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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

Sam's picture

Norm,

Level headed as usual. I look forward to Tim's book. I have done a lot of work in Genesis, too. In seminary you encounter JEPD. Basically, your teachers say, "okay, kids, try to defeat it." Then the obsession begins. None of the issues (local flood, young earth, old earth) are preterist issues. They have been around for 100's of years (certainly pre- SDA). For me, it's an old debate in new form because of the now accepted II Peter 3 interpretation from a preterist perspective. That's throws a new twist in the mix, but does not, as I have argued, NECESSARILY win the argument. But, no, I do not consider you or Tim or JL to be hyper-preterists. On the "other side of the aisle" maybe. But, hey, that's what makes this fun!

Sam

mazuur's picture

Sam,

This is off topic, but I am halfway through your book "Misplaced Hope", and wanted to say it is excellent. You have made me really think a lot about things I have never considered before. I have read the Apostolic Fathers writings, but that was before I was a Preterist. Your book is making me look at them through a new perspective (a preterist one) and it's now a whole new ball game.

I never picked up on the things your are pointing out (probably because I was not a preterism at the time). I do believe when I am done with your book, I am going to go back and read their writings again.

Thanks for your hard work on this book.

Rich

-Rich

Sam's picture

Rich,

Thanks. This is where Todd's site was helpful. It does not require a "rapture" to explain the many issues of that period. They "got it" (spiritualized kingdom, spiritualized Israel on earth - church). Naturally, the apocalyptic aspects in Judaism, and Greek conglafration views, tilted the interpretation of II Peter 3 into a literalistic view. It is very easy to see II Peter 3 in a literalistic fashion, especially with the word "stoicheia". If I were a Greek, living in that time, reading Enoch, II Baruch, etc., I would have easily taken II Peter 3 as literal. As far as I know, Lightfoot was the first to offer a different view.

Sam

Starlight's picture

Sam,

I have been reading Enoch and Barnabas lately and it is amazing to me how much the Jews would have understood the language that we with the Greek mindset would not have understood. This section from Enoch that I list is just a sampling of language that was permeating the Jewish time period even well before Jesus came. So it’s not surprising that they the Jews seemed to have less of a problem comprehending the metaphorical language. As we eventually moved away from AD70 and encountered more of the Greek mindset within the church the original Jewish understanding eventually vanished away due to the loss of their historical understanding. So it is obvious the language of the NT did not arrive completely new and within a void of comprehension at the time but as time wore on it seemly vanished.

Enoch

XCI.12-17. The Last Three Weeks.

And after that, in the ninth week, the righteous JUDGEMENT SHALL BE REVEALED TO THE WHOLE WORLD,
And all the WORKS OF THE GODLESS SHALL VANISH FROM ALL THE EARTH,
And the WORLD SHALL BE WRITTEN DOWN FOR DESTRUCTION.
And after this, in the tenth week in the seventh part,
There shall be the GREAT ETERNAL JUDGEMENT,
In which He will execute vengeance amongst the angels.
And the FIRST HEAVEN SHALL DEPART AND PASS AWAY,
And a NEW HEAVEN SHALL APPEAR,
And all the powers of the heavens shall give sevenfold light.
And after that there will be MANY WEEKS WITHOUT NUMBER FOR EVER,
And all shall be in goodness and righteousness,
And sin shall no more be mentioned for ever.

Blessings

Norm

Life14all's picture

Great article,Sam. I especially loved this quote concerning the awesome power of Gods unfailing love and mercy. And thanks for reminding us of how very near God is to us all the time.

"With us, because we are made holy and glorified in the Body of Christ, God says, come here, Son, Daughter. Why do you think the need to run away from me? I do not condemn you. I love you. That's what hurts right now. The love and perfection I have wonderfully bestowed upon you and the glory I have given to you by grace is what hurts you in your heart when you lose occasionally to evil thoughts. But know this! I do not condemn you. Your pain should cause you to come to me, see my grace and my face. Here, now, let me wipe away those tears and put a smile on your face."

Blessings,

Johnny Christian aka Johnny Preterist

btw... Would you mind if I make Johnny Preterist into a comic book hero to reach the youth of America with the message of Gods love found in the scriptural fulfillment of Christs completed victory? Of course, a superhero's cape with "JP" on it would be optional :-)

PreteristArtist

Jhedges's picture

Johnny Preterist, sounds like the 5th beatle or something.

Sam's picture

Preterist Jack Chick Tracts! Great idea!

Sam

Life14all's picture

Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't aware of those tracks till I just looked them up. Johnny Preterist sounds more exciting though :-)

blessings,

Jim K.

PreteristArtist

thebigbus's picture

Wonderful article, Sam.

I enjoy your site tremendously, and hope you find time amidst your busy schedule to post more articles and more commentaries, especially on the OT prophets.

flannery0's picture

Hey Sam,

I just wanted to emphasize this paragraph of yours:

"A crisis is caused by old paradigms not being able to answer new questions (as Thomas Kuhn so correctly pointed out). An old paradigm must be replaced by another to resolve the crises. This is true. But, sometimes the crisis is merely caused by other factors as well that are irrelevant to the paradigm. The person who drinks too much will still drink too much even if he swallows (pun) Dennis' new hybrid. My own personal issues were not the result of my theology. In fact, FP has helped me deal with those issues effectively. Once I saw that I was no longer dealing with the devil, sin, and condemnation from God based upon performing 10 Keys For Successfully Pleasing God, my ability to begin to deal with issues realistically started. No more overnight vows ("I'll never do that again"). No more running to the altar and "rededicating" myself to the Lord. And no more nights spent abusing the "hell" out of myself for being such a wicked person. Jesus has set me free, not just "partially" or "ideally", but really and fully. Yes, this needs to be worked out in terms of theological scrutiny and that's why we started what we have started at Reign of Christ Ministries."

Awesome points. And I think I may need to spend more time at Reign of Christ. Hope to see you in a few weeks.

Tami

Sam's picture

Tami,

Thanks. And thanks for the work at New Creation! Yes, see ya soon!

Sam

davo's picture

I am yet to read Sam's article, but what you briefly quoted here speaks volumes:No more overnight vows ("I'll never do that again"). No more running to the altar and "rededicating" myself to the Lord. And no more nights spent abusing the "hell" out of myself for being such a wicked person. Jesus has set me free, not just "partially" or "ideally", but really and fully.How true. The power of "realisation" is tremendous for realisation is the birthplace of "actualisation" -- where that which is ALREADY true starts to have a practical outworking in one's own life.

davo

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Davo,

You'll absolutely love Sam's article,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

davo's picture

Yes interesting read Tim.

Sam Frost: The Scriptures do not teach that in the Age to Come "faith" is no longer required. They do not teach that the Holy Spirit ceases His activity. They do not teach in the slightest that the Gospel stops being preached after the Second Coming.

Pantelism as I present it, and the likes of my fellow adherents to infinite, absolute, common and comprehensive grace etc, all affirm the above as stated by Sam, although you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise by the remarks of some who make frequent comment here at PP – but having said that, that could partly be true because they like Sam they don't really converse with that with which they have already determined in their opinion to be null and void universalism. Or as Sam went on to say: "I don't encounter universalists much. I have met maybe two or three. I have conversed with some of them. But I don't see them in droves. I have spoken at every major preterist conference in the past 6 years and I just don't see it. I see new faces every years, but not raving universalists."

I do find it interesting however that a position that has been summarily dismissed as aberrant by some that our "realised redemption" as presented, certainly has created a splash in the preterist world for some time now – so much so that in reaction, although somewhat misguided, a handful of "anti-universalism" articles have been generated by a handful of key preterist leaders; and certain other preterists who after strong opposition and dialogue with our position have been motivated to move in other eschatological directions.

davo

MiddleKnowledge's picture

"Honor to whom honor is due"

Sam,

Very well put. See you soon,

Blessings,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

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