John MacArthur is preaching series on eschatology that is being broadcast on WLQV, a Detroit, Michigan, radio station this week. Some of this material was published in his 1999 book The Second Coming: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age. Using a debater’s trick, MacArthur begins his analysis of non-dispensational eschatology by attacking full-preterism. Full-preterists believe that all the New Testament prophetic passages were fulfilled in A.D. 70. Thus, there is no future bodily return of Christ.
In 1988, John MacArthur wrote The Gospel According to Jesus, a controversial book in certain circles because he relied heavily on the views of Calvinistic writers to deal with the lordship salvation controversy. My respect for MacArthur grew because he was not afraid to take on those in his own dispensational camp who were teaching "defective theology" about discipleship. The book got rave reviews in Reformed circles even though MacArthur remains "a traditional premillennial dispensationalist.
For 20 years I have been debating the topic of eschatology. It started with Dave Hunt (four debates) after the publication of my book The Reduction of Christianity (co-authored with Peter J. Leithart) and has included debates with Thomas Ice (nine debates), Paige Patterson, Robert L. Thomas, Ed Hindson, John Sweigart, Michael Wechsler, and countless radio shows where callers would rapid-fire questions at me challenging my critique of futurism in particular and dispensationalism in particular. Since 1988, there has been a fundamental shift in the study of Bible prophecy. The failure of the 1948 + 40-year generation scenario, made an article of prophetic faith by Hal Lindsey in The Late Great Planet Earth, contributed to the shift when 1988 passed without a blip or a bump.
Paul N. Benware’s revised and expanded edition of Understanding End Times Prophecy includes a chapter on Preterism.