Sunday, September 4, 2011

Do Gary DeMar's Books Lead to Full/Hyper-Preterism?

Many of a full/hyperpreterist has launched into that "movement" first via the "partial-preterism" of men like Gary DeMar and even Kenneth Gentry; often citing their books.  The difference between Gentry and DeMar is that Gentry has made it clear in print and audio that he believes full/hyper-preterism not to merely be a "dangerous error", but to be heresy on par with heresies like Arianism or cults like Mormonism.  DeMar, on the other hand has not only not called full/hyper-preterism a heresy, DeMar has actually spoken at full/hyper-preterist conferences without making any distinction.  DeMar has joined numerous full/hyper-preterist message boards in support of it.  DeMar allows his materials to be promoted and published on full/hyper-preterist websites.  DeMar was once asked outright by now ex-full/hyper-preterist Sam Frost if DeMar thought it was heresy.  DeMar answers that he doesn't think full preterism is heretical  (ref#1-mp3, ref#2, ref#3).

Mike Loomis, operator of the full/hyper-preterist podcast network, once said about DeMar:

"Anyhow. John [Noe] has done a lot of great work that has helped many people understand fulfillment even though I may disagree with him. Much like Gary DeMar. I disagree with him...Nonetheless he makes more full preterist's than the rest of us combined."  - source

If this is true, does DeMar have a responsibility and obligation to clarify that he doesn't approve of people using him and his materials to conclude a full/hyper-preterist position?  Imagine if people kept crediting a "Christian" minister as leading them to Mormonism.  Would that Christian minister have a responsibility and obligation to make a statement and clarify the things that people claim are leading them to Mormonism.  DeMar has made no such distinction or clarification.  As a matter of FACT, if you read DeMar's statements, he often says things that sound almost exactly like a full/hyper-preterist argument.

"By taking the time texts seriously, assessing the historical context of the period, and relying on how the Bible applies its well-known symbols to make theological points, we can come to no other conclusion than that Jesus was revealing to John prophetic events that  were 'about to come upon the whole world' (Rev 3:10) in his day. There is no need for either sophisticated technology or reading into the Bible to see things that just aren't there.  This creates a future fulfillment of events that the Bible clearly says are to happen "shortly" (Rev 1:1,3)" -- End Times Fiction pgs 170-171

Why can't a person then take this reasoning and claim ALL WAS FULFILLED in the first century?  But DeMar's support of the full/hyper-preterist premise doesn't stop there.  On a Facebook comment, DeMar once made this statement:

"... I'm willing to listen to what others say on an issue, especially on eschatology since it's been a garbled mess for centuries. It's conceivable that so-called eschatological heretics are seeing something I'm not seeing. They're willing to take the risk. Many are not." -- source

This is the EXACT same "logic" that undergirds the very foundation of full/hyper-preterism.  Full/hyper-preterism MUST see historic Christianity as a "garbled mess"; unable to figure out eschatology and so needing a Max King to come along like a modern eschatological Martin Luther.  Again, DeMar is reluctant to call full/hyper-preterists heretics.  This feeds their entire premise that they are like a new Reformation that is putting the eschatological pieces together where supposedly 2000 years of UNITED Christian interpretation on the basics of eschatology was according to DeMar; "a garbled mess".

To conclude, I would NEVER recommend Gary DeMar to someone studying eschatology, or for that matter ANY theology since DeMar is irresponsible in potentially or maybe even outright promoting full/hyper-preterism.  For years and years people have been concluding full/hyper-preterism based on DeMar's "partial-preterism".  DeMar, even according to full/hyper-preterists themselves has "made more full preterists" than all the full preterist advocates combined -- that includes men like Don Preston.

Lastly, what is most frustrating is that DeMar's peers won't hold him accountable for any of this.  DeMar is NOT credited with causing more people to leave Dispensationalism than anyone else -- DeMar's supposed ministry focus, but rather DeMar is making minions of new full/hyper-preterists every day.  It would be honorable to see DeMar spend at least a few YEARS UNDOING the damage he has done to folks.  Even Sam Frost credits DeMar with being influential in making Frost the 20 year long full/hyper-preterist "teacher" he was:

"As those who know me, and have heard me say a million times, I cut my teeth on DeMar, Chilton, Jordan, North, Sutton and Gentry (the Tyler, Texas Gang) back when Dominion Press and ICE were just starting.  Now that I have moved slightly back to this position from a more or less appreciation of Full Preterism" (source: - March 8, 2011)

DeMar needs to clean up the "garbled mess" he has made of the lives of people like Sam Frost and so many others.

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