We read it, and we do so believing that it is the inspired word of our God and Lord.
It is declared to be the foundation of all that our church believes and teaches.
We support, with our time and money, an ecclesiastical stucture and the people who fill its ranks. We find ourselves in agreement with all, or nearly all, of the doctrinal positions professed therein.
And so it is that we live the spiritual side of our lives neatly tucked in to a protective blanket that keeps out any and all challenges to the way that we, and our church, see things.
This is church as I’ve experienced it over the past 20 odd years. And it’s also the church that I’ve looked at from the outside for the other 25 years of my adult life.
After four years of searching and studying in an attempt to reconcile this world’s current affairs with scripture, I came across the doctrine of preterism (covenent eschatology, fulfilled eschatology). As I previously wrote, I came to embrace this position as I found that it provides the lens through which the evil that is so prevalent in our day can be put into its proper biblical perspective.
Before presenting my take on preterism, there is a broader issue that I want to address. After studying this topic, it has become clear that the path to understanding it is marked at all points by a faithfulness to God’s word and his word alone. Sola scriptura.
In an exercise of coming to scripture afresh, a much more difficult task than might be apparent at the outset, it doesn’t take long before the serious student realizes how their current doctrinal paradigms might prevent the text from speaking its actual intent and meaning.
In doctrine after doctrine we as believers, and even moreso as an organized church body, find ourselves so heavily invested in our professed positions that to question even the least of these positions is something that can’t be fathomed. We take a defensive position and declare to anyone who would challenge the status quo that they and their views are not welcome here.
The cost of such a stance is high. By relegating the authority to interpret scripture to those who came before us, and professing the positions they established without continually confirming them in the scriptures, we lose both the desire and the ability to find within scripture errors in our thinking.
The future return of Yeshua and the destruction of the physical cosmos is only one of many examples of a doctrine which is ripe for reassessment. There are many others.
So the question to ponder is this: Am I open to teaching that challenges my current doctrinal positions?
The tree that bares the fruit of preterism is the tree of opening God’s word and letting it speak the truth.
With all of that said, I am happy to say that regardless of any one’s personal response to this challenge I still offer my encouragement to all believers to continue their walk in the Lord’s provision of grace and peace.