Friday, January 1, 2010

Being Thrown Under the Pander-Bus

Over the last three years, the hyperpreterist movement had been struggling with an internal turmoil over whether the most consistent expression of hyperpreterism is “universalism”. (The belief that God no longer ultimately condemns anyone)


 During this struggle, lines were being drawn & today we see the outcome.  The seat of the “preterist universalists”(PU) lies with the liberal faction, headed by long time postmodernist/Emergent Church advocate Virgil Vaduva.  Whereas those opposed to the idea that “full preterism” necessarily leads to universalism have been seen in men such as Kurt Simmons, Mike Bennett & Jason Bradfield.


As a matter of fact, Bennett conducted a year long written debate with the vocal PU proponent, “davo”.  The debate was conducted on the now deleted “Preterist Archives” forum & the moderator Todd Dennis graciously allowed it to go on unhindered all that time.  Dennis concluded the debate by saying that what davo advocated was indeed a form of universalism (PU advocates rarely admit they are actually advocating universalism & like to make up all sorts of alternate names for it — Pantelism, Infinite Grace, Comprehensive Grace).


Another faction of hyperpreterism known specifically for its universalistic teachings is the so-called “Transmillennial™” faction. (yes they trademarked the word).  The TM faction is lead vicariously by Tim King, the son of oft-credited hyperpreterist founder, Max King.  At one point Vaduva, in an attempt to exonerate Tim King from the charge of universalism, conducted a written interview & asked King point blank: “I should ask you plainly, are you a universalist? Do you subscribe to “some form” of universalism and do you believe that everyone will go to heaven after his or her physical death?” (source)


Now, what did Vaduva expect King to say, “why yes, yes I am”  – as I said, almost all the PUs have a habit of doing all they can to obfuscate their latent universalistic teaching.


King answered: “ I challenge those ‘leaders’ to find where I have ever said that I am a universalist either in print form or oral lecture. Where is the proof? If they cannot find it, and they cannot, for I have never said this, then they should repent for their misrepresentation. Not only have I never said I am a universalist, I have written about why I am NOT.”


That settles it then right??  King is neither a univeralist nor is he advocating it.  I mean he was asked plainly & he answered plainly right?  No – rather, he answered like a politician.  He may have never uttered the phrase “universalism” but his teachings are FULL of the concept.  For instance, he began advocating what he calls, “Comprehensive Grace”.  How is it “comprehensive”?  He tells us: “the world has been made new, therefore man is new” (interestingly enough King has silently removed this line from his newer CG articles).  The making of a new world didn’t change the heart of man during the post-Noahic era & it doesn’t automatically change the heart of man in the New Testament era either – it requires God remaking a new heart within man.  The question then is, is this grace “comprehensive” to the extent that every heart is under grace even without regeneration???  THAT is why even against his direct denials, King is STILL seen as advocating universalism.


Fast forward to 2008 – many people have shown, even by hyperpreterists that the TM faction is advocating universalism.  Remember, Bennet’s debate?  Well, re-enter Sam Frost the supposed leader of the quasi-conservative hyperpreterists.  Frost, during the PU debates always seemed to straddle the fence & even attempt to down play the plain evidence simply to get along (pander to) with the PU faction.  Now, after claiming that his faction are “biblical preterists” – Frost as has been his course of action, is throwing his quasi-conservative fellows under the pander-bus.   Frost actually is now openly encouraging his fellow “biblical preterists” to embrace the TM faction.  Frost even tries to deny the TM’s universalism.  Speaking of an upcoming conference by the TM faction where incidentally Brian McLaren one of the major Emergent leaders will speak, Frost says:


“Looks like a good show. I am thinking about attending. As I told Tim King years ago, some of us like to remain in the trenches and get dirty. From my perspective, this ministry has “transcended” that and has moved on to other matters.” (source)


“Transcended” into what?  Into a complete rejection of everything that is Christian?  The TM faction is very closely tied to the Postmodern/Emergent Church movement – the same stance as the Vaduva faction of hyperpreterists.  This is the reason I call the Frost faction, “quasi-conservatives” – since with Frost as their mouthpiece they will never really be too conservative.  Frost is attempting to move them to the left.  Frost even employs a very postmodern mantra: “It’s human nature, sin nature, to want to get off with our own group - with those who think like us. Even the tax collectors do that. But, to accept another person who you really do not like?”


Well, that mentality contradicts the BIBLICAL concept of Christians being IN the world but not OF the world (2 Cor 6:15)


So, all the years of Bennett, Bradfield & the others contending against the PU faction is swept under the rug in one instant by Frost.  This is not the first time Frost has thrown his buddies under the bus.  He did so a while back to Bradfield during a podcast with Vaduva.  Bradfield had been in a back & forth with Vaduva & Vaduva’s faction so Frost brings Vaduva on the show & plays nicey-nice with him & makes Bradfield more or less concede to Vaduva.


Funny thing is, after Frost posted his appeal for his fellows to buddy up with the TMs, hyperpreterist Chuck Coty, responded: “Sam, I purchased and read Tim’s [book] Furious Pursuit and to be quite honest, universalism jumped right off the pages.”   Once again, as we’ve seen him do before, even a fellow hyperpreterist, Coty calls Frost on his twisting.  See, big bad Roderick isn’t the only one who sees unviersalism in what King teaches.  Will they now claim Coty is merely motivated by “bitterness”???



The reason this is important is because the hyperpreterist movement is full of factions, intrigue, in-fighting & sweeping-under-the-rug of both bad theology AND bad characters, all for the sake of the “movement”.


Again, I don’t write these things just to enrage the hyperpreterists (the “leaders” certainly become enraged but that is because their egos are so huge & they can’t stand to have their characters questioned — to the point of deleting valid comments posed on their articles) but I am writing this to the lowly hyperpreterist grunt.  Wake up folks!  You are being taken on a trip (or a “journey” is how you often hear the hyperpreterist leaders term it) & you are moving farther & farther away from anything that resembles historic Christianity. Before long you too will be part of the “transcended” ones – the one’s that have moved “beyond” everything & are creating a “new kind of religion”.  Wake up before you are like the Mormon or the JW who one day realizes he or she is in a cult but because they have  20+ year “friends” within those groups, they can’t leave so they just sweep the realization under the rug & keep on advocating, believing & following lies & liars. Wake up before you too are thrown under the pander-bus.


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