Thursday, January 3, 2013

Preterism Update: 2012 Review

Well, another year behind and a new one ahead. As for those interested in what is happening with the "Preterist Movement" (both the Partial-Preterists and the Full Preterists), there is not too many places where you can find out any information. It seems as the sites once considered on the cutting edge of Preterism are now places where people post spoof videos or themselves dancing to chicken songs. (I kid you not; look at what Dee Dee Warren posted -- really?? -- then shortly after that, she posted pics of her as a kid on Santa's lap compared to her as an adult in a Xena Warrior princess get up -- see it).  This is a good sign that Partial-Preterism and Full Preterism are on their last legs.

Well, enough of that. You want to know what is going on right? I'll give it to you straight, whether you buddy up with me or not :-).

First, AD70.NET, which was supposed to be the warehouse of Full Preterist material is no longer. Michael Loomis let it go back to the weeds, and from many accounts Loomis is done with "religion" in general. I actually credit Mike with being more honest with himself and everyone than he has been over the years. I have spoken with Mike on the phone recently, and it was a sincere conversation. I actually liked speaking with THIS Michael Loomis.

Another project of Loomis' was turned over to Larry Siegle (another Full Preterist). Which may be a boon for Siegle as Siegle had been trying to launch a competing concept called with little success. A little drama surrounding this is that after Loomis' bottom of the pit moment; he began doing podcasts with FP outcast; "RiversOfEden", even though this cost Loomis some financial support. But since Siegle has taken over, it appears all the podcasts with "Rivers" (9 in total?) have been removed from PreteristRadio's podcast archive; despite the announcement on the Preterist Radio website, and I quote:

"Preterist Radio's podcast page will remain available for all of our archived broadcasts from the past 3 years,.."

Siegle may be trying to re-brand Preterist Radio, by dumping River's podcasts, which while a very consistent presentation of FPism is also embarrassing to many FPists; not to mention Siegle may have a difficult time getting folks like Don Preston back on Preterist Radio next to River's podcasts.  We'll see what happens in 2013.

As most people within the Preterist Movement should know by now, Frost; once an avid conference speaker for FPism claimed to recant FPism in 2010; even though there is much evidence that he has merely adopted a "Chiltonized" brand of FPism. Frost penned an 83 page booklet published by American Vision (Gary DeMar's group), called "Why I Left Full Preterism". (see here if you really want to spend $14.95 for 83 pages)

I've done a complete review of the booklet here. Also, Frost's former friends and "co-authors" of the last FPist book he was part of have been reviewing the booklet as well, starting here.  The gist of Frost's claim as to why he left is his reasoning that God cannot know infinity and how that relates to the notion that within FPism there is the potential for an infinite number of Elect/saved people. Frost claims that the Elect must be a specific and finite number, thus FPism is wrong because God can never know "just one more" beyond the last one (infinity).  Ironically enough, whether we believe Frost really pivoted because of this reason or whether it is more likely he did so because his P.R. manager; Jason Bradfield left before he did and would leave Frost without anyone to run his website and do all that "technical" stuff that gives Frost a voice; the infinity argument is flawed in the light of quotes from R.C. Sproul Sr. and St. Augustine:

"God can understand infinity, not because he operates on the basis of some kind of heavenly logic system, but because he himself is infinite. He has an infinite perspective." (R. C. Sproul, Chosen by God, page 47)
" . . . The infinity of number . . . is . . . not incomprehensible [to God]. . . All infinity is in some ineffable way made finite to God. . . . All infinity . . . is comprehensible by His knowledge. . . .What are we poor creatures that we should presume to fix limits to His knowledge, and say that unless the same temporal thing be repeated by the same periodic revolutions, God cannot .. . foreknow His creatures that He may make them. . . ? God . . . comprehends all incomprehensibles with so incomprehensible a comprehension, that though He willed always to make His later works novel and unlike what went before them, He [would ] produce them [with] foresight, [and] conceive them. . . by His eternal foreknowledge." (Augustine, The City of God, Book XII, Chapter 18, "Against Those Who Assert that Things that are Infinite Cannot Be Comprehended by the Knowledge of God") -- quotes courtesy of Dave Green (source).
Further, Frost himself in his booklet makes this statement:

"God created time and . . . is not obligated to time as if it is his master! Time is God’s servant." (page 37)
So, either God can know infinity or God is obligated to time and is indeed its servant. Frost's own cronies refuse to call him on his poor logic and reasoning.

As other names within FPism fade, Michael Miano has been perhaps one of the most active on Facebook and other venues and there is a scheduled debate between Miano and Frost for January 5, 2013. (see details here) Miano does a weekly podcast on Blog Talk Radio.  While others, such as Alan Bondar have been attempting for many years to implement the "Church Growth" concepts to get a large FPist congregation up and running, Miano seems to be making more in-roads than others.

The so-called "anti-preterists", first led by Dee Dee Warren and sacrificed to Kenneth Talbot, are now led by Sam Frost as Talbot is unable or unwilling to come out of hiding. Other "anti-prets" such as Kenneth Gentry and Keith Mathison all but crowned Frost when they endorse his booklet, without apparently reading it since in it Frost implicitly berates Gentry's and Mathison's efforts when Frost says:

"[C]lassic orthodox preterism has not done the work that needs to be done in order to rescue [partial preterism] from full preterist attacks. Since this is the case, there are leaks in the dam, and these leaks are just big enough for the full preterist to make their case." (pg 78-79)
So, Frost sees himself as the guy who will come in and rescue men like Gentry and Mathison from their poor case and leaking dam.  On the CARM message board on Oct 2, 2010, Frost claimed he was "working on" a "more consistent Preterism" -- apparently better than the kind Gentry and Mathison have been espousing:

"Can there be a more consistent Preterism? Certainly. I am working on it!" -- Frost;
The point is, the anti-prets are fairing no better than FPists. We have Dee Dee Warren self-absorbed more than ever. We have Gentry and Mathison endorsing a guy who berates them. We have Frost who trips over his own ego, making outrageous inconsistencies and not a peep out of his cronies -- just more atta-boys.

It is getting to the point where I may need to just wave people on by.  "There is nothing to see here" as it pertains to the Preterist Movement.  FPism is stuck in a rut with men like Don Preston feathering his retirement with the production of books rehashing the same initial Matthew 24 starting points and going no further on discussion how all of this might affect other "ologies" such as pastors and how church is done or not done. Anti-preterism/Partial-Preterism, whatever might have been of it, sold its soul first to Talbot; an admitted eschatological neophyte who can only exist by building his own closed eGo-system, where no one dares "disrespect" him by disagreeing publicly with him. Then they hoisted Frost onto their shoulders and ran him around the room as he yelled "Look at me! Look at me!".  The whole thing is a fighting mess.

Where does this leave you? Whether you are FPist or not. As a FPist, you might slake yourself by reaffirming that you are "only a FPist because the Bible teaches it" -- never mind that no expression of historical Christianity has ever taught or believed anything like FPism.  At least you can be confident you are a little Martin Luther in your own right...right?  Or, as a anti-pret/Partial-Pret, you can say to yourself; "well done good and faithful". FPism has been effectively defeated. You need not do anything else.  After all, now Frost is here to work on a more consistent form and to rescue those others from themselves. You only need to get behind and support him (at all costs - per Ken Palmer -- avid Frost supporter), and in a few years and once Frost releases a bigger book and perhaps is given a salary from American Vision or one of Talbot's front groups; THEN the real victory party can get under way.

OR... you can just wash your hands of all of this and just do the best you can humbly do to follow the Bible as believed and taught the SAME WAY by Christians for 2000 years across all denominational lines.

2013 can be a good year...after all we all survived the Mayan end of world didn't we? :-)

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