Dear Pastors Jeff Durbin, Luke Pierson & James White or To Whom it May Concern at the APOLOGIA Church,
I recently listened to your podcast on “hyper-preterism” (see link at end of article) and as a Sovereign Grace Full Preterist apologist, author and debater — I would like to TRULY “engage” with you over your public statements of my position. I co-authored, “House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…” and interacted with Keith A. Mathison and Simon Kistemaker and their attempts to refute Full Preterism in their co-authored book, “When Shall These Things Be?…” I have a background in being a Reformed Baptist, so I am very familiar with your views. I have challenged James White to debate but of course he “won’t debate eschatology.” The sad thing is when “Reformed” “Apologists” make these kind of statements (along with “dreading” teaching Matthew 24) when the facts are one cannot separate soteriology from eschatology or failing to realize that the call to “defend” our “hope” is an eschatological passage itself (1 Pet. 3:15/Cols. 1:27/Jn. 14:2; 23/Rev. 21:16/1 Cor. 15:28). I recently debated Charismatic Dr. Michael Brown (White’s friend) over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 because Sam Waldron and White did such a horrible job of dealing with their foundational text with exegetical “integrity.”
I conducted myself as a Christian gentleman and abided by the debate rules. In fact the only criticism I got from the FP community was that I was “too soft” on him – lol. I would do the same in engaging with you. Here is my debate with Dr. Brown over 1 Corinthians 13:8-12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5DZRv56eQg&t=962s
Here was my review and further thoughts on the debate: https://fullpreterism.com/reviewing-and-critiquing-my-debate-with-charismatic-dr-michael-brown-over-1-corinthians-138-12-and-introducing-a-full-preterist-chronomessianic-interpretation-argument-on-daniel-924-27-that-went-un/
Jeff, you claimed that it was so important that Reformed Christians have a “consistent eschatology” and that we need to accept the 100 plus time texts were fulfilled by AD 70 — if not, Christians aren’t dealing with these texts with “Christian integrity.” So where was James White or Sam Waldron to discuss the 100 plus time texts with you?!? Maybe because you would have had a 100 or more contradictory statements and exposed your eschatology is not as “consistent” as you claimed? I have on record Partial Preterists asserting that Premillennial or Amillennialists that don’t believe those 100 plus time texts were fulfilled in AD 70 are coming dangerously close to denying the inspiration and infallibility of Scripture. And I have other statements from Amillennialists who mock the Partial Preterist two comings theory to be no better than the two coming theory of the pre-trib rapture theory. Or they admit that if you accept those 100 plus time texts were fulfilled in AD 70, a “consistent hermeneutic” would require you go all the way into Full Preterism. Amazing how you didn’t address any of these issues. WHY?
Here is how your Partial Preterism and James White and Waldron’s classic Amillennialism “consistently” forms (not refutes) Full Preterism:
I also noticed how you didn’t discuss how Partial Preterism does believe the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 and that the coming of Christ in BOTH Matthew 24 AND 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70. Let’s discuss creedal “orthodoxy” and “consistency” on admissions like this. Nor did you go over how Partial Preterist Milton Terry took Acts 1:11 as fulfilled in AD 70. Very telling.
Your Partial Preterist guest Andrew Sandlin claimed we could have gotten a “splinter” if we touched the Tree of Life in Genesis. So does he believe the “Tree of Life” and cubed New Jerusalem is something we touch or will touch physically and get a splinter?!?
Of course the truth is the New Jerusalem was in the process of “coming down” (Rev. 3:11-12 NIV) and did arrived on earth at Christ’s “soon” Second Coming. The “Jerusalem from above” is the NC Church and the picture of her coming out of heaven to earth is descriptive of her maturity in AD 70. Now her gates are open and through the gospel the nations are being healed. The Tree of Life and Living Water are Christ and the Holy Spirit giving eternal life to all who enter by faith. Again, are there TWO arrivals of the New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life coming to earth?!? Are we going to get a “splinter” on Christ?
He also claims we will all be getting older before his third coming of Christ arrives (based on Isaiah 65). So Jeff, will the anatomy of animals begin changing as well – lions and wolves will eat straw and not ox or sheep before this imaginary third coming of Jesus? When do we begin allowing our children to play with poisonous snakes before this third coming of Jesus is fulfilled? Like Dispensationalism, its interesting where this hyper-literalism leads. Let’s discuss the “consistency” of these Partial Preterist interpretations.
Please respond to my gracious challenge so we can go over the propositions and format of the discussion/debate. I have heard from some on facebook that you might be willing to have a partner debate and they suggested you and Gary DeMar. Gary has been avoiding a public discussion / debate with us for over 30 years so we would gladly welcome him as your partner. He has publicly defended or supported that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 and 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70 (as has Keith Mathison). If I recall, Gary also holds to the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 as fulfilled in AD 70 as well? Myself and Don have wanted to press him on those admissions for years. If he isn’t willing to be your partner you may try your co-Elder James White.
While James is not a Partial Preterist and “doesn’t debate eschatology,” he does debate the atonement and if he agrees with your show that Full Preterism denies or perverts the atonement, then he could debate my debate partner (Don Preston) on that subject.
Don and James can debate the death/sin of Adam and the life/righteousness of Christ in our union with His resurrection (primary texts Romans 5-11 / 1 Corinthians 15) as the hope of Israel (the nature of a substitutionary atonement/death & resurrection) and Jeff, we can debate the timing of the Second Coming, judgment and resurrection of the dead, arrival of the New Creation and Reformed orthodoxy with the importance of having a “consistent hermeneutic.” I will be in touch with you and hope we can set something up in a FP “soon” time frame. Once we hear back from you we can discuss debate propositions, format and where it could take place. I personally favor in person debates and having access to power point slides in front of a live audience and not Internet debates.
Thank you for your time.
My Response to Jeff Durbin’s Podcast:
1). “It is important for (Reformed) Christians to have a CONSISTENT eschatology” and to have “Christian INTEGRITY” by admitting there are over 100 imminent time texts in the NT which were fulfilled in AD 70.
This of course was one of the main issues we dealt with in “House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology…” – and that is, exposing this myth that they have a “consistent eschatology.” Just put James White, Sam Waldron, Keith Mathison and Kenneth Gentry on the show with Jeff and I would expose that myth rather quickly. Let’s run through just SOME examples. Since Jeff admitted all of Luke 21 and Matthew 21-24 was fulfilled in AD 70 along with the rest of the NT’s 100 plus time texts, lets address some of these issues.
Luke 21 / Matthew 21-25 – forms NT eschatology & “consistency” / “integrity”
Jeff (a Partial Preterist – PP) admits the coming of Christ and redemption of Luke 21 was fulfilled in AD 70. Yet classic Amillennialists such as Waldron and White would admit this is the Second Coming (SC) event and the “redemption” is the “redemption of the body” in Romans 8:18-23. While there, will Jeff please explain the “time text” of mello and admit like Gary DeMar that this glorification was “about to be” and was fulfilled in AD 70 (Rms. 8:18 YLT)? Or maybe elaborate on Reformed PP theologian John Lightfoot admitting the creation groaning and subject to decay here is addressing sin in the creation of man and not the physical planet? Was Lightfoot a “gnostic”? Obviously, this is not a minor inconsistency for you but not us – lol.
And obviously there are all of the parallels (the analogy of faith or analogy of Scripture hermeneutic) between Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 which most Reformed theologians and commentators would say is the ONE SC event — of which Jeff must deny.
Jeff maintains the coming and “gathering” into the kingdom of Matthew 24:30-31/Luke 21:27-32 was fulfilled spiritually while White and Waldron would say Matthew 24:30-31/Luke 21:27-32 is the SC and resurrection event. How can we make these two views TRULY “consistent” with exegetical “integrity”? Easy:
Jeff, White and Waldron along with MOST Reformed theologians and commentators would agree with US (not you) that the analogy of faith (parallels & Paul’s eschatology is Jesus’) principle of interpretation demonstrates the coming of Christ in Matthew 24 IS the parousia of Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 AND 1 Corinthians 15:
So Jeff is maintaining the coming of Christ and the “redemption” of Luke 21 was fulfilled in AD 70, yet others like Waldron and White would claim this is the ONE SC and resurrection event. Jeff would maintain that the coming and “gathering” of Christ in Matthew 24:27-31 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 and yet Waldron and White would claim this is the ONE SC and resurrection event. If you call that being exegetically “consistent” “integrity” – I have other descriptive adjectives.
Not only should we allow Paul and Jesus to be harmonized in Matthew 24 / 1 Thessalonians 4-5 / 1 Corinthians 15, but we should allow Paul to interpret himself in comparing Romans 5-8 with 1 Corinthians 15:
Having “consistently” and with “integrity” interpreted Paul’s teaching in light of Jesus,’ we shall now examine Paul’s OT sources in 1 Corinthians 15 and see what they may reveal:
James White and his father were/are fans of the WUESTNT and yet he correctly pointed out how “the last enemy” “the death” was in the process of “BEING destroyed.” If this is biological death, “Houston we have a problem.”
Jeff mentions the seriousness of believing in a physical judgment and resurrection of the dead at the end of world history. But of course Jeff isn’t telling you that his Reformed PP brethren have admitted that the resurrection and “end” of Daniel 12:1-3 was spiritually fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70. Why not discuss the lack of “consistency” and what PPism really teaches Jeff – since you are claiming to “care” so much about us and have all this exegetical “integrity” – seriously?!? Let’s discuss the Reformed PP implications of taking the “end of the age” and resurrection of Daniel 12:1-3=Matthew 13:39-43=Matthew 24:3-31 as fulfilled spiritually in AD 70.
The Olivet Discourse forms Pauline and NT eschatology and the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 IS the resurrection of the NT. No wonder you didn’t want to discuss “consistency” and this admission of PPism.
The “ALL these things” of Matthew 24:34 and Daniel 12:7 and the Resurrection of the Dead
Jeff, since you take the “ALL these things” (Mt. 24:3-34 or Lk. 21:5-32) as referring to AD 70, wouldn’t the “ALL these things” of Daniel 12:7 be referring to the resurrection event being fulfilled within the 3.5 years along with the Tribulation and Desolation or “when the power of the holy people [was] completely shattered” in AD 70? If not why not?
The Partial Preterist admission of the resurrection of Daniel 12 being fulfilled spiritually “gives the farm away” since it is the end of the millennium resurrection of Revelation 20 which John tells us would be “shortly” or “about to be” fulfilled (Rev. 1:1, 9YLT):
The resurrection of Daniel 12 is also the resurrection of John 5 and 1 Corinthians 15:
I find it also interesting that the “already and not yet” of the coming “hour” of John 4-5 is the eschatological “hour” of Daniel 12 and Partial Preterists admit the “not yet” of the coming hour of John 4 was fulfilled in AD 70 but the exact same phrases found in the next chapter somehow refers to a far distant 2,000 plus and counting hour. Creating TWO “already and not yet” periods or an “already and not yet and not yet” periods of Partial Preterism is hardly “consistent” Jeff:
We have allowed Jesus (cf. Mt. 24) to interpret Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, we have allowed Paul to interpret himself (Rms. 5–13:11-12), we allowed Paul’s OT sources to help interpret Paul, and we have allowed the Reformed PP admission and classic Amillennial admissions that the resurrection of Daniel 12 was spiritually fulfilled in AD 70 and yet it is the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 – to help us interpret 1 Corinthians 15. This is called “consistent” exegetical “integrity” Jeff. You are stuck on 1 Corinthians 15 and John 6 in the same way an Arminian is stuck on John 3:16 or 1 John 2:2. It’s time to dig deeper my friend or go back to the White and Waldron compromise and denial of NT imminence model. Those are your choices. Partial Preterism has already conceded that between AD 30 – AD 70 there was a corporate body progressive resurrection and that Daniel 12:2-3 supports this. They also affirm 1 Corinthians 15 IS the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3. I have “consistently” harmonized your PPism while at the same time harmonize the contradictions between your PPism and White’s classic Amillennialism. You are welcome
James White on the Olivet Discourse
Jeff, your co-Elder James White tells us the truth is in the “middle” of Hyper-Preterism and Dispensationalism when interpreting Matthew 24. What exactly is in the “middle”? Clearly he is referring to Reformed Partial Preterism (your view) and that of his and Waldron’s classic Amillennial view. BUT the “middle” of these two views IS the Sovereign Grace Full Preterist view:
Major Premise: The coming of Christ in the OD is the ONE SC event to be fulfilled at the end of the age (Reformed Amillennialism)
Minor Premise: BUT the coming of Christ in the OD was fulfilled at the end of the OC age spiritually in Jesus’ contemporary “this generation” in AD 70 (Partial Preterism)
Conclusion / “CONSISTENCY”: THEREFORE, The ONE SC event predicted by Christ in the OD was fulfilled spiritually at the end of the OC age in AD 70 (Sovereign Grace Full Preterism). This is what we call, “Reformed and always reforming” and exegetical and historical “consistency.”
Jeff’s PPism is obviously NOT “consistent” and lacks “integrity” when put alongside Waldron and White’s classic creedal and Amillennial view. The “end of the age” or “end” judgment and resurrection of the dead of Daniel 12 IS the “end” and resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43/24:31; John 5-6; 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20:5-15. After all Jeff, Paul said this resurrection was “about to be” fulfilled in his day (Acts 24:15 YLT). So much for having “integrity” or “consistency” in dealing with those 100 plus time texts. Jeff, why not have a podcast explaining to us HOW within your PPism the judgment and resurrection of the dead was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 (1 Pet. 4:5-7; Rev. 11:8ff.; Dan. 12:2-3 [and it’s NT references]) – and invite Waldron and White on?!? If you truly “care” and want to show us how “consistent” and “orthodox” (creedal) you are, let’s get with it brother. Let’s have White and Waldron on the show to discuss the timing of the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 in light of your PPism and those 100 plus NT time texts.
The Apologia Church Confession of Faith
The Apologia Church confession of faith on eschatology simply says you believe Jesus is “coming again to judge the living and dead.” But Peter says the living and the dead were to be judged in an AD 70 “at hand” time frame (1 Pet. 4:5-7). How many judgments of the living and dead does Apologia Church teach from the pulpit and explain for us HOW the dead were judged in AD 70? And if the dead were judged, they were raised as well right? Please explain HOW the dead were raised and judged in AD 70.
Maybe you and Dr. White could debate these subjects and let us see how much “consistency” emerges?
Your co-host Pastor Luke Pierson, mentioned a discussion he had with a FP who claimed these texts don’t mention a Second Coming following Christ putting his enemies under His feet?!? Hebrews 10:13-37 is VERY clear that the “enemies” were “about to be” burned with fire when Christ was going to come in a “very little while” and would “not delay” in AD 70. These first century “enemies” were in the process of being placed under Christ’s feet just as the “last enemy” “the death” was “bEING destroyed” (1 Cor. 15 WUESTNT). Has physical death been in the process of “being destroyed” for 2,000 plus years? Who’s really denying the efficacy of the atonement? Not me!
Harmonizing Luke 21 and Matthew 24-25
Jeff, you claimed Luke 21 is the coming of Christ in AD 70 but apparently Matthew 24-25 includes the SC? Wow, so when Luke is discussing Jesus’ teaching on this matter he totally forgets to tell his Gentile audience about the end of world history and about Jesus’ actual SC – because they are Gentiles? That is your “apologetic” against FPism and Bible skeptics? Sad my friend. The truth of course is that Luke and Mark were written to of a more Gentile audience (agree there), but since the phrase “end of the age” is more Jewish and Christ spoke to the Jews in parables, Matthew is going to add that to his account along with more parables. Nothing here to support TWO comings – good try though. Matthew 24-25 is written with recapitulation (as is the book of Revelation) and is dealing with ONE Second Coming event just as Mark and Luke are. This is called exegetical “integrity” while your view has none:
The wedding of Matthew 22; 24-25 / Revelation 19-21 / Isaiah 25:6-9
Jeff, you claim the eschatological wedding and wedding feast of Matthew 22; 24-25 and Revelation 19-21 was fulfilled in AD 70, BUT the Reformed classic Amillennialist will correctly point out to you that this is WHEN “the last enemy” “the death” is “swallowed up” (Isa. 25:6-9/1 Cor. 15). Again, we harmonize these two competing “Reformed” views and make them TRULY “consistent” and “orthodox” (straight) with “integrity” while your view does not.
Luke 21:22 – the fulfillment of all that has been written (in the OT)
And in your discussion of Luke 21, where was any discussion of this passage? If Jesus came to fulfill “all” that was written in the OT concerning His Second Coming within His contemporary “this generation,” then obviously that would include the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 and Isaiah 25:6-9.
End of world history and the PP missing de-creation text
Jesus nor the NT writers ever predicted the end of the planet earth as is simply assumed by so many here in Matthew 24:3, 29, 35 and elsewhere in the NT. When we take a combined look at some of the best theologians within the Reformed and Evangelical communities, we find a preterist interpretation of virtually every eschatological de-creation prophecy in the Bible. Combined, John Owen, John Locke, John Lightfoot, John Brown, R.C. Sproul, Gary DeMar, Kenneth Gentry, James Jordan, Peter Leithart, Keith Mathison, Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis, Hank Hanegraaff, and N.T. Wright teach that the passing away of heaven and earth (Matt. 5:17–18; 24:3, 29, 35; 1 Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3; I Jn. 2:17–18; Rev. 21:1) refers to the destruction of the temple or to the civil and religious worlds of men—either Jews or Gentiles; and that the rulers of the old covenant system or world, along with the temple, were the “sun, moon, and stars,” which made up the “heaven and earth” of the world that perished in AD 70. (John Owen, The Works of John Owen, 16 vols. (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1965–68), 9:134–135. John Lightfoot, Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica: Matthew – 1 Corinthians, 4 vols. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, , 1989), 3:452, 454. John Brown, Discourses and Sayings of our Lord, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust,  1990), 1:170. John Locke, The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St Paul Volume 2, (NY: Oxford University Press, 1987), 617–618. R.C. Sproul, The Last Days According to Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks, 1998). Kenneth Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion (Tyler TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), 363–365. Kenneth Gentry (contributing author), Four Views on the Book of Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1998), 89. Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs: GA, 1999), 68–74, 141–154, 191–192. James B. Jordan, Through New Eyes Developing a Biblical View of the World (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, 1998), 269–279. Crispin H.T. Fletcher-Louis (contributing author) Eschatology in Bible & Theology (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1997), 145–169. Peter J. Leithart, The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of Second Peter (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2004). Keith A. Mathison, Postmillennialism: An Eschatology of Hope (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1999), 114, 157–158. N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1996), 345–346. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 645, n.42. Hank Hanegraaff, The Apocalypse Code (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007), 84–86. C. Jonathin Seraiah, The End of All Things: A Defense of the Future (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2002).
These interpretations are, individually considered, “orthodox.” Yet when Full Preterists consolidate the most defensible elements of Reformed and Evangelical eschatology, anti-preterists unite in opposition to even some of their own statedviews. The Full Preterist combines the two competing “orthodox” views on the coming of the Lord and de-creation of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 to form a consistently exegetical and historical position:
CLASSIC AMILLENNIAL VIEW: The coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24-25 is the ONE second coming event as is the de-creation spoken of here.
PARTIAL PRETERIST VIEW: The coming of the Son of Man happened spiritually and the end of age, de-creation of verses 3, 29 and 35 are descriptive of the passing of the old covenant creation/age and the establishing the new by AD 70.
SOVEREIGN GRACE FULL PRETERIST VIEW (Synthesis/”CONSISTENCY”of above views – “Reformed and always reforming”): The coming of the Son of Man is the ONE second coming event (as is the de-creation spoken of in verses 3, 29, 35) whereby Christ came spiritually to end the old covenant creation/age in the events of AD 66 – AD 70 and establish the new.
Then there is the exegetical fact that what you place as the “end” of world history, the OT and NT instructs us is the “end” of the OC age and per the Futurist hyper-literal hermeneutic there is birth, sin, evangelism and death taking place postSecond Coming / arrival of the New Creation (Isa. 65-66/Rev. 22:17).
And what about the book of Revelation? Jeff Durbin claims the imminent coming of Christ through the prophecy is referring to AD 70, while Waldron, White and other classic Amillennialists along with the WCF and London Baptist Confession of Faith would affirm this is the ONE SC event which ends the millennium of Revelation 20. Doesn’t the Partial Preterism of Jeff and classic Amillennial view of Waldron and White FORM Full Preterism – hardly refuting it?!?
One Partial Preterist Joel McDurmon desperate to find a physical end of world history passing of the heavens and earth claimed “heaven and earth” “fleeing” in Revelation 20 was physical because the Greek word pheugo was used. Of course he wasn’t “consistent” when he failed to comment on how pheugo is used within Revelation itself to refer to the de-creation of Israel in Revelation 6 and 16. This deceptive hermeneutic as not only inconsistent, but lacking “Christian integrity” – something Jeff claims his PPism is offering:
Seven Brief Points Which Prove The Full Preterist View of the Millennium of Revelation 20 is Exegetical and Orthodox
1) Reformed Partial Preterist author Kenneth Gentry in his writings informs us that the book of Revelation is about things which were in the past, present, and things which were “about to be” fulfilled in John’s day (Rev. 1:19 YLT). Therefore, there is no exegetical evidence to support that Revelation 20 does not fall within these inspired time indicators. In fact even Gentry’s reformed peers understand that if one interpret the imminent time texts at the beginning and end to be referring to AD 70, then everything is fulfilled by AD 70, “But 1:3 and 22:10 are like bookends enclosing the whole prophecy of Revelation. The fulfillment of everything, not just a part, is near.” (Vern S. Poythress, THE RETURNING KING A GUIDE TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing Company, 2000) 34).
2) As G.K. Beale has reminded us, it is reformed and orthodox to believe that the thousand years is not just a symbolic number, but is one that does not have to be taken to describe a long time (ie. thousands of years etc…): “The primary point of the thousand years is probably not a figurative reference to a long time…” (Beale, G. K. (1999). The book of Revelation: A commentary on the Greek text. New International Greek Testament Commentary (1018). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.)
3). It has also been acknowledged by reformed theologians Such as Beale when approaching the millennium of Revelation 20, that many Rabbis believed that the period of Messiah was to be only a transitionary stage between “this age/world and the age/world to come.” These Rabbis (such as R. Adiba), understood this transition period to be forty years, based upon how long the Israelites were in the wilderness before inheriting the land (Beale, ibid., 1018-1019; see also, A. Cohen, Everyman’s TALMUD, 356). This type/anti-type understanding and same kind of “this generation” or “in a very little while” time frame of “another day” approaching in which the “better” heavenly land/city/resurrection would be inherited or take place is developed for us in the book of Hebrews (cf. Heb. 3-4; 10:25, 37; 11—13:14YLT). And as we have noted from reformed Partial Preterists such as Joel McDurmon or Gary DeMar, it is within the realm of reformed orthodoxy to believe that Jesus’ and Paul’s “this age/world” was the OC age and that the “age/world to come” refers to a transition period between the OC age and the NC age (ie. between AD 30 – AD 70).
4). As the imminent time texts point to a fulfillment of Revelation 20, so does the recapitulation or parallel structure of Revelation point an AD 70 fulfillment for the millennium. Reformed Partial Preterists such as Keith Mathison, Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan correctly teach us that the content of Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled by AD 70 (at which time there was a judgment and resurrection of the dead and arrival of the new creation). And yet Amillennialists such as G.K. Beale, Robert Strimple and Simon Kistemaker correctly teach that Revelation 20:5-15 simply recapitulates these verses and themes or are paralleled to the same events related to the same judgment and consummation scenes depicted in chapters 1-19 and 21-22. We hold to both of these reformed and common sense “orthodox” positions in interpreting the book of Revelation and this becomes relevant in our discussion of the millennium of Revelation 20. Revelation 20 is not an isolated island standing away from the time texts or from the structure the book was written in.
5). In criticizing the Premillennial view which often seeks to isolate Revelation 20 from the rest of the NT, the Amillennial and Postmillennial views hold that Revelation 20 falls within the “already and not yet” of the “last days” period in the NT. Or this transition period can be found in the parable of the wheat and tares or the time frame leading up to the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25. But as we have seen, it is “orthodox” to believe the “last days” ended with the OC age in AD 70, and that harvest gathering and coming of Christ in Matthew 13 and Matthew 24-25 was fulfilled by AD 70 (cf. the writings of and combinations found in Gary DeMar, Joel McDurmon, Peter Leithart, Keith A. Mathison, etc…).
6). Consider the following:
a. if it is true that Matthew 24 – 25 cannot be divided and the coming of Christ and judgment in these chapters refer to AD 70 (Gary DeMar/Joel McDurmon and Keith Mathison or it is “possible” that they do ie. Kenneth Gentry)and…
b. if “John’s version of Matthew 24-25 is found in the book of Revelation” (Gary DeMar) and…
c. if it is true that Matthew 24:27-31—25:31ff. is descriptive of the one and end of the age Second Coming, judgment and resurrection event as is Rev. 20:5-15 (the classic Amillennial or creedal position) and…
d. if it is hermeneutically valid to “parallel” Matthew 24-25 material with the book of Revelation, then Partial Preterism along with the classic Amillennial view have some explaining to do in that their views form the “this generation” forty years millennial view of Full Preterism…
|Matthew 24-25||Revelation 20:5-15|
|Resurrection and judgment Matt. 24:30-31 (cf. Matt. 13:39-43/Dan. 12:2-3) Matt. 25:31-46 (cf. Matt. 16:27)||Resurrection and judgment Rev. 20:5-15|
|De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee Matt. 24:29, 35 (cf. Matt. 5:17-18)||De-creation heaven and earth pass/flee Rev. 20:11 (cf. Rev. 6:14; 16:20; 21:1)|
|Christ on throne to judge Matt. 25:31||God on throne to judge Rev. 20:11|
|Wicked along with Devil eternally punished Matt. 25:41-46||Wicked along with Devil eternally punished Rev. 20:10, 14-15|
7). Consider the following:
a. if the judgment (opening of the book), resurrection, time of the end of Daniel 12:1-4, 13 was fulfilled by AD 70 (Partial Preterism Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan) and…
b. if the judgment (opening of the book), resurrection, time of the end of Daniel 12:1-4, 13 is the same eschatological time of the end events as described for us in Revelation 20:5-15 (classic Amillennial view) and…
c. if “John in the book of Revelation picks up where Daniel leaves off” (Partial Preterism John Lightfoot, Gary DeMar, James Jordan) and “parallels” between Daniel 12 and Revelation 20 are hermeneutically valid to make (classic Amillennialism), then once again Partial Preterism along with classic Amillennialism have some explaining to do in that their views form the “this generation” forty years millennial view of Full Preterism…
|Daniel 12:1-2||Revelation 20:5-15|
|Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from eternal condemnation Dan. 12:1-2||Only those whose names are written in the book would be delivered/saved from the lake of fire Rev. 20:12-15|
|This is the time for the resurrection and judgment of the dead Dan. 12:1-2||This is the time for the resurrection and judgment of the dead Rev. 20:5-15|
Therefore, the reader should be able to discern that the Full Preterist AD 30 – AD 70 “this generation” millennial view is:
1). consistent with the teaching of Revelation itself,
2) falls within the “orthodox” views of the Reformed church,
3) is in line with the analogy of Scripture and
4) offers historical support from many Rabbis whom promoted a forty years transitional period between the two ages.
Our view on the millennium is both exegetically sound and orthodox. Finding support for the Full Preterist view of the millennium is not as difficult as many portray it – selah.
Your PP view that somehow Revelation 1-19 and 21-22 was fulfilled imminently in AD 70, but the end of the millennium judgment and resurrection of the dead of chapter 20 wasn’t, has no exegetical support.
Luke 21 / Matthew 24-5 and Acts 1-3
Jeff mentioned Acts 1:11 as just no way being fulfilled in AD 70. Of course what Jeff didn’t tell you is that one of the main if not main Partial Preterist theologian Milton Terry saw this passage being fulfilled in AD 70. Interesting how Jeff’s BEST PP theologian agrees with us and not him. He claims he is being “consistent” and having “integrity” but fails to mention how PP theologians both take Acts 1:11 and the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 as fulfilled in AD 70. Sorry, I just don’t see this as acting out of “Christian integrity” or exegetical “consistency.”
But again, the creeds and majority of Reformed theologians and commentators see the coming of Christ here in Acts 1:11 being the same coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30 and the evangelism or Great Commission (GC) of Matthew 24:14 being the same as Acts 1:8. In fact my Reformed PP opponent Keith Mathison has told us that when the GC of Acts 1:8 is fulfilled is when Christ coming on the clouds of Acts 1:11 will be fulfilled. So let’s examine these issues briefly.
We would agree with the creedal or classic Amillennialist that the Second Coming of Christ in Matthew 24 IS the same Second Coming event Luke lays out in Acts 1 – 3:
Of course the TRUTH is that Jeff’s Partial Preterism leads to the “consistent” Full Preterist view and when we combine the various Futurist positions (such as that of James White and Sam Waldron) they definitely form the “consistent” Sovereign Grace Full Preterist position. Yes I’m going to post this again in case you missed it:
Obviously the “consistency” and “integrity” belongs to my view and not yours. But good try though.
2). Logical fallacies, scare tactics and misrepresentations
Your logical fallacies and scare tactics were legion my friend. Your inability to defend what you said in the program and logical fallacies are what make me “angry” — let’s get the facts straight.
a). False claims that Full Preterists don’t see the Gentile inclusion in the OT and NT
Of course I have been a Sovereign Grace Full Preterist for over 30 years and have NEVER denied this. Not only have I not denied it, but establishing Jew and Gentile in ONE body/man is the essence of Full Preterism or Gospel Eschatology. Myself and other Full Preterists destroy the small amount of real “Hyper-Preterists” out there that do deny this. Let’s get the facts straight.
b). The assertion that we deny the physical resurrection of Christ, His deity or atonement.
This was SO desperate and sad. Again, over 30 years in the movement and I have NEVER believed the things you are tying to claim we believe! But it is YOU who deny the High Priestly atonement and redemption of Christ that was “about to be” fulfilled when He appeared a “second time” out of the Temple – at the end of the OC age in a “very little while” to take away our sin (Lk. 21:27/Heb. 9:26-28–10:37; Rms. 11:26-27/13:11-12).
c). Is Partial Preterism or Full Preterism more effective at refuting Bible skeptics and upholding the deity of Christ?
Some Jews did believe (all the way up until around AD 100) that Daniel 7:13 was not only Messianic, but He would somehow be divine (based on His description and that only God came upon the clouds). The OG LXX states that the one like the Son of Man would “come upon the clouds AS (not up to) the Ancient of Days.” This is exactly how Jesus is described in Revelation 1:7-18 – the Ancient of Days and the Alpha and Omega. Jeff, you are confused it is OUR view that more effetely refutes Bible critics (liberals, Islam & Zionists) regarding an imminent Second Coming (not “a” coming) that either refutes or upholds the claims of Jesus’ deity. Good try though.
d). “Come home the light is always on”
The Father and Son have come and made their “home” within us and the light is always on in the New Jerusalem (Jn. 14:23 / Rev. 21:16ff.). I don’t have to be a “member” of a Reformed Baptist Church to “be home. Your appeals to “come hone” to mother church has been echoed by the Roman Catholic Church. Be consistent in your appeals to church tradition, counting noses and this manipulative nonsense and go Roman Catholic as some other “Reformed” theologians have.
I’m sure John Eck exhorted Luther to “come home” to compromise as well. I’ll pass on your offer Jeff, but if you and White want to actually continue the work of the Reformation “Reformed and always reforming” — we are always looking for some good men. David spent a lot of time in the caves and persecuted before his time of elevation. Such is the time frame of Full Preterism but we are going and will continue to grow with God adding “mighty men of valor” to our ranks daily.
e). You claim Full Preterists are “angry”
Jeff, how LONG has it been since your boy Keith A. Mathison said he would respond to my chapter response to him in our book, HD but hasn’t?!? You men claim you “care” and will “respond” to these issues but NEVER do. You “caring,” your alleged “integrity” and “consistency” are ALL scams. I think you may be mistaken over my “anger” it is being jealous and zealous for the Name and integrity of Christ as the “Faithful and True Witness” and not tolerating your false piety (you “care”) and false appeals to “consistency” etc…
You are allowed to be “angry” at Arminians when they censor you and won’t respond to your arguments but we aren’t allowed to be angry at your compromise, your censorship and failure to address the issues. Wow.
f). Lack of godliness
Another cheap shot below the belt. Again, I’ve been a SGFP for 30 years and my life has been nothing but blessed and my faith strengthened. So much so that I don’t have to stoop to these low levels you have had too. And you wonder why Full Preterists are “angry” – lol. The truth is we are “jealous / zealous” for His Name and He accomplished “ALL” (atonement as High Priest, judgment and resurrection of the dead, arrival of the New Creation) that He said He would “WHEN” (“this generation” “about to be” “will not be delayed”) He said He would.
And of course Futurist Calvinists have never been characterized as “bitter” “angry” or “one sighted” on their pet doctrines of election etc…?!? Never accused as being too focused on doctrine and not on “loving” others etc… Jeff, you really do need to come up with some real arguments – this false piety and manipulative garbage doesn’t work.
g). Conflating “Hyper-Preterism” with Full Preterism – and “leaving Christianity”
Sovereign Grace Full Preterism believes in the sovereign and free grace of God, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, etc… There have been MANY Futurists and Calvinists that have also left the faith and have gone into Open Theism, Catholicism and adopted bible skeptic arguments as to why the Scriptures are not inspired (you know them because James White has debated them!). So I could conclude that Futurism or Calvinism breeds unbelief if I were to adopt your horrific line of “logic” disguised as “caring.” And you wonder why you come across “angry” Full Preterists – lol.
When I attended The Master’s College and was a 5 point Calvinist 4 point “Calvinists” called my position on limited atonement to be “Hyper Calvinist” (before MacArthur made the change). It’s just a way of trying to shut down the conversation and scare people from studying the view. The truth of course is that a Hyper Calvinist is someone who does not Evangelize and a true Hyper Preterist is a small group of individuals who don’t see salvation post AD 70 for anyone.
h). The charge of “gnosticism”
I find it interesting that when Paul is addressing the error of a pre-AD 70 coming of the Lord and resurrection view, that he NEVER refers to the view as overly spiritual and thus gnostic. If it was the physical view you hold to, his powerful apologetic would have simply been something like this, “How can you believe the SC and resurrection has “already” occurred? We are still here aren’t we? The grave yards are still full aren’t they? The “end” of world history hasn’t taken place now has it? Again, power argument from silence that speaks VOLUMES.
To charge Jesus and the NT authors and the New Covenant anti-types of fulfillment as “gnostic” is a serious one.
- Your Partial Preterism is about as “consistent” and has about as much “integrity” as a four point “Calvinist.” And just as four point “Calvinism” isn’t really Calvinism and only serves as a stepping stone which leads to real Calvinism, so too, your compromised Partial Preterism is not real, exegetical or true Preterism – of which only continues to lead your students to us and the truth. Selah.
- I find it interesting that the “House Divided” of “When Shall These Things Be?…” approach has now made its way into your very own local church with you being a PP and James White being a classic Amillennialist (along with his mentor Sam Waldron). Let me know when you and White want to actually “engage” and do the work of an Apologist by debating us and stop pretending you as Elders are “consistent.” Until then, God’s people will see your approach for it was/is.
- If you are not willing to actually do the work of an apologist and debate us, please do not claim you are “engaging” our view.
Jeff, is it “gnostic” to believe the teachings of Jesus that when He was revealed from heaven (His Second Coming) the Kingdom would not be seen with the physical eyes but placed “within” the believer (Lk. 17:20-37 / Lk. 21:27-32)? In fact Paul stated that this “glory” was “about to be revealed IN” them in AD 70 (Rms. 8:18YLT). We are the New Jerusalem or God’s Most Holy Place dwelling that comes down from heaven to earth at His “soon” Second Coming (Rev. 21:16–22:6-7, 20) of which Christ (the Tree of Life) and Living Water (Holy Spirit) flow from from within us. Nothing “gnostic” here my friend just “consistent” exegetical “integrity.” It is your view that gives these spiritual interpretations in AD 70 BUT to be creedal, then give them TWO or DOUBLE fulfillments (why not just go back to Dispensationalism then?). It is ironic to watch PPism tell Amillennialist and Dispensationalists that they are not allowed to give their AD 70 passages double fulfillments (the Tribulation, Desolation, destruction of the Temple, apostasy, etc…), but when they get in trouble with the creeds or are pressed for consistency from FPism, they begin talking about TWO comings, TWO passings of heaven and earth, TWO arrivals of the new heavens and earth, TWO judgments and resurrections of the dead, etc… That’s NOT “consistent” exegetical “integrity” friend.
David Green answers this charge of gnosticism in our book,
“Strimple Argument #10: Because preterists deny the physicality of the resurrection of the dead, preterists are teaching a new form of the old heresy of Gnosticism (313). Preterism is therefore a physical body – disparaging doctrine.
Answer: Before answering this argument, we must first note that though preterists deny the physicality of the resurrection of the dead, preterists do not agree with the Gnostics on the meaning of “resurrection.” Preterists do not believe that “resurrection” is a mystical attainment that is realized through knowledge, secret or otherwise. The Reformed preterist understanding of life in Christ is radically other than the Gnostic understanding.
We believe that we are raised to life through one thing, and one thing only: Faith in the historic (real, actual, physical) death and resurrection of God the Son, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Gnostic
denial of this core gospel truth is one of the central errors that made them heretics in the worst sense of the word.
As for the idea that preterism necessarily leads to the Gnostic view that the body is to be despised or that it is evil, this can be quickly dismissed with a look at Matthew 22:30. It is in that verse that Jesus said
that those who had physically died would, in the resurrection of the dead, “neither marry nor be given in marriage.”
The opponents of preterism accept this teaching of the Lord, but they do not realize that if the preterist interpretation (a non-physical resurrection) necessarily implies that the physical body must be despised or viewed as evil, then Jesus’ teaching (no more marriage for those who participate in the resurrection of the dead) necessarily implies that marriage, and by implication sex and reproduction, must also be despised or viewed as evil.
If the preterist teaching that the physically dead saints were raised non-physically necessarily implies that the physical aspect of man is to be despised or that it is evil, then Jesus’ teaching that there is no marriage for the physically dead after they are raised must likewise necessarily imply that marriage, sexuality, and reproduction are to be despised or considered evil. If one conclusion is necessarily true, the other is necessarily true. If preterism is necessarily anti-body Gnosticism, then Jesus was, by the same logic, necessarily anti-marriage, anti-sex, and anti-reproduction. Therefore, the futurist claim that preterism is necessarily Gnostic (physical-body-disparaging) is fallacious.
The truth is that marriage, sex, reproduction, and the physical body are all good and temporary (Job 14:12; Eccles. 9:6; 1 Cor. 6:13). “Temporary” does not equal “despised” or “evil.” As with the temporality of marriage, sex, and reproduction, the temporality of the physical body in no way minimizes or negates the eternality of the Spirit-empowered works that are wrought by means of it. A temporal “tabernacle” (2 Pet. 1:13-15) in which and through which we obey and worship God “in spirit and in truth” is by no stretch of the imagination evil or to be despised.
Ironically, the reason that the physically dead saints who were raised in AD 70 did not get remarried and procreate again is because they were raised in a non-biological manner. They were and are spirits, “like the angels” (Matt. 22:30; Heb. 1:7). The Sadducees, like the futurists after them, did not understand this.
Before I conclude this answer, there is another, related charge of Strimple against preterists that I should address here, and that is that preterists are naturalistic rationalists and skeptics. This accusation comes as a surprise because it is difficult to understand how one could simultaneously be a Gnostic and a naturalistic rationalist. How can preterists believe in an over-spiritualized resurrection of the dead and at the same time be steeped in, as Strimple puts it, old-fashioned, blatantly naturalistic, “the universe is a closed system” rationalism? (307, 310, 328, 339)
As though these accusations were not contradictory enough, Strimple admits elsewhere that preterists are devoted to the defense of the divine origin and the divine authority of the Scriptures: “ . . . [T]he motivation behind their theology and their exegesis is apologetic” (289). The question now is how can preterists be defenders of the divine origin and authority of Scripture and also be naturalistic rationalists and skeptics and Gnostics at the same time?
While it is true that we can find certain preterists who have argued that a physical resurrection of the dead is an impossibility because of the dispersal of molecules throughout the aeons, it is not correct to paint preterists in general as people who argue in that manner. I am sure that I speak for the vast majority of preterists of Reformed background when I say that God is able at any time to physically resurrect all people of all generations.
Preterists do not reject a physical resurrection of the dead because we believe in a “closed universe,” or because we think that God lacks ability, or because we are skeptics or rationalists or naturalists, or because we have a Gnostic, matter-despising bent. We reject a physical resurrection of the dead for one reason and one reason only: Because we believe that the Word of God—the divine origin and authority of which we are championing—teaches a spiritual, non-physical (yet “bodily”) resurrection of the dead in the end of the old covenant age.
Our belief in the inerrancy and divine authority of the Bible, and in the deity of Christ, and in the goodness of God’s physical universe, and in regeneration by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone does not prove that we are correct in our understanding of the resurrection of the dead, but it does prove that we are not “naturalistic Gnostics.” (HD, pp. 176-179).
For those that want to watch this sad attempt at refuting Full Preterism here is a link to Jeff’s podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDFWNE6ut7o
We have no problem pointing our readers to the heretical Futurist teachings on the Second Coming, but they are constantly CENSORING us and not debating us. That should tell you everything
I’m ready to debate when you are Jeff: