You are herePreterist Idealism Story Fundamentally Different from Historical Christianity

Preterist Idealism Story Fundamentally Different from Historical Christianity

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/vaduva/ on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/vaduva/ on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/ on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/ on line 149.

By Virgil - Posted on 02 January 2010

Preterist Idealism seems to be coming up more and more often in various places so I recently had a chance to look into what it is all about and what it can offer fundamentally that necessitates the rejection of Preterism altogether and requires the use of an entirely new label or name. The difficulty here is that it’s a bit hard to read up on something that as far as I can see was just made up by Todd Dennis and John Noe; on top of that most of the material I see on Preterist Idealism is little more than railing against Preterism, rather than providing a somewhat systematic outline of what Preterist Idealism is, what new and beneficial things it has to offer, etc, most articles are used for some reason to attack Preterism. So, it is a bit difficult to determine what something is when it is only being defined by what it opposes and what it is not.First, there is one important thing to be clarified regarding Preterist theology: there is no manual. There is no such thing as a Systematic Preterist Theology book where Preterists can go and find out all the implications of their eschatology. Most likely there will never be one either. In his articles about Preterist Idealism, Todd Dennis is ignoring the huge diversity of opinions and beliefs among preterists out there, which apparently is not stopping him from attempting to put us all in the same box so he can throw us over the cliff easier.
Secondly, most Preterists deal with the eschatological implications of what they believe and explore from there the changes to the overall aspects of their faith. Despite the fact that we are all “Preterists,” some people become reformed, while others like me may move away from the reformed tradition; others trend towards universalism, while some become annihilationists, etc. There is a tangible human factor to any person’s religious awakening, which Dennis does not even get into at all; anthropologically speaking, Preterist Idealism has nothing to offer.

Virtually all the articles I found on Preterist Idealism are indictments against Preterism and/or complaints about how Preterism falls short on so many fronts. One of the biggest complaints against Preterism is the idea that we (Preterists) minimize the Cross at the expense of the destruction of the temple in AD 70:

“…according to Hyper Preterism, the cross of Jesus Christ was insufficient for this purpose, and needed to be augmented by the fall of the Jewish temple 40 years later. So far as I know, every outlet of HyP doctrine endorses the view that the the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 was the "consummation of the ages" event that removed the separation between man and God.”[1]

The problem here is that Dennis is creating a false dichotomy by implying that there are only two hugely important options to choose from: the Cross or AD 70. Of course this is not true as the Biblical narrative is a highly complex story that starts a long time ago with the Creation. The story is not about one thing being more important than another, so this is just a cheap shot at Preterism. Also, after interacting with so many of you on these topics, I have never once heard someone claim that the death of Christ, and the Cross, were any less important than AD 70. For example Todd Dennis does not bring up the Incarnation; how could Jesus have died on the cross if there was no birth? What if AD 70 is moved out in the unknown future, what is more important, the Cross, or a future Second Coming? These questions are ridiculous to even entertain. Neither is more important – the entire story is important, regardless of one being a Preterist or not!

Todd Dennis also misleads his audience on what the timing of the New Covenant is, within the rough framework of Preterism:

“The HyP teaching that the New Covenant wasn’t in its full establishment until long after the cross event shows how Hyper Preterism is fundamentally different from Christianity as it has always been known. This "AD70 storyline" is foreign to the Bible, and to Christianity as a whole throughout all of its centuries and denominations. Only the Universalists of the last 200 years have embraced this type of AD70-centrism.”[2]

Not only is the statement above false, but he is also using the words “long after” in order to highly exaggerate the length of the timeframe. Most Preterists I have encountered do not believe the New Covenant was instituted in AD 70, rather came into existence at the Cross, with a transition period of about forty years (not long after) being evident between the Cross and AD 70, when both the Old and the New were in effect; this may not be a uniform belief, but it is a majority. And of course the “AD 70 storyline” will be foreign to the Bible since the books of the Bible were written before AD 70! The bible may not tell of what happened in AD 70, but it does tell of what will happen in AD 70.

It is unfair for a critic to criticize a prophecy for not being fulfilled right away, and label its fulfillment a few decades later as being long after. The point of a prophecy in relation to AD 70 seems to be the pronouncement of the will of God, and the warning -- however metaphorical it may be -- of impending judgment and disaster. We see this in Habakkuk 2 as well, where God warned Israel about the impending destruction coming from the Chaldeans: “For the vision is yet for the appointed time…though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay.”[3]

With the date of Habakkuk ranging anywhere from 640 to 590 BC, it’s clear that the warning is imminent, it is about the coming destruction, which materialized in 586 BC with the destruction of Solomon’s temple. The dates are not important, the time frame is, which leads to an important conclusion: prophecy matters, it is meant to communicate an important message, and it is not irrelevant; there is a time frame associated with this first temple destruction prophecy, just as there was a time frame associated with the second prophecy in the first century: it’s not tomorrow, but it’s coming...wait for it, some of you may still be alive when it happens, etc.

In his indictment of Preterism, Todd also points to John 19:28, which says, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture.” At first sight, Todd’s insistence that John 19:28 declares all prophecy fulfilled seems valid, but he also ends up quoting John 19:30 in order to demonstrate that Christ’s death on the Cross is the event that overrides all others:

“When the life of Jesus was draining away on the cross, He Himself noted that the redemptive work had been accomplished in saying "it is finished". John 19:30's word for "It is finished" (Tetelestai), comes from the verb teleo, means “to complete, to accomplish" (as all preterists know). The parsing of this Greek verb shows that it is only this sacrificial death of Jesus which saves, and that nothing else can be added to that finished accomplishment.”

Dennis claims that the exact timing of Jesus’ pronunciation “ is finished” is key to understanding Preterist Idealism, yet he does not explain why Jesus claims it is finished after knowing that all things had already been accomplished?! According to Dennis all things had already been accomplished, before Jesus even died?! The very literalism Todd Denniss is using to promote Preterist Idealism is coming back to negate his very words. To add even more, tetelestai certainly implies that nothing else can be added to that finished accomplishment, but that does not resolve what accomplishment Todd Dennis is talking about.

So the problem created by referencing this passage is that Jesus was still alive when the scripture tells us that all things were fulfilled. He died moments later, and Dennis does not explain anything further. If Jesus’ death was prophecy, how can all prophecy be fulfilled before Jesus died? What was finished? Was it finished when Jesus spoke the words audibly or when he clinically died a few minutes later? Dennis is apparently taking it in “it is finished” to mean all prophetic accomplishment and all things pertaining to prophecy, yet just a few verses later in John 19:34-36 we read that another prophecy was fulfilled, namely that not a bone of him shall be broken.[4] We see prophecy being fulfilled minutes after Jesus said that all things had already been fulfilled, which clearly contradicts John 19:28! Todd’s Preterist Idealism interpretive methodology is creating scriptural contradictions!

So how do we reconcile these inconsistencies? Easy…Todd Dennis is just wrong. Jesus is qualifying it in his last words on the cross to be a reference to something very specific, most likely his ministry, sacrifice, and terrible suffering. Even without considering Preterism at all, the all things in John 19:28 cannot mean “every single prophetic words uttered by Old Covenant prophets” since we see more prophecy being fulfilled after Christ’s death, a few verses later, and even throughout the rest of the New Testament, not to mention the Apocalypse, which is a prophecy still yet to be fulfilled as far as John 19:28 is concerned. Dennis does not explain any of this. Perhaps he will in the future.

The worst and most disturbing conclusion coming from Todd Dennis would be that the Resurrection of Christ is ultimately irrelevant, and that the Cross alone is and should be the central point of Christianity. He falls victim to his own scale-of-importance game playing. Of course we all know that the biblical authors deemed subsequent events important enough to record and write about, otherwise the narrative would have stopped at the Cross: Jesus died for you, repent and be saved. The End! Again, no explanation from Todd here at all.

He is also referencing universalism here and in other articles, and for some reason he sees a Universalist trap behind every corner, as he tries to associate Preterism with Unversalism; this is a side-attack against Preterism…another cheap shot. In reality most Preterists are not Universalists, and most Universalists, if they are Christians at all, don’t even know what Preterism is.

Not once did I see a reference in Dennis’ writings about the Jewish aspects of the sacrifice of Christ in particular and the Biblical narrative in general. What is a powerful, poetic and telling story about the Creation, fall, restoration, that of a lamb being sacrificed in a temple ritual, following strict legal guidelines, becomes a way for Dennis to prove Preterism wrong. Not cool.

Preterist Idealism seems to be, willingly or unwillingly, minimizing the importance of eschatology, and playing games about which chapter is the most important in the Biblical story. I read over and over again about the Cross Event being the centerpiece, divorced from eschatology, but if the eschatology is not that important, why is he tagging this new movement Preterist Idealism? Why Preterist at all? Why integrate eschatology into it at all? Why not just call it Christian Idealism, since Christ is the centerpiece of it all?

So far I have not found anything in common between historic Christianity and Preterist Idealism; as far as I can tell, it is just rebranded Preterism; so it is a real stretch for Todd Dennis to seek approval from historic Christianity by attacking Preterism (and make no mistake, that’s what he is doing), all the while he is apparently still a Preterist (Idealist) who claims to be focusing on the Cross. Todd’s motives are suspicious; he is commended for wanting to move forward and honor his heart and his scriptural understanding, but it will be hard for him to do that while looking backwards and also throwing rocks back at us. He qualifies his articles on Preterist Idealism as non-attacks on Preterism, which is really confusing. A reader inquiring on what Preterist Idealism is would really expect a systematic, technical presentation on the topic, not a critique of some eschatological position.

Historic Christianity has a rich and diverse tradition of comprehensively tackling the Biblical story, to understand Creation, covenantal living, the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Christ, with a powerful restoration of God’s presence to the lives of his people, with the Kingdom of this world becoming the Kingdom of our God; the cross is a chapter in that story, just as AD 70 is a chapter in that story, and just as I believe that our lives, today are chapters of that story. Historical Christianity does not promote one over the other, so in that sense alone, and as I showed more, Preterist Idealism is fundamentally different from the story of Historical Christianity.
[1] Todd Dennis, AD 70 Storyline Fundamentally Different from Historical Christianity,
[2] ibid.
[3] Habakkuk 2:3
[4] This was a fulfillment of Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, Psalm 32:40

Parker's picture

The New Covenant is one entire covenantal kingdom system comprised of many parts. The whole kingdom was fully assembled by AD 70, but it was constructed through the historical unfolding of key events over a period of about 40 years (about 70 years, including the Incarnation).

Here are many of those key events that combined together to give us the whole New Covenant system:

The Incarnation (4BC)
The life and baptismal ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and his chosen Apostles (AD 27-31)
The Cross (AD 31)
The Resurrection and Ascension (AD 31)
The Giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (AD 31)
The great commission preaching of the New Covenant, beginning with national Israel (AD 31, ongoing)
The mass inclusion of the gentiles into the New Covenant via the revelations through Peter and Paul (AD 33-35, ongoing)
The concrete formation and gathering of jews and gentiles into one body, The Church, via the worldwide missionary work of the apostles (AD 35 to AD 70)
The cessation of the Mosaic Covenant via its full historic extinction (AD 70)

If you look at those historic events, you see that each one is essential. Each is a *key component* of the New Covenant world, and all those events were salvific, though the functions of each event differ. So, the ministry of Jesus does one thing, the Cross another, Pentecost another, AD 70 still another, and so on and so forth. But they all add up over a period of years to give us the New Covenant Church/Kingdom.

I've always liked the way St. Eusebius looks at the whole AD 30-AD70 period as The Coming of Christ. For example he says:

"The Holy Scriptures foretell that there will be unmistakable signs of the Coming of Christ. Now there were among the Hebrews three outstanding offices of dignity, which made the nation famous, firstly the kingship, secondly that of prophet, and lastly the high priesthood. The prophecies said that the abolition and complete destruction of all these three together would be the sign of the presence of the Christ. And that the proofs that the times had come, would lie in the ceasing of the Mosaic worship, the desolation of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the subjection of the whole Jewish race to its enemies...The holy oracles foretold that all these changes, which had not been made in the days of the prophets of old, would take place at the coming of the Christ, which I will presently shew to have been fulfilled as never before in accordance with the predictions." (St. Eusebius; Demonstratio Evangelica [Proof of the Gospel];Book VIII)
Yes indeed.

Virgil's picture

Parker, interestingly in each of our lives as believers we also live this covenant narrative from archonology to the eschatology...almost to the point. That is why we are as much Futurists as we believe in past prophetic fulfillment.

Parker's picture

Well said, Virgil. Nice personal application.

I would add that, from my perspective (and perhaps the Catholic scholarship perspective), the "apocalyptic narrative" of the prophets does not pertain to AD 70 alone, but to all of God's interventions in the fall of civilizations and establishment of new ones. We see this clearly in the various OT apocalypses, and I believe we are right to view all history through that same lens.

Apocalyptic is simply a Hebraic genre that is used to characterize God's judgments upon civilizations and empires of human history.

The Hebrews did not have any purely secular view of history, and neither should we.

Kent's picture

In my communication with Todd Dennis through comments and emails, he stated that “ALL forms are Preterism are wrong”. I pointed it out that includes his form Ideal Preterism.

Date: 29 Sep 2006
Time: 07:02:05


So how many more views are there when it comes to Preterism? Each view is calming that they are correct and the others are wrong.

A "House" divided will fall. The scriptures only have ONE meaning not many. Now we have FP. MP, PP, LP, HP, IP, what’s left.

In teaching Preterism, which type do you teach? Which one is "Truth"?

Richard K. McPherson
[Make no mistake; they are all wrong... as are all other systems of men. Not one of any of these -- or any other doctrinal system -- is Truth. And these divided houses are all falling, praise the Lord. TD]

Even Dee Dee has welcome Todd into her fold.(

I wonder what other things Todd and others have in store. The scriptures teach to teach the “truth” in Love, but if one look at the tone and what is behind their articles. Love is far from it, especially when they refuse to debate or even carry a normal conversation on the topic or issue.


Richard K. McPherson

Virgil's picture

Richard, you nailed it, and this confirms what I wrote above, namely that this is a calculated attempt on Todd's part to destroy Preterism, teaming up with hate-mongers and using every opportunity available to put Preterism down, when he should instead try to clarify what PI is. Like you said, when I go to his websites I don't really see an attempt to teach Pret Idealism truth in love, which stinks because I am really interested in hearing what he has to say!

When Todds posts this on his site, it's hard to take him seriously: Warning: "Full Preterist" material is being archived for balanced representation of all Christian Preterist views, but its premise is deemed by the opinion of the curator (a former full preterist) to be "toxic theology." - What a load of crap!

I also wrote about Todd's attempts to undermine Preterism here and here before.

As far as man-made-systems go, of course they all fail because they are not Scripture! Look, I am not stuck in mud sinking with some ship named Preterism - I've wrote before many times about what Preterism lacks, but I stick with people I love because we can work on problems together, we can troubleshoot and improve what we have to offer to the Christendom. I didn't walk out the door and tossed a few grenades behind me, like Todd is doing.

PreteristArchive's picture

One comment: The central line of argumentation was left unaddressed. It is based upon the pre-AD70 "standing" of believers in the Most Holy Place:

Hebrews 10:19-22 (Pre AD70)

19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

A treatment of this passage is conspicuously absent, even though it is used in conjunction with Jesus' declaration that "It is finished" (with the tearing of the veil of separation). There are other passages which speak of the present life within the veil.

Here's the point: Either entrance into the holiest of all was fully made manifest at the cross event (per all of Christian history), or entrance was not given until AD70 (per full preterism based on a misreading of Heb. 9:8).

"Standing" is an important issue. Hebrews 10:19-22 shows that the plan of redemption found its climax at the foot of the cross, and that full access had long been in effect prior to AD70.

Anyway, I'm surprised that someone so long in full preterism would deny that this theological system is fundamentally different from Christianity as it has always been known. Be it for better or for worse, it is the truth. When I would say as much while still a proud full preterist, there was never a dispute.


your servant,

Todd Dennis - Curator, The Preterist Archive

Kent's picture


In order to look at Hebrews 10 and understand it, one has to look at the book as a whole.

In chapter 9 the writer goes into some detail as to the makeup of the tabernacle and the priestly function of offering blood sacrifices under the OC. The writer then shows how these sacrifices could not cleanse us from sin but that the sacrifice of Christ does. This chapter concludes with two profound statements:

Number one: “But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages (Gr. aion) to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” The end of the ages is identified as the time when Christ appeared to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. This appearing took place two thousand years ago. Unless one is willing to stretch the “end of the ages” into a period of two thousand years and counting, it should be apparent this period was a specific time frame that occurred two thousand years ago.

Number two: “ So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Here, and also in the writings of Paul and Peter, we see a looking forward to salvation being brought at the second appearing of Christ. Most Christians assume Christ brought salvation at His first coming. Here the writer is saying that Christ will bring salvation with him at his second appearing. What is the writer talking about? Let’s look at what Paul wrote:

❏ Romans 13:11: The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Paul tells the Romans to wake up because their (these first century Christian Romans), salvation is closer than when they first believed. Is Paul suggesting that they will be dying soon and at that point receive their salvation or is he talking about some other event that was soon to take place that would reveal salvation. Let’s look at what Peter wrote:

❏ 1 Peter 1:5: who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

The Greek word used in 1 Peter 1:5 which is translated “is ready” is hetoimos. This word is used 17 times in the NT and by context it is seen over and over again to mean something ready to happen. (For several examples, see Matthew 22:8, Mark 14:15, 1 Peter 3:15). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines 1Peter 1:5 as, “on the point of being revealed..” The Greek word translated “last time” is eschatos which means “a point of termination, something absolutely final.” As we move into chapter 10, this issue will be clarified.

❏ Hebrews 10:1: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming --not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

Why did the writer say “are coming.” Hadn’t the “good things” already come with the sacrifice of Christ and the bringing of the NC of life to replace the OC of death? What is the writer talking about? He continues to stress the supremacy of Christ over the sacrificial system and encourages the Hebrew Christians to hold fast because Christ is faithful and will deliver what He promised. What is it that Christ promised?

In Hebrews 10:25, the writer says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Remember: this was written 2000 years ago to first century Christians who are being told not to abandon meeting together, especially as they see the day approaching. What did this mean to them? What day was approaching?

❏ Hebrews 10:26-31: If we deliberately keep on sinning (Gr. hamartano, to miss the mark) after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will (Gr. mello, “is about to”) consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Here the writer gets right into the face of these Hebrew Christians and tells them flat out what will happen to them if, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, they turn their back on Christ. The writer speaks of the about to occur judgment that will consume the enemies of God. The writer then goes on to reflect on the tremendous persecution suffered by his readers and exhorts them to hang on because what was promised is about to be delivered.

❏ Hebrews 10:32-37: Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.

The Greek here is very emphatic. Bullinger, in the Companion Bible, shows the Greek phrase mikron hoson hoson to mean: “in a very, very little while.” “He who is coming,” undoubtably refers to Christ. The writer is addressing first century Christians and telling them that in a very, very little while, Christ is coming, and He is not going to delay that coming. The writer had previously told his readers that Christ would appear a second time to bring salvation (Hebrews 9:28). The writer was constantly exhorting his readers to hang tough in the face of persecution and to not forsake meeting together as they saw the day approaching. I must remind you that this is a first century context.

The writer is addressing first century Christians and dealing with first century issues. The issue being addressed here is an imminent coming of Christ. By context, this cannot be referring to a coming thousands of years into the future from when this was written. The coming being addressed here is a first century coming in judgment against Israel for their refusal to accept Christ as the promised Messiah. Remember what Christ said shortly before His crucifixion:

❏ Luke 19:36-44: As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

There are multiple dozens of warnings found throughout the NT narrative that speaks of a coming judgment upon Israel. That judgment came in the great war between A.D. 66 and 73. In the midst of that war, the temple, along with the sacrificial system and priesthood, were destroyed. Over one million people died in that war and over a hundred thousand were taken into captivity by the Romans and their allies.

Christ came in judgment against Israel through the armies of men just as He had done in Old Testament times when He used nations such as Assyria and Babylon to judge Israel. A review of Old Testament history will clearly reveal God coming in judgment against a variety of nations. The prophets used a great deal of apocalyptic/hyperbole language (rhetorical exaggeration) to describe these events. God is often seen as riding on the clouds, as He uses one nation against another to accomplish His purpose.

God intervened in the first century in a dramatic way to replace the OC system of death with the NC system of life. This is the salvation that the first century Christians were waiting for. This was the fulfillment of what had been promised. The first century church experienced the full transition from the OC to the NC. It began with the birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. It ended with his coming in judgment against Israel. This is the coming that the writer to the Hebrews is discussing in his letter. This is why the writer says, “For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and not delay.” The coming they were anticipating was a coming in judgment upon Israel and, therefore, a deliverance from the tremendous persecution they were under from the Non-Christian Jews and also the increasing persecution from Rome. The writer was trying to comfort them and encourage them to remain loyal to Christ

Richard K. McPherson

Virgil's picture

I will address Todd's reference to Hebrews 10:19-22 in another article soon. I think his insistence on the veil being torn at the time of Chris't death is his biggest problem, and to Todd, Hebrews 10 provides a way behind the veil, before the Temple was destroyed.

I don't see this as a problem for Preterism, but he does. Prooftexting works against PI in Hebrews, because the overall presentation of the book disagrees; at least chapters 9 and 10 deal with minute details about priestly sacrifices, sprinkling of incense and ritual washing, which are meant to contrast the old with the new. The tension in the book is there as we are told that we can walk straight into the most holy place, BUT we are still looking forward to a day of salvation. Pret Idealism doesn't deal with this tension at all.

Thee typology present in the temple ministries works against PI; there is too much to cover, so a full article on this later.

alberto's picture

Hi Virgil. It occurs to me that the rending of the veil was undeniably a physical display of a profound spiritual event. Most Christians of all stripes would concur with this.
But what followed? No doubt the veil was repaired, and the temple continued with "business as usual". And what happened to the veil in AD 70? It was publicly, in the most cataclysmic fashion imaginable, reduced to ashes, along with the whole building that housed it! If the rent was meaningful, how decisive was the burning! The rending was hidden away in the confines of the temple and could only have been known by word of mouth. The burning was open, public, and PROVED how decisive the previous rending was.

albert burke

Virgil's picture

Al, absolutely! I couldn't have said it better. The story continues to unfold after the veil is torn...the Death still has to be defeated, etc.

Barry's picture

Those imo are some good points.

Hbr 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. BUT NOW WE SEE NOT YET ALL THINGS PUT UNDER HIM.
Hbr 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

They lived with a "sense" of the already but not to the extent that anticipation and expectation was tossed aside. Not at all. There already was lived with this expectation in view. And this point cannot be ignored concerning the tearing of the veil at the death of Christ which still must be framed within the transformation of the ages.

we are all in this together

Barry's picture

Hi Todd.
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Hebrews 10:19-25 shows the same "already but not yet". And quite evidently so as they saw "the day drawing near"! Lest the question arises, "what exactly was it that they saw and expected before them"?

Here's the point: Either entrance into the holiest of all was fully made manifest at the cross event (per all of Christian history), or entrance was not given until AD70 (per full preterism based on a misreading of Heb. 9:8).
End quote.

What then is your point Todd?
Is your issue with preterism that this application of "already but not yet" in this one verse is not adequately "already" enough for you in what you see as the common preterist interpretation?

What about "salvation" or "not under law" or "redemption" in the already but not yet? Is there a consensus in these areas in "christian history"?

You might not be simply "red flagging" a verse just to exaggerate a point but it does appear that way to me at this juncture.
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

Virgil's picture

Todd, historical Christianity is eagerly awaiting for the Second Coming of Christ, so that the physical creation may be made new in Christ, and sin may once and for all be put away. Preterist Idealism doesn't support anything like this as far as I can see. Historical Christianity does not see their blessed hope in the Cross, but in the return of Christ.

chrisliv's picture


As a full Preterist, I often scoffed at a couple of people who suggested that Christ's Kingdom only began after 70 AD, and even one who suggested that that's when it ended.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

Reformer's picture


I was MOST disappointed to see you LUMP me in together with Todd Dennis' brand of Preterist Idealism in the first paragraph of this post and then totally IGNORE me thereafter.

Please be informed that I do not agree with Todd's self-invented form, either.

Also, my theologically based presentation of the preterist-idealist position has been published in the form of a peer-reviewed article in one of the most prominent theological journals in the world -- the "Journal of the Evangelical Society" (Dec. 2006, Vol. 49, No. 4, 767-96).

It is titled, "An Exegetical Basis for a Preterist-Idealist Understanding of the Book of Revelation." It was recommended for publication by Grant R. Osborn, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and author of the recent book, "Revelation" (Baker Academic, 2002, part of the "Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament" series). He found it to be of exceptional value and a contribution to knowledge.

I recommend it to your attention and for review.
It is posted on PRI's website at Or, I can send you a reprint copy.

I believe you will NOT find it GUILTY of any of the criticisms you have found with Todd Dennis' version.

I welcome your honest and sincere review of my published academic journal article on this Preterist-Idealist topic and position. It has much to offer, as Dr. Osborn, discovered and recommended.


John Noe

Virgil's picture

John, I will take a look at your article as soon as I have a chance. I lumped you in with Todd because I see your articles on his website and assumed (apparently haphazardly) that you two have the same agenda. Thanks for clarifying our position.

As a cessationist, it will be very difficult for me to accept your premise, but I will give it the read it deserves.

God bless

Reformer's picture


We must be careful that we don't let one view of something (right or wrong) unduly influence or bias another, shouldn't we?


Virgil's picture

Yes John, you are correct; all I was saying is that, IF your entire premise is based on non-cessationism, there will be difficulties there.

I'll take a look at the article soon.

Barry's picture

Interesting points Virgil.
So much of our own personal perception of identity is formed in what we see that we are not. What we think we can "disprove" or rather "discredit". What we stand against!

This easily becomes our "song" and we like to play it over and over again.

This is not necessarily "bad" but it is not in and of itself or by itself very constructive.

What I'm reading in your observations seems to relate to this, at least that is the impression I got.
"A little more constructive please" :)

If I've correctly understood you, yes!
Where is your belief system taking you?
What are the conclusions of this system?
How will this work out and benefit people?

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

Virgil's picture

Yes Barry, as far as I can tell it's not a system, just a side-note to full Preterism.

We all grow in our understanding, change opinions, move into different directions, so that's not a problem at all. What I don't get is how Todd Dennis expects people to join him on this Pret Idealism thing when he tears down the path that got him there to begin with.

None of this makes any sense.

chrisliv's picture


Nice refutation or apologetic, Virgil.

The Dispensationalists seem to do the same with straw man arguments about Preterism, in order to unjustly demonize it.

Of course, The Cross is the focal point of biblical theology. But the point of it was the initiation of Christ's Kingdom, where people could live by the Golden Rule, have their sins forgiven through the finished works of Christ alone, and be endowed with God's Holy Spirit, after coming out of all the World Systems in Darkness, spiritually speaking.

And it's the Dispensationalists, to whom we Preterists often point to the implications of 70 AD, in order, from my point of view, to counter their silly insistence that Christ's Kingdom is a Futuristic fantasy, with Christ as a Global Dictator seated on a gaudy and carnal throne, centered on a strip of Middle Eastern Sand, and until that time, they (Dispensationalists) seem to promote little more than the Lordship of Caesar and the State, on Earth, as it is in Hell.

So, sure, I guess Preterists are guilty of talking about more than the Cross alone (especially anti-statist Preterists like me).

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Virgil's picture

Chris, in fact you continuously remind me of the relevancy of "Rome" in the contemporary context. Most of us hanging out here at PP are hardly operating with blinders on as if our lives revolve around AD 70; the exact opposite seems to be the case. We continue to see the story as being just as relevant to us today as it was back then.

chrisliv's picture


Our Preterist perspective more easily opens us up to the implications of Christ's finished on the Cross, and the realization of Christ's Kingdom, as a present reality, for those who believe.

The historical significance of 70 AD is almost unheard of amongst Dispensationalist, as is why it probably seems so shocking when we mention it as the timely fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse (Mat. 24, for you Futurists lurkers).

Futurism really is an insult to the Cross and the finished work of Christ, if you think about it for three seconds.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Recent comments


Should we allow Anonymous users to comment on Planet Preterist articles?
Yes absolutely
No only registered users should comment
What are you talking about?
Total votes: 43