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Full Preterism Continues To Make Waves

Full Preterism In the “News” Again!

Full PreterismWe continue to hear from some that Covenant Eschatology, Full Preterism, or Fulfilled Bible prophecy is marginal, only exists in cyberspace requiring a rocket ship to reach it.

Apparently, it is worthwhile that some are donning their space suits, manning their Star-Trek Enterprise ships and headed for “outer” cyberspace. Could this be a loosely styled type of “war in heaven”?

It appears that those who are wedded to the earth or land-based fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise must travel into cyberspace to reach their Full Preterist targets.

How is it that an insignificant group of motley messengers of fulfilled Bible prophecy can occupy so much time of those who make the charge? Isn’t that a bit inconsistent?

Why, if no one else is concerned about fulfilled eschatology, is one “large organization” so concerned about how it is affecting them? Aren’t we just a gnat on an elephant’s back? Dare say the elephant would mind such a minimal annoyance?

And A War Broke Out in Cyberspace

To the contrary, the reason more paper, and cyberspace lasers and taser guns are hurled our way (they are in the blogosphere and cyberspace also) is not because of size or lack of numbers in the Full Preterist movement, but because of the effectiveness of the truths it espouses and proclaims.

The days of leaving Covenant Eschatology alone are gone. That strategy was implemented over 30 years ago. Too many seeds have been planted. The momentum grows daily. That is their fear. How better expressed than in the following words:

“The side benefit to this, however, is that a few people read the partial preterism taught by American Vision, but then, in an effort to learn as much about preterism as possible, eventually find the full preterists…Whether in the name of “consistency” or whatever, a few of our readers don’t know when to stop.” Joel McDurmon (emp. added)

This is what we’ve said all along. Partial Preterism leads others to Full Preterism! McDurmon adds:

“This phenomenon occurs very infrequently. But it’s happened enough that there is some public knowledge of it, and this creates a problem. Critics on both sides of American Vision’s eschatology (full preterists on one and dispensationalists on the other) point to it in order to woo converts to themselves. Dispensationalists say, “Don’t go down that partial preterist route! It only leads to heretical full preterism!” Full preterists say, “Partial preterists just aren’t being consistent! You need to continue on and become full preterists.” Either argument is, of course, a classic slippery slope fallacy, but they bother enough readers into asking us questions from both sides.” Ibid, (emp. added) Nov 20th AV Post

Dispensationalism and Partial Preterism – A Forked Road to Full Preterism

First, we have no clue who AV’s intelligent readers are, at least I don’t. So, we are not directly in contact with any of them to my knowledge. Apparently, they are wise enough to discern right from wrong and are coming to their own conclusions. McDurmon  also confirms that Dispensationalists are experiencing the same problems as partial preterists who are exposed to full preterism.

Further, his statements reveal that partial preterism is summarily dismissed by Dispensationlists. As Thomas Ice stated to Gary Demar during their debate, if he would be consistent, he would be a full preterist. Now that’s something upon which both full preterists and Dispensationalists agree. Why is it not that AV’s readers are seeing their inconsistency and deciding it is a fallacious paradigm?

McDurmon further confirms that Dispensationalism is moving toward full preterism as a direct result of partial preterist teachings from Kenneth Gentry: He says as a result of Gentry’s “Before Jerusalem Fell” there has been an exodus (which I take to mean not a few) who left the ranks for Full Preterism.

“Students are now asking Southern Baptist professors tough questions about eschatology. They are adopting preterism, and the SBC old guard doesn’t like it.”  See “Is Criswell College Poisoning the Well of Preterism?”

Here is what I suspect. When a large organization like AV begins to start worrying about a few misfits posting on Facebook there is a very strong chance that money is involved somewhere. Everyone get’s a bit concerned when the purse strings tighten a bit. I’m just saying.

McDurmon Rails Against Criswell Staff

In an attempt to exonerate himself of any public propaganda against Don Preston since the debate, McDurmon posts a catalogue of quotes as proof that Full Preterists have gone on a tirade to discredit his arguments and demeanor in the debate. In the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.” He has therefore logged plenty of witnesses who testified against him so what’s the problem? In spite of the witnesses, he plead total innocence of such behavior.

However, it is Joel McDurmon who went on record with a letter to Criswell Bible College officially denouncing Don Preston as a:

  • heretic
  • poisoning the well
  • outside of orthodoxy
  • celebrating a “Jackie Robinson moment” (not exclusive to Don, but certainly including him…is this a racial slur?)
  • attempting to mislead the audience
  • misrepresenting the larger body of preterists
  • fringe, extreme, quasi-cult

Criswell Staff Incompetent?

McDurmon casts aspersions on the school administration and the scholars claiming the latter are either “incompetent,” [simple minded?] “bought off” [greedy of filthy lucre?], or have “an [secret?] agenda”?

Was it not McDurmon who said that debating Full Preterism was not a good use of his stewardship, but after he was offered money stated it was the only reason he took the debate so he could be true to his word? Which word, the one where it would be an unwise use of his stewardship or the one where he would only take the debate for an admittedly excessively generous fee?

Large Armies Need Not Apply

Some of the most vocal Partial Preterists objectors are fond of citing their large numbers as proof of their scriptural correctness. Anyone who reads the Bible should be wary of the large crowd. Divine approval is not in their favor, (Ex. 23:2; Matt. 7:13-14; 2 Peter 2:5-6). After all, there was a “great falling” away that signaled the end time!

Gideon only needed three hundred men to destroy the Midianites. David needed one smooth stone to take out Goliath and the entire Philistine army. When did numbers prove orthodoxy?

About William Bell


  1. . . . and it only took twelve men to turn the world upside down.
    Very good news. Hopefully it will happen before the middle east burns.

  2. Hi William,

    You wrote “celebrating”Jackie Robinson moment” (not exclusive to Don, but certainly including him…is this a racial slur?)”

    Although I don’t think that Joel or American Vision are in any way racist I do think the statement when looked at beside another article Joel wrote a few weeks ago where he refereed to full preterist as “tar babies” shows a lack of sensitivity or just an unawareness that it can and has been used as a racial slur.

    I realize there is a fine line between being hamstrung by “political correctness” and freedom of thought.

    As someone who grew up in the south in the 50’s and 60’s maybe I’m more aware of it’s usage as a racial slur.

    Surely a guy with a PHD could come up with a better metaphor.

    Great article by the way! The train is rolling along!

    • I’ve shown that comment to a few others in the south and that was their first impression. Certain words are loaded with innuendo. I could have easily used the “tar babies” reference which is certainly much more suggestive and you have confirmed the same. I agree, it is neither scholarly nor politically correct. Freedom of speech must be subjected to Christ and the principles of the New Testament for Christians. We are in the world but not of it. Freedom of speech may be lawful but it is certainly not expedient in such cases. I’ve always said for the people who oppose Preterism that they should be careful that their opposition doesn’t conflict with Christian principles. I’ve run across a few who didn’t know the difference.

      • Given the tar baby stories have their origen in Africa, you have to wonder how racially motivated the phrase really is? Uncle Remus told the story… but the story seems to have a lot of precedence in all the world – so says Wikipedia. The story we learned the phrase from, certainly wasn’t told for its racial bias – however the term might now be used. I certainly don’t think Joel was intending that. How can you import PC concepts today into a story written over 100 years ago when they didn’t exist? Any more than some like to import a modern world view onto an ancient bible prophecy. At least full preterism is in line with what people expected in the 1st century. Until Darby came along and offered another view foreign to the text. Now eschatology is about things future rather than things past. Go figure.

  3. Mr. Bell,

    It was a pleasure to meet you at the debate.

    Here is a bit of info regarding Joel’s attempt to discount the FP because of numbers.

    American Vision had their last eschatology conference in 2010, which was also that year’s “Worldview Super Conference.” I was told that they had 108 people. Now, this conference was at a Christian retreat center in North Carolina and boasted an impressive line up of speakers, including, DeMar, North, Jordan, and McDurmon.

    Their major conference for 2010 could only draw a mere 108 attendees. (BTW, I was also told that every year their numbers decline drastically. Maybe that is why they have stopped putting on major conferences.)

    Contrast that with the growth of Preterist Pilgrim Weekend. I know there were more than 108 people at the debate. (I would say at least 85% were FP).

    Anyway, I think you get the picture. It is quite comical for someone to constantly point to numbers when their own numbers are diminishing at a rapid pace.

    If I had to guess, I would say that AV’s constituency is the same as it was 30 years ago, except 30 years older. That is not good news for any movement or organization.


  4. Mr. Bell,

    Here is a blog I wrote concerning the “Back to the Bible” radio program and their treatment of “preterism” (in general).

    I found it fascinating that they almost exclusively dealt with the full-preterist (and even covenant creationist) perspective. If we are such a small minority, why did Gary and his boys get left out?


  5. Jesus lived to age 50.6. As to Luther, he is quite correct and Preterists agree that Revelation is to reeavl, not conceal, and that it was about the future. The issue is that it was in John’s future, not ours.7. As to Mt 24, Preterists correctly see a transition of subject between vs 1-35, and vs 36 through chapter25 (remember chapter and verse were added later). In the former, Jesus speaks about what was coming, and in the latter He speaks about how the Kingdom of God will play out. As such, we see that the earlier verses were in Jesus’ near future, and the later verses are about far future. We see our view and interpretation as being dictated by the context and word usage in the passages, and believe (as everyone does about their interpretation) that our view is true to the Scriptures and not imposed on them by a preconceived notion. That’s why we can’t apply the Futurist view to passages before Mt. 24:36.

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