A while back I’d posed the question here on this blog of whether there was or had been a purely scriptural critique of full (hyper) preterism. I was looking for a rebuttal strictly from the Bible, not based on creedal tradition, which most responses seem to start with. At the same time, I submitted the question to Kim Riddlebarger’s blog. Recent readers of this blog will be familiar with Mr. Riddlebarger as the author of The Man of Sin, which I’ve recently reviewed and discussed aspects of over several recent posts.

0875525520.jpgFrankly I wasn’t expecting a response to my question, but to my surprise, Mr. Riddlebarger has chosen to address the issue, or at least point me toward “When Shall These Things Be?” A Reformed Approach to Hyper-Preterism (P & R, 2004), a collection of essays from multiple authors edited by Keith Mathison. This volume had previously been recommended by Bryan Lilly, so it was already on my list of books to find. Mr. Riddlebarger highlighted two specific essays to consider:

The first is Robert Strimple’s marvelous essay, “Hyper Preterism on the Resurrection of the Body.” In my humble estimation, Strimple completely destroys the various schemes offered by hyper-preterists to define the resurrection body so as to escape the obvious implications of the biblical teaching of a future, bodily, resurrection of believers. Strimple’s exegesis of 1 Corinthians 15 is utterly compelling and he does the very thing you are seeking–a refutation of full or “hyper” preterism directly from the biblical text. Strimple clearly exposes hyper-preterism for what it is–an unbiblical heresy.

The second outstanding essay is Charles Hill’s piece, “Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall.” Hill deals with the pink elephant in the eschatological room, namely, “why, if hyper-preterism is true, did no one in the early church (post A. D. 70) ever say anything about the fact that the second coming of Christ, the general resurrection, and the final judgment, had already taken place?” Hill’s essay is compelling and I think his thesis is also problematic for those partial-preterists who see in the events of A.D. 70 a genuine parousia of our Lord (but who don’t buy into the hyper-preterist heresy).

He concludes his response by saying:

When Shall These Things Be? is hated by hyper-preterists (read the reviews on Amazon). I take that to be a very good sign that the arrow has struck its intended mark.

For those of the premillennial/rapture ilk, a commenter to Mr. Riddlebarger’s post has also recommended a book by Charles Cooper: God’s Elect and the Great Tribulation.

  1. There is also the work “The End of All Things” by C. Jonathin Seriah. I have a website with a whole page of works both online and offline refuting hyperpreterism

    http://www.preteristsite.com/contrahym.html

    Perhaps you will find some things there – there are some very good articles linked to there.

  2. Dave says:

    Ha, I was just going to post a link to Dee Dee’s site. Looks like you beat me to it!

  3. preteristheresy says:

    I recently started a blog called Preterist Heresy that you may find interesting. Entire blog to reveal the holes in this system. Feel free to check it out when you have time.

    http://preteristheresy.blogspot.com/

  4. Robert says:

    I think I have this book. A few years (8yrs) back a friend of mine had embraced preterism, which was the first time I had ever heard of it. I was taken aback by the claims, and caught of guard. Now I can’t find it, I know that a friend borrowed it, but I can’t remember if he returned it.

  5. Thank you all for the comments and links to resources to consider.

    As a partial-preterist, the temptation certainly is there to curl my toes over the edge and consider what “full preterism” looks like. And indeed I’ve heard many compelling arguments for the position. If full preterism’s strength is in exegetical discussion, as Mr. Mathison acknowledged in his earlier Post-millennialism book, then it seems to me that the best way to argue against it is to make an honest exegetical rebuttal of full preterism. However, I’d found little to consider in way of a rebuttal strictly from the text, separate from orthodox creedal tradition.

    I’m looking forward to reading a copy of Mr. Mathison’s book and will consider the others mentioned as I can.

  6. graham says:

    I actually have this book on its way from Amazon as I type. I’m looking forward to reading it. However, I’m not sure I’ll find it as persuasive as Kim Riddlebarger.

    I guess that the issue of the resurrection could be seen as the Achilles heel of full preterism, however I can’t really imagine the book “completely destroy[ing] the various schemes”. Exegetically, I think it’s pretty difficult to dismiss the immortal body at death view, if one is going to hold to a traditional view of the scriptural teaching on resurrection. Simply put, there’s not enough that’s denied to actually destroy anything. (And I say that as one who would have more to a corporate view.)

    As for the pink elephant, I’ve never really seen that as a very serious issue, at all. For starters, we have hardly anything written by folks in the early Church; we’re talking 20 items covering a hundred or so years. Secondly, some of them do link the fall of Jerusalem with Judgement. At the very least, this would seem to fall outside of your desire to see an exegetical refutation.

    So, that leaves a total of 1 chapter in an entire book aiming to destroy full preterism. Frankly, that’s just not good enough. Personally, I didn’t want to become a full preterist, but the lack of a sufficient response to the exegetical arguments of preterism eventually wore me down.

    However, I would eco Dee Dee’s mention of Seriah’s book. It’s the most exegetical response I’ve seen, even if it is inconsistent.

  7. Robert says:

    14 Remind them of these things, charging them before God not to fight about words; this is in no way profitable and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. 17 And their word will spread like gangrene, among whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus. 18 They have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are overturning the faith of some. 2 Timothy 2:14-18 (HCSB)

    If only Timothy had been written after AD 70, so close (AD 67). It would have settled this once and for all.

    What a confusing subject. Well at least one thing is good about being a full preteirst, it makes your Eschatology the easiest of them all. No much to think about, since it already happened. Sounds like the teachings of Hymenaeus and Philetus So why don’t they call themselves Hymenaeus-ism.

    Well keep the dialog going, it is very interesting. You guys are distracting me from my other studies that I really need to get to. I was suppose to be doing homework, instead I spent the last 2 hours doing research on Preterism. 😉

  8. @graham: Likewise, my copy is on the way. I’m not holding my breath, but it’s what there is for now.

    @Robert: Hee, hee. If Steve is still paying attention to these comments, I’m sure he’ll have something to say about labeling full preterism as “Hymenaeus-ism”…

    @all: I apologize for not being able to engage in this last round as often as I’d like. Work has been busy and the kids have been sick, leaving me little mental or physical energy for blogging.

    Offline, I’ve been wrestling with the concept of double-fulfillment of prophecy or “prophetic perspective” as Riddlebarger puts it. I think that would be an interesting topic to tackle as well, especially in light of the (partial) preterist view that Revelation is both [1] the prophetic fulfillment of the covenant of the Jews and (physical) Israel, and [2] the eschatological future of the new covenant of the Church. Double fulfillment of the end times, depending on, to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, “a certain point of view”.

  9. Steve says:

    Hymenaeus and Philetus claimed that the Resurrection had already occurred. Their teaching was rejected not because their view of the nature of the Resurrection was incorrect, but because the timing was wrong and the covenantal circumstances for the Resurrection remained — in the future. The Resurrection was recognized by Paul to be the consummation as the end of the Old Covenant and the removal of the Law (1 Cor 15:56), which remained still at the time (Hebrews 9:8-14).

    If the Resurrection were the reconstitution of corpses at the end of time, why in the world would anyone have listened to them? The fact that they were even around and there were human beings in flesh and blood to teach would have been self-refuting. If the Resurrection were physical, anyone could have disproved their teaching once and for all by showing them a corpse in the ground.

    Yet there are people already aware of all thus, people who have already commented in this thread (and I don’t mean you, Robert), who still insist on marginalizing our position by referring to us as neo-Hymenaeans. Boggles the mind.

  10. Steve is incorrect. I detail this extensively here

    http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/warrengrave.html

    Hyperpreterism is a modern form of the Hymenaean heresy and properly deserves the title. It should be purged thoroughly from our churches and not given a foothold nor a platform.

    I pray for those caught in this heresy to find their way to the truth. Praise God that several prominent hyperpreterists have recently recanted, including the owner of the PreteristArchive Todd Dennis and former Planet Preterist columnist and hyperpreterist advocate (and I am proud to say my friend) Roderick Edwards.

  11. Robert says:

    Steve,

    Honestly I meant nothing by it and I think you know that. As I have stated before I am agnostic on this issue. I have stated before that I do believe that we are still waiting for the coming of Christ. I just have not spend enough time researching Preterist teachings to really comment, so I am mostly here as a learner. I enjoy coming here and reading ElShaddai’s posts, and although this is a bit complicated I do appreciate your notes.

    One thing that bothers me is that if Christ did return, and the events happened as claimed, why did not any of the early church fathers write about it? Why did they continue to look forward to the day when Christ would return. Do they not have any value to our understanding of the scriptures? The Nicene Creed states “…and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead…” I know you know what the Nicene Creed says so I am not by any means talking down, it just makes me uneasy with these teachings.

    I guess another question I have is how long has Preterism been around? It is a teaching I only heard of around 8 years ago. What theologians have taught this say in the last 1000 years? Excluding any recent ones. I am sure I can find this information out on the Net, but I really need to focus at this time on some other issues and not get side track on this.

  12. Steve says:

    As for “double fulfillment”, even if you can believe that certain prophecies have more than one application, there are undeniably things that can not be fulfilled more than once. Try to get multiple fulfillments out of Hebrews 12:16-29!

    But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

    See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

    Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

    How emphatic could the Scriptures have been? “Once more” there was to be a shaking that would leave only an unshakable kingdom, a kingdom they were already receiving in the first century! Any guesses as to what the Lord was “about to” shake and remove? NT eschatology cannot refer to the end of our church age, because the church age has no end!

  13. Steve says:

    Dee Dee, thanks for your interaction! Please clarify these points for me.

    1) Was the death of Adam physical or spiritual? If the latter, would not the Resurrection logically be spiritual? If the former — well, that’s a different matter entirely.

    2) If the Resurrection is physical, and there were physical resurrections before the time of Christ, then how could Christ have been the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5) and the firstfruits of the Resurrection (1 Cor 15:23)?

  14. Mike Beidler says:

    What Steve just said. 😉

  15. Hi Steve, I do believe I answer those points in that article, but it has been a few years so I will check. However, I have a question for you in the interim – and I think your answer to this question will be an eye-opener for the other readers.

    Do you believe that Jesus indeed rose bodily in his same body, yet glorified, from the dead? If you do believe that, then your question number 2 is a non-starter, and I don’t think there is any question that a denial of Christi’s bodily resurrection (nevermind that of believers) is clearly heretical.

  16. Steve says:

    Yes, I affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ! My question number 2 was referring to the eschatological Resurrection of the Dead, not to Christ’s resurrection. Although now that you mention it, I don’t know how glorified Christ’s body was, considering the fact that He still had scars, and still ate (teleportation happened even with Philip). The question you raise in the article was how preterists can consistently affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ and the spiritual Resurrection of the Dead. I think it’s quite natural that Christ should be resurrected physically as a sign of the spiritual; how else would the disciples have known that He didn’t end up in Sheol after all? It’s the same principle as why He ascended into the clouds — is heaven really up in the sky? Or did He make manifest His ascension to the throne (Daniel 7:13-14) to the disciples through a physical sign?

    I would like to know what you think “heresy” really means. Is it determinative salvifically? Is there some sort of contingency, unforeseen by Paul, that despite having confessed Jesus as Lord and believed that God has raised Him for the dead, we might not be saved after all?

  17. Steve says:

    Robert, sorry you fell through the cracks here! I missed your comment. No, I certainly don’t fault you for questioning these things, as I did when I first encountered it all. I would refer you to Graham’s comment about the pink elephant for starters. Regardless, there is an easily entertained and seldom questioned presupposition behind that question that the first century Christians were faultless in their interpretation of Scripture. The fact is, we can see in the disciples a definite propensity for misunderstanding things. The nature of the Kingdom of God as “not of this world” was one thing they misunderstood. (Notice how Jesus never said anything like, “Not of this world — yet”) It would be a supreme and everlasting statement of the fallibility of humanity for Christians to see the Kingdom of God come right underneath their noses and not notice it! But that’s assuming too much — the fact is that we don’t know that some of them didn’t get it (and as Graham pointed out, we have good reason to think some of them did). We do know that by the second century there were already doctrines (such as baptismal regeneration) being taught that (most) Protestants deny. So much for the understanding of the early church!

  18. >>Yes, I affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ! My question number 2 was referring to the eschatological Resurrection of the Dead, not to Christ’s resurrection.>>>

    Actually no. Here is your question

    >>2) If the Resurrection is physical, and there were physical resurrections before the time of Christ, then how could Christ have been the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5) and the firstfruits of the Resurrection (1 Cor 15:23)?>>

    The logical result of your question is that Christ did not rise physically – unless you are claiming that Christ died spiritually. Is that your position?

    >> Although now that you mention it, I don’t know how glorified Christ’s body was, considering the fact that He still had scars, and still ate (teleportation happened even with Philip).>>>

    Really? So do you think He has the same body now? Or did He shed it?

    >>The question you raise in the article was how preterists can consistently affirm the bodily resurrection of Christ and the spiritual Resurrection of the Dead.>>>

    First of all – that is not the question I raise. The question I raise is it a heresy that puts one outside the faith. Which is affirmative. It does. However, you cannot take an idea that already had meaning in the original context, and then pour an entirely different meaning into it – the resurrection of the dead was not a new concept and it had meaning in its original context. Pouring new meanings is what cults do. Which is why hyperpreterism is cultic. The only reason it is not a cult is because it isn’t organized enough to become one.

    >> I think it’s quite natural that Christ should be resurrected physically as a sign of the spiritual; how else would the disciples have known that He didn’t end up in Sheol after all?>>>

    Yet the Scripture doesn’t say any of that. His resurrection is a firstfruits of ours. You don’t have apples as a firstfruits of oranges.

    >> It’s the same principle as why He ascended into the clouds — is heaven really up in the sky? Or did He make manifest His ascension to the throne (Daniel 7:13-14) to the disciples through a physical sign?>>

    Apples and oranges once again.

    >>
    I would like to know what you think “heresy” really means. Is it determinative salvifically? Is there some sort of contingency, unforeseen by Paul, that despite having confessed Jesus as Lord and believed that God has raised Him for the dead, we might not be saved after all?>>

    As my article showed, it was Paul that made it a salvific issue, and that is the only way I use the word heresy. Very narrowly. I guess you believe that JWs and Mormons are saved as well. And funny when we say God raised Him from the dead – we all know what that means, yet in order to fit a heretical scheme you make it mean something entirely different when it comes to believers, yet all the Biblical and historical evidence is to the contrary.

    Ironically the core of hyperpreterism is one of the few salvific heresies specifically mentioned in the Bible. There is nothing new under the sun, and the hymenaean semi-gnositicism is no exception.

    El Shaddai btw, that article I linked to for Steve is purely exegetical – it doesn’t purport to refute the whole of hyperpreterism, but it does show it to be an anti-Christian belief – from the Bible.

  19. graham says:

    ‘The logical result of your question is that Christ did not rise physically – unless you are claiming that Christ died spiritually. Is that your position?’

    Dee Dee, I have to believe that you know better than that. All of your writing against full preterism leads me to think/hope that you’ve read enough to know that they don’t typically deny the physical resurrection of Christ. So, either this is a cheap shot and red herring to win over those who won’t take the time to check it out for themselves, or your in no position to refute full preterism, because you haven’t begun to engage with it properly.

    The real shame is that you continue the tradition of not dialoging with full preterists on the basis of scriptural exegesis. It’s as if you think that claiming “heresy!” often and loud enough makes it so.

  20. graham says:

    ‘The real shame is that you continue the tradition of not dialoging with full preterists on the basis of scriptural exegesis. ‘

    Of course, what I meant was that you continue the tradition of not dialoging with full preterists, without going to the trouble of scriptural exegesis.

  21. Steve says:

    The logical result of your question is that Christ did not rise physically – unless you are claiming that Christ died spiritually. Is that your position?

    Christ was raised physically and spiritually after having died both ways. Are you really implying that Christ only died physically? Defining spiritual death scripturally as separation from God (which is what happened to Adam on the day he ate of the fruit), I am quite comfortable saying He died spiritually; God’s eyes are purer than to look upon sin, and that’s why Jesus wasn’t waxing rhetorical when He wailed, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”. There was more going on than simply an expiration and resuscitation.

    Really? So do you think He has the same body now? Or did He shed it?

    Irrelevant question. Even if He turned into an electromagnetic pulse, a literal lamb, or one of your oranges, His work and experiences on earth as the Son of Man would stand. His position as our Advocate would, if anything, be more secured if He were always displaying His “red badge of courage” as it were. Your article (much less the Scriptures) fails to make the case otherwise.

    However, you cannot take an idea that already had meaning in the original context, and then pour an entirely different meaning into it – the resurrection of the dead was not a new concept and it had meaning in its original context.

    Of course you can. You don’t think that’s what Jesus did? The “Kingdom of God” and “David’s throne”, for instance, were universally accepted to refer to physical government. “Adultery” meant the act or practice of physical sexual intercourse with someone outside of marriage. Jesus demonstrably “poured new meanings” into these ancient understandings. This is elementary, Dee Dee. Paul made quite a point about correcting their the Corinthians’ misunderstandings on the nature of the resurrection body. This is another red herring.

    Pouring new meanings is what cults do. Which is why hyperpreterism is cultic. The only reason it is not a cult is because it isn’t organized enough to become one.

    Congratulations! You have just turned Christianity into a Judaistic cult! Jesus routinely corrected misconceptions by the learned teachers of the Law. No wonder they castigated Him! He was “pouring new meanings” into the Torah and the Prophets!

    I guess you believe that JWs and Mormons are saved as well.

    Do they meaningfully confess Christ’s lordship? I did notice that you didn’t address Romans 10:9. I confess bodily resurrection and His lordship over my life, as evidenced by the fruits of the Spirit. Are your standards higher than Paul’s?

    And funny when we say God raised Him from the dead – we all know what that means, yet in order to fit a heretical scheme you make it mean something entirely different when it comes to believers, yet all the Biblical and historical evidence is to the contrary.

    Oh yeah, we full preterists will do just about anything to fit a heretical scheme 😉 Come on, don’t be silly. You’re attacking our motives here. Do you think I relish being called a heretic by people like you and being thought to be one by so many others? Pardon me, but your emotional investment is showing.

  22. Mike Beidler says:

    Dee Dee,

    You wrote: The logical result of your question is that Christ did not rise physically – unless you are claiming that Christ died spiritually.

    What is your definition of “spiritual death”?

    His resurrection is a firstfruits of ours.

    Amen! But in what way does it serve as a “firstfruits” example? His resurrection was one by which he overcame the “sting” of physical death, i.e., the separation of the soul from God by way of Sheol/Hades. The resurrection of His bio-physical body was necessary as a sign to provide proof to His disciples that He had indeed neutralized death’s sting.

    The Scriptures promise that our resurrection will be like His, but in what way? I say that the resurrection (pre-AD 70) is spiritual, after which a bio-spiritual body was provided to those righteous souls, just as 1 Corinthians 15 promises. Whether the physical body is transformed or a new bio-spiritual body is provided, the end result is exactly the same. Why, then, is the mechanism or process by which the same result is obtained considered heresy?

    In other words, you and I both have views of the resurrection in which we will have new, substantial, bio-spiritual bodies. The only difference is that you see it as a transformation of the old into the new, whereas I see it as a shedding of the old and a provision of the new. Different trail, same destination. That’s quite a nasty heresy. 😉

    I’m also curious … do you believe the Great Tribulation is a past event? If so, what do you do with Daniel 12:7, which states that the resurrection was to occur when the “power of the holy people has been shattered”? What the Scripture says about the timing of the resurrection assists us in determining the nature of the resurrection, over and against the prevailing view of the Jews, who couldn’t grasp anything that had to do with the coming of the Kingdom, or the Messiah for that matter.

  23. A general question about 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. When Paul writes about “this corruptible” (or “this perishable”) and “this mortal” in verses 53-54, do you believe that he is referring to Jesus Christ or to our post-firstfruits selves? I ask because v.54 says that “when [this happens], then the saying that is written will take place: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.'” There is a condition placed on Christ’s victory over his final enemy – the resurrection.

    If this is Christ’s resurrection, then the full preterist position is stronger, holding that death was conquered by Christ’s return to life. If you hold that this is referring to the resurrection of those in Christ, then death is not swallowed up in victory until all the dead are raised (v.52, Rev 20). Obviously full preterism claims both events are in the past, but I’d be curious to hear views on this nuance.

  24. Mike Beidler says:

    ElShaddai,

    Typically, FPs interpret the “body” to apply either individually within a collective resurrection context, or collectively within a covenantal resurrection context. I would hang my hat on the first interpretation, but the second interpretation also has considerable merit and thematic applicability.

    Although it could bolster the FP position if v. 54 referred to Christ’s resurrection, I don’t believe that this is so. Firstly, the 1 Corinthians 15 text also reads as if it were still a future event (“when this [happens], … then [this] will happen”). Secondly, Paul is quoting Hosea 13:14, which reads: “Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?” (ESV), bolstering the FP claim that both Hosea and Paul are describing God ransoming souls from Hades.

    Although many futurists claim that the OT saints were taken to heaven with Christ at his resurrection or ascension, there is absolutely no biblical text to suggest such a thing. There is, however, a key passage in Revelation that does allude to the proper timing of this event. The effect of Christ’s firstfruits defeat of death (through His resurrection) does not have its effect until after Babylon (= Jerusalem, representing Old Covenant Israel) is destroyed. Notice that, after Babylon is destroyed in Revelation 14:8, something interesting happens righteous souls who die:

    “Blessed are the dead, those who die in the Lord from this moment on!” (Rev 14:13, NET)

    In the next verse, the text elaborates on why the dead who “die in the Lord from this moment on” are more blessed than those who died previous to this event: “they can rest from their hard work, because their deeds will follow them.” This is direct contrast to those OT passages describing Sheol:

    “For in death there is no remembrance of you;in Sheol who will give you praise?” (Psalm 6:5, ESV)

    “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, ESV)

    Clearly, post-AD 70 righteous souls are blessed in contrast to those who had to suffer lengthy separation from their Lord pre-AD 70. But what of those pre-AD 70 souls languishing in Hades? Do they get the short end of the stick? If Babylon does actually correlate with Old Covenant Jerusalem (see Rev 11:8; cf. Rev 16:19; 18:10, 21), then partial preterists, who usually see Babylon as either Jerusalem or Rome, have a problem here: OT saints are still in Hades! However, if the FP timing of the resurrection is correct, then the problem of pre-AD 70 souls goes away.

  25. Mike Beidler says:

    The argument in the next to last sentence could be rephrased better:

    If partial preterists see 1 Cor 15:54 as a future event, then God cannot have ransomed pre-AD 70 souls from Hades (cf. Hosea 13:14). Thus, they are still there! And this whole time, Paul’s pulled the wool over the Corinthians eyes by assuring them that the pre-AD 70 dead in Christ would rise first. And if the pre-AD 70 righteous souls have not been resurrected from Hades, then there is no reason for those “who die in the Lord from now on” to be blessed, for Babylon has not truly fallen and we too are destined for Hades until that Day.

    Yikes. Follow that?

  26. >>Dee Dee, I have to believe that you know better than that. All of your writing against full preterism leads me to think/hope that you’ve read enough to know that they don’t typically deny the physical resurrection of Christ. >>

    Tsk, tsk, who said “typically” – the very fact that I asked Steve if that was his position shows that I am aware that it is not typical. However, there are a significant minority who do.

    >>So, either this is a cheap shot and red herring to win over those who won’t take the time to check it out for themselves, or your in no position to refute full preterism, because you haven’t begun to engage with it properly.>>

    Yet you concede that some do. The rest of your comment is cock-strutting and I don’t live in a barnyard.

    >>The real shame is that you continue the tradition of not dialoging with full preterists on the basis of scriptural exegesis. It’s as if you think that claiming “heresy!” often and loud enough makes it so.>>

    See above. I am confident that an unbiased reader who takes a lot at the volumes of material I have personally written on the subject will agree that I have indeed dealt with the subject.

    Here is an index

    http://www.preteristsite.com/deedeewarren.html

  27. >>Christ was raised physically and spiritually after having died both ways. Are you really implying that Christ only died physically? >>

    Absolutely. The hypostatic union is not severable, and thus Christ cannot be separated from God unless unless you have a heretical view of the Trinity as well.

    >>Defining spiritual death scripturally as separation from God (which is what happened to Adam on the day he ate of the fruit),>>>

    A whole heck of a lot more happened than loss of communion.

    >> I am quite comfortable saying He died spiritually; God’s eyes are purer than to look upon sin, and that’s why Jesus wasn’t waxing rhetorical when He wailed, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”. There was more going on than simply an expiration and resuscitation.>>

    Are you suggesting that Jesus literally became sin? Are you Word of Faith as well as heretical preterist?

    He lost communion with God the Father, he did not lose union. Man in spiritual death loses a whole lot more than communion.

    >>
    Irrelevant question. >>

    Hardly. If he is still not fully man He is not anyone’s intercessor. Further more John further anathametizes those who deny that Christ remained in the flesh.

    >>Of course you can. You don’t think that’s what Jesus did?>>

    You and I are not Jesus.

    >> The “Kingdom of God” and “David’s throne”, for instance, were universally accepted to refer to physical government.>>

    Actually they were note – but that is beside the point since you and I are not Jesus.

    >> “Adultery” meant the act or practice of physical sexual intercourse with someone outside of marriage. Jesus demonstrably “poured new meanings” into these ancient understandings. This is elementary, Dee Dee. Paul made quite a point about correcting their the Corinthians’ misunderstandings on the nature of the resurrection body. This is another red herring.>>

    Yeah Paul certainly did. If the dead are not raised bodily then Christ is not raised bodily – and thus they were still in their sins – as you are if you deny the bodily resurrection of believers.

    >>Congratulations! You have just turned Christianity into a Judaistic cult! >>

    Of course! From the framework of those who reject Christ it is. And that is how it was viewed. If Judaism is true, then Christians are idolators.

    >>
    Jesus routinely corrected misconceptions by the learned teachers of the Law. No wonder they castigated Him! He was “pouring new meanings” into the Torah and the Prophets!>>

    You and I are not Jesus.

    >>Do they meaningfully confess Christ’s lordship?>>

    Who are you to say?

    >> I did notice that you didn’t address Romans 10:9.>>

    The Bible consists of more than Roman 10:9 – the same author stated that those who deny the bodily resurrection of believers are denying the bodily resurrection of Christ.

    >>
    I confess bodily resurrection >>>

    Actually you do not. My, if I were a hyperpreterist I think I would be a bit more forthcoming about precisely what my position was. It only makes the whole thing look smellier than it already is when there is such obvious equivocation.

    >>
    Oh yeah, we full preterists will do just about anything to fit a heretical scheme 😉 Come on, don’t be silly. You’re attacking our motives here. >>

    So? Are your motives beyond attack?

    >>Do you think I relish being called a heretic by people like you and being thought to be one by so many others? >>

    I hope you don’t. Perhaps then you will be brought to repentance.

    >>Pardon me, but your emotional investment is showing.>>

    Pardon me but your hypocrisy is showing. You just got your panties all in bunch by claiming I was attacking your motives, and then you do the precise same thing. Ahhh the sweet smell of irony.

  28. Mike – two things. You and I have known each other a long time. Well that wasn’t one of the two things, just stating the history for others. Here are the two things.

    1. I barely have time to engage Steve and this may in fact be my last post as I have some other projects (some of them actually not at all related to theology) that I am working on. I don’t know if a time stamp appears on this post but it is 3:49am

    2. You are familiar enough with my material I believe to know that I have addressed those issues – and I just am not going to continue to tread the same road.

  29. graham says:

    Hi Dee Dee,

    I’m not sure what cock-strutting is, so I can’t be sure if I was doing it or not. However, my point was that you seemed to be implying that Steve’s position lead to a denial of the physical resurrection of Christ, which I think you actually know is not the case.

    Yes, some preterists do believe that. Some futurists believe Jesus will come back on a literal cloud. My wife believes that Miss Congeniality is a good film. All three are mistaken and all three points are irrelevant to the discussion.

    ‘I am confident that an unbiased reader who takes a lot at the volumes of material I have personally written on the subject will agree that I have indeed dealt with the subject.’

    Well, I didn’t. I began looking into the topic in the 1990’s and it was over 10 years before I finally ‘gave in’. I was a very reluctant convert. I’ve visited your site a number of times, btw. I think I first became aware of it through my good friend and occasional drinking-partner, Solly (from TWeb).

  30. Very quickly

    >>I’m not sure what cock-strutting is, so I can’t be sure if I was doing it or not.>>

    It’s trash talking.

    >> However, my point was that you seemed to be implying that Steve’s position lead to a denial of the physical resurrection of Christ, which I think you actually know is not the case.>>

    No, there you are wrong. You see you are quite imprecise in your words from post to post. I know that most hyperpreterists do not deny the physical resurrection of Christ. On that you and I agree. I do not agree with you that the hyperpreterist positions does not logically lead to the denial of the physical resurrection of Christ. It does. Most hyperpreterists are horrifiically inconsistent on this ground, as the hyperpreterists who do are quite to point out. And those hyperpreterists are right.

    >>Well, I didn’t. I began looking into the topic in the 1990’s and it was over 10 years before I finally ‘gave in’. I was a very reluctant convert. I’ve visited your site a number of times, btw. I think I first became aware of it through my good friend and occasional drinking-partner, Solly (from TWeb).>>

    Solly is great guy. I hope his wife and baby are doing very well and are prospering in all things.

  31. graham says:

    ‘It’s trash talking… You see you are quite imprecise in your words from post to post.’

    I’m sorry, I find it very difficult to have “discussions” over a pint, than these kind of squabbles. You are far more skilled at polemical digs than I am – and it shows.

    ‘I do not agree with you that the hyperpreterist positions does not logically lead to the denial of the physical resurrection of Christ. It does.’

    No, it doesn’t. This is fun! Care to offer any evidence at any point, or will you just continue pontificating? Perhaps, in the spirit of the initial question that ElShaddai raised, you could at least try offering some exegetical defence for your claims?

    You’ll be pleased to know that Solly is not over-joyed at my views! 🙂 However, he’s more than capable of sitting down and having a polite and enjoyable dialogue on these things. I’ll pass on your greetings to him when I see him this week.

  32. graham says:

    ‘I’m sorry, I find it very difficult to have “discussions” over a pint, than these kind of squabbles. ‘

    Sigh. I meant, I find it far easier to have discussions…

    You are so right about my careless use of words, Dee Dee! 😉

  33. >>No, it doesn’t. This is fun! Care to offer any evidence at any point, or will you just continue pontificating? >>

    Shall I refer you to the post where I did just that? You see, you have conceded that I am much more skilled at polemical jabs than you are – yet you persist in your well-poisoning descriptives. The article I linked to is an exegetical argument supporting that very point. The fact that you don’t agree, does not mean that the evidence has not been offered. It means it doesn’t please you – and since my world does not revolve around such, I remain nonplussed. Heresy is quite deceitful, blinding normally intelligent people to putrid lies.

    >> I’ll pass on your greetings to him when I see him this week.>>

    Thank you I appreciate that.

  34. And on that note, since I only anticipate getting four or so hours of sleep each night these whole week, as I did last night, off with me.

    My email is preteristsite@gmail.com if the original poster or anyone wishes to contact me further. (Mike already knows it)

  35. Steve says:

    Thanks for the dialogue, Dee Dee. I appreciate your concern for defending the truth. Believe it or not, I share this with you (even if I’m not a Christian 😉 ). I hope I wasn’t too snippy with you about all this; I tried to keep it lighthearted and I fear I ended up sounding snide. Maybe I’ll see you around…

  36. @All: Thank you for keeping this discussion mostly civil. I feel a bit like the country bumpkin who wandered into a group of educated personalities who obviously know each other and have had this discussion before.

    I will continue on in my evaluation of preterism (full/hyper and partial/orthodox), but I can’t let it consume me. There’s been much posted here to critically think about and then all the supporting links as well.

    You will probably continue to see variations of this topic on this blog. One of my key learning styles is to internally tear apart incoming data and reformulate it in my own words. When I can command the argument and not just regurgitate it, I know that I’ve understood it. I’m not there yet with preterism, but the journey is fascinating.

  37. Steve, no problem and you were not snippy. I appreciate that we were able to be frank and blunt about the truth without overly sensitive feelings. Sometimes in today’s culture, any attack on someone’s ideas gets taken automatically as an attack upon their person, and that is unfortunate.

    (I only got four hours of sleep last night… dang)

  38. Roderick says:

    In 2004 a group of authors under the editorship of Keith Mathison published a book called “When Shall These Things Be: A Reformed Response to Hyper-Preterism”. Since 2004 the “hyper-preterists” have had plans to respond to the response. The original project was initiated by Edward Stevens of the International Preterist Association. This project kept being delayed & delayed but the mess goes deeper.

    READ MORE: http://thekingdomcome.com/mathison_responses

  39. Thanks for the link, Roderick. I’ve started reading the Mathison book and appreciate your insight.

  40. Roderick says:

    Having been part of hyperpreterism for over 15 years, might I add that perhaps among the root causes not just hyperpreterism but of all “heresies” (a word overused) is a wrong understanding of the concept of “Sola Scriptura” (or the analogy of faith).

    What seems to happen is that an individual or groups (such as the Anabaptists, church of Christ, Pentecostals…) think that “Sola Scriptura” is a license to become private interpreters (2 Pet 1:19-21). They will bluster about how they have “No creed but Christ” but then immediately tell you what they “believe” & don’t “believe”. — the word credo simply means “belief”. Everyone has a “creed”.

    What we believe should match both the Scriptures AND the historic Christian Church as whole. If we somehow disconnect ourselves from either of these anchors, we run the risk of becoming true heretics or true “creedalist” — both groups destroy faith.

    Another book to add to your reading list (also by Mathison) is The Shape of Sola Scripturahttp://www.amazon.com/Shape-Sola-Scriptura-Keith-Mathison/dp/1885767749

  41. Thanks for the link, Roderick. I’ll add it to my shopping list (which, regrettably, far exceeds my financial means!).

    As one who grew up in a church at least somewhat associated with Church of Christ, my memories are shaped more by the absence of any historical Christian framework than the active promotion of “No creed but Christ”. Creeds and liturgy simply didn’t exist. There was no confirmation class. Nothing to provide a broader understanding of “the church” more than the New Testament and our specific church body. I’m finding that gap now to be appalling as I wrestle with theological topics within the tradition of orthodox Christianity.

    Ironically, I’m a few chapters in on Mathison’s hyper-preterism book and, if anything, it’s causing me to doubt preterism as a whole, not just hyper-preterism. Kim Riddlebarger was correct in saying that the article on the testimony of the first/second century church really challenges any view that sees primary fulfillment in AD 70. I will want to go back to reread Gentry’s Before Jerusalem Fell to get his perspective on these witnesses.

  42. Roderick says:

    Yes, your experience with the coC mirrors mine with the Baptists — it was like Church History bagan the moment the congregation was incorporated or there was this almost romanticization of what the “early Church” was like & a blind effort to mimic that romanticization. There was just no connection to the broader, historic Church.

    I’d love to swap impressions of the WSTTB when you are finished.

    As for preterism, hyper or otherwise — I can see a little why people would be put off. The word is rather artificial. If you look back on many of the great Reformed theologians & many of the “early Church fathers” you will notice many of them seen a connection of the destruction of Jerusalem with the “taking of the kingdom & giving it to those who bear the fruit of it” (no, not “replacement theology” — but fulfillment theology). This concept seems to have been lost under the rise & weight of dispensationalism & its false notion of God’s love for genetic Israel.

    What I’m trying to say is that some of the most profound thinkers/believers within Christian history have understood many of the concepts that are now called “preterist” & all without even using that term. Might I suggest it is just normative Christianity to see some connection with the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple & the putting off of those who sat in “Moses Seat” (Mt 23:3), that was about to forever be replaced by the Throne of Christ. It is not novel. It is not some newly fabricated theology that requires a new name (not that the word preterist/preterism is new). It is just plain old Christianity being what it is.

    Let me know if you get “The Shape of Sola Scriptura”. I was thinking about forming a reading group based around the book.

  43. Ironically, my family and I have ended up at the local Baptist church and I would have to admit that the local autonomy was a drawing factor, given my experiences in the past. I’ve always been put off by “church politics”, especially on a national level, but I attribute much of that to growing up in Alaska, which celebrates individual and state autonomy more so than some foreign nations I would dare say.

    Your connection between AD 70 and the imagery of John 15 is an intriguing one; I’ll want to spend some time thinking about that.

    From reading a little bit of your websites, I know you’ve been wrestling with what to call your revised, post-preterist eschatological position; is “fulfillment theology” your term or is that referencing a preexisting system of thought?

  44. Robert says:

    ElShaddai,

    I also started reading the Mathison book again. I never did finish it as I just did not have time, and the preterist view just frustrated me, so I just dropped the research all together. Mostly because it was just one friend that I knew that had this view, and still does, and it was not something that was becoming wide spread in our church. By the way we are having coffee tomorrow, which we have not done in years, because he was so over bearing, and arrogant with his preterist position I just stopped talking with him. But now he is much more humble, and even asked me to forgive him for his attitude and approach.

    Reading your blog, did spark an interest again, so thanks I think. 😉 But still facing the same problem, TIME – ugh. Your blog actually caused me to reconnect with my preterist friend, so for that I do thank you.

  45. Roderick says:

    Hello again ElShaddai, (btw, my last name is also Edwards)

    Many of my former friends & associates within hyperpreterism are clamoring for my to posit an alternative. They want me to give a name to a position. I think they mainly desire this so that they can reference what they want to critique. I don’t have a name for it other than basic Christianity. If you look at the early church theologians & the Reformed theologians, you will see they too saw the destruction of Jerusalem as significant insofar as it represented the “taking of the kingdom & giving it to those who bear the fruit of it” — not merely the Gentiles, but true sons of Abraham, which were ALWAYS those by faith anyway. The fulfillment theology, if that is a term you’d like is fulfilled in Christ — As it says in Gal 3:16 — the promise was made to Abraham & his Seed, not “seeds” & the Seed is Christ Jesus. In Him are the promises fulfilled. I was attempting to refute both dispensationalism AND hyperpreterism but referring to fulfillment.

    As a former “full preterist” of 15 years let me tell you what you must
    do if you want to believe hyperpreterism:

    1. You must completely disconnect from historic Christianity — so
    much so that you are willing to say the Church has been wrong on
    eschatology for over 2000 years.
    2. You must be willing to say that for whatever reason, God & the Holy
    Spirit were not able to preserve the teaching of Jesus & the apostles
    (as if soon after AD70 people forgot)
    3. You must be willing to pretend that “Sola Scriptura” actually means
    SOLO Scriptura where you become a “private interpreter (see 2 Pet
    1:19-21 — http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter%201:19-21;&vers…)
    4. You must be willing to become something that is nothing like
    anything in historic Christianity — not even the worst of the worst
    heresies advocated the kind of things hyperpreterists advocate.

    After you succumb to hyperpreterism’s premise (which again will
    require at least the 4 things above), then you will start to speculate
    on everything. You may claim like other prominent hyperpreterists
    that there was a 1st century rapture that took all true Christians
    away, leaving only “second-rank” Christians (no wonder hyperpreterists
    can so easily dismiss the historic Church) (see source:
    http://www.preteristviewpoint.com/id46.html) Or perhaps you will
    embrace another side-effect of hyperpreterism, where they look at
    Genesis & turn it all into a metaphor for Israel — claiming that it
    doesn’t speak about creating the planet & the universe at all. That
    Adam wasn’t the first created human, but merely the first “covenantal
    man”. (see source: http://beyondcreationscience.com)

    You see, once you buy into the premise, it unlocks further & further
    degradation of your faith until perhaps someday you find yourself not
    even really a Christian, but instead more proud to call yourself by
    some other name — such as “preterist”.

    In Christ & His Church (the same Church against which Jesus said even
    the gates of hades would not prevail)
    Roderick

  46. Steve says:

    Hi, Roderick!

    1. You must completely disconnect from historic Christianity — so much so that you are willing to say the Church has been wrong on eschatology for over 2000 years.

    What is this “the Church” you’re talking about? You’re Reformed: you don’t think “the Church” in toto was wrong on some things throughout the Middle Ages?

    2. You must be willing to say that for whatever reason, God & the Holy Spirit were not able to preserve the teaching of Jesus & the apostles (as if soon after AD70 people forgot)

    If you are a Christian, you must be willing to say that for whatever reason, God & the Holy Spirit were not able to preserve the teaching of the Old Testament prophets on the nature of the Kingdom and the Messiah’s reign (as if after Isaiah people forgot). If it’s about God’s ability, then God was manifestly incapable of providing us with just one incorruptible manuscript of His Scriptures or with keeping the Church from error prior to the Reformers.

    But it’s not about His ability. Could it possibly be that God, although sovereign, is not a control freak like some people are? Should we think less of Him if He did not provide an explicit and exhaustive list of truths for us to join in lock-step with? Could we, like the Catholic Church, be wrong when we demand for Him to have already done so? Could it be that He really is more interested in our faithfulness to Him than our understanding of all His ways?

    3. You must be willing to pretend that “Sola Scriptura” actually means SOLO Scriptura where you become a “private interpreter” (see 2 Pet 1:19-21)

    Unfortunately, that phrase as you use it is completely and utterly out of context from 2 Peter 1. He was referring to the trustworthiness of prophecy. “Private interpretation” clearly refers not the hearer/reader of Scripture, but to the prophets’ ability to screw up what God told Him between his reception of the prophecy and his proclamation of it.

    4. You must be willing to become something that is nothing like anything in historic Christianity — not even the worst of the worst heresies advocated the kind of things hyperpreterists advocate.

    I have heard rumors that some are universalists; that some believe homosexuality is normative for Christians; that some have little to no regard for Scripture; that some are evolutionists; that some are unitarians; that some are even Pelagians! And I’m just talking about non-preterists 😉 Guilt by association is an invalid argument. Which of your non-eschatological “heresies” do you attribute to Sam Frost or Don Preston, for instance? Do you really think these guys are marginal in the preterist community?

    People who know me recognize that I hold the views of tother believers (even dead ones!) as highly valuable and that these views are disregarded out-of-hand only to our peril. Yet one of the Church’s historic stands is that Scripture comes first in the pecking order; Church tradition never trumps sound biblical exegesis. If I believe Scripture clearly teaches something and historic Christianity denies it, I will question my belief because it would be arrogant not to, but in the end, I affirm prima scriptura and do not allow the mob of Church tradition to deter me. Neither did Martin Luther. “Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders.”

  47. Roderick says:

    Steve,

    This discussion is really a non-starter because you begin with reductionist questioning — “What is the Church?”

    Martin Luther & the other Reformers did NOT depart from the historic Christian Church but only from that present manifesation called the Roman Catholic Church. I know hyperpreterists like to equate themselves with being Reformers as if each is a mini-Martin Luther but Luther would be appalled at how you behave. You don’t just reject errors that have crept in but you reject the whole concept of the historic Christian Church — even now questioning, “What is the Church?”. No sir, hyperpreterists are NOT theological heirs of the Reformation but rather more the offspring of the Restoration Era, (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorationism) where those groups claimed the true Church had been lost & the true Gospel lost & needed “restoring”. From this group comes everything from the denomination of “church of Christ” to the Mormons, to the JWs, to the Pentecostals.

    It then is not surprising that hyperpreterism first rose within the denomination of “church of Christ” with Max King who were already prime for rejecting the concept of “the Church” — after all, according to them “the Church” had fallen into apostasy so we can just ignore anything “the Church” has said UNLESS it agrees with our private interpretation.

    Your attempt to somehow claim that the true concept of the kingdom was “lost” & had to be restored by Jesus is patently false. If you understood typology you would see that it has always been God’s methodology to use the type-antitype to reveal His plans. Of course God used the physical to manifest the spiritual. Adam the first created human to manifest Jesus the last Adam, the first life giving spirit. (1 Cor 15:45)

    Some of the Jews simply wanted to cling to the type & did not want to see the revelation & fufillment. God did NOT fail to preserve the teaching from the OT to the New. As a matter of fact, I submit many of those who desired the death of Jesus knew exactly what they were rejecting…they killed the “Landowner’s” son in hopes of inheriting the “kingdom” for themselves (see Mt 21:33-46 — http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2021:33-46%20;&version=50😉 But in your version of events God somehow allowed them to lapse into ignorance.

    Next, you mock God’s sovereignty saying He is “not a control freak” yet the God I see displayed in the Bible is not merely a God who “knows things” ahead of time, but has actually DECLARED the end from the beginning — (Isa 46:10), He is the God that calls His people to REPENT (change who they were into what He as the potter fashions them to be — sounds rather freakisly “controlling”). He is the God who wants His people to have the “mind of Christ” rather than their own mind. And yet you mock this???

    You speak of “faithfulness” but your version of it is vague. Faith is not some mere “blind leap”, a mere “wish” & hope but faith as the Bible depicts it is FIDELITY, as a partner is FAITHFUL to the other. Faith as the Bible exclaims is CERTAINTY & SURETY:

    Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. — Hebrews 11:1

    How in the world can anyone be “faithful” without knowing & understanding His ways..as much as His ways are revealed to us through Scripture? Your version of “faith” is vague & unbiblical at worst.

    Your issue with 2 Pet 1:19-21 reveals perhaps more than you intend, for if you assume this only deals with how Scripture was brought about then no wonder so many hyperpreterists are content to claim their may be yet unknown Scripture to which we might appeal. Rather, 2 Pet 1:19-21 is both about the transmission of Scripture AND the interpretation thereof — as it does indeed say “no private INTERPRETATION” — yet hyperpreterists set themselves up as almost modern day prophets who have found the true meaning of the Scripture — all in contrast against 2000 years of the historic Church’s interpretation of Scripture. Now THAT is arrogant.

    I often hear people use this notion that it is false to prescribe “guilt by association” but I have been questioning that objection — after all it is by our association with Adam that we have been made guilty though we did not sin “according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam” (Rom 11:12-15) And yet it is also by our association with Christ that we are declared innocent — both situations completely without our own input into the matter (freakishly controlling God at work again). Guilt or innocence by association is NOT an “invalid argument” but is the Biblical argument.

    How dare you attempt to equate what hyperpreterism advocates with what the Reformers were advocating. The Reformers did not depart from historic Christianity but even solidified their reliance upon it by immediately penning a plethra of confessions confirming the long held beliefs of the Church.

    You sir, & the hyperpreterists with you have become something radically outside the scope of historic Christianity. You are not “reformers” you are rebels that make up your rules as you go.