Since my recent comment on preterism occasioned some confusion, I’ll say a bit more.
i) Traditionally, preterism is the view that NT writers thought the end of the world would come in their lifetime. Since it didn’t, they were wrong.
Obviously that entails a liberal view of Scripture. The proverbial prophet who failed.
ii) More recently, N.T. Wright’s mentor, G. B. Caird, construed certain prophecies preterisiticly on the grounds that Scripture sometimes depicts the present in terms of the future. It uses stock, eschatological language to portray historical judgments.
And there’s some truth to this, although the reverse is also true: Scripture sometimes depicts the future in terms of the present.
I’m not entirely clear on what Caird’s own eschatological position amounted to. His commentary on Revelation seems to oscillate between preterism and idealism, universalism and annihilationism.
iii) In any event, his protégé, N. T. Wright, has done much to popularize this type of preteristic hermeneutics.
I’m also not clear on Wright’s eschatology. From what I’ve read, he seems to be rather coy about spelling out his overall position.
iii) The late R. T. France’s interpretation of the Olivet Discourse (and related passages) is also preteristic, based on how he relates the Olivet Discourse to the Ascension of Christ, vis-à-vis Dan 7.
iv) In a different connection, R. C. Sproul has helped to popularized partial preterism.
v) Using the hermeneutical strategies of France, Wright, and Caird, it’s possible to present a more conservative version of preterism. NT writers thought the end of the world would come in their lifetime–and they were right! It’s just that, on this view, the endtime imagery is purely symbolic. It stands for the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
vi) Of course, if you’re a “full” or “consistent” preterist, then you believe that this is as good as it gets. Christ returned, but we still have sin, disease, and death. His return makes no discernible difference. Before and after are indistinguishable. The world is just as evil as it ever was, and ever will be.
vii) Within one strand of theonomy you also have postmillennial preterism. Seems to me that preterism and postmillennialism are diametrically opposed.
Exponents of this view include Greg Bahnsen, as well as popularizers like Gary DeMar and David Chilton. Ken Gentry is their best scholar–although that’s damning by faint praise.
If push came to shove, I prefer historical premillennialism or progressive dispensationalism to the permutations of preterism.