hearts and even though we have disagreements, it is not because we don't love and try to honor the Bible we just understand it differently.



#16
OakWood

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Can somebody help me here with reference to Matthew 24?

I don't believe that all of Matthew 24 has been fulfilled, but I do believe that the reference to the destruction of the temple did actually occur in 70 AD. If you read Matthew 24, Jesus refers to this separately and before the disciples ask him further questions.

 

So if I believe that the destruction of the temple has already occurred, does that make me a partial preterist?



#17
OneLight

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No, not in my book.  It will take more than just one verse to be seen as a partial preterits.



#18
OakWood

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No, not in my book.  It will take more than just one verse to be seen as a partial preterits.

 

That's what I thought. I always believed that the definition of a preterist was somebody who believed that all Biblical prophecies had been fulfilled by 70 AD. Other than that, I hadn't thought about it much. I'm not a preterist, so I haven't taken much notice of who they are or what they are.

I just wanted to check that.



#19
shiloh357

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Can somebody help me here with reference to Matthew 24?

I don't believe that all of Matthew 24 has been fulfilled, but I do believe that the reference to the destruction of the temple did actually occur in 70 AD. If you read Matthew 24, Jesus refers to this separately and before the disciples ask him further questions.

 

So if I believe that the destruction of the temple has already occurred, does that make me a partial preterist?

What makes a person a Preterist is that they believe that the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD was the second coming of Jesus.  They believe that when the temple was destroyed by the Romans that it was God final rejection of Israel and the Jews and that references to Jesus bodily return were metaphors for the destruction of the temple. 

 

For this reason, a preterist believes that we are living in the "new heavens and "new earth"  today.  That Revelation 21-22 is talking about the church age.  It is a view that is preposterous and simply unworkable.






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