Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where is the REAL Fight Against Hyperpreterism?

As more and more of the so-called "Partial-Preterists" such as Kenneth Gentry and Gary DeMar give up ground to hyperpreterism; by allotting more and more scriptures to an AD70 only interpretation; there is concern that no one is really fighting against hyperpreterism.  Sure, the Dispensationalists like Thomas Ice may be consistent opponents of hyperpreterism, but their Dispensationalism is perhaps the very thing that caused many people to over-act and go into hyperpreterism.  So, if Gentry and DeMar are more or less aiding and abetting hyperpreterism and the Dispensationalists are only offering Dispensationalism as an alternative, who then is really fighting against hyperpreterism?

Dee Dee Warren of Preteristblog.com had previously been a place where a person could find some help; and she still has a good archive of collected documents at her alternate site. (see: http://preteristsite.com/authorindex.html) But after her close association with demonstrated hyperpreterist compromiser; Kenneth Talbot and her allowing so-called "former" hyperpreterist Samuel Frost dominate her approach, her site is little more than a personal sounding board for highly suspect characters.  Not to mention she took a free tuition from Talbot while he and his seminary were under critical examination for allowing a known hyperpreterist to help develop student materials.  Warren is hardly a source of integrity any longer after all of the issues.  Further, Warren has recently ridiculed the approach that has been used against hyperpreterism since the beginning of the fight -- that is; hyperpreterism, whatever it is; is not historical Christianity.  Warren now calls arguing from that point as merely a "talismen" and is a "one trick pony".  This is the same kind of response hyperpreterists often use when pressed to explain why hyperpreterism has never been believed or taught in historical Christianity.  She continues by implying that those who use this argument are not "productive" against hyperpreterism. I guess Doug Wilson and the original Kenneth Gentry were then "unproductive" when they argued such.  Anyhow, Warren's compromise with KNOWN hyperpreterist enabler, Kenneth Talbot and so-called "former" hyperpreterist Samuel Frost, who has said point-blank he has "not left" everything from hyperpreterism, makes her suspect if not damaged goods when it comes to the fight against hyperpreterism.

What is left is the handful of REAL former hyperpreterists, most of whom have quietly moved on; wanting nothing to do with the drama of the hyperpreterists, or the drama of people like Dee Dee Warren.  However, there are a few people out there that have put together some great material BUT you MUST remember, that despite Warren's ridicule and flip-flop to the hyperpreterist enabling Talbot approach; the argument for historical REALITY is in FACT the strongest argument against hyperpreterism.  To want to jump into a head-to-head verse comparison match against a hyperpreterist is pointless.  Not because Scripture isn't clear against hyperpreterism but because hyperpreterists (and now even Partial-Preterists, like Gentry, DeMar, Talbot, and Warren) so redefine terms and toy around with the interpretation of texts; ignoring the historical Christian interpretation, that it makes it impossible to start there with them.  All a hyperpreterist need do is quote Gentry or DeMar to show how if they were consistent, they too should be hyperpreterists.  Then you are left with spending all your time trying to defend and undo the damage by Gentry and DeMar.  Or a hyperpreterist could point out how Talbot has allowed a known hyperpreterist to help develop student materials or knowingly enrolled a hyperpreterist into a ministers degree program, intending to unleash upon unsuspecting Christians, a hyperpreterist with a "ministers" degree.  I mean, if Talbot doesn't think hyperpreterism is dangerous enough to CLEARLY keep it away from his seminary, then why fight against it would be an argument.


Starting with the historical reality argument is the key.  In my 5 plus years of REALLY fighting against hyperpreterism, without compromise; hyperpreterists can never answer this argument without showing:

  1. They must believe there has been a 2,000 year conspiracy.
  2. They piece together evidence from bits of quotes that don't overall support them.
Usually, if you stick with the fact that historical Christians (across all denominations) have NEVER interpreted the Bible how hyperpreterists want us to interpret it; you will be met with ridicule such as Dee Dee Warren used -- "one trick pony" or you will find yourself being personally attacked since the hyperpreterist can't answer the obvious:  WHATEVER HYPERPRETERISM IS, IT ISN'T WHAT CHRISTIANITY HAS BEEN FOR 2000 YEARS.   If you move off this point and instead start arguing whether Jesus does or doesn't presently have a human body in heaven or some other point like this; you are simply ignoring the white elephant in the room and letting the hyperpreterist gain validity.

Perhaps you may think, "Well, is it possible that 2000 years of Christianity has gotten it wrong?"  Let me say this; if you believe God is sovereign (in control) and you entertain that He has not only NOT sustained the most basic understanding of His eschatological plan, but that you think He might have allowed it to become this convoluted until along comes the hyperpreterists; then you'd be ripe for cultic indoctrination, since all cults start with planting the idea that God didn't make sure people have been following/teaching the most basic correct doctrine.  Sure, there are minor points Christians have disagreed on, but if the most basic points are wrong; then either God couldn't or didn't sustain truth; which calls into question whether we can ever know what is true; OR worse yet, perhaps the entire notion of God is bogus.  Also, don't let someone try to claim, "Well, the Jews missed that Jesus was the Messiah so why can't the Church miss 'full preterism'?"  The problem with that argument is that the Jews were under the veil of Moses.  Everything was "shadow and type".  Jesus came to reveal and fulfill.  He further left the apostles, with the guidiance of the Holy Spirit to lay it all out via divine inspiration.  Christianity is NOT meant to be a puzzle-piece religion where we grope around hoping to put together the pieces.  If that is the approach, then woe are we!

Consider that whether we look at pre-Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic, Greek/Eastern/Syriac Orthodox, Protestant/Reformed, Anabaptist, Modern Evangelical, Calvinistic, or Arminianistic forms of Christianity -- ALL of these, 100% agree on the very same 4 points of basic eschatology that hyperpreterism calls us to deny.

  1. Jesus is yet to come again.
  2. The collective resurrection of the believers is yet to be.
  3. The Judgment of the wicked and righteous is yet to be.
  4. Sin will ultimately end, and God's plan will culminate.
If you disagree with any of these 4 points, you will be advocating something that is as much outside of Christianity as advocating that Jesus is not God.  Yet, Dee Dee Waren and her compromising and suspect pals are ridiculing this argument. Anything coming from her group cannot be trusted.

To conclude, if and when you can get a hyperpreterist to AGREE that what they are espousing is nothing like anything that has ever been considered Christianity, then the discussion can begin.  Allowing them to do the shell game with specific texts while ignoring this white elephant is...well, really not "productive".

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