You are hereFull Preterism vs. Idealism Part 3: FULL PRETERISMS
Full Preterism vs. Idealism Part 3: FULL PRETERISMS
by Nathan Dubois
So that the points to the Full Preterism vs. Idealism discussion do not get side tracked, I want to say that this is not a debate about Universalists, Universalism, coined phrases, or peoples character. This study is a direct attempt to answer the questions I was personally asked concerning the difference between Full Preterism and Idealism, and to show why I believe Full Preterism falls short of the mark. The fact that I am discussing that Full Preterism, in it's logical conclusions, leads to Universalism is simply why I wrote Part 2. The logic used to describe the irrelevance of death and the devil for all, yet still keep condemnation going for anyone not in Christ by creating a "new death" and "new law" which men break, is faulty and lacking.So that the points to the Full Preterism vs. Idealism discussion do not get side tracked, I want to say that this is not a debate about Universalists, Universalism, coined phrases, or peoples character. This study is a direct attempt to answer the questions I was personally asked concerning the difference between Full Preterism and Idealism, and to show why I believe Full Preterism falls short of the mark. The fact that I am discussing that Full Preterism, in it's logical conclusions, leads to Universalism is simply why I wrote Part 2. The logic used to describe the irrelevance of death and the devil for all, yet still keep condemnation going for anyone not in Christ by creating a "new death" and "new law" which men break, is faulty and lacking.In doing so, Full Preterism creates a "new condemnation." Putting the truth of these spiritual facts into time lines, produces a logical beginning and end to these facts. In Adam all died, and now that AD 70 has occurred, all men are no longer in Adam. That condemnation has been put away. Now they are just simply outside the Covenant and "naked." Here is some language used by Michael Bennett, a friend of mine who is a Full Preterist, to describe why men are still condemned even after the condemnation of Adam was put away.
"There is a difference between the garden and the New Jerusalem...The garden they were naked and no knowledge of good and evil. Ate and had knowledge, and got the boot. Could not partake in tree. Now naked people (those without a covenant / and know good and evil it has all been revealed) can clothe themselves (with Christ) and come into the city to partake in the tree that allows you to "live forever."
This idea of a difference between the garden and the New Jerusalem is one part of the problem. However, this explanation falls in perfect logic with what I had posted from Sam Frost in Part 2.
"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."
The logic of this Full Preterist thinking creates a new version of condemnation NEVER ONCE addressed in scripture by Christ, the Apostles, or anyone else for that matter. The reason this Part 3 is called a "...New Gospel" is because they have created new scenarios that do not come from scripture, but from their own logical conclusions of what they believe their time line driven theology leads to. The first death was brought on by Adam, the second death was brought on by Christ! People are released from the first condemnation of Adam, only to be innocently condemned to eternal torment, not because they are guilty of sin under Adam, but because they are born outside of the New Covenant.
As a friend has put it: "'I came not to condemn the world' - and then He signs a bill making a new law of condemnation.'"
The language has also been used by calling the law that now condemns men, since the law of Moses has been put away, the "law of Christ." This assumes Christ came to enact a law not previously enacted before. Full Preterism uses this to describe the commandments which men break today. By this the "new heavens and new earth Death" becomes enacted as well. Here is another Full Preterist explanation of this type of logic to explain the condemnation of today.
"People didn't transgress Adam's law yet still guilty in him...Death reigned from Adam to Moses even though sin was not held in account. Yet Sodom was destroyed...Even if none of these apply today, is there something called the 'law of Christ.'"
Once again, making a difference between Adam's law and the law of Christ creates a problem. A claim was made that they are seeing the whole story, so their conclusions are valid. However, they are inventing a new story because the old one passed away and became irrelevant. The Full Preterist focus on time line driven theology, and not Christ revealing theology, places dates as to when old sin and new sin started and stopped. Old condemnation and old laws stopped and new condemnation and new laws begin. This is only logical when looking at things strictly chronologically. When looking at things as all pointing to Christ and all being a part of the same story that ends in eternal life for those in Christ, and condemnation for those still in Adam, the focus becomes so much more clear, and the need to create new scenarios by which men are condemned is simply silliness, and maybe worse.
So to get to the point of why a "new heavens and new earth death" or a new reason outside of the old Adam is NOT needed for mankind to be condemned, is because nothing that occurred in AD 70 is new at all. This is where we get to the explanation of what Idealism truly is vs. the typical Full Preterist interpretation. This is also where I jumble together my other points of logic that are missing from the Full Preterist reasoning. It is the lack of these understandings that make the Full Preterist system lead to an inventing of new doctrine of sin, law, and death in today's world.
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.
The law of Moses was a shadow of the true law. It represented the real law that was Christ. the 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, when He fulfilled it's external works.
The law was made by Christ:
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.
Hebrews 1:10 And: In the beginning, Lord, You established the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; 11 they will perish, but You remain. They will all wear out like clothing; 12 You will roll them up like a cloak, and they will be changed like a robe. But You are the same, and Your years will never end.
Matthew 24:34 I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
Christ's words did not replace the law, they were the fullness of it. The shadow was that which Moses received on Sinai, but the reality is the fullness of the law was found only in Christ. His commandments to love God and your neighbor are not new, they are the same. So the only way to fulfill the law, whether it be the law of Moses, or the law of Christ (because they are the same) is to be in Christ.
Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments."
Galatians 5:13 For you are called to freedom, brothers; only don't use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Galatians 6:2 Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
These laws are one and the same. A "shadow" assumes something is casting the shadow. Removing the shadow, or better yet, shedding full light on the thing which casts it, does not change what it truly is, it reveals it. A "copy" assumes there is something to be copied. The thing which is copied is not changed or done away with because the copy of it is removed, it is either hidden away without even a copy to interpret it, or the source is revealed in it's fullness. In this case the source, which is Christ, is revealed by those who are transformed by the spirit. Paul speaks of the ministry of the law as a veil, and he gives the one way by which the veil is removed.
2 Corinthians 3:13 not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel could not look at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ. 15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Being "in Christ" removes the veil, it removes that which blocks us from seeing the realities that the shadow interpreted. When it is removed by the Spirit we receive freedom. Many people will claim that Full Preterism believes this anyway. As I have shown by the comments posted earlier, this is simply not the case. Full Preterists claim that AD 70, which is when the law of Moses was removed, removed the veil. But the law of Moses is just a temporal shadow.
So if the law was a shadow on this earth that represented Gods holiness, and with mans inability to comprehend and live up to God's holiness, it was a hinderance:
John 12:37 Even though He had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in Him. 38 But this was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet, who said: Lord, who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 This is why they were unable to believe, because Isaiah also said: 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they would not see with their eyes or understand with their hearts, and be converted, and I would heal them.
1 Corinthians 2:7 On the contrary, we speak God's hidden wisdom in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age knew it, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and what has never come into a man's heart, is what God has prepared for those who love Him. 10 Now God has revealed them to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God.... 13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God's Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually. 15 The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. 16 For: who has known the Lord's mind, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:4 Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
So if the shadow law caused a veil to be on men when the law is read, it can be safely said that the law of Christ is also blinding to those who do not have the Spirit. It is confusing and foolishness.
2 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God's Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually.
So what kept men from God. What stood in the way of God and man. The law of Moses? By no means. If so Paul would have taught that it was in the destruction of Judaism that would remove the veil. Instead Paul said it was the Spirit that removes the veil. Removing the physical symbols of Judaism does not change the heart of Judaizers. It only reveals the defeat that their zealousness of the law brings.
Now again we go back to Romans. Whether before or after AD 70, whether with the physical law of Moses standing on the Mount or without, the Spirit is what frees men to turn to Christ, and remove the veil.
Romans 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. 29 On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart--by the Spirit, not the letter. His praise is not from men but from God.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, 2 because the Spirit's law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Full Preterism must either submit to the idea that the law is still in existence for everyone who is not in Christ, or submit to Universalist interpretations. The law of Christ is the reality of the shadow law of Moses. Removing the law of Moses, a copy, a shadow, does not remove the veil. Only the Spirit removes the veil. This is still ongoing because the law of Christ (the thing the law of Moses stood for, represented) is still ongoing.
It was THIS VERY SAME LAW that Adam broke in the garden. Even before the law of Moses existed on earth, there was a veil keeping men away from God because mankind (represented through the person Adam) broke the eternal law. Eating the apple was breaking the same eternal law that taking "the name of the Lord your God in vain" does. It is the breaking of this very same eternal law that condemns mankind today. Only in Christ is this condemnation removed. And being in Christ can only be individually experienced.
Being in Christ is not a corporate event, it is a personal event. Therefore, if AD 70 represented this change, because it only removed the representative of the true, then the true fulfillment is personally experienced each time someone enters into Christ. This is NOT application. AD 70, the removal of the fake/ copy, did not make true the reality, it only represents it. Reveals it.
The same is true for the garden of Eden scenario that was mentioned by Mike. Yes, the garden IS the same as the New Jerusalem in that it was a copy for it. The garden was physical, the physical is not the true. So what did the garden represent? The garden was the shadow, the physical representation of mankind dwelling with God. However, mankind can only dwell with God in Spirit and in truth. It was due to the breaking of the law that Adam was expelled and no longer able to enter. Covenant with God absent from sin. This is the same as the New Jerusalem, only with unveiled eyes we see that the spiritual reality of the New Jerusalem is what Eden was all about in the first place. Eden, Canaan, Old Jerusalem. All pointing to the New Jerusalem. Not different in character, just one a copy of the other. The law of Moses did not have a different character form the law of Christ, it was just a temporal representative, and therefore not sufficient. That is why Paul could call it "holy" and a "curse" at the same time. So the bringing in of the saints into the New Jerusalem is restoration into the true Eden.
Here is a link to a study on the eternal aspect of the covenant.
This is why Full Preterism is a "new gospel." It dishonors the eternal standing of the law and makes two different laws and two different condemnations. It dishonors the eternal standing of the covenant, failing to see that the one enacted on earth was only a copy of the true one made with Adam. The condemnation that came through Adam came from sin. Sin repelled Adam from the covenant, Christ restores it for each person that enters Him. Sin is the same disease today that it was for Adam, reaping the same condemnation and having the same cure. Time lines do not do the truth of the Gospel justice, and it eliminates the personal aspect of the fullness in Christ.
The gospel does just fine with it's own telling. It does not need me scrubbing through scripture to see what was done away with and what is left so that I can reach conclusions, none of which found in scripture, to explain it.