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Church History’s “Preterist  Assumption”


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Idealistic Preterism by Patrick Stone

Administrative – New Classification:
Progressive Full Preterism

This classification is a holding pen for reconsideration of works previously labeled as “Hyper Preterism”. Includes the works of nominal Full Preterists who have in actuality do not hold to the heretical dispensationalism of the teaching that “ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD70” — Many mistakenly self-apply the label “Full Preterist” (Including “Postmillennial Paradise Preterists” such as David Chilton; or, “Immortal Body at Death” Preterists such as Arthur Melanson and Idealist/Eclectic Preterists such as Patrick Stone).

The “Immortal Body at Death” View of Full Preterism, in general, is under reconsideration for classification. To be determined – this question: If the judgment and resurrection are said to be ongoing through the Christian Age, then doesn’t that make “The Resurrection” unfulfilled in AD70? If IBD can answer “yes” to that question, then perhaps it is not Hyper Preterism.

The view that the “Second Coming was in AD70” is also under review. Orthodox commentators such as Hammond and Lightfoot taught as much — yet while acknowledging a future coming to themselves. The doctrine that the second and ONLY coming was in AD70 is heretical.



When a Dispensationalist, I was shocked to learn that there were other forms of Premillennialism I could move into — even though at that time the idea of leaving the overarching system altogether was completely unknown.  Once it became clear that I could more forward out of that entire system, then I was freed from all the chains in which that method had put my theology (and therefore my walk in the Spirit).   Having moved into full preterism later, I didn’t think that there was anywhere else to go ; however, there are a number of ways that the scripture can be understood in different ways which opens new doors.  Conferring with luminaries such as Bishop John Lightfoot or Canon F.W. Farrar will reveal how liberating that broadening step is in faith and belief.   You can have fulfillment in AD70 in type, while still embracing the true fulfillment of kingdom prophecies yesterday, today, and forever. 

For the first decade of being a full preterist I had no idea there was anywhere else to go but “back” to something from before. But time, studies and experience revealed that there are many other ways to reckon the fall of Jerusalem — and some in very impactful ways for my life.   Idealist approaches which recognize AD70 in a typical fashion are held up in particular esteem because of their ability to connect to the life of the believer.    Seeing as how symbols do not symbolize themselves, putting AD70 in its proper place – massively subservient in prophetic grandeur to the Advent of Jesus Christ – is highly recommended (and the only real way to remain loyal to the King’s Christianity). 

Strictly preterist eschatology also has a few sterling alternatives given throughout Christian history.   Perhaps the most glorious outcropping of preterism in history came straight from the throne of the world’s leader in the early 4th century.  Constantine’s labarum should be considered the pinnacle of historical preterism, but is largely unknown or ignored — oftentimes especially among the crowd which sees prophecy extending no farther than ad70.

This page, therefore, will be specifically geared for the many disgruntled full preterists, who were convinced that they had found the ultimate answer, but now are not so sure. There is much more Truth available than full preterism can offer… and rest assured that it is no retreat to advance into a higher (or deeper) levels of understanding regarding the intent of the Word of God.  The consequences for going too far, however, are steep.  Therefore, keeping proper balance on the line is critical.

A wise explanation of the soundness of a renewed (i.e. critical) inquiry into AD70 Dispensationalism is given by Sam Frost – “Since I have left the movement, after being Full Preterist for 19 years, and teaching, lecturing and writing for 9 years, and having received from my peers the title of “leader” among other “leaders” within the movement, I have seen these tendencies from the outside; while inside, I buried my head, or smoothed over the rough patches.  After all, we gotta keep this movement alive at all costs.  To turn back now would damage the credibility of what we have taught and sacrificed for so long.  We would look like fools, wouldn’t we (one Full Preterist has called me this publically since I left).  Rather than admit error, we proceed.  It can’t be wrong!  Such thinking will secure the firm conviction that a movement of this caliber will not survive.”

Spotlighting How Many Theologies Currently Self-Labeled “Full Preterism” Really Aren’t

This new classification is also holding pen for reconsideration of works previously labeled as “Hyper Preterism”.  Includes the works of nominal Full Preterists who have in actuality do not hold to the heretical dispensationalism of the teaching that “ALL Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD70” — Most mistakenly self-apply the label “Full Preterists” (Including “Postmillennial Paradise Preterists” such as David Chilton; or, “Immortal Body at Death” Preterists such as Arthur Melanson and Idealist/Eclectic Preterists such as Patrick Stone)

Any theology that goes beyond teaching that “All Bible Prophecy Was Fulfilled by AD70” is not really full preterism.   Sam pointed this out while discussing the theology of David Chilton:

What (Chilton) understood “full” Preterism to be, and what it is today, are virtually two different things.” (Pt. 2)

John L. Bray is another example of a man who, though calling himself a full preterist, teaches theology that in no way qualifies as such.   If the line between Orthodox Preterism and Hyper Preterism wasn’t one of heresy, the distinction wouldn’t matter so much.

Full Preterism will always mean the limitation of all prophetic events to no later than AD70.. we can thank R.C. Sproul for cementing that definition.  Either Full Preterism must embrace the fulfillment of prophecy post AD70 – which it will never do – or a different classification is in order for those preteristic theologies which do.  that is what this page tries to offer.

  • 1/1/11: Administrative – New Classification: Progressive Full Preterism

  • 12/20/10: Jason Bradfield – Semper Reformanda Full Preterism  (2010) “The rub is ~ given full preterist presuppositions, i want to know how you GOT from point A to point B. Systematically, logically, exegetically. Full preterism has NOT, i repeat, NOT done this! If any full preterist contests that they have, then all they have to do is simply provide the link here to either the work online or to a book they have published. It doesn’t exist.” // “And since no full preterist has done it ~ then why in the world would any full preterist get upset with me for stepping back and saying, “dang. I don’t know about this full pret stuff anymore”? Why in the world would anyone get upset with me for wanting to exercise more CAUTION and to stop being dogmatic about a viewpoint that basically hasn’t answered much of squat?” 

Arthur Melanson

“So some things are one-time events but have enduring qualities. Other things are not one-time events but only began in the first century and continue today and forever. Judgment is one, and resurrection is another.”

  • The Appearing of the High Priest  “Salvation didn’t come at the cross. It didn’t come at Pentecost. It didn’t come at the ascension. According to the pattern of the Old Testament, forgiveness of sins came when the high priest came out from the Presence behind the veil... Hope is something we wait for that we do not yet have. Salvation was still a hope in that day.”

    • The Cross insufficient for salvation

    • Salvation / Atonement didn’t come until AD70

    • The way into the Holy of Holies closed until AD70

    • Jesus was “behind the veil” apart from believers until AD70

    • AD70 Dispensationalism – They hoped for salvation; we don’t

  • The Rapture – 1 | The Rapture- 2 | The Rapture – 3 – “Saints who were alive at the Lord’s return were ‘caught up’ to meet Jesus in the air. They became, without passing through physical death, residents of the consummated kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    • All Bible prophecy fulfilled in AD70

    • The Second Advent fulfilled in AD70

    • The New Heavens and Earth came in AD70

    • The Kingdom of God came in AD70

    • The General Resurrection was in AD70

    • The Great Judgment was in AD70

    • The New Jerusalem was accomplished in AD70

    • The Second Coming was complete in AD70

    • The Consummation of God’s Kingdom was in AD70

    • The “Rapture” of Christians was in AD70

    • Saints we ‘caught up’ to meet Jesus in the air in AD70

    • God’s restoration plan for man was complete at AD70

  • What About the First Century Rapture? – “About this time Ed Stevens, after long study, wrote and published a book, Expectations Demand a Rapture. Walt Hibbard wrote one foreword for Ed’s book, we wrote the other. The book has met with intense opposition. Nevertheless, it is a breakthrough of major proportions. It’s not that Ed has discovered the rapture; that knowledge is as old as Scripture, but it is a major breakthrough in seeing and understanding what the first century Christians knew and understood. It’s a breakthrough that has the power to give fresh, accurate insight to the preterist movement.”

  • II Corinthians 5:4 – Are we in heaven today?  Some Preterists think so.

  • Annihilation? Heaven Now? Universalism?

  • The Promise to the Fathers “We will now consider the promise of the land. It was the first promise from God to Abraham, but it is the most misunderstood of all the promises in the Abrahamic covenant. Like all the other promises, it has a natural fulfillment and a spiritual fulfillment.”

  • You’re a Preterist? What do you have to look forward to?

Duncan McKenzie, Ph.D.

  • The Supernatural Rulers Portrayed in Daniel and Revelation “How could three physical empires who had been destroyed earlier than the fourth then survive past the destruction of the fourth? The answer is, we are not being shown physical empires; we are being shown confederations of spiritual rulers behind physical empires.”

  • The Covenant Judgments of Revelation  “The new heaven and earth in Revelation (and Isaiah) is not heaven. Notice, it still has unrighteous people in it, those outside the New (covenant) Jerusalem (Rev. 22:14-15). The new heaven and new earth is a symbolic representation of the post AD 70 spiritual order of this planet. The old covenant order (the old heaven and earth) flees and the new covenant order (the new heaven and earth) is established (Rev. 20:11; 21:1-2). One has to constantly remember that the truths of Revelation are communicated by way of symbols (Rev. 1:1). In the new heaven and earth hose who are part of the New Jerusalem bride have access to the tree and water of life (Rev. 22:1-2); those outside of the new covenant city do not. “

  • The Antichrist Chronicles: vol. II

  • J.S. Russell’s Position on the Millennium, the Neglected Third Way of Preterism “The position of James Stuart Russell offers a third option that is different from full preterism and traditional partial preterism. Russell’s position is essentially like the full preterist position (i.e. the one and only Second Coming, the judgment and the resurrection happened at AD 70, the resurrection having an ongoing fulfillment since AD 70. Russell’s position sees us as currently in the new heaven and earth, a symbol of the post AD 70 new covenant order). Where Russell position is different from full preterism is that it does not hold that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD 70. “

  • The Serious Error of the Literal Hermeneutic in the Interpretation of the Book of Revelation – “The literalist hermeneutic essentially relies on the criterion of absurdity. If an image is absurd or fantastic it is taken as a symbol, if it is not absurd or fantastic it is taken as a literal physical depiction. This criterion of absurdity of the literalist is overly simplistic, inadequate and just plain wrong.”

  • Babylon was not First-Century Jerusalem – “Seeing the harlot as the old covenant temple system helps to explain Revelation 18:21 (that says Babylon would not rise again).  The city of Jerusalem has risen again; the old covenant temple system has not risen again (and won’t).  By the way if you look at the merchandise of Babylon (Rev. 18:11-13) it is the items used in the building and offerings of the Temple.  The harlot city is dressed in clothes of the high priest.  Carrington said the following on the merchandise of Babylon “The long list of merchandise in [Rev.] 18:11-13 is surely a catalogue of materials for building the Temple, and stores for maintaining it.”

  • Premillennial Preterism – “A Premillennial futurist like Lindsey believes Jesus will return in the future to begin the millennium.A Premillennial preterist like Russell believes that Jesus returned in past (AD 70) and started the millennium at that time.”

  • REVELATION: Fulfillment of the Covenant Curses of Leviticus and Deuteronomy

  • A New Preterist Perspective – Revelation 12 – “This coming of the one who was to pour out judgment on the desolate was accomplished by the general Titus and the Romans in AD 70. According to this interpretation the last half of Daniel’s 70th week (3½) was symbolic of the time between the cross, (around AD 30 when sacrifices were no longer valid) and the end of the Jewish age in AD 70, when the consummation was poured out on the desolate, (i.e. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans).”

  • Was All Bible Prophecy Fulfilled in A.D.70? – “My short answer to the question of what Luke 21:22 means is that it is saying all things written about the days of vengeance that would come upon the Jews when they violated the covenant would be fulfilled by AD 70. It is not saying that all prophecy in the Bible would be fulfilled by AD 70.”

  • A New Preterist Perspective – “Like full Preterist I see the Second Coming of Jesus as happening in AD 70. Unlike full Preterist I see us as currently being in the millennium (the millennial reign of Jesus beginning at His Second Coming in AD 70, Revelation chapters 19 and 20)”

  • A Preterist Book on the Antichrist

Kurt Simmons

Kurt Simmons: Why I have Decided to Discontinue All Association with Planet Preterist (2007)  “When I first became active in the area of eschatology, I was asked to participate as a columnist at Planet Preterist. I accepted and, for a time, enjoyed the ability to post articles there at will. However, I have since come to feel that Planet Preterist is an irresponsible forum that is used to promote unbiblical doctrines, including post-Modernism, Emergent church theology, and Universalism, to name but a few. Despite its ostensible purpose to promote Preterist interpretation of scripture, it has probably done more to injure Preterism than help it by allowing Preterism to become associated with so many unbiblical, irresponsible, and just plain “flakey” doctrines. I do not feel in good conscience that I can have my name associated with Planet Preterist as a columnist. I do not agree with what is taught or promoted there, and do not want to appear to condone it by lending it my name. This has been a difficult decision for me, but I feel it is the right one, particularly in light of the present crisis regarding Universalism. Therefore, please remove my name from the list of columnists.”    http://planetpreterist.com/modules.php?name=Search&query=&topic=13

Patrick Stone

IdealisticPreterism.jpg by Patrick Stone



Can God’s Grand Redemptive Plan Really Be Reduced to the a single generation and a single city?   Would you do that with the Cross of Christ, likewise a historical event in a particular generation and city ? Here are compelling reasons why the simplistic approach to time texts and revelations may be pointing in the wrong direction

  • Scott Hahn “I was originally attracted by Max King and J. S. Russell, but subsequently rejected their view that 70 AD exhaustively fulfills NT prophecy. Personally, I have come to conclude that the main error of “hyper-preterism” is based on the common failure to recognize the theological significance of the biblical (and ancient Jewish) view of Israel’s temple as a “microcosm” (i.e., the cosmos in miniature), which implies that the cosmos itself was seen as a “macro-temple” (see Ps 104, Job 38).  Accordingly, the divinely decreed destruction of the Jerusalem (microcosmic) temple was itself a typological event, one that foreshadows the future destruction of the cosmos (i.e., as macro-temple). The destruction of the Jerusalem temple is thus a true — but partial — fulfillment, which implies a partial non-fulfillment, thus pointing to a still greater fulfillment in the future, when the cosmos undergoes the same divinely decreed destruction as the Jerusalem temple. An integral interpretation of NT prophetic texts is rooted in the scriptural view of creation, set forth in terms of temple typology (see Hebrews 9:1-12). What happens to the temple must eventually happen to the cosmos; the resurrected body of Christ is the New Temple, which will be fully manifested in glory only when the old cosmos undergoes the same transformative judgement of God, thus bringing forth a New Creation — which the Apocalypse rightly describes as the Divine Temple (Rev. 11:18ff) of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:22).” (comments, ca-anathema, 2003)

  • Jake Magee (2008) “I believe that this value for chronological fidelity is one that should be taken seriously and would do much to dispel much extravagant thinking within eschatology, as well as to enrich our understanding of history. However, I think many who support it have adopted an unfortunate and unnatural prophetic reductionism that makes the prophetic portraits of Scripture feel like wearing one’s high school pants – too tight and too restrictive. I contend that genre of language found in places like the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation allows for a more flexible reading of chronological markers (e.g., “this generation” “the time is near”), and in fact requires a qualified exception of the interpretive rule which says that the right interpretation is the one the audience would have understood.” (Cautioning Preterism)

  • Joseph Wood (1906) “Inspiration is that which is of universal application. If any utterance is only for an age, and local in its interpretation, we do not regard it as inspired. The Psalms, for instance, were mostly suggested by local considerations, the trials, the joys, the experiences of David and others, under peculiar circumstances. But, nevertheless, we feel as we read them that they pass beyond the limits of the local and the individual— they belong to humanity—they are true of human nature and life everywhere. Or take Christ’s prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem. It was spoken at Jerusalem about Jerusalem, and in a manner which seemed limited to Jerusalem. But had the prophecy been true only of that city of sorrows, it would never have been regarded as inspired. Whereas Christ’s principle was this : that the doom pronounced on Jerusalem was universally applicable, and that it was but a style and specimen of God’s judgment everywhere. The judgment comes wherever there is evil grown ripe for judgment, wherever corruption is complete. And the gathering of the Roman eagles to the carcase is but a specimen of the way in which judgment at last overtakes any city, any country, and any man in whom evil has reached the point where there is no possibility of cure. We who have lived through the last fifty years have seen the eagles gathered together in Naples, in America, in France, in Bulgaria. The Lord’s judgment on Jerusalem has been fulfilled many times—it was not simply of local but of universal application.” (The Bible, what it is and is not [lects.], p. 97)


  • Charles Homer Giblin “In effect, Luke’s lesson apropos of his account of Jerusalem’s destruction is to be construed as a question prompted in the typed reader’s mind: If this is what happened to Jerusalem because of the way Jesus and those who represent him, his disciples, were treated, what will happen to my city/nation/society if he (and his followers, who stand for him) are treated similarly? What am I, as a respected man with some influence, expected to do?”

  • Peter J. Leithart: “”[T]ropologically, the history of Jerusalem can be understood as a model for the history of the soul (secundum tropologiam).  Just as David conquered Jerusalem and set up the Lord’s throne there, so Jesus, His Son, conquers the inner city of the sinner and consecrates him as a saint, a holy one.” (Peter Leithart, Ascent to Love, pp. 22)

  • Jonathan Edwards : Folly of Looking Back in Fleeing Out of Sodom “Jerusalem was like Sodom, in that it was devoted to destruction by special divine wrath; and indeed to a more terrible destruction than that of Sodom. Therefore the like direction is given concerning fleeing out of it with the utmost haste, without looking behind, as the angel gave to Lot, when he bid him flee out of Sodom.  If it be inquired why Christ gave this direction to his people to flee out of Jerusalem, in such exceeding haste, at the first notice of the signal of her approaching destruction; I answer, it seems to be, because fleeing out of Jerusalem was a type of fleeing out of a state of sin. Escaping out of that unbelieving city typified an escape out of a state of unbelief. Therefore they were directed to flee without staying to take anything out of their houses, to signify with what haste and concern we should flee out of a natural condition, that no respect to any worldly enjoyment should prevent us one moment, and that we should flee to Jesus Christ, the refuge of souls, our strong rock, and the mount of our defense, so as, in fleeing to him, to leave and forsake heartily all earthly things.”