Saturday, April 9, 2016

Blow it all up!!!

Preterists think they have a winning argument when they claim Martin Luther and the other Reformers were advocating something never advocated before in the Church. You see, preterists often quote Luther at his trial before the Papists:

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen."
From this, preterists (and radical religious individualists of all types) often see themselves as going against the big bad Church and paving their own way. Preterists take comfort in this idea that Luther and the Reformers were advocating something new and never heard of before in the Church. Preterists claim they are merely continuing this.

What they don't understand is that IF it were true that Luther and the Reformers were advocating something new, then it doesn't help the preterist cause.  It simply would mean Luther and the Reformers were no more Christian than the preterists.  Because, Jesus didn't come to give us just a little revelation and give the apostles just a little inspired truth and then leave us to fill in the gaps and become private interpreters. If that were the case you might as well give up ever trying to determine what Christianity is or isn' could change at any moment.

Instead, Luther and the Reformers were NOT advocating anything new.  The idea of justification by faith alone is all over the Bible and has been advocated in Christianity since day one. The innocent sacrifice dying in the place of the guilty with no meritorious work or ability by the sinner. Luther and the other Reformers simply were re-articulating what the Church (pre-Papists) always believed and taught.

But preterism is something outside Christianity. It is something NEVER taught by Christianity. It is as foreign to Christianity as is Mormonism and JWs....dressed up in Christian sounding words and quoting the Bible but advocating interpretations unlike any interpretation before. Sure, preterists can cite theologians who sounded like they were advocating something like preterist ideas, BUT none of these theologians advocated the totality of their position. For example, John Owen wrote of book called The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. As Christians, we often believe that the last enemy to be conquered is death; thus the last thing that will happen in God's plan, so how can Owen claim death was defeated in Christ's death and yet Owen is NOT anything like a preterist? This is what confuses preterists.  They want to think everything that sounds like the end is THE end.

Preterists like to claim "there has never been a church council or creed on eschatology" or that "eschatology is the last theology that needs settled".  But the reality is, councils were usually called to settle disputes. Eschatology is perhaps the MOST UNIFIED theological position within Christianity.  While the various expressions of the Christian Faith have disputed things like how, who, and when to baptize, there are 4 main eschatological points upon which ALL denominations of Christianity have been 100% unified:

1. Jesus is yet to return.
2. The collective resurrection of the believers is yet to be.
3. The collective judgment of the wicked and righteous is yet to be.
4. The end of sin and culmination of God's plan is yet to be.

It is those very 4 points which preterists deny. If anything is a "heresy" (meaning departure from the Faith), preterists are guilty since ALL of Christianity has agreed in the biblical interpretation of eschatology.  What someone does or doesn't believe about things like the antiChrist, the Beast, the millennium, or a rapture can be up for dispute and yet a person is STILL within the 4 eschatological points, but preterism departs from Christianity when it comes to eschatology AND, if the preterists consistently applies their interpretations, it won't be long before they start to believe and teach other errors in other parts of their "ologies".

So, preterists are ready to blow it all up and start over... after all, that's what they thought Luther and the Reformers were doing. I guess, I can respect some preterists who eventually admit that what they are advocating is NOT Christianity but something OTHER than Christianity. But those preterists who pretend to be simply Christians with another view of eschatology are either being disingenuous or ignorant that Christianity was designed by Christ to be continuity, a collective Faith that doesn't adapt to "new" interpretations. Christianity is as Luther called it; the "ancient faith".

Here's a quote from Luther, close to his last days; a quote you will never see a preterist cite:

A man must be saved without the law, only through the grace of ChristSecond . A council has the power, and is bound, to suppress and condemn new articles of faith according to Holy Scripture and the ancient faith as the Council of Nicaea condemned the new article of Arius, that of Constantinople the new article of Macedonius, that of Ephesus the new article of Nestorius, that of Chalcedon the new article of Eutyches.  -- source

Preterists MUST destroy and distort and blow up anything that stands in the way of promoting their new articles. They will even unwittingly undermine their entire argument by trying to claim Luther was advocating new articles of faith when he CLEARLY was not.

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