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.