From Babylon to Babylon: An Exposition of Daniel's Seventy Weeks

Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy city, to shut up the transgression, to seal up sin, to cover over iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Most Holy Place. (Dan. 9:24)
So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the Prince, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and trench, even in times of distress. (Dan. 9:25)
Then after the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and nothing shall remain to Him [or, “but not for Himself“]. And the people of a coming prince[or, “of [the] coming Prince“] will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will be with the flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. (Dan. 9:26)
And He will confirm a covenant with the many for one week, and in the middle of the week he will cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and on a wing [or, “overspreading“] of abominations will come a desolator, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall pour out on the desolator. (Dan. 9:27)

Summary Chronology of the Seventy Weeks (dates approximate):
First Seven Weeks Begin: In 538 BC, Cyrus issued his decree to rebuild the temple and the city.
First Seven Weeks End/Sixty-Two Weeks Begin: In 445 BC, Nehemiah rebuilt Jerusalem.
Sixty-Two Weeks End/Last Week Begins: In AD 28, Messiah was anointed at His baptism. From thence, He confirmed the new covenant with His church. In AD 30, He was “cut off” (crucified).
Middle of the Last Week: In perhaps AD 66, God gave fleshly Israel up to reprobation so that there no longer remained a “sacrifice for sins” (Heb. 10:26-27). At that time, Continue reading “From Babylon to Babylon: An Exposition of Daniel's Seventy Weeks”

Preterism and Reformed Theology

My Response to Dr. Kenneth Talbot’s Interview on Covenant Radio

At the beginning of the interview William Hill asked Dr. Talbot:
“How would you respond to the objection that says, okay, we are appealing to the historical analysis of this particular doctrine that has been explained for us for the last 2,000 years, and by doing so we are denying sola Scriptura. What would be your response to that particular argument?”
The question was invalid. I don’t know of any preterist who would say that “appealing to” an “historical analysis” is tantamount to “denying sola Scriptura.” So far as I know, no preterist of Reformed background has any problem with “appealing to” historical interpretations of the church.
The problem is Continue reading “Preterism and Reformed Theology”

The Theological Novum of the Reformation

My Response to William Hill and Dr. J. V. Fesko

In my response to Gentry’s interview on Covenant Radio, I said that the post-apostolic church never taught “forensic justification by faith alone” until about the year 1500. Here is the quote:

“As for the argument that the church couldn’t have been wrong about eschatology for about 2,00 years (or more accurately, about 1,800 years), Gentry is yet again using a Roman Catholic argument. How could the Reformers have been correct about ‘forensic justification by faith alone’ when the post-apostolic church NEVER taught that doctrine until about the year 1500? According to Gentry’s fallacious reasoning, Reformed Theology must be an unbiblical and damnable heresy. Gentry’s argument (‘Hyper-preterism’ is new in church history. Therefore it is Continue reading “The Theological Novum of the Reformation”

Kenneth Gentry: Eck Redivivus

On September 16, 2009, Kenneth Gentry and Kenneth Talbot were interviewed by William Hill on Covenant Radio. This is my response to Gentry’s part in the interview.
In the beginning, Mr. Hill asked Gentry to give “a basic definition” of “hyper-preterism.”
Gentry began his response by saying that the definition of “hyper-preterism” is a difficult question to answer, and that the question becomes more difficult day by day. This is because “the hyper-preterism movement,” said Gentry, is made up of divided, warring factions. It’s a fragmented and continually fragmenting movement that is continuing to “mutate.” It’s like “mercury” in that it “beads up in different directions.”
But then, oddly enough, Gentry immediately gave a basic definition of “hyper-preterism.” He said that “basically” hyper-preterism can be defined as the belief that all biblical prophecy (specifically, the Second Coming, the Resurrection, and the Final Judgment) was fulfilled by AD 70 and that history and sin on Earth will continue forever. Gentry added that this “basic,” “systematized” belief is “held across the board in all phases” of “the hyper-preterist movement.”
To sum up: Gentry was asked Continue reading “Kenneth Gentry: Eck Redivivus”

House Divided…part 3

House Divided part 1 & part 2
My Response #3 to Jon: Found here.
Jon wrote: As Wright point outs there are two basic meanings for resurrection in the Second Temple period. “In each case the referent is concrete: restoratin of Israel (’resurrection’ as metaphorical, denoting socio-political events and investing them with the significance that this will be an act of new creation, of covenant restoration); of human bodies (’resurrection’ as literal, denoting actual re-embodiment). Nothing in the entire Jewish context warrants the suggestion that…that the Jewish literature of the period ’speaks both of a resurrection of the body and a resurrection of the spirit without the body’.” End of discussion.
My response: You’re assuming that the saints who were in Hades did not take part with the living in the “restoration of Israel,” the “act of new creation, of covenant restoration.” There is no basis for that assumption. Beginning at Pentecost, the living –both Pagans and saints– were saved (or “spiritually resurrected”) through faith in the recently shed, age-changing blood of Christ (Acts 10:1-2; 11:14; Eph. 2:6; Rev. 20:4, 6). Did not the dead old covenant saints have the same need as the living old covenant saints? Did they not also have to hear and believe the newly manifested Gospel (“the voice of the Son of God“) and be saved (Jn. 5:25, 28; 1 Peter 4:6)? Did not the saints in Hades have the same need as the living old covenant saints: to be baptized into the universal Body of Christ through faith in His shed blood? Did the dead old covenant saints not participate with the living old covenant saints in regeneration/rebirth? Yes, they did (Isa. 26:19; Matt. 19:28; Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15, 18; Rev. 1:5). Therefore, the dead were resurrected in the same non-biological way (“new creation”) that the living were resurrected. “Behold, I make all thingsnew” (Rev. 21:5).
Jon wrote: Paul claimed to be a Pharisee. To not really be a Pharisee, yet claim to be and then use the language in the way he did is duplicitous.
My response: Paul was not really a Pharisee? I’m not sure where that came from.
I’m sorry you’re not continuing our “back and forth.” But we can leave it at this:
1. My position is “unexegetical.”
2. I make words mean anything I want.
3. I’m comparable to New Agers and Barack Obama.
4. I deny the divinity of Christ.
And I might add, I kill babies in their cribs and I push old ladies down stairwells.
Thank you, Jon.
David Green

House Divided…part 2

Read “House Divided…part1”
My Response #2 to Jon
Jon wrote: Dave wants to claim that Paul stands shoulder to shoulder with Hymie and Philetus on the nature of the resurrection.
My response: I didn’t claim that “Paul stands shoulder to shoulder with Hymie and Philetus on the nature of the resurrection.” I said that “for all we know from the context,” that could be the case. All we can derive from the text is that Paul considered Hymenaeus’ teaching on the timing of the resurrection to be a faith-overthrowing heresy. In order to maintain that Hymenaeus’ heresy concerned the nature of the resurrection, the best a futurist can do is assume that to be the case, based on nothing but the assumption of futurism. That’s where the question begging comes in when futurists anathematize preterists based solely on 2 Timothy 2:16-18.
Jon wrote: If you are with two groups of people – “pro-lifer” & “pro-choice” – and declare yourself a member of Operation Rescue and it is with respect to the sanctity of life that you are on trial, then everyone knows what you mean by that language. To respond, I wasn’t getting into the nature of life or when life begins, but merely that I support life is duplicitous. Paul declared himself a Pharisee, which meant a certain perspective on the resurrection of the dead, and he aligned himself with them.
My response: If we may, let’s change to an apples-to-apples analogy. Let’s say the Pharisees believed that angels were material beings and that Paul believed that angels were non-material beings, while the Sadducees denied the very existence of angels. Perhaps we can agree in this scenario that even though Paul and the Pharisees would be “worlds apart” on the “nature” of angels (material versus non-material), Paul could still say he was on the side of his fellow Pharisees against the Sadducees, because he believed in the existence of angels. I see no reason to assume that the Pharisees would have said, “Paul is being duplicitous! He doesn’t REALLY believe in angels. He thinks they’re non-material beings!”
It’s the same thing with the resurrection of the dead. Paul believed that there was going to be a resurrection of the dead. So did the Pharisees.That’s the only point of agreement (the “certain perspective”) that Paul needed in order to divide and conquer his enemies.
Jon wrote: The Pharisees would not “acknowledge” a non-physical resurrection from the dead.
My response: Is there historical evidence that tells us that one would be disqualified from being a Pharisee if he believed in a non-biological resurrection of the dead? Is there evidence that there was no room for disagreement within the Pharisee party on the literal, biological nature of the resurrection?
David Green

House Divided…

A Futurist Review at Last!

House Divided: Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology has been selling now for about two months. In that time, the responses from futurist critics have been less than substantive. There were complaints that the title is a “rip off” of Bahnsen’s and Gentry’s book, House Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensational Theology (1989). There were complaints that the back cover contains an unattributed five-star “review.” (“A Must Read!”) One critic noted that we use the word “hyper-preterism” on the back cover, and then proceeded to declare that we “self-apply” the word and therefore accept it as an accurate description of our belief. He failed to notice the significance of the fact that we put the word in quotation marks. We were referring to so-called “hyper-preterism.”
Many other critics see no need for a further criticism against the book beyond, “Your book disagrees with 2,000 years of church history!” Ah, the joys of hyper-traditionalism. These critics still have not read our response to Charles Hill (chapter two), which deals specifically and directly with this “argument.”
The most stinging of the negative criticisms have come, ironically, from those who have not read the book. One such critic advised everyone to let their pets defecate on it. Another proposed having a public “book burning” in his back yard and posting the event on YouTube. There have been three or four inflammatory, one-star reviews on Amazon. Most, if not all of them, were obviously written by people who had not read the book. All but one of those reviews (so far) were deleted by Amazon.
So much for the first two months of critiques. It was a fun and glorious time. But it ended a week ago on September 4th. That’s the day that a futurist actually began posting a series of critical reviews wherein the arguments of the book are actually addressed. (We understand that there are one or two other such reviews in the works by other futurists.) It’s a fascinating development. The reviewer’s name is Continue reading “House Divided…”

If Futurism Is True, Are Preterists Anathema?

But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:16-18).

In the above scripture, Paul said the following about those who say “the resurrection is past”:

1. Their words are to be shunned.
2. Their words increase to more ungodliness.
3. Their words are “profane and vain babblings.”
4. Their words eat like a “canker” (gangrene).
5. They have erred (missed the mark) concerning the truth.
6. They “overthrow the faith of some.”
If preterists today are wrong when they say “the resurrection” of 2 Timothy 2:16-18 is past, are preterists under the condemnation of Hymenaeus and Philetus?
A: IF “the resurrection” of 2 Timothy 2:18 is not past, and
B: IF preterists say that it is past,
C: THEN preterists are to be shunned. Our words advance ungodliness. Our words are profane and vain babblings. Our words eat like gangrene. We have missed the mark concerning the truth. We are faith-overthrowers.
IF A and B are true, then it irresistibly follows that C is true, according to 2 Timothy 2:16-18.
There are only two ways a futurist can avoid viewing preterists as “Hymenaeans”:
1. A futurist can hold that it is possible that “the resurrection” in 2 Timothy 2:18 does not refer to the yet-future resurrection of the dead, but that it refers to a resurrection-event that occurred in AD 70. (Keith Mathison allows for this possibility. Kenneth Gentry and James Jordan both teach that there was a resurrection in AD 70.)
2. The futurist can hold that it is theoretically possible that futurism could be wrong. This admission would allow the futurist to (at least tentatively) embrace preterists as brothers in Christ.
Short of these two options, there is no way for a futurist to avoid condemning preterists and remain obedient to Scripture (2 Timothy 2:16-18) as it is interpreted within the futurist framework.
This, however, is not the end of the story. Under the futurist assumption, we preterists are teaching a false gospel only because of 2 Timothy 2:16-18. If those three verses did not exist, futurists would have no compelling, biblical basis (under the futurist assumption) for saying that preterists are teaching a damnable heresy. Under the futurist assumption, preterism is an error of course; but there is no systematic, theological basis for anathematizing preterists. There is only 2 Timothy 2:16-18 suspended in midair in an exegetical vacuum.
This clues us in to the fact that the preterist-anathematizing, futurist approach to 2 Timothy 2:16-18 is not on solid biblical ground. The anathema is based on one proof text. We cannot authoritatively base a doctrine on one proof text. How much less can we base an anathema against professing Christians on one proof text?
Futurists must ignore this exegetical and ethical problem and simply smuggle the assumption of futurism into 2 Timothy 2:16-18 in order to maintain their anathema based on those three verses. Their anathematizing use of 2 Timothy 2:16-18 is based on the fallacy of “question begging” and on their a priori (extra-biblical) assumption of our doctrinal guilt. In essence, those verses condemn us only because futurists assume (based on their framework) that those verses condemns us. Without that extra-biblical assumption, the anathema cannot be long maintained.
So yes, within the futurist framework there is a theologically baseless justification for anathematizing preterists, based solely on 2 Timothy 2:16-18 as it is interpreted under the futurist assumption. It is only within the context of proof-texting, logical fallacy, and assumption of guilt that futurists are “justified” in anathematizing preterists.
David Green