Atavists Confronting Patristic Tradition in Constructive Talks
by Mark Mountjoy
After fifteen centuries of supremacy Amillennialism is finally being challenged by serious contenders for the epithet "orthodox Biblical eschatology." First conceptualized by St. Augustine, it remained unchallenged until a little longer than a generation ago when Dispensational Premillennialism stole the scene with its sensational current events claims—claims about the birth of the modern State of Israel; claims about the supposed rebuilding of a third Jewish Temple; claims about the coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds within forty years of the establishment of the Jewish State and claims about a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics "Gog and Magog" invasion of the Land of Israel—these claims (and more) collapsed under the weight of reality in the last seventy years.
When it remained to be seen what would become of such hopes, Amillennialists were quite unable to best Premillennialism's charms, but Amillennial officials simply waited; time was on their side and (as expected) Premillennial apocalyptic claims went unanswered and, disillusioned masses began to question their assumptions and to look around and grope for the older narrative that is Amillennialism.
Not completely satisfied, but considering Amillennialism as the more reliable option, Amillennialism is enjoying a slight resurgence in popularity; however, a new contender has entered the race: Preterism.
Strongly resembling Amillennialism (in many ways) the 'mother' and the 'daughter' view each other with wary suspicion.
Amillennial officials, in fact, are notorious for their ambivalence or hostility to all things Preterist and we want in this essay to invite them to entertain (for the sake of dialogue) that apprehensions may stem more from Amillennialism's own inherent unfamiliarity with some basic and fundamental realities of the New Testament and Second Temple history than anything truly sinister, ill-willed or misconstrued in Atavist claims.