Friday, January 1, 2010

More Junk Theology From Hyperpreterists

One reason I have rejected hyperpreterism is that not only is it built on the false overarching premise that for whatever reason God was unable or unwilling for 2000 years to sustain within His Church a basic & correct understanding of eschatology — but I also rejected hyperpreterism because of after 15 years of interacting with flawed premises of most hyperpreterists, it became obvious that these guys are operating from a Proverbs 26:12 mindset.
An example of this came from a recent posting over on the former hot-spot website of hyperpreterism, Planet Preterist. A first time poster posted:

“I was recently puzzled by what on the surface seems to be a contradiction regarding the account of John the Baptist sending disciples to question Jesus about his role as Messiah.
“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
I really like the dialog that follows because Jesus responds by pseudo-quoting the Prophets and claiming that he was doing those very things the Prophets said would be done.
Yet still I had to ponder on a point: why did John the Baptist “need” more confirmation??? I thought he saw the spirit like a dove “land” on Jesus at the site of his Baptism thus revealing to John that he was indeed the Son.
The only thing I can think of is that John the Baptist was just taking up another opportunity to teach his disciples about Jesus knowing that Jesus would turn around and use the opportunity to claim the witness of his works and thus fulfill even more pieces of the prophecy puzzle.” — (source: — you may not be able to access this link by clicking it since the admins over there often play games & redirect links from sites unfriendly to hyperpreterist — if so, just copy & paste link into your browser)
As flawed as this posting is, I don’t mind that we ask possibly flawed questions, A question, unless rhetorical assumes we don’t know the answer due to many factors including that our question is possibly based on a flawed premise.  The flawed premise in this question is difficult to spot but it is in the notion that John realized his own role in the events.
But what is more disturbing than the question is an answer given by a hyperpreterist.
What John is really saying in “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” is a type of code for lack of a better term.
It means “I know that I have come in the spirit and power of Elijah so why have you not gotten me out of prison? Why am I in danger of being beheaded, and where is my “chariot” :)? If you are the Christ, and I know that you are, why are you not taking care of me?”
John is simply trying to get Jesus’ attention. It is more a matter of his stating his own confusion in regards to his own predicament. (hyperpreterist answer to why John asked Jesus if He was the Messiah or should they look for another)
Let’s take a closer look at what REALLY was going on instead of the typical hyperpreterist armchair theorizing.
The text is Luke 7:18-20 — Now, let’s look at the premise contained in the above answer by the hyperpreterist.
The premise is that John KNEW he himself came in the power of Elijah. Yet the BIBLE says otherwise about that premise.
Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am ‘ The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “ Make straight the way of the LORD,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” — John 1:19-23
See, a direct opposite of this hyperpreterist’s contention.  This is why I keep saying it is more important to deal with the overarching premises of hyperpreterism before we even get to the prooftexts. If a premise is faulty, the conclusions will be faulty.
Notice, that in Matthew 11:14 Jesus explicitly says John is the Elijah that was to come.  If that new poster on that heretical website would have factored in Matthew 11:14 he would have been even more confused…especially if he received an answer like the one above.
The ACTUAL answer is (& not because I’m a know-it-all), that John the Baptist didn’t even understand his own role in the events.  He knew Jesus was something special but he wasn’t sure if He was actually the Messiah.  This comports with Jesus’ question to the disciples about “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15, Mk 8:29, Lk 9:20).  Even His own disciples were not definitely certain…at least not at first.  So, had John the Baptist understood his own role in relation to the events, perhaps he would not have needed any confirmation. John wasn’t worrying about his own neck as Elijah, because he didn’t know he was Elijah. That is how God often works — the tools don’t even realize how they are being used. Just like the hyperpreterists don’t realize they are being used to show just how flawed a conclusion can be if a supposed Christian disconnects himself from the historicity of Christianity & instead starts interpreting the Bible in a vacuum.
Anyhow, this just goes to show you that the premises before prooftexts is the correct approach.

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