Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Grandpa's Letter (An Allegory)

FullPreterists consistently beat the drum of "immediate audience relevance." They continually stress that their interpretations of the texts are the only interpretations that would make sense to the 1st century audience.

But here's the thing Full Preterists always seem to overlook...

No 1st century Christian—and I mean this literally—no Christian in the 1st century interpreted the texts in question as Full Preterists do today. Not a single Christian in 70AD believed the Second Coming took place in 70AD.

This is the irony of the Full Preterist position: Under the guise of "immediate audience relevance" the Full Preterist interprets the text in a manner that no first century Christian ever dreamed of!

I have asked Full Preterists to present a single FULL Preterist—not a Partial Preterist—but a FULL Preterist before the middle of the 19th century. They've yet to produce one.

In other words, in the name of "immediate audience relevance" FULL Preterists put forward an interpretation that no 1st century Christian (the actual immediate audience) could even begin to recognize.

When this embarrassing fact is pointed out they nimbly retort:  "Well...we believe the text itself, not the interpretations of man. Sola Scriptura!" A knight jump, par excellence!

A Full Preterist friend expressed himself thus, "If I find a letter my grandpa wrote to my grandma, and He wrote her he would be home as soon as he could. Would I believe grandpa's coming home when grandma's been dead for twenty years?"

Below is my allegorical response which demonstrates the hermeneutical posture of Full Preterism.

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Let’s think further, shall we?

Suppose you found a “letter” from your grandfather (whom you’ve been told was lost at sea) to your grandmother. She and all your 10 aunts and uncles (her children) are still alive. Let's also suppose that you are only 7 years old.

And...

This "letter" you found—from your grandpa to your grandma—isn’t actually a letter but a love poem with words and imagery you do not understand. (You’re only 7, remember!)

Thinking you know better than grandma (the recipient of the "letter") and all her children (to whom she has read the poem many times), you confidently inform them, “ALL of you are wrong: Grandpa returned just like he said he would!

Your grandma and all her children insist that your grandfather never returned like you think he did. They tell you that you are not understanding grandpa's words.

You respond by saying that all of them are dead wrong. You further state: “If grandpa didn't say what I think he said...then he's a liar!” 

You really don't think your grandpa was lying; but you do believe that grandma and all her children—your wise aunts and uncles—either misunderstand or disbelieve grandpa. And when he did return...they completely missed it.

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