For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Toward an Alt Right Biblical Theology
As teen-agers many secular humanists on the Alt Right probably rejected one or other of the millenarian visions of Christian theology (pre-, post- or amillennialist) available to the average suburban church-goer. For these folks, the Bible situates us within as-yet-unfinished story. We are awaiting the end times; we just cannot agree on when or how the Day of the Lord will come. But what if there is another, better way of reading the grand narrative set out in the Bible? Perhaps God knows how to tell a story. Perhaps the biblical narrative is set in historical time with a beginning, a middle, and an end that has already come and gone.
On that assumption, it seems to me that there is a good fit between the embryonic cosmology of the Alt Right and the eschatological views of a dissident school of predominantly white Anglo-Protestants known as “preterists” (from Latin, praeter or “past”). The covenantal eschatology (from the Greek eschaton, or “end times”) espoused by preterists holds that biblical prophecies promising that the Lord would come again in judgement (the Parousia) were fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. On a preterist reading of Scripture, the Day of the Lord occurred in real historical time. The forty-year interval between the Passion of Christ and the Parousia marks the Exodus of the righteous remnant from Old Covenant Israel. In that period, the apostles preached the gospel to the ends of the earth, thereby fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
In the Last Days of the Old Covenant age, the New Jerusalem came down to earth, forever supplanting the Temple made with hands. A new heaven and new earth took its place. Within a reborn cosmic temple, the saints of Old Covenant Israel as well as those who had “fallen asleep” in Christ in the first century were resurrected from the dead. No, the physical bodies of Abraham and the prophets did not rise magically from the grave. Rather, the long-promised, long-awaited spiritual communion of the Old Testament saints with the Body of Christ (now incarnate in the early Church) was consummated. The providential telos, the divine point and purpose of Old Covenant Israel had been fulfilled. What relevance, then, has preterist eschatology to the desperate need in our time for an Anglo-Protestant political theology? Read more