You are hereTheological Observations From A Malcontent Ph.D. Candidate

Theological Observations From A Malcontent Ph.D. Candidate

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By Sam - Posted on 28 April 2006

by Samuel Frost
Preterists, by and large, seem to have a large problem in dealing with the “age to come.” They operate as if the entire Bible was “fulfilled” in A.D. 70, leaving the Bible “silent” on matters concerning those who live in the age to come. But, this very assumption is false in that it contradicts itself. If the “age to come” is part of the biblical eschatological framework, then it, too, must be prophetically spoken of in the Bible!Preterists, by and large, seem to have a large problem in dealing with the “age to come.” They operate as if the entire Bible was “fulfilled” in A.D. 70, leaving the Bible “silent” on matters concerning those who live in the age to come. But, this very assumption is false in that it contradicts itself. If the “age to come” is part of the biblical eschatological framework, then it, too, must be prophetically spoken of in the Bible!If this is not the case, then the Bible remains silent on that very age of fulfillment (the eternal age of the new covenant)! This would make no sense whatsoever.

All of the passages that speak of the new covenant equally speak of the “eternal covenant.” From Genesis to Hebrews the term “eternal covenant” is used. Several “covenants” were used to move along this one, singular eternal covenant. Each new covenant God made, from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, etc. brought mankind closer to the final covenant; the covenant after which there would be no more covenants made. This is what is typically called “the new covenant.” It is a covenant made with the people of God, those of His choosing, from then on out.

The nature of a covenant is not just for the present generation. If one looks at Noah or Abraham, those covenants had future generations in mind, explicitly. To think that the covenant made in Messiah Yeshua would have no future generations in mind would simply be unthinkable in light of the pattern.

Paul is most explicit in speaking not just to his own generation, living at the edge of the end of the age, but to those of all generations to come in the ages (plural) to come. That would be me and you.

Now, since Paul merely preached “that which was written in the torah and the nevi’im” and did not “go beyond what was written”, it follows that his notion of future generations and ages after the “end of the ages” had come in his time is also taught in the Tanakh. It is. Therefore, it follows, too, that if Paul was merely teaching what the Hebrew Bible taught concerning future ages and generations after the Consummation, and these future ages and generations concern me and you, then the Hebrew Prophets must have had us in mind as well. Let’s go further: if God has inspired and “moved along” the Prophets according to His will (as Peter said), then God did not “forget” about those living after He would consummate the ages of the past. Rather, all of the covenants, ages, and efforts to bring about the Consummation of the Ages was meant to bring in our own ages and generations: a new heavens and a new earth. In other words, Paul’s generation, whose makeup of brave and religious souls destined to be at the point in time they were, were “lead like sheep to the slaughter” in order to bring in the “age to come” heavens and earth promises. It was not God’s intention to have that generation be the supreme example of God’s people. They were in transition from old to new. They were “filling up” the marks of Christ. They were maturing into a New Man, a Spiritual Body. What, then, of those who, born of the Spirit after the parousia of the High Priest?

Those born of the Spirit after the parousia would not be born into an incomplete Temple. They would not be born into a maturing New Man. They would not be brought into a Body that was becoming a Spiritual Body from a Natural Body. Rather, if logic tells us anything, they would be born into a completed Temple, New Man, Spiritual Body; mature, complete, lacking nothing, never to be blown around again by doctrines, never to be torn asunder, never to be exiled and never to be sent away from the Garden for breaking torah. These generations are the perfect generations, and these ages are the perfect ages.

The Bible does not stop at 70 C.E. God forbid. The Bible says a great deal about living in the ages of the new heavens and new earth. Isaiah 65.17-ff speaks plenty about it. Ezek. 40-48 speaks a great deal about it as well. These large portions of Scripture are in parallel with many hundreds of other passages, like Isaiah 60.1-ff. They all speak of our own ages and generations. No, far from it, the Consummation of the Ages would not bring about an end to history, but a new beginning to a new history of a new people in a new heavens and a new earth. In seminary it is called Church History.

We don’t like that word, “history” and some of us do not like the word “church.” After all, Church History is filled with murderers, rapists, Crusades, Puritans and Pelagians. Witches are burned, children are spanked and adulterers are put to death. Surely, Church History cannot possibly be the story of a new beginning of a new people in a New Temple in the New Heavens and New Earth under a New Covenant can it? Well, it depends. If you look at your brothers and sisters of the past (and they now number into the billions), do you look at them through the law or through grace? After all our modern Churches of Christ have had affairs, lawsuits and just recently a pastor’s wife shot her husband. Our Calvinist churches have had the same. So have the Charismatics. The secretary that Jim Baker and another prominent minister had an affair with went on to pose in Playboy magazine. Nothing new here, is there?

The same old dead mentality of judging people by appealing to those who they “associate” with in the past is still among us, even recently published here in Planet Preterist. We have some that are still Roman Catholics….and we know of the history of those Roman Catholics! Well, we must judge them all the same! And those Calvinists! O’ have you read the history of Calvinism? We must judge them the same! Oh and those Churches of Christ! Those Liberals! Those Presbyterians! Those…those…. Nope, if we continue to act like we are under the law, then we will continue to write papers condemning “others” who are, in fact, no different from any of us.

Rather, I approach history anymore by looking at “what is good, what is lovely, what is noble.” Pope Gregory, Saint Augustine, Chrysostom, Thomas Aquinas are all great Roman Catholics. R.C. Sproul, James Kennedy, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon are all great Calvinists (name one preterist that has impacted American philosophy like Edwards!). See, instead of seeing the tremendous impact of Edwards’ philosophy, and instead of seeing Edwards as a CHRISTIAN born anew in a NEW COVENANT and therefore PERFECT, many can’t see beyond the LAW and only SEE Edwards as a Calvinist, and Calvin was a murderer, and some Calvinist preterist today are mean people, therefore, Edwards’ IMPACT is lost…and no GOOD can be seen. The same can be said for John Calvin (who every historian has admitted to the massive impact he had on Western economics, politics, religion, and government), or Thomas Aquinas (since he is a Roman Catholic, his massive impact on systematic theology is missed).

Here’s what happens. One man of a particular systematic bent will be credited for starting a movement. Nothing wrong with that. Where historical honor is due, let it be due, so said Paul. And then, let’s say, that that movement produces bad effects, too. The good gets overshadowed, because we love to concentrate on the bad things about people. We love the horror stories of Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggart. We love to poke fun at the allegedly goofy statements of Benny Hinn. We love to recite how Calvin “murdered” Servetus (though he never laid a hand on him). We love the bad news. We love to connect that bad news to those in our present day. We don’t think we are doing this (and never will admit it), but that’s what we do. One of the real evils of it is that our critiques are “in love” (or at least masked as such). But, in light of the generations of the ages to come that Paul spoke of, which included these baaaad Christians, were they Perfect? Mature? Spiritual? Made Holy? Glorified? According to the preterist framework, they all were.

Who can write about the good, the lovely, the noble and the pure things Calvin, Aquinas, Luther (that Jew hater), and Edwards did? Wesley? Finney? Hinn? Name one Preterist that has made a difference like Hinn. But, see, your law buzzers are going off: “but Hinn is a false prophet who teaches false things and….and….” Yes, and what has God done with your sorry ass? Now, see another buzzer: “oooh, he used a cuss word!.” No, only the biblically astute will get my joke: God used the jawbone of an ass, what has he done with yours (providing that you own one)? Am I saying that God can use Calvin for good? Hinn? You? Me? YES!

You see, that’s the point. We can live under law all day long and criticize according to the law all day long. The fact of the matter is is that God has perfected Hinn and Calvin, and therefore can use them IN SPITE of their being human beings susceptible to errors, false prophecies, idiotic behavior, or the like. It’s called grace. Preterists might want to look into it. Especially those who say that they have it the most.

Now, as to our current situation: people from the Planet Preterist “camp” writing about how “hateful” and “mean” those in the Calvinist-Preterist “camp” are. It’s funny in this light. Perfected children of God united in One Spirit under One Lord with One Faith in One Body behaving like children under the law. Rather, why not see the Lord as using for the good those in the one camp, and those in the other camp seeing the same thing? When it is recognized that Church History is a display of “the nations” (remember, the nations were divided at Babel) learning to come together and learning to make their spears into pruning hooks then we will also learn a valuable thing Church History has taught me under the Preterist Framework: it ain’t gonna be pretty. We like our spears and weapons. Fighting is much more fun than farming, especially with this idiot!

Much theological underpinning is the motive for what I have said here. True Preterism offers an entirely different approach to doing church history (which is why I love creeds, councils, and confessions and still study it…after all, they are my arms, legs and shoulders of the Body). It is paradoxical, to say the least, that the church was matured and perfected at the parousia of Christ, and then turn around and talk about the new beginning of the Church. Well, not really. God created ‘adam, a new man and a new body, did He not? In this sense, this ‘adam was perfect. But, it was only the beginning. ‘Adam had a lot to learn. The church has a lot to learn. The difference (and this is HUGE) is that ‘adam was booted out for breaking one command. The perfect man was booted out! But the New Perfect Man, the Body of Christ, cannot be condemned, ever, under the New Covenant because it is perpetually, eternally forgiven and perfect. This is what it must learn to SEE in EACH of its MEMBERS, regardless of the imperfections (little “i”). That means that Calvinists, Free-willers, Mary-lovers, and Candle-burners don’t necessarily have to change their theology (it may be right!)….but they do have to learn to change their attitudes. As far as I can tell, that attitude is sorely lacking all the way around the preterist world.

What is being asked for here is a different way of settling matters. I have tried to practice this, and to date, as far as I know, do not have any enemies. I have “banned” no one from our website, in spite of personal attacks. Heck, I even get along with a anti-preterist blog writer that likes to have scantily clad pictures of Lucy Lawless decorating their site. Believe me, I can’t stand some of the stuff I read, but I still link it to our site. O’ some wimp may yell, “yea, but he hurt my feelings. He has tried to destroy my family.” Really? Destroy? You mean, Charles Manson style? Let’s give up the language of politically correct “bashing.” Leave that to the liberals. If I say, “sodomite”, they cry, “bashing.” For a preterist to express and show love, and receive love, tough skin is needed with a gentle heart. Personally, hypocrisy has gone all the way around on some of these issues. “He quoted my site out of context” “Well, I never said that.” “You misunderstood me.” “I am not having you on my site anymore.” “Waa, waa, waa.”

Some folks have asked why I still hang out with those that drink, smoke and chew….Why? Do you need to ask? They know how to party! I have witnessed storms in our neighborhood, and I have witnessed them solved over a sixer of Natural Light. Sometimes, the unchurched have a better idea of getting along. Then, of course, I tell them that they are behaving as Christians should behave. And then one will say to me, “that’s why I don’t go to church!” I laugh, crack another one open, light up a cigar and turn up the Aerosmith and say, “I hear ya, man. And I understand…..” (this last bit of material was meant to show my own weaknesses in some areas, lest anyone think I am boasting about how humble I am….see you in the funny papers).

Nor's picture

wMr. Frost,
You've touched on an interesting idea. Consider: AD 70 was the end of an age represented by the first Adam. The second Adam has redeemed that fallen age. We are now in the new heaven and new earth (creation imagery)--and what the first Adam could have accomplished had he not fallen, Jesus and his Eve, the church, will now accomplish. The first Adam was tempted in the garden and banished to the wilderness. The second Adam was driven into the wilderness to face and defeat the tempter, and he returned to begin restoring the garden. We do not know what the first Adam could have done had he continued in obedient life. Was there expected an end to the first Adam's promised life had he obeyed? He was not expecting a cataclysmic glorification (at least we have no word on that), but a gradual dominion, which perhaps could have extended into the far reaches of the universe. Paul does say "ages" to come. Perhaps now we are truly in the world without end.
Nor

Duck's picture

Hilarious! You've compelled me to go get a cold one after I spit out my chew.

Sometimes you just need a good laugh.

David
Atlanta, Ga.

DavidF's picture

Sam:

You are a great thinker and a very good writer. I enjoy reading your articles, they are easy to follow and lively, they hold my attention. Your ideas are progressive and challenging to the vast thought process of the Christian body, and even to Preterists, and they are what should be the logical outcome of a mass paradigm shift (like Preterism). Keep up the great work! We all need to learn the message accurately.

From what you have said, it appears your starting point comes from the thought found in Romans “where there is no law there is no transgression”, “sin is not taken into account when there is no law”, “for apart from law, sin is dead” Ro. 4:15, 5:13, and 7:8. Therefore, you contend that since there is no law for the Christian post A.D. 70 then there is no sin for the Christian post A.D. 70. No law equals no sin, and therefore all Christians in the New Covenant are accounted pure as fresh snow, more than that, as pure as Christ Himself, no matter what they do. I know you will correct me if I interpreted your thoughts wrong.

I see Paul was getting to this very point in Rom. 8:1-2 when he shows the amazing mercy of God and says “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus“ because they are set “free from the law of sin and death”. Nonetheless, Rom 7-8 also presents an important reservation about the issue of “expired law” by introducing the name of a new one, the “law of the Spirit”. It was the law of the Spirit that set those Christians free from the law of sin and death. They were released from one law to serve in another, “You also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another” Rom.7:4.

So then, we have two laws in effect pre-parousia; the law of sin and death, and the law of the Spirit. I have not found where you have discussed this aspect of law and it would be valuable to hear your thoughts about it. I am curious how you view the “Law of the Spirit” post A.D. 70. Did both pre-parousia law sources disappear in that celebrated “Day of the Lord”? Or are we still constrained by the new Law of the Spirit?

Another thing to consider. I realize you have said that there are consequences for mis-behavior in this flesh-and-bone body but is that where it ends, when the fleshy body ends? Are there no post A.D. 70 rewards of “wood, hay and stubble versus gold, silver and precious stones” in the after life? Will a Mother Theresa type Christian only obtain the same reward as a Jim Baker type? I understand eternal life is a great deal more sufficient of a gift for anyone, but do the Scriptures show that there actually are no heavenly sanctions intact to restrain a free-for-all in the earth?

DavidF

Barry's picture

Hey Sam and everyone.
Sam said:
“Yes, and what has God done with your sorry ass? Now, see another buzzer: “oooh, he used a cuss word!.” No, only the biblically astute will get my joke: God used the jawbone of an ass, what has he done with yours (providing that you own one)? Am I saying that God can use Calvin for good? Hinn? You? Me? YES!”

Just don’t pull a Balaam and “strike” up a conversation. LOL!

Sam said:
“Paul is most explicit in speaking not just to his own generation, living at the edge of the end of the age, but to those of all generations to come in the ages (plural) to come. That would be me and you.”
And:
“Therefore, it follows, too, that if Paul was merely teaching what the Hebrew Bible taught concerning future ages and generations after the Consummation, and these future ages and generations concern me and you, then the Hebrew Prophets must have had us in mind as well.”
And:
“In other words, Paul’s generation, whose makeup of brave and religious souls destined to be at the point in time they were, were “lead like sheep to the slaughter” in order to bring in the “age to come” heavens and earth promises. It was not God’s intention to have that generation be the supreme example of God’s people. They were in transition from old to new. They were “filling up” the marks of Christ. They were maturing into a New Man, a Spiritual Body.”

Who was quickened? Who was raised? Who received an eternal reward? Who is the “us” in Eph. 2:7?
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved US,
Eph 2:5 Even when WE were dead in sins, HATH QUICKENED US together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And HATH RAISED [US] up together, and MADE [US] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the AGES TO COME he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness TOWARD US through Christ Jesus.
Eph. 2:8 For by grace are YE saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the CHRUCH by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, [unto all generations], world without end [to the age of the ages]. Amen.
Who was quickened? Who was raised? Who received an eternal reward? Who brought in the new age? On whom does it stand? Who is the “us” in Eph. 2:7? Why would or could or how can the “we” the “us” the “our” contextually move from those who are raised were dead in sins who were quickened to those of future ages and generations?

What is Paul saying about the future? If it holds true that Paul speaks of the future what is it that Paul is saying about the future in reference to “them”?
Is Paul saying that future generations would be shown grace that they themselves (Paul audience) would not receive in fulfillment or is he saying that future generations would be shown the grace that was given and is given to the first fruits?

Could underestimating the fullness of the fulfilled grace that was bestowed upon the first fruits impact the way we see Christianity and how we calculate the impact of fulfillment?
Is it possible that God has not forgotten us at all but is wakening us up to that grace that was bestowed in fulfillment?
Could it be that our response to fulfillment is the acceptance of fulfilled grace?
Just a thought or two.

Peace to you
Barry

we are all in this together

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Sam,

Great article. The latest round of acrimony leaves a bad taste in my mouth, too. Thanks for your work.

By the way, I'm very much looking forward to meeting you in person. You're the guy who screwed up my partial-preterism with your stuff on resurrection.

Blessings,

Tim Martin

Sam's picture

Tim,

Ha ha. I look forward to meeting you, too.

mazuur's picture

OT: Just to let everybody know. I was just reading in Gary DeMar's newsletter and it seems he is putting David Chilton's Revelation commentary "Days of Vengeance" back in print. Cost is $40! Book will be available in June.

And the crowd went crazy!!!!!!

No more paying over $100 to get a copy.

Over and out,
Rich

-Rich

57chevypreterist's picture
Virgil's picture

I really appreciate your perspective, Sam, and your passion to make this stuff less complicated. I'm going to crack one open and toast you tonight... well, I'll pop off the cap anyway since I like the fancy-schmancy imported stuff.

Kyle Peterson's picture

Sam,

You sort of lost me when you stated, "Why not see the Lord as using for the good those in the one camp, and those in the other camp seeing the same thing?"

I suppose its difficult for me to see the Lord working through Christians that choose to villify their neighbor. It's hard for me to see the face of Christ in someone that chooses to tear down their brother.

Heck, I even get along with a anti-preterist blog writer that likes to have scantily clad pictures of Lucy Lawless decorating their site.

Face it, you're just there for the pictures. ;)

Flakinde's picture

I suppose its difficult for me to see the Lord working through Christians that choose to villify their neighbor. It's hard for me to see the face of Christ in someone that chooses to tear down their brother.

Kyle, I understand and share your difficulty . . . but I guess Sam is calling out to us trusting God's Word in that they have been perfected in Christ, and not be concerned about bringing the measuring stick against them.

Alexander Rodríguez

Kyle Peterson's picture

I have absolutely no problem in believing that their spiritual death has been removed and that they have been perfected through the new covenant. My concern lays in evaluating the fruits of the spirit.

Christ says "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit" - John 15:5

As a Christian I pay more attention to the fruits which are borne than what someone may be studying theologically. If there is no spiritual fruit then how can I believe Christ is working through them?

Jhedges's picture

Hey kyle im confused and was hoping you could clarify your comment.

If you believe there is no more spirtual death, then "all men are alive" If all men are alive how then can you say "If there is no spiritual fruit then how can I believe Christ is working through them?"

Its like the equation No more death/ all in Christ/ how can some then have no fruit if they are not dead?

Thanks

Jhedges's picture

Made a goof, no need to explain. Sorry

Flakinde's picture

If there is no spiritual fruit then how can I believe Christ is working through them?

Kyle:

Sorry if this sounds unsatisfactory to you, but you must believe it by their confession of faith in Christ. I know this is true because He even chooses to work through a stupid piece of mierda like me.

According to the speck-in-eye/plank-in-eye order of things, I usually rephrase the question (asking to myself):

If there is so insignificant spiritual fruit in my actions, that I can present as evidence that I am truly in Christ, then how can I believe Christ is working through me?

And:

How much and how far does God want me to clean up my own act first, before I am worthy to call on other people's shortcomings?

Just some thoughts. Be blessed,

Alexander Rodríguez

Kyle Peterson's picture

I think both of you are missing my point, Alex.

Just because you and I are both sinners doesn't mean we shouldn't bear fruit. Nor does it mean we should stop from keeping eachother accountable.

In fact I wholly agree with "the other side" on this point - its the approach and methodology I take issue with.

leo724's picture

Kyle,

You said, "Nor does it mean we should stop from keeping each other accountable."

I have lots to say about this but I'll let you go first if you'd like. Can you give me some verses that speak of keeping each other accountable in this present age?

I may be completely misunderstanding you but when I think of "keeping accountable" I think of Roderick's quest to keep Virgil accountable and that scares me.

Peace,

Bill

Flakinde's picture

Just because you and I are both sinners doesn't mean we shouldn't bear fruit.

I don't think anyone here is even closely implying that, Kyle.

Nor does it mean we should stop from keeping eachother accountable.

Sorry Kyle, but "keeping each other accountable" sounds a lot prettier than what I've seen going around lately.

Alexander Rodríguez

Kyle Peterson's picture

Thanks for the clarification.

May God help us all to bear good fruit - even as we admonish those close to us.

Sam's picture

Kyle,

then bear fruit and love your "enemies" (who happen to be Christian). If your goal is to live the perfect sinless life in every waking minute of your life, go for it....I don't think it is possible, but you can try.

Kyle Peterson's picture

Thanks, Sam. I pray that I do not have any enemies but if I do then may God bless them.

Sam's picture

As a follow up, the whole "fruit judging" thing is ridiculous. How do you know, 27/7 what "fruits" are born? Do you see me every waking hour? Every moment? How do you know what fruit someone is bearing? Confession of Faith in Christ is the fruit of love, is it not? "With the fruit of my lips, I will praise him." That's fruit, isn't it? What I fear you mean is that you have seen someone only through the eyes of their theology and SOME of their actions (you are no judge of ALL actions because you cannot know them). In other words, they pissed you off. It is EXACTLY this kind of mindset that is more damaging, I believe, than anything else. "Hey, he doesn't fruit the way I think he should have fruit, but I believe he is a brother in Christ...I can't see how I can love a person like that...after, I am so good that Christ loved me, and I am just oooozzzing with fruit....see all my good works?" sorry to be harsh, but this mindset on BOTH sides is nauseating.

Kyle Peterson's picture

As a follow up, the whole "fruit judging" thing is ridiculous.

No, Sam, it is not. If you (for example) go around punching people in the face I will no doubt confront you because the bible states that is unchristian behavior. This applies to any of the fruit of the spirit we as Christians are supposed to have. You seem to be advocating that I (and others) ignore your behavior, trusting that God is working his will through you.

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22)

We aren't supposed to only produce this fruit some of the time for only some of the people to see - it is to represent our new life in Christ. Every person we come in contact should clearly see the spirit of Christ working in our lives.

I've never said that we should stop loving the person that likes to punch people. Nor have I ever stated we should judge the state of their salvation. But I belive it wholly appropriate to be witness to a brother or sister's relationship with God.

The whole point of Christ's sacrifice was to join us to him so that we may bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4). We are implored to walk in the manner worthy of the lord, be filled with the knowledge of His will and bear fruit through every work (1 Cor 1:10). How else will we be identified as representatives of Christ?

Really, guys, I shouldn't have to be pointing this out to you.

Sam's picture

Kyle,

Let me see if I have this straight. If we are not to have some fruit some of the time, then that means that we have all fruit all of the time. Now, dear brother, are you saying that you bear all fruit all of the time? Wow!!!

Kyle Peterson's picture

Yes, Sam - that should indeed be our goal. The fruit of the spirit represents our life in the New Covenant through Christ. We should always be striving to bear fruit and remove the branches that do not bear fruit (sin). Thankfully this is entirely possible through the blood of Christ.

I understand you want to pick at the details. I'd be lying if I said I never became frustrated or angry once in awhile (Didn't this happen to Christ)? But this hardly negates the point that as Christians we are to bear as much fruit of the spirit as possible. I want to do away with sin and remove every appearance of evil from my life.

Certainly as a shepherd you can acknowledge this.

NB9M's picture

I've been watching this thread, and get the feeling that we've come full circle. It's as if we're missing something. Sam's right, and you're right.

I've heard from Sam that we're perfect in the New Covenant even though we're obivously flawed. We're yelling: "I'm free in His Grace!" while mulling over the scantily-clad pictures. Our inability to see the fruit behind the flaws exposes our own misperceptions; that there is a macroscopic element that is in play.

I've heard from Kyle that we should set our sights higher - that His Grace (which covers our tendency to view the scantily-clad pictures) does not preclude the necessity for us to try to rise above these things. The end result can be our inability to percieve fruit in others who are not so predisposed...

\

Kyle Peterson's picture

Thanks for the comment, NB9M.

I also see two sides to the debate, although mine are a bit different.

One one side of the coin we see people who care more about doctrine and personal beliefs than they do actions.

On the other side of the coin we see those concerned more about a persons' actions than about their personal beliefs.

Were Christ and the apostles concerned about what people believed? Of course they were. Were they concerned about people's behavior? Indeed. Thus we have both sides being correction on various aspects of their point of view.

I personally sympathize with position #2 because as my walk with God continues I read more of His word and am presented with new thoughts based on current interpretations thereof. Through this I carefully evaluate meanings and strive to attain the truth. The issue I have is that what I believe today may not be what I believe in 30 years, nor may it be in tune with other peoples' interpretations. So why should I be so quick to judge others based on this?

However, actions don't need interpretation. Loving God and loving others is pretty straightforward. Furthering God's kingdom is something I can do now, and something I can be doing in 30 years. Bearing good fruit is something all Christians are commanded to do and I believe it easier to discern between bad and good fruit than correct and incorrect interpretations of biblical doctrine.

KingNeb's picture

27/7? Sam, are you a futurist now?...one day with the Lord is as 27 hours....

thereignofchrist.com

Flakinde's picture

I agree Sam . . . and besides, the whole "judging fruit" deal is usually attached to THE Final Judgement (examples, Mat 7:15-23 and 12:32-36), which we supposedly affirm has passed (orally, not effectually, as you very well pointed out in your writing).

If THE JUDGEMENT has passed, and we are in the age of GRACE, what the heck are we doing by trying to extend the life of that which is DEAD today??

Blessed in His rest, Heb 4:10,

Alexander Rodríguez

Sam's picture

Alex,

Bingo.

Flakinde's picture

"That means that Calvinists, Free-willers, Mary-lovers, and Candle-burners don’t necessarily have to change their theology (it may be right!)….but they do have to learn to change their attitudes. As far as I can tell, that attitude is sorely lacking all the way around the preterist world."

Wow Sam . . . of all the voices I've heard lately, yours seems to make the most sense. It is sometimes so difficult for me to do this, though I know this is the right attitude. I have often lamented that Preterists seem to be more concerned about being right, than about being the image of Christ through showing grace.

But after all, wasn't it our own Rabbi who exhorted us to rejoice when we were persecuted, even when people lied about us (Mat 5:11-12)? . . . ah no, right, that was only for pre-AD70 believers, sorry, I forgot. :)

Sam, I will freely choose to light a candle to Mary in appreciation for your writings. :)

Blessed in His rest,

Alexander Rodríguez

P.S.: When we gonna jam?

Virgil's picture

Sam, I will freely choose to light a candle to Mary in appreciation for your writings. :)

Hahaha. I will join you in that with some incense my friend.

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