Editors Note: Dorothy Anderson returned to the heresy of Full/Hyper Preterism in 2010.
As I mentioned earlier in my posts, I left the full preterist movement and today I’m presenting the first of a series of articles on why I left, what full preterism professes, how they get people to embrace their system, and what’s so unorthodox about it. No promises on the timing of these articles. They will come forth when I’m ready to do so.
When you battle full preterism, you often do it alone because there are so few who know the system well enough to come to your aid. For those who have left, it is often hand to hand combat if they elect to speak out, so many remain silent. Lack of knowledge in the position within the orthodox community leaves it wide open for a breach in scriptural rebuttal and full preterism uses that breach to further their cause. May I add, I certainly don’t profess to have all the answers. I can profess that while full preterism has straightened out some areas, I am confident that full preterism is not the final answer and creates larger problems than it solves.
First, no one who picks up Holy Scripture in study ever considers they could find themselves in a false (unorthodox) belief system. We are all reliant and believing on the Holy Spirit to lead us into all Truth and He will. The problem resides within us and in our desire to share our discoveries with others that we can unwittingly let man influence our thinking. It’s so subtle that we just don’t see it coming. It reminds me of the conversation between Eve and the serpent in the garden.
Before I talk about the fatal errors of full preterism, here are some of the things that I kept in mind that I am confident were the catalyst to bring me out. I think these should work for other false belief systems and maybe you have some you would like to add to the list.
1) Keep studying with open ears and eyes.
2) Keep a list of unresolved scriptures where you can review it regularly.
3) Don’t ever try to cram scripture into your belief system.
4) If others tell you that you hold a heretical position, don’t take that lightly.
5) Don’t ever assume that just because someone won’t take time to reveal your scriptural error that they can’t.
6) Scripture should always be your plumb line, but you can not and should not ignore the GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES whose TESTIMONY resides in 2000 years of Church historical documents found in the creeds and confessions. *
*Important to note: On number 6, when it comes to the “end times” (eschatology), the Church has always held a “futurist position”. No one who witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 took a full preterist (scripture was totally fulfilled) position. They still expected “something else”. To be honest with the full preterist position, you have to acknowledge that you are going against 2000 years of Church history.
Some claim that the Holy Spirit is revealing this truth to them, but what they are really saying is that for 2000 years the Holy Spirit allowed the Church to believe and promote a lie. When I came to that logical conclusion, I knew something was very wrong.
The problem resided in the fact that I didn’t know what Church history taught until I was declaring myself in the full preterist position. Full preterists will never tell you that their system denies the bodily resurrection of the dead. They will always approach you through eschatology in order to sell you their “timing” of events. There are over 100 time texts to deal with making their system alluring. AFTER you adopt their “timing” then you are placed in a position where you eventually have to deal with the resurrection, and among preterists, that has not been a simple resolution. The only way to make it fit into their system is to redefine or marginalize it.
So if you’re paying attention, at this point we have two major creed/confessional problems with full preterism.
1) A denial of futurist eschatology and judgment
2) A denial of a bodily resurrection
In case you think I made an error by not beginning with an explanation of what full preterism is or believes. Let me say, no full preterist will begin by revealing all the conclusions of their position, so I am using their formula of revelation. If I told you what they profess in total, you probably wouldn’t read further and like others, wouldn’t recognize it as they present it so you could be their next convert.
Also, know if you see the names covenant eschatology, realized eschatology or fulfilled eschatology, they are all names for the same “dog”.
I do believe full preterism is dying out. The reason: In order to have fellowship today and further their studies, a large number of full preterists have been reduced to embracing those who hold the full preterist position regardless of their other doctrinal beliefs, like denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, universalism, denial of the trinity, the emergent Church “truth can’t be known”, etc. I know that sounds nuts, but they are so convinced of their eschatological position, everything else takes a back seat, including sound doctrine.
As a final note to this first post, I would like to say that there is a variety of preterism now called partial or historical preterism. It is the belief that the majority of prophecies in the New Testament find fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. It is sound and is the historical position of the Church.
So, my advice at this point, should you run into a “preterist”, don’t hesitate to ask them if they believe in a future bodily resurrection. This will quickly identify what garden variety of preterist you are talking to.