I recently posted an extraordinarily helpful article by Gary DeMar Limited Geography and Biblical Interpretation . If you haven’t read it, do so now (after I fix my html error in the title). If you have but it was more than a day ago, do it again now.
However, like Mary, no matter how much I like a work, I usually find something on which to be contrary. Gary and I have “spoken” (email) multiple times over the years, and he knows (as I personally told both him and Mr. Barker) I vehemently oppose his lackadaisical attitude towards the hyper-preterist heresy, which unfortunately I think will cost him credibility in the end with his other passions (law, government, worldview). As more prominent persons in the evangelical world become educated about this growing cancer, the more they will distance themselves from any perception of acceptance or laxity in that regard. The hyperpreterists milk his silence (and implicit consent) like a milkmaid with a crack addiction , and yet when it suits them, they deny he is any kind of preterist at all, but rather a futurist (Samuel Frost did just that IIRC).
I am not the first to note this. In fact Dan Trotter, much more boldly than I, said,
I am still addressing all orthodox Christians who believe the resurrection to be at the end of time. If it is true that the resurrection is at the end of time, then Hymenaeus and Philetus were wrong when they said the resurrection had already taken place. But, then, so are the neo-hymenaeans wrong when they say the resurrection has already taken place, because the resurrection hasn’t taken place. And the neo-hymenaeans are wrong IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THAT THE ORIGINAL HYMENAEANS ARE WRONG!!!!! So, my question is this. Why in the world do you insist on giving the hyperpreterists a free pass? Why don’t you consider their doctrine in the same light that Paul considered the teaching of Hymenaeus and Philetus? Paul certainly contended for the truth. Will you? Are you listening, Gary DeMar?
Some may flinch and can’t believe that I would be bold enough to write on this. Why not? Gary is a writer I highly respect, and I would hope he would keep his theological ducks squeaky clean and not be marred by his heretical associations. There is a great ambiguity in the preterist community at large at exactly what Gary’s stance is and that will only harm his ministry in the long-run, and he does much good outside of eschatology issues, specifically in the issues of politics, worldview, and ethics.
So back to my original rant. As I said, that article is excellent. So much so that I typed it in myself since it was only in print in Biblical Worldview Magazine. However as I have been saying in my blogs, we preterists (the legitimate ones, not the heretical usurpers) have grown stagnant and rigid in our zeal to oppose those who are “fluxable” and loose (certain kinds of dispensational futurism). For example, Gary quotes:
Stuart rightly emphasize that ‘the true meaning of the biblical text for us is what God originally intended it to mean when it was first spoken.’ We must first determine what a text meant ‘in their town’ before we can determine what it means and how we should apply that meaning to our own time and culture.”
I agree absolutely, however, there is a tendency amongst us to declare that the ONLY meaning or application is the hometown one. That is that if there is a time or contextual delimiter, that’s all folks, Elvis has left the building, put a fork in it, it’s done. IOW it is hyper-literalism in reverse. It is as impliable as week old bread, and in that, the blame for the numbers of those who have descended into the Hymenean pit can fall in great measure upon us.
For instance, Gary and I and others would argue that the “this generation” time limitation places the Olivet Discourse (at least up to Matthew 24:33) squarely in the first century. True. But does a time limitation make it necessarily ONLY in the first century? The answer should be a resounding no, but unfortunately it isn’t, and I in the past was guilty of such myself. There is a time limiter on the “virgin birth” prophecy. If we were to practice consistently what we do with “this generation,” that would leave us in a bit of a nasty pickle. The NT writers did not exegete that way - they applied all kinds of verses that were referring to times long past and applied it to their day. It is in fact the very flexible methodology of the NT that fuels that rhetoric of anti-missionaries like Tovia Singer, the founder of Jews for Judaism. Now how exactly we can do that and with what rational methodology is a topic for another blog - but right now I think the preterist community needs to get back to the Biblical paradigm which does not hold texts in time-bound rigor mortis as the whole of the Book is to be read in light of the protological Fall and eschatological redemption. In short, the passage MUST have come to pass within the time limitations stated, otherwise the test for a false prophet would utterly fail. However, unlike the silly word games the hypers play (if it is fulfilled, then it is FULLY FILLED) which would then make Isaiah a false prophet, we have to be cognizant of the fact that God is predictable and there is a discernable pattern to the redemptive plan.
 - To those who are literarily impaired, this is an analogy, it means in no way shape or form that hyperpreterists are milkmaids and smoke crack. One might remember this when reading Sharon Beverly’s article as well.