Friday, September 18, 2015

The New Preterist Movement

From about 2000-2010 the preterist movement appeared to be in decline. Self-proclaimed preterist champion, Virgil Vaduva has since faded and gone on to full radical mode; advocating hatred for the police even going so far as projecting the phrase "F*ck the police" on the side of a Walmart with laser lights. Preterist conference king, Sam Frost renounced preterism and last we knew works at a Lowes hardware store. The point is, the "big names" are gone. Sure, Don Preston is still sipping coffee and musing over the same old lines about audience relevancy and times texts. But there is no more growth among that bunch.

But something interesting is happening, a new preterist movement is forming. These are people who often had little to no interaction with the old school preterist "leaders". The leaders whom these new preterists would find to be hypocritical anyway, since those leaders wanted to pretend that preterism is simply a part of historical Christianity. The new preterists are more honest with themselves. Most admit that preterism is something different than the Christianity of history. Of course they will often claim Christianity has corrupted the "truth" or that there was some sort of cover up.

Many of the new variations of preterism don't even use the words preterist or preterism. Some of them are:

  • Atavism
  • Israel Only (IO)
  • Fulfilled Revelation Theology (FRT)
  • Redirectionalism
  • Proper Preterism

And many of them will adamantly claim they are not preterist, even though their premises and conclusions all lead to many of the same things preterism advocates; Jesus coming back in AD70, the collective resurrection happening in the past, the Elect being only the first century converted Jews and/or Gentiles.

The point is -- and I'm not trying to be hostile to any of these new variants -- the preterism of Preston, Max King, Ed Stevens, John Noe and the other stuck in the past "leaders" is over. This new crop of preterists are not afraid to push the bounds to see where the premises lead.  If they lead to a functional atheism, they're okay with it.  In an odd way, I appreciate this fresh honesty. No more pretending to be modern day Martin Luthers. When these guys talk about a "radical paradigm shift", they really mean it. No add-on Christianity 2.0 for them.

In the coming days, I will be outlining these new variations and hopefully even interviewing some of the advocates. If you are interested or have more information, feel free to contact me.


Marc Basis said...

by Mark E. Mountjoy

The ex-Full Preterist Roderick Edwards is at it again. In a recent article in “The UnPreterist” Roderick lists Atavism as Public Enemy Number One in “New Management” for the Preterist Movement. In fact Atavism is such a tiny group and our mission, vision and goals are so contrary to that of the Preterist Movement as a whole, that it is laughable and ridiculous to suppose that we could “manage” such a large following; we cannot. It is a full blown exaggeration to assume that I or the Atavist Bible Church effort is making any attempt to push out the “old management” of Stevens, Preston et al and move ourselves into the proverbial driver's seat. No! If anything, we wish for Full Preterists to completely leave us ALONE so that we can develop our strategy and do our work. Any connection with Full Preterists is filled with genuine risks, grave liabilities and real dangers—spiritual, ideological and practical. Now, I just want to share some of my personal reactions about Full Preterism and why I feel it is a stumblingblock to Christians and to itself.

At Evidentiary Cross-hairs

Anyone who has spent any time in New Testament Open University must be aware that Full Preterists and Atavists do not see eye to eye on the evidence that substantiates a past Second Coming. For us, the real problem is that Full Preterists are taking the structure of Amillennialism and some of its salient paradigmatic features and imposing them on a past Bible prophecy construct. By doing this they are adroitly deforming and warping the actual integrity of the events and timelines—even abridging and excluding valuable evidence from this serious discussion. This is unfortunate because Amillennialism is the very reason why the conventional Church cannot make sense out of the Book of Revelation, let alone the eschatology of the preceding New Testament as a whole. Why should the Amillennial construct be kept intact and sacrosanct when it has caused so much confusion and trouble ever since it was made authoritative by St. Augustine? And Amillennialism (not Premillennialism) is believed by the majority of Christians, and if you question Christians who believe it about what the Book of Revelation means, they will frankly admit that they cannot understand what the majority of it means.

Do Not Agree on What Constitutes Evidence

There are major areas of conflict on what is good evidence and how to interpret certain passages that seem rather incredible. For example, taking the view that God came on the clouds in the Old Testament, but it was not literal (to us) is assuming way too much. While it is true that stars falling, and the moon not giving her light has non-literal parallels in the Torah, it is not necessarily true that God was not on clouds in, for example, the text that said he rode on a cloud into Egypt and made their idols melt. He was certainly in real clouds on Mount Sinai. He appeared as a Shekinah cloud when King Solomon first opened up the First Temple for services. Malachi 3:1 promised he would suddenly come to his Temple on judgment day and 2 Thessalonians 2:8 seems to echo that promise. I don't think we have enough evidence to prove God did not come down on clouds or melt mountaintops on behalf of King David and hence, the net result of taking such liberties on Old Testament texts is to go into the New Testament and turn actual promises of heaven-to-earth intervention into spiritualized concepts and mere decisions (but not actual intrusive events in real human history). We do not agree that the Fall of Jerusalem was the Second Coming. No! The fact that the Lord himself descended and came down caused the city to be destroyed, caused the war to take the course it did, thwarted the purposes of the Zealots, made the Jerusalem Aristocracy face poetic justice.

Stairway to Heaven said...

Revelation 21 :
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Hadrian's proclamations sought to root out the nationalistic features within Judea's Jewish communities, which he saw as the cause of continuous rebellions. He prohibited the Torah law and the Hebrew calendar, and executed Judaic scholars. The sacred scroll was ceremonially burned on the Temple Mount. At the former Temple sanctuary, he installed two statues, one of Jupiter, another of himself. In an attempt to erase any memory of Judea or Ancient Israel, he wiped the name off the map and replaced it with Syria Palaestina. By destroying the association of Jews to Judea and forbidding the practice of Jewish faith, Hadrian aimed to root out a nation that inflicted heavy casualties on the Roman Empire. Similarly, he re-established Jerusalem, but now as the Roman pagan polis of Aelia Capitolina, and Jews were forbidden from entering it, except on the day of Tisha B'Av.

The Jews became a minority in Judea, remaining strong only in the Galilee, Bet Shean and the Golan. Hadrian's death in 138 CE marked a significant relief to the surviving Jewish communities of Judea. Rabbinic Judaism had already become a portable religion, centered around synagogues. In the aftermath of the defeat of Bar Kochba, the consolidation of Jewish settlement in Palestine became of major concern to the rabbinate. The Sages endeavoured to halt Jewish migration into diaspora, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.

Five calamities
According to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6), five specific events occurred on the ninth of Av that warrant fasting:
1 The twelve spies sent by Moses to observe the land of Canaan returned from their mission. Only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought a positive report, while the others spoke disparagingly about the land. The majority report caused the Children of Israel to cry, panic and despair of ever entering the "Promised Land". For this, they were punished by God that their generation would not enter the land. Because of the Israelites' lack of faith, God decreed that for all generations this date would become one of crying and misfortune for their descendants. (See Numbers 13; Numbers 14).
2 The First Temple built by King Solomon and the Kingdom of Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians led by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BCE (Anno Mundi [AM] 3175) after a two-year siege and the Judaeans were sent into the Babylonian exile. According to the Talmud in tractate Ta'anit, the destruction of the First Temple began on the Ninth of Av and the Temple continued to burn throughout the Tenth of Av.
3 The Second Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was destroyed by the Romans in August 70 CE (AM 3830), scattering the people of Judea and commencing the Jewish exile from the Holy Land.
4 The Romans crushed Bar Kokhba's revolt and destroyed the city of Betar, killing over 500,000 Jews, on July 8, 135 CE (Av 9, AM 3892).
5 Following the Bar Kokhba revolt, Roman commander Turnus Rufus plowed the site of the Temple and the surrounding area, in 135 CE.

Source :