A Case for Preterism and a Critique of Dispensationalism, Hoekema and a host of other eschatological discussions Part 4

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Some final comments are necessary here to summarize thus far. I will try to explain briefly some of the major differences between Hoekema and Demar in their understanding of prophecy and in the next few posts will deal with John’s language in Revelation 20.

Both Hoekema and Demar are committed to a Reformed Hermeneutics. Within this hermeneutic there is a certain level of disagreement between these two esteemed authors. Hoekema is applying the traditional Reformed Dutch approach to prophetic literature (espoused by Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, i.e. Dr. Dick Gaffin), whereas Demar applies a hermeneutic similar to that of the Divines such as John Lightfoot. Gary Demar appears to be more faithful to the text since he allows the text to indicate nothing more or nothing less than what it requires. Certainly much of this discussion centers on the dual/double fulfillment theory. That is, that much of what the Bible indicates in terms of prophetic literature can be fulfilled in a near future, but also ultimately in the distant future. This form of interpretation makes good sense in an Amillennarian framework. Amillenialists are fond of seeing both near and future (or ultimate fulfillment) fulfillment in certain prophetic texts. This method can be useful in numerous ways such as prophecies concerning Christ (Isaiah 7:14). For instance, when Isaiah 7:14 is interpreted, the reader is exposed to its immediate fulfillment (in this case, Isaiah 8) and also with its ultimate fulfillment (see Matthew 1). This is a clear case of double fulfillment. However, there is no such language expressed in the Olivet Discourse or the revelation of Christ in Revelation.

The danger of the Amillennial position expressed by Hoekema is that it can lead to vague, unnecessary, and unbiblical formulations of Biblical prophecy. Once again, the reader is called to return to the time texts, which leads us into a more accurate understanding of the Scriptures. This is a central premise of the Preterist position.

This writer affirms the sober approach of Preterism and Postmillennialism and calls the reader to the hermeneutic of the Puritans, the Princeton Scholars (Warfield, Hodge), and modern Theonomic advocates.

Part III 

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Eschatology, Reformed Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A Case for Preterism and a Critique of Dispensationalism, Hoekema and a host of other eschatological discussions Part 4

  1. Sam DeSocio says:

    It is nice to see a ανθροπος του θεου examining scripture(forgive me if my greek is misspelled).
    I think it can be argued that there are cases of duel fulfillment of God’s promises. Such as in God’s Covenant to Abraham where Abraham is promised that God will make him a “great nation.” It can be argued that this is fulfilled in the physical nation of Israel, but as Galatians 3 tells us “it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.” So there does appear to be a double enactment of the promise. A similar line of though can be traced through the proto evangelion.

  2. U.T. Brito says:

    I agree that there are many cases of dual fulfillment in the Bible. In fact much of Biblical Theology is formulated around these ideas. My main concern is that the Olivet Discourse is taken away from its concern, to a future event in which there is no evidence to support (such as a future Great Tribulation and so on). thanks for your insight. come back and visit

  3. AH says:

    When considering the eschatalogical developement of Matthew 24 in the “Preterist Paradigm” it seems that Hoekema’s expectations surrounding a “personal Anti-christ” and Demars “anti-christ’ type can be reconciled to form a more accurate and holistic Biblical account.

    For instance in John Lightfoots Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud we see common interpretive schema by which rabbinic expectations for ‘Messiahs’ were manifest. Christ seems to be informing his followers not to follow such expectations. Josephus then records in his work many ‘Pseudo Messiahs’ “leading many astray” arose during the 30 years prior to the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, which contextually would seem to harmonize with what Christ is saying in his gospel. That with the confirmatory account of 2 Thessalonians2:1-8 pointing to a single manifestation of this reality as the “man of lawlessness” would seem to bring into realization the nature of the statement of Christ, from which we could harmonize the two authors. Regardless we can agree with Kenneth Gentry when he states how the “prophecies of Matt 24 find their fulfillment in the 1st century…these prophecies are for that era.”
    Hope that makes sense…started the post without beer, finished with 2! (In between we had dinner!)

    Continue the work URI…

  4. U.T. Brito says:

    Makes perfect sense to me…
    Enjoy your comments.

  5. Pingback: A Case for Preterism and a Critique of Dispensationalism, Hoekema and a host of other eschatological discussions Part 5 « Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

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