To Answer a Few Questions

David,

“Would you consider writing an idiot’s guide to preterism? I find it compelling yet know that guys I respect and trust would almost rather that I was Dispy-leaning rather than preterist leaning.”

The idiot’s guide to Preterism is as follows:

Preterism is the belief (distinguished from hyper-preterism) that some of the events prophesied by Chirst in the Olivet Discourse, by Daniel in chapter 7, and John in Revelation 20 specifically have already been fulfilled in the events surrounding the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.

Now there is some nuance within the Preterist camp as to which ones have been fulfilled but generally one can look specifically at Matt 24:1-28 as having been fulfilled as well as much of Revelation up to the last couple of chapters.

Viola,

“Benjamin, how is amillennialism different or the same as Peterism? I notice that doesn’t get mentioned in this essay. I guess I could look it up but I’m lazy tonight.”

Viola, A-millenialism deals with the nature of the Millenium in Revelation 20. Preterism deals with what prophecies have been fulfilled so while they both deal with eschatological questions they have different emphasis in the discussion. For instance both Post-Millenialists and A-Millennialists believe that the Millenium is symbolic and not a literal 1,000 time period that began with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. However few A-Millenialists are Preterists. Just different categories.

Cameron,

I’m interested in your reasoning why a “thousand years” did not mean a literal one thousand years.

Marcellus Kik in his book An Eschatology of Victory does an excellent job in laying out why this is the case. But for this purpose let me tell you this way. If you read the first part of Revelation 20 is highly symbollic. Look at the binding of Satan for example. Satan is a spirit how would one chain a spirit? Is it a literal key and chain? Do the saints sit on literal thrones? So if this be the case why would then the thousand years alone be literal?

TJ,

Ben, may I assume that Gentry is speaking of preterism broadly and that he would make a distinction b/t the partial and hyper/full flavors?

Yes that would be a safe assumption. Gentry and many others are trying to reclaim the word “Preterist” though they can be safely categorized as “Partial-Preterists” in today’s nomenclature.

Hope this answers some of your questions. If you have any others please feel free to ask them.

Partial-Preterist Post-Millenialist

One of the courses I am engaged in this term has been a look at the Doctrine of the Last Things or better labeled “Eschatology”. In this class we have barely yet to scratch the surface as far as ripping apart the pertinent texts like Matthew 25, Revelation 20, 1 Thess 4 & 5, and 2 Thess 2. Before taking this course I had not thought through this stuff very much as where I was before put little to no emphasis on these type of subjects and never had a reason to “stake out a territory” so to speak. So after reading other books prior to this class and in reading an excellent book by Cornelis Venema (an optimistic A-Mill) and beginning a work by Marcellus Kik (a Post-Mill) I have come to the following conclusions (for now)…

1) I believe in Partial Preterism.

What does that mean? Basically it means that I hold that the majority of the events prophesied in Scripture dealing with the “end times” refer to and were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple cult by the Romans in A.D. 70.

2) I believe the Millennium is symbolic.

The literal 1,000 years that Dispensational Pre-Millennialists push is not Scriptural or in keeping with the Biblical text. In other words the reference to 1,000 years in Revelation 20 is not meant to be taken as a literal 1,000 years.

3) I believe that Christ will come back at the end of the Millennium

Which makes me a post-millennialist (also one thing that A-Mills and Post-Mills share).

4) I believe that Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

I would highly recommend Ken Gentry’s work here. Basically that the Book of Revelation was written during the reign of Nero. Also that Nero Caesar is the sixth king who is the one who is in Revelation 17:10.

Suggested Reading List

An Eschatology of Victory by Marcellus Kik

The Last Days According to Jesus by R.C. Sproul, Sr.

Before Jerusalem Fell by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

He Shall Have Dominion by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Post-Millenialism: An Eschatology of Hope by Keith Mathison

Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

The Promise of the Future by Cornelis Venema

This will be the first of several posts on Eschatological issues that will help flesh out my beliefs and illustrate how and why the Scriptures teach what I have professed above.