Definition of Preterism – The belief that all Bible prophecy (including Matthew 24) has already happened, including the second coming of Jesus Christ. Also called Covenant Eschatology or Fulfilled Prophecy. It is worth noting that many with the Dominionist and/or Preterist view point seem sympathetic to and accepting of contemplative spirituality.
The following is an interview that took place between Brian McLaren and the “Planet Preterist” website.
Excerpt from the interview:
Interviewer: I think many Christians within the Preterist movement are being deeply affected by your work and by what Emergent is doing across the world. Why do you think that your message appeals to so many of us?
Brian: First, it’s encouraging to hear you say that it does. Theologies work as systems, don’t they … and they have a beginning, and middle, and an end, and the three are integrated into a single system. I think many of us are realizing that if we have one part mixed up, it will affect our understandings of the other two parts. I didn’t start with any interest in rethinking eschatology, but of course eventually I had to realize that if I rethink one area, it will lead to rethinking other areas. I think many of us are in this kind of rethinking process – some starting from the beginning part by rethinking, perhaps, the relation of faith and science in relation to evolution and young-earth creationism … some starting from the middle, as they re-examine what the gospel of the kingdom of God is supposed to mean, or the idea of integral or holistic mission … and some starting from the end, re-examining eschatology. Wherever you start, you end up looking into the other areas too, I think….
Interviewer: As we are also trying to also put a new face on our own movement and transform it into “a new kind of Preterism,” and move beyond the theoretical fundamentalism into the practical, tangible aspects of Christianity and the realized presence of Christ, we are encountering the same friction and opposition that perhaps you have already encountered when dealing with a target audience that sees all things in black and white. Do you have any advice for us on how to better build bridges and construct better channels of communication with other believers?
Brian: Again, I wish I did. I think you are very perceptive to put the focus on “the realized presence of Christ,” because that is key. I also think you’re perceptive to identify the underlying problem not as mistaken eschatology but as “theoretical fundamentalism” and “black and white” thinking. Sometimes I think that people who are thoroughly indoctrinated and habituated into this kind of system will not be able to break free from it without experiencing both psychological and social dislocation and disorientation.
Dominionism, Global Peace and Mysticism