Category Archives: Preterism

IS THE “END OF THE AGE” AD 70?

PMW 2019-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am not always able to engage in theological discussion by email, due to my time constraints and the number of requests for such that I receive. But occasionally I will engage a discussion briefly. Here is one I just had with a PostmillennialWorldview reader. It regards the two-age structure of history.

PMW reader wrote:

I have a question to throw in the works if I may: Matthew 24:3 says ” What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

This could mean the end of the Old Testament age. I back this up with Jesus comments on the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will not be forgiven “in this age or the age to come” (Matthew 12:32.) Continue reading

JESUS AND PRETERISM (3)

PMW2019-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the final article in a three-part response to Dr. Wayne Briddle of Liberty University. He presented a paper critiquing orthodox preterism and asked me to reply. These articles represent my reply.

Matthew 10:23

As I noted (too briefly!) at the ETS meeting, I disagree with Dr. Briddle’s observation (drawn from Toussaint) in his third paragraph. He states: “At the time that Jesus sent out his apostles, he was enjoying great popularity. There is no evidence that the apostles were in this kind of danger until after the crucifixion of Christ.” I disagree with this on several grounds:

(1) Even if Jesus was enjoying popularity among the common folk at the time, we surely could not say that the religious leadership found him popular. And they were the ones who would have him crucified. In fact, in John 2 (near his first miracle) he gives the cryptic statement about destroying the Temple and his raising it up, which was really speaking of his crucifixion. Much earlier than 10:23 he urges his hearers to a better righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees (5:20) and he rebuts the sayings of the elders of old (5:21ff), so that the people are impressed with his teaching as one with authority (7:28-29). He warns about “false prophets” who are “ravenous wolves” (7:15). In Matthew 9:10 (before 10:23) the Pharisees were charging that “he casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” Continue reading

JESUS AND PRETERISM (2)

PMW 2019-083 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my previous article I began a brief response to Dr. Wayne Briddle of Liberty University regarding his critique of preterism. I recommend reading that article before reading this one. In this article I will briefly respond to various issues in a running, seriatim fashion.

Hyper-Preterism/Extreme Preterism

I do not know of any contemporary proponent of Hyper-Preterism who teaches that history may, in fact, come to an end. In fact, it seems to be a distinctive of this heterodox movement that it holds that the earth has been established “forever.” John Noe’s book drives this point home repeatedly. And as far as I can tell, this is commonly asserted in that movement. Continue reading

JESUS AND PRETERISM (1)

PMW2019-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A few years ago I was privileged to hear Dr. Wayne A. Briddle of Liberty University deliver a cogent, careful, and cordial critique of evangelical preterism (which he designated “partial preterism”). Dr. Briddle graciously allowed me a few moments at the end of his presentation to respond. He also asked if I would mind providing him some sort of critique of his presentation for his better understanding of the issues from my perspective. Here is my reply.

Introduction

In his paper, Dr. Bridle provided a helpful summary statement regarding the nature of and evidence for preterism. His summary was apparently designed for an audience not thoroughly familiar with the debate. I commend him for his careful introduction of the topic. His summary should aid any one interested in the basics of preterism and its variant forms (from heterodox Hyper-Preterism or Full or Extreme Preterism to the Orthodox (“partial”) Preterism of R. C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, and Kenneth Gentry). Continue reading

THE BEASTS OF REVELATION

PMW 2019-023 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Beast from seaIn Revelation 13:1–2 we are introduced to the beast from the sea who will play a prominent role in Revelation from this point forward: “I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”

We must understand the “first beast” in Rev 13 both generically and individually. This is not unusual in Scripture: Christ’s body is generic (the church) and specific (Jesus); Adam is generic (man) and specific (Adam). Generically the “beast” is Rome; individually it is Nero Caesar, the head of the Roman Empire of the day. Continue reading

MATTHEW 24:3 AND OLIVET’S STRUCTURE

PMW 2019-047 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse is significantly different from Mark’s. It does not differ, however, through contradiction, but by supplementation. Thus, it does not conflict with Mark’s version, but augments it.

This is not unusual in the Gospels. For we know that in the Gospels, recorded sermons do not appear verbatim in word-for-word fullness, but are summaries. Otherwise, Jesus would be traveling from place-to-place delivering one-minute messages, as in Matt. 11:20–24; Matt. 11:25–30; and 13:1–9. And sometimes after crowds were with him for three days (Matt. 15:32)! Furthermore, John the Baptist would have people coming from all over Judea (Matt. 3:5) to hear a sermon that lasted for only two sentences (Matt. 3:2–3). Continue reading

PRETERISM IN HISTORY

PMW 2019-036 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The preterist perspective is making its presence felt in current prophecy discussions. Unfortunately, dispensational eschatology, which arose in the 1830s and is built on the futurist system, thoroughly dominates evangelical preaching, education, publishing, broadcasting today, and day dreaming. Consequently, evangelical Christians are largely unfamiliar with preterism, making it seem to be the “new kid on the block.” Preterism, however, is as hoary with age as is futurism. And despite its overshadowing in this century, it has been well represented by leading Bible-believing scholars through the centuries into our current day.

PATRISTIC CHRISTIANITY

One of the best known and most accessible of the ancient preterists is Eusebius (A.D. 260-340), the “father of church history.” Continue reading