You are hereTodd Dennis unable to wait for “last leg”

Todd Dennis unable to wait for “last leg”

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By Virgil - Posted on 11 January 2009

About two years ago Todd Dennis wrote, “[I] wait until Planet Preterist was on its last leg & then come in & deliver the death blow.” As I previous wrote, I have no idea what Todd’s motivation was in writing such a sentence, or why he would want to deal a “death blow” to this website, but judging by a recent article written by Todd, he seems to be out of ideas and out of touch with the emergent eschatology gaining ground among most young Christians. Todd’s criticism of Preterism sounds more like the broken records played for years by the nearly defunct dispensational critics, which yet have to submit meaningful criticism to a Preterist audience. In a recent article written on a website called “The Hyper Preterist Archive,” Todd Dennis is claiming that Preterism is at odds with historic Christianity because it claims that the New Covenant was not fully established until A.D. 70 rather than making the cross the central point of the faith. Todd Dennis concludes that Preterism is fundamentally different from Christianity, as it has always been known. This is “attack Preterism 101:” We’ve never believed things this way, and because you are different, you must be heretics.

According to Todd Dennis, by focusing on A.D. 70, Preterism destroys the centrality of the Cross and it is an “attack on the very foundations of Christianity.” I assume that as a result of this, all Preterist are damned heretics that will likely stoke the fires of hell.

Once we look past Todd’s obvious fear mongering, we realize that there is nothing new and nothing of substance to be found in his article. In fact Dennis got it wrong on several levels. First, Preterist eschatology usually focuses on the resurrection of the dead, not on A.D. 70 or the destruction of the temple. Preterism places all these events in the first century regardless of what year, month or day they happened. The only reason for which the Jewish Temple even comes into the picture is due to the fact that the animal sacrifices performed in the temple were representative of a separation between man and God, which could only be bridged by Christ, and not just Christ’s death, but also his resurrection. The temple served as a symbol of a present reality, a present time that ultimately negated the cross. It is ultimately the importance, or if he so desires, the centrality of the cross which necessitates the destruction of the temple; of all people, Todd Dennis should understand this.

Should we understand that because Todd Dennis considers the cross to be at the center that he minimizes the importance of the Resurrection? That would be nothing short of an attack on the very foundation of Christianity, and after all, what is the death of Christ without the resurrection of Christ? By focusing on the cross, Dennis ignores the life-giving power of God and destroys the hope of life and resurrection of all believers. Without the resurrection of Christ, the storyline is irrelevant; after all Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” Why is Todd Dennis focusing on death rather than life? The resurrection of Jesus is at the very core of the Christian faith and doctrine. I am certain Todd Dennis knows this as well, so his attempt to use the centrality of the cross as a means to attack Preterism is (in my opinion) disingenuous at best. At the very least he should have put the cross and the resurrection together and claimed that Preterists minimize both, but alas, the article is already out and it is too late to edit it. Sorry Todd.

The third point to be made is the fact that Todd Dennis is seemingly unable to shed his traditionalist and modernist approach to the biblical narrative. When he looks at the scripture he sees a line with a beginning and an end in the cross and death of Jesus. The Biblical narrative is however not a story that ended with the death of Jesus on the cross. The beauty of the narrative approach to the Scripture is that the story not only continues to be told or even experienced by each one of us on a daily basis (we die, we are resurrected and brought to life in Christ), but it is also a communal story: we experience the narrative as God’s people, corporately living, dying and being resurrected in Christ. Todd’s approach would apparently have us die, because the death (the cross) is according to him central to Christianity?

I think not, and I beg to disagree with Todd’s narrow approach to the Biblical narrative. Even with the stranglehold that modernism has on Christianity today, I would suggest that most Christians would still disagree with Todd’s assertion and suggest that what is central to our faith is not the death of Jesus, rather his resurrection from the dead.

I would also suggest that the Biblical narrative is not one in which a literary climax is the end in and of itself; the critical points of the narrative are plural and rather strongly interdependent: the cross means nothing without the resurrection while the resurrection means nothing without the cross. In a similar way the destruction of the temple is strongly connected with the death and resurrection of Jesus and would mean little without them. Likewise, a standing temple with operating sacrifices would contradict the atoning sacrifice of Christ and would likely be an offensive sight in the eyes of God. This is why the author of Hebrews clearly wrote, “the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed while the outer tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time.” Again, it is the centrality of Christ's death and resurrection which necessitate the destruction of the Temple; from the perspective of the narrator, God, all those events are critically connected in that they give us a complete picture of God's desired end and renewal for this world. Therefore God's plan and narrative extends beyond the mere first-century end pictured by Todd, and it is just as real today, to all of us; today humanity becomes the protagonist and the partner with God in the new creation. Preterism is successful in delivering that story to a contemporary audience. Todd's futurism is not.

One last point to be made, which is particularly offensive, is that Todd Dennis would also have us believe that theologically getting the timing of all these events wrong constitutes heresy of the highest degree! How illusory! Not only that, he fails to explain why getting the timing wrong is such a horrible heresy. Preterists still subscribe to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, they profess Him as their savior and profess the faith required for salvation. So even if Dennis is correct about us getting this timing of the covenants wrong, why is getting the timing right trumping faith in Christ? Because Dennis says so? Because it contradicts the majority that gets to say “it is so?” And what is the result of getting all this timing wrong? Is Dennis is in fact implying that getting some theology wrong in itself minimizing the importance of the cross? That is an astoundingly contradictory position to hold; either the work of the cross is such a huge theological event that cannot be trumped by any sin or human event, or it is not, in which case Preterists getting a few verses wrong are just hell-bound and wished-well by people like Dennis anyways.

To conclude this, I must say that I am very disappointed in the path Todd Dennis has chosen to take. What makes this whole thing even more sad is that Todd’s own journey seems to be leading him to some conclusions which I find interesting if not compelling, however Todd’s sour and outright destructive attitude hardly motivates anyone to even give a consideration to what he has to day.

Worse yet, it is a well-known fact that for over a year now Todd Dennis and Scott Thompson have been teaming up in creating a number of supposed “anti-preterist” blogs and web sites which are aimed at promoting and distributing personal attacks against anyone and everyone who is a “Preterist” and smearing people like Don Preston, William Bell and other men of God who have been ministering and serving the Church for virtually their whole lives.

Todd claims that he is praying that we listen to his criticism and reconsider it on merits alone; this is a bit difficult to do when he is casually tossing around the word “heretics” and when he is teaming up with people creating websites specifically directed at ruining lives and promoting personal attacks.

That is not how you get people to listen to what you have to say Todd; especially not by telling them that you'll deal them a "death blow."

Windpressor's picture

Consider Todd's blog entry for 01/10/09

Virg's articles are posted with Todd's responses where
he declares misquotes and mischaracterizations associated
with the various interchanges. Mere brief excerpt below:

Todd Dennis and his Cult of Personal Destruction

By Virgil Vaduva
(2008)

[with my notes]

Since I became a Preterist I only spoke with Todd Dennis twice on the phone, so I don't really know the man very well at all; I also don't keep track of everything happening out there in the Preterist netherworld, of who hates who and who shanks who in order to get up to the top. I was therefore quite surprised when a few days ago someone sent me a note with a quote from Todd Dennis: "[I] wait until Planet Preterist was on its last leg & then come in & deliver the death blow."

[For the record, this infamous 'quote' was not written by me, but by another person who was trying to hurt my reputation. In an attempt to disqualify my testimony, he posted his recollection of a public conversation from a year prior. He then crafted a "quote" and posted it, presenting it in as damaging a context as possible as though some sinister plan was afoot. He went on, writing, "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." This person has since left full preterism, and has apologized for all such smears and mischaracterizations. Even still, his quote is taken as truth, being used to this day as the foundation for similar character attacks.] ...{emphasis added}

G-Juan Wind

Virgil's picture

I also now wonder why Todd's response is dated 1/10. How can he respond on 1/10 to something I posted on 1/11? Weird...

Virgil's picture

Besides the theological disagreements Todd has with what I wrote, there are two major issues with what he wrote: (1) I know for a fact that Todd was associated with and involved with the creation of anti-preterist blogs. Maybe he is no longer involved in it today, which is fine. If he is no longer teamed up with Brian Simmons' hate sites, then I commend him for it, but he should not say that he had nothing to do with it...it's simply not true. (2) I would be more than happy to apologize to Todd if I misquoted him. I guess for now it's his word against someone else, and I am willing to extend Todd the benefit of the doubt - the problem is that he has said things to other people which indicate that this is a patter of behavior with him; he has also said that people here on PP are involved in theological masturbation. When all this stuff is put together, there seems to be very little grace coming from Todd Dennis, especially towards people whom he wants to discuss theology with.

We need to get over this petty personal stuff before we can get to the real meat here, and I am willing to do that. Todd should know that he is not a victim here.

Sam's picture

Virgil,

Right on the money, pal....

Sam

Life14all's picture

"According to Todd Dennis, by focusing on A.D. 70, Preterism destroys the centrality of the Cross and it is an “attack on the very foundations of Christianity.” I assume that as a result of this, all Preterist are damned heretics that will likely stoke the fires of hell."

I believe Preterism affirms the exact opposite by glorifying the centrality of the cross and especially the man who died on it through the affirmation of the events surrounding AD 70.

No one who truly understands the message of the cross uses words or phrases such as "dealing them a death blow." The cross stands alone in this deed.

Now when he says that "all Preterist are damned heretics that will likely stoke the fires of hell" than I must question his understanding of that cross he so vehemently defends. It seems the reality is that the "stoke the fires of hell" language is actually Todd's and others like him, own breath that we must endure in this age of the glorified Christ.

Peace and blessings,

Jim K.
Www.InChristVictorious.com

PreteristArtist

Virgil's picture

Just to be fair, Todd did not say that...that was my assumption re his comments on heresy. You do not call someone a heretic with the implication that he/she will not end up in hell, unless we are all heretics yet still somewhat will squeeze through the narrow gates eventually.

Todd really needs to clarify what happens to preterists now that they are heretics and they "attack the foundation of Christianity." What are the consequences?

Life14all's picture

"Just to be fair"

Now there is a statement that should be incorporated in our language more often.

Thanks for clarifying that Virgil.

Jim K.

PreteristArtist

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I really can't quite fathom how a former FP could adopt a perspective like this on Christ's role as Messiah. The whole focus of His ministry and life seems, to me, to have been BEYOND His death and resurrection to the establishment of His eternal Kingdom. The KINGDOM was the central theme of His ministry and life.

Somehow, the obsessive focus on Christ's death smacks of Catholicism and reminds me of Todd's earlier comments concerning Christ's "not yet having returned from within the Holy of Holies" (in his earlier article). Christ, the eternally glorified, reigning King of Kings and Lord of Lords is no longer the tortured soul hanging on a cross. The shame and suffering he endured ushered in a new "world" of glorious hope, love and enjoyment of God's sovereignty within a covenant of Grace.

Todd, and others, need to remain historically acute in their understanding of, and response to, the Scriptures.

TheIdealNate's picture

"The whole focus of His ministry and life seems, to me, to have been BEYOND His death and resurrection to the establishment of His eternal Kingdom. The KINGDOM was the central theme of His ministry and life."

His eternal kingdom was not created by any actions on earth. That is the problem with the strict FP focus on earthly events. They point to an eternal kingdom, but AD 70 actions in temporal time did not "establish" an eternal kingdom, it REVEALED one that always existed.

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

davo's picture

Preterist eschatology usually focuses on the resurrection of the dead, not on A.D. 70 or the destruction of the temple. … The temple served as a symbol of a present reality, a present time that ultimately negated the cross. It is ultimately the importance, or if he so desires, the centrality of the cross which necessitates the destruction of the temple; of all people, Todd Dennis should understand this.With all due respect Virgil, Todd FULLY understands this… his intentions however have developed to the point were he finds it expedient to simply present the bleakest possible scenario for those enquiring believers less familiar with but interested enough to investigate prêterism. To average evangelical believers "AD70" means virtually nothing and in most instances is unheard of, until such time that they do come to hear of it and possibly grasp its eschatological significance. Now because "AD70" can initially seem so novel and new to the uninitiated there can be this air of uncertainty [fear] about it until it is more fully grasped. Thus it becomes a "lay-down mazaire" and obvious target for those falsely promulgating that AD70 "detracts from the Cross". The preservation of "truth" in this instance is rarely the major concern with these types of tactics; rather it is the pursual of the "perception" of truth where mischief is peddled, i.e., presenting half truths with a twist becomes the modus operandi where one struggles with the scriptural evidence contrary to one's preferred or new position.

Ed is also right… it was finally because Todd COULD NOT fault the conclusions of "fulfilled redemption" inherent within prêterism as presented to him [upon invitation] by us on his forum some two years+ ago, that he subsequently abandoned his FP position – and I can say this with all confidence as I have it directly from the horses mouth.

davo

Starlight's picture

Davo,

You said … “Ed is also right… it was finally because Todd COULD NOT fault the conclusions of "fulfilled redemption" inherent within prêterism as presented to him [upon invitation] by us on his forum some two years+ ago, that he subsequently abandoned his FP position – and I can say this with all confidence as I have it directly from the horses mouth.”

I think you and Ed are partially correct. There may have been exasperation with the idea by Todd and his friends that you have put up an irrefutable argument that is driving full Preterist to Universalism. We find this very idea expressed on the “antipreterist website under your Preterist bio.

Quote about Davo … “It is a known fact among "insiders" that other Hyper-Prets have been unable to successfully refute his theological arguments.”

The problem is that this statement is derived by these guys who have a less than comprehensive understanding of the Covenant nature of full Preterism. I would be hesitant to use them as verification of your biblical prowess on the subject of “fulfilled redemption”.

Norm

davo's picture

Starlight: The problem is that this statement is derived by these guys who have a less than comprehensive understanding of the Covenant nature of full Preterism. I would be hesitant to use them as verification of your biblical prowess on the subject of “fulfilled redemption”.

"Biblical prowess"… goodness me Norm, there's no need to be nervous or get defensive. IF THAT had EVER been my intent, which it is not, then logic and common sense as you would have it, would have had me publishing certain correspondences relative to my response to Virgil about Todd's positions from off my computer quite some years ago now. No Norm, I'm not the one in need of a stroked ego… yet again misjudge.

Starlight: Davo is leaving the impression that his Pantelism argumentation was what drove Todd away from full Preterism. This actually has some merit to it…

Hmmm… that's why I said what I said Norm. The "merit" is this – I am not and have ever claimed that our argument was the primary reason, but it was indeed a major catalyst as Todd was coming to see that Pantelism as it was being presented to him in our discussions was indeed more prêteristically consistent AND therefore likewise "inclusive" – like you and most others however he could get past his perception of "universalism", and rest as they say is history…

Starlight: I am simply highlighting to Davo my good friend not to turn his interfacing with Todd into the “myth” of why his Pantelism is the correct understanding of Preterism and thus reflects accurately full Preterism.

Have no fear Norm… the consistently prêteristic and inclusive position of pantelism doesn't rise or fall according to TD. Again, what I referred to with Virgil about Todd occurred near 3yrs ago now.

Starlight: …Pantelism version of redemption do so with the antiquated concept of Adam as representing all mankind at large instead of the idea of his actually representing all “covenant” men at large.

Again Norm this is totally inaccurate and misconstrued and you are only demonstrating your own lack of consistent understanding in this area – one by its very nature was to affect the other. But that said, I have previously demonstrated to you elsewhere that your own version of CC when held to your own consistency IS fact INCLUSIVE – you ultimately had NO ANSWERS for this… If folk are interested they can see my seven posts dealing with Norm's objections right HERE; my responses show Norm's claim above about Pantelism to be baseless.

Starlight: Now that “CC” has arrived and we have a new model to contemplate in regard to the Romans 5 and 1 Cor 15 discussion, we do not have the same theological dynamics in place in which a Universal approach developed from.

The problem with your newly arrived version of "CC" is that just like Tim and Jeff's older version of "CC" it has totally misunderstood the inclusionary teaching of Pantelism. Face it Norm… right from the beginning all our detractors, and you CC folk included, have battled "universalism" and trotted out typical futurist arguments and have remained totally blind to see past it – at least the likes of Todd although still bound by his preconceived mindset did at least begin to grasp the consistent prêteristic nature of our proposition, even though he disagreed with it. And no, Pantelism is not as some others who likewise couldn't muster up a defence, simply just a "prêterist universalism" – hoping that rattling the "universalist" jingo would create enough fear so as to cover their own inept attempts at not answering our position on its own merits.

What you Norm it seems are forever duly blind to see is this – Paul's "universalism" [which Pantelism does agree with] is that of Paul's gospel, where the "good news" of ISRAEL'S promised redemption is said to be at hand. This fulfillment being brought to fruition through Christ and the first-fruit saints; it was universal relative to ALL Israel. Paul's "Israel of God" aka true Israel or spiritual Israel were the first-fruits of God's covenant renewal ON BEHALF OF His people Israel, all Israel – THEY became the new priesthood wherein God would minister reconciliation to His world beyond Israel, thus a redeemed Israel was the precursor to and for the reconciliation of man – the very thing OC Israel failed to fulfil and so was stripped of this mandate. Why you reject this when elsewhere you openly claim that all men ARE indeed reconciled to God seems rather odd – pantelism simply explains HOW this happened…

davo

Ed's picture

I can add to this that Nathan DuBois, at one time, argued against the inclusivist message of pantelistic Christianity; yet, he maintained that the judgement of God was in our past. I kept questioning him on the fact that, if the judgment is past, what lies ahead for so-called unbelievers. He never answered, he simply embraced Pret-Idealism; same as Todd. He became a futurist; same as Roderick. What did these three men have in common? They vehemently argued with me (and Davo) against pantelistic Christianity, and later admitted that it is the ONLY logical conclusion of preterism.

Now, in spite of 3 previously devout preterists rejecting it and explaining why in no uncertain terms - there are still some here who claim otherwise. That's what truly amazes me!

If you want to get these three back "into the fold," you need to debate them over pantelistic Christianity. Hell, send them Tim and JL's book and see if it changes their minds. I doubt it will because, in spite of Tim's strawman universalist argument, the consistent conclusion, as I've explained in other posts, of CC is still pantelism. In fact, I was way ahead of the curve on seeing this LONG before they wrote the book. I can produce the posts on this forum and on Talk-Grace where I argued that Adam was the first covenant man, not the first biological. The rest developed over time.

Tim and JL helped me immensely in putting skin on my pantelistic skeleton, but they in no way convinced me otherwise about inclusive redemption. They merely strengthened it.

Do I think that everyone should believe as I do? Not so much. I really don't care. My god is big and gracious enough to accept us all on the merits of Christ alone. I can accept annihilationists, and even tormentors; what I cannot accept is this endless claim that Todd, Roderick, and Nate don't know why they don't believe what they don't believe. Quit arguing with me and davo about it, and argue with them. THEY are the ones who left preterism, and are bad-mouthing us all; yet, you guys still want to debate, argue, harangue, etc. about pantelistic Christianity. Get over it, and get on with what you need to do.

Davo and I don't need to do it, we've already convinced them. You need to unconvince them.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Davo,

Ok, I give up. You are obviously describing faithful believers who are called Christians. The world is the Lost in your view and I will agree with that too. Christians enjoy “life” through Christ. They also enjoy eternal ‘life” beyond of which I can also agree.

I’m not sure why you want to change the name to Pantelism instead of Christians but if folks want to adopt your name for Christ followers so be it. Maybe it’s something like Methodist or Lutheran.

So it looks like we agree on who are the faithful ones and who the lost are.

Norm

Ed's picture

Yes Norm, that is what Davo AND I have been describing all along. We have taken what we feel is a consistent preterist position, and gone to its logical conclusion. You disagree and claim that CC defeats our argument, in spite of my claims contrary to that (since I am both a CC and pantelism adherent).

As we all should know by now, there is only one reason for labels - to differentiate. We obviously don't need them when we are free from attack, and we find unity. As long as we (davo and I) keep getting attacked for something that Todd, Roderick, and Nate claim, we'll stick to our label. If you want to accept us, and still debate the issue, take it up with those who have left preterism because they know Davo and I are right. Prove us wrong to them, and you'll gain back your brother. Prove us wrong to us means little to nothing...

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

You say that you embrace “Covenant Creation” but I’m not sure we are working off the same definition of Covenant. When I speak of covenant I look to Paul’s explanation in Ephesians of the Husband and Wife relationship in which he says that he is actually speaking of Christ and the Church. He takes this back to the original Garden story of origination of Covenant relationship of Adam and Eve which is also a foreshadowing of Israel and the Law (body of Death). Covenant creation entails intimacy between the husband and wife and I’m afraid that excludes those who are not intimate with the Husband/Adam and eventually Christ.

As I mentioned before the animals brought to Adam represented the world at large and were not deemed suitable helpers for Adam/Israel and the Law. This stayed the same until Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10. Even then it was only those God fearing Gentiles whom were deemed suitable helpers. There is no example that I’m aware of where at any time a covenant definition of either Adam’s body of death or the body of Christ includes those outside of faith. Again this was driven home by the fact that those unfaithful Jews meet the “second death” at judgment. The second death only occurs to those who were of the original “body of death” in the first place and as I mentioned before they became Gentile Dogs as described in Rev 22:15. This casting out did not occur until the final judgment and was not just a physical judgment but more importantly was a spiritual judgment of removal from the Body.

Ed declaring that you are a Covenant Creation adherent is fine but if you get to present your own definition of “covenant” then we are probably talking apples and oranges concerning the particulars.

As far as labels goes I’m really not concerned with that. What I’m concerned with is finding the truth and presenting it and letting it lay there for examination. I’m not a bit concerned what Todd and what’s his name think but I do think it’s a bit over the top to believe that just because Todd and some of his cohorts think your presentation is irrefutable doesn’t mean I have to take them seriously. After all they are out there with a ton of baggage attached to their ideas at the moment. These guys are not ones I would hold up as brilliant scholars who get to decide if your presentation of Universalism is irrefutable.

Blessings

Norm

davo's picture

Starlight: There is no example that I’m aware of where at any time a covenant definition of either Adam’s body of death or the body of Christ includes those outside of faith.

Well you could take a look at that pagan Persian Cyrus… but that aside; who's saying there needs to be – those covenanted ones inside of faith are called to serve God's creation "outside of faith". How often do Ed and I need to spell this out to you?

Starlight: …I do think it’s a bit over the top to believe that just because Todd and some of his cohorts think your presentation is irrefutable doesn’t mean I have to take them seriously. After all they are out there with a ton of baggage attached to their ideas at the moment. These guys are not ones I would hold up as brilliant scholars who get to decide if your presentation of Universalism is irrefutable.

Norm… you don't have to take them any more seriously than you take us seriously – it was YOU Norm who were over the top with your initial "reaction". MY original response to Virgil was simply to flesh out a course of events relevant to the matter and question he raised. It was YOU Norm who started with this reactionary and bogus notion that Ed and I are championing some victory… like I pointed out before, had that been my ego-filled intent such and more would have been made "history" way long ago.

davo

Starlight's picture

Davo,

Davo said … “Well you could take a look at that pagan Persian Cyrus… but that aside; who's saying there needs to be – those covenanted ones inside of faith are called to serve God's creation "outside of faith". How often do Ed and I need to spell this out to you?”

I’m not sure what you are talking about here as I said outside of “faith”. If I remember Cyrus was a believer in the God of Israel due to the influence Daniel and the exiled Jews.

It started with Nebuchadnezzar who ended up being exiled for a period of seven times. He ate grass as an ox which is metaphorical for receiving the word as a priest does. The ox in Israel represented the Priest. The dew of heaven represents that he was watered from heaven to bring him into accord with God.

Dan 5:21 ESV
(21) He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. HE WAS FED GRASS LIKE AN OX, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, UNTIL HE KNEW THAT THE MOST HIGH GOD RULES THE KINGDOM OF MANKIND and sets over it whom he will.

Glad to hear that you do not consider Todd and company as verification of Pantelism.

Norm

davo's picture

You: There is no example that I’m aware of where at any time a covenant definition of either Adam’s body of death or the body of Christ includes those outside of faith.

Me: who's saying there needs to be – those covenanted ones inside of faith are called to serve God's creation "outside of faith".

You: I’m not sure what you are talking about here as I said outside of “faith”.

You don't have to needlessly play dumb Norm… *_*

davo

Starlight's picture

Davo,

If you would explain yourself better I wouldn't have to play dumb. It sure seemed obvious to me that you were overlooking what I said as usual.

Norm

Virgil's picture

Norm/Davo - can I ask both of you guys to stop name calling? If you can't talk about the issues, then don't exchange comments at all...there is nothing positive coming out of this kind of exchange.

davo's picture

Sorry Virgil and sorry Norm...

davo

Ed's picture

Norm,
I cannot believe that after all the discussions that you and I have had, both via this forum and in person, you still have the audacity to claim that I don't adhere to CC as defined by Tim Martin and Jeff Vaughn (save the sad attempt at "refuting universalism").

The difference that I see in this present post of yours is that you see the "animals" in the garden as servants, whereas I see Adam and Eve playing a "servant" role for them. I also see the Trees in the garden "Through New Eyes" (keep in mind, I was a reader of Jim Jordan back when you were still a futurist in a Church of Christ). It was Adam and Eve's job to "tend and care for the garden." When Jesus, the Final Adam, redeemed His Eve (Israel - and all that join the Israel of God), He was "given the nations." His purposes, along with His Bride, the resurrected and redeemed Israel, was to tend and care for the nations/trees of the Garden. The trees of the Garden represented those "outside the covenant;" iow, the non-covenantal people.

So it is today. The redeemed, reconciled and resurrected Israel (since AD70) now works in concert with the Risen Adam (Jesus) to tend and care for all the nations of the world, which were given to the Christ when He was seated as King and Ruler over the kingdom of priests. Those priests, all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, minister the grace of God to ALL everywhere. Their ministry, like their Lord's, will not fail. It will not result in endless suffering for the vast portion of humanity. It will not result in the permanent destruction of God's creation. It will result in the continual growth of His Kingdom, the manifest blessings that attend such growth, and the ENDLESS exaltation of the Creator of ALL.

We can be confident that Jesus (Adam) and His Bride (Eve) will fulfill the greater mission that they were given - to restore the fruitfulness to God's Garden - the whole entire beautiful world around us.

Believe what you will, but don't tell me what I do or don't believe. It just rankles me.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

I said that we are talking about differences in our understanding of covenant which indeed can and does mean we are not on the same page. I outlined that difference being your inclusive understanding verses my exclusive relational definition. This doesn’t mean that you are not on the same page in the other particulars of Covenant Creation. This discussion we are having is primarily on who is in covenant and who is not; much of the rest you and I would agree on.

Again the reason I bring up the animals that were presented to Adam was that they were found lacking when presented to him as his helpmate. It’s obvious from Israel’s history why other peoples were not suitable as they by and large were not intimate with the Lord. Eve foreshadowing Israel represented this wife who was intimate with her husband. I don’t see then the animals as servants in Genesis 2 but instead as unfit competitors not ready for relationship at this time.

If one goes to Ezekiel and studies the section on the Trees we find that indeed they represent peoples and Nations and the tall tree is described as those lofty nations such as Assyria, Egypt and Babylon. These Trees were an enticement to Israel which is represented by the restricted Tree to Adam and Eve in Gen 2-3 and continually brought them into an adulterous relationship with God because they were tempted to eat of the forbidden Trees instead of depending upon God.

The serpent that was the craftiest beast of the field turns out to be these beastly nations representing worldly dominions that entice and usurp God’s people away from Him. That is why the beast, Satan the serpent was destroyed in Revelation. No longer were God’s people to be enticed by dependence upon Egypt, Assyria, Babylon or Rome and their dominions but instead lived strictly in the “spiritual realm” of Christ. His dominion and Kingdom was also like a seed that grows into the largest of Trees in which the “birds of the AIR” nest. That is why Paul can use the metaphor of meeting the Lord in the “air” in 1 Th 4:17 as it is where we dwell today with God through Christ.

Adam was placed in the Garden to tend and “work” this relationship with God but as we saw above Adam/Israel failed and were found lacking ending up producing only thorns and thistles which ended up needing to be burned (Heb 6:6-8). I absolutely agree with you that Jesus and the faithful have been given the nations as their dominion to rule over but their dominion is spiritual and those who reside in it do so in the “AIR” not in the “land” anymore.

Ed you said … “So it is today. The redeemed, reconciled and resurrected Israel (since AD70) now works in concert with the Risen Adam (Jesus) to tend and care for all the nations of the world, which were given to the Christ when He was seated as King and Ruler over the kingdom of priests. Those priests, all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, minister the grace of God to ALL everywhere. Their ministry, like their Lord's, will not fail. It will not result in endless suffering for the vast portion of humanity. It will not result in the permanent destruction of God's creation. It will result in the continual growth of His Kingdom, the manifest blessings that attend such growth, and the ENDLESS exaltation of the Creator of ALL.”

Ed, I don’t see anything you said there that I would disagree with and as I have said before that we are closer on much of our thinking than our disagreement lets on. It really gets down to a question of post mortem residence in the end. As I have stated before I see only those who come into priestly relationship with God as receiving eternal life. If you can demonstrate to me a scriptural exegesis on how those outside priestly service receive this post mortem promise then we may be drawing together. So far I have not been able to verify scripturally any post mortem promise for those not drawing nigh to God.

Blessings

Norm

Ed's picture

If you don't disagree with that statement, then why are you debating me telling me that I am wrong on these issues? In addition, we do NOT disagree with who is in covenant with God - I have affirmed for some time that ONLY the Israel of God IS the Israel of God, and you enter that by faith...I also maintain that by being a part of that Israel of God, we are then CALLED to priestly service (Davo uses the phrase, "saved to serve").

In regards to the animals, plants, etc. that represents non-covenantal humanity (I've used this phrase over and over, yet you still claim that I believe that ALL are in covenant with God), they are under "the dominion" of the Israel of God (the Recons call this "the Dominion Mandate").

Now, this is where it gets complicated, and why so many don't understand the true mandate, and use it as an excuse to "rape and pillage" rather than to "care for." Our DOMINION is the same kind that Jesus spoke of, "he who is to be greatest among you (i.e., take dominion), must be SERVANT to all." Jesus himself is called "a servant."

So it is: Jesus and his redeemed people (Eve) are MINISTERS, SERVANTS, in their Dominion Mandate over all creation. Rather than taking power, we are to exercise priestly service. Rather than condemning, we are to heal. Rather than curse, we are to bless.

This is what I've claimed all along, but due to MY FRIENDS continually claiming that my views are all about "going to heaven," and not about priestly service, I continually get bad-mouthed each time I try to have this discussion. I cannot fight against strawmen, and it hurts when my friends continually set them up and bash them.

I have stated my beliefs so many times that it is not funny - and yet, they are still misrepresented. Worse yet, by people I love.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

Why don’t you ask Davo why he keeps arguing with me? I’ve agreed on this position more than once before but he keeps accusing me of evangelical Hell fire and brimstone because I have asked him the same question that I have asked from you; which is how does he scripturally bring those outside (world dominion) of covenant service into post mortem existence scripturally. No one seems IMO to address this central question that is the crux of our dispute. I have stated this in more ways than one over and over again but it gets ignored or some non scriptural approach is posited. I don’t think either of you are reading what I post most of the time. I keep telling you that we are closer than our arguments make us appear. Just because I want some definitive scriptural backing instead of how one feels about things doesn’t mean I’m in disagreement on everything else. Also Davo is trying to paint me as an evangelical extremist concerning post mortem which serves no good purpose in this honest exploration of what is true in scripture.

All I am asking is for one of you to sit down and spell out a coherent scriptural explanation on how the world dominion beyond those serving as priest inherits eternal life post mortem. Where are the clearly stated scriptures to this effect?
I will post again my present understanding.

Those who enter into relationship with God through Christ inherit eternal life starting in this world and extending eternally. They are as you said servants to the greater world dominion. The greater world dominion is blessed in this world through those Christian servants. There is no eternal post mortem inheritance IMHO conferred upon those in the greater world dominion post mortem. If I am wrong I will be more than glad to consider how one includes the greater world dominion but it needs to be proved scripturally and not just suggested as a possibility.

I’ll look forward to many good scriptures in their proper context.

Norm

amie's picture

Norm,

You wrote: "All I am asking is for one of you to sit down and spell out a coherent scriptural explanation on how the world dominion beyond those serving as priest inherits eternal life post mortem. Where are the clearly stated scriptures to this effect?"

Me:

I agree with you (if I understand you). I do not see "priests" and "elect" as ongoing. Rather, "they" inherited "eternal life" on behalf of those who would follow.

You might disagree with the "on behalf of" part? To understand what I mean (if you are even interested in understanding that is), I would hope that you would look into the function of the "first fruits offering" in the OT.

Where you and I might (I'm not sure) also see things differently is that I do not equate "eternal life" with "post mortem existence and/or reward".

Amie

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, change.

[url=www.bugsinheaven.com]www.bugsinheaven.com[/url]

Starlight's picture

Amie,

Thanks for the response.

I’m not inclined to continue this discussion on line anymore as there is too much posturing by all involved including myself for effective dialogue.

If you are interested in pursuing a personal discussion with me you can respond to me at my email account.
normbv@yahoo.com

By the way are you going to be in Houston on the 23rd of Jan? Randy King and I may ride over together to the Baytown conference.

Norm

amie's picture

Norm,

I'll drop you a line.

Funny that you use the word "posturing", lol! What comes to mind is the body language that sharks have (ya know - "Shark Week" 101). Their backs get all bent out of shape.

I am going to be speaking on the 24th at 9am central. My husband couldn't get Friday off so I don't know how late we will be driving in (we're coming from San Antonio).

I would love to meet you - that would be awesome!

Amie

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, change.

[url=www.bugsinheaven.com]www.bugsinheaven.com[/url]

Ed's picture

And before the water gets murky again, keep in mind that Amie and I see things quite differently. Just because we are both administrators at Talk-Grace, doesn't mean we agree. So anything that Amie writes to you, or even Davo, please do not automatically attribute it to me. That's where Mr. Nobody on the forum got screwed up. He took a word "pantelism" and assumed that it is a static system that has no variables in it. He then proceeded to declare us ALL heretics based on the words of a very few people who had disagreements with some of the rest of us.

Truth is, pantelism is as diverse as preterism. It is as diverse as Christianity. To argue pantelism dogmatically would be like arguing with Protestants about their worship of Mary. Protestants would object, and the accuser would say "you're a Christian aren't you?" When answered in the affirmative, the reply would be, "well I was watching the Christian teacher Scott Hahn the other day on EWTN, and he worships Mary." You would then spend countless hours trying to disprove YOUR position of "Maryolatry." Strawmen, plain and simple.

That's the problem with forums and blogs. Comments are made against, not the one person making the statement, but everyone who may agree on one or two points of that person's argument. They are then accused of believing identically in every aspect, and that they are trying to use some kind of sleight of hand to get out of it. I know this happens because it's happened to me.

PLEASE, answer my posts based on MY comments, not Davo's or Amie's or anyone else's. I just wanted to make that clear before you end up in an e-mail debate with Amie, and come back here some day and attibute her beliefs to me. We do not share many beliefs.

This is due to our own development in our own individual faith. We have no bishops or popes to demand of us, so we develop our own views, independent sometimes of what the other believes.

Thank you,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

davo's picture

Ed… it was asked by Norm, who then said he's no longer interested in pursuing it: "If you can demonstrate to me a scriptural exegesis on how those outside priestly service receive this post mortem promise then we may be drawing together. And… "There is no eternal post mortem inheritance IMHO conferred upon those in the greater world dominion post mortem." Ed, you will notice that Norm's claim is "IMHO" – this seems to be the closest he gets to backing up his claims, I'm yet to see scriptural evidence beyond this though.

As to the contrary I see this:

[1] IF one takes the nominally "Christian" understanding then one finds "salvation" – which is always interpreted to mean "going to heaven when you die", is secured when one believes and so confesses that "Jesus Christ is Lord". [Interestingly enough this in itself automatically assumes we all universally start life in a "NOT going to heaven when we die" position].

Rom 10:9 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

[2] IF then in honouring the Sovereignty of God one believes that no-one can confess the Lordship of Christ apart from direct allowance by the Holy Spirit:

1Cor 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

[3] And IF we can believe the inspired Paul then clearly such believing confession can be made by those in this life, that is, "those on earth" and likewise those who having died, that is, "those under the earth".

Phil 2:10-11 …that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Thus with conditions 1 & 2 being met in condition 3 means that by the Sovereign decree of God and His will there abides forever His creation post mortem – and who seeing is not going to believe and thus confess? Now how the privileges of experiencing "eternal life" in this life for believers translates post-mortem and likewise for those not so called in this life translates post-mortem the scriptures are more silent on.

So Ed… I think what Kyle Peterson expressed in another post ties in with this and therefore as great merit: "What about the option that because God is sovereign He knows what's best for us - more than we do - in that He simply draws everyone to Heaven because we are incapable of making such an important and grave decision on our own during our stay on earth."

davo

Starlight's picture

Ed,

Don’t worry as I told Amie I’m not really interested in pursuing this discussion anymore.

Norm

Virgil's picture

I don't understand what the deal is with having to refute an argument...why the needs to prove yourself right and someone else wrong in this context?

Starlight's picture

Virgil,

You said … “I don't understand what the deal is with having to refute an argument...why the needs to prove yourself right and someone else wrong in this context?”

It’s called the search for truth.

Davo is leaving the impression that his Pantelism argumentation was what drove Todd away from full Preterism. This actually has some merit to it as my quote from these guys revealed. I am simply highlighting to Davo my good friend not to turn his interfacing with Todd into the “myth” of why his Pantelism is the correct understanding of Preterism and thus reflects accurately full Preterism.

If you haven’t noticed Virgil this (Universalism) is also what drives Kurt Simmons in his attacking the “corporate body” view point espoused by many full Preterist. He tries to link it to Max King who is linked to A. T. Robinson and his booklet on the “Body”. All of this Universalism concerning full Preterism is driven IMO by a lack of knowledge of the Covenant nature of the scriptures starting in Genesis. All of those who are espousing a comprehensive, Universal or Pantelism version of redemption do so with the antiquated concept of Adam as representing all mankind at large instead of the idea of his actually representing all “covenant” men at large.

Until more full Preterist comprehend the implications of that problem you will continue to have confusion reigning whether “fulfilled redemption” aka “Pantelism or Comprehensive Grace” encompasses all men at large or just those who seek relationship with God. This is actually an extremely important debate going on among Preterist at the moment. That is why I responded with a disclaimer post concerning Davo’s reply as I’m not inclined to let his response stand concerning the idea that he represents full Preterism. That’s what Todd and his friends think.

Norm

Ed's picture

Norm states (wrongly): All of those who are espousing a comprehensive, Universal or Pantelism version of redemption do so with the antiquated concept of Adam as representing all mankind at large instead of the idea of his actually representing all “covenant” men at large.

Have you not read MY endorsement of Tim and JL's book? Have we not discussed this ourselves? Yet, you, in "refuting arguments" make this "comprehensive, universal" statement that is just plain incorrect.

I believe in the "covenant creation" model, yet believe that Tim's so-called refutation of so-called "universalism" was sorely deficient, as is yours. You cannot construct a staw man that doesn't resemble the actual man, beat it down and say you've beat the man. Neither you, nor Tim, nor my dearest friend, JL have come close to actually addressing the position that Davo and I embrace (and I'm talking about what we agree on, not those finer points that we do not).

I believe (and I am one who embraces a more "comprehensive, Universal, and Pantelism version") that Adam was the first covenant man, FORMED (bara - a covenant term) from "the dust of the ground" (a common expression of humanity). He, as Federal head of the covenant people, failed and brought death to all the covenant people. It is my contention that one of two things happened (and I don't care which): 1) death also came to all non-covenant people; or, 2) non-covenant people REMAINED in life do to not having "the law" to hold them responsible.

If #1 is the case, then when Jesus came as the Final Covenant Man (Adam), then He brought life, not only to the covenant people, but to all those to whom the covenant people were REPRESENTATIVES to, i.e., the non-covenantal people. If #2 is the case, then the non-covenant people NEVER experienced covenant death, and therefore did not need to be represented covenantally by anyone, not even Jesus.

In both scenarios as described above, I maintain the "covenantal" model, while applying scripturally the benefits of the redemption of God's covenant people to the non-covenantal. You may not agree with it, but you cannot make the claim that you did regarding my views. I would appreciate if you would not use the term ALL when referring to people you know do not believe as you are claiming.

Thanks Norm, and I love you.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Starlight's picture

Ed,

Thanks for the response. You know I respect you tremendously and consider you a good friend. I also think it needs to be said up front that Christ finished the work and whether you and I understand the finished work properly will not change that final reality one iota. Nor will it affect my esteeming you as a great brother in Christ.

Ed what we are debating are some fine points of the redemption plan and I will state up front that I’m sure that I have some misconceptions permeating my views. With that being said let me explain the concept behind my “all” statement. When I wrote that “all” I knew better than to impose it across the board for the present time as I have seen some movement by some comprehensive grace folks like yourself embrace aspects of “Covenant Creation”. My “all” was meant to imply the origination of “comprehensive Grace” and Pantelism as it originally developed from our full Preterist friends.

Ed “all” of these folks as far as I can determine originally built foundationally upon Paul’s Romans 5 chapter discussion of Adam before “CC” was ever presented. Everyone IMHO defaulted to the idea that Adam was representative of all mankind when it came to Rom 5:12 and many still do such as YEC folks like our brother Sam Frost. Now that “CC” has arrived and we have a new model to contemplate in regard to the Romans 5 and 1 Cor 15 discussion, we do not have the same theological dynamics in place in which a Universal approach developed from. When I interface with some of your friends, they still want to cover themselves with the idea that the Image of God was fully endowed upon Adam/aw-dawm from the beginning and demonstrate confusion concerning who Gen 1 and 2 are discussing. This is because they rightly understand that their original idea of comprehensive grace was built upon that premise. There are very few such as you and Davo that are even attempting to deal with Genesis and its implications. So my “all” is in reference to the origins of the comprehensive approach and not to the couple of you that have considered it lately. I believe it “CG” would never have been such an enticement if folks had fully understood the nature of Adam from the beginning but how were they to know that not only Revelation was going to be overthrown but Genesis along with it. They ended up building a premise upon the shifting sand of Adam as all mankind.

Now this gets us to the present and I will fully acknowledge you and Davo are not the typical comprehensive folks and is why I respect both of you although Davo and I needle each other pretty substantially. You two are not afraid to enter into discussion which is a requirement for us to recognize our similarities and differences. My premise again is that comprehensive grace was built upon a flawed notion of Adam and therefore if Adam was misunderstood there is a very high degree of likely hood that comprehensive Grace needs to be reexamined in that new light as well. I believe until someone can present why that is not the case then a large question mark hangs over the head of the comprehensive viewpoint. Ed you and Davo may be moving your approach dynamically toward a better understanding of Genesis but by and large your community of comprehensive grace friends do not seem to much care about that discussion. By the way I would guess that Davo does not see eye to eye with you on the implications of “CC” as he tends toward a partial literal reading of Genesis which I interpret as his recognition that he can’t abandon the classical view entirely without doing harm to his Pantelism. But I give him credit for trying to present an alternative understanding at the moment which is more than most folks try to do.

Ed part of my problem with those who reject the cessation of the individual at death is how do they explain why that is such a problem. The cessation of animals happens naturally and happened to all the species of man as they evolved up to Adam. Life is a naturally occurring process and the only reason for my seeing this natural process interrupted is if one enters into a spiritual covenant relationship with God where we see the covenant promise of an eternal enduring relationship with God. Why there is such a hang-up with the natural cessation of humans at death is a human idea and not one that comes from scripture. Ephesians 2 clearly shows as well as many other scriptures that those outside God were lost and without Him. That has been the story from the very beginning.

Now some may like to think that all mankind was created in God’s image which does create a problem for cessation but I believe this is one of the most misplaced understandings of scripture that there is. God created man (aw-dawm/body life) in His Image on the sixth day when Christ came and wrapped up the work of God. You may not agree with me yet but I will stake my reputation on that one point of Genesis just as I stake the seventh day Sabbath Rest as what followed the Parousia (Heb 4). I have never seen anyone yet refute that position scripturally because if indeed mankind (humanity at large) or even Adam himself was created with the spiritual image of God/Christ at the beginning then Christ absolutely was never needed, period end of discussion.

Theologically the idea that the image was already there in all mankind or Adam is an albatross laid upon the Cross and resurrection of Jesus. People really need to get their thinking caps on this one idea alone. Not just Preterist but all of Christianity. They greatly confuse the correct view that Adam was created only in God’s “likeness” as a Garden worker. If Adam could have had the spiritual image taken away arbitrarily by God then we can too and I will argue that this goes against God’s promise and nature and NT teachings.

Ed I do not disagree that the covenant people brought life to the non covenant people but it is a choice of theirs to embrace such covenant life themselves. Even if they reject it there is still the covenant fruit that remains to permeate the world at large. They may and do indeed reap rewards from the Covenant people in this life. I also would say that I would agree with your #1 idea that through Adam the non covenant people also were under the umbrella of Adam’s death as it was the only way to God as demonstrated by the Temple even with its wall of hostility for the Gentiles. Genesis and other scriptures clearly demonstrate that the Light entered a world of chaos and Darkness (Gentile world). That world was devoid of the fullness of Light even though Genesis 2:6 seem to indicate a mist or vapor watered the Desert wilderness of the Gentiles whatever that means concerning the beginning times. This may portend a picture of Abraham and his times as well with Melchisedec.

Ed, I’m not going to back down from putting forth my viewpoint as I am passionate about presenting what I perceive as a right understanding of Genesis as foundational to a proper understanding of scripture. This debating or argumentation has nothing to do though with our relationship as brothers in Christ although it may cause some to become crossways with each other but what I am doing is dedicated to God’s truth as I see it. As Preterist I have been ashamed of what traditional Christianity has presented us with. I have made a vow to not be part of passing on the same garbled mess to future generations. No one can look back and say that I did not try to discern what was true and make others aware of it. We look back and we see few in History who would challenge the status quo of religiosity and sometimes it was because of their fear of life and limb. We have no excuse nowadays to avoid proclaiming what we believe are important biblical concepts although many would still say “live and let live” or don’t make waves. The times are ripe for everything to be laid bare again for examination.

Ed again you know I love and respect you and consider you as one of our bright lights who I can depend upon for good instruction and brotherhood with. There is very little that we would disagree upon and in fact you and I agree on more than most folks I know. When we do have differences it is usually over strongly held positions of which I will agree to disagree but also reserve the right to continue to challenge you on and I would expect the same from you. That is what brothers do for each other.

I appreciate and Love you Brother

Norm

Virgil's picture

I would not associate a "search for truth" with the desire to "refute arguments." Refutation of arguments can eventually come to blind someone from recognizing truth, so the two are not synonymous. There comes a time when a person can recognize that the time has come when you cannot expect another party to buy your refutation no matter how sound you think your arguments are. That's when you agree to disagree and you move on. Todd was unable to do that apparently.

Starlight's picture

Virgil,

Refuting arguments and searching for truth go hand in hand. Especially on sites designed for this purpose. Trying to split that baby cannot be imposed by outside arbiters.

My point was to clarify the context of what Davo was saying for some full Preterist while at the same time not supporting Todd in his confusion.

Norm

Virgil's picture

Davo, yes I agree with you but at the same time, I wonder what in the world would motivate Todd to be so disingenuous as to misrepresent Preterism so badly!?

TheIdealNate's picture

Whenever you generalize in a critique of something that is represented by many different personal interpretations, as preterism is, I can understand you feeling that certain attacks are "misrepresentations."

They are not, however. What they are are representations of FP as understood by Todd Dennis. A former scholar in the world of preterism. It may misrepresent you personally, but then again he is not saying "Virgil" is a heretic. He is saying the system of preterism is heretical (based on Todds understanding of Biblical truth).

Not misrepresentation. Rather representation of how he sees things. Just as you represent what you believe as YOU see them.

I think everyone needs to stop seeing these things as attacks on THEM, but rather as attacks on a system, as understood by the author making the attack.

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

davo's picture

No idea… but I wonder if having been in the former position of seemingly having the spiritual direction of others in his charge, and the natural "respect" that that in itself engenders, that he now feels the need to expunge himself totally of that which he now considers an anathema; so much so that he now feels needs to be demonstrated according to his present course of actions?? Either way, out of curiosity, I don't know why he doesn't just jettison altogether the "prêterist" part of his "PI" badge and simply be the futurist "idealist" that he clearly is – like why hang on to any prêterist baggage, the very thing he considers garbage??

davo

TheIdealNate's picture

For instance...this IS a misrepresentation.
"futurist 'idealist'"

Todd is by no means futurist anything. He is eternalist idealist. (Always existed).

Good example of true misrepresentation vs. perseptive and experienced representation of ones own study. Not good research Davo!

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

davo's picture

Sorry Nate but you appear to be playing pure semantics in defence of a friend, which in itself is commendable, but it is nothing more and nothing less than that. As for my particular comments in this whole discussion – they are based wholly on my own observations and personal interactions with Todd over some of these issues quite some time ago now.

davo

Virgil's picture

"Todd is by no means futurist anything. He is eternalist idealist. (Always existed). "

So am I :) Yet in his eyes I am a "dangerous heretic" because I don't put that label on myself.

Nate, this is a battle of labels and ideology, not of theological positions. To divide people in such a way like Todd did because of some minute details that he's identified is totally uncalled for.

TheIdealNate's picture

I see why you are upset in many ways, yet I see misunderstandings from both sides. Personal and non.

Which is why I have my strong opinions, but am no longer of a seperatist personality (I hope). :)

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Virgil's picture

"Which is why I have my strong opinions, but am no longer of a seperatist personality (I hope). :)"

Neither am I...I am an emergent remember? :) I love everyone.

Seriously though Nate, the big problem with this whole fiasco is that Todd is using extremely inflammatory language to "prove preterism wrong." And that is unecessary. I don't need Todd to tell me that Preterism has shortcomings...it's an -ism for crying out loud! I have been saying this same stuff for years. I did an article where I dealt with cyclical eschatology and the myth of eternal return, which in essence IS PRETERIST IDEALISM!! Instead of reaching out and working out with brothers though, what does Todd do? He approaches people in private (and public) and denigrates both me and what many other people are trying to accomplish here, namely build relationships and help other people create genuine relationships with God and engage the world in a more meaningful way.

We are all learning and growing...he is not the only one on a journey, and he certainly is not going to get ahead of the rest of us by throwing people under the bus...that's just asinine.

TheIdealNate's picture

I hear ya...I just haven't seen where he personally degrades anyone. I have only seen strong attacks on a "movement" or system of theology.

Maybe I missed it.

In the Eternal Christ,
Nate

Virgil's picture

Nate, ask Todd what he has been saying to people in private about me, Don Preston and others; if he is truthful, he should tell you.

Todd has latched on the "universalism juggernaut" issue as the driving force behind his hate for preterism...as a result he sees preterist eschatology as a "dangerous heresy" (his words) and is unable to bring anything meaningful to the conversation or to the table - that is really as bad as name calling if you ask me. He also sees "universalists" as the only consistent preterists.

Now...in the real world: preterism is a covenantal position; that in itself does not allow for universalism (at least traditional universalism) to be a valid position...I am sorry, it does not. God has always, always, always saved only HIS PEOPLE...his COVENANT people. We are under a covenant of faith and without faith, you are not part of God's Israel. What part of that does Todd not understand?

So,

1. A vast majority of Preterists are NOT universalists, therefore

2. Preterism cannot lead to universalism as Todd is claiming.

3. Covenantal aspects of preterist theology negate Todd's assertion.

Now, just because PP here is a place of grace where anyone can post their opinions without being called "heretic," does not mean that Todd should care; ultimately it's none of his business anyways.

I have said it before several times: universalist theology makes a LOT of great points; it is foolish to ignore the positives of a position just because you feel that it's wrong...that's not how people move forward in their understanding of Scripture and God. Only dialogue and conversation has allowed progress in the past, not inquisitions.

I've told Todd already that I am open to creating an independent blog where he and I can interact and exchange ideas in a civilized way, on neutral ground. He's been ignoring me, so obviously he is only interested in being on the offensive, and what is even more cowardly is that he is doing it mostly in private, where nobody can defend against his allegations.

Ed's picture

What I find most disturbing about our brothers who have since rejected preterism, after years of not just embracing it, but vehemently teaching it; is their personal meanness to those of us who are still "in the movement." Todd, Roderick, et al. can't just say, "here's where we missed it..," it seems they feel the need to say "what evil people embrace such trash..."

Interestingly, as I pointed out in that first paragraph, these men taught these beliefs, taking on futurists with a fervor that was inspiring. Todd's scholarship and Roderick's zeal were both highly respected in the preterist world. Oftentimes, other preterists looked to them as leaders of this movement.

Now, it seems, they just won't admit that it is possible, in their system, to be fooled. In their new paradigm, they admit to being wrong, but those who still agree with their old paradigm are evil, damned, heretical, etc.

I liken it to a man who was a drug abuser who, when set free from drugs, lashed out in anger towards those who continued to use drugs. That man failed to understand the grace that he was given, and which he failed to extend to others that were still trapped in that lifestyle. A pride developed surrounding one's own ability to leave the lifestyle, which made him BETTER than those who remained.

Even though I do not believe that our beliefs of preterism are analogous to doing drugs, I believe that our former preterist friends do. Yet, they see their own efforts to leave this "lifestyle," or better, this belief system, as making them better than the rest of us. That's where the judgment comes in, and that's where the arrogance takes over. Darkness is surrounding them due to their pride and feelings of superiority. Only Light can drive such darkness away.

I pray for unity to come someday. I pray NOT that we would all know true doctrines, but that we would know THE Truth, who is also THE Way, and brings THE Life. Perhaps then we can find unity.

Thank you Virgil for writing an article that is as free of ad hominem as possible. Taking the high road is always preferred.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Ed, this is why I hate even writing about this kind of stuff because it's petty and irrelevant. But I did not want Todd to get away with the stuff he is writing because it is not even scholarship. It's irresponsible, vindictive and mean. I find it really hard to believe that after so many years of being a pastor he has not learned how to approach a controversial issues with someone who differs with him theologically, so I am wondering if these attacks are not actually purposeful and are intended to cause harm and discomfort.

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