You are hereFull Preterism vs. Idealism Part 1&2

Full Preterism vs. Idealism Part 1&2

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By TheIdealNate - Posted on 24 May 2007

by Nathan Dubois
The question has been raised with the intent of learning the difference between Full Preterism and Idealism. The Full Preterism being discussed is more directly aimed at the Reformed Full Preterist interpretation. In this stage of Full Preterism, which I have recently come out of, there is the tendency to hold onto Reformed soteriology in the face of Full Preterists who would take the view all the way to Universalism. I was one of those preterists. It was clear to me that Universalism was not correct according to Romans, but it was also abundantly clear that Full Preterism was crumbling from beneath me in the light of Consistent Cessationism. The question has been raised with the intent of learning the difference between Full Preterism and Idealism. The Full Preterism being discussed is more directly aimed at the Reformed Full Preterist interpretation. In this stage of Full Preterism, which I have recently come out of, there is the tendency to hold onto Reformed soteriology in the face of Full Preterists who would take the view all the way to Universalism. I was one of those preterists. It was clear to me that Universalism was not correct according to Romans, but it was also abundantly clear that Full Preterism was crumbling from beneath me in the light of Consistent Cessationism. In order to battle the Universalist logical conclusions of Consistent Cessationist Full Preterism, many Cessationist believers are giving ground to the idea that all Biblical offices, gifts, and patterns still continue in a milder, less structured sort of way. For instance, there are no teachers and preachers, but there are still elders that teach. There is also the debate that the gifts of the Spirit are not applicable because they were in part, but the Spirit still moves people to Christ as He did in the transition period. In fact, the Spirit always moved the elect to God and the truth even before the New testament time frame.

Basically, some of the Idealist understandings I hold to are also being grasped by those Full Preterists who were close to “throwing out the baby with the bath water” because they were consistently following the logical conclusions to Full Preterism. However, rather than give in to Universalism, because Universalism is clearly against scripture, they grabbed back (or just held on tighter to) their Reformed soteriology while maintaining a Full Preterist position, creating a very inconsistent version of Full Preterism and back tracking on many of the leanings they were headed toward when following the Full Preterist logic.

I was in exactly this same boat. There are some basic logical conclusions to Full Preterism that cannot be ignored. Some may try to excuse or wiggle out of the conclusions by going back to their incorrect denominational mindset, but none the less, these conclusions are the only logical answer to many questions in the Full preterist framework. I will address these in this study but first I want to lay down a few rules that show the weakness of Full Preterism.

1. If the same punishment is declared for (2) agencies in scripture, then the SAME RESULT must ensue for both agencies.
2. If something arrived for a “special purpose,” and did not exist in the actions of God on earth prior to that point, then they MUST CEASE when the purpose for their existence is taken away or completed. If they DO NOT cease, they were always in existence, and were only being revealed in a new way during that “special purpose” timeframe, which then consistently allows them to continue afterward.
3. Scripture continues to interpret scripture. Like Matthew parallels Luke concerning the same judgment, so other passages parallel each other when talking of the same event.
4. God’s attributes come into play for everything. God does not change and His character does not change. Just because God acted in time, those actions did not benefit, make different, cause change to, or halt His ways. He is the same today as He was in Genesis.
5. Man and God MUST be viewed differently. Just because man and the nature of humanity follows a pattern, does not mean God follows that same pattern in respect to HIS nature. Until made perfect in Christ, man is always finite, the ways of nature are always finite. God has always been infinite. His ways and His holiness always was. “I AM” is about the most literal description for God I can think of.
6. All attributes of God apply to Christ.

Most of what I wrote above will be easily agreed to by the Reformed Full Preterist. There are maybe a couple they would dispute because they know why I say it and know where I am heading. It doesn’t make the logic any less true. Examples for each rule will be contrasted in this explanation of the (2) views that I am going to discuss (FP vs. PI).

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:
This introduction to what I am going to write is by no means meant to insult or enrage anyone. I have been asked to address the difference between Full Preterism and Preterist Idealism. I am writing from personal experience, 8 years worth, of being an active participant in the Full Preterist circle. I am writing about views I held and tendencies I saw in myself and others. This does not mean I think myself better than others. This does not mean I think I am further evolved or wiser. It simply means I have been granted a different perspective on Preterism. I saw the tendencies and I turned away from them. I could find no consistent, satisfactory, alternative answers to the questions raised against the logical conclusions of Full Preterism.

Further more, the Bible was being viewed as a book that I needed to pick apart and decide what applied and what didn’t apply. What ceased in AD 70 and what did not. With those cessations, what can I continue to do or not do as a member of the Kingdom.

Lastly, I came up with an important conclusion. Any theology that breeds an attempt to define love as anything other than “self sacrifice,” is a VERY WRONG theology. this led to the most inconsistent application of Full Preterism that I have seen yet. It is the biggest factor in my embrace of Idealism over Full Preterism and I will discuss that in length throughout this work I am embarking on.

FULL PRETERISMS ACHILLES HEEL (Part 2)

I had spent all my time in Full Preterism, when defending against Universalism, using the Romans 1-5 passages which declare that it is only "those that are his at His coming" or those "in Christ" who are declared to be saved. I still believe this is absolutely true. Reformed Preterists all agree there is an element of the "all" that refers only to the elect. "All in Christ" or "all His children" is the proper context of the Romans passages. What has not been answered, and cannot be answered with satisfaction is the element of the lake of fire, leading us to the first inconsistency of Full Preterism.

1. If the same punishment is declared for (2) agencies in scripture, then the SAME RESULT must ensue for both agencies.

For these issues I will go right to the source and use some quotes with links for those who have argued the positions being addressed.

Rev 20:10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

The Reformed Full Preterist view declares the Devil was a literal angel who was the accuser of the elect and he is now in the lake of fire. Being in the lake of fire, as far as the devil is concerned, means to the FP that he is no longer able to tempt, accuse, perform. He is every bit as irrelevant to us today and unable to affect situations today as the souls of "anyone not found written in the book of life." This would be consistent, and they declare it. Hades also meets the same fate and they are every bit as consistent with Hades, a place they consider a literal spiritual holding for the saints prior to AD 70 which, because thrown into the lake of fire, is no longer used or relevant.

Where the consistency goes right out the window is where death is addressed. For the Devil, Beast, False Prophet, Hades, and more importantly to the non-Universalist FP, the souls of the saved, they are all in eternal torment unable to reach out from beyond the grave to affect mankind today. Evil is explained by the wickedness in mankind.

The laws of logic get tossed right out the window when death, who "were thrown into the lake of fire" is still able to continue to this day, defeated only "in Christ." The FP applies an application of the lake of fire where it DEFEATS death for the saved, but does not DESTROY death or its power ultimately for anyone else. All humankind are affected by death, which suffered the same penalty as the souls, Hades, the Devil, etc, yet its power and its reach is unaffected like the others.

I repeat: The SAME RESULT must ensue for all agencies receiving the same punishment!

Here is an exerpt from Sam Frost concerning death.

"In Greek, it is "the Death" and "the second one, the Death". The First Death came through Adam and is equal to "the condemnation" (Rom 5). So, why would we not think that since the Tree of Life is now manifest in God's People, that the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil ceased? Man has two trees to eat from. Following the pattern, the eternal reality of creation is seen also in the Age to Come new heavens and new earth. You have two Trees. Dismiss the Tree of Life (fail to submit to the King of all the Earth and who is King over all the kingdoms of the world), and is there not to be any condemnation? The new covenant is not a condemnation-less covenant! No universalist can get around the FACT of The Second One, The Death." Dennis says this is "redefinition". In what way he never explains. He just makes the charge and moves on, parading the universalists as the most consistent FP system!...If the death is still around, then so is your condemnation. With the destruction of the Death, the condemnation in Adam was effectively removed. Dennis asks how can this be for the believer, but not for the wicked. This is answered by replacing the First Death with a new heavens and new earth Death, the Second one. Had this not been revealed to us, and had this verdict of God's court been uttered, then universalism can make a case. As such, it cannot. The Second Death prevents universalism from being true. It is like God saying, "the Gospel is going to the world, to being healing to nations and reveal my son, Jesus. But, not every one is going to see my glory. Some will refuse it, and for them, I have decreed a Second Death for those who reject the New Tree of Life." Pretty simple to me..."

This answer is by no means satisfactory for one reason, which Sam Frost himself brings to light. "The First Death came through Adam and is equal to "the condemnation" (Rom 5)...If the death is still around, then so is your condemnation. With the destruction of the Death, the condemnation in Adam was effectively removed." No matter how much explaining away he does about the second death, he gave his own arguments right back to the Universalist. He declares that the first death is the death that brought condemnation under Adam. The Reformed Preterist believes that the sin and condemnation under Adam continue for those who are not saved, and explain the evil that is still in the world, even with an irrelevant suffering Devil who is in the lake!

The "condemnation" from Adam MUST continue for men to be considered guilty today! It was condemnation under the first Adam that condemned men, brought the law, made the need for a redeemer in the first place! To remove this condemnation from the world, as they do the devil and the souls of the dead in the lake of fire, they must declare that men are no longer condemned! Instead, Sam entirely eliminates the sin brought by Adam (leading to the "first death"), and creates a new sin leading to condemnation of the "second death" for those not in Christ. In other words, the problem brought into the world through Adam was NOT conquered by Christ, the wheel was simply reinvented. Not only is Romans 1-5 the undeniable proof that only those "in Christ" are saved, but it is also the biggest part of scripture used to show WHY we need a savior!!! Because under Adam all men are condemned!

Full Preterism has taken a new twist, the entire book to the Romans has become irrelevant in Sam's new law and new death scenario. I will deal with the idea of a "new law" or a "new death" later. The idea that the spiritual came after the natural occurrence is backward but I cannot address that here in this step. Even though both "new" things go against the fabric of Reformed thinking. But the point over all is even if a "new death' or "new law" were NOT created, we have different results from the same judgment.

The issue here is the consistency in the approach. The devil is gone and inactive, irrelevant and being tormented, and so is death. The same punishment for both MUST produce the same results. Do I really need to do a study on Romans to show that the death from Adam is still going on today? Do I need to state anymore that the only way for Full Preterism to answer the devil and death problem is to invent a "new law" that humans break after AD 70, and a "new death" to explain the lake of fire that Universalists get wrong? Reformed Full Preterism must either depart from the Reformed grounding, lead to a Universalist approach, or lead to an Idealist approach.

So what is the Idealist approach that makes the view of this different? Idealism sees the lake of fire as the hyperbole to show the utter defeat of the devil, the grave, the false prophet, the beast, and the souls of those not found in the book., as being defeated only IN CHRIST. The events of AD 70 are the same as those of 4000 B.C. When Abraham was called from Ur, when the Israelites were lead from Egypt, when the Christians fled to Pella, when we die to the “old man” and enter into Christ. The prophecies of Revelation 20 are hyperbole to tell this story.

The devil is not dead or gone, he is utterly defeated by Christ, and those “in Christ” share this victory over him. He is in the “lake of fire” (under His feet!) Death is not gone and reinvented as the “lake of fire.” Death is utterly defeated by Christ, and those “in Christ” share the victory over it, and never die. Those outside of Christ still die. They suffer that utter defeat of a rebellious heart against God, eternally.

Idealism sees that the stories of the Exodus and AD 70 are pointing to a higher spiritual truth. The truth that Christ came to REVEAL in His time on earth.

“John 14:6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Where Full Preterism fails this truth is to put it in time. Christ is eternal, he did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. He is eternal. He was such when he declared He was. We was such from the beginning. The events that occurred become the fulfillment of something that was always true “in Christ.” In doing so, and making the eternal a matter of time, they run into the forced and unavoidable inconsistencies as shown above.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 That light SHINES in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.

God Bless
Nate

Barry's picture

(Having read just about everything here)
The obvious problem still exists with most of the views presented here.

Unless there is a complete and utter removal of condemnation then there was no completed salvation and no fulfilled redemption for the saved in AD 70.

The conclusion which should be drawn for the above comments (most) is that completed salvation a postmortem experience.

The salvation for the here and now that occurred in the first-fruits in AD 70 was then only a token of what they would permanently receive upon death.

The hold fast firm until the end (of the age) to enter that prophesied rest was only a token rest until they died if they held fast firm once again until mortem.

As long as they could once again break covenant prior to mortem then their salvation and their redemption was never fulfilled while alive.

So then the salvation promised them "at the revelation of Jesus Christ" was a broken promise. Or at best only a token application until mortem.

So then we would have to conclude that it did not really come at the revelation of Jesus Christ but only when they died.

Unless you have a fulfilled covenant in Christ and an age changing condition applicable down to the human level then you do not have the "historical" salvation and historical fulfilled redemption that the scriptures plainly speak of time and time again.

Sin was brought into the world through one man.
Now you must determine what "world" that was.

If not a global world then there was no condemnation in Adam for the Gentle world and so then redemption applied only a specific ethnicity with a specific territory.

The "sin" that spread to all men as all men sinned is a spreading through the one act of disobedience and not of its own individual authority.

IMHO what is being missed is the "historical" implication of Revelation.
Revelation speaks of both historical permanency and historical ongoing efficacy.

The in and out that exists with Revelation is one that is clearly speaking of the then covenantal implication that were still being resolved. The “outside” was still within a covenantal determination related to the still valid old covenant. The liar that was still then outside was promoting the same lie as we see in the early chapters.

Once fulfillment occurred then the “going out” is rendered impossible (Rev. 4:12) within the historical ongoing efficacy.

Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

davo's picture

Barry: So then we would have to conclude that it did not really come at the revelation of Jesus Christ but only when they died.

That's interesting Barry as that puts the merits of their death above the merits of Christ's death in the securing of redemption etc.

Barry: Sin was brought into the world through one man.
Now you must determine what "world" that was.

If not a global world then there was no condemnation in Adam for the Gentle world and so then redemption applied only a specific ethnicity with a specific territory.

Exactly Barry – and that's the problem with those who argue against each other as to whether "world" and "all" be global or covenantal, NOT appreciating that generically speaking BOTH be the case and that in given contexts there are limiting parameters to these BUT NOT to the exclusion of the other reality, but rather specifying the means whereby one is secured BY the other, i.e., "the elect" [specific] were those ones called into the redemptive plan on behalf of ALL Israel [generic], and thus in turn how Israel's [specific] redemption brought "life" [reconciliation] for the world [generic]. So it is NOT a case of "exclusion" versus "inclusion" but rather HOW these two worked and functioned together to fulfil the saving grace of God [specific] toward mankind as a whole [generic].

Barry: The in and out that exists with Revelation is one that is clearly speaking of the then covenantal implication that were still being resolved. The “outside” was still within a covenantal determination related to the still valid old covenant. The liar that was still then outside was promoting the same lie as we see in the early chapters.

Well said Barry, so worth repeating!! :)

davo

Barry's picture

Davo:That's interesting Barry as that puts the merits of their death above the merits of Christ's death in the securing of redemption etc.

Indeed!
It also makes this life and its development trivial. In essence then, "real" life (or real death) only begins once you die.
Meaning that God's original agenda of Creation was merely to accumulate for the after-life (post-mortem).

In essence, making the "very good" of creation "very good" mearly as a place to test and accumulate for afterlife purposes as opposed to to being very good toward the here and now. This doesn't say much about how God feels about this life that he created.

IMHO, while there is an after this life in the immortality of God, nevertheless in biblical terms God's agenda in the "bible" is clearly the development of this life here.
And so the redemption of the bible (Etc.) portrayed therein is clearly toward this life HERE.

It is absolutely a crying shame what we can done to the message of the cross. Herein there is no phyilosophical difference between biblical futurist and most full preterist. They both see this life as nothing more than test ground and accumulation for the after life.

The bible that I read paints a different picture. One where God is vitally interested in the here and now of his here and now creation.

Barry

we are all in this together

Fredrico's picture

Barry,

I think we should be cautious not to think the ‘here and now’ is for our pleasure. I truly think that God has a purpose in keeping His people in this world. I do not think it is so we can grow and mature for the after-life. I do not think it is so we can build our own empires to rule. I think that with all of the distractions, deceptions and disorder in the world we are here to help each other in love with a true concern. I see very little helping and encouraging among God’s people. Are we the light of the world, the salt of the earth when we continue to fight with one another? Let us show we love God by loving each other. Let us rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that weep. We should live here to give God the glory not us.

1 Corinthians 15:19
19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

While we are in this world, we trust God in all things. He provides our needs but not always our pleasures. He answers prayers but some He does not because they will be used for our own lusts. He gives us happiness and joy and he stirs up an excitement within us. We have spiritual blessing beyond explanation. All of that still does not take away the grief and sorry that comes as the natural man parades his sins across the historical stage. Plus, as we see our loved ones hurt or the masses that die of hunger and thirst from human cruelty. To me being a Christian seems bitter sweet. Not all of my expectations are for this world because here I am only a vapor, a puff of smoke.

Blessings,
Fred

davo's picture

Fredrico: To me being a Christian seems bitter sweet.

Right again Fred, discipleship is to be a life of "service" -- something that is a joyous privilege yet with a cost. Though ALL benefit from Christ's ultimate cost where in service He laid down all, not everyone is called into bearing the cost of such service that discipleship requires. It is the blessedness of belief.

davo

Barry's picture

Fred,
I understand where you are coming from.

In any case, we must scripturally answer to the "abundance of life" that the scriptures speak of for this life.
God is love.
He is love in this life.

We have our time here.

The God centered life is our pleasure. Herein is our true self in the image of God.
Egocentric life is the facade believed in by our (egocentric) alter ego which is the construct of self imposed self identity.

Faith is letting God identify me (us).
Abundance of life is living that God declared identity. This is our true pleasure.
In whatever may come, for however long one has.

To be at peace with the fact that He has his agenda for this here and now.
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

davo's picture

Barry: In essence then, "real" life (or real death) only begins once you die.
Meaning that God's original agenda of Creation was merely to accumulate for the after-life (post-mortem). … It is absolutely a crying shame what we can done to the message of the cross. Herein there is no phyilosophical difference between biblical futurist and most full preterist. They both see this life as nothing more than test ground and accumulation for the after life.

This is spot-on Barry – "eternal life" being viewed as other or next worldly, and yet missing the reality that Jesus says eternal life is here in this life; why do we look elsewhere?? Is it that doing so enables and facilitates US being able to have a finger in the pie of control? i.e., self righteousness.

Jn 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

For this to occur needs faith, now how others continue to say our inclusive position says faith is not necessary is also a crying shame for this just simply is not true – faith in Christ is paramount to a vital relationship with God IN THIS LIFE. Logically speaking – who will need "faith" post mortem when we all shall see Him as He is – "faith" has to do with that which is not seen: "…because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Jn 20:29

davo

davo's picture

I had spent all my time in Full Preterism, when defending against Universalism, using the Romans 1-5 passages which declare that it is only "those that are his at His coming" or those "in Christ" who are declared to be saved. I still believe this is absolutely true. Reformed Preterists all agree there is an element of the "all" that refers only to the elect. "All in Christ" or "all His children" is the proper context of the Romans passages. What has not been answered, and cannot be answered with satisfaction is…Hi Nate… what I likewise think has NOT been fully or properly answered by you good folk who object to the more inclusive position is a fresh understanding of what "being saved" actually means – as in coming into the service of God, as opposed to the assumption that "being saved" means getting to heaven when you die – and thus the qualifying/disqualifying criteria that being or not being "in Christ" is said to mean and be. IOW, there is an evangelical traditionalism that has wrongly high-jacked these terms of "in Christ" and "saved". Pantelism for example has addressed some of these points; but apart from blatant dismissal through irrelevant appeals to "universalism" most preterist folk have just not provided a reasonable refuting rationale – at least not so far, and PI is a case in point, again, IMO.

Sam entirely eliminates the sin brought by Adam (leading to the "first death"), and creates a new sin leading to condemnation of the "second death" for those not in Christ. In other words, the problem brought into the world through Adam was NOT conquered by Christ, the wheel was simply reinvented. … Full Preterism has taken a new twist, the entire book to the Romans has become irrelevant in Sam's new law and new death scenario.Certainly I think there is some truth in what you point out here, but your own rolling [endless] lake of fire is equally inconsistent, prêteristically speaking.

Where Full Preterism fails this truth is to put it in time. Christ is eternal, he did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. He is eternal.Nate HOW on earth can you be saying this??? One does NOT negate the other but rather confirms it. There was a lonely little Jew [Mt 27:46] in the backside of the Roman empire [Palestine] who died abandoned [Mt 26:31] on a criminal's cross, YET this one historical event IN TIME secured for time immemorial the covenantal restoration of man – something infinite that changed the finite – this was no failure of truth.

There was a man who stuffed things up for mankind "globally" – and did so "covenantally" – humanity was covenantally DEAD in the first Adam. There was a man who stitched things up for mankind "globally" – and did so "covenantally" – humanity was covenantally MADE ALIVE in the LAST Adam. This WAS global YET nonetheless covenantal; not either/or but BOTH [Tim :)].

IF the original death be "the death" that came to ALL men [Rom 3:23] through the first Adam [1Cor 15:22a] – and that death was "the death" that was destroyed through Israel's AD70 lake of fire; along with its powerful appendages of the sin and the law and the devil [1Cor 5:56; Rev 20:10]; THEN "the death" that Adam's sin passed onto ALL men IS GONE, i.e., redemption has been realised and reconciliation established through the sacrifice of the last Adam [Heb 9:26; 1Cor 15:22b] – like how do prêterist folk NOT see this consistency?

davo

Fredrico's picture

Davo,

I agree with your reasoning Davo. That is why I cannot go along with the preterist view on sin and death. The preterist view gives you support Davo.

Fred

davo's picture

Thanks Fred... these things ARE worth thinking through.

davo

TheIdealNate's picture

EXACTLY!
God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

davo's picture

God bless you too Nate :)

davo

MichaelB's picture

From Sam:
Mike, he didn't deal with anything. I would be glad to debate this on a private (with select few invited) Yahoo group if he is willing, and if you could set it up. His arguments can easily, easily be dismantled. - Sam

Nate we still haven't heard back are you up for this?

Below are just my quick observations so far. MB.

Nate writes:
Where the consistency goes right out the window is where death is addressed. For the Devil, Beast, False Prophet, Hades, and more importantly to the non-Universalist FP, the souls of the saved, they are all in eternal torment unable to reach out from beyond the grave to affect mankind today. Evil is explained by the wickedness in mankind. The laws of logic get tossed right out the window when death, who "were thrown into the lake of fire" is still able to continue to this day, defeated only "in Christ." The FP applies an application of the lake of fire where it DEFEATS death for the saved, but does not DESTROY death or its power ultimately for anyone else.

A) So I am curious, since Hades was thrown in the lake of fire Nate, yet before AD70 you agree that Hades applied to Christians too - so does Hades still apply to Christians? If not there goes your "consistency". Oh, I know, you think it just means "grave" so shouldn't the grave still have power over all Christians? Is that your position? Are you being "consistent" Nate?

B) The scripture says "the death" was thrown into the lake of fire. The death singular. Separation was thrown into the lake of fire. The gate that blocked all men from God. "Behold I have the keys to death and hades". Jesus opened the gates. Hence there are no gates to the NJ. The gate is gone. That does not make anyone outside the garden (NJ) any less "separated".

C) Exactly what laws of logic got tossed out? Please state the law of logic that was violated. The fallacy that was comitted? I don't see one. I submit that you don't know the rules of logic.

D) Do you - Nate - belong to both ages? You say the devil still affects you.

"So I see Revelation 20 as unfolding over these past few years in me. I have had that time of bondage and temptation by Satan".

So my question is this. Is the devil in the age to come? Todd doesn't seem to think so. Are you in the age to come? Or are you in both ages?

"the Death", "the Sin" & "the Devil" - Externally Defeated For All "in AD70" showing Internal Spiritual Defeat on Behalf of Redeemed

Are you saying that even after the devil was thrown into the lake that even those at AD70 that were alive at the time that were Christians still had to contend with the devil i.e. there was really no defeat at all? Curious?

So you are going to embark on telling us what to believe - yet you say this below in another article...

Nate writes:
Some have asked me what Revelation 20 means, and to this I can only ask them to define it how they will. I personally see it this way. In the love story written about God and me, I have seen myself grow in different areas....That in Him I am no longer enslaved to “ologies” and “isms”... as through these words I flee to it again and leave my “ism” behind. I am a walking example of Revelation 20. The dates I cannot give, the situations I cannot point to exactly...

Curious - isn't Idealism an "ism"?

And if you can only "define it as to what it means to you" and we are welcome to "define it how we will" then why are you forcing this Idealism (your new ism - which you deny having) on others? Isn't the truth subjective in your view? So how do I know what you are saying is going to be true? So why should we listen to you? My truth is as good as yours right?

If we can use any hermeneutic that we want to use on the scriptures are you going to allow me to use that hermeneutic that you use on the bible, on your article? You wouldn't like that would you? You would say "that is not what I meant"

You EXPECT heremenutical courtesy from us when we read your article. But you won't do the same with the words of the Apostles and Christ.

That is hypocritical - IMO.

You said that you are going to come to "logical conclusions". I hope you are prepared to defend it LOGICALLY.

Article 6: The Historico-Grammatical Method of Interpretation

WE AFFIRM that God’s verbal revelation in Scripture is intended as a public communication and must be properly understood according to the same principles of interpretation which apply to any human, non-esoteric, literary work.

WE AFFIRM that the Scripture is interpreted correctly only when interpreted according to its letter (“literally”) in the normal, historical, and grammatical sense, taking account of a text’s literary genre (whether figurative or not, etc.) and the author’s intent (as determined semantically, and by the local and broader literary contexts).

WE DENY that Scripture contains secret wisdom or hidden, subtle meanings which are ascertained by approaching the Bible on some supposed higher or Spiritual plane.

WE DENY that deeper, creative insights and artistic connections in Scripture should be maximized by lines of interpretation which follow no objective, definite, or consistent rule of interpretation which would make publicly predictable and correctable conclusions possible.

WE DENY that Scripture is properly handled by any “prooftexting” method which fails to consult a text’s local context as well as the entire teaching of Scripture as it pertains to any particular text.

WE DENY as well that any theological or moral truth (including the larger theme or thrust of the Bible as a whole) can be established without adducing texts from Scripture which prove it or without showing that it follows by sound logical inference from such.

WE DENY that Scripture, as some would allege about any literary work, is empty of fixed and objective meaning so that its language makes no unchanging disclosure, its authorial intent is inaccessible, and every reading of a text constitutes a misreading.

WE DENY that literary evidence of stylized expression, order, or balance in a text of Scripture precludes its historicity or factuality.

WE DENY that the Biblical authors invented illustrative stories or traditions and then narrated or presented them as though they were actual historical events.

TheIdealNate's picture

MichaelB: A) So I am curious, since Hades was thrown in the lake of fire Nate, yet before AD70 you agree that Hades applied to Christians too - so does Hades still apply to Christians? If not there goes your "consistency". Oh, I know, you think it just means "grave" so shouldn't the grave still have power over all Christians? Is that your position? Are you being "consistent" Nate?

Me: Yes I am being consistent, because the grave only loses power in Christ. For those in Christ, the grave cannot hold them, they are spiritually alive beings, not subject to the grave. Hades never applied to Christians. However, it's defeat was not revealed until AD 70. Remember the idea of guilty conscience sprinkled with the blood of Christ being freed from guilt by the revelation that was to come in AD 70? Witnessing vindication and seeing Him perform what He promised is important. In our finite lives we need to witness His vindication and deliverance, it is His process to free us from our guilt and show us we are His children. What we need to see vs. what is always true "in Him" are two different things, and they transcend time. It is true from the foundation, but made real to us when we "see" it.

MichaelB: B) The scripture says "the death" was thrown into the lake of fire. The death singular. Separation was thrown into the lake of fire. The gate that blocked all men from God. "Behold I have the keys to death and hades". Jesus opened the gates. Hence there are no gates to the NJ. The gate is gone. That does not make anyone outside the garden (NJ) any less "separated".

Me: Mike just displayed the ultimate undependable inconsistency. If the chasm that separated all men was no longer there, then there is no separation unless a new one is invented. If sin is the chasm (it always was), and it still exists for those outside of Christ, then it is only removed once an individual is IN Christ. Idealism. This shatters at least his version of preterism, which claims that the separation was removed, period. And then says it still exists. So are we saying the same thing or not. That it is only removed in Christ?

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

KingNeb's picture

Nate,

Logic is, simply put, the science of necessary inference. The conclusion(s) must NECESSARILY follow from the premise(s) given.

In each of your first four paragraphs (before you list your rules), you have asserted that universalism is a "logical conclusion" of full preterism.

Now, regardless of your motives, you are in fact asserting that the view that men like Sam, Mike B, and myself hold to FORCES one to universalism. That is, our view, if consistently worked out, must necessarily led to universalism.

So yes, you are forcing things here and you did so the very second you inserted the words "logically concludes".

I have printed out and read your two part article three times and no where have you established any argument demonstrating this. Not even close.

____

You claim that whether we agree with your 6 rules or not, "doesn't make the logic any less true."

Nate, what logic? What necessary inference is being put on display in simply asserting things like: "All attributes of God apply to Christ?"

Regardless of whether I agree with that or not, that is not a logical argument. That is merely an assertion.

Nate, i am certainly open to the possibility that something i or Sam has said necessarily leads to universalism. We are men. We can make mistakes. We don't always follow a line of thinking all the way out. This is why we surround ourselves with a community of believers...to keep ourselves in check. But you have not even begun to demonstrate that any such thing has occurred. Based on various comments from you, I don't think you understand what Sam is saying nor do i think you have a good grip on what logic is.

I would suggest you start over again and establish the arguments rather than merely assert the same thing over and over again with no "proof".

thereignofchrist.com

MichaelB's picture

Jason - you nailed it.

This has become so obvious to me - that the issue is heremeutics and logic - that I have enrolled in a hermenutics class, and bought a logic course online by Doug Wilson.

I took many philosophy and logic courses as well as some religion courses in college. But since this is where people are going wrong, I think it is high time we get back to these basics !!!

We need to start calling peopel out for their violation of these rules. That is what leads to universalism. Not Preteism.

In fact the irony is that most Idealists that Todd cites on his website were UNIVERSALISTS. The Swedenborgians and the Quakers were Universalists.

So I guess we can conclude that Idealism leads to Universalism too. Of course we wouldn't do that because you, Sam, and I, and others like us, like to be LOGICAL.

The rooster crows the sun comes up.
The rooster crows the sun comes up.

Therefore: roosters cause the sun to come up.

That is the logic I see from some people in here !!! =)

TheIdealNate's picture

"And if you can only "define it as to what it means to you" and we are welcome to "define it how we will" then why are you forcing this Idealism (your new ism - which you deny having) on others?"

HAHA!!

Just so everyone knows, Mike is in my dungeon behind a big glass wall, forced to read my articles and being brainwashed to believe what I say. They are projected throughout his room in 3D while chants from the Tibetan Buddahist Monks are played in the background to help infiltrate my new found relativism!

Mike,
Another joke. Lighten up. I am not forcing anything, I am sharing my views. You don't have to like them, but it doesn't change the fact that I care about you as my friend.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MichaelB's picture

Nate the irony is that you are telling people that they NEED to read the bible SUBJECTIVELY. Don't you get the irony bro? Are you CERTAIN that we should ALL read it subjectively? This is like saying "the truth is relative". Well when someone says that shouldn't we ask "Even that statement?" Your theology is flawed from the get go. You may persuade some people but persuasion is NOT proof. For instance the doctor may prove that you have a tumor with an x-ray. But you may not be persuaded. You may say "no way I feel just fine". Your hermeneutic Nate, is just like the deconstructionist that says "words have no definite meaning". Al the while he expects us to UNDERSTAND his sentence DEFINITELY.

Nate: I am posting this here in regards to your 3rd installment. I will re-post it when it comes up on this site / I saw it on P-Archive. For some reason my email does not work at home, and since it is a 3 day weekend and all, I do not want to lose my thoughts here.

Nate - you are my friend, but it is pretty cowardly, IMO, to not take any questions regarding your theology, and all the contradictions that I have pointed out already, via personal emails etc., but then take quotes from here or there, from me, or Sam, and use them in an article. Why won't you debate us and lets see just who's theology is more "consistent" and more "logical".

Nate writes:
The law of Moses was a shadow of the true law. It represented the real law which is Christ. The Mosaic law was a revelatory instrument used by God to show mankind His holiness and our unworthiness. It pointed not only to our need for Christ, but was the tool by which mankind saw Christ revealed incarnate, as He fulfilled its external works.

Nate how is this different than what Sam and I have been saying? What you FAIL to understand is that what was "REVEALED" was the TRUE LAW. Both for RIGHTEOUSNESS and CONDEMNATION. Hence the SHADOW is not needed anymore to condemn men. Romans makes it clear that Christ REVEALED both RIGHTEOUSNESS in Him and CONDEMNATION without him. No more SHADOWS needed.

Adam didn't start in the garden. God PUT him in the garden.

Genesis 2
7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

Genesis 3
22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

This (below)is enough to condemn any man - it has been REVEALED - man knows good and evil, and starts OUTSIDE THE GARDEN.

Matthew 5
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.

1 Timothy 1
5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

1 John 3
23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Revelation 21
8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

So how does man get in?

Revelation 22
14"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

There is nothing inconsistent about this. We find the SAME THING / EXACT SAME IMAGERY in the OT where In Isaiah 65/66 Zechariah 14, Isaiah 26 etc etc. where John the apostle got his imagery from, are talking about the NH and NE and the NJ.

Isaiah 9
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Application of the bible to our lives IS NOT the fulfillment. You violate the Grammatico-Historical hermeneutic with every subjective whim of you have and I am quite sure that the apostles would be pleased if you would grant them the SAME hermeneutical courtesy that you expect everyone to use when they read your articles.

Nate - You have turned to a "lucky dipper". Just close your eyes and point to a scripture and tell us how it applies to your life and how this is the true fulfillment - LOL. Geesh. That is some great hermeneutic you got there !!!

TheIdealNate's picture

Mike,
It is simple. I do not want to get bogged down in debating Part2, when I am still writing Part 4. When all parts are done, I plan to answer some questions, however, these are designed to answer most of the questions asked. When explaining what Idealism does to the time statements and such, how long should one beat his head against a wall? the answers you receive will not change.

Concerning debate, some learn by listening, others by reading, others through practical application. The same is true for expressing ones self. The exchange of ideas is just as easily done written. It is public and for all to see, why do something in the verbal that I can do with the pen? I am much more expressive with the keyboard.

Cowardly has nothing to do with anything. Unfair charge IMO.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

TheIdealNate's picture

Mike,
You hadn't heard back because I was not getting those emails.
Had I been able to respond, I would tell you I am not interested. Thanks though.

God Bless
Nate

P.S. Mike, you can use any hermeneutic on my article you wish. It is public and people can see both my writing and your responses for what they are.

It is when the bonds of friendship are strained by categorizing someones character as a defense against their writing that I was getting upset. We made our apologies about that, now I am over it. Your "fallacy" arguments haven't bothered me yet. Even though I think you fall into the "if it doesn't agree with me, it is a fallacy" Fallacy.
JUST A JOKE!!

GB
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MichaelB's picture

I am going to post a couple fallacies here. I think you can see how they apply to much of the arguments made in this article without much need of explanation.

Description of Slippery Slope
The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed.

This "argument" has the following form:

Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there is a significant number of steps or gradations between one event and another

Description of Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
The Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief is a fallacy that comes in the following patterns:

X is true because if people did not accept X as being true then there would be negative consequences.
X is false because if people did not accept X as being false, then there would be negative consequences.
X is true because accepting that X is true has positive consequences.
X is false because accepting that X is false has positive consequences.
I wish that X were true, therefore X is true. This is known as Wishful Thinking.
I wish that X were false, therefore X is false. This is known as Wishful Thinking.

Jhedges's picture

Is Fp represented by Liddel or Rampage? And will the fight Saturday night solve this current dilemma! kidding..

Nate great article just had a question for you,you said,

"Where Full Preterism fails this truth is to put it in time. Christ is eternal, he did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. "

My question about the above statement is concerning the cross. The event of the cross happened at a period in history ie approx 33 ad.

There was no way into heaven before 70 ad. The book of Hebrews notes that all of them died without receiving the promise. So does the cross have a "time"effect? Or was it out of time and just a outward show?

Thanks bro.

P.S.

Rampage wins 1st round last minute by K.O.

PreteristArchive's picture

John,

If you don't mind, I'd like to offer a direction for those who, such as yourself, are sincerely interested in pursuing the answer to this question. Seeing as how there are a lot of questions here, I'm sure many would be blessed by considering the everlasting nature of the covenant.

By far, the best treatment of this time/eternity issue I've seen **as it relates to the cross of Christ** was given by Dr. John Gill, a man well respected by all -- full preterists being no exception. His pedigree and profundity will be of immense benefit to whoever would wish to see the covenant from God's perspective, instead of just ours.

This is a quote from a section of his "Body of Divinity" regarding the "everlasting covenant" and the link to a fuller examination is here:

http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1769_gill_divinity.html

"The covenant made with Christ, and the elect in him, was not made in time, but in eternity. It is a notion that commonly obtains, that God makes a covenant of grace with men when they believe, repent, &c. but it is no such thing; the covenant of grace does not then begin to be made, only to be made manifest; it then openly takes place, its blessings are bestowed, its promises applied, its grace is wrought in the hearts of men, when God puts his fear there, gives a new heart, and a new spirit, and puts his own Spirit there, to work faith, repentance, and every other grace; but then the covenant is not new made, but all this is done in virtue and in consequence of the covenant of grace made in eternity, and according to the tenor of that."

Blessings!!
todd

Ps 103:17 - But the mercy of the LORD is *from everlasting to everlasting* upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

your servant,

Todd Dennis - Curator, The Preterist Archive
http://www.preteristarchive.com

davo's picture

Todd, that is a good quote. I would say that where we get into strife is in bifurcating time from eternity. That which is decreed in the heart of God has its outworking, i.e., "is made manifest" in time. And, as God is the God of each and every age, or Lord "of the ages", we thus have: "…the mercy of the LORD is from *antiquities unto perpetuity* upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children" etc.

davo

TheIdealNate's picture

Rampage, 2nd round. :o)

I will get to some of the questions when the whole is done. Can't get bogged down.

Reguardless of my answer, just a question for you to ponder.

If Christ was God, and the Word, from the very beginning, and the law/old covenant was created by and through Him, does His acts of completing it on earth to satisfy it (a law HE made to show the holiness HE had from the beginning) MAKE Him the savior, or just show Him as such?

That is all I can leave you with right now or I would get way too busy with NOT finishing my stuff.
God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

davo's picture

TheIdealNate: …does His acts of completing it on earth to satisfy it (a law HE made to show the holiness HE had from the beginning) MAKE Him the savior, or just show Him as such?

That's the wrong question – it's not a case of either/or but BOTH:

Act 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Rom 1:2-4 …which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

davo

flannery0's picture

John quoting Nate:

"Where Full Preterism fails this truth is to put it in time. Christ is eternal, he did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. "

Full preterism absolutely does not fail by putting the accomplishment of our redemption in time. And yes, the way *was* opened by an act performed in time. And no, the way was *not* available before that act was performed. It is why He came: He came to *PERFORM the mercy*, not simply reveal a mercy that was there all along and cost Him nothing.

Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath *visited* and *redeemed* his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be *saved* from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To *PERFORM THE MERCY* promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.

Tami

MiddleKnowledge's picture

If finite time is essentially irrelevant to redemption, then Paul and the other apostles should not have made such a big deal about "the fullness of time"! Why does the Bible even concern itself with "time statements" if finite time is not an integral aspect of redemption?

Paul even uses a time statement in reference to the fall: "sin entered the world through one man." If we remove redemption from time, then consistency requires we must remove the fall from time as well. Is the fall a result of any act performed in finite time?

These are questions that need to be dealt with by pret-idealist advocates. I am interested in how pret-idealism works. I am all for application of the spiritual lessons to contemporary situations. If God doesn't change, then his acts in the past illuminate his activity today. But, at this point, I'm wondering if pret-idealism resembles more a neo-platonic flight into the "eternal" or "spiritual" to escape the "finite" or "physical" than Scripture warrants. After all, the original creation shows that the finite and the physical is nothing to "escape from." God's creation is "very good." Didn't God create time?

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

davo's picture

MiddleKnowledge: I am all for application of the spiritual lessons to contemporary situations.

That IMO Tim is the bottom line – it is the principle of: "…these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition…".

davo

MiddleKnowledge's picture

John,

Great question.

I'll add this one for Nate. Did the crucifixion fulfill the prophecy of Genesis 3:15?

See you soon,

Tim

TheIdealNate's picture

Was God only capable of destroying or defeating the devil by dying on a finite cross? Or are we confused on who or what the devil is?

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

tom-g's picture

Hey Nate,

I for one would be interested if you would expand on your teaser question.

regards,
tom

flannery0's picture

Exactly, you guys. The fall happened in history, and redemption was accomplished (as prophesied) in history.

This is also, btw, the same reason I can't subscribe to the reformed/Calvinistic teaching that regeneration precedes faith. It has people being born-again before the cross. The new heart is a new covenant promise; and yet reformed preterists will still say that Abraham and other OT believers (who clearly had been given faith) were regenerated. And to John's point above, Scripture is clear that they died without receiving their inheritance. A person who has been given eternal life will never die.

The *covenantal* context of redemption is what answers universalism; not removing redemption from history. (There's a good book coming out on this soon. :))

Tami

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Tami,

I believe that editing has made it even better than the draft you read. Your eyeballs are going to pop out just looking at the new stuff recently added.

Later,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

flannery0's picture

Awesome, can't wait!

Hope you are bringing it here with you. btw, I just remembered I have the last 3 to mail back to you.

See you soon,
Tami

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Oh yes,

That would be helpful. Those are the ones we're working on right now.

Thanks,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Ed's picture

I agree with Virgil in his comments above. Why is it we humans feel the need to define, dogmatize, and destroy? I'm as guilty as anyone in doing it, but it would seem that Nate's ideas here (which I am familiar with but have not had time to read the article) are simply his suggestions to how we understand this whole preterist movement in light of the history of Christendom.

I have struggled with this myself, and corresponded with Todd Dennis about Idealism. I see many good things about looking at it with an open mind. However, do we need to label it? Do we need to attack another position or invent a new one to defend against another?

When I corresponded with Todd, he assumed at first that I was rejecting Absolute Grace. When I told him that I wasn't, the discussion ended (sad to say). I'm sure that he was as busy as I was - I don't believe he ended it as some sort of shunning - and we didn't have the time to continue the discussion. But, my reasons for looking further was because I was not satisfied with the "it's all about Israel" thing that FP can potentially lead to. Don't get me wrong, I believe that the whole redemption thing was about Israel, but post-Parousia there is still something there for the rest of the world.

Anyway, I'm getting long winded and I'm at work. I just want to say that, as long as we can try our best to keep it civil, and be objective, I think these discussions are healthy. They help point us in a positive direction.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

TheIdealNate's picture

Ed,
This is about trying to help people understand the differences of FP and IP. Universalism is mentioned because I believe one is a logical conlusion of the other. I have had my discussions over Universalism and crossed that bridge. this is about the shortcomings I see in preterism, and how idealism is a step in a more correct direction (not the answer itself).

I used to handle our differences badly, for that I am sorry and hope God has matured me a bit. This is not an attempt to attack or rehash those days. Just an answer to long standing questions and an explanation of where my point of view is at this time.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Ed's picture

Hey Nate,
you and I went at it far too often. I am enjoying our interaction of late. Sometimes it is a matter of humility (which I have a whole bunch of (; ).

I understand your point about why you are investigating or have embraced IP. I too have some concerns about FP and its tendency to be an ending point, rather than a starting point. I think that Virgil and others here see that same problem and hope to find a solution. Your articles are a good starting point and healthy for the movement; imho.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

MichaelB's picture

Does "civility" have an objective meaning, or is it just subjective too? =)

Starlight's picture

Nate,

I’m not reformed, nor do I like any kind of labels. I’m just a seeker of Biblical truths.
Why the necessity of developing a new name (Idealist) as I thought Full Preterist were all over the spectrum of understandings. I also assume that Idealist will have folks all over the spectrum of understanding. Some Full Preterist have a screwed up theology; so how do you propose to keep Idealism pure theologically?

I sometimes think we that are into the Full Preterist contemporary movement imagine we have to form some new church so that we may be pure. Why not recognize the limitations of all believers and use Christ redeeming power to live in harmony where God has placed us. Is there a necessity of continuing to divide the camp in the name of a more pure theology?

I don’t have eight years of Full Preterism but only a little over a year but I have come to recognize that I’m not embracing as radical a theology as I first believed. We are just another cog in the wheel of believers and we have a higher calling which is to participate as part of the body of Christ. No need to redefine and create new labels, we have one already and it is Christian.

Now I do not have a problem with your exploration of a consistent understanding of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, in fact I applaud that effort and see much that I agree with.

Blessings

Norm

Virgil's picture

In order to battle the Universalist logical conclusions of Consistent Cessationist Full Preterism, many Cessationist believers are giving ground to the idea that all Biblical offices, gifts, and patterns still continue in a milder, less structured sort of way.

Nate, why is it so absolutely necessary to battle the logical conclusions you are being led to by your studies? You are making it sound like Universalism got you backed into a corner and preterist idealism is something awkward you had to come up with in order to avoid the obvious and logical conclusions of your studies?

How about not taking either side and opening your arms wide enough to welcome both universalism and limited atonement? :) I know I sleep much better at night not worrying about whether universalism is right or wrong.

Virgil's picture

Virgil, would you please give me a brief (long if you want) description of universalism and how it applies to Christians, atheists and members of other religions today.

I won't..

Jer's picture

That was brief :)

TheIdealNate's picture

Virgil,
I don't worry about it either. I hope my tone of late shows this. My writing is in response to questions raised, that is the reason for the manner it is presented. They wanted to know the difference and HOW we think FP logically leads to universalism.

I had stopped trying to "battle" universalists for about a year before I ever saw the idealist argument presented. And it was not universalism that made me grasp onto the basis of it, but it was that which FP lacked.

God Bless Bro
Nate

P.S. For everyones knowledge. I am only responding because this site was out of the loop on why this is even being written. I will not "debate" these things here while I am still writing. I am just offering my presentation for others to view and discuss.

GB
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Virgil's picture

Nate,

I will be the first to admit that Preterism is too rigid in its structure to accommodate what you (and I) are aiming for; in fact I would argue that in many ways you and I are on the same page, so I am not debating or arguing with you.

I do perceive this preterist idealism business to be a reactive posture to Universalism rather than a natural progression; the problem is that Universalism has been around much longer than Preterism, so one would be hard pressed to demonstrate any links between the two, especially considering that the golden years of Universalism are behind us, in a time when Preterism was simply unheard of.

Lastly, I perceive you to write from a position of disappointment with preterism. This is perhaps because you have perceived preterism to be an end in itself, and a climax to theological and eschatological exchange; I have made the same mistake too...many of us have. We need to get over it and start using Preterism as a springboard to something better, something that helps us keep our eyes on the future...the next leg of the journey. Maybe that is some form of idealism...I don't know, but it IS just another "ism" and it will also leave you unsatisfied.

This quest for certainty we are all engaged in will not be satisfied by a systematic and rigid "ism" created to eliminate doubt. After all, was it not Augustine who said that doubt is just another element of faith?"

PreteristArchive's picture

Heya Virgil,

Not trying to contradict you or anything, i just thought you might like to see what a lot of research this winter has yielded. It appears that Universalism, as the system we know it today, has really not been around much longer than full preterist doctrine, and that it is rather easy to demonstrate the links between the two.

This is particularly easy considering that Hosea Ballou, called the "Father of American Universalism" is also apparently the first to attempt to systematize full preterist doctrine ; in fact, he uses his full preterism as a fundamental plank upon which his Universalism sat. The idea that the judgment of God was exhausted in AD70 at THE second coming of Christ was just one of his many points. According to those in the denomination, this particular view of "THE Second Coming in AD70" (not simply 'A' coming of Jesus) had a following of 600,000 people in the mid 1800s, appearing to make it the largest Preterist movement in history.

For a fuller examination, refer to my third Carlsbad presentation, or check out the Universalist-Preterism archive on my site.

blessings!
todd

1Pe 1:22 - Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently

your servant,

Todd Dennis - Curator, The Preterist Archive
http://www.preteristarchive.com

Ed's picture

Todd,
No offense but wrong-o. Philip Schaff states that in the first 5 centuries there were fully 4 schools that taught Biblical Universalism (which is what Ballou embraced). You are correct that "modern universalism" after the order of the UUA is new. But the idea that Jesus died for all humanity and his redemption will eventually embrace all creation is nothing new. Origen et al. embraced it at the Alexandrian school. 3 other schools did too.

ed

PS. But I do agree with you that biblical universalism is a natural conclusion of full preterism. But, further study may prove this wrong. Tim Martin believes that his emphasis on the covenant handles the universalist conclusion.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

PreteristArchive's picture

Ed,

Thanks for your comments. I am fully aware of Origen and the early schools ; however, today's typical Universalism -- like you pointed out -- finds its origins around the time of Ballou, who may be credited with being the first to attempt a systematic full preterist system. It seems that all previous attempts were firmly Partial Preterist in approach.

He is also credited with being the one most responsible for consolidating the position into that form in which it is known today. Ballou is actually a pretty important figure in the history of Christianity, and in that of Preterism. He had this to say in 1804:

"The wrath to come,' of which John spake, when he said "who hath warned you..' is speaking of the destruction of the Jews and their city, he said 'For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Notes on the Parables, Published 1805)

Other good quotes by Ballou:

"We are informed, that Christ came once in the end of the world, to put away sin. The world, of which Christ came in the end, was undoubtedly the dispensation of the legal priesthood. If Christ is to be understood as he said, if his words explain his meaning, it is clear, that his coming in his glory.. was some time in the life-time of those to whom he spake.. If this be true, which my opponent with his eyes open, will not dispute, then no objection can be stated, from this parable, against the final holiness and happiness of all men." (Treatise on Atonement, 1811)

thanks again!
todd

your servant,

Todd Dennis - Curator, The Preterist Archive
http://www.preteristarchive.com

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Todd,

So much for covenant context. Do you see how Ballou's conclusion is the result of a global/worldwide reading of universal statements? Just like the dispensational view of a global flood and a global fiery end.

Why would a preterist ignore the covenant context of the statements which are applied to salvation? If the old world is a covenant world, then why isn't the new world a covenant world?

Standard preterists believe the old covenant world is limited to a covenant context. Given that, why must we agree with Ballou's plain-literal, worldwide, universalist interpretation of salvation? Judging from the quote you presented, Ballou represents an interpretive self-contradiction.

I don't get why you think Ballou's quote is "good." How is a global/worldwide universal reading of salvation consistent with preterism's emphasis on covenant context?

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

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