When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

24 June, 2013

Heresies of the Week: Futurism, Historicism, Idealism, and Preterism

Continuing on the theme of the last two weeks, here are four more eschatological views regarding the interpretation of when events in Revelation take place.  When I have time, I'll try and write a post about the Lutheran (and Amillennial) view of when these events occur.
Futurism is a heretical eschatological view that interprets end-time portions of the Bible (specifically, the parable of the Sheep and Goats, Daniel and Revelation) as future literal events. By comparison, Historicism and Preterism say these have already come to pass in a literal, physical sense and Idealism says they are currently occurring in a non-literal, spiritual sense. It, along with Preterism, was conceptualized as a counter to the protestant Historicism heresy by a Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest. 
Historicism is an eschatological protestant heresy which tries to link events that have already happened and people who have already lived with end-times prophesies and beings. The eighteenth century brought about the thought that the Pope (man, not the office) could be the Anti-Christ (a distinction from the Lutheran teaching that the office of the pope is an, not the, Anti-Christ). Catholicism developed Preterism and Futurism as a response to this. Historicists attempt to use timelines and events to predict the end of the world. Millerism is a subset of Historicism that spawned the Seventh-day Adventist church. This is also largely the view of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 
Idealism is a Renaissance-era eschatological heresy that says the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is subjective for each individual. The establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven is metaphorical, and has not, cannot and will not literally happen. The only literal fulfillment of prophesies they expect is the Second Coming and Final Judgment, although it is not universally accepted in Idealist circles that even those will physically occur, which makes it starkly different from Futurism, Historicism, and Preterism
Preterism is an eschatological heresy that interprets most of the end times prophesies of the Bible has having been fulfilled before or at destruction of Jerusalem in 70 and that ancient Israel finds its continuation and fulfillment in the Christian church. The other thoughts on doctrine this are Futurism (most common with Premillennialism, this teaches that all the end times prophesies will be literally fulfilled at a future time and place), Historicism (closest to Preterism in that it says end times prophesies have already occurred literally on earth, but they identify these events with other people and places long after the destruction of Jerusalem, and have used these ‘timelines’ to attempt to divine the date of Jesus’ return, as in Millerism), and Idealism (the teaching that the prophesies have been, are, and will be fulfilled in a non-literal, spiritual sense and may be fulfilled differently for each person).

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