Q. I read your recent article (Idealists, Preterists, and Futurists) and have a question. I understand what you are saying, but all of these views cannot be right. The church I have attended for 30 years has gone to Covenant Theology and a form of Preterism. I do not agree with this doctrine and am having a hard time sitting through this teaching. I have believed that Eschatology is not a reason to leave but I might be changing my mind. I find that what you believe about the end times greatly affects your total interpretation of scripture and the plan of God. How far should we go to live at peace with one another? Is it time to take a stand and move on?
A. You’re right in saying these views cannot all be correct. The Bible takes only one position on the end times and it’s our responsibility to learn what it is and respond accordingly. We can easily do this because the Bible was meant to be understood as it’s written, taking the context and historical realities into consideration. The point of my article was to show that preterists have taken a position that could have been correct if Israel had accepted Jesus as their Messiah, but since Israel did not accept Him the prophecies of His coming have only been partially fulfilled. The only conclusion we can draw that’s consistent with a literal interpretation of Scripture is that a future fulfillment awaits us.
I agree that our view of end times prophecy will influence our understanding of God’s plan. I also think it will influence our world view. The Bible says we should strive, as far as it depends on us, to live at peace (Romans 12:18). But that doesn’t mean we’re required sit under teaching we believe to be false. It just means we shouldn’t make a big fuss about leaving.