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 2014-082 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Of the four interpretive schools of Revelation, one of the most neglected in our times has been preterism. It is however experiencing a strong resurgence in recent days. This seems to be due to two powerful influences: (1) Futurism has warn out the evangelical market with false predictions. (2) As Christians look at the alternatives they find a powerful exegetical and theological case for preterism in recent contributions to the debate.
Preterism is the “ancient history” view of Revelation. Preterism practically points past people to the past, you might say (but I doubt you can say it five time very quickly). As I move toward the end of this series on interpretive approach to Revelation, I will engage preterism in two articles. Continue reading →
PMT 2014-081 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Most evangelicals today assume that Revelation is speaking about their own future. Too few of them realize there are other approaches to Revelation. Futurism is a difficult view to overthrow because of its large installed base of adherents. In this article I will be focusing on futurism’s strengths and weanesses, having presented the basics of the system in my previous article.
Futurism enjoys certain apparent strengths that make it appealing to many today.
(1) It seems to allow for the apparent universal and catastrophic events of Rev, in that these are so destructive they could not occur prior to the very end time. After all, “most natural disasters . . . pale into insignificance when compared with the Seer’s descriptions of the sixth seal” (J. Court). In this light J. F. Walvoord states that “the futuristic position allows a more literal interpretation of the specific prophecies of the book.” Continue reading →
PMT 2014-080 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Revelation has confused the minds of the best theologians and thinkers. The confusion is so deep-rooted that four basic schools of interpretation regarding Revelation have arisen and dominated the exegetical landscape. In this series I am summarizing each of the basic interpretive schools so as to better inform the Christian of the lay of the land in Revelation studies. Continue reading →
PMT 2014-076 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Revelation is a difficult book. Except perhaps for tele-evangelists, who have spent dozens of hours studying it and thousands of hours preaching it. But even John had difficulties understanding what was going on in his own book (Rev 7:13-14; 17:7; 19:10; 20:8–9). And it is deemed a difficult book by most biblical scholars and commentators. Continue reading →