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When Shall These Things Be?: A Reformed Response to Hyper-Preterism Paperback – February 20, 2004

3.3 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mathison received a B.A. in Christianity and political science from Houston Baptist University and then studied at Dallas Theological Seminary for two years before completing his M.A. in theological studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He earned a PhD in Christian thought from Whitefield Theological Seminary. He is director of curriculum development for Ligonier Ministries.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (February 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875525520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875525525
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was a hyper-preterist. Then I read this book. I read it in order to refute it. I could not. I can attest to the accuracy of the contributor's statements regarding hyper-preterism, and I'm thankful I was pulled from the clutches of it before I had sunk deeper.

This book constitutes the first detailed and in-depth response to the movement known as "full preterism" but better called "hyper preterism." Naturally, because it is the first, it will stumble in some areas. But there are also positives.

By far the best contributions are the chapters by Gentry ("The Historical Problem with Hyper-Preterism"), Hill ("Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem's Fall"), Wilson ("Sola Scriptura, Creeds, and Ecclesiastical Authority"), and Stimple ("Hyper-Preterism on the Resurrection of the Body"). They are the best because they are tightly reasoned and exegetically based (I don't know if I've seen more scripture quoted in a book before. They can constitute a third or half of a page on occasion).

The remaining chapters are certainly ok, but not spectacular. That said, there is one chapter that completely stands out as being the worst contribution to this book, but also the worst explanation of the prophetic time texts I have read to date. It is Pratt's chapter ("Hyper-Preterism and Unfolding Biblical Eschatology"). The entire chapter's argument can be presented as follows: "Biblical prophesy and prediction do not need to be fulfilled in the manner, or the timing, made by the initial prophesy." Thus, his best defense becomes the worst offense. No, his best defense is to have no offense at all. Pratt's argument seems to go like this: "when confronted with a dissenting opinion to orthodoxy, we ought to exterminate everyone on earth.
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Format: Paperback
As will become clear later in this review, I have a considerably negative view of hyper-preterism and not just because I think it's unbiblical. It is a movement that has gained cyberspace traction over the last number of years now and in my view, represents the worst of what can happen when internet sites are considered to be equally viable in terms of their information and credibility.

This book is a compilation of essays from a mostly Reformed perspective written by a variety of scholars. As such, some essays are better than others, and the reader should expect to find disagreement between the contributors on matters of eschatology.

By far the best contribution in this book is delivered by Hill. A person without an in-depth knowledge of eschatology nonetheless has the ability to ask a rather basic but telling question where full preterism is concerned - if Jesus' Second and final Coming occurred in 70 AD, and we are now supposedly living in the new heavens and new earth, why is it that no document we know of written by any Christian around this time ever recognized that such an apolocalyptic event took place? Is it reasonable to think that a small and mostly undistinguished group of people 2,000 years later have identified what nobody at the time knew about and the historic Christian church for 2,000 years has been unaware of? According to full preterism, the answer is a resounding 'yes'. Hill tackles this question with meticulous scholarship and documentation, coupled with painfully probing questions about how such a view could possibly make any sense to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
Here is a book a friend of my loaned me awhile back. I had heard that a new doctrine was arising in some Christian circles. This new doctrine teaches that Christ has already returned and that Christians have already been resurrected. I couldn't believe my friend's allegations at first, but this book did a marvelous job in documenting the heresy beginning to circulate.
Mathison is an employee of Dr. R. C. Sproul, one of my favorite theologians. Mathison has written other books which I enjoy. I am glad he has assembled this group of theologians to expose hyper-preterism. They did a wonderful job.
I was especially thankful that the book put the heretical problem in historical context. As Christians we often tend to approach Scripture individualistically, as if we were the final judge of truth and error. But the chapter on creeds (ch. 1), on history (ch. 2), and on the canon of the NT (ch. 6) were extremely helpful. These chapters remind us that not everyone who thumps the Bible loudly is being true to Scripture.
I also found several of the earlier reviews very interesting. It seems obvious that some group called "Healing Leaves" is making a concerted effort to keep Christians from reading the book. And judging from the character of their reviews, I believe it is easy to see another reason for alarm with this new movement.
For some inexplicable reason, the hyperpreterist reviewers of this book only mention Mathison and Gentry -- two of the seven authors in this work. The other five hold prominent positions in theological seminaries. It is odd that they generally attack only Gentry and Mathison (who are both holders of master's degrees in theology from Reformed Theological Seminary, as well as doctoral degrees from Whitefield Seminary).
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