Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Wilson-Gentry Method To Combating Hyperpreterism

If you are new to this discussion, you will no doubt have seen all the aggressive words and tension going on. First, as Christians we should not immediately run from this or judge it as "unchristian". After all, there IS a time to oppose wrong doctrine -- and forcibly so. (examples from Scripture: Deut 13, Rom 16:17-18, Eph 5:11, Jude 1:3).

Hyperpreterism is unlike ANY KIND of expression of Christianity that has EVER existed. Hyperpreterism is something OTHER-THAN-CHRISTIAN. On this point, all Christians are AGREED!

When hyperpreterism first began to pop-up in the 1970-1990s, first with Max King and his "church of Christ" restorationist movement folks and then later through the influences of the "Reformed Reconstructionists" with David Chilton, Kenneth Gentry, R.C. Sproul, and Gary DeMar; the METHOD to combat it was to point out that it is something OTHER-THAN-CHRISTIAN and that its main issue is not with who does and doesn't use Scripture or follow the "time-texts". Rather, ORIGINALLY those combating hyperpreterism pointed out that hyperpreterists have authority issues. They reject the authority of historic Christianity. They reject the authority and sustaining ability of God Himself.

This was clearly stated by Doug Wilson in the anti-hyperpret book, "When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper-Preterism"

"If someone were to maintain that God did not know the location of a particular town in South Dakota, and we were to debate with him, the resultant debate would not be over geography. In the same way, before we can understand our debates with hyper-preterists, we have to recognize that it is not fundamentally a debate about eschatology at all. The fundamental question is one of authority." (Doug Wilson WSTTB pg 256)
Gentry, who hands down has done more work than anyone to combat hyperpreterism says in the same book:

"We are opening our critique [of hyperpreterism] with the historic argument, that is, the argument from the historic creeds of the Church. We do this in order to establish the significance of the debate: We are defending the historic, corporate, public, universal, systematic Christian faith." (Ken Gentry WSTTB pg 2)
When I left the hyperpreterist movement in 2007, after 15 years of being part of that faith eroding heresy, my argument was the same as Wilson's argument, the same as Gentry's argument. I sought out other Christians that would help me undo some of the damage I did to myself and others through hyperpreterism. For a while, Dee Dee Warren of PreteristBlog, who had been opposing hyperpreterism for many years (using the Wilson-Gentry method btw), was there to allow me a platform to work in. It was important to work along side someone else at that early stage, since hyperpreterists often prod former-hyperprets to tell them "what they believe now". Dee Dee Warren was a buffer against that and I thank her for that.

I worked with Dee Dee for about 2 years until something major changed. I approached Dr. Kenneth Talbot, president of Whitefield Theological Seminary (WTS) because Talbot had for 10 years been allowing hyperpret leader, Sam Frost work within Talbot's auspices, never publicly addressing Frost's role in hyperpreterism. Worse yet, Talbot was even utilizing Frost to develop student materials for WTS.

In 2009, I wrote WTS to ask about WTS' apparent (and Talbot's specific) support of a hyperpret leader. I specifically asked if WTS thought it was right to allow a known heretic to help develop its student materials. There was no response from WTS or Talbot until finally Frost himself surprisingly published my PRIVATE email to WTS -- Frost was never even mentioned by name in the email. (source)

First, I was alarmed that this supposed Christian seminary president was not communicating with a fellow Christian over this matter and instead was consorting with a known heretic. Despite Talbot's accusations to the contrary, I didn't threaten him -- as you can see by the source-link of the email listed above. Yes, as Talbot continued to NOT respond AND gave my private email to Frost, I did send the same email to the WTS board, asking the same question. But that was no threat.

At some point, Talbot came out of the shadows and started interacting, first by trying to disclaim the issue. See here:

Oddly enough, though Talbot had been in a very close personal relationship with Frost for 10 years, even to the point of having repeated luncheons, Talbot tried to disclaim the issue by saying this (see source above):

"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."
Could not Talbot "make that determination" when it came to Frost? That is all I was asking and asking if WTS thinks it right to use the services of such a person to help develop its student materials. But Talbot, like many who occupy elitist ivory-towers didn't like to be questioned, especially from a nobody.

I tried to overlook the issue, allowing for the need for Talbot to save-face. We tried to develop a cordial relationship. But Talbot showed himself untrustworthy on many levels, of one which was major is the time he went on a hyperpret website and used the fake name "super-preterist". I have NEVER used fake names like this. This lowered my opinion of Talbot. But what REALLY changed is that, Talbot DIDN'T use the Wilson-Gentry method to combat hyperpreterism. Instead, Talbot treated hyperpreterists like they were simply fellow Christians with a minor variant belief. After all, Talbot had been coddling Frost for 10 years, as a "brother".

Dee Dee Warren ALSO changed her methodology, to please Talbot no doubt who gave her a free tuition to his seminary. This would put me into conflict with the "Talbotites" -- as Talbot began to mass a following among the "anti-prets"; Dee Dee Warren, Phil Naessens, PaulT, and others. But even further, Talbot continued to validate hyperpreterism by actually adopting the hyperpret premise. The hyperpret premise is that supposedly for 2000 years there has been no united Christian eschatology. Talbot validated this FALSE premise when he himself proposed to put forth his own version of preterism called, "Realized Preterism". Why do we need a new eschatology if we have had a UNITED Christian eschatology all of this time? Talbot seems to agree with the hyperprets on this point.

In conclusion, I have been accused by the Talbotites of "slandering" Dr. Talbot or of being rude to him because he won't follow MY method of combating hyperpreterism. Rather, I oppose Talbot and his followers because they not only have veered, from the Wilson-Gentry method (not my method), Talbot even validates hyperpreterism, no matter how much he publicly tries to claim he doesn't. Even the hyperprets themselves think Talbot is validating them. Frost himself said:

"Full Preterism has made such a force upon our 'orthodox' opponents that they have unwittingly accomodated unorthodox and unhistoric elements into their own 'orthodox' (so called) and 'historic' (so called) eschatology! They cannot possibly wave the flag of orthodoxy any longer." -- (source)
Frost said this in reference to Talbot accepting yet another hyperpret as a "brother", hyperpret leader Kelly Birks.

Frost's fellow hyperpret, Mike Bennett even specifically considers Talbot's half-breed hyperpreterism, as a path to hyperpreterism.

"Here is what I see happening as a general path to FULL PRETERISM.
Arminian => Dispy => Reformed => Ammilenial => Partial Preterist => Preterist Idealist => Realized Preterist (soon to complete the path) => Full Preterist" -- (source)
So, to this day I have been ridiculed and attacked to Talbotites because I oppose Talbot's methods, since as we see they are NOT the methods Christians before him (with more understanding of hyperpreterism) have used effectively. I oppose Talbot's methods because they coddle and validate hyperpreterism and even the hyperprets see that Talbot's method gives the victory to the hyperpreterists.

Hate me all you want, but the Talbotite anti-prets are aiding and abetting the spread of hyperpreterism even if what they do is change to a more insidious form of it, as Frost has been trying to do since Talbot first sprung his "Realized Preterism". Frost's form is called "fuller full preterism", which as far as I can see isn't much different than Talbot's form.

It is a shame that Talbot's followers have been trying to destroy everything I do simply because I opposed Talbot's methods compared to the Wilson-Gentry (read: Christian) method to combating hyperpreterism.

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