How does one go from dispensationalism to Preterism? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
If there’s any secondary subject I enjoy discussing in Christianity, it’s eschatology. Preterism is a favorite interest of mine. Debates about the age of the Earth or Calvinism or tongues or eternal security don’t really interest me. Talking about end times does.
So how does my journey start though? I grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. Here, there is practically a church on every street corner. I was also listening to Southern Gospel music regularly. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was even well-known at the radio station. It was especially so when they had trivia contests about the Bible as I would call in and win constantly.
When I got the internet later on, one of the first things I wanted to do was discuss Christianity. This was a surprise even to me. After all, wouldn’t it make much more sense for me to discuss video games? I did that some, but largely, it was about Christianity. However, this opens you up to new ideas. That can be scary at first, but for me, I thoroughly enjoy it now.
However, my view on end times didn’t come to a change because of atheists. It was because of my fellow Christians, one who was even a Southern Baptist minister. His name was Ed Gibson and I remember him well. Unfortunately, years later, he died due to a car accident. I still think about him from time to time.
I had had some doubts coming up and I don’t even remember what they were, but I was someone who did not want to give up the rapture at all. I was kicking and screaming as it were even though intellectually, I felt the walls closing in around me.
It had been a shock as I had before the internet never met a Christian who didn’t believe in the rapture. Isn’t this what Christians have always believed? While it’s not, that didn’t really play a major role in my changing my mind. I went to the leader of Thursday Night Talk at my school which is where guys would come together and discuss the Bible. We both said “1 Thess. 4:17.” It’s right there in the text. How could anyone not believe it?
It was not that simple as I found out.
One day, I was in a chat room with another friend when our mutual friend Ed came in. This guy was dating a girl and her parents wanted to know why he didn’t believe in the rapture. Ed came in and gave a whole litany of reasons. Honestly, to this day I can’t remember what they were as it was so long ago, but I do know that I did not rest easy that night. The time had come really. I had seen all of these before I think, but I had to face them.
And I had to realize that I did not have any answer and none was forthcoming.
That was the end of my belief in a pre-trib rapture. From then on, I would find more and more texts and arguments that led me to wonder how it was I ever embraced it. I plan on getting into those in later sessions. However, this did not mean that I was a Preterist. I was at this point a post-tribulationist. I don’t even remember if I had even heard of Preterism by then.
All journeys have to begin somewhere. I don’t remember everything about it, but this is how my journey began. I hope over time to take you further on my journey.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)