According to Chuck Missler, the Olivet Discourse in the Gospels is a problem. It’s not that he rejects it altogether, but it’s still a problem that he thinks needs to be resolved.
A major part of the reason that he thinks it’s a problem is here:
1) Jesus said in the Olivet discourse that the events he was describing would take place within “this generation.” No problem so far.
2) Chuck Missler doesn’t believe that the events that Jesus was speaking about did take place within that generation. There’s the problem.
If Chuck simply took 1) seriously, there would be no problem. He only thinks there’s a problem to resolve because of 2). Missler is a futurist, that is, he thinks that the events described in Matthew 24 are all in the future. Preterism is the view that the events that Jesus spoke about took place within that generation, that is, within the first century. They were in the future when Jesus predicted them, but then they happened, and they are now in the past. Preterists take the biblical references to timing quite literally. But look how Missler characterises the difference between futurists and preterists (“dispensationalism” is a type of futurism):
For many students of eschatology – the study of last things – the so-called Olivet Discourse has proven to be a troublesome passage; a hermeneutical battleground between the dispensationalists and the preterists, etc. The preterists insist that this passage – and the Book of Revelation – has been already fulfilled, and much of it is dismissed by them as simply allegorical. Yet even those who embrace a dispensational view have difficulty reconciling many of the Olivet Discourse passages.
Dismissed? What? The tactic is pretty weak: If someone takes a passage very seriously, but does not reach the same conclusion that you reach, simply allege that they dismiss the passage altogether.
The claim is pretty ironic, given that it is the preterists who are merely asking that we take Jesus’ claim about “this generation” seriously, while it is the futurists (like Missler) who are – for want a gentler term – dismissing such texts and labeling them as “problems” that we need to resolve so they will go away.
Dr Missler, here’s a great way to resolve the problem: Believe what Jesus said! Don’t be scared of the p word. Come on in Chuck, the water is lovely.
- Episode 014: Preterism from the pulpit
- Upcoming speaking in July 2014
- Hasker at the Bridge of Death
- How to escape the Bible with your theology intact
- Jesus never said ANYTHING about X!