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Journey To Preterism

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  • Journey To Preterism

    How do you go from dispensationalism to Preterism?

    Link

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    How does one go from dispensationalism to Preterism? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    If there’s any secondary subject I enjoy discussing in Christianity, it’s eschatology. Preterism is a favorite interest of mine. Debates about the age of the Earth or Calvinism or tongues or eternal security don’t really interest me. Talking about end times does.

    So how does my journey start though? I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. Here, there is practically a church on every street corner. I was also listening to Southern Gospel music regularly. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was even well-known at the radio station. It was especially so when they had trivia contests about the Bible as I would call in and win constantly.

    When I got the internet later on, one of the first things I wanted to do was discuss Christianity. This was a surprise even to me. After all, wouldn’t it make much more sense for me to discuss video games? I did that some, but largely, it was about Christianity. However, this opens you up to new ideas. That can be scary at first, but for me, I thoroughly enjoy it now.

    However, my view on end times didn’t come to a change because of atheists. It was because of my fellow Christians, one who was even a Southern Baptist minister. His name was Ed Gibson and I remember him well. Unfortunately, years later, he died due to a car accident. I still think about him from time to time.

    I had had some doubts coming up and I don’t even remember what they were, but I was someone who did not want to give up the rapture at all. I was kicking and screaming as it were even though intellectually, I felt the walls closing in around me.

    It had been a shock as I had before the internet never met a Christian who didn’t believe in the rapture. Isn’t this what Christians have always believed? While it’s not, that didn’t really play a major role in my changing my mind. I went to the leader of Thursday Night Talk at my school which is where guys would come together and discuss the Bible. We both said “1 Thess. 4:17.” It’s right there in the text. How could anyone not believe it?

    It was not that simple as I found out.

    One day, I was in a chat room with another friend when our mutual friend Ed came in. This guy was dating a girl and her parents wanted to know why he didn’t believe in the rapture. Ed came in and gave a whole litany of reasons. Honestly, to this day I can’t remember what they were as it was so long ago, but I do know that I did not rest easy that night. The time had come really. I had seen all of these before I think, but I had to face them.

    And I had to realize that I did not have any answer and none was forthcoming.

    That was the end of my belief in a pre-trib rapture. From then on, I would find more and more texts and arguments that led me to wonder how it was I ever embraced it. I plan on getting into those in later sessions. However, this did not mean that I was a Preterist. I was at this point a post-tribulationist. I don’t even remember if I had even heard of Preterism by then.

    All journeys have to begin somewhere. I don’t remember everything about it, but this is how my journey began. I hope over time to take you further on my journey.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)

  • #2
    Your path resembles my own...except mine started with a book I read in the in the early 2000's written by Jim McKeever entitled "Christians Will Go Through The Tribulation, and how to prepare for it". I was a Post Trib for years until I heard something about Historicism and began researching that. I then found TWEB and posted my first post on here about the veracity of Historicism. I began reading DD and others on Preterism and realized it made the most sense of them all....
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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    • #3
      Would love to hear more about your path of travels that brought you to your current eschatological views, Nick.

      I, too, was taught dispensationalism from a very early age until I did my own thorough research 9 years ago into these matters, and had to re-examine virtually every position I had been taught. It is humbling to realize that much of ones life has been dedicated to believing something that is not even taught in scripture. Eschatology is not a stand-alone issue; it affects every doctrinal position to some degree or another - even the topic of tongues, the age of the earth, eternal security, the actual conditions fulfilled in the "rapture" event, the spirit realm, etc., etc.

      What thrills me the most is the DATES for prophesied events that have been fulfilled over time in the exact time frame they were promised to happen. Preterism recognizes this time relevance more than any other eschatological stance. God's supreme power comes alive for me as I see His omniscience clearly on display in this way. If God knew and could predict events from the beginning to the end, even down to the very year, month, day, and hour, I can trust Him to see me through today's trials of faith, whatever that may entail.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 3 Resurrections View Post
        Would love to hear more about your path of travels that brought you to your current eschatological views, Nick.

        I, too, was taught dispensationalism from a very early age until I did my own thorough research 9 years ago into these matters, and had to re-examine virtually every position I had been taught. It is humbling to realize that much of ones life has been dedicated to believing something that is not even taught in scripture. Eschatology is not a stand-alone issue; it affects every doctrinal position to some degree or another - even the topic of tongues, the age of the earth, eternal security, the actual conditions fulfilled in the "rapture" event, the spirit realm, etc., etc.

        What thrills me the most is the DATES for prophesied events that have been fulfilled over time in the exact time frame they were promised to happen. Preterism recognizes this time relevance more than any other eschatological stance. God's supreme power comes alive for me as I see His omniscience clearly on display in this way. If God knew and could predict events from the beginning to the end, even down to the very year, month, day, and hour, I can trust Him to see me through today's trials of faith, whatever that may entail.
        This in contrast to the constant date setting of dispensationalists that is always wrong, but hey, they're still prophecy experts.

        Comment


        • #5
          I came to a preterist view in part from some early stuff from Ken Gentry. Then i studied the Matthew 13 parables which show events mostly in the middle of time. My goal of reading that chapter had only been to understand eschatological terms. Now a great source on preterist reading is from https://www.resistancechicks.com/cat...emy/page/3/the resistancechicks.com but there also is a Youtube series by Bruce Gore on Revelation. However, the resistance chicks one gives a good introduction to the issues and also works from Josephus' writings to show the correlations.

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          • #6
            I was saved in early 1968 in a fundamentalist Baptist church that taught rapture and resurrection of Christians seven years before the last day, pretribulationism, dispensationalism, the works. So not having any Bible background, I accepted those teachings. By the end of that year I was off to college in Chicago, and one Sunday I thought I'd try Circle Free Evangelical Church, where Rev. Dave Mains co-pastored. During the Sunday School hour, one of the students asked about John 6:39-40,
            And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
            That totally wiped out my futurist theology. I never heard about preterism until around 1998, but I had been one for thirty years and never knew it.
            When I Survey....

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            • #7
              Preterism by far makes the most sense of the NT, but the fly in the ointment is the dating of Revelation. I am not entirely convinced by the arguments for a pre-90s date.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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              • #8
                KingsGambit, you should try reading this set of comments I made back in 2018 using the internal evidence of scripture. All of the internal evidence taken into consideration together narrows down the date of Revelation to somewhere between late AD 59 until no later than early AD 60, just before the AD 60 Laodicean earthquake that decimated that city. John warned the Laodicean church of this imminent disaster soon to come for them when God was "ABOUT TO" spue them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16 - YLT). Start at reply #14 at this link, and if you have time, let me know what you think: http://www.gracecentered.com/christi...ation-written/

                For Faber and Nick, it's not necessary to kick the ENTIRE concept of I Thess. 4's "rapture" out the door. But there have definitely been some misunderstandings that have been taught concerning the timing of it, and exactly who would be participating in it. It was ONLY resurrected saints who participated in it when AD 70's bodily resurrection took place. NO TRANSLATION of the living saints was ever promised. That rapture event included those saints raised out of the ground at that time, and also those who had ALREADY been made "alive" (by being resurrected - like Lazarus, the beloved disciple). Those like the living, resurrected Lazarus had "REMAINED" on earth, serving in the early church until AD 70's resurrection arrived for all the other departed saints, when they were all raptured together to meet the Lord in the air and return to heaven with Him. The souls of the wicked dead earned a judgment of a "resurrection to damnation", and their bodies were left to rot in the grave. (Sorry, King Tut.)

                Waiting on the THIRD resurrection to come...
                Last edited by 3 Resurrections; 08-05-2021, 09:29 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                  Preterism by far makes the most sense of the NT, but the fly in the ointment is the dating of Revelation. I am not entirely convinced by the arguments for a pre-90s date.
                  There are certainly objections to such a date. Maybe the book is the work of more than one author ?

                  I used to take for granted that Rev *had to* refer to events still future to readers in the 20th century. Once it dawned on me that such a notion was not necessary for Rev to be a Divine Word for our own or future times, the notion that Rev was (mainly) concerned with events that, to us, are long past, fell into place.

                  I used to take the validity of of a combination of Preterism with Futurism/Historicism (in some form) for granted. Scofieldism and other forms of Dispensationalism never appealed to me.
                  Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 08-06-2021, 06:42 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                    There are certainly objections to such a date. Maybe the book is the work of more than one author ?

                    I used to take for granted that Rev *had to* refer to events still future to readers in the 20th century. Once it dawned on me that such a notion was not necessary for Rev to be a Divine Word for our own or future times, the notion that Rev was (mainly) concerned with events that, to us, are long past, fell into place.

                    I used to take the validity of of a combination of Preterism with Futurism/Historicism (in some form) for granted. Scofieldism and other forms of Dispensationalism never appealed to me.
                    I have a textbook on my shelf (by David deSilva, incidentally) that suggests it might have been first written in the 60s and developed over the next few decades. There are uncomfortable implications there for believers, to be sure, though it would make sense of the different variants of the number of the beast.
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                      I have a textbook on my shelf (by David deSilva, incidentally) that suggests it might have been first written in the 60s and developed over the next few decades. There are uncomfortable implications there for believers, to be sure, though it would make sense of the different variants of the number of the beast.
                      The earliest mention of a date of Revelation I can find in early Christianity is that of Irenaeus. He puts it near the end of Domitian's reign which was from 81-96 AD. After 90 AD fits with the end of Domitians reign. He also calls out the number 616 as a copyist error, and that 666 is the true number of the beast.

                      Irenaeus lived from 130-202 AD, and has a view more in line with modern Futurism than with Preterism. This is really early for such a massive loss of understanding of Revelation in the early church. So far in my readings of the early church I don't find anything that matches up with Preterism.

                      *Irenaeus gives this information in Book V Chapter 30 of Against Heresies.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                        The earliest mention of a date of Revelation I can find in early Christianity is that of Irenaeus. He puts it near the end of Domitian's reign which was from 81-96 AD. After 90 AD fits with the end of Domitians reign. He also calls out the number 616 as a copyist error, and that 666 is the true number of the beast.

                        Irenaeus lived from 130-202 AD, and has a view more in line with modern Futurism than with Preterism. This is really early for such a massive loss of understanding of Revelation in the early church. So far in my readings of the early church I don't find anything that matches up with Preterism.

                        *Irenaeus gives this information in Book V Chapter 30 of Against Heresies.
                        This doesn't surprise me. The early Christians were chiliasts and the idea of an extended wait would have been a non starter. You already see evidence of discomfort over Jesus not having returned yet in 2 Peter 3:8.
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cerebrum123, Irenaeus' one sentence has been mistranslated, leading to the confusion of people thinking Revelation was composed later around Domitian's time of rule. Irenaeus as originally written leaves it uncertain as to whether JOHN HIMSELF was seen almost in Domitian's day, or if it was the VISIONS of the Apocalypse which were seen almost in Domitian's day. We can look elsewhere in this very same section of Irenaeus's writings to confirm which he meant to imply. Irenaeus referred to having "ANCIENT COPIES" of the Apocalypse at that time. If even the COPIES of Revelation were "ancient" at that time, then the original composition would certainly also have been even more so. This would confirm that Irenaeus was NOT speaking of the visions of Revelation being seen almost in Domitian's day, but that JOHN was seen around that time instead. As an aside, I believe Irenaeus confused John the author of Revelation with John Mark, who would have been the one living around that time.

                          I would think twice before I based my entire eschatological beliefs about a late date composition on ONE WORD that is INSERTED into Irenaeus' original text by the translator, making a word choice at their own discretion.

                          Are you aware of the ancient Syriac Peshitta title page for Revelation that includes a reference to John being sent to Patmos under the reign of NERO?

                          If you say you haven't seen any early Preteristic type of writing, you should look up the book by Francis Gumerlock titled "Revelation and the First Century: Preterist Interpretations of the Apocalypse in Early Christianity". Preterism before it was known by that term. There is nothing new under the sun, you know.

                          For KingsGambit, I have read the same opinion of multiple authorship for Revelation by a partial preterist also. However, John seems to cut that idea down by saying that if anyone ADDS to his words or SUBTRACTS words either, that God would add the curses of the book to them or take their part out of the book of life. This sounds as if John was thoroughly aware that the temptation existed back then for other authors to add or subtract material from his words, but that he strongly forbad such alterations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                            This doesn't surprise me. The early Christians were chiliasts and the idea of an extended wait would have been a non starter. You already see evidence of discomfort over Jesus not having returned yet in 2 Peter 3:8.
                            Yet another of my many reasons* to not accept Preterism. The whole system just makes very little sense of Revelations symbolic aspects, and of Christian history in general.

                            *Unlike what 3 Resurrections seems to think, I have not based my eschatology on one word from Irenaeus.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ummmm, not quite what I said Cerebrum123. It wasn't Irenaeus' one word, but the one who translated what Irenaeus wrote in the original Greek who INSERTED their own translated word into Irenaeus' statement. The single Greek word that tripped up the translator was a verb in the third person singular, which, depending on the context, could either mean "HE was seen" (John was seen alive almost in Domitian's day) "SHE was seen", or "IT was seen" (meaning the visions were seen almost in Domitian's day). When the meaning can be understood in different ways, it isn't a good idea for anybody to use this single sentence of Irenaeus as concrete evidence of a late date. Especially when Irenaeus had just referred to "ANCIENT COPIES" of Revelation already circulating in his time.

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