You are hereTodd Dennis and Preteristic Idealism

Todd Dennis and Preteristic Idealism

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By Sam - Posted on 14 March 2007

by Samuel Frost
I consider Dennis to be a good friend of mine and have fellowshipped with him many times. Hopefully, after this article is read, that fellowship will remain intact. With that being said, I do want to critically evaluate his article Introduction to a Hybrid of Preterism and Idealism. I printed the article of twenty pages (numbered 1-20) and will use that for numbering my footnotes from this article.I consider Dennis to be a good friend of mine and have fellowshipped with him many times. Hopefully, after this article is read, that fellowship will remain intact. With that being said, I do want to critically evaluate his article Introduction to a Hybrid of Preterism and Idealism.

I printed the article of twenty pages (numbered 1-20) and will use that for numbering my footnotes from this article.

Click here to read the entire article

MichaelB's picture

That is the REAL essence. The thing that was keeping them out of the holiest was the veil of Moses on the heart.

What verse is this Nate...? There is none. You totally ignored Revelation 15. "No one could enter until..."

TheIdealNate's picture

2 Corinthians 3:12-18
12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness-- 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.
Hebrews 8:5 These serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was warned when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For He said, Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.

6 But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, no opportunity would have been sought for a second one. 8 But finding fault with His people, He says: "Look, the days are coming," says the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. Because they did not continue in My covenant, I disregarded them," says the Lord. 10 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days," says the Lord: "I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 11 And each person will not teach his fellow citizen, and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins." 13 By saying, a new covenant , He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.

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.

Hebrews 9:7 But the high priest alone enters the second room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.

8 The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the holy of holies had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is a symbol for the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper's conscience. 10 They are physical regulations and only deal with food, drink, and various washings imposed until the time of restoration. 11 Now the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come. In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), 12 He entered the holy of holies once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

Mike, the parallels are unmistakeable.

The old covenant was only a copy of the real thing that blinded them. Ad 70 removal of the temple was only a copy of the true thing that stands in the way between God and man, that veil, that enmity, that law of sin and death which still exists for those outside Christ today.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MichaelB's picture

Nate what is the first resurrection and what does the bible mean by "the rest of the dead did not come to life until the 1000 years were finished". You have the 1000 years never ending. None of us full prets disagree that the turning to the Lord 2 Cor 3 was part of the "first resurrection" ie the Holy Spirit. You however can not reconcile the rest. And what about those "rest of the dead" that had already turned to the Lord. Why did they have to wait until the 1000 years were finished? Does the 1000 years ever finish?

TheIdealNate's picture

Mike,
You are right, at this time I am not answering your question for one reason.

When I became a preterist, based on time text alone, I shared my new discovery with many people. What followed was what we all went through.

1. So who was the beast?
2. So what was the rapture and did it happen?
3. Who was Babylon?
4. What is the resurrection?

Over 7 YEARS I have tried to come up with my answers to these using the scriptures. We all have done this.

Now, because other certain true scriptures have brought me to idealism, my friends from the preterist circles start becoming "dispy" like in their questions. Thinking they have you trapped, they demand instant explinations of PROPHETIC scriptures. Which I am still working out.

I can see the easy explination of some of them, but I want myself to be sure before I write it down in a forum like this.

So Mike, I have SOME time to answer these things. But at this time, I am sticking to my debates over the "time text like" scriptures that idealism holds to. Like the many in Hebrews and such. Ipromise in depth responses upon my return to Okinawa from Korea.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MichaelB's picture

Nate - if you can't reconcile the view with all scripture, then it isn't true. TD is the one that said that the 1000 years is the "internal era for the redeemed". I have pointed out that this can not be so. Yet no comment from either you or Todd. This is a MAJOR issue and affects the first century saints as well as us now. It has a MAJOR afect on the Idealist view. Maybe you need to iron out your theology a little more before insisting others believe it.

Nate writes:
certain true scriptures have brought me to idealism, my friends from the preterist circles start becoming "dispy" like in their questions. Thinking they have you trapped, they demand instant explinations of PROPHETIC scriptures. Which I am still working out.

Nate this is the major issue. You don't want to deal with the hard questions. Every time at the study when we bring up the hard questions you and TD don't want to discuss them. You, Nate, get all bent out of shape when we ask them, and TD wants us to "email him". Geesh. One wonders how you 2 ever became Trinitarians. After all JW's say CERTAIN scriptures say Jesus is a man, or angel, not God. So they must be right since CERTAIN scriptures say that, it must be true. Is that how you come to your theological conlusions Nate? That's pretty sad. I suggest that you start with the hard issues. If you can't answer them, then it isn't true. Of course you can just start making more wild claims like generation means stock or race again, like TD, but that isn't going to work is it?

You might want to start looking for answers in the OT from where John got his visions. You may be surprised what you find. Like where do we see verse 2 in Revelation and what does the rest of Isaiah 26 like verse 10 and 14 say. Sam will be addressing this in an article in much detail along with many other verse from which John gets his vision, and at the PP conference too, shortly, I assure you. Blessings.

Isaiah 26
1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
3 You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
5 He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
and casts it down to the dust.
6 Feet trample it down—
the feet of the oppressed,
the footsteps of the poor.
7 The path of the righteous is level;
O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.
8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
When your judgments come upon the earth,
the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 Though grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and regard not the majesty of the LORD.
11 O LORD, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.
12 LORD, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
13 O LORD, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone do we honor.
14 They are now dead, they live no more;
those departed spirits do not rise.
You punished them and brought them to ruin;
you wiped out all memory of them.
15 You have enlarged the nation, O LORD;
you have enlarged the nation.
You have gained glory for yourself;
you have extended all the borders of the land.

TheIdealNate's picture

Mike,
I have been looking at things in Idealism for a few months, but have been a preterist for 8 years, and I was still working on answers about full-preterism.

Demand what you will, claim what victories you will, but it has crap to do with my "refusing to answer." And more with prudent study.

Again, YOU KNOW ME! Or maybe this is why you do not get too close to us personally, so you do not have to know anyone or their heart. Well, I am sorry. A look at my activity in the past 8 years, and those times BY YOUR SIDE, answering the "hard questions," should be enough for you to trust me and give me some time. But only a real friend would do that. If you think I won't get to these issues in my own time, then YOU DON'T KNOW A THING ABOUT ME.

When these issues get dealt with over the next few years, I hope it won't be too late to sit with you at the table and talk about them.

For now, I am done airing our dirty laundry out here.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MichaelB's picture

Nate I do know you. I do know Todd also. That is why I know that you jump to conclusions before any logical need or proof, and Todd is often driven by emotion rather than truth which Sam's article proved.

PS - I think if you ask Scott V. and Ken D. and Steve S. - they would say the know me.

MichaelB's picture

Oh ya - and I am sure John H. (PWB) would say he knows me too. Roderick also.

By the way - you wanting us to be "patient" is very ironic, since I know of people who get frustrated with your impatience all the time at our study. You know what I am talking about.

Just an example of worlking scripture out before anouncing it. If you are going to present that, for instance, (just an example not saying you believe this) that demons were not real, then you need to be ready to answer the tough scriptures. The scripture that fit your paradigm don't really matter, if you can't reconcile them all. So when we see demons, for example, speaking to Jesus, we need to be able to reconcile that. After all if you can't (like my trinity example above) then it can't be the truth. So when you prematurely announce these things to the world, without working out the issues, you end up causing more problems than solving them. After all you and TD have denounced full preterism already. Called us pharisees and believing a "heresy" as TD called it. Yet here you are saying that you don't have all the answers to some pretty staright forward questions that you and TD insist that we believe about the 1000 years etc.

Maybe it is you that needs to practice what you preach Nate (patience that is).

TheIdealNate's picture

Sorry about the "getting to close" stab.

I am just getting frustrated at being turned on by those who I thought would give us a little more credit and patience.

God Bless
Nate

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

mazuur's picture

Very good stuff Nate. You should have keep highlighting in bold verse 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."

This is the very verse MichaelB said did not exist.

-Rich

-Rich

Barry's picture

Nate, this is where you are striving for a physical verse spiritual dichotomy.
I do not believe this is going to hold up in scripture.

The cross to the temple destruction is as you have indicated on some level a "revelation".
What you are missing is that the "revelation" was not complete until the completion of the revelation.
The temple destruction is not merely an outward sign. It is the completion of a "revelation" of atonement.

We cannot have that experience of a "revelation" historically.
This is where both "common full preterism" and "ideal preterism" fail.

2 Cor. 3:18 is clearly indicated a process that was then taking place in the passing away of the old glory.
There was a living by the applied meaning taking place, but not the exclusion of the a coming perfection. Their faithfulness to a filling up of a fulfillment brings in a punishment which also becomes historical.

2Cr 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Cr 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
2Cr 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ's, even so [are] we Christ's.

These things are all part and parcel to a "revelation" that is taking place. One could not at this time bypass the "revealing process" and reach "perfection" by simply looking at a spiritual verses physical dichotomy.

Eph 2:1 And YOU [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past YE walked according to the COURSE OF THIS WORLD, according to the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the spirit that NOW worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also WE all had OUR conversation in times past in the lusts of OUR flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
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.

The above verses are almost always taken out of context by the preterist.
It is us today now living in the ages that were to come that are looking back and seeing the grace that was shown toward them in Christ Jesus.

We cannot have their revelation but we can be see their revelation.
We cannot have their salvation be we can see their salvation. Hence forth we can see God's salvation.
Blessing to you Nate,
I don't expect you to agree but as least it will serve in some way to provoke a further examination of our various views.
Barry

we are all in this together

lsthomp's picture

Great comments Nate. They are powerful thoughts!!!!! Thanks be to God.

Virgil's picture

There can be nothing final about a truth that is eternal.

And Nate, that is the problem with hardcore preterists. They claim to have found THE truth, which in their opinion is static, final and perfectly defined. I do not believe it is...instead we should see this truth as an evolving, unfolding truth, a journey we are on as Christians understanding more and more about God.

Barry's picture

Good point Virgil
Now lets bring all of humanity into our journey lest we become high minded between our ears simply because we have accepted in faith God's ongoing faithfulness towards us.

Barry

we are all in this together

Virgil's picture

Barry, and is our humanity that makes the journey interesting? :)

Barry's picture

So interesting God had to try it out :)
Barry

we are all in this together

Starlight's picture

Virgil,

You just confused me, was there no conclusiveness to these prophecies in Daniel 9?

24 “ Seventy weeks[a] are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of[b] sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”

Are you discussing two different ideas in your post?
Are we to expect visions and prophecies to be ongoing?

Help me here as I think we need some clarification.

Norm

Virgil's picture

Norm, what I was saying was that we can't go forward as long as we keep looking over our shoulders in the past. To see where you are going, you need to look forward; we need to be FUTURISTS. We can argue over which prophecies are fulfilled or not all day as long as we fail to develop a worldview that offers solutions to hurting people...for spiritual or physical reasons. Those solutions cannot be found in theology in my opinion, rather in Christ himself, his kindness and love he showed for sinners.

lsthomp's picture

I WOULD ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THESE COMMENTS.

Starlight's picture

Virgil,

Ok,
But isn’t this a little utopian?
Are not we living in an era that needs “some” instructional understanding?
You know I’m on board with you as far as moving forward but someone maybe needs to look at the past as well.
I think we should realize that as more and more discover Preterism there will continue to be an exploration of that past and that is all entirely natural.
Just as natural as looking toward the future, as it seems the Lord has made us inquisitive concerning our roots. Remember that TV series by that name. Sometimes people want to know why before they can move forward and I would rather it be Virgil informing them than the Hal Lindsey’s.

Norm

Virgil's picture

Norm. It is not utopian to be proactive and use our understanding of the past as a springboard into the future. To me, it appears as if God has entrusted the world to us, and we serve as his emissaries (for lack of a better word) to teach others about Jesus, about his love and approach to sin and conflict.

Come to the conference and listen to my presentation on Mircea Eliade's concept of "Eternal Return: Myth and Reality" - I will try to cover some of those issues. :)

Starlight's picture

Virgil,

I thought that was what I was saying too ;-)

Wish I could be there but alas I chose to go to Kurt’s conference which is closer to home and I can’t pull off both conferences. I’m hoping that some of the speakers will be taped and made available for those of us who would like to listen in later.

Norm

Barry's picture

"But isn’t this a little utopian?"
Virgil will answer his own question for sure.

Norm, God is love.
Love shares.
Give it time.
Barry

we are all in this together

Starlight's picture

Barry,

Yes, you are right we all need to answer for ourselves.

Thanks for the reminder.

Norm

davo's picture

Sam: The elimination of the Death (the First Death, which, go to Romans 5 to find out that is), does not mean the elimination of outside/inside in the kingdom. No one has shown how it does. If that were the case, then the post A.D. 70 vision of Revelation 21,22 makes no sense, since the nations come "inside" from the "outside." Why wouldn't John picture them all as "now inside"? Universalism fails on many, many accounts…

Sam, what you and others CONTINUE to fail to understand and therefore address, is the argument that "pantelism" puts forward: that the "inside/outside" divide has EVERYTHING to do with those called into the kingdom priesthood, i.e., "priestly service", and those NOT. Unlike the universalism you berate *pantelism* does NOT DENY the "exclusionary" and or "limited" nature of certain texts of Scripture, BUT consistently views such in the terms just stated, i.e., OF THOSE CALLED – not to "get to Heaven" but into Godly service in this life.

THEREFORE, it is a false logic on your part to keep arguing against an apparent false notion of universalism – that there is no "in/out" or chosen/not chosen", as IF that is what we here believe or advocate, we do not. The problem you have is that *pantelism* CONSISTENTLY adheres to a more prêteristic hermeneutic – what some ironically label "hyper-preterism", which is really just a cop-out for NOT being able to deal with consistency – which whether agree with Todd or not, he is right to show the inconsistencies of modern preterism; a preterism that claims a "fulfilled redemption", but then summarily denies the "historicity" it claims it by advocating that those "in" or "out" is ALL ABOUT "post mortem destinies" – as opposed to "the call of God to service", the as yet unanswered and unchallenged rationale of Pantelism.

It is IMO pointless arguing the toss over *universalism* when you guys are not actually dealing with the issues of a "consistent preterism" that historically equates to a realised redemption [pantelism] – a promised redemption of ALL Israel that reconciled humankind to God. And THAT is where biblical universalism CAN unabashedly be argued, i.e., the fullness God's promises to His covenant people Israel, all Israel – a covenant through which the "heirs of faith" would minister His blessing to the whole world.

davo

Sam's picture

what you just wrote makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Sam

davo's picture

Yeah I figured as much Sam – a pretty lame way to dodge putting some thought into dealing with what I raised; not dissimilar however from your reply to my "election" article: "chicken scratch needle haystack affirmative beyond the dog in the hut. Make sense?" Is this then your MO when you get stuck??

For a preterist who advocates for a strong non-universalist rationale I find it interesting that you cannot [will not] respond with anything of substance to one of a mere few who are classified by the rest of you folk here as "universalists" – agree or disagree I am quite sure most other folk reading what I wrote could grasp what I was saying – should I just accept your unawareness??

davo

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Sam,

Let me see if I can help.

Davo has a hierarchical priesthood for the new dispensation that begins in A.D. 70.

All men (globally) are saved from their sin now, but some are more "saved" than others. They are special because they are "saved to serve." There are different levels to this new salvation, a new hierarchical priesthood. Believers now are kind of like the Levites who served wider Israel under the Old Covenant.

"Saved to serve."

Got it?

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Ed's picture

No Tim,
There is no hierarchy. There is no new dispensation. As you are going to argue in your new book, everything is covenantal.

Covenantally, Jesus came to REDEEM Israel. He came to SAVE them from their sins, which were manifested IN THE LAW. Jesus partook of the punishment of violating the Law, even though He did not personally violate the Law.

Those who believed on Him were SAVED from the destruction; the Second Death, of Jerusalem. Those who did not believe perished in "the lake of fire" of judgment upon the Old Order/Kosmos.

Israel was/is/will always be God's Kingdom of Priests. "Gentiles" were always allowed to join Israel through circumcision. In fact, James Jordan claimed that Caleb was not a born Israelite. Most of Jacob's house were not born Israelites. They came into covenant through circumcision, , and now we join Israel through baptism. We "keep the feast" through the Supper of the Lord. We intercede for the oikomene (world) in our prayers, our witness, our love, our mercy, our forgiveness, our ministry. We, unlike Israel under the Law, are a ministry of LIFE.

There is no new dispensation here. It is post-fulfillment, that's all. Jesus fulfilled the Law. He fulfilled the Mandate in order to be THE High Priest. We are his sub-priests, meant to bring God's reconciliation to the world at large. To inform them that God was never at war with them, but always was working through Israel on their behalf.

If you try to claim that we are dispensational, then you better be circumcising your kids rather than baptizing, 'cuz that's the only difference. The rest is all fulfillment.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

lsthomp's picture

Sam you are absolutely right. The individual is the problem, but the problem is also a fruit of the systems which he bases his faith in. Regardless, if all the Full Preterist view is about is past fulfillment, one would be led to believe that that the bible is only about past ideas written by a old generation which has no relevance to us today. You may not hold that view, but many do. Why has that assumption been allowed? For a time, I held that view. I personally slammed many for not reading scripture in connection with the 1st century only in mind. Maybe as an individual I was the one with the problem, but I was led by my Full Preterist paradigm and in order to have consistency within scripture, everything had to be past. Not at all true.

It is true that Universalists and Full Preterist are not synonymous. However, Universalism and Full Preterist are siamese twins, joined at the hip. And on the hip joint is the position that AD70 saw the end of an old redemptive dispensation, and the beginning of a new one.

The point that I was making on Universalism and Full Preterism is that many deny or overlooked this connection. I believe we are just starting to see and uncover some of these lost works thanks to Google Books. I can say that it is more than a few writers here and there. Their Universalism was absolutely linked with their eschatology. Maybe this is just a coincidence not related to the Preterist perspective but no one has shown this to be false.

This is all beside the point anyway. There is no sense of focusing on the reasons WHY Todd believes that the Full Pret paradigm is old. The focus should be on how over half the speakers at the NM conference agreed that FP had serious problems. Some are trying to patch the holes, such as Kurt Simmons with his 'global eschaton.' and John Noe and his version of pret-idealism that is still within the confines of the old paradigm. I really admire his view as should most Full Prets. Todd I bleive is taking the bolder step of not putting new patches on old wineskins. If former Full Prets want to sculpt a new paradigm, then by God let them. It doesn't help to throw a fit about it, as quite a few are doing, trying to FORCE them to stay in what they consider to be a fundamentally flawed position.

lsthomp's picture

I would like to share this post
http://nate4onenation.blogspot.com/

What Is It Worth?...Are the Battles Helping To Win the War?

In my first article concerning this subject I addressed the over reaction by some to the term of Preterist Idealism.
http://nate4onenation.blogspot.com/2006/11/my-thoughts-and-understanding...
Despite the very civil over the phone conversations and chat room discussions which appeared to leave the discussion on civil terms, there are still those whom I call dear friends in the preterist circle that must rage against this new machine. This is very unfortunate because relationships have been strained for no purpose. And to what end? What is the real result of all this in-fighting?

Some claim they are defending truth. I submit they are defending their version of the truth. For many centuries the Jewish priests expanded on their own versions and interpretations of the truth, leading to the various factions within Judaism like the Sadducees and Pharisees. Then a man came along proclaiming that these holy warriors of Judaism’s version of truth are the ones who needed to repent. This was followed up by a man who proclaimed the kingdom of God was at hand. He taught that He was the way, truth, and life and that no man come to the Father but through Him. He did not say that He was going to answer EVERY question with the truth, or that there would not be any questions left for us to answer WITH OUR OWN CONSCIENCE!

Wasn’t this the point? That the laws of God in the hands of men were and would always be twisted? Hasn’t the history of the church for 2000 years proved that the laws of God in the hands of (so-claimed) “called” men have twisted the gospel? Now is it up to us correct preterist to set apart ourselves from other sincere brethren who love Jesus but do not agree on all points of theology?

Before some say that I do not believe in standing from truth, I dare them to look at my past (many of them were next to me when the “arrows” were flung). I believe in speaking what I have seen is the truth. I do, however, admit my fallibility and my past tendencies to be wrong. Weren’t all preterists wrong at one point in time? Have some forgotten they were wrong before, and may be wrong again?

The attitudes of dogma and judgment are getting us nowhere, and contradicting the very things many who are raging believe. There are no leaders who are called to be leaders to guide us into truth. There is only God and my conscience and the word as a guide! Period. So this attitude is only self righteous and self destructive.

What I have seen lately is not even about the preaching of truth, or whether Preterist Idealism is right or wrong, rather it is an argument against those who have stepped out into the spotlight to reveal what they believe is truth (or closer to it than other theologies have come thus far) and because they have done so, and not supported the Preterist status-quo outright. They have not upheld the banner of others who see truth through a different light, and so are excommunicated because their opinion is of another kind.

The arguments have not attacked the premise of Idealism, that all things physical are not the essence of the truth, but merely point to the truth itself. Preterism at its core says that the events of AD 70 fulfilled the prophecies. Preterism idealism says that AD 70 simply signifies eternal truths that were always in existence. The physical acts in history to show us these things does not create truth, it only reveals it.

So do we see articles debating this? Not so much as we see a call to separate from Todd Dennis because he said:
“Most people on Planet Preterist are practicing theological masturbation (self-gratification) " & that he would "wait until Planet Preterist was on its last leg & then come in & deliver the death blow".
AND:
“Consistency within the system is really what sets the newbies apart from the more experienced, generally speaking. Just like with Dispensationalism, one can believe that Jesus is King now, but if the system will not allow it, then they are just inconsistent, and
inexperienced within their own hermeneutic, not really representing it for what it teaches. The same is true, in my opinion, with that form of full preterism (most notably found among the Reformed) which teaches that everything was fulfilled historically by AD70, and yet that not everyone in the world enjoys its benefits.”

Prideful? Maybe. But why not argue the points made? Now I am not here to defend Todd, but when he makes these statements he follows them with many comparisons of what Idealism believes vs. what Preterism believes, followed by studies that depict the difference between temporal application and idealist application.

What do we hear in response to these things?

“Here we are practically begging this man to speak up & instead he dishonorably told us he'll wait until the battle is so dire, then he'll come in & deliver the death blow. If it was a
real battle on a field, I would not want such a man as an ally. What coward lets his friends take all the arrows & then comes in at the last moment to behave like he won the battle? A man sculpting a cult of his own making, thats who. I guess Todd thinks it is now time to deliver his "death blow" so he now uses the infestation of the preterist
universalism to declare the whole of full preterism so corrupt that it must die & -- wow! Todd is Johnny-on-the-spot to offer an alternative. Perhaps he will claim he doesn't care who takes up his new offering? Right, the man knows he commands the most visited site on full preterism & he would dare to pretend he is just expressing his "personal view"?
Many people are actually now really taking up Todd's new version of preterism, but why? Because men like him set back while the battle was raging & like a coward came in to steal away the war & the victory.”

And here is the crux of the complaint. Wounded pride.

I was one of those who fought side by side for truth. I took arrows! I still stand up for what I believe is the truth, but I am trying to become less judgmental about it. Lets DISCUSS the verses, the interpretations, and how they apply to our lives. But when truth fails the strong, the warrior, assassination by other means is necessary. In this an appeal to the preterist masses against a mans character. Someone whom I have found honest (to a fault), genuinely caring, and a good friend.

This is not some peoples war. Some have lost the taste for blood because it has done nothing to ADVANCE THE KINGDOM! Jesus did not teach denominational or sectarian warfare!! He did not authorize us to take His teachings and do violence to it. The wicked try to take the kingdom by force, and perish.

A belief in the passing of pastors, teacher, etc as a calling for the “church” has led nowhere. Pride has consumed these new “leaders” anyway.

I find it a shame. Both these men are my brother and friend. I myself am someone who my friends know do not jump into any view without due study. I have been involved in debates on the side of full Preterism for a long time now. Yet those who are on Todds side are “cowards,” etc. This is sad.

The fact is universalism is rampant in Preterism because Preterism has its inconsistencies that need to be dealt with. Todd is attempting to deal with them. If the devil is in the lake of fire, SO IS DEATH!! Either this is to be understood through a temporal timeline, and death DOES NOT EXIST just as SATAN does not exist! Or this is to be understood in an idealist timeline where these prophecies are only fulfilled INDIVIDUALY when one turns to Christ and is in the new covenant with Him. You cannot call the devil destroyed because he is in the lake, without doing that to death and sin as well, making universalism the ONLY consistent full Preterism.

This is no attack to current full prets, just a call for them to look into these things. Debate us on issues such as I laid down. Stop excommunicating every person who does not defend your personal dogmatic views. Christ said we would be known by our love. Only HE has the power to unite us in truth.

God Bless
Nate

MiddleKnowledge's picture

So much for "covenant context" that preterists used to talk about.

Blessings,

Tim Martin

Sam's picture

Again, this article has not met any argument. It merely spouts it thinks is true. But, I again will offer this argument: This author wrote, "If the devil is in the lake of fire, SO IS DEATH!! Either this is to be understood through a temporal timeline, and death DOES NOT EXIST just as SATAN does not exist...You cannot call the devil destroyed because he is in the lake, without doing that to death and sin as well, making universalism the ONLY consistent full Preterism."

Let's LOGICALLY look at this statement. 1)If the Death and the Devil do not exist today -> then, universalism is the result. That's the argument.

Now, let's apply that to EVERY ESCHATOLOGY because at SOME POINT the Death and the devil WILL BE destroyed. That would mean that EVERY ESCHATOLOGY become universalism! This is nonsense.

Secondly, and far more devastating, is that this view must have NO END to the Death and the devil, for at ANY POINT these come to an end, universalism will be the result. Thus, the devil and the Death are ETERNAL.

Thirdly, the Second Death (in Greek, the second one, the death) cannot EVER come into being PRECISELY because the First Death NEVER ENDS.

Now, YES, I will criticize this lunacy. If one wants to believe in this nonsense, go for it. But, prefer to maintain a LOGICAL exposition of Scriptures. The end of the Death does not mean deathlessness (why have a Second Death, then?). Then end of satan does not mean the end of evil thoughts and good thoughts (the knowledge of Good and Evil). NO ONE has argued with these points, and I am getting tired of writing them.

Sam

lsthomp's picture

Sam,
Who is saying that sin and death no longer exist????? I did not say that, and Todd never said that. Forgive me becuase I guess I don't understand your view and think you may not understand my comments. My view is that Sin and Death still reigns unless one is in Christ and died to self or the flesh. Sin is not to reign in our mortal bodies.

Scott

MiddleKnowledge's picture

You made one statement that is right on:

"And on the hip joint is the position that AD70 saw the end of an old redemptive dispensation, and the beginning of a new one."

It is dispensationalism that is the root here, not past fulfillment of prophecy. The idea is that God radically changes his "rules" in relating to man, so that one time period is contradictory to another. Dispensationalism - not preterism.

Let me ask you this. Do you apply the same principles to the coming of the Messiah (which plays as large in the OT as the "Last Days" prophecy)?

Do you believe that the coming of Jesus Christ was merely an application of the eternal realities, or was his coming a historical fulfillment?

If you believe the promises of the coming Messiah were fulfilled historically, how can you apply a different principle for the Messiah's parousia, which is merely the extension and completion of his High Priestly work of redemption?

Which brings up another question. Does Pret-idealism believe the fall of man took place in history? If the fall took place in history, then, logically, wouldn't redemption as well?

I wish Todd would answer these question in public.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

lsthomp's picture

Tim,
Thanks for the comments. I have no doubt that things are historically manifested. However those things which are manifested historically actually have another element to which they point which is eternal in nature. ie. The word [eternal] became flesh [temporal]. The flesh was just the outward shell of the internal substance of the word. By seeing those things which are outward and external, we can understand the eternal and internal truths to which they point.

I don’t have any issues calling the destruction of Jerusalem a historical manifestation of prophecy. But believe there is another since in which it is continuing to be fulfilled. To characterize one of his many coming as a Past event, places a box around that which is continuing to be living and active.
I think it would be quite foolish though to say Christ no longer comes, or judges or manifests himself within the life of a Christian. I certainly would call this a coming of Christ as would be his many comings throughout the New Testament. I do not believe Christ has not stopped being that High Priest either and do not believe men have not stopped entering through the veil. I do not see this as a Past event, but an eternal and present truth.

You might check out John Noe book on the Multiple Comings of Christ. He has also written a book called An Exegetical Basis for a Preterist-Idealist Understanding of the Book of Revelation in which he says “The revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:1) has a fuller significance and deeper character beyond its AD 70 eschatological fulfillment. Consequently, the preterist notion that it only applies to AD 70 when Christ supposedly came in “finality” is a weakness to be amended. And in a preterist-idealist synthesis, the strength of idealism remains that it “secures its relevance for all periods of the church’s history.” But its major weakness—i.e. “its refusal to see a firm historical anchorage”— is removed. That missing anchorage is supplied by Revelation’s A.D-70 fulfillment."

Have you read any of Todd’s works on this subject? He expresses his views quite clearly on his website. If you read his comments, there should be no doubt what his views are. I am not sure you can get a more PUBLIC statement of his views than what is on his website.

You might check Robert Townley (1853) “Modern Knowledge and Ancient Belief” he has some very interesting views which express an Pret idealist view.

http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1852_townley_deluge.html

MiddleKnowledge's picture

I've read the posting on Townley.

Townley denies a historical flood in Genesis. If that is the definition of Pret-idealism, I want nothing to do with it, whatsoever.

Jesus drew a parallel between the flood and the days of his coming in Matt. 24. He also incorporated the flood, Sodom and his coming in Luke 17. Peter followed his teacher and also drew the same three-way comparison in 2 Peter 2-3.

If there is no historical flood event referenced in Genesis, then logically, there is no fire event referenced in 2 Peter 3 (or the Olivet Discourse). So if Townley's views represent "pret-idealism," then "pret" has nothing to do with it. We are merely talking about spiritual riddles for individuals at this point.

That's been tried before. The Quakers have more than 300 years of extreme idealism history to observe. Guess what. They are virtually all Universalists today.

Why does Todd Dennis post Quaker Idealist writings on his site? I think there is some serious skewing going on. Very convenient.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

lsthomp's picture

I can certainly tell a little bias against Townley because of his treating the local flood as a "miserable theory" of Universalists.

Todd is refering to the systematic approach which Townley used to interpret spiritual things. He simply was not a futurist or a preterist in terms of classifing his works by his definition. I would definately concur based on this particular work. Especially when he writes "But it is becoming every day more evident to any thoughtful person, that liberal Christianity can only be consistent with itself, by denying the supernatural element altogether. It is mere naturalism in disguise — the wolf in sheep's clothing." Townley's 1853 work did not fall in any of these catagories except to place him in a Pret-Idealist catagory. Rather or not he acturatly portrays the truth the truth of that particular view, as it is known today, is besides the point of what he said.

I don't believe either of us could prove the historical story one way or another. Townley made the point "Nature pronounces against the Scripture deluge as the literal history of physical phenomena." And I believe he supports his statments with the facts he gives.

Whether believing in a literal historical story or as a parable is not a matter of faith for me. Maybe it is for you. On top of the historical vailidity, I believe we should look to interpret things for their hidden meaning. I personally prefer believing it both. History is used to teach a greater truth. This is the hallmark of my form of Pret-Idealism, which also says that the Fall of Jerusalem should be taken the same way. And since we know that the flood in AD70 was manifested by a historical event, the same is most likely true of the flood in noah's day.

Are you saying that the AD70 flood is strictly historical - the roman armies? Do not even you believe that the historical events are pointing to greater truths? This is Townley's ultimate point, whether the steps taken to reach that place are a historical event or an oral tradition, unless the point is taken, the meaning is missed.

This is also true of Jesus Christ. Someone could have stood under him while he hung on the cross, but unless they took the true significance to heart, it is ultimately meaningless.

You are concerned about whether a flood was local or regional, but this is altogether beside the point.

JL's picture

Scott,

There are two things here that bother me.

1) When I first saw the Townley article, The "miserable theory" quote was in big bold letters at the top of the page.

Where is it now? Why was the web page changed?

Obviously Todd was trying to make a point. But he appears to have gotten cold feet. Especially since he added a disclaimer.

2) Townley denied that the Flood was a historical event. You are playing games here. As a pret-idealist, did the Flood happen? Townley said no. What do you say?

We've got several pret-idealists here who endorsed Townley and by implication and more endorsed his view that the Flood never happened. Yet after just a little scrutiny, you can't stand up for anything specific.

Do you believe the Flood was an actual physical event?

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

lsthomp's picture

I have already said, I don't know nor do I care. It is not a matter of faith for me.

There are not very many facts outside the bible to prove either way. Can you prove the historical event? My point has always been the greater truth behind the biblical account.

lsthomp's picture

I have already said, I don't know nor do I care. It is not a matter of faith for me.

There are not very many facts outside the bible to prove either way. Can you prove the historical event? My point has always been the greater truth behind the biblical account.

JL's picture

Then why did you take such a strong issue with Tim on it? Townley said it didn't happen. Tim tried to discuss that issue and you sure responded as if you were offended.

As for proof, certainly. By the standard legal / historical principle of "beyond reasonable doubt."

We have a historic Flood event that covered some 30,000 square miles. It completely wiped out a culture. We have the physical witness of the damage done by this Flood and the testimony of numerous modern expert witnesses as to it's extent and damage.

We have a written witness specifically attached to that Flood that wrote of a "Noah" and his boat of animals. This witness was from another independent but nearby culture and interviewed Noah after the event.

We have another account that claims to be an eyewitness account written by a son of Noah. This account testifies to a similar sized Flood in the same area at around the same time. This account describes an event that is consistent with the account in the interview above.

What do you need to make a good case? Physical evidence. The testimony of witnesses. That "miserable theory" is an easy case to make.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

lsthomp's picture

"Modern expert witnesses"???? How can they witness to something that they were not there to see. Did they witness the creation also? I mean how does one know? I am sure it can be proven that floods did occur. But to tie that into the Noahic occurence is nonsense.

This is why is is impossible to know for sure if it is just an parable of sorts or if it historically occured. Either way, to fixate my mind on proving that which I can not prove I would rather focus on the greater truths to which the story is based. Why not discuss this things which have the power to transform rather than devide.

This is not a matter of faith for me and would much prefer to believe in those great truths.

JL's picture

How does someone in a modern crime lab know a crime has occured? They look at the evidence created by the event.

How do they tie that evidence to a particular crime? By the testimony of witnesses.

You've denied the physical evidence and the testimony of the actual witnesses to the event without even looking at it. Obviously, you are prejudiced against the evidence and the witness testimony before we even start.

That's why we toss people like you off juries.

What's most interesting is you and Sam start off with the same bias against the evidence, yet arrive at such diametrically opposed conclusions. It's evidence to me that a false starting point eventually leads to a fork, a decision. One direction is unthinkable to some, the other unthinkable to the rest.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

lsthomp's picture

I thought I would sahre this comment by Ward Finley. Not that it matters anyway!!!

"Regardless of whether one wants to identify Genesis as a literal account of creation or simply an allegory concerning God’s covenantal relationship to His people, it seems rather evident that God has a purpose for creation which goes beyond a mere assent to its existence"

http://www.newcreationministries.tv/Articles/EternalPurpose.htm

JL's picture

"it seems rather evident that God has a purpose for creation which goes beyond a mere assent to its existence"

Has anyone here claimed different?

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Jeff,

I wonder when the pret-idealist will deny that creation was a historical event!

This seems to be the way pret-idealism works:

If you believe the text references physical events, then you are somehow devaluing or denying the "hidden" spiritual meaning.

Conversely, if you want to know the "hidden" spiritual meaning, then you have to devalue the historical events.

Those who are "spiritual" care not for the "letter." To "save" the spiritual we have to make war against the historical.

This either/or box is entirely manufactured and forced on the text by pret-idealism.

Why can't you affirm and glory in the historical story of God's salvation and affirm and glory in the spiritual meaning of the physical events recorded in the Bible, simultaneously. It's both: this is what the pret-idealist has trouble accepting (much like the other extreme which devalues the spiritual side of the equation).

Later,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Townley only claimed that an article appeared in the Universalist Quarterly arguing that a local flood was the teaching of the Bible.

The bias is Townley's - that's why he called it a "miserable" doctrine. He reacted. Just like some pret-idealists I have witnessed. Like them, Townley reacts to whatever the universalists claim - lurching to the opposite and immediate extreme. Maybe that is why Todd claims Townley as the first "pret-idealist."

Truth be told, Josephus taught a local flood.

http://planetpreterist.com/news-2767.html

The scope of the flood is not an issue of salvation, for good men disagree about it. But consider this. If the flood did not happen in history (as Townley claims), and Jesus and the apostles taught it as if it did happen, does that not bring the credibility of Jesus into doubt? Is not Townley undermining the credibility of Jesus and the apostles? And yet Townley is presented as an example of Pret-idealism! I just don't get it.

I would say that Townley's approach leads naturally to an argument for liberalism and umbelief. Here are the implications: Jesus was a mere man, mistaken and confused, who lived at the mercy of the false ideas common in his day. Sound familiar? Townley's anti-historical idealism differs little with modern liberals and universalists who dismiss Genesis as fable or legend that has no bearing in reality.

I believe the destruction of Jerusalem fulfilled specific prophecy. I believe that Christ's work of salvation was complete in the first century. I believe all of this is symbolic of who God is and how he deals with humans. I believe it has been this was from the creation of man in the garden (the first coming in judgment), and will continue this way into the future. I disagree with dispensationalism. I disagree with pret-idealism.

I believe full-preterism is true, and I believe it will continue to highlight the spiritual truth of God's Word in the long future to come.

Blessings,
Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Starlight's picture

Tim,

Amen to Townley being a very poor model for anything. Take a look at some of these quotes.

The Christianity of the New Testament, was a Christianity which did not curiously inquire into the inspiration of Moses and the prophets. It accepted that without inquiry. It did not stop to ask, is this credible ? or is that well authenticated ? but took it for granted that it was both credible and authentic, because it was there written.

The language employed in describing the deluge, sufficiently proves its absurdity as a physical fact.

So much for Jesus saying "they had Moses and the Prohets".
Not according to Townley.

This guy was inventing his approach as he went. Lets see how many changes did he make, Futurist, Partial Preterist, Full Preterist, Universilism and finally his crowning work Preterist-Idealism.

What a history this guy had.

Norm

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Norm,

Where this ends up is that the "spirit" is the only thing that matters, for the "written" letter "kills."

And so one is liberated to follow their own spirit wherever it leads.

This is what happened to the Quakers with their extreme spiritualistic idealism. They have 300+ years of practice. They are virtually all Universalists today. They demonstrate the logical result of pitting the "spirit" against the "letter" in search for "hidden meanings."

History and spirituality were always meant to work together, and are equally important. Devalue one, and the other will soon wilt like a cut flower. Various forms of Universalists devalue the spiritual meaning of the historical events. Some pret-idealists have chosen the mirror image flipside, devalue the historical. Neither can last.

God made history. It is good. Thank God for the finished work of Christ in fulfillment of all of God's historical promises, recorded for us in Scripture. Man in Adam fell in history. Man in Christ is redeemed in history. It's all covenantal.

The Christian Faith is, and always has been, an historical Faith.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

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