Critical Review by:

John Holzmann, co-owner, Sonlight Curriculum for Homeschoolers     

[Review of Beyond Creation Science, 2nd edition, 2005]

    "Are you familiar with preterism? --I ask the question, because I'm curious if anyone is further along than I am in analyzing the kind of thoughts I share below.

    In sum, the following post has to do with hermeneutic methods as they relate to the two ends of the Bible--the books of Genesis and Revelation. The person whose book(let) I'm trying to summarize suggests we ought to read Genesis 1-11 in much the same way we read the book of Revelation. It refers to history, but is not scientifically literal history.

    Someone sent me a booklet by a man named Tim Martin called Beyond Creation Science. I read it earlier this week and have been fascinated with its implications.

    First, let me define preterism as I understand it.

    Preterism is the opposite of futurism. According to my experience and understanding, most evangelical Christians today view significant Bible prophecies as unfulfilled. In other words, they take a futurist approach to these prophecies (Revelation; Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 11; significant portions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Habakkuk, etc.). Fulfillment comes in the future.

    Preterists, by contrast, view these prophecies as largely--if not completely--fulfilled. [Thus, when Jesus spoke of "the end of the age," he was referring not to the end of the physical globe-world on which we live, but to the end of the Old Testament "cosmos"--the "world" of [what the writer of the Book of Hebrews calls] "types," "copies," "patterns," "figures," "illustrations," or "parables" (Hebrews 9:9, 23-24). He was referring to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.]

    According to preterists, when Jesus said (Matt 24:14), "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come"--the preaching to which He was referring had all happened by 70 AD. ("After all," they say, "even St. Paul spoke (Col 1:23) of 'the gospel that . . . has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.' --These prophecies have been fulfilled. They are not yet to be fulfilled!"

    I read a few books on this subject 10 to 20 years ago. (Three books whose titles I can specifically remember: Kenneth L. Gentry's Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation and The Beast of Revelation, also, David Chilton's Paradise Restored.) The book/booklet I read this past week (Beyond Creation Science) intrigued me because it suggested there are significantly more implications for a preterist interpretation of Scripture than how we read the Book of Revelation and what we think about concerning "the end times."

    Specifically, Martin, the author, suggests that the modern "Creation Science"/young earth interpretation of Genesis 1-11 grows out of a Dispensational/futurist hermeneutic [hermeneutic means "method of interpretation"]. And if we were to adopt a consistent preterist interpretation, our view of Genesis 1-11 would be very different . . . and very much more wholesome..."

Entire Review Online (with discussion)

John Holzmann Writes on Preterism (and Deals with a Heretic Hunter - 2009)

Shocked Disbelief about Charles Haddon Spurgeon's Teaching on Creation - 2009



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