Friday, January 1, 2010

New ‘Full Preterists’ (Part 2) — The End of the Beginning

It may seem odd to claim that an eschatology, which is supposed to be about the “end times” would affect the things of the beginning; such as the Creation Account.  But the concepts of ‘full preterism’ are so pervasive that eventually everything is affected.
During the early years of the ‘full preterist’ movement there was mainly discussion about the so-called “time texts” & a redefinition of “covenant”. But eventually ‘full preterism’ will touch every “ology” beyond eschatology.
Although not all ‘full preterists’ YET consider how their belief affects all their other beliefs, over the last 10 years many within the movement have been trying to “consistently” apply their “paradigm shift” to everything else.  This has caused some to become universalistic in their conclusions, see no one condemned after AD70 or to another degree, some have embraced anihilationism, since their liberalism can’t bear to imagine a God that “eternally tortures” people.

But 2009 appears to the the year that the movement is internally battling how it understands the Creation Account & to a lesser degree the Flood Account.  At the writing of this article, if you were to compare the websites of the 2 main factions of the movement you would see discussions against the other over what they believe about the Creation Account. SGP is the pseudo-conservative faction & DID-”deathisdefeated” is the liberal faction, leaving PP-”planetpreterist” almost a non-player.
The movement calls the issue the Covenantal Creation issue, where the DID faction advocates, among other things that the Creation Account in the Bible is merely metaphorical & not cosmological (material).  They even claim that Adam was NOT the first created human but only the first human into which God entered a “covenant”, hence “Covenantal Creation”.  The DID faction is supported by the movement king-maker, Virgil Vaduva who runs the waning PP website.
Whereas the SGP faction has been trying to either hold off the liberalization of the movement or at least try to hide the liberal elements from view.  The SGP faction, led by Sam Frost likes to hold themselves out as the more “well tested theology” group whereas the DID faction often points out how inconsistent the SGP faction is.
Why is it so important for some within the movement to redefine the Creation Account?  After all, the movement existed many years without even addressing the issue & yet now it seems like there is a pitched battle for the direction of the movement.  You must understand that the intention of the movement is not merely an add-on to current Christianity, as we pointed out in part 1, it is a paradigm shift — a complete change in perspective.  But often to change a perspective you must deconstruct that which was in place.  This is the reason the ‘full preterist’ movement disdains “traditional” Christianity so much & the reason the movement likes postmodernism.  There is a battle to destroy the “traditional” beginning of the Bible so as to make it easier to redefine the ending.  If people’s minds can be shifted to think of the Creation Account as merely metaphorical, then they will be more receptive to a completely metaphorical eschatology.
“When people screw up Genesis they have great difficulty getting NT theology right when it comes to understanding the curse and what “the Death” was all about. People don’t need to wade through all that if they are taught correctly and it makes teaching Preterism much easier when the foundation is built properly. “hyperpret Norm Voss expressing why it is important for the movement to redefine the Creation Account.
There are some in the movement who think this is such a pivital issue, that it will be the defining issue that will eventually leave some ‘full preterists’ in the “dustbin of history”.
Covenant Creation is spreading through the rank and files of the Preterist community. You are not necessarily privy to other forums where this is being discussed and understood. In a few years you and your site will become embraced only by the Ed Stevens and Kurt Simmons follower types of Preterism and maybe some reformed folks. The Covenant Creation understanding will move on into the mainstream leaving you guys in the dustbin of history as just another remnant of curiosity in about 5 or 10 years. Fifty years from now the questions being asked is “what happened to that Sam Frost guy who started out so good?” Will history simply say that he got “left behind”? (message to Sam Frost from a fellow hyperpreterist)
My point in this article is not to examine every element of ever changing views of “Covenantal Creation”, since it is simple enough to just say one faction advocates metaphorical interpretation & the other does not — but my intention to inform a new ‘full preterist’ that this is a major issue within the movement & something any new convert will have to consider.  It is more than an issue over “YEC” vs “OEC” (young earth/old earth creation).  Christians have been discussing that issue for some time, but what ‘full preterism’ is attempting to do to the Creation Account goes deeper & as much as it radically alters eschatology, so does it alter cosmology, soteriology & all other “ologies”.

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