Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Faulty Foundation of Full Preterism: An Exegetical Refutation


Certain types of chemicals by themselves may be harmless but when mixed with other chemicals can set off poisonous fumes that can kill. The fumes can even be odorless thus killing the unsuspecting person before they realize. In this same way, the mixture of certain erroneous doctrines may be more or less harmless but when mixed together the effect is deadly. Fortunately, with most doctrinal errors there are very apparent negative side-effects that act as the “odor” that should alert a person that something isn't right.





This is the case with a view called Full Preterism (FP), or sometimes known as “hyper-preterism”.





Full Preterist adherents have been bombarding me with accusations of having no “exegetical” dispute with FP & only having issues with a “splinter-group” of Full Preterists. They err in this accusation on three fronts. One, I have some very specific exegetical disputes with FP of which I will detail in this article. Two, the reason I have focused on the flawed-character issues rampant in FP is because just like the noxious fumes, the flawed-character issues of FP acts as the “odor” that should warn us there is something wrong. Third, the problem ISN'T with mere “splinter-groups” within FP but with the main & most vocal advocates. No matter how much some people within the FP camp would like to practice their form of FP in difference from the main group, they will always be defined by the main & most vocal advocates. Indeed, recently a few of them made these comments:




In my estimation, Virgil [Vaduva] is not only the man of the year [in FP] but of the decade (http://planetpreterist.com/modules.php?name=News&file=comments&op=showreply&tid=37470&sid=5420&pid=37469)


I think you [Virgil Vaduva] have been the default face of preterism for the past year. (http://planetpreterist.com/modules.php?name=News&file=comments&op=showreply&tid=37473&sid=5420&pid=37472)


(Again, if you want to read these quotes directly you will need to paste the url into your browser as that same Virgil Vaduva has made sure you can't link directly from this site to his words)



It is important to keep pointing this out since I keep getting responses from some Full Preterists who want to claim they aren't defined by this vocal group. They delude themselves if they think they can operate outside the realm of this influence. But I actually agree that presently, Virgil Vaduva is the de facto face of FP – not Don Preston, not Sam Frost, not any other name you can think of within FP, thus the reason it is important to look at the views of Vaduva more than others.



Now, as for the specific exegetical disputes I have with FP we shall focus on 3 points advocated by prominent Full Preterists:


  1. The Law has been destroyed
  2. Misdirected & Misunderstood “Covenantalism”
  3. Anticreedalism/Anticonfessionalism




It is these 3 ingredients that when mixed with the other other 2 perspectives of FP (that Jesus has come in AD70 & the Resurrection of the believers is past) cause the poisonous fumes that kill Christians.



These 3 points are BOTH not germane to FP and yet ARE foundational to FP – That is, FP makes these points their hallmark. Some people think it is the “time-texts” that must be accepted to become a Full Preterist – yet many a “partial-preterist” has accepted most if not all of the time-texts yet have not suffered from the poisoning of FP.



NO MORE LAW



As I have already shown elsewhere, the reason FP adopts a “law is destroyed” view is primary because the main advocates initially originated with the Churches of Christ (CoC) denomination such as Max King, Tim King, Don Preston & their protege, Virgil Vaduva & already have a warped view of the purpose of the Law.



This “no more law” mentality not only leads to universalism (see these links: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/preteristuniversalism/, http://talk-grace.com/, http://pantelism.com/, http://preteristheresy.blogspot.com/2008/01/don-preston.html, http://universalistarchive.com/, http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterist/Idealism/simmons-brian_07-01.html ) so prevalent among FP, but it also is the cause of some of them advocating such outrageous concepts as there being no more need to ask God for forgiveness – because according to them to ask God for forgiveness was only a Jewish thing & that we should never ask for forgiveness from God because He has already forgiven us of everything already. (see this link: http://www.newcreationministries.tv/Questions/1john19.htm). This is where their antinomianism allows them to launch into all manner of licentiousness. For example, these same writers claims as a test of faith (the first thing he asks new Christians) as whether they drink alcohol or not – because to him if they don't drink alcohol they are usually “legalists” -- How's that for reasoning??? The little disclaimer of “usually legalists” is a thin veil to attempt to hide this writer's disdain for Christians that try to live godly lives. (see this link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/newcreationministries/message/1689 )



I am sure I could go on & on & show more evidence of the anti-Law teaching of FP but it is not my desire to exert undue amount of effort to be as much “anti-Full Preterist” as I was a Full Preterist. Let the reader do the research if they doubt what I have referenced here.



Suffice it to say, it is an easy launch for the No-Law concept to be twisted when looking at such verses as Romans 5:12-13 & especially verse 13 which reads:


For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.


From this, FP claims that without the Law sin cannot be accounted to people – yet they seem to fail at two crucial points. The first being that if they continue to read, verse 14 says:


Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.


So, we see that even WITHOUT the expressed Law, death reigned – How is this possible when the FP will claim that without the Law sin isn't counted against people??? Because the Law was given not only as a clear account but as a clarifier. Sin & Death ALREADY reigned even BEFORE the Law was given. The Law was the schoolmaster/measure of righteousness needed that revealed in the most clear way the need for salvation; and we know no one but Christ could live up to that measure.



The second point where FP No-Law teaching fails is that Jesus specifically said He came NOT TO DESTROY THE LAW...but to fulfill it. (Mt 5:17) There is a vast difference between taking away or destroying and fulfilling. Fulfilling makes sense of Jesus' repeated comments such as “You have heard it said...but I say...” He was trying to show that the Law isn't an outward list of rules that can be kept but that it must be lived by a regenerated heart from within.



Ironically enough the Full Preterists even deny this basic tenet of Christianity – that people must be “born again”. Instead, main advocates of FP claim being “born again” was merely a “first-century thing” that the Jews needed to do to be “born into the New Covenant” (see this link: http://planetpreterist.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=2568 ) We'll get into more or this when I detail dispute point #2.



CONFUSED COVENANTALISM



The next poisonous ingredient is how FP uses the concept of “covenant”. As you know, a covenant at its simplest meaning is a contract between two or more parties, yet when you see Full Preterists use the term they typically mean “spiritualization”. Indeed, early on the CoC used the term “Covenant Eschatology” instead of the term preterism – some like Don Preston still use these labels interchangeably. Before we can unpack the confused notion of covenantalism advocated by FP, it may be best to understand what the Bible means by the word “covenant” beyond the simple meaning of contract.



As systematic theology presents, the concept of covenant in the Bible is not merely “spiritualization” but it points directly to how God relates to humanity. Depending on where you begin your understanding of covenants – God either began “covenanting” with mankind during the Garden of Eden where God simply told Adam & Eve to do this & don't do that & this will happen if you obey & that will happen if you disobey – this is a very basic kind of covenant/contract. Notice though, it is different than how we think of human contracts. Typically in a human contract, all the parties to the contract have some input into the stipulations of the contract. In God's covenants/contracts, He alone decides the terms.



Probably the clearest point of God's covenanting with mankind is found in His covenant made with Abraham. This is found most clearly in Genesis 15 & specifically in verses 17-21 but I want to zero in on verse 17




And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.


At a point in biblical history, a typical method of making a covenant was for the parties of the contract to sacrifice an animal & pass together between the pieces of bloody remains to symbolize what should happen to those who break the contract. (see Jer 34:17-20) The thing to notice in this contract God made with Abraham is that once again God alone made the terms AND God alone passes through the bloody pieces. Abraham was asleep. (see also Ex 32:13) This concept is even further validated in the New Testament where we read in Heb 6:13-14:




For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”

So, it should be clear that the Bible uses the word “covenant” to mean, contract or promise & that promise is most of the time initiated & the stipulations are dictated by God alone.



It is important to understand this – it is part of the inoculation against the errors of FP. Without a proper understanding of covenant, a Christian could find themselves duped by the double-speak of Full Preterists.



Again, as I said when we see the word covenantal used in FP circles, they typically mean one of two things:


  1. Covenant = Spiritualization
  2. Covenant = Separate contracts with Israel & the Church



The first erroneous concept of covenant as merely spiritualization is perhaps most evident in the propositions often repeated by Full Preterists that “everything is covenantal” or "everything is spiritual" & then they proceed to postulate theories that the endtimes are “covenantal” (ie spiritual) & therefore to be consistent they insist that the beginning (Genesis account) must also be “covenantal” (ie spiritual). This comes out in a teaching within FP called “covenant creationism” where it is actually advocated that the Genesis account isn't really about the creation of the material universe & that Adam wasn't really the first created human but that the Genesis account is a “spiritual” representation just as most of the book of Revelation is a spiritual representation. (see these links: http://thekingdomcome.com/a_complete_review_of_timothy_martins_beyond_creation_science, http://www.truthinliving.org/index.php?pr=BCS_Preface )



The covenatal creation view denies the basic hermeneutic of the Bible: typology. The Bible often utilizes the tangible things humans can grasp, including history so as to relate the eventual more important lesson found in the fulfillment.



The error of covenantal creationism is gaining momentum & will soon dominate the most vocal proponents of FP. Another error to add to their long list.



The second way the concept of covenant is used within FP was already referenced as I pointed out how FP sees aspects such as the need to be “born again” only relating to the “Old Covenant” & the “Old Covenant” people (specifically, Israel). This is perhaps another error foisted by the CoC misunderstanding of covenant.



The Reformers advocated One Covenant but two administrations. What is meant by this is that the New Covenant didn't actually do away with the Old Covenant anymore than the Law was destroyed – that is, the NC is the FULFILLMENT of the OC. (see this link: http://soundofgrace.com/jgr/index050.htm )



We can most clearly show this by way of the New Testament accounts where Jesus, John the Baptist & the apostles spoke about how the true Jew, the true sons of Abraham were always those not by flesh & blood but by faith. Remember the original covenant God made with Abraham about his innumerable descendants? What better fulfillment than those in Christ? Indeed, Gal 3:16 even spells out that the “seeds” or descendants of of Abraham are fulfilled in the SEED which is Christ.





Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”who is Christ.


If we follow the Full Preterist reasoning which includes that the being “born again” was merely the Old Covenant people being born into the New Covenant then we should conclude that God is done. That either salvific history is over or that now everyone is automatically reconciled with God – ala universalism. This is the logical side-effect of FP view of covenant applying specifically to the ethnic Israel & consummating in AD70.



Again, I do not intend to become the poster-boy for anti-Full Preterism, I simply want to give Christians a bit of defense against the error of FP. Let the reader research more if need be.



WHO NEEDS CREEDS?



Perhaps the easiest inroad for FP into the hearts & minds of Christians is its seeming appeal to the Bible alone. Full Preterists are fond of using phrases like “Sola Scriptura” & “always reforming” -- mantras of the Reformation. Indeed, they often see themselves as continuing the sixteenth century Reformation. But what they are actually doing is trying to create something in the place of accepted historic Christianity. They will disavow that is what they are doing all the while calling FP a “paradigm change”. They will appeal to the Reformation & slyly try to claim that the Reformers also rejected “traditionalism”. What the Full Preterists either fail to realize or purposely ignore is that the Reformers DIDN'T part with creedal & confessional, historic Christianity, they disagreed with specific popes & councils. But before we get to that, let's define the words creed & confession.



Many modern Christians like to say they hold “no creed or confession but Christ & the Bible” -- that sounds stupendously pious on the surface but what does it really mean? I too was a long advocate of that phrase, even before I was a Full Preterist. But that noble sounding platitude fails. For the word “creed” simply means “belief”, so the moment a person begins to say “I believe XYZ..” they have now espoused a creed. The problem is, it is their own private/personal creed completely disconnected from the historical Christian faith. It is in essence a “private interpretation” of which the Bible specifically warns against. (2 Pet 1:19-21)



Where a creed is a general summary of belief, a confession is more detailed & specific. Oddly enough, any heresy appealling to the Reformation as their model & claiming “Scripture alone” fail to understand that the Reformers were fastidious in the formation of confessions. The Reformers wanted to be clear what they believed so that there was no doubt about their commonly held faith. The Reformer's confessions always referenced the historic creeds as support. (see this link: http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html )



The Full Preterist might appeal to people by their apparent high regard for Scripture alone, but ultimately EVERYONE has a creed – even FP but at hand is whether that creed is in line not only with the last few decades of an aberrant group or the views of one individual but if it concords with centuries & millions of Christians throughout history. This does NOT mean the creeds of the Church override Scripture but that the creeds & confessions appeal to the great cloud of witnesses in the Church.



The problem FP really has is that it undermines the sovereignty of God. God has said the gates of hades would not prevail against the Church (Mt 16:18) yet the way FP presents itself is that the Church has failed to maintain basic conformity to the plan of God. FP has a god that could not maintain the Church & that errors became so widespread that only here in the 21st century among this group of people who are completely disconnected from historic Christianity will there be a “restoration”???



Again, this is the reason it is important to highlight that FP first appeared among the CoC denomination which came out of the Restoration Movement – wherein also came Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, & Pentecostalism – all who had in common the concept that the true Church & the true Gospel was lost & they alone were being used to “restore” it. (see this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorationism )



This is exactly the agenda of FP – it sees itself as the beacon of truth & is here to set things straight – things they say have went wrong for over 2000 years.



They claim all of this & at the same time expect people to believe they have no creed or confession. FP is not only outside the pre-Reformation historic Christian faith, even the Reformation did not advocate no more creeds & no more confessions. Only the true heretics appeal to Scripture without creed or confession, in by so doing they can twist the Scriptures to their private interpretation to mean anything they desire.



CONCLUSION



In conclusion, if a Christian desires to inoculate themselves against not only the error & poison of FP, but against other errors both bygone & yet to appear, a Christian needs to hold to:


  1. The Sovereignty of God
  2. Sola Scriptura (which is NOT SOLO Scriptura) within bounds of historic Christianity
  3. The historic creeds & confessions of the Church



As the Bible exhorts in 2 Thes 2:15:




Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.


Or will the Full Preterists come along & try to tell us that is only a “first-century, Old Covenant” thing?



So as you can see, my issue with FP is NOT merely about the character-flaws of the majority of Full Preterists, but I have clear & specific exegetical issues for renouncing this cultic error. I have no desire to start a counter movement to FP or be the poster-boy for anti-Full Preterism. I simply wanted to undo a little of the damage I have done by giving my 15 year support to this cult.


This has only been an initial offering of my exegetical disputes with FP. I have purposely not gotten into the time-texts or the Parousia, Resurrection & other issues because those things are built on top of the 3 points I have presented. Without the foundation of these other three issues, FP cannot be maintained.



I grieve for the loss of relationship with some of the respectable people still among FP – though they are a minority within FP & though I know they hope to someday turn it around to be credible, they are fighting a losing battle against arrogant & corrupt people who dominate FP. Even the “partial-preterists” may one day have to stop using the label “preterism” as these vocal advocates of error continue to twist the Scriptures to their destruction. (2 Pet 3:16)



May God be true & everyman a liar in comparison,



In Christ Jesus,



Roderick

15 comments:

John Riffe said...

Roderick,
I like the emphasis upon the exegetical rather than upon personalities.

But where there is room for dealing with personalities regarding your past involvement in "Full" Preterism, I pray that you will direct your attention first towards making amends to those persons this poisonous error has prompted you to offend. Can you agree that making such amends is foremost in the process of repentance, of undoing one's involvement in error?

Here is a sample starting point: making sure to undo any offense you caused towards persons such as Keith Mathison, et al in your prior zeal for "Full" Preterism. Would it not be good to make sure to personally open back the door to fellowship with such by way of personal apology to them? And if the offense was public, should not the apology?

http://planetpreterist.com/news-1240.html

I am talking about your publically apologizing to Keith Mathison, et al for your past articles such as, "The Best Defense is a Good Offense."

Thank You,
I say this by way of speeding your recovery from the losses received via "Full" Preterism.

John Riffe
*Again, if you find discomfort in posting this comment publically, please feel free to keep it between you and me. Take care. Wishing you the best here with all prayer.*

Roderick_E said...

Such amends & appeals for forgiveness are already in the works John but thanks for the exhortation. Keith has already extended the hand of mercy even before I had the opportunity to approach him.

Thanks again

B.A.S. said...

Rod,

These are great articles! I posted a comment to John Riffe's forum earlier this morning. I also sent a lengthy comment to the editor at Preterist Heresy, albeit it hasn't been posted yet. In a nutshell, I think the F.P. error is this: that it makes history interpret the Scriptures. Thus, in order to even get at the real truths of our faith, one must first stand outside the Scriptures. But I believe that 'Scripture interprets Scripture.' If we can throw away these external filters, we'll do well. In essence, I think this is what Scott Thompson and others have been trying to tell us, though I at least have been too headstrong to see it clearly until now. I think this is the real basis behind "Idealism." It involves getting rid of the filter, and simply viewing the Word of God according to a non-external (that is, internal) interpretation. Suppose we do this, how am I to view a chapter such as Luke 21?? Well, just read it without that old 'A.D. 70' filter, and we'll probably come closest to the real truth. That is what the Idealists are really saying, I think. Of course, not all this can be expected to jive with man's reasoning. But who said that it ever would! Who knows but that God is not testing all of us right now, to see what our faith is made of? We may be assured that He is also testing our pride, seeing whether we cannot join hands now and work together to extirpate this pernicious doctrine. Perhaps if you, me, Scott, Todd, John, and others join forces and agree to work together, we could form a massive alliance which would crush Full Preterism and forever change the face of Christian theology. I'm game for a Crusade. Aren't you? The only true limitations are those which we impose on ourselves.

Peace and Health,

Brian

Roderick_E said...

I'm glad you find the articles useful Brian. I will probably only put out 1 or 2 more before I leave FP alone completely.

Although I appreciate your offer to take on FP, I no more want to be the poster-boy for "anti-FP" than I ever wanted to be the "face" of FP (that DIShonor goes to others)

Though all of the "ologies" are intertwined, FP consumes itself with eschatology. Everything is filtered through a "preterization" process. It is biblically & spiritually unheathly to the believer.

If you want to really deal a blow to FP, ask Todd to just remove all material from the PretArchive & simply have a banner there saying something to the effect, BEWARE: FULL/HYPER-PRETERISM KILLS THE MIND, BODY, & SOUL & then perhaps merely a listing of names noting these following people are main advocates of this error. THAT would go much further than anything you or I could do.

Right now, I want to take some more time to dwell upon the very thing that rescued me from this error. The knowledge of the Sovereignty of God to preserve His Word, His Church, & His plan is the inoculation against not only the error of Full/Hyper-preterism but against other past errors & errors yet to be espoused from the lips of some arrogant innovator in the future.

Thanks again Brian. God bless & keep you in Christ Jesus.

--Roderick

Josh Brisby said...

Roderick,

You are so right that FP kills the mind, body, and soul. A friend of mine and I recently saw two FP's at a recent baptism debate. We hadn't seen them for a couple of years. These two people now literally look pale and sickly and skinny. It was truly scary to look at. All I can make of that is that the soul and body are connected. FP truly drains the life out of someone. Jesus came that we would have life, and that to the fullest! But FP steals life and has death triumph.

Anonymous said...

Rod,
Just found your blog and like what I see. At least there are a few blogs around that can hit FP at various angles and in different ways. I know my blog is specifically aimed at some of the errors I see. I can't wait to see what comes out of those pistols of yours.

http://preteristheresy.blogspot.com/

Dee Dee Warren said...

I really liked this piece Roderick, and I appreciated your very kind apology for any offense you may have done me. I reciprocate in kind. I can assure you though that our differences were doctrinal and I always considered you a friend - sometimes our friendship was a bit rocky, but always a friend.

The best part of this article I think is the anti-creedalism part. I believe you know how I have focused on this part, especially with certain very candid admissions on the part of David Green (with whom I also have always been friendly) regarding how the church completely screwed up even the basic contours of eschatology.

Roderick_E said...

Josh, what I meant by FP killing the body was more how many FP become licientious & abuse their body with drunkeness, smoking, whoredom, & some even condone homosexuality as acceptable. Boy will you ever start a firestorm if you question the manliness of some FP -- them thares fightin' words & they'll be ready to wrestle you over it :-)

Dorothy said...

Roderick,

I would like to address “The Faulty Foundation of Preterism” particularly the section “Who needs creeds?” As you know, I hold the creeds in high esteem, but I hold scripture in higher esteem. You have told me that you can’t accept that the creeds could be wrong. It doesn’t take much effort to look and see that many of the creeds do disagree. You have made the point that the creeds could not be wrong for 2000 years. Bare with me while I show you something.

Here is a quote from Phillip Schaff in his book “The Creeds of Christiandom” Chapter 1, Section 3 titled the “Authority of Creeds”.

“In the Protestant system, the authority of symbols, as of all human compositions, is relative and limited. It is not coordinate with, but always subordinate to, the Bible, as the only infallible rule of the Christian Faith and practice. The value of creeds depends upon the measure of their agreement with the Scriptures. In the best case, a human creed is only an approximate and relatively correct exposition of revealed truth, and may be improved by the progressive knowledge of the Church, while the Bible remains perfect and infallible. The Bible is of God; the Confession is man’s answer to God’s Word.”

Now take a look at the time of the reformation and what came out of it. Calvin never did write a commentary on Revelation. Luther & Zwingli weren’t even sure if it should be in the canon of scripture. Then historicism, which led to all sorts of speculation, was introduced by some in the 1600s around the time the WCF was produced. Plain and simple, the reformers have never had a synod on the book of Revelation. How in the world can we have an entire book unreconciled and not consider the possibility that it might have an effect on the creeds? What if that book had been Romans?

I have heard you say over and over that Revelation completes the soteriological teachings of the early reformers. I couldn’t agree more.

The problem the partial prets have is they are trying to make Revelation fit into the creeds instead of viewing Revelation on its own merits and recognizing the creeds may need to be improved upon because of progressive knowledge within the Church.

That why preterists fight the issue of placing the creeds above scripture. We have a whole book – unaddressed by the reformers in a synod for almost 500 years. It is not that preterists want to set aside the creeds. It’s the issue that God’s Word needs to be addressed first, then the creeds.

Imho your argument here on the creeds is without merit. The issue that preterists deny the Sovereignty of God is fallacious. We appeal to the Sovereignty of God’s Word over the creeds. God’s Word first – Creeds second. You want to take the position Creeds first – God’s Word second. That’s not a sound position to take.

Not only that, but Luther removed 5-6 books from the canon of scripture. So to use your logic – was the Church wrong for 1000+ years?

Dorothy

Roderick_E said...

Actually I NEVER told you I couldn't accept that the creeds could be wrong -- I've said that it's arrogant to dismiss the bulk of the historical Christian interpretation of Scripture -- which is found in the creeds. Can the creeds be wrong? YES indeed, they are not inspired like Scripture. However, the issue is not with the fallibility of the creeds as opposed to the infallibility of Scripture -- Obviously Scripture always trumps. BUT, when it comes to interpreting Scripture I am no longer comfortable with the interpretations of a few arrogant & highly character-corrupt people.

Also, I noitce you speak as if you are speaking for the whole of FP when you say things such as "It is not that preterists want to set aside the creeds." & "We appeal to the Sovereignty of God’s Word over the creeds."

First, you DON'T speak for the bulk of FP -- Virgil Vaduva does. Not Sam Frost, Not Don Preston, Not even Todd Dennis at one time. By default, Virgil Vaduva is the face of FP whether you like it or not you & the "conservative" FP are a very, very, very small minority. Secondly, MANY FP DO INDEED want to set aside the creeds, confessions & every systematic theology -- again, study the Restoration Movement Dorothy. FP came through the CoC/Restorationists -- it is by nature opposed to the creeds. You don't get to say otherwise. Thirdly, as FP is dominated by CoC/Arminians MOST FP DO DENY God's sovereignty & tout mankind's "freewill" instead. You very well know this Dorothy. So far your comments here are not reflective of the reality of the preterist movement.

Another comment of yours (which would have been a comment I made not too long ago) is: "It’s the issue that God’s Word needs to be addressed first, then the creeds."

This sounds so noble on the surface. It has built within that those Christians that hold to the creeds do so over & above Scripture -- I used to make that accusation too. But the fact is, the creeds are merely the very thing you are asking for -- LOOK AT SCRIPTURE FIRST. Where do you think the creeds came from? The creeds are the historic Christian Church's LOOK AT SCRIPTURE -- & the creeds are the interpretation of the Church as a historic entirety. What you are asking for is to be able to ignore the creeds & come up with your own creed, your own interpretation independent of the bulk of Christians throughout history. It is THAT which I find amazingly arrogant on the behalf of anyone.

So, who's interpretation will we consider when looking at Scripture first? (which I wholeheartily agree with) -- will we consider the great cloud of Christian witnesses throughout history or will we chuck all that & fashion a whole new creed? -- for that in essence is what you are asking for & THAT undermines God's Sovereignty more than the few examples you gave of a man here or there having disputes with various texts/books. Talk about postmodernism -- postmodernisms mantra is "a new kind of Christianity" -- no wonder Virgil thinks FP fits so well with Emergentism.

Josh Brisby said...

Roderick,

Wow, I had no idea that some of the FPs were that bad. It's not surprising. Their heresy is a way they try to deceive themselves so they can practice their immorality. Our Lord said we would know bad trees by their rotten fruit.

Dorothy said...

Hi Roderick,

No, I most certainly am not a "face" in preterism. You know that the bulk of my work isn't even in preterism but promoting reformed doctrines. I don't feel compelled to promote preterism. I certainly don't go out looking for converts. I run into enough people coming to the position through their own studies.

Your logic fails you. You do know there is a very conservative group within preterism who hold strong to the reformed doctrines, yet you want to use the others to prove preterism is rotten. I certainly don't claim Virgil to be the face of Preterism.

That would equate to me saying the reformed faith is wrong because the bulk of Christianity is arminian and the face of Christianity is the 6 mega ministries under Sentate Finance Investigation. I would certainly not profess any of these so called leaders to be the face of Christianity. That would be a lie.

You claim to be rescued from the error of preterism, yet claim you still hold preterism, and you can't give a scriptural account of the error. When you can show me your scriptural refutation of preterism, then we will talk.

The book of Revelation needs to be addressed by a synod. Until that happens, I can not, in good conscience, take a historical creedal position and claim it to be correct.

Dorothy

Brian Simmons said...

Hi Roderick,

Thanks for that encouragement! Hopefully you won't mind, I recently quoted one of your articles on my website. Also, it looks like Todd has already made those changes you suggested. Now the main thing is showing the logic of F.P. is erroneous./ We must (as Larry Siegle would say) place it on the dissecting table. Well, cheers again, and God bless you!

Peace and Health,

Brian

Anonymous said...

Just listened to your interview with Gene Cook, here are my thoughts.

1.I now know why Gene Cook won’t debate Full Preterist, it really has nothing to do with his belief they are heretic but that they seem to know their positions better than he knows his. This is the problem I’m having, trying to find those who will scripturally show where FP went wrong. You brought up the “dogs outside the city gate” in Revelation. If the FPs are wrong in their interpretation why are they wrong? These are the type of questions I never get an answer to because Partial-prets won’t debate FP. I hope these are the kind of things you will address in the future. I think it would be very helpful and beneficial if FP is indeed error.

2.You mentioned John Owen’s book “The Death of Death”. Do you believe that Owen was also in error or that FP and Owen were speaking of different “deaths”?

3.I share your concern about the other “ideas” filtering into FP. Universalism is especially concerning. But it would be hard for me to throw away an eschatological view because of the garbage someone else brings in. Hugh Ross is an Old Earth advocate and a regional flood advocate yet holds to futurist eschatology. I as a Calvinist could make a logical conclusion that if Christ died for everyman as non-Calvinist suggest, then that would lead to Universalism. But I don’t charge them with that because I know they hold no such belief. Likewise I would not hold every FP guilty of Universalism because some or even many have jumped on that bandwagon. Now if you can show where a FP position demands Universalism then I think you’ve got a valid concern. The one thing that makes FP so attractive is that it seems to be the logical end to partial-preterism. The very arguments that men like Gentry and DeMar make against futurism many times are the same arguments FP make against Partial-Prets. That’s why it is so confusing and frustrating trying to study this subject. Then all you get is name-calling by all sides and heresy thrown in your face for trying to find answers.

4.I found it quite humorous and ironic that Gene Cook labels FP as “combative” and he hosts a show called “The Narrow Mind” who sole purpose is to discredit others.

5.As a Southern Baptist I must correct your blanket statements about Baptist. You mention you came from a Fundamental Baptist background. I am very familiar with the IFB types and let me assure you they hardly represent all Baptists. Go to a Baptist message board and make the claim that Baptist trace their linage all the way back to the 1st century and see what kind of responses you get.

6.It is very disappointing to hear how some “leaders” of the FP movement lead their lives. I hope you would mention names and actions of some of these people. I understand your concern of others not distancing themselves from them.

7.I really respect your concerns and hope your blog will be a help to some of us who are trying discern truth from error from a preterist perspective. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

Roderick,
I have been following your website for over a year and have been very happy with your thoughts and ideas. I have seen that you are a dedicated thinker. This sudden turn of events regarding the refutation of FP makes me wonder if you are acutally in control of your own website. Who took over!

1:Christians should never use eschatology as the "foundation" of their belief/faith. This is where polluted Christianity eminates. These would include false/self conversions, waiting for the rapture, becoming a Zionist, etc.

2:It is a ridiculous statement to say it kills the "mind, body, and soul". A false sense of peace such as a Universalist has would do quite the opposite. After this person dies he would then be awakened to his error.

3:FP has caused an awakening in me and others. We study, argue, debate and have fun discussing endless biblical angles but our faith has never waivered even when some of us were Futurists.

4:What will the limits of your refutation be? Is the reformation next? Here some examples a Catholic would ask. Why do you Protestants claim the following; Why does the soul go to heaven after death when the Kingdom and Judgement not complete (Hades still intact); what ended Apostolic Succession; why should we not pray for the dead.

I found the quote from Dr. Robert McAfee Brown, professor of religion at Stanford University "Protestantism affirms that the Church must be shaken, judged, purged and remade," says Dr. Brown. "It cannot be renewed once. Its life must be a life of constant renewal, for it is ‘a church of sinners,’ a church that is constantly failing to fulfill its high calling. The attitude that must characterize the Church is the attitude of repentance."

This blog should be renamed "The religion of eschatology, The failure of high calling".

If Christians let eschatology become their religion they will be "poisoned" resulting in death. FP as I know it "not hyper" is no threat but rather refutes Darbyism, PP, Universalism etc. FP has no motive but simply satisfies what Christ promised to do so that we can rejoice and praise him even more.

FP and any other forms of eschatology is very dangerous for the unlearned. It will give the person false peace that halts the growth in Christianity. Why did Luther, Calvin, Whitefield, Edwards not focus on eschatology? Because they realized that we must be on guard and do as Paul says.

12Not that I did already obtain, or have been already perfected; but I pursue, if also I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by the Christ Jesus;

13brethren, I do not reckon myself to have laid hold; and one thing -- the things behind indeed forgetting, and to the things before stretching forth --

14to the mark I pursue for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

My hope is that you remove this blog since it divides and removes the focus of Christianity. If you want to refute a postion, you must first declare your own position with regards to eschatology. Otherwise it is simply rhetoric. Identify the people responsible for your trauma. Enlist other people to help you refute them, not FP. I understand what has happened. I was at the Carlsbad conference when Todd unveiled his PI agenda. I knew then that FP would suffer. Todd's shift was a result of personal issues, not Biblical.

Again Roderick, I want to know what FP (not hyper) does to destroy Christianity for a believer.

By the way, will you be changing your statement of faith?

# In matters of the so-called “endtimes” (eschatology), the Church is at a threshold of understanding. That is, the Church has worked out its understanding of such things as the deity of Christ, the nature of the Trinity, & other such theological expressions but in the area of eschatology, the Church has yet to go through the arduous process of solidifying a biblical understanding of eschatology. In that regard I currently embrace what has been termed as a “full preterist” perspective but I am open for vigorous & honest Bible-based interaction on this topic.

Dan H.