Re: [asa] preterism and YEC

From: Janice Matchett <>
Date: Wed Sep 13 2006 - 20:38:47 EDT

At 02:31 PM 9/13/2006, Bill Hamilton wrote:

>My experience is with Calvinists more than preterists. But since
>preterism is a subgroup within Calvinism, perhaps my insights are
>useful. While Dispensationalists and preterists may both be guilty
>of taking the Scriptures overly literally, they read different parts
>literally. Dispensationalists read selected parts of Revelation and
>Daniel literally, while preterists read Matthew 24 and Rev 1
>literally. I contend you can't read both literally. Calvinists --
>and possibly preterists -- have impressed me as being much more
>aware of literaly nuances than Dispensationalists. John Gerstner,
>for one example, points out in his book "Wrongly ddividing the word
>of truth" that Dispensationalists read Isaiah 11:6-9 literally,
>while he, a Calvinist, interprets wolk, lion, bear, etc. to ssignify
>different kinds of people. Whether y0ou agree or not, that certainly
>is not a literal reading. Bill Hamilton

@ I'm a 5-point Calvinist (not a hyper-Calvinist) / Amillenialist /
partial preterist, and definitely can't be lumped in with of those in
the "too-literal" camp.

"...Most critics of preterism end up mixing up the orthodox version
with [ the "full"-Preterism (Hymenaeanism -2Timothy 2:17) ] version
to some extent. Most though are just too caught up in a too-Western,
too-literal interpretation of the Bible. I have found preterism to be
far more consistent with a reading of the text that would have been
understood by the people who wrote the Bible. .."

.....We are not dealing with literal events here, but apocalyptic
imagery -- material like that found in Ezekiel, in which God sits on
a physical throne, and angels are amalgamated zoos, and eating a
scroll is not only possible but gives you heartburn. None of these
things literally happened to Babylon, Edom, etc. -- and Isaiah, et
al. did not think that they would. "These passages all tell a story
with the same set of motifs: YHWH's victory over the great pagan
city; the rescue and vindication of his true people who had been
suffering under it; and YHWH's acclamation as king." [Wr.JVG. 356-7]
Matthew 24:29 is symbolic for judgment, for the vindication of the
new covenant over the old covenant, and their respective members, and
Christ's new reign -- and thus fits within the paradigm of a 70
fulfillment. Some points as proof [Dem.LDM, 143; Wr.JVG, 354ff] :
    * Stellar symbols are used in the Bible to represent nations,
entities, angels or people (Gen. 22;17, 26:4, 37:9; Deut. 1:10; Is.
14:4ff; Job 38:7; Neh. 9:23; Mal. 4:2; Jude 1:13; Rev. 1:20) as they
are used today on many national flags, including Old Glory herself.
[Dem.LDM, 143]
    * The sun and moon are connected intimately with governing
functions in Genesis (ruling over the day and night; the same word
"rule" is used in 1 Kings 9:19: "And all the cities of store that
Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his
horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and
in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.")
    * Stellar imagery is used in "reverse" as well, not just as
judgment signals, but as signs of blessing (Is. 30:26).
The combined imagery of sun, moon and stars reflects complete [insert
P-word] entities. Jesus' prediction refers to nothing more or less
than the judgment upon the nation of Israel. As Witherington writes,
"That something cataclysmic is being described is sure, but bear in
mind that this same sort of language is used when describing the fall
of Babylon, and we may be sure that all the stars did not fall from
the sky on that occasion, nor is it likely that God only acts when
there are eclipses!" [commentary on Mark, 347]

.... The dispensationalists, as [N.T.] Wright notes, are engaged in
"the folly of trying to fit the hurricane of first-century Jewish
theology into the bottle of late-modern western categories..."
[Wr.JVG, 513] We should no more expect blood on the moon or falling
stars than we should expect, from Daniel, four literal monsters
literally dripping and slathering their way out of the Mediterranean
like Godzilla: "We must never forget that first-century Jews, reading
a passage like Daniel 7, would think of being oppressed, not by
mythical monsters, but by real Romans." ...

How then does this relate to the Olivet Discourse? [snip] Click
link to read it:

~ Janice

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Received on Wed Sep 13 20:39:06 2006

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