You can find it here.
I don’t post much personal on the blog anymore as those of you interested in such things generally are my Facebook friends, but this one is pertinent to the blog: My house goes on the market early next week, and once it sells, my happy butt is moving from Florida to Colorado.
Originally posted 7/28/06
The resurrection is past. At least according to the Gospel of Thomas.
His disciples said to him, “When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?” He said to them, “What you look forward to has already come. but you do not recognize it.”
*N.T. Wright notes the “repose” in this verse has been taken as “resurrection” by some (The Resurrection of the Son of God page 536) - it seems pretty apparent to me in context.
And the hyperpreterists claim they are not neo-gnostic. Yeah. And the Pope isn’t Catholic.
Brief Summary: In episode 61, I re-broadcast my recent appearance on the Theopologetics podcast with my friend Chris Date discussing a very personal issue from my past: abortion. I do hope you find it useful and edifying.
A perfect gem from The Resurrection of the Son of God:
You may be allowed to eat meat offered to idols, but you cannot deny the future bodily resurrection and claim that denial as an allowable Christian option.
Repost: Originally posted 6/15/06
I was listening to a radio broadcast from last year and heard the commentator state a philosophy that could be extrapolated to say that we should use the most charitable labels possible when labeling one’s opposition. I am admittedly taking one statement from this commentator in drawing out a general principle; however, this is a principle I hear articulated often, thus, it really doesn’t matter if when examined in great detail the particular teacher would not agree in total with that which I have inferred from his program since there are, in fact, others who certainly do. And, in brief, likely to the great suprise of some, I agree with that statement. At first blush, this could be difficult to believe in light of the many-varied labels and terms of that I use for hyperpreterism, including the term hyperpreterism itself. So, I will explicate. Selecting one’s terminology is not simplistic, it must take into consideration the multiple contexts, subjects, and background of the discussion. For example, something which might be considered “charitable” in one context would be completely uncharitable in another.
When considering charitableness, one cannot only take into consideration the object that is being labeled, in this case hyperpreterism. As Dan Trotter once quoted his wife as stating, this isn’t about any particular hyperpreterist that she hates; it is about the orthodox that she loves. Therefore, in considering the subject matter being defended, that being the very heart of the historic faith itself, it is not charitable to the faith or the orthodox to smother heresy in terms which do not mark it out for the deviance that it is. In that the light, “hyperpreterism” serves its function as a phrase extraordinarily well. There are certainly much harsher, and just as accurate, terminology to be used, such as hymenaeanism. In fact, I do use that terminology from time to time, but, even though the Bible does have some completely harsh words for false doctrines and those who spread them, those harsh words are not on every page of the Bible, nor are they in every passage dealing with false teaching, and therefore our words should not be inordinately weighted in that direction either. The Bible uses them for polemical effect, and that is the effect to which we should use them.
The above deals with the issue in a public writing contexts. However if there are other contacts in which I have eschewed the use of even the word hyperpreterism and used in fact phraseology that I normally would not use such as “full preterism.” Now why in the world would I do that? There have been instances when I have been in private communications with a hyperpreterist that is open to abandon their heresy who has communicated to me that they have a severe problem in our “face to face” communications with that term. I am desiring to have a personal dialogue with this person. There is no other audience but us, and that person is already well aware of my views. It serves no purpose that point with a person who is willing to reconsider their heretical theology to use a language which will only serve that point to inflame and have no other use as there is no other person that is involved in the correspondence - it is just us two.
In our culture today we tend to have a saccharine and smarmy view of tolerance, charity, and love. It is not loving to pretend, either through inaction, ambivalence, or inaccurate labeling that a view isn’t the dangerous heresy that it is. Persons examining and hearing of this view need to go into it the get-go with their eyes wide open. They need to understand, and it is incumbent upon us to tell them, that if they embrace this view, they have abandoned the historic faith. This is not to discourage people from examining the view. In fact, I encourage mature Christians to examine all views, not just hyperpreterism, but the claims of the cults such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, the Christadelphians, and what ever other cult they may run into. The real thing isn’t threatened by a counterfeit, and is incumbent upon each believer to have an examined faith. However, an examined faith, and an informed decision, require having the fact out in the open. While some hyperpreterist may disagree, and this is a hallmark of cultic thinking, a factor if you’re in evaluating views is in fact the fact that it is the denial of basic and core Christian doctrine that has been held unanimously by the Church for two millennia. A potential convert has to come to grips with the arrogance or potential arrogance that they think that they and a relatively recent band of vocal theological deviants have figured out something that has escaped the Church in toto for all of this time, the same Church which was promised to be led by the Spirit which apparently has not even grasp the back contours of Christian eschatology. That in fact does take a whole lot of chutzpah, and the potential convert needs to face that directly and up front.
Another factor in considering charity and terminology is the posture of the deviant teaching being addressed. I find no need to point out continually that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christians in the way that historic Trinitarians would consider Christianity. Why? Because the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t deny that, they’re quite open that the rest of the so-called church, as far as they are concerned, are idolatrous apostates. This was true (the thought that the rest of the church was apostate), as well, up until relatively recent times, for the Mormons. Now, it has become necessary to point out their heretical nature (doctrine only) in multiple fashions and times because they have to be great public relations push to be considered just another Christian denomination. That is very similar to the philosophy behind the hyperpreterist push. They frame the debate as one which must be assumed from the outset to be one between various acceptable Christian views. It is not, and thus, it is necessary in multiple fashions and times to point this out until they become much more be theologically honest in doing so.
Charity begins at home. Do you love the orthodox? Do you love the historic faith? Do you believe that the Spirit has led the Church so that she has understood the basic underpinnings of the Gospel? Then your language should reflect this, and your language should send up the red flags with regards to this new-yet-old-comer (it is amazing how many old heresies are reflected in this new one). In so doing, you should not be harsher than the context demands, but neither should you falter from saying what needs to be said. This is not loving to the orthodox, nor ultimately loving to the hyperpreterist in giving them a false sense of Christian inclusion.
This is a repost: Originally posted on June 5, 2006 with updates on February 17, 2008
It seems like a great deal that goes on in this orthodox versus heretical eschatological debate hinges upon a war over terminology. That should not be surprising, since positions which do not have historical credibility or have other inherent flaws which would make persons reluctant to consider them off the bat, will often adopt terminology which either paints a better face on the view or cloaks it with the word that has historically “good” meaning so as to, intentionally or unintentionally, obfuscate the issue. First off, let me say, that there are many people who have fallen into this trap unwittingly. They don’t realize that they have bought into the language game, or do not realize its importance. I am not trying to read into anyone’s overt intentions here, but rather examine underlying motivations which are common with views that have problems with general acceptance, whether rightly or wrongly. For example, at this point in our culture, it seems backward and intolerant to be opposed to abortion. Therefore, many times, those of us who are opposed to abortion will refer to ourselves as “pro-life.” While that descriptive serves a purpose to a point, the fact is, in terms of this debate, we are very much against abortion. I don’t think that we should shy away from the label of “anti-abortion.” I don’t shy away from the labels of anti-murder, anti-racist, anti-child abused, or any number of things that I’m opposed to on moral grounds. I don’t need to pretend and or act as being against abortion is something that I need to cover in flowery language. Yes of course I am in favor of life, but in this particular case, I am in favor of life by being specifically against abortion. Abortion is the specific referent in the discussion, and that is what I am against. That is one example, though it doesn’t walk on all fours necessarily. I did use it, however, to demonstrate that I recognize the semantical gamemanship even with positions thatat are ones I myself hold.
Similarly, the homosexual movement has used the power flowery words to disguise deviant sexual practices. It is not “homosexual”, it is “gay.” I for the most part refuse to use the term “gay.” That word had such a wonderful historical meaning it has now been co-opted to mean something which is an abomination in the sight of God. I will not be a party to that.
So bringing us back to the eschatological discussion, sometimes hyperpreterists, and well-meaning non-hyperpreterists, will say that those of my eschatological persuasion (sometimes it even happens with those who are of my own eschatological persuasion) are simply a variant of futurist. This is boldly historically inaccurate and nonsensical. One cannot be considered a futurist simply because they believe that the physical, bodily return of Christ and the physical, bodily resurrection are future. This discussion is framed with an historical Christian context. ALL CHRISTIANS believe those things. They have been part and parcel of the historical foundations of the Faith for millennia. Things which are to be presumed in common are not items for which labels indicating diversity are created. Therefore, it is completely redundant to say within a Christian (historical) context that a person is a futurist with regards to these items. Those things are presumed and subsumed within the title of “Christian.” This would be about as silly as claiming that all Christians are preterists simply because they believe the Messiah has already come. All Christians believe the Messiah has already come, so there is no need to make a distinction between Christians on something that all Christians have always believed (the machinations of a vocal Internet cultic teaching notwithstanding).
Therefore, in historicalcontext, the terms “futurist” and “preterist” have been used to describe a person’s belief on the timing of debatable events, most notably, the Great Tribulation, and sometimes, the “coming,” that is described in Matthew 24. There are various levels of historical preterism, some of which do not take the “coming” in Matthew 24 to be a first century event and separate out the Great Tribulation from that language. I’m not one of those, but I recognize their existence.
This point becomes very patently obvious when one throws in the other players into this eschatological dispute - namely historicism and idealism. When those two terms are examined, it is very obvious that the issue in dispute is NOT the timing (i.e. futuricty) of the Second Coming or General Resurrection. It is regarding the timing and nature of the events leading up to that point. In orthodoxy, historicists are not those who believe that the event known as the Second Coming is manifested throughout history typically through the church age. That is preposterous. Similarly, in orthodoxy, idealists are not those that believe that the Second Coming of Christ is manifested ideally throughout the church age, but rather both of these views hold that this is a discrete and distinct event yet in our future. All these views hold the futuricity in common because that is a basic Christian belief. It does not make any of these views futurist, it makes them Christian.
Gary DeMar does an excellent of job of answering this issue here: Was the Preterist Interpretation of Revelation Invented by the Jesuits?
My usual warning about DeMar. He is sloppy in his distinctions between heresy and orthodoxy, and this particular article could have used some proof-reading. “Revelation” is spelled wrong in the first sentence, and when quoting Farrar, DeMar doesn’t utter a word in disagreement with Farrar’s incorrect and sloppy identification of the Judgment-Coming against Jerusalem as “the Second Advent” mentioned in multiple place in Scriptures.
I always shake my head in bafflement at DeMar when he does that. Anyways, the article is still excellent.
The months (and it will probably take at least a year more) behind the scenes work I have been doing on the older posts will have some usefulness to you the readers (besides reading older posts that you might not have been around for) in the new tagging system. You can check it out a bit by clicking on the tagging of some of the re-posted articles. Try it for a few of the new tags. Cool huh? So in the future when you want to see every post where say “Hyperpreterism-Different Gospel” was a primary topic, you can just click on an interactive index that will be created and not have to deal with a clunky word search. This is going to take a while but it will be well worth it. I haven’t been able to work on this each day but close enough that slow and steady wins the race.
Filed Under (Author, Dee Dee Warren) by dee dee on 04-03-2013
This is a repost. Originally posted on May 30, 2006
In dealing with and discussing hyperpreterism, I have found an analogy to be had with the abortion debate. Many times debate over abortion scenarios will be posed and questions asked if abortion would be justifiable in such and such situation or at such and such point in time of gestation. However, those arguments ignore the fundamental issue which must be answered before any other issues are examined, and ironically, determining THE issue makes the rest of the questions irrelevant.
Enter the hyperpreterist controversy.
Hyperpreterists believe/hold themselves out to be in Christian communion and part of the historic Christian faith. They desire to have their voice heard as one more legitimate option in the eschatological debate right alongside of historicism, futurism, and preterism. However, similarly to discussing the appropriateness of abortion, one cannot even consider the question of hyperpreterist communion until one first decides what hyperpreterism actually is. And that is exactly what I do. Taking the facts as we know them, that being the various positions that are undeniably within the historic Christian faith, we must then look at what hyperpreterism is to see if in fact they have a place at the debating table as another legitimate Christian view. However, once we perform this exercise, just as with abortion, the very nature of the thing itself renders all other claims moot. Thus, once it is determined that the unborn is in fact a human being, that means that things such as rape are not a justification for murdering that human being. And with hyperpreterism it is very clearly and absolutely heretical in its very nature by the explicit teaching of NOT only the creeds, but ALSO the early Church Fathers, AND the Bible itself. It is under all three tests the destruction of the Christian hope and an abominable heresy. As once we see what hyperpreterism IS in relation to the views that it hopes to commune with, it is patently obvious that communion is impossibly broken.
To further the analogy, if the unborn is a human being, there is no justification, save the preservation of the mother’s life, for murdering it. And if the unborn is not a human being, no justification is needed whatsoever for abortion. Similarly if hyperpreterism is at its core heretical and completely antithetical to the other various Christian eschatologies and foundational orthodoxy itself, there is no argument or justification for giving it a voice in the Church. If Hyperpreterism is not a radically antithetical to the Christian hope, no justification for giving them a voice is needed. Hyperpreterist wish to skip this step and force the Orthodox into a presumably “Christian” debate when the doctrine isn’t Christian all. Hyperpreterists have some serious “dealing with it” to do on this issue.
I am sure some hyperpreterist out there will wax hyperliteral once again and claim that I have compared hyperpreterists to abortionists. Of course I have not. But it’s a heresy folks, just as surely as the unborn is a baby.