Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stalled Starting Points

The Hyperpreterists are in a tailspin.  As more and more high-profile people leave the movement, some hyperpreterists are eager to tell us why -- whereas some like hyperpreterist leader Don Preston, does as he always does and ignores that his house is on fire.

One such hyperpreterist, known as John Hedges (aka "Prophet Whiteboy") has been trying to figure out what is going on.  He plans to write a series of articles. Hedges asks and then states:

"Is Preterism heresy? Is preterism correct? These questions will be answered in hopefully no more than three articles with this being the first." -- source
The first issue is Hedges use of the term "preterism".  What does he mean by it?  There are certainly variations but hyperpreterists have taken to claim the term completely for themselves, thus muddying the discussion before it starts.  Hedges really means HYPER or "Full Preterism".

Hedges starts his article by outlining his supposed framework:

"I write this article with two presuppositions which I will now outline.

1.God is sovereign. 1 chronicles 29:11-12 Psalms 148 :4-8
2.Jesus is God. Genesis 1:1,John 1: 1-3,Isaiah 9:6,John 8:58
That’s it. Two points that I will use to show that the preterist view is correct. My hermeneutic (the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)-mirriam-Webster) is that Jesus in the study of scripture can be viewed through Him and by Him and therefore cannot fail, as the hermeneutics of man often does. 

This is good and well except that what does Hedges really think about a God who isn't "sovereign" enough to make sure His people understand and teach the basics of His plan?  I mean, according to hyperpreterism, the people the day after AD70 up to the present have been in gross error concerning God's basic eschatological plan.  Further, it is good to see Hedges acknowledges Jesus as God but there again, what is the view of Jesus by hyperpreterists?  According to hyperpreterism, Jesus was such an ineffective teacher that the day after AD70, the Church He founded fell into eschatological apostasy and has remained there until along comes Max King in the 1970s -- much like the claims of men like Muhammad, Joseph Smith Jr., Charles Taze Russell who all claimed to be bringing "corrections" to Christianity in general -- unlike Martin Luther and the other Reformers who continued to appeal to the "ancient faith" rather than eschew it.  Indeed, hyperpreterism DOES view God, Jesus, the hand-picked apostles, and the Holy Spirit as ineffective/FAILED teachers and guides...even on a human level let alone divine.  In fact, hyperpreterists seem to be making the same kind of claim for hyperpreterism as Joseph Smith Jr. made for his Mormonism:

"...just as heavenly beings had appeared to prophets like Moses and Paul in biblical times. Joseph learned that the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth. Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth." -- source
Hyperpreterism MUST have the Church as failed so like the heresy of Mormonism, they can attempt to supplant and replace Christianity with something OTHER THAN CHRISTIAN.  Even more arrogance is implied in hyperpreterism as it is openly said within Mormonism:

"I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409)
What is the difference between what Joseph Smith says here and hyperpreterism is saying?  So, what is Hedges saying about God being sovereign and Jesus being God is Hedges MUST believe hyperpreterists "have more to boast of than ever any man had" that hyperpreterists MUST see billions and billions of Christians as having been in gross error for over 2000 years.  Until along comes Joseph Smith Jr. 2.0 -- Max King with the same implied "boast" as Mormonism.

Next, Hedges says:
"One of the common accusations is that most if not all church fathers and creeds do not agree with the realized eschatology. Based on this many feel more comfortable lining up with creeds and will quickly point to them. Though one can go through and find some (admittedly) very few writers over the centuries that do agree with full preterism, we will work with the accusation against us, which is creeds and church fathers never proclaimed preterism and see if truth can prevail."
That is NOT the "accusation against" hyperpreterism.  For people who hate creeds, hyperpreterists certainly talk about them more than even us orthodox Christians.  While a creed simply means "belief", I appeal not to merely the creeds but as Luther appeals; to the "ancient faith". I'm not too quickly pointing to the creeds am I? Oh how quickly Hedges' framework went out the window.  Is God in control/sovereign or not or has mankind so easily thwarted God's eschatological plan that the day after AD70 God's entire new covenant people have been essentially been living a lie???  Not too sovereign.  When will hyperpreterists openly proclaim/boast they have been able to do what God, Jesus, the apostles and the Holy Spirit couldn't do -- rightly explain eschatology so that people could understand it.  Oh the arrogance of hyperpreterism.

Hedges continues:
"So what now? Is there any reason to stick with preterism? Do not the masses demand we leave this doctrine immediately never to return to it, or if we stay with it are we eternally dammed?"
Once again, Hedges inserts false premises.  Who is saying anything about anyone being "eternally damned"???? That's up to God alone. However, hyperpreterists use poorly defined terms if not altogether hi-jacking terms.  They falsely claim to hold to Scripture without seeing that they can't define what or why the Bible is the Bible without cutting off their own false premise that God hasn't sustained the most basic understanding of truth.  I mean, if according to hyperpreterism, the Christians have been too dumb to understand God's basic eschatological plan, then perhaps what we call the Bible has also been badly mishandled by these Christians.  Afterall, the Bible wasn't found on golden plates in upper New York.  Hyperpreterist give lip-service to God being sovereign but have Him to be a less effective teacher than your average highschool gym teacher.

Hyperpreterism has stalled starting points because it won't be honest with basic definitions let alone with its own presuppositions, instead they want to jump to proof-text "exegesis".  They want to make false accusations like we "quickly point to creeds" or claim they are going to be "eternally damned".

Try to start over and this time without all the false premises.

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