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
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
) 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
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..."