Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Echo Chamber of New Preterism

Preterism as a movement has grown from the 1970s, among the Churches of Christ denomination via Max King, to its explosion among the Reformed in 1990s via Kenneth Gentry and R.C. Sproul Sr. to present. But many of the current preterists don't seem to have and don't care about having any knowledge of the history of this theological movement. One explanation I've heard from an otherwise no-name Full Preterist named Jerry Bowers Jr. is that he is content with his lack of knowledge because he claims he didn't come to his conclusions based on anything the various innovators of the movement have said; since he claims he knew nothing about them. He claims he concluded Full Preterism simply by reading the Bible (while he was locked up in jail btw). Even if this is true, it doesn't change the fact that it is ill informed to purposely and continue to have no or little knowledge of the development of the theological stance he is embracing.

Bowers claims that talking about the various trappings of the movement is merely an attempt to "pigeon hole" him and others. Rather, knowing and talking about more developed expressions of his theological position is a way to avoid being caught up in an echo chamber. When a person spends exorbitant amounts of time telling you about "their belief" as if it exists in a vacuum, then you are wasting your time. A personal belief that is not tested and tried against other beliefs is infantile. It is like a car company who tests their new model car in a speed test and achieves a top speed of 40 mph and thinking they have had a breakthrough; ignoring that among the wider "movement" of the automobile industry, not only is that top speed a laughing stock but not "normal".

New preterists need to spend more time understanding how the views have been developed and tested and tried. How they have been opposed.  Why some positions may have been dropped. What the intra-discussion was on this or that position. But men like Bowers don't care. They smugly claim that it is just them and their Bible and to hell with everyone else and everything else. When an idea is developed in it a virtual seclusion or a real seclusion like a jail cell without all the proper peer review then we can expect it to come out half-baked.


Roderick_E said...

Jerry's reply to this posting was basically, "Oh yeah? I have more FB friends than you". Really?

Ken Galloway said...

are you sure LOL wasn't int there as well?