Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Preterism All Googled Out?

Occasionally I do a Google search on the words preterist and preterism just to see what it returns. What I've noticed lately is that many of the results are from 2008 or before. Now, this could mean that the activity of preterists has moved away from online content but it's more likely reflecting the death of the movement. With all the original movers and shakers out of the picture, all that is left is a disconnected movement of radical individuals each with their own interpretations.

Todd Dennis, curator of the website PreteristArchive has been attempting to breathe new life into his 20 year old site but mostly the content is older posts or a pointless back and forth between has-been preterist Don Preston and was-been preterist Sam Frost. I tried reading a few of the Preston-Frost written debate articles but they are very useless since Frost continues to use his Clarkian logic...the same Clarkian logic that he used to claim led him into full preterism. And as for Preston, well his "I don't care about tradition" Restoration Movement mantra gets old after about the 20th time. Either Christianity is an historic tradition or people can just make it up as they go. But Dennis is a good guy for trying to keep all this content culled for future reference.

Awhile back, the preterists were into the social platform sites but a lot of these are now also defunct. They'd hoped to use the sites to parlay into in-person communities of preterists. This apparently failed. Then for a time, there was a big Facebook presence but many of these groups devolve into banning members who don't toe the line; for example many of these supposed "everything-is-to-be-questioned" FB groups will not allow the mere mention of the "Israel-Only" form of preterism. So, much of the early draw to preterism is gone. The dynamic, almost cultic leaders like Virgil Vaduva have moved on to doing other things, like protesting against the cops as Vaduva now does.  The eh-hem , "scholarly" segment of the "seminary trained" preterist fell away with Frost. The 14 hours PalTalk sessions with "purgos" (aka HL James) are a thing of the past. The weird Charles Manson-like followers of Ward Fenley ended in 2010. And now with the new authoritarians on FB telling people they can't openly explore where the logical conclusions of preterism leads, why would anyone want to really invest much time into this dying movement? Might as well become a functional atheist...and many preterists do.

So, go ahead; Google preterist and preterism and see what you get. Then Google buckboard and see which returns more results.

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