International Preterist Association: Reformation Or Retrogression? -- By: Dennis M. Swanson

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 15:1 (Spring 2004)
Article: International Preterist Association: Reformation Or Retrogression?
Author: Dennis M. Swanson


International Preterist Association:
Reformation Or Retrogression?

Dennis M. Swanson

Seminary Librarian and Director of Israel Studies

The International Preterist Association (IPA) has made itself known most recently at significant venues across the United States. It serves as an umbrella organization for the theological/eschatological position called Hyper-Preterism (HP), a position that sees all prophecies of the future fulfilled in the period around A.D. 70. The ostensible motivation of the movement is to provide an answer to critics who think that Jesus was mistaken when He promised His return during the same generation of which He was a part. That motivation is flawed, however, because such critics doubt that Jesus ever existed and a response on that single issue is insufficient to change their minds. The methodology of IPA has been to position itself within the mainstream of evangelical Christianity by redefining preterist terminology and conveying the false impression of acceptance by evangelicalism. The theological claims of IPA are heterodox in the area of eschatology, lying outside any creed or statement of faith of orthodox Christianity. It rejects the millennial kingdom, the physical return of Christ, all post-A.D. 70 fulfillment of prophecy, and the traditional view of the resurrection. The consequences of IPA teachings lead to a hopeless and helpless church, a church with no remembrance and message, with no ethical imperative, with no hope and reason for patience, with no rewards for faithfulness, and with no purpose and useful equipment. The system amounts to a regression to the error of Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim 2:18).

Introduction

In the last several years an emerging eschatological movement has made itself well known and highly visible at the annual and regional meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Christian Booksellers Convention, and other

significant venues. The International Preterist Association1 (hereafter IPA) has become something of the umbrella organization for a group advocating the theological/eschatological position commonly known as Hyper-Preterism (hereafter HP).

This novel position initially began to form2 within some Church of Christ assemblies in Ohio through the ministries of “C. D. Beagle and his son-in-law, Max King.”3 HP is the view that all biblical prophecy saw its fulfillment at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It differs from the moderate ...

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