Biblical Reasons Why We Should
And Practical Suggestions on How We Can
Create Heaven on Earth
This book is a vigorous defense of the most radical hard-core hyper-preterist conclusion, written by someone who is not yet able to accept full-preterism.
I don't consider myself a full-preterist. I have always believed in a future Second Coming, Bodily Resurrection, Last Judgment, end of earth history, and commencement of eternal life in heaven. I am still unable to say that these things will not happen in the distant future. This inability is based on emotion rather than Scripture. I was brought up that way. I'm embarrassed to admit to others that I even question this prophetic timetable.
I have been a partial-preterist since at least 1979. Around that time David Chilton and I led a series of Bible studies at the "reconstructionist" Reformation Bible Church in Anaheim, Calif., on the fulfillment of prophecy in 70 AD. We were countering the dominant ideas of the rapture-generation at nearby Calvary Chapel. At that time we both believed that there was a yet-future Second Coming, Day of Judgment, Resurrection, and end of history, but like Athanasius contra mundum, we proclaimed the preterist ideas that events like the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist and the Coming of the Kingdom were all past events.
Some time later we both independently came to the conclusion that all the rest of the verses in the New Testament which we had been taught (and had taught others) held forth a future Second Coming, Judgment, and Resurrection were also fulfilled in AD 70. Chilton at first clung to the "orthodox" position, contending that even though there were no verses in the New Testament which taught a future Second Coming, he would believe it anyway because "Holy Mother the Church has taught the doctrine for 2,000 years." Soon thereafter he abandoned the "orthodox" position and became a full preterist.
I am still being dragged kicking and screaming to full preterism, at least in its negative sense: I am not yet able to negate or to deny -- at least in polite company -- that there will be a future resurrection and final judgment. I don't think there are any verses which affirmatively teach the concepts, but I don't deny them. Unlike Chilton, I am not loyal to "Holy Mother the Church." I guess I'm just loyal to the way I was raised.
The most radical full-preterist conclusion is not that the Great Tribulation happened in AD 70, or even that the sheep and goats judgment of Matthew 25 has already happened. The most difficult-to-accept full preterist position is not that there was a resurrection of some kind and a judgment of some kind in the first century. But hard-core preterism says that all events which nearly all Christians believe are yet future -- and which immediately precede our entrance into heaven or "the eternal state" -- have already happened, logically implying that we are now in heaven.
Now that, I can believe. I can't bring myself to say there will not be a future Resurrection, but I can see the advantages to believing that we are now in heaven. I'm comfortable with that idea. If there will be a resurrection, I've been assured by partial preterists, especially those of a postmillennial stripe, that it won't happen for thousands of years. That doctrine therefore has no bearing on how I live my life now. It doesn't affect me.
This book is a "theonomic" or "reconstructionist" defense of the idea that we are now in heaven.
Not, of course, the "heaven-lite" of popular Christian mythology: lounging on clouds, playing harps, singing "praise songs," hanging out with old friends, having all the chocolate you want. Something very different from that. Something very different from the way these Christian live their lives here on earth. Something the Bible describes as "The New Heavens and the New Earth." I believe we are there now. Let's get started!
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This book is written with non-preterists in mind. If you're already a preterist, please be patient.