PMW 2019-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I am a preterist and a postmillennialist. The fact that I am a postmillennialist proves that I am not a Hyper-preterist, for postmillennialism has a number of prophecies that remain to fulfilled. I am, thus, an Orthodox Preterist, sometimes called a “Partial Preterist” by those who have made off with a perfectly good hermeneutic label and mutated it into a whole new unorthodox theology.
Though Hyper-preterism is a very small Internet movement, it has caused debates in no small number of local churches. Thus, I have published several brief critiques/rebuttals to this theological system, such as my chapter in Keith Mathison’s When Shall These Things Be? and my small book Have We Missed the Second Coming? Of course, more needs to be said. And I hope to write more on the topic in the future, when I have completed several current and projected projects.
Good Critiques of Hyper-preterism
There are, however, several helpful critiques of Hyper-preterism that are available. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church has published a brief analysis called, “Hyper-preterism and the OPC”. Another is by non-preterist amillennialist theologian Dr. Richard L. Pratt titled “Hyper-Preterism and Unfolding Biblical Eschatology,” published on-line by the Gospel Coalition.
An even more helpful rebuttal is by preteristic amillennialist, Jay E. Adams, Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? He well understands both orthodoxy and preterism.
Have We Missed the Second Coming:
A Critique of the Hyper-preterist Error
by Ken Gentry
This book offers a brief introduction, summary, and critique of Hyper-preterism. Don’t let your church and Christian friends be blindfolded to this new error. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com
We also have preteristic postmillennialists who have analyzed Hyper-preterism. For instance, Jason L. Bradfield has written a helpful article, “Irrefutable Refutation of Hyper-Preterism.” It is published on-line by Regnum-Christi. Jim West’s “The Allurement of Hymenaen Preterism: The Rise of ‘Dispensable Eschatology’” is another example of a preteristic postmillennial analysis. And preteristic postmillennialist C. Jonathan Seraiah has written a book-length critique titled The End of All Things.
One former leader in the Hyper-preterist movement left the party and returned to orthodoxy: Sam Frost. He has written a valuable critique of Hyper-preterism that also provides instructive insights regarding his journey into and out of Hyper-preterism: Why I Left Full Preterism. For a breif review of this book, click: here.
The Best Critique of Hyper-preterism
However, the best one that I have seen is Joel McDurmon’s preteristic-postmillennial rebuttal of Hyper-preterism and defense of the historic, corporate, public, universal, systematic Christian faith. I highly recommend this book to all who might be interested in the topic itself or who may know of someone who may be struggling with this unorthodox theology.
Review of McDurmon’s We Shall All Be Changed: A Critique of Full Preterism and a Defense of a Future Bodily Resurrection of the Saints. Powder Springs, Geo.: American Vision, 2012 (142 pages)
Part I of McDurmon’s book is titled “A Critique of ‘Full Preterism’” (pp. 1–64), while Part II is “Defense of a Future Bodily Resurrection of the Saints” (pp. 67–131). Each section is around sixty pages of careful exegetical, theological, and logical (philosophical) observations.
In Part I, McDurmon critiques Hyper-preterism from three perspectives: Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology. Each of these theological perspectives is important for a full-orbed Christian worldview.
McDurmon opens early with a devastating critique of Hyper-preterism’s key text (pp. 7ff), Luke 21:22. This verse refers to AD 70 and declares:
“these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.”
Hyper-preterists think this verse declares that all prophecy was fulfilled in the AD 70 event. Their understanding of this essential verse in their paradigm is an example of their rather pedestrian hermeneutic in particular and their peculiar theology in general.
Olivet Discourse Made Easy (by Ken Gentry)
Verse-by-verse analysis of Christ’s teaching on Jerusalem’s destruction in Matt 24. Show the great tribulation is past, having occurred in AD 70.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
As McDurmon argues, the Bible is not a cut-and-dried document, but a sophisticated and artistic declaration of God’s truth that challenges and convicts. Thus, prophecies of Scripture are “more like promises that are sustained in different ways through different epochs of history—though always the same promises” (p. 15).
For instance, the author points out that Luke 21:22 cannot properly be used to prove that all prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. He demonstrates this by dealing with the word “all,” the meaning of the concept of “fulfillment,” and other issues. He points out that though this verse appears at first blush to proclaim that all prophecy was fulfilled in that event, we must notice in the very next chapter that another passage would seem to teach that all prophecy was fulfilled forty years earlier at the cross (Luke 18:31–33). Which is it?
To make matters worse, McDurmon also highlights several Old Testament passages that could have been easily misinterpreted by Hyper-preterists — had they lived in the days of those prophecies! For example, Joshua 21:43, 45 appears to declare all God’s promises to Israel had been fulfilled in the conquering of the Promised Land by Joshua. And that “not one of the good promises” of the Lord remained to be fulfilled. But the remaining narrative history of Israel in the Old Testament shows that this is not so. McDurmon also points us to 1 Kings 8:20, 24, which appears to teach that the entirety of the Davidic Covenant is fulfilled at Solomon’s coronation. But this would leave nothing to be fulfilled by the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
This is only an introductory review of McDurmon’s book, We Shall All Be Changed. I have barely touched on the issues resolved — and I have only gotten to p. 15. And more is to come! Much more. But for that, you will have to buy his book. And I encourage you to do so! Soon.
JESUS, MATTHEW, AND OLIVET
I am currently researching a commentary on Matthew 21–25, the literary context of the Olivet Discourse from Matthew’s perspective. My research will demonstrate that Matthew’s presentation demands that the Olivet Discourse refer to AD 70 (Matt. 24:3–35) as an event that anticipates the Final Judgment at the Second Advent (Matt. 24:36–25:46). This will explode the myth that Jesus was a Jewish sage focusing only on Israel. The commentary will be about 250 pages in length.
If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!