Friday, September 24, 2010

Whitefield Theological Seminary and Kenneth Talbot Now and Then

As readers may know, I have had a 2 year-disagreement with Dr. Kenneth Talbot and his supporters. This disagreement STARTED when I first approached Dr. Talbot in late 2008, asking why his seminary (Whitefield Theological Seminary - WTS) was utilizing a well-known hyperpreterist leader (Sam Frost) to edit their students materials, and if Dr. Talbot and WTS considered hyperpreterism to be heresy.

This was the reply at the time:

"Whitefield Theological Seminary does not promote Full (Hyper) Preterism. Whitefield Theological Seminary maintains that Full (Hyper) Preterism is a ‘very dangerous’ theological error. Further, some Full (Hyper) Preterists may be heretical pending on their other doctrines as it relates to God, Christ, Man, and Salvation. Each individual would need to be interviewed for me to make that determination." --
As you can see, it is non-committal that an entire system is heretical and instead wants to pick and choose individuals within that system, probably because Talbot wanted to find a way to claim Frost wasn't heretical even though he was/is a main leader of the entire movement.

In 2010, Talbot's denomination (which he founded) FINALLY came out and made a "determination", not just for individuals within hyperpreterism, but on the entire movement.  In Against Unorthodox Eschatology, Position Paper #7 we read this unequivocal statement:

"Whereas, these views [of hyperpreterism] represent an attack upon and undermining of the holy catholic faith once delivered unto the saints, Therefore, in the certain Hope of the Resurrection, at the Second Coming of Christ, and the Final Judgment at the end of history, the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly does hereby find that Full Preterism, Hyper-preterism or any other Eschatological System promoting any one or all of these errors is errant, heretical, and apostate, being therefore contrary to evangelical orthodoxy." -- source 

So, while it is great to hear Talbot's denomination seeming to make a more forceful statement, what do we do with Talbot's former statement? Why would only SOME full/hyperprets MAY BE be heretical??? Further, I was specifically inquiring about hyperpreterist Sam Frost, the man Talbot was allowing to edit material for Talbot's "Christian" seminary. I was asking if Sam Frost was a heretic. Talbot surely had plenty of time to "interview" Frost and make a "determination", especially since they had been luncheon friends for over 10 years at the time. Why was Talbot dodging the issue??? Could it be Talbot was too cozy with a hyperpreterist? It reminds me of C.H. Spurgeon's quote:

"Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it." --C.H. Spurgeon

Again, I don't want to down play the importance of this positional paper, especially this paragraph:

"the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly does hereby find that Full Preterism, Hyper-preterism or any other Eschatological System promoting any one or all of these errors is errant, heretical, and apostate, being therefore contrary to evangelical orthodoxy"
but my issue is, I'm looking for an apology and some act of repentance from Talbot and his followers for how they have treated me the last couple of years for daring to question why WTS was allowing a known leader of the hyperpreterist movement to edit their students materials...especially in light of this final paragraph of Talbot's. I guess I was right to question why a "Christian" seminary was allowing an "errant, heretical, and apostate, being therefore contrary to evangelical orthodoxy" person edit their materials. I was probably supposed to do it a little quieter so as not to embarrass Talbot and WTS. 

I'm glad that after 2 years of Talbot "pending on" it, he was finally able to "determine" that ALL of hyperpreterism is heretical. I guess he and his buddies can just forget about the 2 years they spent trying to destroy me for daring to oppose Dr/President Talbot's milquetoast response and reaction to that very heresy in WTS midst. 

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