You are hereAn Analysis and Critique of Taken to Heaven in A.D. 70: Blessings Expected at the Parousia (IPA, Inc., 2005)
An Analysis and Critique of Taken to Heaven in A.D. 70: Blessings Expected at the Parousia (IPA, Inc., 2005)
by Samuel Frost
When a book is hailed as “a classic in our time” and is expected to be one of the “most influential and significant preterist books to be published in the last two centuries” then, as a preterist scholar, I had to take a look.When a book is hailed as “a classic in our time” and is expected to be one of the “most influential and significant preterist books to be published in the last two centuries” then, as a preterist scholar, I had to take a look.I must, however, take a positive approach to the contents of this book before I take a negative approach. Readers who are not familiar with scholarly definitions, and who are more or less inclined to political correctness, will find the word “negative” as somehow meaning that I am an crusty old man with nothing better to do than criticize things. Well, let the reader understand that in scholarship, “analytical” “critical” and “negative” are not emotional terms. They are academic terms and nothing else. When a person shows up on your doorstep to offer you the latest “product” that will clean your carpets, are you “accepting” and non-inquisitive? Or are you “critical” and a little “skeptical” before you buy his spiel? In short, I will disagree with this book in many areas, but this is a critical analysis coming from a scholar that is quite optimistic about the preterist future within Evangelicalism.
There is an increasingly surfacing division current within preterist studies between the “heaven now” denomination and the “heaven when you die” one. Such is to be expected. Ian D. Harding has recently penned Taken to Heaven in A.D. 70 (335 pp.), published by Ed Stevens’ publication arm, International Preterist Association, Inc. The book is endorsed by Arthur Melanson and Walt Hibbard on the back cover. It is important to the preterist movement because it is the first major work on noting the differences within the preterist camps.
Harding assumes the preterist framework, so the reader is not going to get “another” exposition on Matthew 24, Josephus and “this generation.” Rather, as Harding himself states, the book is directly written to those preterists who hold to what has been called the “heaven now” view (Harding, xiv). This view, in his words, if true “takes away all meaning of language” (107). It is to be admitted that the view expounded upon by Max King in Cross and Parousia of Christ and the view represented here are two completely different approaches within preterism. They both operate from the same framework, of course, but the agreement ends there and this book makes it clearer than any other I have read.