My name is Greg Simon.
I live in Brisbane, Australia, with my first and only wife.
We have four four grown children and seven grandchildren.
We both work in education, supporting homeschool families in Australia, although for many years I was a secondary maths and science teacher in the classroom.
Raised in a Roman Catholic church, married in an Anglican church, worshiping in a Baptist church for years in our early marriage, I have had plenty of opportunities and reasons to challenge many doctrines, generally favouring amillennial reformed teachings, but still bothered by apparently conflicting sections of the Bible. While teaching in school that was part of a Pentecostal post-millennial reconstructionist persuasion, I was further challenged.
I arrived independently at my preterist view just at the birth of the Internet, and was shocked and relieved when I found I was not the only preterist on the planet (and amused that my view had a name: preterism).
Since then, I have been refining my views by considering other preterist writers and, of course, delving deeper into the Scriptures.
My starting point for interpreting Scripture is that it is the Word of God, addressed to His people, and therefore intended to be intelligible to the audience to whom it was presented. I ask, “What would they have understood by this,” rather than, “How does this apply to us today?”
Nutshell Statement of Faith
I’m not a complete heretic. Well, some people think I am, but then again I think those people have issues.
As far as church or denominational affiliation is concerned, I am most comfortable in reformed churches such as Presbyterian or Anglican churches. Finer doctrinal points are easily accommodated and we can participate in Bible studies without too much discomfort, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
For simple classification or pigeon-holing, I would describe my beliefs as Reformed, cessationist, trinitarian preterists.
I believe that the Bible is the authoritative, inspired word of God and absolutely without error in its original.
I believe that prophesies in the Bible were made before their fulfilment under God’s inspiration.
I believe that Jesus is the only begotten son of God, who pre-existed Creation with God, was born of Mary while she was a virgin, died at the hand of ungodly men, and rose bodily according to prophesy.
I believe that one of the main, key promises made by Jesus was that He would come to judge the world and establish the New Heavens and Earth. I believe He achieved this with the destruction of the Old Covenant and the temple, and cleared the way for His elect to have direct access to God and to Heaven.
I believe that God’s adopted children represent the true Israel, and that they have been granted eternal life because of the work of Christ.
I believe that the fate of the world is in God’s hands. He has not disclosed how, when or if He will terminate its existence in its current form. All references to the destruction of the world and the establishing of a new world pertain to the Old and New Covenants. I look forward to my eternal future with Him, not to a judgement of the physical world. All humans will be accountable to Him in His good time.
My preterist interpretation of the Bible has led me to believe that there is no reference in Scriptures that speak of eternal conscious punishment of individuals after death. There is no need for this ‘eternal damnation’ belief, to be consistent with God’s holy character – in fact, such a belief is inconsistent with God’s character as revealed in Scripture.
References taken to apply to ‘eternal damnation’ actually refer to the fate of Jews living at God’s judgement at AD70, or else to Israel as a nation in the years since.
My preterist interpretation of the Bible has led me to question the validity of so-called ‘Spiritual Gifts’ as practised by many Christians.
My interpretation has also led me to question the role of the church in today’s society, and in particular the ‘pastor’. We have one “Pastor”: Jesus Christ. The Lord is my Shepherd. Pastors of the New Testament (inter-covenental transition phase) were temporary appointments until the “perfect” should come. Then, Jeremiah 31:31-34 would come into play.
Okay, maybe I am a complete heretic.
All this notwithstanding, I am not against the idea of organized church, nor am I critical of individuals who are called ‘pastors’. I respect these individuals highly as servants of God, albeit with a misleading title. I respect all Christians who are sincere in honouring the Lord and who have a zeal for serving Him.