Monday, October 24, 2005
Eschatology.....past, present, future?
I know Steve Camp is thinking of blogging on eschatology and I may do more of it in the future, but I thought I would put down some thoughts concerning materials I have been going over the past year or so. Let me say at the outset, that I may have some mixed views of the subject, but one thing I am not is a dispensationalist. I have recently become acquainted with the preterist view. The preterist view believes that those things found in Daniel, Matthew 24, and Revelation, as well as, many other Scriptures have already been fulfilled by 70 A.D. I come from a SBC church and we were taught the whole Tim LaHaye kind of stuff, which was a premillenial dispensationalist type of eschatology. I no longer hold to such a view. However, my studies seemed to follow the path of the reformers in what might be called a historicist view.
While a historicist and preterist do cross over one another they are distinct. Let me note that not all preterists are full preterists. Some preterists are partial preterists. They are those who believe the majority of things found in the above passages are fulfilled with still some future events to take place, while full preterists believe that all things are fulfilled and even Christ's return is not yet future. This I believe is heretical (full preterism). However, much of the preterists arguments answer a lot of questions, though they pose some as well. I have long held that Matthew 24 was mostly about the destruction of Jerusalem, but also felt there was a gap as Jesus answered the question concerning the end of the age and His coming. Most partial preterists, like Ken Gentry, will think like that as well. However, many will say that the return spoken of in Matt 24 is pertaining to Christ's coming in judgment and that the end of the age is indeed that of dealing with national Israel. In fact Gentry goes on to say that it is pictured as God "stoning her" for her adulteries and therefore taking to Himself His bride the church.
I am convinced more than ever that our eschatology does guide our thinking in the present. While I don't believe it is something I would withhold fellowship over, it is important. I welcome anyone's comments that might add to my understanding.