I once read somewhere that the road to atheism is paved with well worn Bibles. I too have one that is well worn. This one in particular I hold near and dear. When I bought this particular Bible I was a dyed in the wool premillennial futurist. Just a few months later I found myself starring at the reality of Preterism as an employee of Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Boy that was a little awkward. At the same time I was about to graduate from the Calvary Chapel School of Ministry with a degree in Pastoral Ministry with the hopes of becoming a Calvary Chapel pastor. Bought it for five dollars at a used book store in Morro Bay California back in 2005 on the 3rd anniversary of my second marriage. Fun stuff that marriage is…8)
Somewhere shortly before Y2K I started studying the Bible. The first thing I did was read through the gospels. I was shocked that it kept telling the same story over and over. So I put that down and followed the advice of a friend to get a good book on theology. So I got the biggest one I could find, because I must have been overcompensating for my lack of knowledge, right? Josh McDowell’s The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Almost three pounds and 800 pages.
I got to learn why Josh McDowell believed the things that he did. Still hadn’t read the Bible. A couple of years later I got my first audio Bible on CD. That was not cheap back in like 2001. I really started learning a lot more about the Bible simply by reading it and listening to it over and over.
In 2003 I began working for Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I worked at the radio station K-Wave 107.9. In the fall of that year I enrolled in the Calvary Chapel School of Ministry. Two years later I graduated with a degree in Pastoral Ministry. During the second year at the school my studies really began to focus on the book of Revelation and the end times. Wouldn’t you know I found myself to be a Preterist smack dab in the middle of one of the biggest Pre-Millenial promoting ministries on the planet. What a trip.
By 2008 I was a dyed in the wool Full Preterist. All things prophetic had been fulfilled in the first century as far as I was concerned. After five years working for Calvary Chapel I decided to move on. It was pretty clear that being a Calvary Chapel pastor was not in my future.
That next year circumstances would land me with a torn bicep at home on disability for a full year. After a month or so of doing a whole lot of nothing I decided to teach myself how to make websites and made a few bucks doing it too. Learned just enough to be dangerous and a pain in the rear to GoDaddy tech support.
In the summer of 2009 an idea came to mind to build a broadcast studio into my home. What followed was called Preterist Radio.
By October 15, 2009 I had a stream up and running 24/7. A month later after working out all of the details, bugs and technicalities, live interviews and teaching programs began being aired. We officially launched the station on November 30, 2009 and it was the beginning of what would be one of the most successful ventures of my life. Teachers like Al Persohn, Larry Siegle, Don Preston, William Bell, Frank Speer, Sam Frost, Mike Sullivan, David Curtis, David Green, Ed Hassertt, Alan Bondar, Jeremiah Thompson, Jeremy Defrehn, Gary Parrish, John Noe, Ed Stevens and Brian Davis began joining me every week on the air. Of course there were many others that would join us from time to time like Tim Martin, Jeff Vaughn, Joseph Vincent, Ward Fenley, Tami Jelinek, Mike Zeman and many more too numerous to list.
It was an incredibly fun project to embark upon, but was also difficult at times having to moderate so many different variations within the fulfilled teaching framework. One thing that became clear very quickly was that there really isn’t a monolithic understanding or interpretation of preterism. But that shouldn’t be surprising. We all see things through our own life experiences that ultimately color the way we interpreted the Bible specifically and life in general.
Then in late 2012 the broadcast signal began to drift and fade. One might say I lost my original motivation. Another way to say it is that I learned and taught my way out of the foundational belief that the station was founded on. No longer did I believe that AD70 and the destruction of Jerusalem were the topic or subject written about in the Book of Revelation.
I was standing at a crossroads and no matter how hard I tried I kept finding myself looking at AD30 as the crossroads; the crux of the matter. That the Book of Revelation would be better known as the Apocalyptic Gospel. Or the 5th Gospel penned by the same author at the same time that the 4th gospel of John was written with the same topic and narrative in mind. One from an earthly perspective and the other from a heavenly perspective. That heaven and earth would become one in these two wings of the same narrative vision.
The way I see it, the Gospel of John is the time statement for the Book of Revelation.