OK. I just have to share this, because I would like to hear your feedback.
I ran across this most interesting citation while doing some research for an upcoming event. I believe it is a powerful demonstration. Unless I am missing something, this quote shows that Augustine grasped some key defining characteristics of Covenant Creation more than 1500 years ago.
Keep these issues in mind when you read the citation below:
1) Note how Augustine did not view the Law as originating at Sinai; he said the Law is from "the beginning."
2) Augustine misunderstood the "end of the world" because he had a wrong view of the nature of the "world" that was going to end.
3)The nature of the world created is very clearly connected to the nature of the world that was going to end, according to Augustine.
4) If we, as full-preterists, honor the framework Augustine (and many other ECFs) present, then we can come to no other conclusion than this: Genesis speaks about the creation of a covenant world.
5) If Genesis is *really* talking about the creation of the physical universe, then the framework Augustine is teaching leads directly to futurism; the "end" must be the end of the physical universe created "in the beginning."
6) Augustine's mistake regarding the nature of the "end" originates in a mistake about the nature of what God created "in the beginning."
7) The source of Augustine's futurism is, ultimately, his understanding of the nature of the "heavens and earth" of Genesis 1:1.
Here is the citation:
And we know that the law extends from the time of which we have record, that is, from the beginning of the world: "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.' Thence down to the time in which we are now living are six ages, this being the sixth, as you have often heard and know. The first age is reckoned from Adam to Noah; the second, from Noah to Abraham; and, as Matthew the evangelist duly follows and distinguishes, the third, from Abraham to David; the fourth, from David to the carrying away into Babylon; the fifth, from the carrying away into Babylon to John the Baptist; the sixth, from John the Baptist to the end of the world.
Augustine, TRACTATE IX, p. 65.