Full Preterism vs. Idealism, Part One: Introduction

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The Bible was being viewed as a book that I needed to pick apart to decide what applied and what didn’t apply.

By Nathan DuBois

Full Preterism vs. Idealism – Part One : Introduction | Part Two – Full Preterism’s Achilles Heel | Part Three – Full Preterism’s “New” Gospel | Full Preterism vs. Idealism: Part Four : Full Preterism’s Single Dimension Focus

Full Preterism vs. Idealism
Part 1: Introduction

  • Full Preterism – The view that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by the year 70

  • Consistent Cessationism – Determining which  things (such as speaking in tongues) ceased in AD70

  • Idealism  – The view that the substance of prophetic fulfillment is found “in Christ” not “in history”

  • Reformed Soteriology – Doctrines of salvation commonly called “Calvinism” (TULIP)

  • Universalism – Because the devil, death, sin and law were destroyed in AD70, there is no more separation between any person and God. 

The question has been raised with the intent of learning the difference between Full Preterism and Idealism. The Full Preterism being discussed is more directly aimed at the Reformed Full Preterist interpretation.

In this stage of Full Preterism, out of which I have recently come, there is a tendency to hold onto Reformed soteriology in the face of the Full Preterists who would take the view all the way to Universalism.

I was one of those preterists (with that tendency). It was clear to me that Universalism was not correct according to Romans, but it was also abundantly clear that Full Preterism was crumbling from beneath me in the light of Consistent Cessationism.

In order to battle the Universalist logical conclusions of Consistent Cessationist Full Preterism, many Cessationist believers are giving ground to the idea that all Biblical offices, gifts, and patterns still continue in a milder, less structured sort of way. For instance, that there are no teachers and preachers, but there are still elders that teach. There is also the debate that the gifts of the Spirit are not applicable because they were in part, but the Spirit still moves people to Christ as He did in the transition period. In fact, the Spirit always moved the elect to God and the truth even before the New testament time frame.

Basically, some of the Idealist understandings I hold are being grasped by those Full Preterists who were close to “throwing out the baby with the bath water” because they were consistently following the logical conclusions of Full Preterism. However, rather than give in to Universalism, because Universalism is clearly against scripture, they grabbed back (or just held on tighter to) their Reformed soteriology while maintaining a Full Preterist position, creating a very inconsistent version of Full Preterism and back tracking on many of the leanings they were headed toward when following the Full Preterist logic.

I was in exactly this same boat. There are some basic logical conclusions to Full Preterism that cannot be ignored. Some may try to excuse or wiggle out of the conclusions by going back to their incorrect denominational mindset, but none the less, these conclusions are the only logical answer to many questions in the Full preterist framework. I will address these in this study but first I want to lay down a few rules that show the weakness of Full Preterism.

1. If the same punishment is declared for (2) agencies in scripture, then the SAME RESULT must ensue for both agencies.

2. If something arrived for a “special purpose,” and did not exist in the actions of God on Earth prior to that point, then they MUST CEASE when the purpose for their existence is taken away or completed. If they DO NOT cease, they were always in existence, and were only being revealed in a new way during that “special purpose” time frame, which then consistently allows them to continue afterward.

3. Scripture continues to interpret scripture. Like Matthew parallels Luke concerning the same judgment, so other passages parallel each other when talking of the same event.

4. God’s attributes come into play for everything. God does not change and His character does not change. Just because God acted in time, those actions did not benefit, make different, cause change to, or halt His ways. He is the same today as He was in Genesis.

5. Man and God MUST be viewed differently. Just because man and the nature of humanity follows a pattern, does not mean God follows that same pattern in respect to HIS nature. Until made perfect in Christ, man is always finite, the ways of nature are always finite. God has always been infinite. His ways and His holiness always was. “I AM” is about the most literal description for God I can think of.

6. All attributes of God apply to Christ.

Most of what I wrote above would be easily agreed to by the Reformed Full Preterist. There are maybe a couple they would dispute because they know why I say it and know where I am heading. It doesn’t make the logic any less true. Examples for each rule will be contrasted in this explanation of the (2) views that I am going to discuss (FP vs. PI).


This introduction to what I am going to write is by no means meant to insult or enrage anyone. I have been asked to address the difference between Full Preterism and Preterist Idealism. I am writing from personal experience — eight years worth, of being an active participant in the Full Preterist circle. I am writing about views I held and tendencies I saw in myself and others. This does not mean I think myself better than others. This does not mean I think I am further evolved or wiser. It simply means I have been granted a different perspective on Preterism. I saw the tendencies and I turned away from them. I could find no consistent, satisfactory, alternative answers to the questions raised against the logical conclusions of Full Preterism.

Furthermore, the Bible was being viewed as a book that I needed to pick apart to decide what applied and what didn’t apply. What ceased in AD 70 and what did not. And with those cessations what I can continue to do, or not do, as a member of the Kingdom.

Lastly, I came up with an important conclusion. Any theology that breeds an attempt to define love as anything other than “self sacrifice” is a VERY WRONG theology. This led to the most inconsistent application of Full Preterism that I have seen yet. It is the biggest factor in my embrace of Idealism over Full Preterism and I will discuss that in length throughout this work.

God Bless,

What do YOU think ?
Submit Your Comments For Posting Below

Date: 13 Jun 2007
Time: 15:08:45

Preterist, Historicist and Futurist positions do not seem to fit Revelation. One should probably let the Scriptures speak for themselves and not attempt to force assumptions on Scripture. Speculation undermines one’s credibility. I am in the process of studying Revelation and input would be appreciated. God bless.

Dr. John E. Russell

Date: 09 Jul 2007
Time: 11:08:45

there is an obvious flaw here, one i have seen repeatedly. Speaking as a calvinist and as an amillinialist, i am not a cessasionist. The flaw is the use of and reliance on logic. As fallen cratures our logic is fallen. When we see things in scripture that appear to contradict each other we surely need to be careful of arguing ourselves into a corner with no room to manuover. No human has the monopoly on truth ……… but i accept that, that doesnt mean we shouldnt search for it. However to go back to my point …… the trinity is illogical, no amount of logic can explain it. Likewise because partial cessasionism doesnt fit into a neat box does that mean it cannot be true ? it seems ot me that many of our theological arguments come about because we fail to think outside the box.