In a recent episode of Theology Unplugged (solo version), I made a comment that I was challenged to reconsider through an email correspondence. My statement had to do with my position concerning the viability of full or hyper-Preterism as a Christian option. Hyper-Preterism is the belief held by some (a growing number) in the Church concerning the the end times. In essence, it is the belief of hyper-Preterists that all the prophetic events of Scripture have already been fulfilled. Christians are not waiting for the coming of Christ in any sense or the judgment. As well, the resurrection has already happened (in a spiritual sense) and we are living in the new heavens and the new earth. Once we die, our body simply goes to the grave. . . . Bummer, huh?

During this program I said that hyper-preterism is definitely unorthodox, finding its antithetical opposite affirmed from the earliest Christianity until now by all traditions of Christianity (Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant). All Christians have always affirmed that Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, judgment, and the new heavens and earth are yet future, even if we disagree about the details.

However, I also said on the program that while this doctrine is an unorthodox or heretical view of eschatology, it is not a doctrine that is damnable in the sense that if one believes it, they are, by definition, not Christian. The reason why I said this is because most hyper-Preterists would not deny the sinfulness of man, Christ’s death, burial, and physical resurrection, and our need for salvation by faith. Heck, most are even Calvinists! Therefore, in my mind, the essence of the Gospel was not at stake.

Dee Dee Warren, who often deals with these issues, wrote to me a very gracious email asking me to reconsider my position. In the email she took the time to give me a concise argument as to why she believes that hyper-Preterism is aberrant to such a degree that it destroys the very essence of the Gospel. Therefore, her position is that if one believes in hyper-Preterism—really believes in hyper-Preterism—then they don’t believe the true Gospel and, therefore, are not saved.

Having corresponded with her, I am beginning to seriously reconsider. I think she may be right and my previous postition wrong.

Dee Dee was kind enough to allow me to post her response here on the blog below. Read it. I would like your thoughts. Is the Gospel of hyper-Preterism a different Gospel to the degree that it destroys the essence of the true Gospel? That is my question for you.

(Please note: this is not simply about defining who is in and who is out, but about the content of the Gospel. It needs to be thought through.)



I had listened to your audio program on orthodoxy episode 2, and though I agreed with 99% of what you said, I heard one thing that caused me enough alarm to write. In that program, you said that while hyperpreterism is heretical, it does not deny any foundational Christian beliefs; thus, its adherents are still Christians. Because this is my particular area of specialty, I couldn’t disagree more. I, like you, am very cautious in labeling some beliefs as placing one outside the faith. I, like you, hold to a progressive orthodoxy as you explained in episode 3. Therefore, I am appealing to you on the basis of our shared understanding.

Thus, the question then becomes, what are foundational Christian beliefs? I think we can all agree that the Trinity, bodily resurrection of Jesus, and Jesus’ atoning death on the cross all belong in that category. However, all of the earliest confessions of the historic church, be they in teachings or in formalized statements such as in the Apostles’ Creed, affirm the future bodily resurrection of the dead, the future bodily return of Christ, and the future final judgment. One cannot deny those things and be said to have a Christian belief system. This isn’t simply a matter of arguing about the timing of "the rapture." I would argue, that even without formally recognizing those other categories, hyperpreterism denies the Gospel itself.

I have laid out the case for this position here:

Hyperpreterist David Green is one of the few hyperpreterists with the backbone to admit this fact. Here is what he said in a response to Keith Mathison:

“Keith Mathison was correct on this point: If futurism is true, then [full] preterism is definitely (not “possibly,” as I said) a damnable doctrine.”

The only addition I made to that quote is the word "full." It is David himself who retracted his earlier position of "possibly damnable doctrine" to "definitely damnable doctrine." Ever since I pointed that out in 2005, David came under fire from fellow hyperpreterists for his admission. Is it a coincidence that the article in which that appeared can no longer be found? Well, thank God for the Internet Archive from 3/18/05:

see here

Read it, it is enlightening. And David is right. If he is wrong, he is teaching and believing damnable heresy. David had to do some damage control after I pointed this out, and I interacted with his further points here:

As we discussed in our emails, Paul specifically condemned a denial of the future bodily resurrection in the strongest possible terms. In 1 Cor 15, denying the bodily resurrection of believers is tantamount to denying the resurrection of Christ. Why? Because He is the prototype, the firstfruits. If the dead are not raised, then Christ is not raised, for He was one of the dead, and we are still in our sins. How is that? Because Christ is the second Adam, and in hyperpreterism, the second Adam fails at redeeming all that the first Adam lost. The world stays forever in the grip of sin – there is never a consummation. Paul further instructed Timothy that Hymenaeus and Philetus, who said that the resurrection was past, were a gangrenous cancer in the body and causing the shipwreck of the faith of some. This Scripture holds true today – hyperpreterism has caused the shipwreck of faith and churches as its adherents doggedly smuggle it in. I can bring forth the testimony of elders and pastors to substantiate this (it is documented on my site).

Further a logical conclusion of hyperpreterism is that Christ is no longer our mediator. Why? Because His special messianic reign is co-extant with his mediatorial role. Once the resurrection event of 1 Cor 15 happens, Christ gives up that role and all power, authority, and dominion have been placed under His feet – conquered once and for all. Yet in hyperpreterism evil really is never conquered fully once for all – they claim it has, and thus must deny its present reality. This is worthy of Christian Science.

Please I implore you, do not give those holding this cultic teaching the false security of merely being grossly mistaken brethren, and more importantly, don’t expose the brethren to this kind of teaching under the banner of Christian fellowship. This is not Christianity.

On a side note, I had also encouraged you to adopt the terms preterism (or orthodox preterism) and hyperpreterism, for clarity and reality. I have written a piece on this as well at At that link is also a podcast that I recorded a few weeks ago on this issue of terminology. It is long but very precise and detailed.

I thank you so very much for your time and consideration.

Dee Dee Warren

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    9 replies to "Is the Hyper-Preterist Gospel a Different Gospel?"

    • Brian Simmons

      No, ALL Preterism is heretical, because it changes the original Gospel preached by Christ.
      Whenever you say that the ‘parousia’ of Matt. 24: 3 happened in A.D. 70, you become a potential heretic.

      Preterism is an emergent movement, and an apostasy from the “first love” of the saints. Nobody ever got saved listening to a Preterist gospel. They embraced Preterism after they departed from the faith they first received.

      See for yourself:


    • Roderick

      Hello Mr. Patton,
      As as former hyperpreterist for 15 years, let me explain why hyperpreterism is one of the worst heresies ever.

      First, let me say that I do not lightly use the word heresy — a heresy isn’t merely something we don’t understand or like, but as Romans 16:17-18 says, heresy is a teaching that divides Christians from the doctrines which were taught by Jesus & the apostles. I submit that the Sovereign God of the universe has guided His Church in at least the most basic understanding of eschatology. Whereas the first premise of hyperpreterism is the God, for whatever reason was unable or unwilling to sustain among His Church such a basic understanding.

      Once a person acquiesces to the hyperpreterist premise that the Church has been duped for nearly 2000 years, then not only are they ready to accept such an error as hyperpreterism, but any & all errors. Christianity becomes a free-for-all revision where anyone can claim all of Christianity missed their novel teaching.

      Heresy, also comes in phases. For example, I would think that most of your readers would believe that the Judaizers were heretics yet in Acts 15:5 we see they are mentioned as “believing” AND they were actually conferring with the rest of the Christians — however, by the time you get to Gal 5:12, we have Paul wishing these same people be completely cut off…because they are agitating the Church.

      Hyperpreterism is just getting to the point of agitating the Church.

      Lastly, let me just correct one little thing in your article. Most hyperpreterists are NOT Calvinists. For example, the guy often considered the founder of hyperpreterism is Max King — a “church of Christ” (coc) minister. His son Tim King, also coc. Almost all the leaders of hyperpreterism are from the coc — Don Preston, Terry Hall, Jack Scott, William Bell, Virgil Vaduva, Larry Siegle, Kurt Simmons, even Ed Stevens was originally from coc. This is no coincidence. As you might know, coc originates in a movement in the 1800s called the “Restoration Movement” (source) — this movement advocated something akin to what hyperpreterists advocate — that the true Church & true Gospel ceased to existed & had to be completely “restored”. From this movement also comes JWs, Mormons, & other such anti-historical Church groups.

      Lastly, we have an example of hyperpreterism in practice — a group called “The Oneida Community” existed in New York in the mid 1800s (source). This group also believed Jesus had returned in AD70 & such & one example of how they put their “preterism in to practice” was to “not be given in marriage” since if the resurrection is past, then this group was trying to apply Mt 22:30. Instead they practiced open-marriage where all the members had sexual relations with all the other members.

      Anyhow, this heresy is nothing to toy around with, no matter how much the con-men who advocate it make it sound “logical”.

    • JP

      What sorry mud slinging from Christians to brothers in Christ.

      If one was a (saved) futurist for 20 years and became a preterist, he would not be a Christian anymore.

      Are you mad?

    • Bill

      You are very sure of yourself to say that preterists are not christian. Instead of dividing the camp ( because you could be wrong) try understanding why prets. believe thier view is right. Is it not odd to you that Jesus said that the generation present would see all things fulfilled. I personaly believe Jesus the son of God Knew what he was talking about. Be careful what you say about these brothers in Christ because if they are right you might have just condemned the very teaching of Jesus. Remember the axe was at the root of the tree in the first century. If it is still there, that must be one big root. The truth is not always what you expect and in most cases its not. John says in revelation that he is in the tribulation. The tribulation he was in was the one jesus spoke of in Matthew that would SHORTLY follow the end. Full Prets. Believe that when you die in christ you soul goes to heaven. Jesus does say that flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom. His kingdom is also not of this world which would rule out a physical earthly kingdom. How could Hymenaeus and Philetus even get away with teaching such a scandal if the resurection was not spiritual. Jesus says that his bodily resurection will be a sign. It represented the spiritual one. How could they have convinced anyone it had already happened? It would be easy to debunk when nobody was missing and no one saw people bust out of the grave or fly to heaven. This Writing of paul was written before destuction of the temple. If Jesus gave the apostles such authority why would he leave them in the dark to think his retun was near if indeed it was not. You cant tell me that they did not believe the end was “At Hand”. These are the type of things that a full preterist has a hard time sweeping under the rug. God Bless

    • John

      Don’t let the ranting of “Dee Dee Warren” convince you. Talk and interact with those you are considering to damn as heretics and non-Christian. As a life long Southern Baptist who grew up in the dispie world, it was through the partial-preterist position that I embraced that led me to at least the doorstep of Full Preterism. Did I suddenly lose my salvation when I found the inconsistencies of partial preterism and embraced the possibility of full preterism?

      Don Preston would be more than happy to discuss or openly debate you: or from the Reformed camp Sam Frost would be someone you might want to talk to:

      What “Dee Dee” won’t tell you is that she refuses to debate these men. You see it’s much easier to throw stones than do actually interact and defend your view. Check out this book: before condemning us all to Hell.

    • todd

      i would like to add that if hyperpreterism denies any sort of hope for the believer in this generation, then it is a damnable heresy. However, if full preterism is different than hyperpreterism, in that it sees this age as a resurrection age for all believers in all generations, then it is not a damnable heresy. i for one, suscribe to the later. Realized eschatology sees to highlight Grace by postulating that Christians needs no longer to live in fear of Satan-they can extol the majesty of God. it also sees to highlight Grace by freeing the Christian Church to concentrate on redeeming a fallen world without fear of an immediate Second Coming. afer all, why polish the brass on a sinking ship?

    • Sophia

      Hyper-preterism is a cult. There is no question. My in-laws have been deceived into believing this heresy. They cannot be saved because they have not only embraced the preterist belief system, but now they believe they will become gods one day (according to their leader, Tim King of Presence ministries). This is the great deception, the great falling away that was prophesied in the new testament. If you don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus, sin, hell, the flood, judgement, and basically the Creed, you are NOT saved. If you were saved and you now embrace this doctrine of demons, you are no longer saved and your name has been blotted out of the book of life. Rev. 22:18-19- For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book :” If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book ; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life….

    • John

      Sophia, you might want to actually find out what Full Preterists believe before commenting.

    • sam

      For those who think Jesus will return phycicially in the future have to bring scriptue to this forum!! There is none! And every single person I talk to can’t find one. Matt 16, the last couple verses!! Jesus will come in the glory of His Father, with His angles, and His reward will be with Me. There are some of you standing here who will not tast death until you (them in first century) see the Son of Man coming into His kingdom! John 22 last couple of verses. Then the sayin went out, not that John would’nt die, but if he remain alive til I come whats it to you. That puts John and some others alive to see His return!! Not to mention all the other time frame statements!! The day of the lord is at hand!! The judge is standing at the door! There is about to be a resurrection of the dead!! Paul talking to felix. The judgment to come!! The future camp has no scripture to support there stance!!

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