You are hereDon K. Preston in a Major Four Night Formal Debate

Don K. Preston in a Major Four Night Formal Debate

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By Virgil - Posted on 03 July 2008

We are pleased to announce a four day formal public debate. On July 7-8, 10-11,

John Welch, church of Christ minister and Don K. Preston, of Preterist Research Institute, will engage in a formal debate in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 7-8, and 10-11.

The venue will be the High School Rd. church of Christ. The church building is at 3103 N. High School Road. Less than a mile north on High School Road is the intersection of 38th Street. Times are 7 PM each evening.

Each man will have two speeches each evening.

Don K. Preston will affirm: The Bible teaches that the resurrection of the dead occurred at the time of the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

John Welch will affirm: There will be a resurrection of the dead at the end of the current Christian age.

John Welch is an experienced debater, and is, ostensibly at least, of the amillennial persuasion.

Don K. Preston is also an experienced debater and will defend the truthfulness of Covenant Eschatology.

The interest in this debate has building for some time, and this promises to be a significant exchange.

Make your plans to be with us for this important debate!

mazuur's picture

Yup, I'm going to be there. My first Preston debate. Should be interesting.

-Rich

-Rich

Mick's picture

Rich,
You should give us a summary at the end of each night.

Mickey E. Denen

plymouthrock's picture

Yeah, from what I understand, Welch did not want it videotaped, and although it will be available on audio it won't be streamed or be available for sometime after the debate. So an update would really be nice.

plymouthrock!

Virgil's picture

Yeah...you need to blog on this with all the details if you can.

mazuur's picture

I'm not much for taking notes and then writing a report. But, I will try to at least let you all know what I thought and how things seemed to go.

Rich

-Rich

plymouthrock's picture

Thanks Rich.

plymouthrock!

JL's picture

Rich,

Take note of the pile of greenwood just outside the door and the number of stakes.

Greet Roderick with a big grin.

Take note of when Welch first calls Preston to repentance by laughing out loud and falling on the floor in histerics.

Blessings.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Mick's picture

JL,
Your thoughts remind me of the old cheer from high school basketball games...
I got a noose; You got a tree;
We gonna hang us a referee.

Mickey E. Denen

Starlight's picture

Rich,

From what I have heard so far the guy Don is supposedly debating is behaving very poorly toward Don. Let us hear your thoughts.

Norm

mazuur's picture

Norm,

Yeah, the guy spent all of his time spewing rhetoric. It wasn't until this second half-hour presentation that the first Scripture was presented. It was nothing but listening to a guy mock and insult another person.

To be honest about the whole debate thing though, I have to say this. It was all a complete waste of time.

Don is like a machine gun just referencing scores and scores of passages; entire chapters. The majority of them were Isaiah. Here is a problem among many. Nobody is familiar enough with the OT Scriptures, let alone entire chapters (most aren't even familiar with the NT Scriptures like that). Nobody could absorb what he was talking about, especially the every day Christian that sits in a pew. I was barely able to follow myself, and I know what his entire argument was about.

He needs to slow down and actually present the Scriptures (instead of the referencing scores of them) so the people can even follow him. He also needs to step away from advanced topics/arguments. The people sitting in the pews need to hear and see(by actually showing the scriptures) the basic arguments of Preterism. ie. Matthew 24:34 and the like. Don needs to remember back to what it was that caused him to start seeing the truth in the Scriptures. I would venture to say is it was, just like the rest of us, the basic time statements and related passages. The people in the pews have never had these facts presented to them before. They have never be forced to actually read the Scriptures that they are familiar with in their historical and culture context. They are not going to grasp the advance preterist topics. It is one thing if your debate in front of a bunch of scholarly types, it another thing if its in front of general pew sitters.

Here's a perfect example I couldn't believe he passed up.

When the guy he is debating actually got around to referencing some Scriptures, he actually quoted and put up on the screen Romans 13:11

"...The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed."

The guy was trying to say that the word "nearer" is a relative term, thus doesn't mean imminent in time.

If Don were to merely put that verse up on the screen and walk the people though it very slowly and make them see what Paul is actually saying, I am sure the entire crowd would be floored.

First, point out that yes "nearer" is a relative term. Relative to something, and the something was when they first believed. They had probably only been believers for 30 years or so. That means their salvation was in less time than that.

Second, point out the first "you" is in reference to Paul's audience. The "our" is Paul and his contemporaries. The "we" again is in reference to Paul and his contemporaries the letter was written to.

Force them to see the historical context!!!!! This is what Christians do not do. They project everything out as if Paul was actually talking to them today.

I think Don is wasting a huge opportunity in his debates He has the chance to actually get people, who would never otherwise, to hear these truths. The opportunity to open peoples eyes, and do it right there in their own Church.

Much more could be said, but I'll stop here. Hopefully tonight will be better, but I doubt it.

Got to sit and chat with John Noe and Eddie Panther. Eddie was there to record the event.

Met another guy who actually lives real close to me (a friend of John Noe) who I will be hooking up with. I am starting a Bible study on Friday nights at my house starting the 18th of this month. I am sure he is going to come. He, like me, is also very interested in a

Another guy who just showed up from Avon Indiana was there. He walked up to Don and then Don brought him over to me. He was looking for Bible study and fellowship. I got the impression Preterism was new to him and he is wanting to study it further. Probably came across it on the internet.

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

Rich, thanks for the update - I know that Don goes way too fast through some of these debates, which makes me wonder the same thing you mentioned: would he be more effective if he actually slows down and just pointedly attacks time statements, resurrection, etc?

Unloading bible references on the audience helps very few people apparently.

mazuur's picture

"would he be more effective if he actually slows down and just pointedly attacks time statements, resurrection, etc?"

Oh yeah. Don has got to remember these people have never been exposed to time statements etc.. We take it all for granted and have moved on to the more advanced concepts, but they have not even started. If we want to make more preterist we have got to stick to the basics. It does no good to present the advanced stuff to kindergardeners; they need the milk first.

-Rich

-Rich

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Rich,

Thanks for the report.

You said: "Nobody is familiar enough with the OT Scriptures, let alone entire chapters (most aren't even familiar with the NT Scriptures like that)."

That is a huge part of the problem. Not sure how to approach it because Christians will be ignorant of the OT (and NT) unless they put some time and effort into learning what the text says.

Thanks again. Tell all the preterists there "hi" for me.

Tim Martin
www.beyondcreationscience.com

mazuur's picture

Tim,

Hey, Eddie (Panther) says hi. After the debate last night we spent 2-1/2 hours (until 12:30 am) down at the local Denny's yapping. He was carrying your book, so of course I had to ask him how he liked it. He is loving it! He has about 50 pages left to read, but so far he was floored by your presentation.

He was telling me is has always been a YEC, but now, he is OEC 100%. The points you bring out in the book really got him to thinking, and he just couldn't dismiss the facts your present. It was rather funny, because he was saying how he had just watched that movie "March of the Penguins".

-Rich

-Rich

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Rich,

That's funny.

I loved "March of the Penguins." So much that I took my kids back to watch it -- three times in all...

Have fun!

Tim

Starlight's picture

Rich,

Did it go any better last night?

Norm

mazuur's picture

See my comments on Jim's blog.

Rich

-Rich

lindatate's picture

I was at the debate's last night, apparently one of the few preterists there. :-0 Welch, IMO, came across harshly, and at times he shouted so loudly that I put my fingers in my ears! He repeatedly violated debate rules such as ridiculing Preston. At one point Welch called him a universalist! (Preston later denied being one. I was disappointed because I’m one of those types. Yikes!)

Several times Welch mocked, saying such as, “If I were Mr. or Mrs. Christian after AD 70, I’d have complained, ‘I don’t feel any differently! What kind of resurrection was that when I didn’t even know it happened!’” Oh, well . . .

Welch also repeatedly added new topics well into the debate. Don spent a lot of time pointing out these rule violations, which I wish he wouldn’t have. Instead, Don should have expected it and rather spent his time presenting preterism’s strongest time-indicator passages (like Matthew 10:23, 23:36, 24:34, Luke 19:43-44, Hebrews 10:37, James 5:8-9, 1 Peter 4:7, 1 John 2:18, Revelation 1:1, 3). In any debate the target is not the opponent, who will never change, but the audience, which in this case numbered approximately 200 in a packed-out sanctuary.

Welch, on the other hand, hammered home the typical anti-preterist verses like Acts 17:30 (all men everywhere to repent) and Revelation 1:7 (every eye will see Him) while Preston concentrated on the OT.

I personally got a lot out of the OT quotations, such as Hosea 13:1, 14’s corporate body resurrection, and Ezekiel 37’s ‘tombs,’ plural, also referring to corporate body, as does John 5:28-29’s tombs, plural. “In that day . . .I will cause the prophets . . .to pass out of the land” from Zechariah 13:2 was good too.

But the regular pew-sitter needed to hear preterism’s NT quotations, as noted above.

Overall, I think Preston won. (No bias. lol) Given that he was feeling poorly from a cough, he remained kind to Welch and never resorted to sarcasm like he did. In debates, or in any interpersonal encounter, for that matter, much more communication results from tone of voice and non-verbal gestures than from actual content, IMO. :-)

Linda

Virgil's picture

Linda, thanks a lot for the update. I wish Don would take some of those comments to heart and consider them for future debates.

I wish I could have been there with you guys.

Sam's picture

FROM ED STEVENS] Just got off the phone with Walt Hibbard. He is now home recovering from a quadruple bypass surgery and installation of a new pacemaker. He is recovering well, and feeling better now that he is back home getting some good home-cooked meals. His medicare insurance will cover most of the medical bills, but there is still a lot that they will not cover. And he will be off work for about six weeks, during which time he will have no income. And he has no savings to fall back on. This is going to be a very challenging time for him financially. We need to help him during this time of need. Prayers for his speedy recovery are especially requested, and any gifts of money would also be extremely appreciated.

He told me that he has over a thousand emails stacked up in his mail box, so he is really in no position to answer very much email at this point. And since he is still engaged in a lot of phone calls with family and doctors at this time, it would be better not to call him on the phone until things settle down in a few weeks. The best way to help (in addition to prayer) would be to send a monetary gift to him at his home address:

Walt Hibbard
2534 Alister Drive -- Faulkland Hts
Wilmington DE 19808-3308

Virgil's picture

I wish Walt a good recovery. He has been missed here for sure!

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