Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Dear Mr. Mathison,                                                                                        February 10, 2014

 

I did want to formally respond to you concerning who actually “bears the burden” in this debate to respond and your communication with me as to why you have not responded let alone acknowledged that a full preterist response has been given to your book, When Shall These Things Be?  A Reformed Response to Hyper-Preterism vs. our Second Edition of House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?  I would also like to extend to you the opportunity for us to discuss our respected chapters/responses and these issues at Ligonier Academy and have the faculty and student body ask questions. 

Who “bears the burden”? 

Curiously, your mentor R.C. Sproul wrote,

“Obviously the full preterists have no desire to deviate from Scripture.  They bear the burden in this controversy of showing that creedal orthodoxy has been wrong at crucial points of eschatological understanding.”[1]  (p. 157).

He likewise produced this insufficient (and now outdated) chart seeking to make a definite distinction between partial and full preterism:

Full Preterists

Partial Preterists

 

A.D. 70

At the end of history

A.D. 70

At the end of history

Coming (parousia) of Christ

yes

no

yes

yes

Resurrection and rapture

yes

no

no

yes

Day of the Lord

yes

no

yes

yes

Judgment

yes

no

yes

yes

 

My Response: 

The problem with Sproul’s chart is that it demonstrates a lack of knowledge on what some partial preterists have taught (past and present).  As I document in chapter four of HD, The Eschatolocial Madness of Mathison or How Can These Things Be?, is that there are many more doctrinal agreements between progressive partial preterists and full preterists than you men apparently want to share with the public in this debate.        

 

 

Full Preterists

Partial Preterists

 

A.D. 70

At the end of history

A.D. 70

At the end of history

NT use of “Last days” from old covenant to new AD 30 – AD 70 only - not end of Christian age

yes

No

yes[2]

yes & no

This age = old covenant age “age to come” = new covenant age transformed in AD 70

yes

No

yes[3]

yes & no

United Matt. 24-25 one parousia in AD 70

yes

No

yes[4]

yes & no

Resurrection and judgment of living and dead between AD 30 – AD 70

yes

No

yes[5]

yes

Glorification in Rom. 8:18-23 YLT “about to be revealed”

yes

No

yes[6]

yes & no

2 Peter 3 fulfilled

yes

No

yes[7]

yes & no

“All Israel” in Rom. 11:26 saved

yes

No

yes[8]

yes & no

Acts 1:11

yes

No

yes[9]

yes & no

Hebrews 9:26-28 Second appearing of Christ at end of the age

yes

no

yes[10]

yes & no

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “rapture”

yes

No

yes[11]

yes & no

 

Perhaps the most significant change is that your progressive partial preterist colleagues (in their attempts to overthrow full preterism) such as Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, and James Jordan have oddly enough stolen the full preterist view of the judgment and resurrection of the living and dead and now accept that this was a progressive, corporate, covenantal, process between AD 30 – AD 70 resulting in the souls of the righteous being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom at Christ’s parousia in AD 70.[12]  So your demonstration of continued and heightened confusion at this point only warrants more of a formal response to HD.    

As I document in our book and as the chart above demonstrates - perhaps throughout church history (past and present) the “burden of proof” is no less upon the progressive partial preterists to demonstrate historically and exegetically their agreements with full preterist exegesis on these key eschatological texts and doctrines than full preterists do as having them fulfilled in AD 70!    I think for you personally, you might want to begin by demonstrating that the coming of the Son of Man with angles in Matthew 16:27; Matthew 24-25 is not descriptive of Jesus’ Second Coming (contrary to Luther, Calvin, the WCF, and full preterists).  And that these eschatological events are not the same “paralleled” events and thus form Paul’s eschatology on the Second Coming in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 and 1 Corinthians (per the Reformation Study Bible of which you helped edit).  For men like Gentry, DeMar (AV publications), and Jordan, these men need to prove exegetically and historically, that there are two fulfillments of the judgment and resurrection of the living and dead (contrary to the creeds and confessions). 

And perhaps the larger “burden of proof” which rests upon Sproul and reformed eschatology in general is my/our premise in HD that full preterism is actually the organic development (“reformed and always reforming”) of partial preterism and the classic amillennial views: 

“It is more than difficult to understand how the authors of WSTTB can portray their historical positions as unified when between their two systems (partial preterism and amillennialism) two contradictory propositions emerge:

  1. Partial Preterism – Imminence and fulfillment are accepted.  Christ appeared a second time at the end of the old covenant age.  There was a spiritual, corporate, covenantal judgment and resurrection of the living and dead which was attended by a passing of the old creation and arrival of the new in AD 70 (Dan. 12:1-4; Matt. 5:17-18; 13:39-43, 24-25; Acts 1:11; Rom. 8:18; 13:11-12; Heb. 8:13; 9:26-28; 10:37; 1 Peter 4:5-7; 2 Peter 3; Rev. 1-22).

  2. Classic Amillennialism – The New Testament teaches only one future coming of Christ, general judgment, and resurrection of the living and dead attended by the restoration of creation at the end of the age.

    How can these things be indeed? The only way both of these propositions can be true at the same time is if full preterism is true. 

    Amillennialism is correct that there is only one future coming of Christ in the New Testament.  And partial preterism is correct that the future coming of Christ in the New Testament was fulfilled in AD 70. Thus “orthodoxy” teaches us that the one Second Coming of 1 Thessalonians 4-5 is the same coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25, and that it was fulfilled in AD 70. But since futurism errs on the nature of the resurrection, assuming it is biological and at the end of time, futurists are forced into an either/or dillema, when the truth is both/and. 

    I think one can see the problem that the authors of WSTTB are sweeping under the rug when they speak of their “shoulder-to-shoulder” unity.  The choice is simple. Either one continues propagating the myth that these two propositions within the futurist paradigm do not lead to a contradiction, or one accepts the organic development of full preterism which unites them.”[13]

    This being the case, the reformed creeds need to be revised to fit a full preterist consistent, accurate, and exegetical approach to the Second Coming, judgment and resurrection of the living and dead, and arrival of the new creation.       

    Addressing your excuses

    When I first sent out a copy of HD to you, you mentioned that it would take a while for you to read and then respond to my chapter/response.  This of course was five years ago sir and throughout that time I have sent you emails requesting when a response might be forthcoming.  Your reply has always been something like – “I don’t have time” or “it’s on the backburner” etc…  These excuses seem reasonable for maybe the first six months to a year.  Maybe two to three years might be stretching it a bit – but five years?  I would agree with one of your fellow partial preterists Gary North who has mentioned (in their debate with dispensationalists) that the side in the debate which stops responding to the other in print, has in essence lost the debate.  Are we at that point?  It sure seems like it to me.  And Mr. North where are you in this debate?  Very silent indeed. 

    There are of course other issues as well that are very telling.  As already mentioned, it is a stretch at this point for me or anyone else to take your five year delay seriously, but when we compound it by six other authors (Gentry Jr., Hill, Pratt Jr., Kistemaker, Wilson and Strimple) it becomes almost impossible to believe.  All seven authors of WSTTB? over the last five years are too busy to respond to our public response to them?  This reminds me of the many Arminian or dispensationalist Pastor’s, Bible College or seminary instructors that I ( and no doubt you) have encountered over the years that are always just “too busy” to respond to Calvinist or covenantal theology arguments/challenges to their views.  We both know why in most of these cases they are “too busy” to respond and I’m wondering at this point why that same conclusion shouldn’t be reached of you and your six co-authors?  Gentry has gone into print as teaching that when one examines old school dispensationalism in light of what progressive dispensationalists are teaching – there is nothing left of the dispensational system and to be more consistent progressives need to move into covenant theology.  You have stated similar things.  Perhaps these men don’t address your arguments because they can’t or are unwilling to accept what you are saying about their system is true and that at that point they would “have to count the cost” so to speak?  Perhaps this is what is taking place with you and your co-authors taking your time or simply your inability to respond to our formal response to your book?  Our book on virtually every page demonstrates how you and your co-authors actually form full preterism – not refutes it.  And it demonstrates that unless reformed eschatology embraces full preterism, its divided house is left to fall apart in the coming years at the feet of full preterism.   

    Your alliance with American Vision

    Now granted you and Gentry have endorsed Sam Frost’s little pamphlet on why he left “full preterism” (which is a contradiction – see later below), but this is not in any way a response from you and Gentry or any of your co-authors in WSTTB.  Furthermore, unlike your five years and counting delay and denial, we began immediately refuting Frost’s many exegetical and logical blunders on public lists, articles, and now in the appendix section of this second edition of House Divided.  I heard that you told someone that you really didn’t even read much of his pamphlet.  Is this true and yet you endorsed it? 

    I will not produce the entire appendix here, but I will address Frost’s #1 reason/”argument” (if one can call it that) he gave as to why he allegedly thinks full preterism is false.  Since you have attached you name to this “argument” I will have some follow up questions for you.  But first our response on pages 239-242: 

“Infinity

The first argument that came from the internet critics was, interestingly enough, an argument about infinity.  According to the argument, the kingdom of God’s elect cannot numerically increase forever in time and space, because that would mean there would be an infinitely increasing number of events and of saints, which God could never fully know, because God cannot possibly fully know a series that numerically increases into infinity.  Therefore, since God is unable to create a kingdom that lasts forever in time, it follows that the time-space continuum must come to an end, that the elect must one day stop being born, and that the kingdom must eventually end up existing in a state of “timelessness” wherein there are no series or sequences.  Full preterism must therefore be wrong.

Our response: 

The idea that God cannot “fully know” something if it lasts forever in time, because that would be too much for God to grasp, reduces Yahweh to the level of Zeus and Superman.  Whereas Zeus and Superman could not create or fully know a series that increases into an unending future, there is no biblical reason to think that Yahweh is limited in that way. 

The internet critics who said that Yahweh can neither create nor grasp a series that infinitely increases in time and space, also said that Yahweh transcends time and space and is not bound by time and space. For some reason though, it did not occur to the internet critics that if Yahweh “transcends time and space” and is not bound by time and space (i.e., if He is above and beyond time and space), then He can certainly create and fully know a never-ending time-space universe and an ever-increasing kingdom.  As Augustine put it:

. . . 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. . . .  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”)

And as R.C. Sproul (Sr.) put it:

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) And as Isaiah (God) put it:

And He doth call His name . . . Father of Eternity. . . .  (Isa. 9:6,

YLT)

“Eternity” was defined by the internet critics as the “timeless state” into which the Earth will enter after the end of world history.  If “I AM” is the “Father” of the eternal/timeless state, and can therefore “fully know” it, then it is certainly not difficult or impossible for Him to create and fully know a state that is “below” the “eternal state,” i.e., a neverending time-space continuum.

One of the early attempts of the internet critics to explain how everlasting life can happen if God can’t grasp an ever-increasing series of events was the “continuous loop” argument:  We will not have an endless series of thoughts or actions in eternity, but will instead repeat the same finite number of actions and thoughts.   So infinity will not happen in eternity. 

This cyclical view of eternity is more akin to Hinduism than Reformed Christianity.  But that was their argument.  The problem with it, of course, is that the 67th time you repeat an action would still be categorically different from the 1,067th time you repeat it.  The count of repetitions themselves would be an infinite series.  Or in argument form:

  1. If we continue to repeat the same event over and over in eternity there will be a 67th time we repeat it, a 1,067th time we repeat it, and a n+1 time we repeat it.

  2. n+1 represents an infinitely increasing series.

  3. Therefore even if the same events are repeated in eternity, there is still an infinite series of repetitions.

    The final attempt to rescue their infinity argument was to claim that we become part of the “One” and do not have experiences or thoughts in eternity that can be counted.  The weakness of this response should be apparent.  It reduces the Christian promise of eternal life to a Buddhist promise of being “one with the universe.”

    It may seem shocking that the primary attempt to refute preterism was to reduce God’s abilities and change eternity into an eventless, thoughtless state of existence.  The fact that the anti-preterists reduced God to a Zeus-like deity shows the desperation of their attempts to refute what they know in their hearts to be the teaching of Scripture. But what may be even more shocking is that Ken Gentry has actually expressed his agreement with the “infinity” argument proposed by the internet critics.  In fact, Ken Gentry, Keith Mathison, and Gary DeMar have all generally endorsed the, at times transparently wrong and dangerously erroneous, arguments of the internet critics.”

    Mr. Mathison, do you concur with the quote we have used of your mentor Mr. Sproul Sr. or do you support and endorse such an anti-biblical and illogical “argument” as the one you have attached your name to?  Also I have another clarifying question for you (and I may be mistaken so this is why I ask), but I have heard that this Gordon Clark type “argument” or view Frost is using here was rejected by Van Till and others as not being Scriptural nor should it be considered as reformed.  Is this true?  If so, why would you and Gentry endorse it?   

    But I was also curious in why American Vision’s or Gary DeMar and Joel McDurmon would publish this little pamphlet.  First, DeMar takes the NT’s use of the “last/later days” to be from roughly AD 30 – AD 70 as we do.  Yet Frost in the pamphlet would refer to this as a full preterist “scheme.”  If the pamphlet can’t even persuade its publishers that they have fallen prey to “full preterist schemes” on something so simple as the NT’s teaching on the “last days,” how is it supposed to persuade us or anyone else?  

    And a curious note - American Vision publishes and promotes John L. Bray’s preterist book on Matthew 24 Fulfilled, and yet John L. Bray has written of our book, “I’ve not seen another book as strong as this defending the preterist position.”  Since DeMar promotes Bray and Bray promotes us, maybe DeMar needs to answer some of the challenges I and my co-authors have directed towards him in HD?     

    Although Frost backed out of a debate with Don Preston, in McDurmon’s debate with Preston, it turned out to be a total disaster for partial preterism and American Vision in general.  It’s been a while since I listened to it, but if I’m not mistaken he conceded that there “could” be an AD 70 fulfillment of such resurrection and judgment passages as John 5:28-28; 1 Cor. 15; and Rev. 20, but allegedly these passages also can teach there awaits a final and literal fulfillment.   That is an exegetical and hermeneutical nightmare to prove (two fulfillments that is - as I have addressed in HD and in articles from my www.fullpreterism.com).  This is truly an admission that “gave the farm away” to full preterism.  And yet you men are still in denial that your writings don’t lead people to full preterism – amazing! 

    After admitting in his writings that he believes that Jesus’ and Paul’s use of “this age” is the old covenant age and the “age to come” is the new covenant age arriving in AD 70, McDurmon oddly then wanted to argue that the resurrection of Luke 20:27-40 was a literal resurrection to take place at the end of time.  No, exegetically the resurrection takes place after the old covenant age “this age” gives way to those who “attain that [coming new covenant] age” (Luke 20:34-35).  After all American Vision authors have stated that there was a spiritual resurrection for the dead out from Hades or Abraham’s Bosom at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70.  So this begs the question as to why Jesus does not have that AD 70 (American Vision) resurrection in view here and in any NT resurrection passage.    

    Getting back to Frost.  There are many exegetical and logical problems with Frost’s little pamphlet that you and Gentry signed off on which are addressed in our book and therefore I refer you to them.  There are other issues that I have documented on my site where Sam told me that he wanted to teach in a reformed seminary but knew the only way he could do that would be to “compromise” what he knew the bible to be teaching on fulfillment.  In our first edition Frost wrote, “Gentry…fails to logically connect the dots,” because the creeds do not allow him to do so.  (One could also lose one’s job for connecting the dots.)” (HD, 228).  Then according to Frost’s statement and what has transpired shortly thereafter (ordination within Talbot’s made up reformed denomination, further employment with his seminary, etc…), perhaps he left what he knew the Bible was teaching on fulfillment in order to now find a creedal job?  If not why not?  When Frost approached us (after we were 98% done with HD) wanting to get into our book, David Green and myself drilled Sam for his flip flopping and desire to compromise in order to not “bite the hand that feeds” (his words) which were problems we and others had seen in him in the past.  He assured us that things had changed and that we could trust that he was stable. 

    It is difficult to even get past the title of Frost’s pamphlet.  It suggests that he left “Full Preterism.”  But after the first edition of HD was printed, we found out that Frost was trying to marry traditional postmillennial literal and futuristic “Paradise Restored” type fulfillments with full preterism.  We confronted Frost on this and that his views on Isiah 65 for example were not only unbiblical, but they did not fall under full preterism but were more akin to postmillennial partial preterisms teachings.  He was trying to say that as the gospel advances people and the creation will undergo radical changes such as men beginning to live to 900 years old again as they did in the early chapters of Genesis etc…  Apparently Frost was thinking (and as far as I know continues to think) that lions will one day in our future actually change biologically and eat straw and not meat.  The only difference now is that Sam believes this will take place before Christ’s (third) coming to consummate and glorify the planet earth, whereas before he was a confused partial preterist and had no NT coming to bring about “an end” or consummation to this literal and progressive fulfillment that was lacking beyond AD 70.  I challenged Frost that according to his postmillennial “Paradise Restored” type hermeneutic, if we too should be expecting 900 year old men to be walking around naked and unashamed before Christ’s (third) coming in the distant future – but Sam was apparently unavailable and too mad to answer the question.  Thus according to how Sam himself defines full preterism in his pamphlet  --- proves he was never a “full preterist” to begin with!   

    However, even after leaving what he confusingly says was “full preterism” (for in reality again it was just another confusing version of partial preterism) he demonstrated that he was utterly lost and unstable.  At first Acts 24:15 YLT was referring to AD 70 then it wasn’t.  If I recall he said Romans 8:18 YLT could have a double type of fulfillment but couldn’t exegetically prove it.  Then he didn’t know for sure if there was one parousia in the NT (example even in 1 Cor. 15) that began in AD 70 and would culminate/manifest at the end of history or if there were two parousias – one in AD 70 and one at the end of time.  He still embraced and may continue to do so - that the millennium of Revelation 20 was fulfilled between AD 30 – AD 70.  Of course I would have loved to have added that admission to the chart above addressing partial preterist admissions to full preterism, but he continues to changes his views on key texts faster than we can read his previous ones, so I thought it may be wise to wait!  He is a good librarian and is capable of telling everyone what “some scholars believe about this and others that,” but that’s about it.  In fact that’s about all your approach was in WSTTB? Keith – pure and utter confusion.  His approach reflects your confusion and problems and therefore he is your problem now.  Were you and Gentry so desperate that you had to sign off on someone so new and unstable (out of a heretical cult per you) to do work you are too lazy to do?  Is that even scriptural to do?   And on that note of your confusion and that of reformed eschatology in general let me move on to my request to solve the problem not just document it.

    Request for an open dialogue with you at Ligonier Academy to discuss our chapters or an opportunity to present full preterism as a theological movement

    I want to review first your utter confusion in WSTTB? and then ask you if this is something your conscience feels good with and do you think students want to know about the plethora of confusing futurist views, or if their hearts are craving for what Jesus and the NT really teaches about “the time of the end” (not the end of time)? 

    “It is ironic that the title of Mathison’s book is When Shall These Things Be?  Not only is there no consensus among the authors as to the answer to that very question, but Mathison himself (the only author who attempts to answer the question) fails to arrive at an unequivocal and decisive answer.  Within a span of six pages (177–182), Mathison tacitly admits that the question is a problem for futurism, and offers seven or eight possible “solutions.”

    If we were to apply Mathison’s method in eschatological matters to all other areas of life, we would be certain of nothing; we would all be postmodernists.  The truth would become unknowable.  Mathison himself, in his book The Shape of Sola Scriptura, teaches that “clear” and “firm scriptural proof for every article of faith” is a “necessity.” Yet in WSTTB, Mathison demonstrates with his plethora of “possible interpretations” that he lacks “clear” and “firm” scriptural proof either for futurism or against preterism.  Nevertheless, he feels at liberty to anathematize us for our preterist challenge to futurism (213).

    Mathison claims that Christ died to leave the church, for 2,000 years and counting, in an “evil age.”  As my editor has said, “Joy to the world!”  Postmillennialists such as Marcellus Kik and Keith Mathison have produced not so much an Eschatology of Victory or An Eschatology of Hope, as a “sick” eschatology, because, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Prov. 13:12).  Preterism will stand the test of time; and as godly men embrace it and teach it, it will bring healing to the “eschatological schizophrenia” of Mathison et al, and to the eschatological division within the church as a whole.”[14]

    It is my sincere prayer and desire that after presenting such a confusing chapter and book for the reformed community to swallow and after five years of avoidance and apparent denial of our book’s existence, that at the very least we can sit down in front of faculty and students to discuss these issues.  Hopefully you and Ligonier Ministries are truly interested in “clear” and “firm” scriptural proof for every article of faith and not just interested in turning future Pastor’s into mini seminary instructors only capable of giving multitudes of futuristic interpretations of eschatological texts as they pass along your confusion to the layman?  Please allow me to speak to the faculty and students about full preterism as perhaps not just a theological movement (“heretical” or not), but what it truly is - the organic development of reformed eschatology.

    Conclusion

    Per your request I sent you an electronic version of the second edition of HD for you and your co-authors to read.  Please take the time to respond and encourage your co-authors to attempt some kind of response as well – if not in book form at least in a critical article posted in a theological journal or reputable web site.  Again, if no written or printed response is forthcoming I will conclude with the kind of thinking as such partial preterists as Gary North and that the side that stops responding in print in the debate has lost the debate.  There is no response because a consistent exegetical one cannot be given.  However, I appreciate the work that you, your co-authors and anti-full preterist associates have done thus far in demonstrating that the “one” Second Coming “the [one] parousia” of Christ attended with the one judgment and resurrection of the dead took place spiritually, corporately from AD 30 – AD 70 at the end of the old covenant age which resulted with the souls of saints being emptied out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom.

     

    In Christ,

     

Michael J. Sullivan 



[1] R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus, (Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 1998), 157.


[2] Michael Sullivan, David Green, Edward Hassertt, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Ramona, CA:  Vision Publishing 2014, Second Edition), 80-84.


[3] Ibid., 91.


[4] Ibid., 97


[5] Ibid., 87-95.  See also Michael Sullivan, A Full Preterist Response to Kenneth Gentry’s Articles:  DANIEL 12, TRIBULATION, AND RESURRECTION and ACTS 24:15 AND THE ALLEGED NEARNESS OF THE RESURRECTION http://fullpreterism.com/a-full-preterist-response-to-kenneth-gentrys-articles-daniel-12-tribulation-and-resurrection-and-acts-2415-and-the-alleged-nearness-of-the-resurrection/  And Keith as I mentioned in an email I didn’t have a lot of space in my chapter to address Gentry and Jordan’s progressive partial preterist view on the judgment and resurrection of the dead, but would refer you to this article. 


[6] Michael Sullivan, House Divided, 116-123.  This begs the question that DeMar has not answered in that if the “glory” was “about to be revealed” in Romans 8:18 YLT, then contextually so was the liberation of creation from its bondage, the full adoption of the sons of God, and the redemption of the body.  I also quote one of DeMar and Gentry’s favorite partial preterists (John Lightfoot) where he admits that the “creation” groaning in this passage has nothing to do with the planet earth (not even poetically) but rather men under sin (which is the full preterist view of the creation here).  I have been asking Gary to comment on this for many years now, but like you and your co-authors --- you all seem “too busy” to comment. 


[7] Ibid., 122-123.


[8] Ibid., 126-128.


[9] Ibid., 102-109.


[10] This should have been footnoted on page 139 of my chapter in reference to Hebrews 9:26-28 but it got deleted for some reason in the editing process.  The admission here is from Milton Terry,The ‘end of the age’ means the close of the epoch or age—that is, the Jewish age or dispensation which was drawing nigh, as our Lord frequently intimated. All those passages that speak of ‘the end,’ ‘the end of the age,’ or ‘the ends of the ages,’ refer to the same consummation, and always as nigh at hand.” “…the writer regarded the incarnation of Christ as taking place near the end of the aeon, or dispensational period. To suppose that he meant that it was close upon the end of the world, or the destruction of the material globe, would be to make him write false history as well as bad grammar. It would not be true in fact; for the world has already lasted longer since the incarnation than the whole duration of the Mosaic economy, from the exodus to the destruction of the temple. It is futile, therefore, to say that the ‘end of the age’ may mean a lengthened period, extending from the incarnation to our times, and even far beyond them. That would be an aeon, and not the close of an aeon. The aeon of which our Lord was speaking was about to close in a great catastrophe; and a catastrophe is not a protracted process, but a definitive and culminating act.Milton S. Terry, Biblical HERMENEUTICS A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 441-442.


[11] Michael Sullivan, House Divided, Ibid., 112, footnote 45. 


[12] Ibid., 89-95, 178.  In first edition, 89. 


[13] Ibid., 139-140.


[14] Ibid., 140.

Views: 152

Comment by Mike Sullivan on February 5, 2014 at 1:26pm

Hmmm, for some reason when I pasted this in it got all of my outlined numbers out of whack and the software added others in.  Oh well, it is still readable I hope.   

Comment by Boyardee on February 6, 2014 at 11:19am

Quite interesting read and still readable regardless.

I wouldn't hold my breath for a response, at least the one you are looking for. As someone battling with the AD70 parousia and resurrection "dilemma" myself, Im pretty sure no exegetical point by point refutation is coming, but of course I am willing to be wrong!

The challenge however, at least for me, is that the points and exegesis you raise, do not fully address the reason why people (at least for me) hold onto a biological resurrection. I have been detailing on the Forum the questions I have pertaining to the preterist understanding of resurrection. The simple reason why I still hold onto a biological resurrection is because it is the only way I can understand some verses and regardless of the connections with other verses, every time I read them they still speak of a biological resurrection.

While it is pretty easy to locate the "timing" of the resurrection, it still remains elusive (IMO) to define coherently what resurrection is in all the passages and it takes only one black swan to show that they are not all white.

Comment by davo on February 6, 2014 at 11:17pm

It might just be a matter of “time” for you Jefrey.

As I see it, broadly speaking… the NT’s testimony of passing from “death to life” i.e., ‘resurrection’, speaks to covenantal realities and has zip, zero and zilch to do with biology, but that as you know is my understanding. :)

Comment by Boyardee on February 7, 2014 at 2:00am

Davo

Thanks, but why dont you help with my questions? Im sure thats all I need, to be given an understanding of how to read the verses in a preterist paradigm.

Comment by davo on February 7, 2014 at 7:14am

Hey Jefrey I think you’ve already had HEAPS of good answers to your many questions over numerous posts, which leads me to think that it might only be a matter of time for these things to start to gel for you; so there’s not much more I could add. :)

Comment by Boyardee on February 7, 2014 at 7:18am

I agree there has been heaps of help, but I must ask for more.

How about these two issues which I have been begging and pleading for answers

1) Did Jesus have a bodily resurrection

2) Who are the dead in 1 Cor 15: 21, 35, 42 and 52

Comment by davo on February 7, 2014 at 9:59am

Jefrey: 1) Did Jesus have a bodily resurrection

 

Of course… that is a basic tenet of Christianity. His of coarse being unique, but we don’t need to go through all that again as I refer you back to your ‘Resurrection’ post on that etc.

 

Jefrey: 2) Who are the dead in 1 Cor 15: 213542 and 52

 

From my perspective “the dead” was OC Israel. The death (and thus consequent resurrection) of vs 21 is “covenantal”, i.e., spiritual, relational.

 

The Greek of vs 35 actually reads… But someone will ask, “How are the dead being raised? With what kind of body [singular] are they coming?

 

The Greek parsing reflects the reality of “Israel’s resurrection” as an active event occurring in that age via “the body of Christ” i.e., the new covenant mode of existence, as opposed to the old covenant mode of existence or what could be described as “the body of Moses”.

 

Likewise with vs 42 in the Greek parsing reads… So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is being raised is imperishable. – none other than old covenant / new covenant.

 

Thus the incorruptible change of vs 52 speaks to the fullness of covenant renewal or renewed STANCE before God achieved in the Parousia.

 

Paul again speaks to the active THEN PRESENT resurrection work of God as is reflected by the texts present tense

 

2Cor 1:9-10 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves [that being the OC as per 2Cor 3:7, 9], that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who is raising the dead, who delivered us from so great a death [that being the OC as per 2Cor 3:7, 9], and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.

Comment by Mike Sullivan on February 7, 2014 at 1:45pm

Jefrey,  Do you have a copy of the second edition of HD?  It has two chapters (including an exposition of 1 Cor. 15) dedicated to the resurrection?  If not, go to Pay Pal and you can get a copy from me for $17 (my email is healinglvs@aol.com) and I'll ship that out to you today or tomorrow.  Lord bless.

Comment by Boyardee on February 21, 2014 at 1:52am

Mike,

Did you receive my email?

Comment

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