Eschatology is the study of where our history is headed — what the Bible calls the "end times" or "last days." Interest in the end times has been a hallmark of evangelical Christians, who take their Bible seriously as a guide to all of life. Since the early 1900s, most evangelicals have interpreted the Scriptures to mean that the end times are near, and the return of Jesus Christ in fulfillment of his promise is imminent. This hope has recently been reinforced in popular media such as the Left Behind series.
Through their own independent study of the Bible, however, many evangelical Christians are now adopting a different view of the "end times" and the return of Christ. They recognize that Jesus and his apostles said that his coming, and the end of all things, would occur soon — in fact, in the very generation to which they spoke. For people who believe the New Testament writers meant what they said, this implies that "the end of the age" refers to events that took place at the beginning of the Christian era.
This view is known as preterism. It is also called covenant eschatology or fulfilled eschatology. Its roots go back to views of "the end" held by prominent Christian writers before the 1900s — early fathers of the church, Reformed Protestant theologians, and nineteenth-century scholars. Preterists see the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70 as the event that marked "the end" and the fulfillment of Christ's promise that he would come to his people. For a more complete discussion of fulfilled eschatology, read the article What Is Fulfilled Eschatology? on this web site.
But if Christ has come, what can Christians still look forward to? Although his coming vindicated the witness of the first-century church, God didn't intend the rest of history to be anticlimactic. His plan for us is an ever-deepening experience of Christ's presence, and an unfolding realization of his sovereignty over all things. The Word of God tells us that "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). How God will bring that about is still to be revealed and realized. Hopefully you and I, as servants of Christ, are part of that process.
There's more to theology than eschatology! The truth that Christ now dwells with his people can be an exciting discovery, but it's part of a larger picture. God called Israel to be a light to the nations, to lead all people into a covenant relationship with the Father. His purpose for the church, the "Israel of God," is the same. Christ's coming is continuously realized, and his rule is established, in the church's worship. To be obedient to Christ, we must first of all be his worshipers. Laudemont Press publications focus on the need for the renewal of worship in the church in line with biblical patterns and principles. That's our "preterism with a difference."
Explore "preterism with a difference" through Laudemont Press publications. For a descriptive quotation or other information about each book, please select the desired title in the left panel.