Recently, I have been on this site: http://truthsaves.org/doctrine/preterist.shtml
I am not sure if it is a accurate summary of partial preterist doctrine but I would like to get your response to the 5 points the website author poses against partial preterism in which he cites dating of Revelations, quotes of followers close to apostle John like Polycarp, ireneaus -relative ” new ” thought of preterism compared with the early church founders, wailing wall etc.
First of all, it is worth noting that one cannot be a “heretic” for one’s belief on when Jesus will come back. To me a heretic is a person who holds to a view of God or of Jesus or some sort of theological belief which would prevent one being saved and going to heaven. Such false theologies as the Jehovah Witness or Mormon teaching are heretical, but neither preterism nor partial preterism rise to the level of a salvation issue. That is my opinion.
Second, I agree with the criticism of a strong sort of partial preterism. Trying to push the book of Revelation to before AD 70 is almost certainly untenable. Putting Clement before AD 70 is also almost certainly an untenable position.
Having said this, I agree with the partial preterist position that most of the prophecy in Revelation was fulfilled in the near historical context of the persecution of Rome on the church in the early centuries. When the angel said to John that the vision concerned things which would soon take place, I believe that this statement was literally true. Revelation is a vision of the heavenly view of the persecution of the saints under Rome and the ultimate victory of Jesus–the lamb of God. People who try to push Revelation’s visions into present-day history are making an error. I believe that the partial preterist view is an overreaction against the false interpretation which is so popular in evangelical Christianity today. I agree with the writer at this blog/web site that Polycarp is probably right–that the vision was given during the reign of Domitian. Revelation 17, which refers to Nero and Domitian (the eighth horn) points toward this, although one can debate whether the one that was, now is not and will be again is a reference to the persecution of Nero and the later persecution of Domitian. Again, this is not a salvation issue.
About Jesus coming back, from the Old Testament perspective, God has “come” many times. This is the doctrine of “The Day of the Lord” which is found in many of the prophets. In the New Testament it is sometimes described as the coming of the Kingdom. The Day of the Lord is any day when God comes in judgment against the pride and sin of mankind. When God judged Assyria or Egypt or Edom of Judah or Samaria, it is often called a “Day of the Lord.” These events are a prefigure of the final coming of God at the end of time. 2 Peter 2 and 3 tell us that the events of Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood are prefigures of the final coming of Jesus. I beleive that the events of AD 70, with the destruction of Jerusalem, is one of these “Days of the Lord.” There is a sense in which God came (or one could say that Jesus came) in AD 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed. This Day of the Lord motif is in view in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. In these passages, Jesus prophesies both the destruction of Jerusalem AND his coming again at the end of the age in the same discourse. This can be confusing. However, it is a very common thing, both in the Old and the New Testament, for God to superimpose more than one “coming” in judgment into the same prophecy. The inability to see this is part of what causes some people to lean toward the preterist or partial preterist view. It is principally a misunderstanding of Matthew 24 and Luke 21. It is only secondarily a misunderstanding about Revelation.
I probably raise more questions than I answered in this short discussion. Feel free to send another question about the coming of the Kingdom of God.