Responding to the Critics: Kenneth Gentry’s I am Not a Preterist!”
Dr. Kenneth Gentry recently felt compelled to publish and article entitled “I am Not A Preterist!” The article was both an affirmation that he IS a preterist, but that he is NOT a preterist! Let me explain.
For years, Gentry, DeMar, Mathison, etc. have all proclaimed themselves to be “orthodox preterists.” By that they mean that they are partial futurists, partial preterists. They believe that some prophecy has been fulfilled. They even go so far as to affirm that Christ came in AD 70. There was a resurrection to eternal life in AD 70. Christ married his New Covenant Bride in AD 70. The end of the age arrived in AD 70. (For full documentation of Postmillennial admissions on the fulfillment of these eschatological tenets, see my book AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End?”
Of course, the only “escape” for the partial futurists of Postmillennialism who admit to the fulfillment of those elements is to say, as Gentry hints at in his article, the events of AD 70 when he says that in his upcoming book on the Olivet Discourse, the events of the Jewish War serve: “as an event that anticipates the Final Judgment at the Second Advent (Matt. 24:36–25:46).” But, in my aforementioned work, I totally refute and falsify that claim. There is no merit whatsoever in claiming that the end of the age in AD 70 was a foreshadowing of the end of the “endless” Christian age.
One thing that Gentry’s article does is to reveal that the true preterist movement is growing and is posing such a threat to Gentry’s views, that he feels compelled to come up with somewhat of a new nomenclature. It is no longer enough to call himself a preterist, because the growth of the full preterist movement has taken control of the term “preterist” to indicate the full preterist paradigm. Thus, Gentry, as he has done for a good while, along with others, has come up with the appellation of “hyper-preterist,” “heretical,” preterist, “unorthodox preterism” and who knows what other terms he may come up with. One thing is certain, he is in full panic mode about the growth of the true preterist movement, and is trying desperately to distance himself from it. But, there is tremendous irony here, and that irony is reinforced on an almost daily basis in the correspondence that I receive.
I literally cannot tell you how many Bible students that have contacted me informing me that they are now full preterists, and that they began their journey to the truth by studying the writings of Kenneth Gentry, Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, even Keith Mathison! They share with me that they can see the logically powerful hermeneutic set forth in Gentry’s books concerning the dating and application of Revelation, for instance. They speak eloquently of how Gary DeMar’s book on the Last Day Madness showed them to honor the Biblical time statements and that to be consistent, they had to see and admit that AD 70 was the end. They have told me repeatedly that Joel McDurmon’s book on the parables of Jesus in Luke left them with no alternative but to become a true preterist.
The point being that the Postmillennial hermeneutic, when followed to its logical end – undeniably leads one to the full preterist view of eschatology. Literally hundreds have told me that this has been their personal experience.
For the reader, I attempted to post the following comment on Gentry’s page on 11-21-18. As of 12-4-18 it has not been posted
<<Dr. Gentry, your own hermeneutic — as I have demonstrated in several of my books – falsifies your own futurism. As you know, I have challenged you to debate the issues with me numerous times, but you refuse. It would be great if we could have a collegial discussion on the Olivet Discourse and whether it discusses this “end of the Christian age” / “end of time” that you propose. We can do a live YouTube, two hour debate. How about it?
Oh, Sam Frost’s claims are specious. He is whistling past the grave yard. The truth of Full Preterism is in fact spreading like wildfire, in every part of the globe.
Let the reader know full well that I am more than willing and more than able to refute Dr. Gentry’s claims in formal debate, perhaps on YouTube as I suggested.>>
Now, what is so fascinating and revealing is that on the one hand, Gentry feels compelled, due to the rapid spread of True Preterism, to distance himself from it. On the other hand, he says “Fortunately, the Hyper-preterist movement is small enough so that we can continue to use historic terms and expect its historic meaning.” Well, Mr. Gentry, if the True Preterist movement is so small why are you bothering to even address it? Why do you feel compelled to take time out to write articles distancing yourself from it, and why do you feel it necessary to write articles refuting it?
As to Dr. Gentry’s book on the Olivet Discourse, the reader needs to note that Gentry has been on record as saying that it would not disturb him if it could be shown that the Discourse was a united discussion of the end of the age in AD 70 and nothing beyond that. However, the undeniable reality is that if the Olivet Discourse is exclusively about the coming of the Lord, the end of the age in AD 70, then unless additional revelation, about a different, radically different Day of the Lord is to be found in the NT, then there is no such doctrine to be found! The Discourse is the source of Paul’s Thessalonian epistles on eschatology. It serves as the source of Revelation – and Gentry even admits to many if not most of those parallels!
I would argue that you cannot “surrender” Matthew 24:36-25:46 to an AD 70 application without surrendering all futurist doctrines of judgment and resurrection, it is that simple. Interestingly enough, when writing to refute Dispensationalism, (In his own mode of Responding to the Critics) Gentry says the Olivet Discourse is vitally important to the study of eschatology. So, on the one hand, it does not matter if the Discourse speaks only of AD 70, but on the other hand, it is fundamental to a proper understanding of eschatology! (See my discussion of Gentry’s self contradictions in regard to the OD in my, We Shall Meet Him In The Air, the Wedding of the King of kings, page 366, n. 97).