O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The Preterist Implications for Modern Political Theory

I have been thinking about this subject for quite some time. In fact, I recently preached a sermon developing out what I believe to be some preterist implications for political theory in the modern world. You can find that sermon as Part 36 of my sermon series through the gospel of Mark.


Here is the short story. The "render to Ceasar" command looks quite different when understood in it's proper historical/covenant context. Same applies to Romans 13. What do preterists do now with the fulfillment of Daniel 2 and the transfer of authority from the fourth kingdom (Rome/Ceasar) to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Does appealing to the "render to Ceasar" command after the consummation represent a self-contradiction for a preterist? I believe it does. My sermon explains why.


Now along comes a new article on the topic that caught my eye. Here is someone else who is thinking through the preterist implications for modern governmental authority and political theory.


Looks like a good start to me. Great minds...


Tim Martin


P.S. Does anyone else recognize that citation in the article? I sure do...




For more interesting reading, see this article:

Views: 101

Comment by Doug on May 20, 2011 at 3:43pm


History from the earliest pages of the bible on shows a statist philosophy. We have to ask why that is?

I think it is because people WANT someone else to manage their affairs for them. Cain was one of the first to organize cities, and those cities raised armies. Later, when the Children of Israel were fed up with governance by judges, they WANTED a king put over them. Of course, they CHOSE a king based on good looks, not merit. They got wha they wanted, despite God warning them that a king would forcibly take the bes tof their flocks and even draft their young people into service to the king.

So, why do people want that? I believe it is because the world is perceived as being a scarier place than what one person can handle, and they beleive that with a king, or president, or dictator, their wishes will be projected into the world in a forceful way that others have to acknowledge. Hence, the power of the individual is magnified and statism is born. Statism is exactly the same thing people do when they cheer for their favorite sports team. Although you may not be gifted to do the athletic exploits of the athletes on the field, by proxy, you feel the pride of someone who belongs to YOU as your own. You vicariously live in the skin of other people!

So, government is really the extension of the individual, magnified and made greater than it can be individually.

Those who advocatre for libertarianism are ignoring this natural proclivity of people to self-assemble and organize into units of mutual interest, similar to what we are doing by having this discussion here. I think libertarians ignore the terminal implications of their philosophy. Namely, that human nature is such that contrary to the hoped for resolution of economic problems by free-trade, COMPLETELY free trade degenerates into economic anarchy, and that leads to wars in which people who see those who have something go to war against them in order to get what is not theirs.

So, although government theft is still theft, it is better than the unregulated theft of property that would occur in an anarchaic structure where everyone is able to rise to whatever selfish level they want, based on merit.

Finally, consider Jesus' words about the poor always being with us. That is a fact, and will always be a fact. Without a government TELLING people to "do the right thing", they won't do it. Communism failed for that very reason. It was a fundamental principle of Marxist communism that all people should share commonly, and all should give equally. Well, those who were more talented rose to the top, and even with the best founding principles in place initially, over time the leaders, when they saw they could coerce others, became leaders of a corrupt system and bent the communistic rules for their own selfish benefit. Mao Zedong is a good example of that happening.

I see no preteristic implications in this world's governments. This world is just that. We do not live in this world but in God's kingdom. We must physically exist, but we are not to seek to change the world through worldly means. We simply have to do as Jesus prayed in John 17. He asked that we not be taken out of the world, but that through us the world would be converted.

Comment by Euripides on May 20, 2011 at 6:40pm

Doug is right in saying that peoples fears result in their preference fro statism. In the UK the majority party in our coalition government, the Conservatives, want to dismantle some of the welfare state but public opinion is heavily weighed against them. As long as democracy remains the political system, then most people will always vote for the party which offers the greatest handouts. And from what I have observed, the institutional church appears to go along with this.


The "render to Caesar" quote appears to me to be most significant with the following words "....and to God what is God’s.” Caesar's head was engraved on the coin. God, through His spirit, has written His laws in our hearts and put them into our minds just as His finger would have written them on tablets of stone. God has engraved Himself upon us, and as such we are to give Him.....not tithes or offerings......but what is His, ourselves.




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