Christian Hope Through Fulfilled Prophecy by Charles Meek
Christian Hope Through Fulfilled Prophecy by Charles Meek is a book that takes the preterist view of the Christian eschatology (ends-time prophecy). The preterist view states that all Bible prophecy were fulfilled by the first century A.D. Meek contends that the fastest growing view among Christians is preterism (4).
This is the heart of the Preterist argument. Jesus was speaking about “His generation” when He was speaking about “This generation in Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6) (11). Meek argues that Jesus did return “at least in some sense” by 70 A.D. He states that by the time of the church fathers, this has already been fulfilled (24).
Meek rightly addresses the need to interpret Scripture. He attacks the people who “take the Bible literally” with a set of ingenious questions (28). Rightly, he addresses the hypocrisy of the “literalism” argument (30). He continues by showing how to read and interpret the Bible.
Meek addresses the four different views of eschatology: (Futurism, Historicism, Idealism, Preterism). Within futurism, there are three different groups: premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism – which are about how one interprets the millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20:1-8. (42).
Full preterists explain that the events of 70 A.D. – the destruction of Jerusalem was a form of being “in judgment” for unbelieving Jews (47). Meek offers that prophecy was about the end of the world, but the end of a world order – an age of time (58). He provides excellent questions which can challenge people who do not hold to the Preterist view. His logic is compelling and hard to dismiss (68). Though not completely conclusive, Meek offers an event from history that supports the view that the 70th. week of the book of Daniel occurred before AD 70 (73).
Meek insists that when Jesus spoke about future events in Matthew 24, it was not a “Second Coming,” but an “effectual divine presence.” (84) Elijah did not literally come back but John the Baptist came in his place. Meek makes the bold claim that Jesus will not return in the same body. He will look completely different (89). The Bible showed WHEN Jesus would come “within a generation,” and HOW – “in judgment.” Meek bases his arguments on these two statements. (89) Meek states that when cosmic disturbances happen in prophecy, they do not refer to the end of the world, but judgment on certain people (95).Meek makes the case that the 70th. week of the book of Daniel was in two phases (AD 64-68, and then AD 66-70). Although this overlapping of the last seven years doesn’t work. Even Preterists have to twist Scripture at times to support their view. Preterists have the advantage of questioning the other views with Scripture verses that do not fit the other views paradigm. Preterists make the same mistake in their interpretation – twisting Scripture or events to match their paradigm (138).
Preterists have an advantage when it comes explaining the nature of death and resurrection of Christians (165). Unfortunately, some Preterists have to invent an interpretation called bimillennialism to explain their views (165).
If Jesus has already returned, why is there still death all around us? Preterists state that Christians who die “appear to die”, but are in fact “moved into a heavenly realm when they expire” – they join Jesus when they die their earthly death (168).
Meek addresses challenges to the preterist view. These challenges include the resurrection and the rapture (187), the ascension of Jesus and the “last days” (233), as well as restoration theology and other objections (247). Meek considers the concept of the Millennialism and gives a strong critique (275).
Meek concludes with a call for our hope and for Christian renewal, especially in matters of eschatology (295). The book has a handy set of appendices which promote the view of Preterism, often with compelling charts.
I found this book to be challenging and at the same time helpful. One of the reasons I have preached the Historical pre-millennialism view is because it is the simplest to explain. However, I have often had questions about the “holes” in its view. The preterist view also has “holes.” but the view seems to be internally consistent. The preterist view is also historically consistent. Does it actually give Christians hope by relying on the fact that prophecy has been fulfilled. What is the “blessed hope” in Titus 2:13 if Jesus has already returned? This is the question I leave with Meek, and I challenge other readers of this book as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.