Any theology which looks to the temporal things as its finality, any theology which takes ANY scripture and applies them to the temporal realm, and does not apply them to the spiritual truth behind it for which it was written, is an incorrect theology.
By Nathan DuBois
“Preterist Idealism” is just another in the sea of terms dividing one school of thought from another. What made this term, or method of thought, stand out from others that we needed to coin a new phrase? After all, if it is in line with the truth, should we not just call it “Christianity?” And is it really in line with the truth.
This term seems to have caused the hair on the back of some peoples neck to stand up. Some even more direct statements, by certain individuals who have been developing their ideas of this concept, are creating a stir. Can those who have been so deep into the preterist movement actually come out and say they are no longer full preterists? And if someone says this, are they rejecting the truth, or stabbing their once “fellow” preterists in the back?
I would like to offer my perspective on what “preterist idealism” is, and beg those who are up in arms over the methodology to take note of the reason for this discussion. Some of which I am hoping to sum up in this statement:
“Any theology which looks to the temporal things as its finality, any theology which takes ANY scripture and applies them to the temporal realm, and does not apply them to the spiritual truth behind it for which it was written, is an incorrect theology.”
I believe preterist idealism is the attempt to focus on the unending, eternal spiritual truths behind every last chapter and verse of the Bible. It is not simply looking at the fulfillments of AD 70 and applying the results of those fulfillments to our lives. This focus is backwards. What we should be doing is taking AD 70 and seeing what aspect of God with man is being portrayed through that event. And then we should be seeing where God had portrayed that truth in scripture before.
Let me give an example.
What is the enmity between God and man? What separates us from God? Throughout scripture there was many things. From Adam hiding behind something in the garden, to the angel that guarded the way back to the tree of life. The veil over the hearts of men, and the curtain blocking out the holy place. The temple itself, to the “god of this age” that blinded the eyes. So many things in scripture stood for that one thing that blocked man from God.
And so, what is the spiritual truth behind that message? Are men still separated from God today? What does it take to remove that separation?
Being in Christ.
Now let’s look at AD 70.
The veil was already being lifted before AD 70, the curtain already torn, yet the priesthood, with their monopoly of over the religious system of the day, was in the way of people being converted. With the destruction of the temple, did that veil get lifted from the hearts of all men? Are all men saved? Some in the preterist camp believe that this is so. Others argue that it was only for those who were saved. In both cases, they have focused on the removal of the temple as the result of AD 70 — as the finality. However, that removal was only a sign in the temporal realm showing a spiritual truth.
That truth is that in Christ all things in the way between God and man are torn down. That in Christ, there can be nothing in the way of our relationship with God. That in Christ the haughty are made low and the self-righteous are humbled. It brings us back to Christ’s direct teachings! Nothing more, but certainly nothing less. Yet full preterism to this point has been declaring less!
Preterist idealism is an attempt to bring every scripture to this one boiling point: What is the impact on “God with man” today? More importantly, what is the impact for me as an individual?
Every prophecy, every event, and every story was about God revealing Himself to individuals. To take those events and box them up into finished little packages of one-time occurrences is a mistake. Those events are not the consummation, they are the revelation.
Date: 08 Nov 2006
I can’t actually see what’s controversial at all in this position, except one can’t help observe that American Christianity seems excessively politicised, and people don’t so much hold positions as build forts, must be a habit from the Settler days.
Date: 08 Nov 2006
This is an excellent article. It is well thought out, well worded, and it hits the proverbial nail on the head.
Date: 02 Jul 2007
Question – “Can those who have been so deep into the preterist movement actually come out and say they are no longer full-preterists?”
Reply – Who would want to come out of the Preterist position that is held only to the truth.
NATHAN has said – “Any theology which looks to the temporal things as its finality, any theology which takes ANY scripture and applies them to the temporal realm, and does not apply them to the spiritual truth behind it for which it was written, is an incorrect theology.”
RESPONCE – So what he is saying that if i look to the temporal things, like animale sacrifices, and know the truth behind it, which we all know, has been a shadow of Christ:
Hebrews 10 1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
So simply said, by the scriptures alone, that the sacrifices was a reminder of sin for it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin.
Hebrews 10 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
To continue in Hebrews we can see that we all have been sanctified in the offering of Jesus Christ Once and For all.
My question is what are we Preterist not seeing that these IDEALIST are trying to say of us or are they Preterist hiding under another title because they are tired for standing up to the truth that All prophecy was fulfilled in Christ once for all.
Ths idealist movement might be use another title or by what i read on other comments, like from Sam Frost’s article, which i liked a lot, it would seem that these idealist are resurrecting Satan who has been defeated. Let Satan rest I say and stop giving the devil all the glory for the evil that so many say is still in this world. Lets relize that the ship is not sinking and that Christ has kept his word and let us as Christians get back to work in the politicsw of life and try to make a differance because as long as the Christians keep sitting back doinging nothing no wonder why so many say the world is evil the Christiansd have forgotten that the battle has been won and we are standing on a gold field and too blind to see the glory that is not soon to be but is already ours in Christ…we are sanctified now not sometime later or a process but now in Christ for it is HIs righteousnes we have not our own and if we are clothed in His we can claim it as ours right now.
I know i have gone off on typing this but in all honestly this idealist sounds silly and immature and i wish it will mature and lets be claimers of the victory that is ours now in Christ.
Date: 22 Jul 2007
Amen! The victory is ours now “in Christ” … but do you believe there is still victory for those outside of Christ?
Date: 21 Jul 2007
I think we need to focus on what we are called to do as believers and put some of this intellectualism away for a while and simplify. Lets fast and pray that the Lord will show mercy on those who are unsaved and lift the veil from their eyes.
Some of us are just not that smart. We need sound teaching that has been thought through by those who have been called to teach and preach in a way we can understand. In other words, keep it simple for those of us who aren’t that gifted.
Thanks, Ruth Grace Jennese.