O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
It seems that preterists of all stripes rush to call Protestant Historicism a "discredited" notion. Who "discredited" Protestant Historicism? What parts of it are invalid? Does that mean that the whole notion of the Papacy being Anti-Christ or "the man of sin" is discredited?
My main reason for coming to these pages, is to learn. I presented my views, because I wanted to see how far the Preterists would be willing to engage me on the things that *I* am persuaded in. Most of the people on these pages already have their minds made up. It turns out that not many preterists are willing to take their eternal/kairos logic past 70ad, in a way that would have ANY dynamic application to church history. ... This leads me to believe that they are hiding something. Because NOBODY who is serious about prophecy deliberately tries to KEEP their logic from being applied in every area of life TODAY. ... it's interesting how two of the most ardent Preterists on this site are excitedly advocating FOR an evolutionistic worldview (with God in the picture, of course). So they do care about "science" and keeping creation science at bay. That's one very present concern that is expressed here. Other than that...I fail to see how Full Preterism would make A DIFFERENCE in contemporary life... other than to use as a hammer to bash charismatics. That's not a positive, but a negative, difference. So... again... where's the change hoped for? Where's the contemporary purpose? The ACTIVE application?
I too hold to the view that God is all-in-all! And I'm not Preterist (I accept 70ad events as only one part of the fulfillments, near the beginning of my timeline of the last 2000 years.)
Charismatics believe that Jesus is all-in-all. They believe in what they cannot see (because nobody has "seen" this and can describe it fully). In fact, they appear to have MORE kairological faith, in this regard, than the Preterists who don't believe that people are supernaturally healed like they were before 70ad. How can the FULL be any less than the PARTIALLY COMPLETE?????
You and I both believe that spiritually/eternally/kairologically (outside-of-time), God is all in all. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. And that INCLUDES Jesus Christ. Chronologically... that has yet to be REVEALED in time, precisely HOW this is so. Culturally... even the church doesn't understand how it all relates. And "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" is just that... a revelation of JESUS CHRIST. HOW Jesus gets revealed to be the kairological all-in-all. Obviously, it plays out like a battle - since the world and the adversary really don't want to see it, because they are hiding from it.
Yea, I'm ALWAYS wary of people using the Bible for convenience (a sure sign of this is saying that the next thing in Rev to occur is "Armageddon" or "Jesus Returning" or ... that it's already totally done (chronologically).) It is CONVENIENT to say this. It takes the guess work out of the picture. Saves time and effort. AND (most importantly) places us ON TOP of history, rather than beneath it!
I don't think we are necessarily at Armageddon, for precisely this reason. Historicists (and usually Futurists) have said this for about 150 years. However, in Historicist terms, that may be accurate. Events (in historicist terms) are VERY slow to unfold...and impossible to miss. It's not that we look at too big of a picture. It's that our frame of reference is too small. To study historicism is a FUN ride...even if it's not all true. It's like taking a tour of history. Because the historicist must ATTEMPT to make a SEQUENTIAL application of a CHRONOLOGICAL revelation to CHRONOLOGICAL history. You don't hop & skip around the whole Bible. You don't hop & skip around history. Each Historicist narrative must at least ATTEMPT a semi-chronological application of the entire book (or most of it). So it's fun & doesn't make my head hurt too much. I've learned to see a bigger picture than I ever would have even ACCEPTED coming from a futurist background. Historicism is what weaned me away from Futurism. And for that I am very grateful. In fact, it was HISTORICISM that opened me up to seeing the truths of PRETERISM!!! How exciting.
I know many preterists may refuse to tolerate my enthusiam and wordiness. Maybe they think I'm too bold, or that I'm not detailed and refined enough. Whatever. Everyone has their own style of learning. Not everything has to be "hermeneutical." There ARE other ways to discuss and learn truths that are Biblical. Not that I'm against hermeneutics or proper exegesis. But I find that the devil is into details. I find that many times even hard-core ATHEISTS will attempt to get me bogged down into THEIR game...so that I CANNOT see the bigger picture (because it points toward the flaws in their supposed closed-box system). Interesting. Atheists have a closed box material universe. And...preterists have a prophetically closed-box approach to the book of Revelation. Takes a lot of the wonder & mystery out of it...and takes away the danger of being "wrong". Unfortunately, if the closed-box happens to exclude even one thing... then the whole system is wrong for calling the case "closed." Revelation is an open book. I continue to learn A LOT...about both eternal truth (that Preterists teach) and about chronological truth (how The Spirit and The Church have expressed themselves IN HIS STORY).
You seem like a transparent person, and I appreciate that about you. At least you seem honest about whatever agenda you may have, if you do.
But allow me to address a misconception you have about history, and the preterist view.
Preterism is not an idea that TAKES AWAY from history unfolding. Just the opposite in fact. Just because 70 AD marked the end of prophecy doesn't mean it marked the end of the story. What 70 AD did was to judge the outgoing (the old) and usher in the new.
What exactly is the new? It is the real and full expression of God's kingdom on earth within the people of God. This expression has been growing for 2,000 years, and instead of seeing the world winding down, a full preterist sees it getting better and better. There are many metrics you can use to measure this. But as I see the world now, I see God's promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church as a reality. I see stronghold after stronghold falling in a relentless push for the betterment of the world, and I see evil being systematically crushed.
You may point to the escalation of evil on our time as evidence of the world getting worse, but I could similarly point to the first century Roman world as a much more excessively evil society than the ones we see today. I see the church conquering relentlessly and surely through time, and I look for a time when the whole earth will indeed be filled with the knowledge of God.
I don't see armageddon as the end of the world, because I see it has already happened, albeit on a local scale that doesn't fit the typical futurist scenarios as depicted in books like "Left Behind".
If you want to argue for some kind of worldwide cataclysmic event, then please tell me why Jesus came as a baby in a frontier town on the fringe of the Roman Empire? Surely He could have come the first time to more people than just the Jews!
So arguing logically that He MUST come to be seen by the eyes of all on the physical earth a second time is arguing for a scenario the bible doesn't require.
In any case, there are many things I have to say about futurist, and historical models, that assume the preteristic view is a doom and gloom view. It just isn't In fact, it is one of the most hopeful views for all people on earth that I have ever heard.
Historicism taught me to take the long view of history, rather than the 7-year Futurist short-view. As soon as I opened up to the Historicist portrayal of Antichrist, my eyes were opened to "mega-possibilities" that I never would have explored otherwise. I began to suddenly SEE why the social world was in the shape that it was in, when I was born into it. I never thought much about Western Civilization (pre-America) before that. But now I see that human history is all related, and that Jesus came into relationship with it, and even affected its dynamics. I saw how much better things are now, than they were 1000 years ago. I saw how Jesus' name was abused in the height of papal power around 1100ad. And the logic of historicism helped me see the common brotherhood of believers - and distrust many of the institutional divisions that are set up over us, that keep us apart. I see the oppressive nature of these institutions (both denominations and civil governments) lightening up, due to pressure from the outside and inside. I see evil mounting and consolidating, only because it is having to push against a much stronger social force. The story and concepts in the gospel are slowly converting the globe - both directly to Christ, and also making ideologies slowly conform to the truth. It took me a long time to realize that weath, technology, markets, and money value...are outgrowths of ideology and faith. Now I see. My sight is growing, and it was HISTORICISM that helped me to open up to the truths found in other denominations, including what Preterism has to offer.
Maybe premillenial Historicism doesn't think that there's any hope this side of Armageddon. But that flies in the face of those who first called the Papacy 'antichrist' and called for everyone to exit the Whore of Babylon. They obviously didn't wait for Armageddon to try to "make things better" or "hope for a better world". They didn't wait for a future millenium. They wanted "improvement" now.
Historicism and optimistic post-millenialism fit together perfectly. In that sense, I guess it has more in common with partial preterists, than preterists.But I am drawn to how the preterists are so focused on kairos logic (a once-and-for-all outside-of-time logic of priority). Kairos logic is where the battle is won in the chronological. You cannot focus on the things of this world, and battle over the things of this world using the things of the world...and get anywhere. Your gaze must be directed toward the only weapons that really work: those of the Spirit. And God is Eternal, beyond time, never changing, absolute. It is kairos logic, applied with an almost scientific accuracy...that will win minds. Even as the Spirit and Love of God will first win their hearts.
I'm not sure about most things concerning Revelation. I sorta stick with the Historicists, because it jives with what I know about western civilization. I see clearly how 2 Thess 2 describes the man of sin in the temple - and there is only one temple that fits THE temple described in that verse...which leaves only one interpretation of Revelation available to me: that of SOME FORM of historicism, beyond 70ad. Something happened IN the temple of God (the church). And that is precisely what we see, in our own history. The Bible was written for believers. Nobody who doesn't believe really believes that book, anyway. It was given for those of us who have ears (believers) to understand the world that we are living in, from God's eye-view.
As for a "worldwide cataclysmic event" such as Armageddon... Historicists constantly point out that Armageddon isn't a place. Megiddo is a plain, where Israel had a lot of victories. And the word that is combined with it is "mountain". Armageddon may very well be "mountain of God." And what we see today, is all of the false knowledge of the world being used to deliberately assault the growing power of the gospel. (And much persecution happened in the 20th century, right along with that.) In other words, things are becoming more ideologically driven, as is the resistance to the gospel.
Using the loose framework of historicism - I can assimilate practically any logic into its paradigm. Except for a COMPLETE ceasing of the miraculous gifts, and the complete fulfillment of Bible prophecy, in 70ad.
So...you may take that as a compliment. But I wouldn't be so sure. It's hard to maintain a closed-box system, intellectually. If just one word points toward something outside the box...the whole system needs to be re-evaluated piece by piece. So that's why I am loose with my reasonings. I don't hold to one interpretation too tightly as being the only valid way that those words are true...until I KNOW there is only a certain number of ways the words can be (hermeneutically) true. One thing I AM sure of: 2 Thes 2. And there is no satisfactory Preterist explanation for that verse that I have heard.
("I'm not sure about most things concerning Revelation.")
71 A.D. - 2012 A.D.
“WE PREACHED DEFEAT, AND GOT IT!”
A Book written by Davild Chilton on Revelation should help open your eyes on a lot on the Eastern Oriental Hebreic Lauguage. It is called
"Day of Vengence",
just click on the pdf. file and read what you like and start up at where you left off. Enjoy.
I agree with you on 'pessimillennialism'. I don't think we should preach defeat. We should preach the gospel! And along with that, we should realize that we already have the victory - and that it will be increasingly expressed with time. And God will judge the world repeatedly, just as He has in the past (repeatedly). The Judgement of God is a severe thing to interact with.
Most of the people on these pages already have their minds made up. It turns out that not many preterists are willing to take their eternal/kairos logic past 70ad
You speak as if all Preterists have always been Preterists. Of course not. I was a Dispensationalist, a premillenialist for many decades. Only Preterism makes any sense of the Bible, in the vein of Covenant Eschatology
...until you run into the intellectual brick wall that is 70ad.
It is possible to be Postmillenial without being strict Preterist. Protestant Historicism can be compatible with Postmillenialism AND Preterism. 70ad can be A judgment, and THE judgment on the leftover hollow remnants of Old Covenant believers (who had failed to convert over to belief in Jesus, the Full). 70ad doesn't have to be THE stopping point for all chronological fulfillments. Neither does it mean that there must be a gap between 70ad, and the future coming of Jesus. There may be things that are fulfilled IN BETWEEN. This is what all of the original protestants believed...which is why Historicism was first called Protestant Historicism. Sure, theories were all over the place. But that was the case with Preterism, too!
They key is OPENNESS. There is no NEED to make 70ad the absolute end of fulfillments concerning Israel...when we are true Israel. 70ad was merely God making sure that His early transition (30ad) was recognized for what it was: the fulfillment!
I believe that the church is undergoing a slow awakening from this trend
What...to the extent that denominations will be done away with in addition to all "church" hierarchy ? Wishful thinking in cloud cuckoo land .....sorry if I sound rude. It's not going to happen - ever.
Church heirarchy will have to morph, and recognize itself for what it is: entrepeneurial, earthly, unnecessary, but helpful. Similar to para-church organizations. No: exactly like para-church organizations, since that is what they are. Servants with resources.
The only legitimate heirarchy that has ever been in the church, has been spiritual: friendship based, fellowship based, eldership (father) based, and organic. The ekklesia is a physical neighborhood of believers.
Looking through the eyes of the natural as it is, today, you can say that it will never happen. But it once was, and still is (it's just being covered over by a lot of divisions). Theology & fellowship styles are beginning to change in radical ways. You add declining attendance, financial crisis, and physical crisis (of no more American sovereignty) to that mix...
You may end up with a more "chinese" model. The family church. But with a theology that is now being explored by Frank Viola and the like.
As is the originator of this thread (E Harris) I too am a Protestant Historicist.
We believe as did the following respected Christians:
Sir Isaac Newton, John Calvin
Charles Spurgeon, John Knox of Scotland
John Bunyan (Pilgrims Progress)
John Foxe (Foxes Book Of Martyrs)
John Wesley, Matthew Henry
Adam Clark Commentry
Albert Barnes Commentry
The Geneva Bible Translators
Jamison Brown and Fausett Commentary
E B Elliott and Gratton Guinness to name a few.
What is the principal statement of Historicism?
It is a crystal clear statement and a binding truth among all historicists that the papacy is "the man of sin" of 2 Thess 2 ... Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
It is a well documented fact that more than a few popes have claimed to be "as God on earth".
Historicists also claim that the papacy is anti Christ.
A most common misconception among students of prophecy is their understanding that being antiChrist is ... against Christ ... therefore by their reasoning, the pope cannot be antichrist.
I would ask the reader to examine the biblical Greek form of "anti" found in Strongs Concordance # 473:
Anti ... opposite, ie instead of or because of, in addition to, in the room of,
Often used in composition to denote contrast or substitution.
Preterism (and I) claim that Nero is likely the first beast ... Pontifex Maximus.
One of the many papal titles of the pope is ... Pontifex Maximus.
The pope claims to be the ... Vicar of Christ.
vicar ... a person who acts in place of another.
vicarious ... taking the place of another.
While I don't dispute that the pope has the characteristics you mentioned, I have to take exception with your interpretation of and imputation of, the biblical data onto modern situations.
That is, you are making a huge assumption that just because a modern day personage (the pope) fits the ancient description of an anti-christ, therefore, the person or office we see today must be the person spoken of anciently in the scripture.
You are making a classic mistake of many researchers. You are imposing on the biblical text what the original text did not say to its original audience. In other words, you have carried forward the ancient words into modern times without warrant.
As humans, we all want to make something we read relevant to us. But can we do that with scripture? While its true that scripture is intended to speak to all men and women throughout all times, IN ITS MORAL SENSE, it is NOT true that what was said in the original text was intended to apply to future audiences in the FULFILLMENT sense.
Therefore, just because you see modern human situations (the office of pope for example) that fit ancient prototypes, does NOT mean that the scriptures were intended to point to the future fulfillment, 2,000 years later (or throughout those 2,000 years either)!
The most logical explanation for antichrist is what the CONTEXT of the original wirtings were, and they are this... Namely, the original discussion of antichrist was written to a specific audience that was experiencing persecution under a Roman emperor. Additionally, there were scoffers who were, indeed, ANTI CHRIST. It is stated that there were MANY antichrists, not just one. That means that there was a spirit of antichrist, and there were persons who directly opposed the doctrine and gospel of Christ. These were antichrists, as they are today.
So does that mean that the antichrists we see today are the same ones being directly referred to 2,000 years ago? If you believe that, then you are a futurist. That means you believe that the imminent return of Jesus Christ has not yet happened, and we are now in the same cultural situation as was the church 2,000 years ago. Essentially, you believe we have been in a 2,000 year holding pattern, waiting to land. And, all the while, the events and prophecies spoken of in scripture have not happened yet and we have been reliving for 2,000 years, the same kind of life the early christians lived.
This website takes a different approach. It proposes that the prophecies spoken of 2,000 years ago were imminent to the audience they were written to and were about to be completely fulfilled. In the interim, things such as antichrists were prevalent and common in their culture and had to be spoken about and warned against. But once the fulfillment of all these things occurred (and we maintain they were fulfilled in 70AD at the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem), then future generations would read the prophecies more as historical literature than as literature that applies directly to our own modern times.
Curiously, I once believed as you do, until I could no longer maintain that the bible was intended to be read as an ongoing (for now over 2,000 years) unfolding of prophecy. That is because I finally saw that EVERY prophecy spoken of in scripture has had its fulfillment. Not just fulfillment, but fulfillment in exquisite DETAIL. It got to the point for me that I could no longer deny that prophecy was fulfilled, and was not waiting for a future time. I therefore had to reconcile HOW I was to live in a post-fulfillment world. The answer is that we are NOW living in the completed kingdom of God, which is unfolding as time goes on. As each generation comes and goes, people get born into this kingdom, and it grows larger and larger. In time, it will consume the earth's cultures and Christ's culture will reign in all parts of the world. In the meantime, people will come and go, evil will rise up and be put down, and the net effect of it all will be the unstoppable overwhelming force of Jesus Christ, who has already come to the earth the second time, and who is working in the hearts and minds of those He is calling and converting.
This is His kingdom!