Reformed Full Preterism must either depart from the Reformed grounding, lead to a Universalist approach, or lead to an Idealist approach.
By Nathan DuBois
Full Preterism vs. Idealism – Part One : Introduction | Part Two – Full Preterism’s Achilles Heel | Part Three – Full Preterism’s “New” Gospel | Full Preterism vs. Idealism: Part Four : Full Preterism’s Single Dimension Focus
Full Preterism vs. Idealism
Part 2: Full Preterism’s Achilles Heel
I had spent all my time in Full Preterism, when defending against Universalism, using the Romans 1-5 passages which declare that it is only “those that are his at His coming” or those “in Christ” who are declared to be saved. I still believe this is absolutely true.
INCONSISTENCY OF FULL PRETERISM
Reformed Preterists all agree there is an element of the “all” that refers only to the elect. “All in Christ” or “all His children” is the proper context of the Romans passages. What has not been answered, and cannot be answered with satisfaction, is the element of the lake of fire. This leads us to the first inconsistency of Full Preterism.
1. If the same punishment is declared for (2) agencies in scripture, then the SAME RESULT must ensue for both agencies.
For these issues I will go right to the source and use some quotes with links for those who have argued the positions being addressed.
Rev 20:10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12 I also saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books. 13 Then the sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead; all were judged according to their works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And anyone not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
The Reformed Full Preterist view declares that the Devil was a literal angel who was the accuser of the elect and is now in the lake of fire. Being in the lake of fire, as far as the devil is concerned, means to the FP that he is no longer able to tempt, accuse, perform. He is every bit as irrelevant to us today and unable to affect situations today as the souls of “anyone not found written in the book of life.” This would be consistent, and so they declare it. Hades also meets the same fate and they are every bit as consistent with Hades, a place they consider a literal spiritual holding cell for the saints prior to AD 70 which, being thrown into the lake of fire, is no longer used or relevant.
Where the consistency goes right out the window is when death is addressed. For the Devil, Beast, False Prophet, Hades, and more importantly to the non-Universalist FP, the souls of the saved, they are all in eternal torment unable to reach out from beyond the grave to affect mankind today.
Evil is explained by the wickedness in mankind.
The laws of logic get tossed right out the window when death, with those who “were thrown into the lake of fire”, is still able to continue to this day, defeated only “in Christ”. The FP applies an application of the lake of fire where it DEFEATS death for the saved, but does not DESTROY death or its power for anyone else. All humankind is affected by death, which suffered the same penalty as the souls, Hades, the Devil, etc, yet the power of death and its reach is unaffected like the others.
I repeat: The SAME RESULT must ensue for all agencies receiving the same punishment!
Here is an excerpt from Sam Frost concerning death:
“In Greek, it is “the Death” and “the second one, the Death”. The First Death came through Adam and is equal to “the condemnation” (Rom 5). So, why would we not think that since the Tree of Life is now manifest in God’s People, that the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil ceased? Man has two trees to eat from. Following the pattern, the eternal reality of creation is seen also in the Age to Come new heavens and new earth. You have two Trees. Dismiss the Tree of Life (fail to submit to the King of all the Earth and who is King over all the kingdoms of the world), and is there not to be any condemnation? The new covenant is not a condemnation-less covenant! No universalist can get around the FACT of The Second One, The Death.” Dennis says this is “redefinition”. In what way he never explains. He just makes the charge and moves on, parading the universalists as the most consistent FP system!…If the death is still around, then so is your condemnation. With the destruction of the Death, the condemnation in Adam was effectively removed. Dennis asks how can this be for the believer, but not for the wicked. This is answered by replacing the First Death with a new heavens and new earth Death, the Second one. Had this not been revealed to us, and had this verdict of God’s court been uttered, then universalism can make a case. As such, it cannot. The Second Death prevents universalism from being true. It is like God saying, “the Gospel is going to the world, to being healing to nations and reveal my son, Jesus. But, not every one is going to see my glory. Some will refuse it, and for them, I have decreed a Second Death for those who reject the New Tree of Life.” Pretty simple to me…”
This answer is by no means satisfactory for one reason, which Sam Frost himself brings to light: “The First Death came through Adam and is equal to “the condemnation” (Rom 5)…If the death is still around, then so is your condemnation. With the destruction of the Death, the condemnation in Adam was effectively removed.” No matter how much explaining he does about the second death, he gave his own arguments right back to the Universalist.
Sam declares that the first death is the death that brought condemnation under Adam. The Reformed Preterist believes that the sin and condemnation under Adam continue for those who are not saved, and explain that evil is still in the world, even with an irrelevant suffering Devil who is in the lake!
The “condemnation” from Adam MUST continue for men to be considered guilty today. It was condemnation under the first Adam that condemned men, brought the law, made the need for a redeemer in the first place! To remove this condemnation from the world, as they do the devil and the souls of the dead in the lake of fire, they must declare that men are no longer condemned!
Instead, Sam entirely eliminates the sin brought by Adam (leading to the “first death”), and creates a new sin leading to condemnation of the “second death” for those not in Christ. In other words, the problem brought into the world through Adam was NOT conquered by Christ, and so the wheel was simply reinvented. Not only is Romans 1-5 the undeniable proof that only those “in Christ” are saved, but it is also the biggest part of scripture used to show WHY we need a savior — Because under Adam all men are condemned!
Full Preterism has taken a new twist, and the entire book to the Romans has become irrelevant in Sam’s new law and new death scenario. I will deal with the idea of a “new law” or a “new death” later.
The idea that the spiritual came after the natural occurrence is backward but I cannot address that here in this step. Even though both “new” things go against the fabric of Reformed thinking, the point is that even if a “new death’ or “new law” were NOT created, we have different results from the same judgment. The issue here is consistency in the approach. According to their view, the devil is gone and inactive. He is irrelevant and being tormented, and so is death. The same punishment for both MUST produce the same results.
Do I really need to do a study on Romans to show that the death from Adam is still going on today? Do I need to state any more that the only way for Full Preterism to answer the devil and death problem is to invent a “new law” that humans break after AD 70 with a “new death” to explain the lake of fire that Universalists get wrong? Reformed Full Preterism must either depart from the Reformed grounding, lead to a Universalist approach, or lead to an Idealist approach.
CONSISTENCY OF IDEALISM
So what is the Idealist approach that makes the view of this different? Idealism sees the lake of fire as a literary device to show the utter defeat of the devil, the grave, the false prophet, the beast, and the souls of those not found in the book. They are defeated only IN CHRIST. The events of AD 70 are the same as those of 4000 B.C. They are the same as when Abraham was called from Ur, when the Israelites were lead from Egypt, when the Christians fled to Pella, and when we die to the “old man” and enter into Christ. The prophecies of Revelation 20 are hyperbole given to tell this story.
The devil is not dead or gone, but he is utterly defeated by Christ. Those “in Christ” share this victory over him. He is in the “lake of fire” (under His feet!) Death is not gone and reinvented as the “lake of fire.” Instead, death is utterly defeated by Christ, and those “in Christ” share the victory over it, and never die. Those outside of Christ still die. They suffer that utter defeat of a rebellious heart against God eternally.
Idealism sees that the stories of the Exodus and AD 70 are pointing to a higher spiritual truth. The truth that Christ came to REVEAL in His time on earth.
“John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Where Full Preterism fails this truth is by putting it in time. Christ is eternal. He did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. He was such from the beginning. The events that occurred become the fulfillment of a lesson that was always true “in Christ”. By making the eternal a matter of time, they run into the forced and unavoidable inconsistencies as shown above.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light SHINES in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
What do YOU think ?
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Date: 08 Jun 2007
Personally, I don’t see the issue. Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. So what’s the problem? I think you are putting a very narrow interpretation on the word “death”. But shouldn’t it be taken in its context of “Hades”? I mean after all, even before “death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire”, people were still alive after death, in Hades. That’s who Christ went and preached to. That this waiting had been abolished. Death is in that fashion, in this context of this passage. In fact, if we look back to Rev 21:1-4, we see that it says that there “is no more death”, for those in Christ. In the verses surrounding what you are quoting, in the KJV, it says that “death and Hell gave up the dead that were in them”, but that is a translation error. It actually says “death and Hades” and Hades is merely “the state or place of the dead”, which speaks of physical death and so, the second death that you mentioned, is a separate issue which speaks of the lake of fire.
Maybe I am missing something in what you’re saying. If so, please explain it here further, if you’re willing. But I do not see this as an “Achilles Heel for Full Preterism” and no offense intended, but if this is what you’re hanging your hat on, I see your hat sliding off of the rack. 🙂
As for when everything was fulfilled, I see 70AD as the return of Christ, as I believe He said (same generation), but I also see the fulfillment taking time for some issues. For example, Zech 14:1-2 tells us that Jerusalem would be desolated, but v3 tells us that Christ would “turn and fight”. This would be against the Roman Empire that He used to attack Jerusalem and Judea. Now every scholar of the Roman Empire knows that it was in 70 AD that the decline of the Roman Empire began, but it took centuries for it to finally fall completely. But then again, Zech 14:3 doesn’t say He would utterly destroy them, but I believe that was the plan and so, while I believe that Christ returned in 70 AD and that the resurrection happened, etc., I do not believe that everything was finished happening. But that does not mean that I believe that Christ has yet to return again. Christ spoke of one return, not multiple returns. And I’m sorry, but I don’t see that you’re accurately representing FP.
The reality is, that the way that you reckon Satan’s judgment (being defeated in Christ), that already occurred when Christ rose from the dead!
In other words, since Satan had no power over those in Christ even before this “lake of fire”, then what was the point in “throwing him in the lake of fire”, which you equate to him being defeated in Christ, just so he could continue on doing what he always did?
He was defeated in Christ before the lake if fire and so, being defeated in Christ being the lake of fire, cannot be what it means, IMO!
Furthermore, there is no doubt that the people mentioned there, are destroyed. It is the second death. So how is it that they, not being human beings (bodies) anymore, are judged and thrown into the lake of fire and die there (see Mat 10:28) and yet, satan being thrown into it just means, “being defeated in Christ”? You spoke of FP being inconsistent. I don’t see much consistency in your view in this regard, sir. I honestly don’t.
Furthermore, it says that it is “the second death” that has no power over those in Christ. So “no more death” equates to those in Christ and once again, when we go back to Rev 21:1-4, we see that it says that there is “no more death”. Now since it says that “God will wipe away the tears from their eyes”, we know that this is talking about the saved; those in Christ. So we must put all of this together and when we do, even though you argue saying that it “must apply to all”, the reality is, that Scripture in my view, specifically shows that it doesn’t. you are trying to combine the wheat and the tares, IMO.
Thanks for your comments.
Date: 19 Aug 2007
Death is not relevant and is not used, like you say, except for the one place where it now resides, in the Lake of Fire. This, of course, is where those who are not in Christ are cast, where death is very relevant for them.
Date: 30 Mar 2010
2 Timothy 1:10
“but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, WHO HAS DESTROYED DEATH and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Death reigned during the Old Age from Adam to Christ. After Jesus rose, he canceled the written code of condemnation. Therefore, to disobey Jesus after he did this is to then be handed back over to death… a second death.
2 Corinthians 5:14
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore ALL DIED.”
Those baptized into Jesus were baptized into his death. In doing so, they died. They died to the law, to sin and to death. Their bodies considered dead and their spirits alive. So it is apparent that they came to life at this time, and NO death had a hold on them.
Jesus is constantly saying that the people would be judged by their works, as do the apostles. This is because what you DO makes you alive in Christ or dead. The wheat are alive, the chaff is burned – a separation is made. Yes, the fire had to to with the fires of Jerusalem during the war, but even more it had to do with Jesus’ followers – the meek – inheriting the earth. If you didn’t inherit the earth (as God’s kingdom) then you were coming to nothing and cut down out of God’s spiritual lineage/genealogy.
Cain was Adam’s son just like Seth was, but Cain was cut off from Adam’s line and Seth gave way to the generation of his son, Enosh, at which time they “began to call upon the name of the Lord.” Cain was cut off and burned away from God’s inheritance like chaff. In the same way, the physical Jews were cut off and burned away like chaff, but the spiritual Jews endured forever in God’s kingdom as the church. The same pattern even applies with Esau/Jacob, Ishmael/Isaac. Esau and Ishmael were cut off and burned away like chaff from God’s favor, genealogy and blessing; Isaac and Jacob were the ones still connected to the promised inheritance to Abraham and his children.
Death, Hades, Rome, Jerusalem… these things were all burned away from God’s people and their inheritance. And they are not the genealogy of God’s loved ones.
Mike, he didn’t deal with anything. I would be glad to debate this on a private (with select few invited) Yahoo group if he is willing, and if you could set it up.
His arguments can easily, easily be dismantled. – Sam
Nate we still haven’t heard back are you up for this?
Below are just my quick observations so far. MB.
Where the consistency goes right out the window is where death is addressed. For the Devil, Beast, False Prophet, Hades, and more importantly to the non-Universalist FP, the souls of the saved, they are all in eternal torment unable to reach out from beyond the grave to affect mankind today. Evil is explained by the wickedness in mankind. The laws of logic get tossed right out the window when death, who “were thrown into the lake of fire” is still able to continue to this day, defeated only “in Christ.” The FP applies an application of the lake of fire where it DEFEATS death for the saved, but does not DESTROY death or its power ultimately for anyone else.
A) So I am curious, since Hades was thrown in the lake of fire Nate, yet before AD70 you agree that Hades applied to Christians too – so does Hades still apply to Christians? If not there goes your “consistency”. Oh, I know, you think it just means “grave” so shouldn’t the grave still have power over all Christians? Is that your position? Are you being “consistent” Nate?
B) The scripture says “the death” was thrown into the lake of fire. The death singular. Separation was thrown into the lake of fire. The gate that blocked all men from God. “Behold I have the keys to death and hades”. Jesus opened the gates. Hence there are no gates to the NJ. The gate is gone. That does not make anyone outside the garden (NJ) any less “separated”.
C) Exactly what laws of logic got tossed out? Please state the law of logic that was violated. The fallacy that was comitted? I don’t see one. I submit that you don’t know the rules of logic.
D) Do you – Nate – belong to both ages? You say the devil still affects you.
“So I see Revelation 20 as unfolding over these past few years in me. I have had that time of bondage and temptation by Satan”.
So my question is this. Is the devil in the age to come? Todd doesn’t seem to think so. Are you in the age to come? Or are you in both ages?
“the Death”, “the Sin” & “the Devil” – Externally Defeated For All “in AD70” showing Internal Spiritual Defeat on Behalf of Redeemed
Are you saying that even after the devil was thrown into the lake that even those at AD70 that were alive at the time that were Christians still had to contend with the devil i.e. there was really no defeat at all? Curious?
So you are going to embark on telling us what to believe – yet you say this below in another article…
Some have asked me what Revelation 20 means, and to this I can only ask them to define it how they will. I personally see it this way. In the love story written about God and me, I have seen myself grow in different areas….That in Him I am no longer enslaved to “ologies” and “isms”… as through these words I flee to it again and leave my “ism” behind. I am a walking example of Revelation 20. The dates I cannot give, the situations I cannot point to exactly…
Curious – isn’t Idealism an “ism”?
And if you can only “define it as to what it means to you” and we are welcome to “define it how we will” then why are you forcing this Idealism (your new ism – which you deny having) on others? Isn’t the truth subjective in your view? So how do I know what you are saying is going to be true? So why should we listen to you? My truth is as good as yours right?
If we can use any hermeneutic that we want to use on the scriptures are you going to allow me to use that hermeneutic that you use on the bible, on your article? You wouldn’t like that would you? You would say “that is not what I meant”
You EXPECT heremenutical courtesy from us when we read your article. But you won’t do the same with the words of the Apostles and Christ.
That is hypocritical – IMO.
You said that you are going to come to “logical conclusions”. I hope you are prepared to defend it LOGICALLY.
Article 6: The Historico-Grammatical Method of Interpretation
WE AFFIRM that God’s verbal revelation in Scripture is intended as a public communication and must be properly understood according to the same principles of interpretation which apply to any human, non-esoteric, literary work.
WE AFFIRM that the Scripture is interpreted correctly only when interpreted according to its letter (“literally”) in the normal, historical, and grammatical sense, taking account of a text’s literary genre (whether figurative or not, etc.) and the author’s intent (as determined semantically, and by the local and broader literary contexts).
WE DENY that Scripture contains secret wisdom or hidden, subtle meanings which are ascertained by approaching the Bible on some supposed higher or Spiritual plane.
WE DENY that deeper, creative insights and artistic connections in Scripture should be maximized by lines of interpretation which follow no objective, definite, or consistent rule of interpretation which would make publicly predictable and correctable conclusions possible.
WE DENY that Scripture is properly handled by any “prooftexting” method which fails to consult a text’s local context as well as the entire teaching of Scripture as it pertains to any particular text.
WE DENY as well that any theological or moral truth (including the larger theme or thrust of the Bible as a whole) can be established without adducing texts from Scripture which prove it or without showing that it follows by sound logical inference from such.
WE DENY that Scripture, as some would allege about any literary work, is empty of fixed and objective meaning so that its language makes no unchanging disclosure, its authorial intent is inaccessible, and every reading of a text constitutes a misreading.
WE DENY that literary evidence of stylized expression, order, or balance in a text of Scripture precludes its historicity or factuality.
WE DENY that the Biblical authors invented illustrative stories or traditions and then narrated or presented them as though they were actual historical events.
MichaelB: A) So I am curious, since Hades was thrown in the lake of fire Nate, yet before AD70 you agree that Hades applied to Christians too – so does Hades still apply to Christians? If not there goes your “consistency”. Oh, I know, you think it just means “grave” so shouldn’t the grave still have power over all Christians? Is that your position? Are you being “consistent” Nate?
Me: Yes I am being consistent, because the grave only loses power in Christ. For those in Christ, the grave cannot hold them, they are spiritually alive beings, not subject to the grave. Hades never applied to Christians. However, it’s defeat was not revealed until AD 70. Remember the idea of guilty conscience sprinkled with the blood of Christ being freed from guilt by the revelation that was to come in AD 70? Witnessing vindication and seeing Him perform what He promised is important. In our finite lives we need to witness His vindication and deliverance, it is His process to free us from our guilt and show us we are His children. What we need to see vs. what is always true “in Him” are two different things, and they transcend time. It is true from the foundation, but made real to us when we “see” it.
MichaelB: B) The scripture says “the death” was thrown into the lake of fire. The death singular. Separation was thrown into the lake of fire. The gate that blocked all men from God. “Behold I have the keys to death and hades”. Jesus opened the gates. Hence there are no gates to the NJ. The gate is gone. That does not make anyone outside the garden (NJ) any less “separated”.
Me: Mike just displayed the ultimate undependable inconsistency. If the chasm that separated all men was no longer there, then there is no separation unless a new one is invented. If sin is the chasm (it always was), and it still exists for those outside of Christ, then it is only removed once an individual is IN Christ. Idealism. This shatters at least his version of preterism, which claims that the separation was removed, period. And then says it still exists. So are we saying the same thing or not. That it is only removed in Christ?
Logic is, simply put, the science of necessary inference. The conclusion(s) must NECESSARILY follow from the premise(s) given.
In each of your first four paragraphs (before you list your rules), you have asserted that universalism is a “logical conclusion” of full preterism.
Now, regardless of your motives, you are in fact asserting that the view that men like Sam, Mike B, and myself hold to FORCES one to universalism. That is, our view, if consistently worked out, must necessarily led to universalism.
So yes, you are forcing things here and you did so the very second you inserted the words “logically concludes”.
I have printed out and read your two part article three times and no where have you established any argument demonstrating this. Not even close.
You claim that whether we agree with your 6 rules or not, “doesn’t make the logic any less true.”
Nate, what logic? What necessary inference is being put on display in simply asserting things like: “All attributes of God apply to Christ?”
Regardless of whether I agree with that or not, that is not a logical argument. That is merely an assertion.
Nate, i am certainly open to the possibility that something i or Sam has said necessarily leads to universalism. We are men. We can make mistakes. We don’t always follow a line of thinking all the way out. This is why we surround ourselves with a community of believers…to keep ourselves in check. But you have not even begun to demonstrate that any such thing has occurred. Based on various comments from you, I don’t think you understand what Sam is saying nor do i think you have a good grip on what logic is.
I would suggest you start over again and establish the arguments rather than merely assert the same thing over and over again with no “proof”.
Jason – you nailed it.
This has become so obvious to me – that the issue is heremeutics and logic – that I have enrolled in a hermenutics class, and bought a logic course online by Doug Wilson.
I took many philosophy and logic courses as well as some religion courses in college. But since this is where people are going wrong, I think it is high time we get back to these basics !!!
We need to start calling peopel out for their violation of these rules. That is what leads to universalism. Not Preteism.
In fact the irony is that most Idealists that Todd cites on his website were UNIVERSALISTS. The Swedenborgians and the Quakers were Universalists.
So I guess we can conclude that Idealism leads to Universalism too. Of course we wouldn’t do that because you, Sam, and I, and others like us, like to be LOGICAL.
The rooster crows the sun comes up.
The rooster crows the sun comes up.
Therefore: roosters cause the sun to come up.
That is the logic I see from some people in here !!! =)
“And if you can only “define it as to what it means to you” and we are welcome to “define it how we will” then why are you forcing this Idealism (your new ism – which you deny having) on others?”
Just so everyone knows, Mike is in my dungeon behind a big glass wall, forced to read my articles and being brainwashed to believe what I say. They are projected throughout his room in 3D while chants from the Tibetan Buddahist Monks are played in the background to help infiltrate my new found relativism!
Another joke. Lighten up. I am not forcing anything, I am sharing my views. You don’t have to like them, but it doesn’t change the fact that I care about you as my friend.
Nate the irony is that you are telling people that they NEED to read the bible SUBJECTIVELY. Don’t you get the irony bro? Are you CERTAIN that we should ALL read it subjectively? This is like saying “the truth is relative”. Well when someone says that shouldn’t we ask “Even that statement?” Your theology is flawed from the get go. You may persuade some people but persuasion is NOT proof. For instance the doctor may prove that you have a tumor with an x-ray. But you may not be persuaded. You may say “no way I feel just fine”. Your hermeneutic Nate, is just like the deconstructionist that says “words have no definite meaning”. Al the while he expects us to UNDERSTAND his sentence DEFINITELY.
Nate: I am posting this here in regards to your 3rd installment. I will re-post it when it comes up on this site / I saw it on P-Archive. For some reason my email does not work at home, and since it is a 3 day weekend and all, I do not want to lose my thoughts here.
Nate – you are my friend, but it is pretty cowardly, IMO, to not take any questions regarding your theology, and all the contradictions that I have pointed out already, via personal emails etc., but then take quotes from here or there, from me, or Sam, and use them in an article. Why won’t you debate us and lets see just who’s theology is more “consistent” and more “logical”.
The law of Moses was a shadow of the true law. It represented the real law which is Christ. The Mosaic law was a revelatory instrument used by God to show mankind His holiness and our unworthiness. It pointed not only to our need for Christ, but was the tool by which mankind saw Christ revealed incarnate, as He fulfilled its external works.
Nate how is this different than what Sam and I have been saying? What you FAIL to understand is that what was “REVEALED” was the TRUE LAW. Both for RIGHTEOUSNESS and CONDEMNATION. Hence the SHADOW is not needed anymore to condemn men. Romans makes it clear that Christ REVEALED both RIGHTEOUSNESS in Him and CONDEMNATION without him. No more SHADOWS needed.
Adam didn’t start in the garden. God PUT him in the garden.
7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
This (below)is enough to condemn any man – it has been REVEALED – man knows good and evil, and starts OUTSIDE THE GARDEN.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
1 Timothy 1
5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
1 John 3
23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” 25On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
So how does man get in?
14″Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
There is nothing inconsistent about this. We find the SAME THING / EXACT SAME IMAGERY in the OT where In Isaiah 65/66 Zechariah 14, Isaiah 26 etc etc. where John the apostle got his imagery from, are talking about the NH and NE and the NJ.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Application of the bible to our lives IS NOT the fulfillment. You violate the Grammatico-Historical hermeneutic with every subjective whim of you have and I am quite sure that the apostles would be pleased if you would grant them the SAME hermeneutical courtesy that you expect everyone to use when they read your articles.
Nate – You have turned to a “lucky dipper”. Just close your eyes and point to a scripture and tell us how it applies to your life and how this is the true fulfillment – LOL. Geesh. That is some great hermeneutic you got there !!!
It is simple. I do not want to get bogged down in debating Part2, when I am still writing Part 4. When all parts are done, I plan to answer some questions, however, these are designed to answer most of the questions asked. When explaining what Idealism does to the time statements and such, how long should one beat his head against a wall? the answers you receive will not change.
Concerning debate, some learn by listening, others by reading, others through practical application. The same is true for expressing ones self. The exchange of ideas is just as easily done written. It is public and for all to see, why do something in the verbal that I can do with the pen? I am much more expressive with the keyboard.
Cowardly has nothing to do with anything. Unfair charge IMO.
You hadn’t heard back because I was not getting those emails.
Had I been able to respond, I would tell you I am not interested. Thanks though.
P.S. Mike, you can use any hermeneutic on my article you wish. It is public and people can see both my writing and your responses for what they are.
It is when the bonds of friendship are strained by categorizing someones character as a defense against their writing that I was getting upset. We made our apologies about that, now I am over it. Your “fallacy” arguments haven’t bothered me yet. Even though I think you fall into the “if it doesn’t agree with me, it is a fallacy” Fallacy.
JUST A JOKE!!
I am going to post a couple fallacies here. I think you can see how they apply to much of the arguments made in this article without much need of explanation.
Description of Slippery Slope
The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed.
This “argument” has the following form:
Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.
This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there is a significant number of steps or gradations between one event and another
Description of Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
The Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief is a fallacy that comes in the following patterns:
X is true because if people did not accept X as being true then there would be negative consequences.
X is false because if people did not accept X as being false, then there would be negative consequences.
X is true because accepting that X is true has positive consequences.
X is false because accepting that X is false has positive consequences.
I wish that X were true, therefore X is true. This is known as Wishful Thinking.
I wish that X were false, therefore X is false. This is known as Wishful Thinking.
John quoting Nate:
“Where Full Preterism fails this truth is to put it in time. Christ is eternal, he did not become the way, the truth or the life because of any act performed in finite time. “
Full preterism absolutely does not fail by putting the accomplishment of our redemption in time. And yes, the way *was* opened by an act performed in time. And no, the way was *not* available before that act was performed. It is why He came: He came to *PERFORM the mercy*, not simply reveal a mercy that was there all along and cost Him nothing.
Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath *visited* and *redeemed* his people, 69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71 That we should be *saved* from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To *PERFORM THE MERCY* promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.
If finite time is essentially irrelevant to redemption, then Paul and the other apostles should not have made such a big deal about “the fullness of time”! Why does the Bible even concern itself with “time statements” if finite time is not an integral aspect of redemption?
Paul even uses a time statement in reference to the fall: “sin entered the world through one man.” If we remove redemption from time, then consistency requires we must remove the fall from time as well. Is the fall a result of any act performed in finite time?
These are questions that need to be dealt with by pret-idealist advocates. I am interested in how pret-idealism works. I am all for application of the spiritual lessons to contemporary situations. If God doesn’t change, then his acts in the past illuminate his activity today. But, at this point, I’m wondering if pret-idealism resembles more a neo-platonic flight into the “eternal” or “spiritual” to escape the “finite” or “physical” than Scripture warrants. After all, the original creation shows that the finite and the physical is nothing to “escape from.” God’s creation is “very good.” Didn’t God create time?
I agree with Virgil in his comments above. Why is it we humans feel the need to define, dogmatize, and destroy? I’m as guilty as anyone in doing it, but it would seem that Nate’s ideas here (which I am familiar with but have not had time to read the article) are simply his suggestions to how we understand this whole preterist movement in light of the history of Christendom.
I have struggled with this myself, and corresponded with Todd Dennis about Idealism. I see many good things about looking at it with an open mind. However, do we need to label it? Do we need to attack another position or invent a new one to defend against another?
When I corresponded with Todd, he assumed at first that I was rejecting Absolute Grace. When I told him that I wasn’t, the discussion ended (sad to say). I’m sure that he was as busy as I was – I don’t believe he ended it as some sort of shunning – and we didn’t have the time to continue the discussion. But, my reasons for looking further was because I was not satisfied with the “it’s all about Israel” thing that FP can potentially lead to. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the whole redemption thing was about Israel, but post-Parousia there is still something there for the rest of the world.
Anyway, I’m getting long winded and I’m at work. I just want to say that, as long as we can try our best to keep it civil, and be objective, I think these discussions are healthy. They help point us in a positive direction.
This is about trying to help people understand the differences of FP and IP. Universalism is mentioned because I believe one is a logical conlusion of the other. I have had my discussions over Universalism and crossed that bridge. this is about the shortcomings I see in preterism, and how idealism is a step in a more correct direction (not the answer itself).
I used to handle our differences badly, for that I am sorry and hope God has matured me a bit. This is not an attempt to attack or rehash those days. Just an answer to long standing questions and an explanation of where my point of view is at this time.
you and I went at it far too often. I am enjoying our interaction of late. Sometimes it is a matter of humility (which I have a whole bunch of (; ).
I understand your point about why you are investigating or have embraced IP. I too have some concerns about FP and its tendency to be an ending point, rather than a starting point. I think that Virgil and others here see that same problem and hope to find a solution. Your articles are a good starting point and healthy for the movement; imho.
I’m not reformed, nor do I like any kind of labels. I’m just a seeker of Biblical truths.
Why the necessity of developing a new name (Idealist) as I thought Full Preterist were all over the spectrum of understandings. I also assume that Idealist will have folks all over the spectrum of understanding. Some Full Preterist have a screwed up theology; so how do you propose to keep Idealism pure theologically?
I sometimes think we that are into the Full Preterist contemporary movement imagine we have to form some new church so that we may be pure. Why not recognize the limitations of all believers and use Christ redeeming power to live in harmony where God has placed us. Is there a necessity of continuing to divide the camp in the name of a more pure theology?
I don’t have eight years of Full Preterism but only a little over a year but I have come to recognize that I’m not embracing as radical a theology as I first believed. We are just another cog in the wheel of believers and we have a higher calling which is to participate as part of the body of Christ. No need to redefine and create new labels, we have one already and it is Christian.
Now I do not have a problem with your exploration of a consistent understanding of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, in fact I applaud that effort and see much that I agree with.
In order to battle the Universalist logical conclusions of Consistent Cessationist Full Preterism, many Cessationist believers are giving ground to the idea that all Biblical offices, gifts, and patterns still continue in a milder, less structured sort of way.
Nate, why is it so absolutely necessary to battle the logical conclusions you are being led to by your studies? You are making it sound like Universalism got you backed into a corner and preterist idealism is something awkward you had to come up with in order to avoid the obvious and logical conclusions of your studies?
How about not taking either side and opening your arms wide enough to welcome both universalism and limited atonement? 🙂 I know I sleep much better at night not worrying about whether universalism is right or wrong.
I don’t worry about it either. I hope my tone of late shows this. My writing is in response to questions raised, that is the reason for the manner it is presented. They wanted to know the difference and HOW we think FP logically leads to universalism.
I had stopped trying to “battle” universalists for about a year before I ever saw the idealist argument presented. And it was not universalism that made me grasp onto the basis of it, but it was that which FP lacked.
God Bless Bro
P.S. For everyones knowledge. I am only responding because this site was out of the loop on why this is even being written. I will not “debate” these things here while I am still writing. I am just offering my presentation for others to view and discuss.
I will be the first to admit that Preterism is too rigid in its structure to accommodate what you (and I) are aiming for; in fact I would argue that in many ways you and I are on the same page, so I am not debating or arguing with you.
I do perceive this preterist idealism business to be a reactive posture to Universalism rather than a natural progression; the problem is that Universalism has been around much longer than Preterism, so one would be hard pressed to demonstrate any links between the two, especially considering that the golden years of Universalism are behind us, in a time when Preterism was simply unheard of.
Lastly, I perceive you to write from a position of disappointment with preterism. This is perhaps because you have perceived preterism to be an end in itself, and a climax to theological and eschatological exchange; I have made the same mistake too…many of us have. We need to get over it and start using Preterism as a springboard to something better, something that helps us keep our eyes on the future…the next leg of the journey. Maybe that is some form of idealism…I don’t know, but it IS just another “ism” and it will also leave you unsatisfied.
This quest for certainty we are all engaged in will not be satisfied by a systematic and rigid “ism” created to eliminate doubt. After all, was it not Augustine who said that doubt is just another element of faith?”
All I can do is assure you that I am tying no dogmatism to this. It is probably the most emotionally unattached I have been in any stage of my personal walk concerning the understanding of scripture.
I have been doing nothing but warning others about being dogmatic over this issue. If I have learned anything, it is that thinking I have “arrived” will fail me no matter what system I am adopting. I am sorry if you are reading that into my posts, but it is an explanation of the differences. Someday I am sure I will find out shortcomings in this. But what I will not do now is return to a dead end road already traveled. I need to follow where I am led.
And yes. Your explanation is a form of idealism. Idealism in and of itself is really about objective vs. subjective understanding of scripture.
The cross is pointless if someone only looks at the physical act, and not the point of it. What the cross meant to the Roman Christian would not be the same understanding that a Jewish Christian might have, but they would both be saved none the less.
Full Preterism tries to force everyone into the same objective, external point of view over it all. It just doesn’t work.
How does something have an “Achilles Heel” when we are all permitted to understand it to suit our own personal (subjective) beliefs?
“Full Preterism tries to force everyone into the same objective, external point of view over it all. It just doesn’t work.”
Well, “it doesn’t work” FOR YOU, but maybe it “works” for others.
Sorry, this is just silly.
No problem at all. Did you see what I was trying to get at with the cross being viewed by a Roman Christian and a Jewish convert? Both may see and accept the work of the cross, but one sees the story of the law and how this is the fullness, the other might have no clue of either, and just go away happy to be forgiven.
And yes, it “works” for both.
The laws of logic get tossed right out the window when death, who “were thrown into the lake of fire” is still able to continue to this day, defeated only “in Christ.” The FP applies an application of the lake of fire where it DEFEATS death for the saved, but does not DESTROY death or its power ultimately for anyone else.
1) I’ve heard the term Hades referred to as death, so perhaps the phrase “death and Hades” is simply encompassing the holding tank which existed prior to 70AD.
2) Maybe we need to read Revelation as poetry and consider that death, hades, Satan, the Beast, the antichrist and the condemned were destroyed in a lake of fire but only as they effected God’s people? So when you mention death only being destroyed as it relates to the saved, then perhaps hades and satan are simply destroyed/removed from the lives of the saved as well, yet they still hold effect on the unsaved?
I’m not endorsing anything here, just some thoughts.
I think that makes perfect sense.