You are hereInterview with Don K. Preston
Interview with Don K. Preston
Don Preston, a was kind enough to grant readers of Planet Preterist a short interview. On a terrace in the North Carolina mountains, Don answered a few questions, made a few comments on current issues concerning fulfilled prophecy, and gave us a few updates on projects that he is currently working on. Don is an advocate of Covenant Eschatology and the author of eight titles on the preterist view of prophecy, including Who is This Babylon? a book that has received a positive scholarly review. Click below for the interview...Virgil Vaduva: Don, thanks for taking time for this interview. I am sure that PlanetPreterist readers are also thankful for your time and willingness to talk to us. I will try to make it quick. I only have a few questions, so let me get started and to the point. My first question is, where do you see Preterism today?
Don Preston: I think Preterism today is in the discovery stage. Historically, every movement had its beginnings at a time when people just discovered the freedom of thinking for themselves.
VV: What do you think the goal of Preterism as a movement and Preterists in general should be?
DP: A person could have a long list of goals, but some of our goals have not yet been fully defined. One, Preterism is the only proper defense for the deity of Christ. We need to clarify that the delay and non-occurrence problem is not a problem, as so many Bible students think. Preterism has the answer to this perplexing question: Jesus kept his word, and there was no delay! Two, Preterism shows people that all God is about is relationships. Three, social implications. We need to show the long term social implications of the Preterist view. All futurist eschatology creates and teaches pessimism and creates a pessimistic world-view, in one way or another. Preterism teaches that we need to be good stewards and be optimists. This affects american politics and world politics. For the preterist social and political thinkers, to think that national Israel is not the chosen people of God, and to bring Preterism into American politics, could have amazing implications. Many of our presidents publicly stated that Israel is the chosen people of God. Ronald Reagan made a big case of this. Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson raise millions of dollars to influence american politics in favor of Israel, regardless of how Israel treats Palestinians or Israel being right or wrong. Both arabs and jews believe the land belongs to them. If we can prove to both groups that biblical promises concerning the land were fulfilled, we could negotiate a peace that is based on compassion and understanding.
VV: I was not going to bring this up, but since we are on this topic, do you believe that terrorism is an indirect outcome of the dispensationalist position of american Christians?
DP: Terrorism is a direct outcome of Israel's belief that they exclusively own the land. Palestinians believe that Allah gave the same land to Mohammed. Let me emphasize that the terrorists are the extremists on both sides. Sharon used to blow up hotels full of innocent palestinians, and justified it as fighting terrorism. The evangelicals say the land belongs to Israel, so they justify Israel as having the right to defend that land at any cost. Clearly, the huge majority of American evangelicals do not believe in terrorism. Nonetheless, the fundamental belief that the respective sides,whether Islamic or Jewish, own the land, no matter what, serves as a philosophical justification for their violent activities.
VV: Last night, Ed Stevens gave me a copy of his paper "Silence demands a rapture". What do you think about Ed's position on the rapture?
DP: I have not read that paper. However, after hearing his presentation, I think that there are an awful lot of logical weaknesses in his presentation. I do not agree with it, but I am willing to take a look at it.
VV: Are you currently working on any project that we should look forward to?
DP: Yes, I am working on a lot of things. The debate with Geisler from Christian News is at least one year away, if it even takes place. I had lunch with him in New York, and he told me that he needed at least one year to study the view and see if it has merits. Also, I have been contacted by a group that wants to sponsor a debate between a well-known, leading partial preterists scholar and a full preterist. I have (gladly) agreed to engage in that debate. I cannot go on the record with his name at this time, but if we have something solid established, I will let you know. I have a new book
called "Jesus is coming; In the Glory of the Father". I am working with some publishers and I am hopeful. I am revising my 2 Peter 3 book "The Late Great Kingdom", I am working on a book in the parables, and another book on Deut. 32 and biblical eschatology. I have also been contacted by two different ministries concerning public debates, so as you can see, I have lots of activities. I believe it is time that the preterist community rises to the challenge of all of the charges of heresy being aimed at us. I personally have no intention to let these charges of heresy go unchallenged, and I am always open to engage in honorable debate with qualified representatives from the "other side."
VV: Don, again, thanks for your time, and I wish you the best with all your projects and ministry.