The Resurrection for Gentry and Frost Part 1
Gentry writes in the foreword: "…the (all too typical) problem: “John is not a professional theologian." [Citation impossible, I am dealing with a Kindle book. You will need to use the search option.]
(From Donald Perry)
The nice thing about being a carpenter, or a fisherman, or a doctor is that you accumulate a lot of common sense. All the schooling in the world will never teach you what you can learn in the field. And in some of these things it is impossible to make a mistake without killing someone else or yourself. On the other hand you can make theological mistakes all your life and never know really what a mistake is. Often the Engineer knows very little about the implications of what he is drawing up until he can see it put into practice. In the case of Ken Gentry, his Preterism will not operate outside of his other theological restraints.
The biggest obstacles to the ideas of Jesus being received in context were drawn up by those who were the “professional theologians”. They were too entrenched into the Talmud to change their old ideas, for this reason this made them unteachable. I am not saying that seminary is a waste of time, but that in the grand scheme of things just because you went to school does not mean that you are going to be a better lawyer.
Redirectionalism, rather than try and come up with a new eschatology and reinvent the wheel, all it has to do with is only trying to understand what was the mindset of the Apostles and Christ and apply it to today. Read the Bible like it is written to you. That is not what Preterism is about, Gentry and Frost reinvent the Christian life after AD 70, they have come up with an unorthodox chronology-based mindset, things the Apostles never intended. In some aspects the very foundation of what was the Christian life have been reversed in their Postmillennialist camp. Martyrdom and death is not seen as having to do with a better resurrection or perfectly ruling and reigning with Christ. Jesus said that all who will live Godly must suffer persecution. In many of these things Postmillennialism can be seen trying and reestablish much of what Jesus came to destroy. Those who crucified Jesus did so because they wanted to establish a different kind of earthly kingdom.
Frost writes: ”Chapter 5 John 6 … John 6 has become, for me, the plainest answer to the question of “when” the resurrection of the dead will happen: “in the last day” (vv. 39, 40, 44, 54; 11: 24; 12: 48). First, let it be said that as a full preterist, we were fully aware of these verses. And, so, allow me to answer how we would go about answering the often heard objection: How can you have the last day in AD 70, yet also proclaim that Jesus is still drawing women and men to himself? The simple answer is that since the timing of the resurrection was “so plain” in other areas of the Bible, then that has to be the case here. … All that are taught of the Lord in the new covenant, and who are given the Spirit, will be raised in the last day. Clearly, this is not the last day of the old covenant, ... Therefore, if we stated that the last day was AD 70 (the time of the resurrection), and yet God still teaches all men post AD 70, yet all those taught of the Lord are to be raised in the last day, then, obviously the full preterist would have to say that all believers were raised in AD 70! … . Therefore, according to the full preterist, we were raised in AD 70. But this means we were raised once with Christ in His resurrection, and then we were raised again in AD 70!
(From Donald Perry)
Unlike Frost and Gentry, Redirectionalism does not suggest that AD 70 was the beginning of a new age, nor does it wrench Jesus out of His eschatological framework to try and prove something He was not talking about. The 'age to come' as promised in the Bible only arrives in the personal redemptive work of Jesus Christ demonstrated in the setting of the Last Days of Old Covenant Israel. Using natural imagery to reveal super-natural realities, the author of Hebrews comments: Hebrews 1:10-12 “And, you, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands:They shall perish; but you remain; and they all shall grow old as does a garment; And as a mantle shall you fold them up, and they shall be changed: but you are the same, and your years shall not fail.” Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrew 9:8 “The Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, … ” Whatever was destroyed in AD 70 including the outer temple is still here figuratively, and was also given as a revelation of that present work of Jesus Christ in our lives today, we are not yet wholly in the Most Holy Place. Christ pictured as coming out of the Most Holy place at the end of Hebrews 9 refers to His completing the *already but not yet* aspects of our salvation. The last day of our biblical theology points to that same last day Jesus and the New Testament writers referred to all along within their eschatological framework. This day is not simply a chronological point in history. The phrase 'the last day' or “world to come” is not intended as simply a point in Earth's history that only a few people will ever know about. Rather, the end of the Jewish Economy in AD 66 is a historical parable. Unlike the last day of earthly Jerusalem's spiritual influence, the New Jerusalem is not of this world, and has no end. In its fullest sense, the descent of the New Jerusalem and the “world to come” is in the form of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ breaking into this world. As we can see from the book of Revelation, its new influence has perpetual fulfillment in that sinners continually arrive: Revelation 21-22 “24And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. … 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. … 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” In John 6, Jesus says that He will raise up His elect on the Last Day: (44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. … (48) I am that bread of life. … (51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. … (63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Hebrews 7:7-8 also reveals this: “7For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before …”
In John 6 Jesus says “I am that bread of life.” Jesus is the bread of life, and Jesus is a high priest forever in Hebrews 7:17, and since Jesus is the bread of life and a high priest forever in the World to Come and the New Jerusalem a city for salvation then the present dispensation has no end, the Jesus we know will never change, He will always be a Saviour.
However on the other hand, Hebrews 9:24-28 declares “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” It is important to note that John 6 says there is a last day for the resurrection. But note when this last day is as Paul instructs that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). More plainly, we are told that it is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment. (Heb. 9:27) So there is a last day here pictured, the end of human history, when sanctification is complete, this is ideologically pointing to the maturity of the First-fruits or the church who exemplified Christ, and this is what is in view in Rev. 1-3, the church that would inherit the future and the New Jerusalem.
So although Frost and Gentry claim that there is a last day here pictured at the end of human history, this being literal, it is now a shadow that undercuts the present reality of new life sown in us through the indwelt spirit of God. It undercuts the level of sanctification that Jesus said He would establish in His church in John 14 and Rev. 1-3. It undercuts what is meant to be the end of our sanctification and it establishes a false orthodoxy.
The 'last day' of John 6 and the 'second time' of Hebrews 9 is to be understood as that redemptive state when the outer man or the church is resurrected in the new man or the bride. The old waxing old until such time as it vanishes away. As in the day of Pentecost, Christ is seen to come out of the Most Holy place to bring life to that which was dead. This transformation begins with the planting of new seed, and finds its completion when Jesus comes and you are no more in this corruptible body. If there is to be a last day in human history you would never know much about it, you are in the corruptible body.
Charles Hodge: That there is no resurrection without death. Charles Hodge writes of 1 Cor. 15:51 in An Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians:
We all – shall indeed not die (before the resurrection) – but we all shall be changed. . . . Paul had said, v 50, that flesh and blood could not inherit the kingdom of God. All, therefore, who enter that kingdom, whether they die before the Second Advent or survive the coming of Christ, must be changed. And this is the fact that Paul says had been revealed to him. Those who died before the advent would not fail of the blessings of Christ’s kingdom and those who should be alive when he came, would not be left in their corruptible bodies. Both should be changed, and thus prepared for the heavenly state. Comp. 1 Thess. 4, 15-17. The modern commentators, both German and English, understand the apostle as expressing the confident expectation that he and other of that generation should survive the coming of Christ. ‘Though we (who are now alive) shall not all die, we shall all be changed.’
“They … doubtless did err,…” ? Unfortunately immediately following this Charles Hodge must explain that the Apostles writings and the Word of God does err. He does this because he cannot do away with our hope of the second coming in his present method of eschatology and be orthodox.
Hodge Continues: “They could not err in what they communicated, but they might err, and doubtless did err, as to things not included in the communication of the Spirit. The time of the Second Advent was not revealed to them. … It would not, in the lest, therefore, encroach on their authority as infallible teachers, if it should be apparent that they cherished erroneous expectations with regard to that about which they professed to know nothing”.
Matthew 13:51 “Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.” Hodge is wrong and Jesus and His Apostles were right.
[From Donald Perry] Now, this last day has to do with the resurrection, all of what happens after you are physically dead, you don’t get two resurrections one for your body and one for your soul, that’s unbiblical. We get resurrected after the example of Jesus Christ, and if we get resurrected without a body we go to Sheol. 1 Cor. 15:12“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Romans 6:3 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
Frost continues to misapply this imagery in chapter 6 of his book : “Chapter 6 What are the “Last Days”? …Not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph. 1: 21). Ages end. Ages come, ages go.”
(From Donald Perry) In context, Eph 1:21 and the age to come plainly is about this world and the world to come, not about a historical age. Eph. 1:20-23 “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” There are only two ages we should be concerned with, this age and the age to come. The former regards the natural realm, and the latter regards the eternal age.
Sam Frost, on one hand, denies that historical aspect of Full Preterism, but stops short of the true field of vision. “[E]nthusiasm was motivated by a desire to save the Bible from its liberal critics,... This largely stemmed from the interpretation of the socalled “time texts” of the New Testament. Words like “near”,“at hand” and “about to” were applied to all aspects of eschatology, including the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the Second Coming.”
(From Donald Perry)
“So called”? Samuel Frost should agree that everyone who was reading Paul or Jesus at the time that their words were spoken, everything including the time texts was to be understood correctly. They did not speak to be misunderstood, speaking as disjointed eschatologists. The focus of their writings was not on some other historical generation to bring the light of the kingdom of God into the world. Yet we are still now in the same tension today in which the first century Christians were. This is because after AD 70 man has not changed and neither has God's methodology nor His ideas. What was the problem in their generation is also the same kind of problem we will have in our generations. Ultimately the very same problems you see in Revelation 1-3 are the very same challenges we are faced with today. Through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom. The literal temple is gone, but men are still in that outer tabernacle awaiting the clarity to enter the true Most Holy Place – through the true Door, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:19-21 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” Not only can we put ourselves in their shoes, we must! Like them, an entrance into the innermost sanctum of the Father depends on what we do today with the Gospel of the Son of God, as we present it to the world. God will send judgment after the Gospel has been preached; the churches that are like Christ and His Apostles will remain and enter into the future. The churches that set themselves up in their own authority will have their lampstand removed.
Frost continues to lay out the weakness of the Full Preterist position, while still falling short of the mark.
“Granted, classic orthodox preterism, which has a long history, has not done the work that needs to be done in order to rescue it from full preterist attacks. Since this is the case, there are leaks in the dam, and these leaks are just big enough for the full preterist to make their case.”
[From DP] What Frost fails to see is that all forms of Preterism share the same problem ------ therefore no preterist framework can be “rescued”. Full-Preterism is the result of following the logical arguments and conclusions of “inconsistent” Partial Preterist eschatology. It is impossible to say that the framework of Full Preteristm is fundamentally different from that of Partial Preterism. For Frost and Gentry to suggest this demonstrate that they are out of touch with their own eschatology. They should know that their historical perspective is every bit as ”inconsistent” as that of Full Preterism.
Frost: “ I had given up the resurrection of the body … “
(From Donald Perry) Is our resurrection like Christ’s or will we be resurrected not like Christ without a body because we have to adhere to a historical timeline and therefore we need to bust the resurrection in two for no good reason? Is there sin in heaven or is the physical body what Jesus died for? Where did Jesus go without a body? What kind of body did Jesus have, could it pass through matter? I understand that the body I will have will be like Christ’s in His resurrection. Romans 8:11 " But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.".
Frost: “… the end of history, and a final judgment. …”
[From Donald Perry]
Building upon the weak, historically-focused, framework of Frost's perspective, his conclusion points to the end of history and final judgment. This is best demonstrated idealistically in the ongoing realities of our need for a Savior. Hebrews 9:27 says “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:…” Luke 12:16-21 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: …”
Frost: “I had removed progressive sanctification … I was on the verge of leaving the idea of “organized church”, settling for “Bible studies” instead. I flirted with Universalism, Open Theism, and Process Theology. I rejected the continuing enfleshment of Jesus Christ “in heaven.” How far was I going to continue to compromise the Christian encyclopedia and yet still call myself a Reformed Christian?.”
(From Donald Perry) That means you were a Hyper-Preterist, not a Full Preterist like Ed Stevens.
Frost: “I spiritualized the fulfillment so that God’s creation never comes into the fullness of redemption (reinterpreting passages like Romans 8:18 ff.). “
(From Donald Perry)
Redirectionalism allows that perhaps the physical planet will not end, as this is irrelevant to the issue of salvation from its shortcomings. The Bible directs us to be concerned about the present, and not to cast redemption and the second coming so far off into the future that it is irrelevant to all prior generations. And as the Bible is concerned with redemptive principles much more than historical prophecy, we can see that Revelation was not written to merely recount historical events, but to display God’s principles as they have been revealed in history. John's Book of Revelation presents an idealistic view of all history when it comes to rebellion or the salvation of God's elect. This method is revealed throughout the New Testament.
Redirectionalism is a form of Idealism which presents an absolute end, as revealed as a historical parable to that generation in Jesus day. Romans 8:21 declares: “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Is there a final end to history intended here? I agree that there is a problem with creation that needs deliverance, but I do not think this is to be foremost understood in a natural, historical sense. This verse is not about inanimate creation so much as about how the world system, and the way things work that are unable to save. And here the world is not going to be destroyed but delivered. Delivered and burnt up and destroyed are not the same things. Perhaps the text refers to something else?
NASB Acts 1:7 "He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;" and “epochs” is more than a stretch, it is a really bad translation. This is not my conclusion but that of Greek Scholars who spend their whole lives studying Greek Bibles. Gentry believes otherwise, at the very least it is obviously debatable. Jesus says in the KJV “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”. Frost and Gentry believe otherwise. Gentry says that this is the key verse where we are to know something about time. I do not agree that Jesus is contradicting Himself and inspiring His people to regard 'things below'. Rather, the charge is given to mind those things which are 'above'. The Scripture keeps spitting them out.
Frost continues to beat Preterism's dead horse, in claiming: “Therefore, I posited that history must have an end, and found scriptural warrant for this assertion. What does the phrase “last day” mean? “And I will raise them up at the last day.” Here, John 6 played a pivotal role. Resurrection and the last day— the end of history. “
(From Donald Perry)
The reason we are here is to bring about the “last day” and the “end of this world”, not continue in it supposing that we are wholly resurrected in the New World or the New Jerusalem after AD 70, we are still in the same age that the Apostles were in not some other age. We are here to establish the New Jerusalem and pray Thy Kingdom Come. But nevertheless, we will still need to be resurrected out of this world.
The Partial Preterist and Full Preterist invention infers that there is fulfillment after AD 70 with a second coming. They indirectly or directly imply that Jesus and His apostles were operating in the Old Testament age up until AD 70. That the Christian age started in AD 70. For example Gary DeMar in The Passing Away of Heaven and Earth writes: “ A similar phrase is used by the author of Hebrews: "But now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). Jesus was manifested, not at the beginning, but "at the consummation of the ages." The period between A.D. 30 and 70 is, as the apostle Peter describes it, "these last times" (1 Peter 1:20). As time drew near for Jerusalem's destruction, Peter could say that "the end of all things was at hand" (4:7).” Preterist eschatology is very dangerous, and wares away at ones soteriology.
Frost “ (it is absurd to think that thousands of Christians vanished in AD 70)”
(From Donald Perry) If Ed Stevens believed that there was no literal rapture being a Full-Preterist that would be absurd. For these same reasons Stevens, Frost, and Gentry are all inconsistent in their eschatology. That doctrine works [yet with contradiction] because it means that you are somewhat redirected back to follow Christ and the First-fruits. They were raptured and you weren’t. Ed Stevens in Response To Gentry's Analysis of the Full Preterist View… Without A Canon? Says: “The full preterist view does not render the NT Scriptures irrelevant to Christians after AD 70. Nor do full preterists teach that all prophecy has been totally fulfilled with absolutely no continuing implications, applications and ongoing fulfillments. This is a gross misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the full preterist view. This would indeed be “post-everything-ism” and “hyper-preterism.”
Frost: “One problem remained: the supposed parallels between 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15 and Matthew 24. This is covered in that chapter, with the help of, again, Preston’s material! Coupled with the fact that my own Dispensationalist background and its “all prophecy stands or falls together” approach as a smuggled-in assumption was now exposed, *it did not take much* to see that Paul and Jesus have two very different “ends” in mind. Context determined this.” The emphasis is mine.
(From Donald Perry)
Gentry writes in the Foreword: "Frost’s third chapter , “History, Creeds, and Sola Scriptura,” is a welcome explanation of the role of creeds in theology.". Agreed, and proper soteriology will dictate what is the correct eschatology as well. Our salvation shows that we are in the *already but not yet*, when Jesus appears that is where the end of our sanctification is. Here soteriology and eschatology meet. If you don’t have sanctification for the second coming or something that implies a sanctification for the second coming and the end of this world (as Ed Stevens has for example) you are not in Christ to be saved from your sins. However to rightfully say “it did not take much” we should have here at the conclusion at the very least the mechanism that demonstrates where Paul and Jesus will have two different times in mind for the second coming. Neither Gentry nor Frost have given an eschatological mechanism for when will be able to know when the Last Day or when Jesus or else Paul points to AD 70 and when they do not. In effect what they do is they sy that the “last days” point to our future whenever their eschatology infers Jesus was lying. What we end up with is a misplaced manmade hope instead of the real thing.
"[I]nconsistent". Preterism has nothing to avert Full Preterism with without making Jesus Christ and the Apostles into liars. Frost and Gentry need to answer how Preterism should deal with the Consistent Preterist problem by focusing in on the fundamental field of fulfillment in the world of the Apostles and Jesus Christ, rather than try to jump out of it. They need to demonstrate how Paul is indeed clearly and consistently telling the Thessalonians or the Corinthians about some other coming and some other last days intended for a different generation that they would know nothing about. Now we are no more talking about last days at all, but thousands and thousands of YEARS later, MILLENNIUMS, practically on some other planet.“Professional Theologians” should know better than to suggest methodologies that will infer that Jesus and the Apostles were liars or else did not know what they were talking about and had a confused eschatology.
Frost: “I want to continue to focus on the analogy of the leaking dam. I do not at all deny that many presentations of preterism are indeed “inconsistent” … I welcome the debate and dialogue. However, this one thing is for sure: I know my current presentation is subject to change.”
(From Donald Perry) Redirectionlaism doesn't have the problems Preterism has, nor does it need to worry about these “inconsistencies”, as all forms of Preterism struggle under the weight of their kind of a historical focus. We are to have the same mindset as Jesus Christ as he went up to the cross, we are to have the same mindset as the Apostles as they preached the Gospel, and died as martyrs that they might receive a better resurrection. This is what the Bible is all about. Partial Preterism and Full Preterism alike must say that AD 70 marked a historical transformation that will not be repeated. This is inconsistent, here they are unorthodox as far as the Apostles and the Jesus of the NT would be concerned.
Frost“Not all the i’s are dotted, or the i’s crossed. This is far different, however, than saying that they cannot possibly be crossed or dotted.”
(From Donald Perry) I want to focus on the analogy of the leaking dam. As we have shown, Preterism has more than merely a leaking dam that was holding back hyper-preterism by means of other isms and orthodoxy. Their dam is not merely leaking, the dam is broken under the weight of preterist inconsistencies and lies. The water is gushing out.