I have just got through reading Andrew Perriman's book The Coming of the Son of Man and the volume is best described as the indigenization of the Dodd-Caird-Wright eschatological scheme for the emerging church. At the core, Perriman is advocating a robust preterist approach to NT eschatology. Perriman proposes that in many ways we have already moved beyond the eschatological purview of the biblical authors and entered into 'the age to come'; and this is not just in Mark 13, but even many of Paul's letters and the book of Revelation lend themselves to this perspective.
Perriman runs the site Open Source Theology and this includes a page dedicated to discussion of his volume. Other reviews include: James Mercer and Chris Tilling offers some brief comments.
Perriman's book has some good things going for it. For instance, he argues that the direction of travel for the Son of Man in Dan 7.13/Mark 13:26 is insignificant (whether he descends from heaven to earth or ascends from earth to heaven) since the primary point is a transfer of authority (pp. 55, 61). I could go along with that after some more thought!
Second, there is a provcative parable at the end of the book which sums up Perriman's approach:
Let us imagine first-century Judaism as a ship - a splendid but badly run ship in which the officers and crew mistreat the passengers and squabble and fight over who should have control of the vessel. Blinded by their obsessions and jealousies, no one on the bridge notices that the ship is drifting towards a ferocious eschatological storm. When one or two men raise the alarm, they are seized as trouble-markers, brutally beaten, and thrown overboard. As the winds tear at the rigging and waves wash across the deck, a few brave souls decide to heed the warnings; they lower a lifeboat and take their chances on the rough seas. To the passengers and crew who stay on board this seems a reckless and disloyal move - and at times those clinging desperately to each other in the belly of the small boat, as it pitches and rolls, wonder if they have made the right choice. Some are swept overboard, some die from exposure and hunger. They cry out to the dark heavens, praying that the storm would cease. But they do not give up home; they believe that they have done the right thing. Then from a distance they watch in horror as the ship strikes rocks and sinks with massive loss of life - they are appalled, but they also feel vindicated. Eventually the wind drops, the waves subside. The lifeboat runs ashore on a sandy each. They have come to the end of the end; they have survived. This is the beginning of a new age.This is certainly an interesting volume and it is a radical alternative to many traditional Christian beliefs about the end times (not least including dispensational ones). I can go along with a preterist view esp. in Mark 13 and to some degree in Revelation, but I get the feeling that Perriman has pretty much collapsed the entire eschatological scenario into pre-70 CE events. That part, I cannot go with.
Perriman is worth checking out, but for a stark alternative to read beside him I recommend Dale C. Allison's, Jesus of Nazareth: Millenarian Prophet, pp. 147-71 and also suggest the last chapters of Ben Witherington's, Jesus the Seer.