Talk with Full Preterist Theologian

A Full Preterist Theologian who emphasizes Christ's second coming as a past event with present implications for Christian living.


What is Full Preterism?

Full Preterism is a school of Christian eschatological thought. Theologians who adhere to this perspective believe that all prophecy found in the Bible, including the events described in the Book of Revelation and Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, were fulfilled by AD 70 with the destruction of the Second Temple and the siege of Jerusalem. This view contrasts with other forms of Christian eschatology, such as Historic Premillennialism, Amillennialism, and Dispensational Premillennialism, which typically foresee future fulfillments of many prophecies.

Full Preterists argue that biblical references to "the end of the age" pertain specifically to the end of the covenant between God and Israel, rather than to the end of the world itself. They believe that the coming of Christ, mentioned in the scriptures, refers to His coming in judgment against Jerusalem in AD 70, rather than to a future, physical Second Coming.

There are several theologians known for their Full Preterist views. Some notable figures include:

  1. Max R. King - Possibly one of the more recognized Full Preterist thinkers, King has written extensively on this interpretation of eschatology, arguing that the entire narrative of the Bible culminates with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

  2. Don K. Preston - An active author and debater, Preston has produced a substantial body of work defending the Full Preterist position, engaging with both its critics and adherents in various theological discussions.

  3. Gary DeMar - Although not strictly a Full Preterist (often aligning more closely with Partial Preterism), DeMar's writings on the need to reinterpret traditional expectations of eschatology share similarities with Full Preterist perspectives.

Full Preterism is considered a minority view within Christianity and is often critiqued by more mainstream theological positions for its readings of certain key biblical passages. However, it remains a significant and thought-provoking aspect of eschatological debate within Christian theology.

How do Full Preterists view the role of the church post-70 AD?

Full Preterism holds that all biblical prophecy, including the events described in the book of Revelation and the expected return of Christ, were fulfilled by or before 70 AD, particularly with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. From this perspective, the role of the church post-70 AD is seen as a continuation of God's kingdom on earth but under a new covenant context. Since all eschatological predictions are considered fulfilled, the church's role becomes one of living out the ethics and the kingdom principles laid out by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament.

This means that the church's mission post-70 AD focuses on discipleship, teaching, and living according to the teachings of Jesus. It emphasizes the transformation of individual lives and communities through the gospel's power now fully realized. The church exists to demonstrate the reality of God's kingdom on earth, fostering spiritual growth, community service, and a deep commitment to Christian ethics.

What texts support Full Preterist Theologian’s views on eschatology?

Full Preterism, a perspective within Christian eschatology, argues that all prophecy in the Bible, including the events described in the Book of Revelation and Jesus' foretelling of the end times, were fulfilled by AD 70 with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Supporters of Full Preterism often reference several key texts to substantiate their views:

  1. Matthew 24:34 - This verse is pivotal among Full Preterists. Jesus states, "Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." Full Preterists interpret "this generation" to mean the generation of Jesus' contemporaries, suggesting that all discussed events, including the tribulation and the coming of the Son of Man, were to occur within that first-century timeframe.

  2. Luke 21:20-22 - Here, Jesus describes the encirclement of Jerusalem by armies as the signal of its desolation and an indication that "all things which are written may be fulfilled." Full Preterists view this as a direct reference to the prophecies concerning Jerusalem’s destruction, seeing its fulfillment in the Roman siege of 70 AD.

  3. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 - In this passage, Paul discusses the resurrection of the dead, saying, "we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." Full Preterists argue that "the last trumpet" refers to an event in the first-century climaxing in the events of AD 70, rather than a future apocalyptic scenario.

  4. Revelation 1:1 and 1:3 - These verses suggest that the events of Revelation must "soon take place" and that "the time is near," respectively. Full Preterists take this language to enforce a first-century fulfillment of John’s prophetic visions, contrasting views that interpret Revelation’s events as still future.

  5. Hebrews 8:13 - Discussing the new covenant, this text says that the old covenant is "ready to vanish away." Full Preterists see this as indication that the entire old covenant system, including its sacrificial temple practices, was to soon disappear, which it did when the Temple was destroyed.

These biblical texts are among the primary supports used by Full Preterist Theologians to argue that no biblical prophecy extends beyond the first century. Their interpretation tends to be highly symbolic and focused on the audience context and historical milieu of the New Testament.

Do Full Preterists believe in a physical resurrection?

Full Preterism, as a theological perspective, generally interprets the events described in biblical prophecy, including the resurrection, as having been fulfilled by the end of the first century AD, particularly with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. Adherents of Full Preterism typically believe that the references to the resurrection in the New Testament were fulfilled spiritually rather than physically. This means that they view the resurrection as an event pertaining to the soul's survival or transformation after physical death, rather than a bodily resurrection from the grave as traditionally understood in mainstream Christian eschatology. Thus, they do not support the idea of a future, physical resurrection of all dead believers.

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