Dr. Dilday looks at the four major interpretive methods of Revelation (Historicism, Preterism, Futurism and Idealism) in light of Revelation 1:1. He skillfully and linguistically eliminates Futurism (the system behind the "Left Behind" franchise) and Idealism as tenable systems. He also notes that Preterism will be dealt with in future sermons in the same way.
Pastor Dilday also touches on the histories of the four systems of prophetic interpretation, noting that many Protestants recognize the Jesuit origins of both the Futurist and Preterist systems. Futurism in Francisco Ribera (1537-1591), a Spanish Jesuit doctor of theology who placed much of the fulfillment of Revelation into a future period of 3.5 years just prior to the coming of Christ, and Preterism in the Spanish Jesuit, Luis De Alcazar (1554-1613). Interestingly, the Jesuit Alcazar also taught the Antichrist was Nero, as do most Protestant, even "Reformed," Preterists today. These Jesuit works and others that followed were all introduced to provide alternatives to the interpretation of the Protestant Reformation that taught that the Papacy is the Antichrist (cf. see all the original classic Reformation confessions and covenants for confirmation).
How well the Jesuits have succeed with both Futurism and Preterism is undeniable, as much of Protestantism now wonders after the beast in so far as it adopts these anti-biblical, anti-Reformation and anti-Reformed-Confession views of prophetic interpretation.
Dr. Dilday is a major Protestant scholar in our day and we look forward to his future sermons on Revelation with great anticipation -- as he exegetes the complete book of Revelation verse by verse.
Pastor Steven Dilday holds a Ph.D. from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Puritan History and Literature. He is currently translating Matthew Poole's Synopsis Criticorum, making it available in English for the first time (www.matthewpoole.net).