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Dave

Preterism

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There hasn't been much activity at the bottom of the forum here so I thought I'd throw out something that comes up occasionally in my perusing of the Internet.

 

I've discovered that there is a popular interpretation of Scripture that places much of the end times as having already happened, specifically with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. I stumbled upon this belief when I bought Paul Ellis' book, "AD70 and the End of the World: Finding Good News in Christ's Prophecies and Parables of Judgment," without realizing its preterist leanings and thinking it would be an accurate interpretation of end times Scripture. To say the least, it wasn't.

 

That's why I wrote a critical Amazon review, to let others know that the blurbs about the book are quite misleading. I've pasted my review below.

 

So, I'm just curious if the end times Scripture is on anybody's radar, and whether you lean toward the preterist or prophetic view.

 

I'm not particularly interested in debating the fine points of these disparate views. As I mention in my review below, one's style of approach to Scripture heavily influences interpretations; where the same verse can hold almost opposite meanings depending on one's hermeneutics. I've learned that there is no point in debating with someone who hangs all his doctrine on what I perceive is a misinterpretation.

 

But, I'm curious what are the eschatological beliefs of the Christians on this forum.

 

==========================================================================
 
1.0 out of 5 stars
 
AD70 is an allegorical, preterist interpretation of the end times

 

By Dave - Top Contributor: Photography on July 31, 2017
 
This is a difficult review for me to write as I am uncomfortable criticizing a fellow believer. And I have no desire to join the preterism vs futurism debate, although there is much to be said regarding the false doctrine of preterism … known also as AD70 doctrine, realized eschatology, transmillennialism, etc.

However, the purpose of a book review is to help people decide if they wish to purchase a book by revealing aspects of the book that might not be apparent in the author’s description and the accompanying literature about it.

Basically it all comes down to biblical hermeneutics. Where do Paul Ellis’ writings fall on the hermeneutical continuum between purely allegorical interpretation and strictly literal interpretation? Your enjoyment of this book will be determined by your biblical hermeneutical style.

Long story short … AD70 reflects Mr. Ellis’ position of being far to the allegorical side of the hermeneutical line. Obviously, from reading other comments here, that is a style that appeals to the majority of those who have purchased the book. They apparently find Mr. Ellis’ allegorical interpretation of the last days fits nicely within their comfort zone.

To those who claim a position on the more literal hermeneutical style you will find yourselves arguing with Mr. Ellis on virtually every single page of the book.

Mr. Ellis employs a format similar to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, where the main character, Christian, debates various characters like Despair. In the case of AD70 we have a Mr. Preterist debating a Mr. Futurist. Unfortunately, Mr. Ellis stacks the deck against Mr. Futurist, putting him in many “straw man” situations that are not biblically accurate for those of us who hold to literal hermeneutics. Then, of course, Mr. Ellis easily destroys Futurist’s assertions, claiming a victory for his brand of allegorical preterism.

The biggest dishonesty employed by the author, however, is his claim that AD70 allays “fear and anxiety that is contrary to the hope-filled gospel of Jesus Christ,” is an “antidote to pessimistic prophecy,” and offers that, “If you are weary of gloomy forecasts or are anxious about the apocalypse, AD70 and the End of the World will give you a confident and joyful expectation of a bright tomorrow.”

The problem is that those of us on the opposite side of the hermeneutical scale from his preterist view have no such anxieties. Interpreting Scripture correctly means we recognize that Christ will remove his own before the last days tribulation. There is nothing for us to have anxiety about or fear from the apocalypse. Basically Mr. Ellis has erected a huge straw man and then disingenuously slays Scripture to tear it down.

Here is what I mean: Throughout AD70 Mr. Ellis literally hand-waves away all of Revelation, pays scant recognition to Daniel, and acts as if the book of Matthew ends with chapter 24. Any objections raised by Mr. Futurist citing accurate biblical interpretations from these Scriptures are rebutted by Mr. Ellis with his allegorical misinterpretations. A favorite Bible commentator likes to say that if you torture Scripture long enough you can make it confess to anything. In the case of AD70 Scripture is surely screaming for mercy.

In a nutshell, if you already lean toward a preterist worldview, and have been influenced by the preterist scaremongering about the last days contrary to what has been given to us in Scripture, then you will find comfort in Mr. Ellis’ story. If you accept prophesies about the last days given to us in Daniel, Matthew, Revelation and elsewhere, and reject an exclusively allegorical view of them, then you will be wanting to question Mr. Ellis’ views of the last days in AD70.
 
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There hasn't been much activity at the bottom of the forum here so I thought I'd throw out something that comes up occasionally in my perusing of the Internet.

 

I've discovered that there is a popular interpretation of Scripture that places much of the end times as having already happened, specifically with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. I stumbled upon this belief when I bought Paul Ellis' book, "AD70 and the End of the World: Finding Good News in Christ's Prophecies and Parables of Judgment," without realizing its preterist leanings and thinking it would be an accurate interpretation of end times Scripture. To say the least, it wasn't.

 

That's why I wrote a critical Amazon review, to let others know that the blurbs about the book are quite misleading. I've pasted my review below.

 

So, I'm just curious if the end times Scripture is on anybody's radar, and whether you lean toward the preterist or prophetic view.

 

I'm not particularly interested in debating the fine points of these disparate views. As I mention in my review below, one's style of approach to Scripture heavily influences interpretations; where the same verse can hold almost opposite meanings depending on one's hermeneutics. I've learned that there is no point in debating with someone who hangs all his doctrine on what I perceive is a misinterpretation.

 

But, I'm curious what are the eschatological beliefs of the Christians on this forum.

 

==========================================================================

 

1.0 out of 5 stars

 

AD70 is an allegorical, preterist interpretation of the end times

 

By Dave - Top Contributor: Photography on July 31, 2017

 

This is a difficult review for me to write as I am uncomfortable criticizing a fellow believer. And I have no desire to join the preterism vs futurism debate, although there is much to be said regarding the false doctrine of preterism … known also as AD70 doctrine, realized eschatology, transmillennialism, etc.

 

However, the purpose of a book review is to help people decide if they wish to purchase a book by revealing aspects of the book that might not be apparent in the author’s description and the accompanying literature about it.

 

Basically it all comes down to biblical hermeneutics. Where do Paul Ellis’ writings fall on the hermeneutical continuum between purely allegorical interpretation and strictly literal interpretation? Your enjoyment of this book will be determined by your biblical hermeneutical style.

 

Long story short … AD70 reflects Mr. Ellis’ position of being far to the allegorical side of the hermeneutical line. Obviously, from reading other comments here, that is a style that appeals to the majority of those who have purchased the book. They apparently find Mr. Ellis’ allegorical interpretation of the last days fits nicely within their comfort zone.

 

To those who claim a position on the more literal hermeneutical style you will find yourselves arguing with Mr. Ellis on virtually every single page of the book.

 

Mr. Ellis employs a format similar to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, where the main character, Christian, debates various characters like Despair. In the case of AD70 we have a Mr. Preterist debating a Mr. Futurist. Unfortunately, Mr. Ellis stacks the deck against Mr. Futurist, putting him in many “straw man†situations that are not biblically accurate for those of us who hold to literal hermeneutics. Then, of course, Mr. Ellis easily destroys Futurist’s assertions, claiming a victory for his brand of allegorical preterism.

 

The biggest dishonesty employed by the author, however, is his claim that AD70 allays “fear and anxiety that is contrary to the hope-filled gospel of Jesus Christ,†is an “antidote to pessimistic prophecy,†and offers that, “If you are weary of gloomy forecasts or are anxious about the apocalypse, AD70 and the End of the World will give you a confident and joyful expectation of a bright tomorrow.â€

 

The problem is that those of us on the opposite side of the hermeneutical scale from his preterist view have no such anxieties. Interpreting Scripture correctly means we recognize that Christ will remove his own before the last days tribulation. There is nothing for us to have anxiety about or fear from the apocalypse. Basically Mr. Ellis has erected a huge straw man and then disingenuously slays Scripture to tear it down.

 

Here is what I mean: Throughout AD70 Mr. Ellis literally hand-waves away all of Revelation, pays scant recognition to Daniel, and acts as if the book of Matthew ends with chapter 24. Any objections raised by Mr. Futurist citing accurate biblical interpretations from these Scriptures are rebutted by Mr. Ellis with his allegorical misinterpretations. A favorite Bible commentator likes to say that if you torture Scripture long enough you can make it confess to anything. In the case of AD70 Scripture is surely screaming for mercy.

 

In a nutshell, if you already lean toward a preterist worldview, and have been influenced by the preterist scaremongering about the last days contrary to what has been given to us in Scripture, then you will find comfort in Mr. Ellis’ story. If you accept prophesies about the last days given to us in Daniel, Matthew, Revelation and elsewhere, and reject an exclusively allegorical view of them, then you will be wanting to question Mr. Ellis’ views of the last days in AD70.

 

2 comments 6 people found this he

My personal thoughts of Mr. Paul Ellis is that he has utterly lost touch with all reality, just to be blunt. I find myself in accordance with Dave, i must say. I make no apologies for my literal understanding of our 'Word'. Of course there are indeed 'parables' and 'analogies' in the scriptures, but indeed for someone to somehow believe the 'End Time' events have already past is incomprehensible to me. I find Ellis's stance to be, well 'Literally' 100% non Biblical. I would ask any Christian that would postulate for such a stance if they recall the Biblical 'Judgement Day'? Or perhaps those whom find themselves in agreement with Ellis believe they are merely a dream???? Or a fairytale???? Or perhaps they believe themselves to be in Heaven???? Yes i know, how absurd!! If Ellis is correct then what are we Christians today in wait of?? Surely if our only savior became my intercessor at 'Judgement Day' i do believe i would recall such an event!! To me anyone whom postulates for

Preterism has lost touch with reality!! I honestly can not understand the mentality of such a view.

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My personal thoughts of Mr. Paul Ellis is that he has utterly lost touch with all reality, just to be blunt. I find myself in accordance with Dave, i must say. I make no apologies for my literal understanding of our 'Word'. Of course there are indeed 'parables' and 'analogies' in the scriptures, but indeed for someone to somehow believe the 'End Time' events have already past is incomprehensible to me. I find Ellis's stance to be, well 'Literally' 100% non Biblical. I would ask any Christian that would postulate for such a stance if they recall the Biblical 'Judgement Day'? Or perhaps those whom find themselves in agreement with Ellis believe they are merely a dream???? Or a fairytale???? Or perhaps they believe themselves to be in Heaven???? Yes i know, how absurd!! If Ellis is correct then what are we Christians today in wait of?? Surely if our only savior became my intercessor at 'Judgement Day' i do believe i would recall such an event!! To me anyone whom postulates for

Preterism has lost touch with reality!! I honestly can not understand the mentality of such a view.

The thing that amazed me when I went to Amazon to write the review is the overwhelming acceptance by believers of the preterist view. Soft peddling end times apparently really appeals to folks. Which, like you, I don't understand how a saved Christian could be afraid of something that he isn't going to go through.

 

Now, I know there are at least two kinds of preterists: The "full" types who say everything prophesied for the end times has already happened; and the "partial" types who pick from an a la carte menu of end time events that supposedly occurred in AD70, and those that are still yet to come.

 

Further investigating, I discovered that a partial preterist view runs throughout the modern church, with many denominations holding to some form of preterism along with amillennialism, no rapture, the church taking Israel's place, Jesus not physically reigning for 1,000 years on the Throne of David, completely allegorizing Revelation, etc.

 

To me, the kicker that completely refutes preterism is what happened to John on the Isle of Patmos. If you read the first chapters carefully you realize that John was taken up into Heaven and shown end times events as they were happening! He wasn't being inspired or told what to write, like the Bible's authors. He was taken up, experienced being outside the time domain and given a ring-side seat to the end of the earth as we know it.

 

How that refutes preterism is that John had this experience around 95 AD, some 25 years after the apocalypse supposedly occurred. Everything he saw is yet to happen ... period.

 

Preterists do like to argue for an earlier writing of Revelation, but their arguments are not respected by most Bible scholars ... or, at least, those who aren't carrying water for the preterist crowd.

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My personal thoughts of Mr. Paul Ellis is that he has utterly lost touch with all reality, just to be blunt. I find myself in accordance with Dave, i must say. I make no apologies for my literal understanding of our 'Word'. Of course there are indeed 'parables' and 'analogies' in the scriptures, but indeed for someone to somehow believe the 'End Time' events have already past is incomprehensible to me. I find Ellis's stance to be, well 'Literally' 100% non Biblical. I would ask any Christian that would postulate for such a stance if they recall the Biblical 'Judgement Day'? Or perhaps those whom find themselves in agreement with Ellis believe they are merely a dream???? Or a fairytale???? Or perhaps they believe themselves to be in Heaven???? Yes i know, how absurd!! If Ellis is correct then what are we Christians today in wait of?? Surely if our only savior became my intercessor at 'Judgement Day' i do believe i would recall such an event!! To me anyone whom postulates for

Preterism has lost touch with reality!! I honestly can not understand the mentality of such a view.

The thing that amazed me when I went to Amazon to write the review is the overwhelming acceptance by believers of the preterist view. Soft peddling end times apparently really appeals to folks. Which, like you, I don't understand how a saved Christian could be afraid of something that he isn't going to go through.

 

Now, I know there are at least two kinds of preterists: The "full" types who say everything prophesied for the end times has already happened; and the "partial" types who pick from an a la carte menu of end time events that supposedly occurred in AD70, and those that are still yet to come.

 

Further investigating, I discovered that a partial preterist view runs throughout the modern church, with many denominations holding to some form of preterism along with amillennialism, no rapture, the church taking Israel's place, Jesus not physically reigning for 1,000 years on the Throne of David, completely allegorizing Revelation, etc.

 

To me, the kicker that completely refutes preterism is what happened to John on the Isle of Patmos. If you read the first chapters carefully you realize that John was taken up into Heaven and shown end times events as they were happening! He wasn't being inspired or told what to write, like the Bible's authors. He was taken up, experienced being outside the time domain and given a ring-side seat to the end of the earth as we know it.

 

How that refutes preterism is that John had this experience around 95 AD, some 25 years after the apocalypse supposedly occurred. Everything he saw is yet to happen ... period.

 

Preterists do like to argue for an earlier writing of Revelation, but their arguments are not respected by most Bible scholars ... or, at least, those who aren't carrying water for the preterist crowd.

 

Yes Dave, i agree. It has become an evermore increasing 'Relative' view of Biblical scripture that i find unfathomable and disturbing. I do not know the amount of times i have had to ask professed Christians as to what they actually believe in regards to scripture. More often i personally find a good amount of professed Christians to take a most 'allegorical' stance upon most of the Biblical statements that are clearly written as a literal happening. And it varies in vast considerations. Just as some here that infer  the Genesis account is purely just a story, and the flood as just some kind of story. I cannot understand this line of thinking, other than those whom view most of the Biblical narrative as 'just stories' are mislead. As was my very 1st post here i was a bit surprised that some professed Christians thought the Biblical Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden was purely allegorical. I personally believe the modern 'Preterism' Biblical worldview must of had its starts with earlier professed Christians conceding some Biblical scriptures to be allegorical because they went against supposed scientific facts. So as a consequence of these supposed  proofs that contradicted the scriptures, Christians therefore conceded more and evermore literalness to a mostly (allegoricalist) (yes my new word) rendering of Biblical scripture.  I will contend many Christians here reading your post,  regarding John of Patmos being 'taken up' must be purely allegorical in their worldview. They would base this on their more scientific understandings of our world and upon the scientific 'Laws of Physics' that 'Must' be adhered to, according to them. Same as they contend that Enoch and Elijah would have been an allegorical 'Taken up'. I hold no such human and or 'Laws of Physics' rational that must mean these literal scriptures to be mere 'Stories' and were never meant to be literal. We can not let supposed 'human sciences' and or 'Laws of Physics' be a means of constraints of Gods abilities and powers. If we as humans restrict the power of God to that of his creation then what are we left with?? We must never let the 'sciences' dictate what our God can do and how our God can act.

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