Apr 24

Partial Preterism

(Partial) Preterism

AKA – Post Millennialism, Amillennialism, Historicism, Historic Preterism, Realized Preterism

Although nearly all eschatological views are “partial preterist” by definition (some prophecy fulfilled in the past, some yet to be fulfilled in the future), by “Partial Preterist” we mean to define this view as commonly understood today in that while “most” Bible prophecy has been fulfilled, proponents of this view claim that there are still some passages left to be fulfilled in our future.  Some proponents of this view believe that prophetic fulfillment is very soon at hand, while others believe it is very far off, but the underlying understanding is that there is “some” prophecy still yet to be fulfilled with an ultimate “complete” ushering in of God’s physical Kingdom and recreation of the cosmos at the end of time.  Proponents of this view differ in vast degrees concerning which passages have already been fulfilled, and which ones are still yet future for us today, and some even believe that there are passages which found fufillment in 70AD, but which may also contain “double fulfillment” and also pertain to our future today.

Partial Preterism is the leading form of preterism in the world today and is typically supported and accepted as mainstream within many Christian churches worldwide, although it is still not the leading view of eschatology today.  The Partial Preterist position has largely been a reaction against the more popular Dispensational, PreMillennial views held among ardent mainstream Christians (typically a view held within Baptist and Charismatic Churches), and has been an attempt to return to a more scholarly, consistent approach to Biblical Exegesis and Hermeneutics.  Full Preterists argue that while this approach is necessary and is to be applauded, it does not go far enough, and fails to truly harmonize and utilize consistent application of Scriptures dealing with eschatology, especially when dealing with the time statements.  To the Full Preterists, Partial Preterists are only “partially” correct; although much more so than the Dispensational PreMillennial views (which many mainstream scholars and theologians consider to be abbarent theology altogether).

Partial Preterism holds that prophecies such as the destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Great Tribulation, and the advent of the Day of the Lord as a “judgment-coming” of Christ were fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Roman general (and future Emperor) Titus sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish Temple, putting a permanent stop to the daily animal sacrifices. It identifies “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 17-18) with the ancient pagan City of Rome, or even the city of Jerusalem.  Some adherents of Partial Preterism see the Emperor Diocletian as the fulfillment of the “little horn” prophecy of Daniel 7. But this is a minority view. The great majority of Partial Preterists believe that Jerusalem was a “great harlot” destroyed by God in A.D. 70.

Most Partial Preterists also believe that the term Last Days refers not to the last days of planet Earth, or the last days of humankind, but rather to the last days of the Mosaic Covenant Age, which God held exclusively with the nation of Israel (including biblical proselytes) until the year A.D. 70.  The “Last Days”, however, are to be distinguished from the “Last Day”, which is considered to still be in the future and entailing the last or final coming of Jesus, theResurrection of the righteous and unrighteous dead physically from the grave in like manner to Jesus’ physical resurrection, the Final Judgment, and the creation of a literal, non-covenantal New Heaven and New Earth free from the curse of sin and death which was occasioned by the fall of Adam and Eve.

Thus Partial Preterists are more in agreement and conformity with many of the historic ecumenical creeds of the Church and articulate the primary doctrines of the resurrection held by most of the early Church Fathers. Partial preterists hold that the New Testament predicts and depicts many “comings” of Christ, not simply a second coming.  They contend that the phrase Second Coming means the second of a like kind in a series, for the Scriptures record other “comings” of God even before Jesus’ judgment in AD 70.

This would eliminate the AD 70 event as the “second” of any series, let alone the second of a series in which the earthly, physical ministry of Christ is the first. Partial Preterists believe that the new creation comes in redemptive progression as Christ reigns from His heavenly throne, subjugating His enemies, and will eventually culminate in the destruction of the “last enemy”, i.e., death. In the Partial Preterist paradigm, since enemies of Christ still exist, the resurrection event cannot have already occurred.  Full Preterists would contend that the “enemies” of Christ are not evildoers in general, but are the specific “enemies” of Christ mentioned in Matthew 23 who were to “fill up the measure of their sin” before the end would come.

Nearly all Partial Preterists hold to amillennialism or postmillennialism. Some postmillennial Partial Preterists, as proposed by the late author David Chilton, are also theonomic in their outlook. Partial Preterists typically accept the authority of the Creeds on the basis that they believe that the Creeds are in conformity with what the Scriptures teach, even though many of the creeds do not agree with some of their own beliefs.

Despite being separated from the eschatological disputes of the West, the eschatological view historically held by the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches is that of the amillennialist Partial Preterists, although these Churches may not explicitly state this as their position.

 

 

Apr 18

Grace?

People ran to Jesus even though He didn’t water down the truth. It’s probably because He didn’t water down His grace either.

Jessica Luella Howell

 

Apr 16

Sin: the one thing that will take faith away

I have never claimed to be sinless. If It seems that way, I am sorry. In the orthodox Christian view only One is sinless. I suffer from a sinful ego as well as a history of shame. When left to my own devices I tend to rely on self before God. When that happens, the sin inside me begins to grow and push against my faith. When my faith is pushed it creates more unbelief. I believe that to be the root of all sin.. Unbelief.

This is not just and apologetics website, but the words of a man who is on a journey. As of late my journey has been rough and focused on self rather than Jesus. I don’t believe that to be the route to hell, but the travailing of a christian. So I ask to keep this broken Christian in prayer.

 

Thank you, this is about as real as it get for a Christian. Truth about thy self. Broken.

 

Mar 14

The Bible isn’t true? Part 2 -Texual Criticism

Response to Jon Lindgren on article: http://redriverfreethinkers.areavoices.com/2013/03/14/if-you-quote-the-bible-you-should-study-textual-criticism/

 

Jon’s article against the authenticity of the Bible is not really a religious concern at all; it’s an academic one.  It can be answered in an academic way totally unrelated to spiritual convictions by a simple appeal to facts. In his article he does point out some things that are correct, but by no means takes away from the truth that is the Bible. In his article I agree with points 1 and 2, but disagree with 3, 4 and 5. I believe I can provide a logical reason for all in a short article. Keep in mind also that Jon’s original claim came with the naming of the article “If you quote the Bible, you should study textual criticism.” My guess, and its only a guess, is that Jon has not studied textual criticism with the Bible which I think is funny since he quotes the bible often in his articles. Whether e is using it for or against the Bible, I beg that he take his own advice.

 

 

 

Jon’s objection at first glance is compelling.  When we try to conceptualize how to reconstruct an original after 2000 years of copying, translating, and copying some more, the task appears impossible.  The skepticism, though, is based on two misconceptions about the transmission of ancient documents like the New Testament. 

 

 

 

The first assumption is that the transmission is more or less linear, as in the telephone example–one person communicating to a second who communicates with a third, etc.  In a linear paradigm people are left with one message and many generations between it and the original.  Second, the telephone game example depends on oral transmission which is more easily distorted and misconstrued than something written. 
Neither assumption applies to the written text of the New Testament.  First, the transmission was not linear but geometric–e.g., one letter birthed five copies which became 25 which became 200 and so on.  Secondly, the transmission in question was done in writing, and written manuscripts can be tested in a way that oral communications cannot be.

 

 

 

Recently I read an articles by Greg Koukl and Norman Geisler, huge opponents of Bart Ehrman, where they gave a  illustrations on how scholars can reconstruct the text from existing manuscript copies even though the copies themselves have differences and are much older than the autograph (i.e., the original). (This will make the article long, so I will end with this until the next blog.)

 

 

“Pretend your Aunt Sally has a dream in which she learns the recipe for an elixir that would continuously maintain her youth.  When she wakes up, she scribbles the directions on a scrap of paper, then runs into the kitchen to make up her first glass.  In a few days her appearance is transformed.  Sally is a picture of radiant youth because of her daily dose of what comes to be known as “Aunt Sally’s Secret Sauce.”

 

 

Sally is so excited she sends hand-written instructions to her three bridge partners (Aunt Sally is still in the technological dark ages–no photocopier) giving detailed instructions on how to make the sauce.  They, in turn, make copies which each sends to ten of her own friends. 

 

 

All is going well until one day Aunt Sally’s pet schnauzer eats the original copy of the recipe.  Sally is beside herself.  In a panic she contacts her three friends who have mysteriously suffered similar mishaps.  Their copies are gone, too, so the alarm goes out to their friends in attempt to recover the original wording.

 

 

They finally round up all the surviving hand-written copies, twenty-six in all.  When they spread them out on the kitchen table, they immediately notice some differences. Twenty-three of the copies are exactly the same.  One has a misspelled word, though, one has two phrases inverted (“mix then chop” instead of “chop then mix”) and one includes an ingredient that none of the others has on its list.

 

 

Here is the critical question:  Do you think Aunt Sally can accurately reconstruct her original recipe?  Of course she could.  The misspelled words can easily be corrected, the single inverted phrase can be repaired, and the extra ingredient can be ignored. 

 

 

Even with more numerous or more diverse variations, the original can still be reconstructed with a high level of confidence given the right textual evidence.  The misspellings would be obvious errors, the inversions would stand out and easily be restored, and the conclusion drawn that it’s more plausible that one word or sentence be accidentally added to a single copy than omitted from many. 

 

 

This, in simplified form, is how the science of textual criticism works.  Textual critics are academics who reconstruct a missing original from existing manuscripts that are generations removed from the autograph.  According to New Testament scholar F.F. Bruce, “Its object [is] to determine as exactly as possible from the available evidence the original words of the documents in question.” 2

 

 

The science of textual criticism is used to test all documents of antiquity–not just religious texts–including historical and literary writings.  It’s not a theological enterprise based on haphazard hopes and guesses; it’s a linguistic exercise that follows a set of established rules.  Textual criticism allows an alert critic to determine the extent of possible corruption of any work.”

Greg Koukl: Stand to Reason

 

 

 

Y#U HAVE WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS.

 

Notice that even with the error in the text, 100% of the message comes through.

 

Consider also this message with two lines and two errors.

   •            Y#U HAVE WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS

   •            YO# HAVE WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS

 

Here we are even more sure of the message with two errors in it. In fact, the more errors like this, the more sure one is of the message since every new line brings a confirmation of every letter except one. The NT has about 5700 manuscripts. which provides hundreds, in some cases even thousands of confirmations, of every line in the NT.

As a matter of fact, there can be a high percent of divergence in letters and yet a 100% identity of message. Consider the following lines:

 

 

1.           YOU HAVE WON TEN MILLION DOLLARS

2.           THOU HAST WON 10 MILLION DOLLARS

3.           Y’ALL HAVE WON $10,000,000

 

Notice that of the 27 letters and numbers in line two only 7 in line three are the same. That is little more than 25% identity of letters and numbers, yet the message is 100% the same. They differ in form, but they are identical in content. The same is true of all the basic teachings of the NT.

 Dr. Norman L. Geisler

 

2: Bruce, F. F., The New Testament Documents:  Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 1974), 19.

 

 

 “I am put here for the defense of the gospel” - Phil. 1:16

 

Mar 13

Mission Update!

 

Today I got to pray, and send and see my best friend leave to go help with Theological training to a people who don’t even get a chance to own a Bible, or are not able to afford Seminary school, which there are none anyway. He is bringing books translated in Swahili to Tanzania and conducting training for them, so they can hear and understand the gospel in its fullness.
Please pray for Michael Heitland and Equipping Saints For Ministry as they go into a foreign land and teach and preach the gospel.
God bless brother, I love yaman! We need more Christian men like you.Mission : Kilimanjaro 2013
Length of mission: 14-18 days.
Purpose: To provide critical theological training to indigenous pastors in Tanzania. We will also continue to build relationships with Muslim porters on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Itinerary: We will start our journey on the slopes of Kilimanjaro where we will provide evangelism training to Pastors, lay leaders, and porters. We will then climb Kilimanjaro and continue to build relationships with Muslim porters.”Paul commanded Timothy to equip others in a way that was reproducible (2 Tim 2:2). In the tradition of Paul’s charge to Timothy, we seek to train the saints in the faith entrusted to us.” – Michael Heitland

Mar 11

One Thing You Lack – Desiring God

I recently read an article by an atheist challenging preachers to speak out about money rather than homosexuality. I thought I would pass this article by John Piper along from Desiring God that did just that.

 

One Thing You Lack – Desiring God.

 

Permalink

Mar 11

What is the gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the Gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the Gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the Gospel.

The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the Gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith – and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him – and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.

 

Mar 10

Simul Justus et Peccator – At the same time a Saint and a Sinner

I am a Christian. I am not perfect. I am a Christian. I screw up all the time. I am a Christian. I am judgmental. I am a Christian. My eyes wander. I am a Christian. I think about stealing. I am a Christian. I have a big ego. I am a Christian. I get very angry. I am a Christian. I still struggle with things I shouldn’t do. I am a Christian.

Simul Justus et Peccator – At the same time a Saint and a Sinner

Just because I believe that Christ Jesus is my Lord and Savior does not mean I will never screw up, sin, be a hypocrite again. Honestly, I fail daily in this aspect. I have seen a lot of updates lately about people calling Christians hypocrites. This may be true to some extent, maybe for some it is very true. For me it is. There is a difference with the Christians I know. They are struggling to not do those things anymore. They struggle daily to put down that thinking, and actions. You may not see it, but the ones I know do. I honestly believe that the true fruit of repentance is a struggle. The fight within to not live the way we did before. There may be success some days and we may utterly fail some. But in the end, our focus is on the Man who succeeded. Jesus.

We wouldn’t be struggling today or even care if it was not for him and the perfect work of righteousness that he did. I am a sinner saved by grace, something I did not deserve nor can work to my benefit. Nether can I live perfectly after I was given grace so I can keep it. A gift is something undeserved with no ties to it. You give gifts to those you love. A gift or a present is an object given without the expectation of payment. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation, a gift is meant to be free. So remember that Christian the next time you want to go back to the old life. Remember that non Christian when you condemn a Christian. Remember that world as we come and tell you about a man who loves you. It’s not about us, it’s about Jesus and how he walked perfectly so that we might be saved. If it was up to the Christian, we would of lost the gift so long ago. Probably within a minute. Remember, that grace is the fight that began the war within you. So give much grace to those around you, for it was developed by God for God. The people around you are meant to receive it from you. So out give in grace to each other daily. Fight to love one another. Fight the good fight with goodness and not evil.

Mar 09

The Gospel is offensive to me

God is the active agent in our salvation—and this does not sit well with our pride. This is why the gospel is called an offense. Nobody wants to hear that they are a charity case.

But this is the thing we must all come to grips with. And when we do, it is no longer an offense, but the most wonderful and liberating and life-giving of truths. And this is what Martin Luther was holding tightly as he went to meet his Savior. His last words, written on a piece of paper were this: “We are beggars. This is true.”

 

And God’s gift of grace falls into this category for us. It offends us because we can’t earn it, and it offends us because we desperately need it but don’t want to admit it.

It comes down to this: we love gifts but not charity. But what is grace if not charity? It is a gift we cannot earn or merit, and without which we are lost and damned. The problem is coming to grips with this.

The great reformer Martin Luther puts it this way: “It is certain that man must utterly despair of his own ability before he is prepared to receive the grace of Christ.”

 

 

-Rethink Apologetics

 

 

Mar 05

The Bible isn’t true? Part 1a – Errors

This article has two motives in it.

1. to continue with the series at hand.

2. In response to a recent article by Jon Lindgren and his use of Bart Ehrman.

http://redriverfreethinkers.areavoices.com/2013/03/05/how-did-the-biblical-character-jesus-come-to-be-considered-a-god/

 

I will do my best to combine the article and keep it short and to the point.

 

 

ERRORS:

“How can you be a Christian when the Bible has errors?”

 

 

This is one of the most common objections I come across as a Bible believing Christian. Most opponents are amazed by what comes out of my mouth next. “I guess the errors don’t bother me too much.”

“Ha!, I knew it!”  This is a common rely to me. So let me explain what I mean.

 

 

Yes. The Bible that most people possess is a translation of the Greek and Hebrew copies of copies of the original documents of Scripture. As you can imagine, errors have crept in over the centuries of copying. But the matter of errors isn’t sufficient enough for me to believe that the Bible is not the Word of God. So let’s look at the errors.

 

  • The reliability of our English translations depends largely upon the quality of the manuscripts they were translated from. The quality depends, in part, on how recent the manuscripts are. Scholars like Bart Ehrman have asserted that we don’t have manuscripts that are early enough. However, the manuscript evidence is quite impressive:



  • There are as many as 18 second-century manuscripts. If the Gospels were completed between AD 50–100, then this means that these early copies are within 100 years. Just recently, Dan Wallace announced that a new fragment from the Gospel of Mark was discovered dating back to the first century AD, placing it well within 50 years of the originals, a first of its kind. When these early manuscripts are all put together, more than 43% of the New Testament is accounted for from copies no later than the second century.


  • Manuscripts that date before AD 400 number 99, including one complete New Testament called Codex Sinaiticus. So the gap between the original, inerrant autographs and the earliest manuscripts is pretty slim. This comes into focus when the Bible is compared to other classical works that, in general, are not doubted for their reliability. In this chart of comparison with other ancient literature, you can see that the New Testament has far more copies than any other work, numbering 5,700 (Greek) in comparison to the over 200 of Suetonius. If we take all manuscripts into account (handwritten prior to printing press), we have 20,000 copies of the New Testament. There are only 200 copies of the earliest Greek work.


  • This means if we are going to be skeptical about the Bible, then we need to be thousands of times more skeptical about the works of Greco-Roman history. Or put another way, we can be a thousand times more confident about the reliability of the Bible. It is far and away the most reliable ancient document.

 

Yes, our Bible translations do have errors. But as you can see, less than 1% of them are meaningful and those errors don’t affect the major teachings of the Christian faith. In fact, there are a thousand times more manuscripts of the Bible than the most documented Greco-Roman historian by Suetonius. So, if we’re going to be skeptical about ancient books, we should be a thousand times more skeptical of the Greco-Roman histories. The Bible is, in fact, incredibly reliable.

Contrary to popular assertion, that as time rolls on we get further and further away from the original with each new discovery, we actually get closer and closer to the original text. As Wallace puts it, we have “an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the biblical documents.” Therefore, we can be confident that what we read in our modern translations of the the ancient texts is approximately 99% accurate. It is very reliable.

 

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2012/02/wallace-vs-erhman-round-three/

 

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