Saturday, August 9, 2014

PRETERISM: It's a New Thing

Preterists often try to depict preterism as something that dates back to the very first Christians; as if something happened that caused 2000 years of Christianity to NOT be like preterism. Many possibilities are put forth. Preterist Edward Stevens (along with James Stuart Russell and Earnest Hampden Cook before him) claim there was a first century rapture that removed all of the "first rank Christians" from the earth leaving behind only the clueless ones that didn't realize the "truth" of preterism.  Stevens lays out his case in a book called "Expectations Demand A Rapture" -- the book was originally titled "Silence Demands A Rapture" [ref2] but the name was changed when preterism's critics kept pointing out that this would mean preterists are arguing from silence -- a very fallible method.  Stevens has worked hard to expunge that old title from the Internet. On a side note, Stevens seems to be rather quiet these days.  Is it possible he has silently given up on preterism? That is often what happens when either a preterist goes into functional atheism or returns to Christianity -- they go away quietly.

Whether preterists try to claim there was some sort of conspiracy that covered up preterism all these years or that early Christians were just too dumb to see it until along comes Max King; the self-proclaimed "founder" of the "fulfilled eschatology" view -- it is a NEW THING. It isn't your father's Christianity. It isn't your great-great-great grandfather's Christianity. Preterism ISN'T Christianity any more than Communism is American.

Google has a great feature that allows a person to check the frequency of a word in published books since the 1800s.  Here is the result for preterism:

(may not be viewable on mobile devices)

As you can see, preterist and preterism are virtually non-existent as published words until the late 1990s and early 2000s -- the "hay day" of preterism. So, next time a preterist tries to tell you that preterism has alwaaaaaaays existed, show them the FACTS.  The first major mention is in the mid 1800s...the years James Stuart Russell and some of the others began to publish about their preterist views.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Then the Jews and the elders and the priests, perceiving what evil they had done to themselves, began to lament and to say, Woe for our sins: the judgement hath drawn nigh, and the end of Jerusalem." (Gospel of Peter 70-160 A.D.)Judgement Day (coming of christ) + End of Jerusalem are connected: preterist view!