PMT 2014-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
For several years I have stated that the Westminster divine and great Talmudic scholar John Lightfoot (1602–75) was a preterist. I was wrong. He was an historicist.
By the very nature of the case, historicism often deals with prophecies that refer to events now past, hence prophecies that would agree with preterism. This is because historicism tends to view Revelation as a prophecy of the church from the first century until the end.
PMT 2014-083 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Preterism is still largely unfamiliar to dispensationalists who dominate the evangelical publishing market. Yet it is making headway. And I believe it is making its presence felt due to its great strengths. Let’s consider those, then consider its weaknesses.
The leading strengths of preterism are:
(1) It retains and emphasizes the relevance of Revelation for John’s first-century audience (the seven churches in Asia Minor and apostolic Christianity more broadly), which is enduring a worsening period of persecution and oppression (1:9; 6:9–11; 14:13; 17:6) that would require Christians to strive to “overcome” (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). John writes to a particular people at a particular time, and those people are urged to carefully “hear” (1:3) what Revelation presents. Continue reading
PMT 2014-023 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Three factors generate preterism: (1) the importance of chronological indicators in biblical prophecy, (2) the impact of OT apocalyptic language on eschatological discourse, and (3) the significance of A.D. 70 for redemptive history. Let us see how these impact Revelation.
First, preterism relies heavily upon Revelation’s assertions of the nearness of certain prophetic events (1:1,3; 22:6,10), while non-preterists disingenuously re-interpret these. When the preterist comes upon didactically-seated temporal delimiters, he allows them their literal significance and seeks an historical fulfillment in antiquity. Where absent, then other issues must suggest the proper interpretation, which may or may not demand a past fulfillment. Continue reading