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Closet Wilson

We’ve all seen the creedal argument against full preterism. Most of us, including a lot of futurists, can see right through that argument. Many futurists who hear some of the statements made by Mathison, Gentry, Wilson, et al., find their comments to be disturbing. And indeed they are disturbing. But its time to introduce everyone to the rest of the Wilson family, futurists who make the claim that the creeds were not inspired and that Scripture is the ultimate authority, but for some reason can’t seem to recognize that they, too, believe the creeds are inspired by God.

I have been in a debate with a futurist, whom we will call Closet Wilson. Closet Wilson asked me to send him the manuscript of my soon-to-be-released book, Reading the Bible Through New Covenant Eyes. Closet Wilson has read up through the third chapter of the book. Let me give a brief history of my conversations with Closet Wilson as well as a summary of my book.

Closet Wilson and I have debating full preterism for about seven months now. Closet Wilson is an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. Before Closet Wilson started reading my book, he, like Wilson and company, argued that going against the creeds is heresy. He told me that I would have to be able to prove from the Scriptures that they are wrong. Sounds great, right? Well, I have been given the “Hymenaeus and Philetus” charge, the “how can all the brilliant men throughout history have missed this” charge, the “you need to submit to your elders” charge, the “it’s arrogance to think you are right” charge, the “you’ve changed your doctrine again” charge, the “Satan is deceiving you” charge, the “you are ignoring the plain meaning of the text” charge, and other charges. With all these sidetracking charges, I was unable to get him to engage the Scriptures with me.

So I gave him my book. Reading the Bible Through New Covenant Eyes begins with a refutation of the creedalist argument. Chapters one through three deal with hermeneutics, reading the Bible in context by recognizing audience relevancy. Closet Wilson claims that he does not agree with Wilson and company that the creeds are inspired, or that we need to use them as a Table of Contents to the Bible to be able to understand what the Bible teaches. Here we agree. Closet Wilson also claims that he totally agrees with how I propose we read the Bible contextually. Great news.

Chapter four of my book begins the Biblical argument for full preterism using the first half of the book as the basis for interpretation. Closet Wilson has not yet begun to read chapter four. In our most recent conversation, Closet Wilson told me that I haven’t yet given him a reason to evaluate the Scriptural argument for full preterism. He stated that my challenge to consider the arguments in the rest of the book is the same as him asking me to submit to the creeds. In essence, Closet Wilson is demanding a reason to consider the possibility that the creeds might be wrong without allowing me the opportunity to demonstrate it from the Scriptures. So according to Closet Wilson, I have to prove that my interpretation of the Scriptures is correct, but I have to do so without the use of the Scriptures. I have to demonstrate some external, historical argument, as to why the creeds might be wrong before he’s willing to consider my exegetical argument.

But Closet Wilson would like to assure you that he does not believe that the creeds have authority over the Scriptures. He would also like to assure you that the creeds have the possibility of error. He would also like you to know that if you can demonstrate from the Scriptures where the creeds are wrong, he would gladly submit to the Scriptures. But, Closet Wilson needs you to give him a good reason why he should consider the Scriptures on the matter of full preterism when he knows that the creeds are right.

Have you met Closet Wilson?

About Alan Bondar


  1. Ah the glories of hyper-creedalism . . . .

    On the one hand, the church fathers arrived at their eschatological, creedal beliefs “in a naive, unreflective fashion” and without “intensive study” (Mathison).
    But on the other hand, we must presuppose that creedal futurism is biblical and “infallibly certain” (Gentry) and “nonnegotiable” (Mathison) and that if we reject it we’re following a different religion than Christianity (Mathison).

    On the one hand, the eschatological time statements of Scripture are very difficult and perplexing because they seem to teach “hyper-preterism” (Mathison).
    But on the other hand, there is nothing in the Bible that even remotely suggests “hyper-preterism” (Mathison).

    On the one hand, we must “apply the test of scriptural consistency to ANY theological idea, whether or not it is embodied in the traditional creeds” (Wilson).
    But on the other hand, it is illegitimate to use Scripture to challenge the eschatology of the creeds (Wilson).

    On the one hand, we’re heretics because we disagree with creedal, eschatological statements.
    But on the other hand, Gentry, Mathison, Wilson and other disagree with the creeds when they say we’re now living in “the age to come.”

    One the one hand, Gentry, Mathison, Wilson and others anathematize us because we disagree with creedal, eschatological statements.
    But on the other hand, they embrace premillennialists who disagree with creedal eschatological statements when they deny that the resurrection of the dead will happen at Christ’s second coming.

    On the one hand, we’re condemned because “hyper-preterism” is “new.”
    But on the other hand, Gentry and Mathison and others hold to the Reformation understanding of justification (purely forensic, purely by faith), which was also “new” in the 1500’s.

    It’s a wonder they take themselves seriously.


  2. Alan, Is this the same Wilson that was in “Cast Away”? =)

    Dave, do you think that crew is the least bit reticent by the reckless schitzo behavior? It’s bad enough to be inconsistent, but to be anathematizing people as well is truly sad. Why are so many in that reformed PP camp so caustic and arrogant? Why does Gentry continue to repeat the nonsense that we supposedly don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ? Why does Talbot acuse us of changing all the soteriological definitions like Mormons? Do these guys have no shame? Are they so blinded by their creedal commitments (the say they don’t have) that they feel they must condemn us? They admit that the difference between partial and full is just a hair’s breath of nuance…can the Gospel be so flimsy that when one steps over that creedally imposed line, they step right over perserverance of the saints and proceed directly to eternal damnation? Simply because we are not blinded by the inconsistencies of the ECF’s, and because we recognize the 33 constituent elements between 1 Thes 4-5 and Matt 24-25, brands us eternal losers?

  3. Chuck,
    Wilson from “Cast Away” was too consistent to be Closet Wilson. Closet Wilson is related to the Wilson and Mathison gang, but they aren’t willing to admit it.

    Thanks for your elaborations. That was very helpful. It would also be very helpful if all the Closet Wilsons would please stand up and stop hiding beyond sola Scriptura since they don’t really mean it. Then everyone would clearly see that full preterists are the only ones that do mean it.

  4. Michael J Loomis

    Here a Wilson, There a Wilson, Every where a Wilson…wilson!!!

    The same Wilson???


  5. HAHAHAHA!!!! I should change my article title from Closet Wilson to Trained Monkey.

  6. Having meaningful dialog with someone that is set in their ways is one of the most difficult tasks in the world. It’s better to move on to those that will listen. That’s what Paul did on Mars Hill in Athens. After all, it’s hard to retrain a trained monkey.

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