Hyper Preterism: Dangerous.. or Just Wrong ?

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BY TODD DENNIS
APRIL 16, 2008

 This blog is being developed for all who are interested in the doctrinal spectrum of the “First Century Fulfillment Model” (1CFM) of general Preterist theology.

 

Specifically, HYPERpreteristarchive.com will be focusing on the extreme end of that range, which is represented by the “Total Fulfillment Model” (TFM).

This view teaches that bible prophecy was totally fulfilled by AD70, when the Romans sacked Jerusalem, bringing the Mosaic religious era to a close. This extreme preterism is being categorized as “hyper” — as in beyond the biblically acceptable — due to its fundamental divergence from the Christian storyline of the cross of Christ’s sole basis and effectiveness for redemption. Sadly, Hyper Preterism (HyP) teaches that when Jesus said “it is finished”, there remained still another 40 years before the redemptive work was complete. Another fundamental difference is the teaching that the Christianity displayed in the New Testament was only representative of the pre AD70 era. (teaching instead that the world entered a new age/dispensation when the temple fell in the year 70 of the first century).

Follow up:

Although this HyP finds systematizing among every last “Full Preterist” system, traces of Hyper theology can be found among other systems which do not strictly belong to that classification. Put another way, all Full Preterism is Hyper Preterism, but not all Hyper Preterism is Full Preterism. Full Preterism would be considered “systematic Hyper Preterism”, as it is consistently hyper preterist in its theology.

In short, a few hallmarks of Hyper Preterism are those systems which teach:

– A global, historical “Consummation of the Ages” in AD70.
– The global, historical eradication of sin/”the sin” in AD70.
– The global, historical destruction of “the Adversary” in AD70.
– The global, historical destruction of “the last enemy, which is death” in AD70.

It is important to keep in mind that many ideas and doctrines HyP appeals to (such as the complete end of the Old Covenant world in AD70) are by no means distinctive to that view and would not – in themselves – qualify as Hyper Preterism. Many non HyPs believe this as well, so one need not embrace the Hyper Preterist system in order to endorse this view. Following are exceptional doctrines which, so far as I’ve seen, are only taught by adherents of Hyper Preterism.:

DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY STANDARD FULL PRETERISM

All Bible Prophecy was Fulfilled By AD70
Atonement Incomplete at Cross ; Complete at AD70
The Supernatural Power of Evil Ended in AD70
“The Consummation of the Ages” Came in AD70
“The Millennium” is in the Past, From AD30 to AD70
The Christian Age Began in AD70 ; Earth Will Never End
“The Day of the Lord” was Israel’s Destruction ending in AD70
The “Second Coming” of Jesus Christ Took Place in AD70-ish
The Great Judgment took place in AD70 ; No Future Judgment
The Law, Death, Sin, Devil, Hades, etc. Utterly Defeated in AD70
“The Resurrection” of the Dead and Living is Past, Having Taken Place in AD70

DISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY VARIOUS FORMS
(under construction)
The Holy Spirit’s Paraclete Work Ceased in AD70 (Cessationism)
The Consummation in AD70 Caused Church Offices to Cease (Cessationism)
The Resurrection in AD70 Changed the “Constitutional Principle” of Marriage (Noyesism)
Israel and Humanity Delivered into Ultimate Liberty in AD70 (TransmillennialismTM)
The Judgment in AD70 Reconciled All of Mankind to God ; All Saved (Preterist Universalism)
When Jesus Delivered the Kingdom to the Father in AD70, He Ceased Being The Intermediary (Pantelism/Comprehensive Grace?)
The Book of Genesis is an Apocalypse; is About Creation of First Covenant Man, not First Historical Man (Covenantal Preterism)

There are many other points which will be addressed, but that list gives an idea of what will be this blog’s focus when it comes to Hyper Preterism. In addition, I will be offering explanations and interpretations which are presented as alternatives to both the typical Dispensationalist view, as well as the Hyper Preterist views.

Having been an adherant and proponent of the HyPs for over a decade (as principal founder of the online Full Preterist Movement in 1996), I am in a unique position to judge the demerits of the various systems contained therein. This experience can be reviewed on a number of websites dedicated to this subject. It becomes an important issue, considering that I once held to Full Preterism, but have left that model, believing it to be unbiblical and extremely dangerous.

In fact, I now believe the HyP to be Hymenaeanism — which was a charge I’d defended against countless times while still a proponent of that view. It is certainly Hyper Preterism, in the sense that it represents a Preterist view which has distinctly left both the teachings of the Bible and the Christianity contained therein. This is a bold statement, yet I intend to fully back it up, for the benefit of first time students, and seasoned full preterists. In fact, I now believe Full Preterism to be an exceedingly devilish tool.

Obviously, this is not going to be an unbiased look at Hyper Preterism, so please don’t expect me to use harmless rhetoric when I feel so strongly that it is not just wrong, but toxic theology. I believe I’ve earned the right to a hard-hitting look at the doctrines I promoted for over a decade.

It is hoped that HyPs don’t take these hits personally. If one’s life is wrapped up in HP then that will be tough, but perhaps that can be a way to recognize the personal toll the belief has already taken. The shift from opinion to dogma is subtle but powerful. I certainly hold no malice against those who embrace either HyP or Dispensationalism.

There are other blogs which approach Hyper Preterism from other, more personal, angles, but this one will attempt to be overly even and respectful — with the primary focus on doctrines, not people. Naturally, there will be charges of misrepresentation or other fallacies coming from Hyper Preterists.. but this is to be expected and cannot be avoided. Let the third party witness decide for themselves — with all evidence laid out — whether the HyP is Hymenaean or not.

For a general, though comprehensive, look at the broad rance of Preterist theology, visit the mothersite: http://www.preteristarchive.com