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

TheIdealNate's picture

Tim,
Just as no one preterist believes exactly the same (as this site should show), so no idealist is exactly the same.

Todd has Dispy stuff on his site, he has articles which are against him, he has partial pret and full pret stuff. HE HAS ALWAYS been a resource portraying all voices of pret and against preterism. Now he has quakers and bad flood guys.

So now what Todds site has on it, concerning idealism, identifies TODD himself?

That attack lacks any judgment on your part.

Stop the hate people.

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Nate,

There is no hate here. Absurdity, yes. Hate, no.

Why back away from what Todd has already endorsed?

I saw the pictures from Kurt's conference. Todd claimed Townley as the first "Pret-idealist." He had his picture on the T-shirt, too.

Townley denied the flood in Genesis has anything to do with history. No water, no nothing. Just a spiritual story for "spiritual" people. He claimed this was the "rule" for interpreting Scripture; what made the Bible "make sense."

Like I already said, this is absurd. The New Testament deals with the flood as a historical event. It assumes Noah was a historical person. This shows the absurdity of Townley's approach. You imply this has nothing to do with Todd. I disagree: Todd has listed (and publicly endorsed) Townley as a pret-idealist.

I want nothing to do with pret-idealism, and I think there are others listed at the archive as "pret-idealists" who, if they knew the details, would want nothing to do with it either.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

TheIdealNate's picture

Your rules apply to preterism, and are akin to the responses some have said when they visit this site and see that preterists are universalist, or raging Calvinists, or lawless armenians, etc.

Absurd is right.

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Nate,

The subject of my comments on this thread are (and always were) related to Townley's idealism.

Todd claimed him as the first "pret-idealist." The poster above, who mentioned Townley in the first place, claimed "You might check Robert Townley (1853) “Modern Knowledge and Ancient Belief” he has some very interesting views which express an Pret idealist view."

Why must you guys twist and turn and leap from one thing to the next? Why back away from it now that the scrutiny is on? You guys presented Townley as an example of pret-idealism. I take him as such. That is why I want nothing to do with pret-idealism.

There is no logical reason for why a historical approach to Creation, Fall, and Redemption must be an approach governed by "mere history." This is a manufactured, not real problem. I get the impression that Todd simply won't reconcile the historical and spiritual things working together, and so he insists on pitting one against the other. Why? The Bible doesn't do that. Sarah and Hagar were two real women. They were also symbols. Get over it.

These events can be both real history and spiritual symbol at the same time. This is what good old, regular preterism claims about the Book of Revelation -- symbol and history. These latest gyrations make no sense to me. Real preterism will outlive them: both left (CG) and right (Pret-idealism). Doesn't it seem strange to be on the same side, making the same argument as the Comprehensive Grace advocates?

Townley's article is filled with absurdity (spinkled with an occasional truth here and there). It is fitting that it has been presented as one of the examples of pret-idealism. Nonsense is nonsense, no matter if you push it as an example or suddenly back away from it.

Tim Martin
www.trutinliving.org

Sam's picture

Tim,

Yes. I was going to bring up the local flood denial by Townley and then, in like fashion, argue that global flood theorists are universalists!

Sam

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Townley rejects history. Like I said, if that is the definition of Pret-idealism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it.

Liberals reject history in Genesis. They believe Genesis is composed merely of spiritual allegories and fables. Many Liberals are also Universalists. Does this make Townley the father of liberalism? I think not.

Townley's raw allegorical approach has made Universalists out of more people in the past than there are preterists (of any sort) alive today. It baffles me why anyone would submit an anti-historical approach to combat Universalism. It has demonstrated a path to Universalism for more than 300 years as evidenced by the Quakers -- whose Idealistic approach Todd has posted on the Archive.

I don't get it.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

lsthomp's picture

I think quite the opposite. Townley understood the historical approach for what it was. Not everything can be understood historically. I certainly don’t see all Full Prets interpreting everything in a literal since. (At least Ed Stevens is consistent with his view). Is Jesus healing the blind man just another historical story that we tell our kids. Do you see this as a merely historical story? What about Jesus walking on the water? Does all the creation story tell you is how the earth was created? Or the flood? Why are these awesome stories in our bibles? Are we to accept them as fact and not seek to understand there true meaning and substances. Could they be allegorical in nature? A merely historical approach fails the individual in so many ways if we do not seek those elements that help us understand ourselves. If you only interpret from a historical approach you will not grasp that which it points toward. Townley makes many key points in this article which should be considered. Rather than scoffing at his views, why not analyze his arguments and see why he left Full Preterism and Universalism. It might make since so see the things he saw rather than setting fire to it.

MiddleKnowledge's picture

You are a pretty good advocate for Todd's views.

Who says I suggest a "mere historical" approach? I believe in both the historical and the spiritual application. It has application BECAUSE it is historical. Deny the historical and you have undercut the application.

Townley denies there is any history involved in the flood account. His views are absurd, for the New Testament handles the flood story (and Noah) as historical. Is there symbolism? Yes. Is there history? Yes. Both. Townley denies this.

It is absurd to play the historical against the spiritual meaning. They were created to work together. God created history and our physical world. They are good, not something to be "escaped." Gary DeMar has a great article on this today at americanvision.org. Here's a link:

http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive2007/03-19-07.asp

If Townley's approach is a model for pret-idealism, good luck. It's absurd.

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

P.S. Spiritual idealism has been tried before. The Quakers have a 300+ year history with it (Todd has them up on his site). They are virtually all universalists now.

I just don't get it.

Sam's picture

I must have been under a rock or somethnig. But, you are dealing with what we at Reign of Christ ministries has ALWAYS CALLED hyper-preterism. Christ is our ETERNAL High Priest, EVER LIVING to make intercession for us. Did you not read my article where I wrote that the Prophets spoke more on the Age to Come life (the life we are in) than anything else. Isaiah 40-66 is pretty much that. So is Ezekiel 40-48, Rev. 21,22, the list goes on. This is my topic at the conference.

The problem with John Noe's view is that I never know where Jesus is. When is he "coming" again? Who will point this out, a prophet? As for the "devil" today, same thing. Where is he? No one is dealing with these problems. I can answer them: Jesus is on earth in his Body, the Church, dwelling with us in the fullness of the Godhead with the Father and very active Spirit, the third Person of the blessed Trinity who daily, minute by minute sustains my every move. The Law of Moses is fulfilled, and thus I no longer kill animals. I mean, I just don't get it. To listen to you or Todd, you would think that most FP are hyper-preterists. I just have not encountered these numbers in over 6 years of speaking at every major conference. So far, you have produced hot air, but no real hard data. You produce Townley...one guy, maybe even two or three guys in the nineteenth century. Okay. Big deal. What does that prove? It proves nothing at all. As I plainly wrote in my article, Dennis is mainly dealing with hyper-hyper preterists. But, to say that we need the Law, the Sin and the Death along with the Devil today in order to combat all forms of FP frameworks is seriously maladjusted.

Sam

KingNeb's picture

"I just don't get it."

Me neither.

From Todd:

"Until such time, please notice that the very first known full preterist author (Robert Townley) himself converted to Universalism shortly after the publishing of his book in 1845. He came to America from Liverpool to pastor the First Universalist Church of Boston, where Preterist Universalism was flourishing. "

1. How does Todd know that Townley is the first "full preterist author"? Where was Townley on the site a year ago? How do we know we won't dig up a "full preterist" author dating back to 1745 next week?

2. Who cares? The "father" of Postmillennialism (systematically) was an arminian unitarian. I have yet to meet one. Every single Postmillennialist that i have met has been a strong calvinist Trinitarian.

Whatever happened to just talking to people, finding out what they believe and analyzing it from there. Why in the world is this whole game being played of linking so and so to so and so, and so and so to so and so. The first full pret was a universalist. The first "calvinist" was a racist. The YECs are all linked to Ellen White...on and on it goes.

WHO CARES?!

What does any of that have to do with Sam clearly demonstrating time and time again that you can't get universalism out of a full preterist framework?

What does any of that have to do with demonstrating that you can't get racism out of the five points of calvinism?

What does any of that have to do with taking a person's own comments from Genesis 1 and 2 and analyzing it from there?

Find me 5 other universalist prets in the 1800's - so what? What does that prove? How does that answer Sam's (and others) rebuttal of universalism? It doesn't.

It is more like the game Mathison played in WSTTB? by immediately linking full preterists to some wack job wife swapper up in New York.

Who cares?!

Last i checked, Sam, Preston, Curtis and others don't swap wives. And they are not universalists either and NOT ONE PERSON has logically demonstrated, using their works, why they MUST go that route - not one. And that is what must be done.

That takes dialogue. That takes reading books. That takes listening to Podcasts. In short, that takes work.

Pasting a picture of a universalist preterist from the 1800's does not take an ounce of labor and doesn't prove squat - other than the fact that you had a universalist preterist that lived in the 1800s.

wooptie do.

thereignofchrist.com

Jhedges's picture

"If former Full Prets want to sculpt a new paradigm, then by God let them"

I don't think anyone on this site is trying to stop Todd or anyone else.

Look at this on the flipside. If you came out with a new or different doctrine and no one made a single comment against it, wouldnt that be odd?

Virgil's picture

You may not hold that view, but many do.

Now I really would like to ask for some examples...and names of Preterist authors, writers and thinkers who believe that Preterism is all about the past.

lsthomp's picture

I am looking strictly at the definition of a Full Preterist which says "All Bible prophecy was fulfilled by AD70. No prophecies -- such as for a "glorified earth" -- left to be fulfilled." I am sure there are many other definitions, by other authors as well but no where does it point to anywhere but the past. It certainly does not specify anything about the present realities or imply anything about the future. What else am I to conclude based on a definition per say. If this is a wrong definition show me any definition of a Full Preterist that has anything to do with the present realities. If someone is a Full Preterist, is he not represented by this definition? If they hold to something more than just a past event, then are the still a Full Preterist? I would love to know your definition of a Full Preterist and show me anywhere that points me to any location other than the past.

Virgil's picture

Well, I want to go back to what you actually said, which was that "You may not hold that view, but many do."

The "many" who hold this view should be easy to point out. Who are those Full Preterists who are only interested in the past? Perhaps this was the case 20 years ago when a few legendary Full Preterists scholars like Ed Stevens and Don Preston were still developing a pseudo-systematic Preterism, but today many Full Preterists I know are involved in any sort of missional process to actively better the world and look forward into the future based on their understanding of the past.

Maybe you are not attending the right conferences or reading the right books. Try to attend TruthVoice 2007 where Fred DeFalco will speak on Futurism and his view of the FUTURE as a Preterist.

lsthomp's picture

If you read my previous statement you would see that I once took that view. If I took that view, I know many others ALSO took that view. I also pointed out that by definition of a Full Preterist one maintains only that of a past event. I certainly know many who call themselves a Full Preterist so I assume they fall within the realms of this definition.

Again, what is your definition of a Full Preterist? And what about that definition gives any assurance of something that is ongoing on present?

Maybe your right, maybe there are Preterists out there who focus more on the ongoing relevance of today. And it is called CALLED Pret-Idealism.

Virgil's picture

It's not called "Pret-Idealism" - it's called truth...and just as you ONCE held to things that were wrong, you no longer do so...this truth is unfolding before our very eyes, as we grow and learn and continue our own journeys.

My problem with your statements is not their substance...it rather is the accusatory tone I see. And at the same time you admit as having held the same positions. Now should that not call for some more generosity from you regarding those people you perceive to be wrong, rather than making generalizations regarding the entire movement? :)

lsthomp's picture

I do not understand the point or premise of this article, or what Sam is seeking to prove. It appears that there are only a few minor points to which Sam does not agree with Todd and mainly criticizes Todd’s viewpoint in developing another systematic approach which Sam assumes is no different that the Full preterist view. Sam spends more time going after Todd rather than focusing on the major premises of Pret-Idealism. Sam does not quote a single passage of scripture in its entirety! There are only just a precious few references. WOW.

Sam does admit and acknowledge that the full preterist paradigm is in crises when he says “an old paradigm must be replaced by another [paradigm]to resolve the crises.” He affirms also, that there is an "inside" and "outside" motif in the Kingdom of God but does not define what this is and what should be characterized by this motif. However he denies that time or events outside of 70ad also has an “inside” and “outside” motif which can be manifested in a temporal way but point toward eternal truths in Christ.

If Sam believes that the Full Preterists have got it right and that the understanding 70AD is the final destination then by all means let him have his view. I do however think that it is NOT the destination for me. If all we see is a historical story and fail to seek to understand their substances, we have missed the point. While it is admitted Full Preterists seek to define things as Spiritual but stop short of defining what that means. They focus more on the historical story rather than the nature and substances to which those visible things are based. I certainly give some credit to Todd for focusing on the spiritual implications and connecting them to the heart. They make the bible real, and focus on improving my own walk with Christ. Theology aside, is that not what matters? Is that not the core message of Christ? He desires for our inside to be cleansed and for us to be holy and light. (These truths are timeless in scope)

It is quite confusing to me why Sam tries to undercut the connection between Universalism and Full Preterist when it has been shown that this has been historically manifested among Full Preterists. With what has been show, is that the terms Universalists and the Full Preterist have been synonymous and interchangeable with each other. In my mind this is the result of only seeing eschatology in a historical and as a past event, which is blinded to our own personal and internal eschatology.

Scott

Virgil's picture

While it is admitted Full Preterists seek to define things as Spiritual but stop short of defining what that means. They focus more on the historical story rather than the nature and substances to which those visible things are based.

Whoa...hold your horses there. Aren't you generalizing things a bit too much here? Full Preterists who? There are all kinds of people out there calling themselves "Full Preterists."

With what has been show, is that the terms Universalists and the Full Preterist have been synonymous and interchangeable with each other.

It has? Where, because most Full Preterists are not Universalists, so how can that be shown when reality defies your statement?

lsthomp's picture

Thanks for the comments. I don't believe that I am generalizing to much. Most Full Prets have taken an extreme view of 70AD and placed to much value in the historical events of that period. I have done it and I must confess I was wrong. I spent to many days debating time passages that I forgot to see the relavance of the word for today. I was focused on proving that which is temporal and external in nature (ie. the destruction of Jerusalem) and failed to seek that which is eternal and internal within the heart. I am thankful for the Pret-Idealist view and think it seeks to define systematically the substance to which all prophecy points toward and not to some external event. I do not see ANY Full Preterist in there writings leaving the topic of eschatology. It makes me wonder if they place there last things before their first things.

I did not say all Full Preterist were Universalists. I was saying that historically Universalists and Full Preterists have been bedfellows. As shown in the link below the first known preterists to develop a systematic approach were universalists. What we are seeing today is nothing new. It is the same pattern. My statement was based on a quote by John H.Noyes (1847) and others which said "In relation to the judgment, we agree with the UNIVERSALISTS that the second coming of Christ took place in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem." Universalist were Preterists and Preterist were Universalists in the early 1800. The link below shows MANY Preterists where ARE universalists. Right or Wrong, this is a fact which all Full Preterist need to be aware of. Is this just a coincidence that those Preterist were also Unviersalists? Maybe those historical writer were right and we are the ones who have it wrong.

http://www.preteristarchive.com/Preterist/Universalism/index.html

JL's picture

And most universalists are not full preterists.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Ed's picture

And some of us are neither universalists nor full preterists; but, we believe that God has fulfilled redemption in AD70, and that He is NOT at war with humanity any longer.

One of the problems that we face as a movement has been our tendency to label ourselves or others and then divide up into "camps." That is because we began by becoming "a camp."

Parker has a point in that the division in the church has caused more division. Divisiveness breeds division. The RCC, on the other hand, allows for dissent, to a point, and keeps the Church together as much as possible. That's been Parker's point for some time now.

I am not saying that the RCC is right about all things. Far from it. But, as long as we keep dividing up into "camps" we will be ineffective as a force for good in the world. We must be together in order to "heal the nations."

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

Maybe division is one of God’s many ways of protecting his New Creation; maybe we give too much concern to different camps. Not all are attracted to the same idea of religious worship, different strokes for different folks. Who knows what the future holds for us. The “body” is a living changing adapting organism. Could the “body” of Christ manifest itself in this manner? Just some questions to contemplate.

Look at the historical implications of division, was it all bad. Groups come and go in history, 100, 200 or 500 years is not a long time for an everlasting covenant. How will we look in 1000 years or 2000? We can only imagine. Just because many do not understand the preterist position doesn’t mean the body of Christ wasn’t alive and functioning. I think sometimes we want to put our organizational stamp upon the Church/body. We sometimes forget that we have a sovereign God who as most would agree is still in charge.
If believers are attempting to live as Christ then is that not the main idea? To walk with God through Christ; hasn’t this been the plan all along. Or are we still looking for that great earthly organizational temple still?
Just thinking out loud.
Peace Brother

Norm

Virgil's picture

Norm, and perhaps division is God's way of teaching us to coexist in peace, rather than seeking agreement at any cost, be it exclusion or embrace at the cost of compromising. Division does offer us an opportunity to practice our faith in a unique way, that is for sure.

Starlight's picture

Just a couple of verses to point out how Paul handles division and unity among the believers.

(Rom 14:1 NIV) Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 4 Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

(1 Cor 9:20 NIV) To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law.

(Eph 5:21 NIV Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ…..
29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- 30 for we are members of his body.
31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."
32This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.

(Eph 6:7 NIV) Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,
(Eph 6:9 NIV… and there is no favoritism with him.

Norm

Barry's picture

Interesting thoughts in this thread.
However:
"camp" means ego-attachment for self definition.

I am not a CGer. I am a child of God (and so is everyone else).

Where ever I lay my ego in an attempt to self define that plays a part in defining me to myself.
This is why we must be "right" in our own minds to comfort our own self defining ego self view.
This is what Adam was tempted with and it is what God gave him authority to do. Then the history of eschatology is brought to a close in AD70.

The problem never was about who we are as God would define us. The problem has always been about us trying to define who we are for ourselves.

Unless we come to terms with this then the camps will be what they are. And unity will always be exclusive of some so that the lines of self defining can continue.
This is our ego-centric dilemma.

On the larger scale of things common grace is not about everyone getting saved in the end (Universalism). For salvation in this light is still just another ego-camp. It imagines an alternative that is never realized or could never be realized in a God that saves everyone. An eternal potential of permanent death that cannot happen because God never would let it happen even though he allegedly created it's potential.
Universalism is illogical.

Common grace is about embracing ourselves to move beyond the ego-camps of the self-defining process.
The meaning of true full preterism is that the authority for one to self-define has been historically taken away.
Historically revealed and manifested in the consummation of the history of eschatology.
Historical salvation cannot be separated from the history of eschatology.

Extrapolated salvation is the recognition and embracing of who we all are.
The evil that we see is by and large the continuing process of our desire to establish who we are for ourselves.

If you have any questions about this view, just open up a thread in the forum here under comprehensive grace and we can connect.

Try and find a more scriptural consistent view from your preterist paradigm my friend!
Preterist idealism has seen a bit of this and tried to make it work but leaves inconsistent wholes and crevises to fall into. It forms one more camp.
It's continuing struggle will be to have and end that was not an end.

Common full preterist belief however has an end that is also not an end. For the common full preterist does not address the real problem to begin with. Making Adam's authority binding into perpetuity. Therefore effectively in principle nullifying the outworking of the new age under a new authority.
An authority that says that we are defined as the loved offspring of God.

Blessings to all
Barry

we are all in this together

Ransom's picture

Great post, Norm. I love your two sentences, especially. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Stephen

Virgil's picture

Parker has a point in that the division in the church has caused more division. Divisiveness breeds division. The RCC, on the other hand, allows for dissent, to a point, and keeps the Church together as much as possible. That's been Parker's point for some time now.

True, but that "point" is quite flexible as far as the leadership goes. And universalism, preterism, or other "heretical" positions are not tolerated among the brethren.

Starlight's picture

Sam,

This was an excellent article and I must admit for me it is very timely. I just returned from Kurt’s conference in NM this weekend where Todd Dennis made 3 presentations. His last one dealt with the Universal historical nature of Preterism and jolted me out of my chair. You have helped put Todd’s perspective into a better view for me and I truly appreciate your article. Sam I must say you are a very convincing author and scholar and I deeply appreciate your hard work to produce articles such as this.

I do want to address one aspect of your article that I think needs a little balance. Not much but some.

Sam …”I do not pay much attention to the "new preterist website" written by Johnny Preterist who all of the sudden has become an "expert" in Greek and Hebrew (by consulting his Strong's of course), and a theological beacon.”

Sam, I agree with you, But! Unfortunately our scholars have holes in their theology that doesn’t allow them to always develop the proper approach. When we amateurs see such things we are right in questioning and writing about it. If our theology was not such a mess because of the lack of scholarly ineptitude in some arenas you wouldn’t have amateurs doing what they do.
I fully recognize that I have no business attempting to write on theology, but I do so because of the need. I also believe that amateurs bring something to the plate and sometimes with hard work they are no longer amateurs.
But after saying all of that Sam I still need guys like you and Don Preston and I do appreciate your scholarly work, and articles like this just continue to reinforce why you guys are a blessing to us.
But Genesis is a different story and illustrates the holes in the perfection of your scholarly idealism. I have always said that the work that Tim, JL and myself are doing in Genesis should have already been accomplished but because of the same problems among scholars in Revelation we have had a lack of courage in delving into and developing it properly. Just like Revelation was eventually handled in a scholarly manner so will Genesis eventually be. Tim and JL’s book will help open the door to it.

And Sam OLD Earth is not a by product of Preterism and does not fall into Hyper Preterism, it has been around for a long time.
We just had a conference here in Houston numbering around 4000 held at the 2nd Baptist church which is one of the largest churches in America, it is much more accepted in American Religious circles than Preterism is at the moment.

Norm

lsthomp's picture

I do not understand the point or premise of this article, or what Sam is seeking to prove. It appears that there are only a few minor points to which Sam does not agree with Todd and mainly criticizes Todd’s viewpoint in developing another systematic approach which Sam assumes is no different that the Full preterist view. Sam spends more time going after Todd rather than focusing on the major premises of Pret-Idealism. Sam does not quote a single passage of scripture in its entirety! There are only just a precious few references. WOW.

Sam does admit and acknowledge that the full preterist paradigm is in crises when he says “an old paradigm must be replaced by another [paradigm]to resolve the crises.” He affirms also, that there is an "inside" and "outside" motif in the Kingdom of God but does not define what this is and what should be characterized by this motif. However he denies that time or events outside of 70ad also has an “inside” and “outside” motif which can be manifested in a temporal way but point toward eternal truths in Christ.

If Sam believes that the Full Preterists have got it right and that the understanding 70AD is the final destination then by all means let him have his view. I do however think that it is NOT the destination for me. If all we see is a historical story and fail to seek to understand their substances, we have missed the point. While it is admitted Full Preterists seek to define things as Spiritual but stop short of defining what that means. They focus more on the historical story rather than the nature and substances to which those visible things are based. I certainly give some credit to Todd for focusing on the spiritual implications and connecting them to the heart. They make the bible real, and focus on improving my own walk with Christ. Theology aside, is that not what matters? Is that not the core message of Christ? He desires for our inside to be cleansed and for us to be holy and light. (These truths are timeless in scope)

It is quite confusing to me why Sam tries to undercut the connection between Universalism and Full Preterist when it has been shown that this has been historically manifested among Full Preterists. With what has been show, is that the terms Universalists and the Full Preterist have been synonymous and interchangeable with each other. In my mind this is the result of only seeing eschatology in a historical and as a past event, which is blinded to our own personal and internal eschatology.

Starlight's picture

I’ll try to answer from my point of view but it may have been better to direct these questions to Sam.

I’ll start off by saying that I sat through Todd’s presentation concerning these Universalist. I personally think that he has over blown the relationship. Many of the ones that he identified with Universalism in the 19th century ended up being connected with each other and came under direct influence from a small sphere. I’m not a historian in that regard but I believe Universalism was prevalent in the 19th Century and was not just an anomaly of Preterism. I believe the earliest known Preterist in the 20th century Marion Morris was not a Universalist and my grandfather Clifton Voss who so far ranks as the 2nd identified Full Preterist in the 20th century was not Universalist. He held the Full Preterist position from early in the 1930’s until his death in 1972. That was 40 years of not succumbing to Universalism.

As far as quoting scripture to refute Todd, I don’t believe that was the scope of Sam’s article as it’s really a historical discussion to a certain extent. If you are looking for a refutation of Universalism you might want to checkout the postings from Tim Martin and I here on PP where we interfaced with those who are adherents to Universalism.
http://planetpreterist.com/news-5234.html#cmnts

As far as Todd’s focusing upon the spiritual instead of the historical I actually concur to a certain degree. I am tremendously impressed with Todd’s sincerity and humility and share his concern as well. I know Tim Martin is dealing with the Universalist position in his forthcoming book and I am studying diligently to get up to speed upon its ramifications as well. I do not believe it is a subject that can be ignored and do not plan to do so.
There are many of us Preterist that are content to worship with those who we have been worshiping with before we came to Preterism. I believe we should continue to focus upon first things first which is Christ and Him crucified. Preterism to me is simply a further delving into the historical which I happen to enjoy. I certainly do not want it to be my badge that I wear as a Christian. You will find that some are more intrigued with this quest than others; we in the Body are a diverse group.

Thanks for the questions and response and I hope this helped.

Blessings

Norm

Ed's picture

Norm,
For the record, what you refer to as Universalism (that eventually all humanity, every human will be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ) was not born in the 19th century. Phillip Schaff, a prominent Reformed historian, maintains that in the first 5 centuries of the Church (from Ascension to AD500), 4 of the 6 theological schools taught universalism; one taught annihilationism, and only ONE taught endless torture.

There is a long history within Eastern Orthodoxy where the reconciliation of all souls has been accepted orthodoxy. Were it not for Augustine, the doctrine of endless torture would likely not have risen to the prominence that it has.

And let's keep the record straight - Todd has come to the conclusion (which I do as well) that to be consistently full preterist, one will conclude that Pantelism/Infinite/Common/Comprehensive/Absolute Grace is the logical consistent position. And since Todd was unwilling to accept that conclusion, he had to become something other than a Full Preterist.

It's happened to others - Marcus Booker, Jonathon Companik to name just 2.

One last thing - as I have tried to point out, Universalism, as it has been defined for the past century and a half is blasphemous. However, when properly understood, Absolute Grace is fully Christ-centered, and Atonement affirming. If you don't realize that, it's because you've never really read what I have written.

When Tim debunks Universalism, he will not be proving anything to me. However, if he can show me how Absolute/Infinite/Fulfilled/Common/Comprehensive Grace; i.e., Pantelism, is wrong, then we'd be talking. I'm waiting.........

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Ed,

What you mentioned about Marcus Booker applied 3-4 years ago.

Marcus can answer for himself (he still visits here). From my recent conversations that I have had with him I can say that your suggestion above no longer applies.

He is working on a writing project. Can't wait to see it when he is done.

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

Ed's picture

Thanks for the clarification Tim. I meant no disrespect toward Marcus in that point. I can't wait to read what Marcus has written. He helped clarify a lot of things for me "back in the day" and I still, although there are things which we disagree on, respect his insights. The same applies to you and your opinions.

I am willing to listen to anyone who has a valid argument. Then, if I have a counter argument, is willing to listen to what I have to say.

Give Marcus my best, and tell him that I'll read anything and everything that he writes.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

We have had two weeks of tit for tat on this subject here at PP and I have a lot of respect for you but I do not want to fully rejoin the discussion at this time. I understand that there are some areas that I may/do not understand about your position. And there is no way that I could become an expert on this subject by a quick study. So right now I am driven by my present learning’s and reserve the right to continue to reevaluate as I go along.
All I know Ed is any form of belief that accepts those who reject Christ as having salvation I will have to categorically deny because of my conscience sake at the present time.
There I haven’t defined anyone’s position I let those who choose, determine whether that defines their position or not.

Norm

Ed's picture

Norm,
I apologize for coming across so negatively. I re-read my post and realize that the wording of a couple of my sentences definitely made it appear I was jumping on you. That was not my intent.

I am/was trying to make the point that the "universalism" that is so rightly hated by conservatives today is not the universalism of either the early church or even most of the universalism that was written about in the 1800s.

The early church and those theologians of the 1800s were very much Christ-centered. Of course, following the universalist movement of the 1800s, they were joined with the unitarians. By denying the deity of Christ, the central part of their theology of redemption was destroyed, and they fell into humanistic liberalism. So it is today.

However, trust me when I say that what I advocate does not in any way resemble that universalism that you do not embrace. Although some would say that "well, they all end up the same..." is an illogical conclusion. If that were the case, then we would have to associate all those who believe in annihilationism with the JWs, and all those who believe in endless torture with the SDA. Those would be unfair conclusions, just as it is unfair to align me, Davo, Barry, Paige et al with the UUA.

And for the record, I do not believe in the salvation of all. Salvation was uniquely a first century happening, as was redemption. God SAVED His people from His wrath (the wages of sin), and redeemed His prized possession (Israel). Through the redemption of Israel, He has shown mercy to ALL - first the Jew, then the Gentile.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

davo's picture

Ed: And for the record, I do not believe in the salvation of all. Salvation was uniquely a first century happening, as was redemption. God SAVED His people from His wrath (the wages of sin), and redeemed His prized possession (Israel). Through the redemption of Israel, He has shown mercy to ALL - first the Jew, then the Gentile.

Yes Ed I concur – and I do see a "secondary" application beyond the Parousia of the "primary" salvation you mention concerning corporate Israel specifically, in the sense of personal transformation etc that works deliverance in one's life – the fruit of Christ's gospel.

Ed: … it is unfair to align me, Davo, Barry, Paige et al with the UUA.

Ed this I think is one of the difficulties – no matter how much we try to explain our position the anti-universalistic "presuppositions" of our detractors blocks them from an honest hearing of what we are saying, example:

Tim Martin: 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."

This might explain Tim's demeanor – he still views pantelism in kind with what he detests above; so though misguided, his rancor might be understandable.

davo

Barry's picture

Ed says:

"And for the record, I do not believe in the salvation of all. Salvation was uniquely a first century happening, as was redemption. God SAVED His people from His wrath (the wages of sin), and redeemed His prized possession (Israel). Through the redemption of Israel, He has shown mercy to ALL - first the Jew, then the Gentile."

Interesting Ed.
It would be good to exchange notes and views on this at some point when you have time if you would like.
And personally it would not bother me to do it somewhere here like a new thread in the CG area.
That is just an idea however.
Like say, "AG and fist century salvation" :)
And others then could join in if they so desired.

While some detractors might think such a thing unwise on my part, with the thought of giving out info for them to use, from what I've seen and heard thus far, it is not a concern at all.

Get back with me bro,
In no way do I intend to be the least bit obliging in this matter. It's just a thought and the timing may not be right with your heavy schedule and such.
Barry

we are all in this together

Starlight's picture

Ed,

No need to apologize brother. I didn't begin to take it negatively. All I was saying is that I'm not ready to continue a deep discourse on the subject. I still need a lot of foundational work and will need to keep my points basic to what I feel I can discuss.
That may seem a cop-out to some but there are some of us here on this site that need to come up to snuff on some of the deeper theological positions. Otherwise we may tend to insert foot in mouth and have to constantly pull it out.
So when I make points its really from a basics point of view and that may change. Let me give you an example, in the US Treasury Dept they train their agents to detect counterfeit money by studying not the counterfeit bills but by studying the real ones. That way when they see the fraud they then will recognize the differences. It's a waste of time in my estimation to study all the different positions. I need to study the word and then I should be able to recognize truth.

Blessings

Norm

Ed's picture

Understood my man. I just don't want any kind of wedge to come between us over a simple disagreement. I believe that on the absolute foundational doctrines of the faith, you and I are in agreement.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

I realize we need to provide each other toleration and I especially thank you for doing so with me. I usually don't like to come down on the side of controling judgmentalism but you know how us religious fanatics are. We really have to watch our hearts though as its just a slip and slide into leagalism.

Blessings

Norm

davo's picture

Ed: When Tim debunks Universalism, he will not be proving anything…

I wouldn't hold your breath Ed – Tim's latest mantra of "dispensationalism…" is just a novice innovation recently cobbled together in a desperate attempt to undermine our position that although he says he has followed in reality he does not grasp.

He is even now applying the Martin mantra to Todd's position – in other words, whichever position Tim takes issue with will inevitably in his scheme of things fall under this chant. It is of course a bogus claim and the logic totally faulty, and can just as easily be wangled around to apply against his own preterism, as Todd so nicely shows in a quote from his article Sam critiqued:By focusing on historical realities (first century Jerusalem, Israel and Mosaic Law) as the focal point of prophetic intent, the passing of those things creates a completely different mode (dispensation) of God's operation with the entire world. In the case of full preterism, it is generally treated as axiom that beyond AD70, in the historical "new covenant age," or "new heavens and earth," there is a new administration between God and the world at large……lol – "a different dispensation" = "a new administration" – this completely debunks Tim's magic mantra.

davo

Starlight's picture

Davo,

I thought consummation indicated completion and not new.
What was going on between the “The Cross” and the consummation “AD70”?
Was that something that just gets ignored? Do you really think Todd wants to supplant the Cross event and its purpose. (Gen 3:15 NRSV) I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."
I don’t think he has thought through what he thinks he knows.

Also consider this. (Rom 11:18 NRSV) do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.

So what happened to the Root, did it change or was it the branches of the root that were changed and removed or added.

Looks like same old Garden motif to me.
Walking with God.
This doesn’t look dispensational to me.

Norm

davo's picture

Starlight: Do you really think Todd wants to supplant the Cross event and its purpose.

Of course not Norm and you know it.

Starlight: This doesn’t look dispensational to me.

Of course it doesn't – because that's how you want it to be. What Todd wrote was a perfect example of how the ludicrous logic that Tim is trying so desperately to spin is so simply turned back on himself – and that's because it's bogus. Don't forget, speaking of Todd's approach Tim unequivocally said: "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." and "If that is the definition of Pret-idealism, I want nothing to do with it, whatsoever." – hence Tim's "dispensational" diatribe.

Besides all that Norm – are you seriously trying to tell me that God becoming flesh and giving His life an atonement for sin, that "sin" might be done away, was NOT a radical departure from His dealings with mankind??? – PLEEAAASE!! Call THAT dispensationalism if you please, but not me.

You need to think for yourself.

davo

Starlight's picture

Davo,

What I’m saying is that if anyone wants to ignore the consummation/completion that AD70 entails of the Cross they are making a big mistake. Trying to dismiss that as metaphorical typology develops problems that just manifest it constantly. Just look at Todd’s new hero Townley, he seems to see everything in a metaphoric/symbolic stance with no historical aspect. That seems to be the slippery slope Todd is treading.

I don’t accept your view that Todd has exposed Tim’s position. I think just the opposite. Todd is on shaky theological ground. I believe you have embraced your enemy’s ideas because you recognize that Todd is really no threat to your position. You correctly assume that Tim’s work is much more of an issue for you.

I think I answered your question concerning Christ being a radical departure with my quote from Genesis 3:15 while still in the Garden.

Norm

davo's picture

Starlight: What I’m saying is that if anyone wants to ignore the consummation/completion that AD70 entails of the Cross they are making a big mistake.

Yep, no argument there – I'm not doing that; nor am I defending Todd's position either way, IF that's what you think he's doing???

Starlight: I believe you have embraced your enemy’s ideas because you recognize that Todd is really no threat to your position.

Another blind assumption on your part Norm – I don't embrace nor am I arguing for Todd's position – and further, he is not my enemy. We communicate [on ocassion], we disagree strongly on certain points – so much so that he even banned me from his message board at one stage deleting all my posts about the pantelism he initially enquired about – and that's ok, that was his prerogative. I simply quoted Todd to show the absolutely weak argument Tim has now come up with in an attempt to discredit through "guilt by association" that which he struggles with. His unproven join-the-dots game demonstrates the shallow level of his attempt to drag an argument elsewhere – he had to as he hasn't been able to do anything else with the consistency of our position.

Starlight: You correctly assume that Tim’s work is much more of an issue for you.

Again Norm, "I" assume no such thing. My contention with Tim has been his blatant disregard for truth in the manner in which he has made numerous spurious claims as to the "grace" position the likes of Ed, Barry, Paige, myself and some others have been advocating. And when I have challenged him on his untruths he has either ignored or carried on in ignorance as before – that I take issue with – AND it is all there for all to see under the article to which you know I'm referring to.

davo

Starlight's picture

Davo,

Listen, I really don’t like getting into conflict discussions, as it really doesn’t sit well with me, especially someone like you who seems to be very dedicated and studied. I acknowledge my inferiority to your standard of knowledge and realize that I cannot sustain an in-depth dialogue that you deserve. I do have to stand my ground where I feel best I can as even the brightest and most learned can be crippled by their personal assumptions that could skew their point of view.
My last statement will be to reaffirm my position that I do not believe that the church model given in the Pre AD70 scripture handed down to us confirms the idea that those who reject Christ/God will enter eternal life after AD70.
If you disagree with that statement then we will just have to disagree at this point in time as that is my current position based upon my present knowledge of the scriptures and I believe that it is an important foundational position in which I cannot allow flexibility on at this time.
If you have flexibility on that point then we may have room for dialogue.

Blessings

Norm

davo's picture

Ok Norm, I can live with your intransigence – lol, only joking mate ;).

I actually agree with your summation of the lack of entering eternal life outside of Christ – where we will differ is what is meant by "entering eternal life". I suspect you will understand that to mean "going to heaven when you die" [correct my assumption if I'm wrong], whereas I understand entering eternal life as Jesus defines it i.e., entering into a vital relationship with God – in this life, as per Jesus' own definition of it as recorded in Jn 17:3. It is qualitative more than quantitative, relational more than spatial.

Actually Norm, the "Hebrew vs. Greek Thinking" link that psychohmike provided in the post he submitted has a brilliant explanation of this very thing under the "thinking about life" >> "eternal life" links.

davo

lsthomp's picture

The "Father of American Universalism" is also a "Father of Full Preterism" HOW MUCH CLOSER CAN YOU GET?

OVERBLOWN???????? Is he just making this all up for the heck of it?

flannery0's picture

"The "Father of American Universalism" is also a "Father of Full Preterism" HOW MUCH CLOSER CAN YOU GET?

OVERBLOWN???????? Is he just making this all up for the heck of it?"

Well, someone is "making it up." "Father of Full Preterism"??? Says WHO? That is an arbitrary label...and btw, it is changing all the time and re-attached to different people as new books written by new "fathers" come out of the woodwork.

Starlight's picture

I didn't say he was making it all up. I just think we need to step back and take a deep breath of fresh air and see how things settle out. Todd unloaded a pre packeged presentation without being cross examined. Now it's time to see whether these things are true are not and whether Todd's fears are realistic.

By the way how can one be the father of 20th Century FUll Preterism when there doesn't seem to be any ongoing connections. Especially since Todd's presentation seems to be the first time these guys have been exposed recently. Did all our current Preterist study at the feet of these guys.

I sat through Todd's presentation at NM and I recognize a one sided presentation when I see one, and now we have the rebuttals coming forth. Todd has made some serious mistaken allegations from my point of view. Now if you want to jump fully onto his wagon go ahead but a rational approach says lets see where all this leads. My opinion is its much ado about nothing.
And will expose Todd's misgivings as over sensationalism.

Blessings

Norm

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