After it was pointed out a list of 101 Prophecies Mr. Green compiled didn’t support his intended case Mr. Green responded by once again employing logical fallacy. In this case Mr. Green begs the question. For those of you who don’t understand what “Begging the question” means, the term describes, “…a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true.” Let’s look at how Mr. Green employed the logical fallacy. Mr. Green writes,
However, if there is one “particular” verse (or actually two verses together) that directly and explicitly proves (i.e., bluntly states) creedally heretical preterism, it is Matthew 16:27-28:
“The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. There are some of those who are
standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Here we have the Second Coming, the Resurrection the Dead (implied), the Judgment, and the consummated Kingdom, all about to be fulfilled before Jesus’ contemporaries died.
The question Mr. Green’s claim begs is the meaning of the phrase, “The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father”. Mr. Green assumes the phrase is a reference to what he refers to as, “the Second Coming”. I guess the fact the term “Second Coming” is nowhere found in the text he quotes or for that matter the entire N.T. doesn’t matter to Mr. Green. Based on Mr. Green’s extraordinary “exegetical” skills the passage clearly teaches of a term nowhere found and get this, implies the idea that dead people will also come back to life. Truly it is amazing what Mr. Green is capable of winnowing out of a text.
However, and germane to the topic at hand, how does Mr. Green know that the phrase, “The Son of Man is about to come” is not an allusion to Daniel 7:13,14, a passage in which the Son of man is portrayed coming into the kingdom when He ascended to the Father? Mr. Green, without offer of proof has assumed the phrase, “The Son of Man is about to come” necessarily is reference to the Second Coming. However, Keith Mathison points out it is an, “assumption that the words “coming of the Son of Man” must mean second coming.” [i] That’s right, Mr. Green has assumed the premise of his claim to be true without first establishing that fact. Ergo Mr. Green’s is guilty of employing the logical fallacy of question begging.
What Mr. Green must overcome is the immediate context, given the immediate context in which Matt 16:27-28 in the NET Bible(r)" rel="external">Matt 16:27-28 is found, is a judgment scene. The similarities between the immediate context of Matt 16:27-28 in the NET Bible(r)" rel="external">Matt 16:27-28 and Daniel 7:13,14 are striking. Dr. Mathison explains, “Once we realize that Jesus is simply using a phrase from Daniel 7…texts such as Matthew 16:28 are much more readily understood. Jesus was not predicting that his second coming would occur within the lifetime of some of his hearers. He wasn’t speaking of the second coming at all.” [ii] Mr. Green must overcome the immediate context to support his assumption, something he never does
However N.T. Wright explains Jesus very well may have been explaining an alternative point. Dr. Wright explains, “The main point is expressed in the traditions which, in classic apocalyptic language, emphasize that those who followed Jesus would eventually be acknowledged as his true people…This vindication could be relied upon utterly; although Jesus followers might have seemed totally unprotected and at risk in every way, they were to trust the true god for their safety and vindication…Israel’s god would speedily vindicate his elect; those who acknowledge Jesus would themselves be acknowledged on that great and terrible day. [iii]
So rather than as Mr. Green claims, “we have the Second Coming, the Resurrection the Dead (implied), the Judgment, and the consummated Kingdom, all about to be fulfilled before Jesus’ contemporaries died.”, we find out the text is dealing with something else. What in fact we have depicted is a reference to the reception of the Son of Man in heaven by Christ Jesus Himself. Dr. Mathison explains, “The point that Jesus is making when he says that there are some standing here who will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom is that there are some to whom he is speaking who will not die before the prophecy of Daniel 7 is fulfilled, in other words, before Jesus receives the kingdom from his Father.” [iv[
Thus, given the Son of Man receives the kingdom in heaven, the scene in which Daniel 7:13,14 takes place and begins to render judgment having been given the seat of authority, one would be hard pressed to consider that a “second coming” or second appearance. Dr. Mathison explains, “…the judgment Jesus is referring to in verse 27 (Matt 16:27) is the judgment referred to in Daniel 7:9-10, a heavenly judgment of the “beasts/nations” that is directly related to Jesus’ receiving of the kingdom of God from the Father, an event that occurs in connection with his first advent.” [v]
Kind of hard to turn the “second coming” into a heavenly scene, if you catch my drift.
Well don’t that beat all Aunt Mae! The text is not referring to the “Second Coming”, but a judgment that occurs in connection with His first advent! I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised as there is nothing in the text which states, much to the chagrin of Mr. Green, implies or otherwise indicates the dead in Christ will rise. No, the clear context of the passage is, “will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matt 16:26) Clearly, as Dr. Wright explains, the immediate context is dealing with the vindication of the followers of Christ Jesus and the condemnation of His enemies, something that really did occur in AD70.
Perhaps we should put Mr. Green on, what does he call it, oh yeah, “Exegesis Moderation”. However, in keeping with the topic of the blog, that begs the question. Folks did you catch the question I just begged? You got it; the question is, “Is Mr. Green capable of performing “exegesis”? Frankly, all I ever see from him are examples of where he puts up a text and claims it means something as in the case with his claim regarding Matt. 16:27-28. We like him, have assumed something that has yet to have been demonstrated as fact. LOL!
[i] From Age to Age, The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology, P&R, pg. 365
[ii] Ibid, pg. 365
[iii] Jesus and the Victory of God, N.T. Wright, Fortress Press, pg. 337-338
[iv] From Age to Age, The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology, P&R, pg. 365
[v] Ibid, pg 366