WHEN A "REFORMED" HYPER-CREEDALIST CALLS ME A “HERETIC” I ASK HIM OR HER THE FOLLOWING EXEGETICAL AND REFORMED QUESTIONS…

(The research contained in this article is documented in my chapter and in our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist Response to When Shall These Things Be?)
I have been a full preterist and a 5 point Calvinist for over 25 years and it never ceases to amaze me when some of my Reformed or Sovereign Grace brethren call me a “heretic” for holding to my eschatological position.  It is argued that since full preterism cannot be found in the creeds, church fathers, and or the Reformed tradition my position must not even have a hearing.  As I argue in this article, full preterism can be found in the Reformed tradition of the church and is the organic development (“Reformed and always reforming”)  of the classic amillennial position and the partial preterist position.  As I will demonstrate either these positions form a “contradiction” as (“Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther) within Reformed eschatology or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming”) — there is no middle ground here.  In fact as one can see below the full preterist actually embraces MORE of Reformed eschatology or covenant theology than the isolated partial preterist postmillennialist or the isolated classic amillennialists because he combines the two together into one non-contradictory system.   
When a “Reformed” Hyper-Creedalist calls me a “heretic” I ask him or her the following Reformed questions…
Matthew 24-25
Is it…:
a. …my Reformed view that the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24-25 is the Second Coming event which brings about the judgment and resurrection of the dead that makes me a heretic? (classic amillennial view).
b. …my Reformed view that the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24-25 took place spiritually in Jesus’ contemporary “this generation” (ie. in AD 70) which makes me a heretic? (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the one Second Coming, de-creation, resurrection and judgment of the dead in Matthew 24-25 is one eschatological event which does not have multiple fulfillments which causes me to be a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the prophetic events in Matthew 24-25 cannot be double fulfilled or have multiple fulfillments beyond AD 70 which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
*  …my Reformed view that Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24-25 develops the eschatology for the rest of the NT which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view & partial preterist view).
*  …my Reformed view that John’s version of Matthew 24-25 is found in the book of Revelation which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view & partial preterist view).  To which we now turn to and address…
Matthew 24-25 / Revelation
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in the book of Revelation is the Second Coming event that brings about the judgment and resurrection of the dead which makes me a heretic? (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in the book of Revelation took place in an “at hand,” “shortly,” “quickly,” “about to,” time frame which brought about the judgment of the dead spiritually in AD 70 that makes me a heretic? (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the judgment and resurrection depicted in Revelation 20 has already been recapitulated in the previous chapters which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that Revelation chapters 1-19, 21-22 were fulfilled in AD 70 that makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
*  …my Reformed view that the imminent coming of Christ in the book of Revelation ends the millennium of Revelation 20 which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view & partial preterist view).
*  …my Reformed view that a thousand years does not have to mean a long period of time which makes me a heretic?  (a amillennial view).
*  …my Reformed view that Daniel was raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom according to Daniel 12:2, 13 and Revelation 20 to inherit the kingdom and eternal life which makes me a “heretic?” (partial preterist view).

*  …my Reformed view that the “first heavens and first earth” was the old covenant world and the “new heaven and a new earth” correspond to the new covenant world which came down from heaven to earth in an AD 70 “shortly,” “at hand,” “quickly,” “about to” time frame that makes me a heretic?  Is it my Reformed view that this passing of “heaven and earth” is equivalent to the passing of the Temple and or old covenant age in Matthew 24:3, 35 which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).

*  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ, judgment and resurrection of the dead and de-creation/new creation in the book of Revelation cannot have double or multiple fulfillments which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
*  …my Reformed view that AD 70 fulfillments in the book of Revelation cannot have double or multiple fulfillments beyond AD 70 which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Matthew 24-25 / Pauline Eschatology
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the Second Coming of Christ and resurrection in Matthew 24:30-31 (cf. Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3) which takes place at the end of the age (and has no multiple fulfillments) – and is the same coming of Christ/trumpet blown and resurrection as is described in Pauline eschatology (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17/1 Corinthians 15) which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24:30-31 and the resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled spiritually and corporately at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70 which makes me a heretic? (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ, salvation, glory to be revealed, restoration of creation, and redemption of the body in Romans 8:18-23; 11:26-27; 13:11-12; is the same eschatological event as described by Jesus in Matthew 24-25 or Luke 21 which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ, salvation, glory, liberation of creation, adoption of the son’s of God, and redemption of the body were “about to be revealed” in AD 70 (Romans 8:18-23 YLT; 11:26-27; 13:11-12) which makes me a heretic?  Perhaps my view that the “creation” and “decay” in Romans 8 has nothing to do with the planet earth but rather with the hearts and souls of men which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Matthew 24-25 / Acts
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25  and Acts 1:11 is Christ’s Second Coming whereby He judges the quick and the dead which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the analogy of Scripture teaches us that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25 and Acts 1:11 was fulfilled in AD 70 (partial preterist view).  Maybe my agreement with Young’s Literal Translation of an AD 70 “about to be” time frame for the judgment and resurrection of the dead in Acts 17:31 YLT and Acts 24:15 YLT is what makes me a heretic?
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Matthew 24-25 / Peter’s Eschatology
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in Peter’s Epistles is the same coming of Christ as is depicted in Matthew 24-25 which makes me a heretic?  Or perhaps my Reformed view that the “elements” and de-creation and arrival of the new creation in 2 Peter 3 and Matthew 24:29, 35 (arrival of new implied) are the same events (that cannot have multiple fulfillments) which makes me a heretic?
b.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in Matthew 24-25 and 2 Peter 3 along with the passing of the old covenant world/age and the arrival of the new covenant world/age was fulfilled in AD 70 which makes me a “heretic?” (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that “the judgment” of the living and dead in 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17 is the same judgment which takes place at the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24—25:31-46 (that cannot have multiple fulfillments) which makes me a heretic? (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that Christ came and judged the living and dead in an AD 70 “at hand” and “this generation” time frame according to 1 Peter 4:5-7 and Matthew 24:34, 25:31ff. which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Matthew 24-25 / Hebrews 
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ or His “Second Appearing” at the end of the age in Hebrews 9:26-28—10:25-37 is the same Second Coming and end of the age event described by Jesus in Matthew 24-25 (that cannot have multiple fulfillments) which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the coming of Christ in Hebrews 9:26-28—10:25-37 and Matthew 24-25 took place in AD 70 at the end of the old covenant age which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the “better resurrection” of (Hebrews 11:35-39-40) takes place when the “in a very little while” “Second Appearing” of Christ ends the age (Hebrews 9:26-28—10:25-37) (that cannot have multiple fulfillments) which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view & partial preterist view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the “in a very little while” “Second Appearing” of Christ ended the old covenant age in AD 70 (thus fulfilling the “better resurrection”) that makes me a heretic?  (partial preterism).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Last Days
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view that the NT’s use of the “last/latter days” is a period of time from Christ’s first to Second Coming to end the age and to judge and raise the dead which makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view that the NT’s use of the “last/latter days” is a period of time from Christ’s first to Second Coming to end the old covenant age (ie. roughly from AD 30 – AD 70) and to judge and raise the dead in AD 70 which makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Judgment and Resurrection of the Dead
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view which teaches there is only ONE general judgment and resurrection of the dead — both of the righteous and unrighteous (Daniel 12:1-4, 13; Matthew 13:39-43; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 20) which takes place at the end of the age and cannot have double or multiple fulfillments that causes one to call me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view).
b.  …my Reformed view which teaches that there was a judgment and resurrection of the dead – both of the righteous and unrighteous (Daniel 12:1-4, 13; Matthew 13:39-43; Revelation 20) which took place at the end of the old covenant age in AD 70.  This judgment and resurrection was:
1. Corporate & covenantal – new covenant Israel being raised from the carcass or grave of old covenant Israel in AD 70.
2.  Progressive – a spiritual process that corresponded to the preaching of the gospel from roughly AD 30 – AD 70.
3.  Involved the souls – of people being raised out of Hades or Abraham’s Bosom to inherit the kingdom and eternal life in AD 70.
Is believing that this Reformed AD 30 – AD 70 view of the judgment and resurrection of the dead that makes me a heretic? (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” (1-3) above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
Is it…:
a.  …my Reformed view whereby Jesus taught that the general judgment and resurrection would take place when “this age” gave way to the “age to come” (Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3; Luke 20:34-35) that makes me a heretic?  (classic amillennial view)
b.  …my Reformed view that Jesus’ “this age” is the old covenant age which gave way to the “age to come” – being the new covenant age in (Matthew 13:39-43/Daniel 12:2-3; Luke 20:34-35) arriving in AD 70  – that makes me a heretic?  (partial preterist view).
Either “a” and “b” above form a contradiction (as “Popes and councils have contradicted each other” in the past – Martin Luther), or they form full preterism (“Reformed and always reforming“).  Which is it?
If “a” and “b” are true, then “c” (full preterism) is true.  If not why not?
I could go on and on with this and use plenty of other Scriptures, but I think this has been sufficient to prove my point.
Conclusion:
It shouldn’t surprise us that often times the Reformed classic amillennial camp condemns the postmillennial partial preterist camp as “heretics” and or uses other harsh statements — and vice versa.  Is it possible that full preterists can also agree with each of these camps when they criticize each other?
Is it…
a.  …my Reformed view and agreement with the classic amillennialists that the partial preterist view is in error and offers a “skewed interpretation” on eschatology because the NT only teaches ONE “THE parousia” or Second Coming of Christ, attended by ONE judgment and resurrection of the dead, and ONE arrival of the New Creation at the end of ONE “end of the age” which makes me a heretic?
b.  …my Reformed view and agreement with the partial preterist that the classic amillennial view comes very close to denying the inspiration and integrity of the Scriptures when they disregard the plain and straightforward AD 70 imminence which saturates the NT that makes me a heretic?  Perhaps it is my agreement with partial preterists that many amillennialists are treating the NT time texts in a similar way than some liberals have (“in a sense the Second Coming is ‘always near'”) which makes me a heretic?

  • I do not believe any “Reformed” Christian has the exegetical or historical right to call me a heretic for believing and affirming these Reformed views on eschatology which actually form full preterism – not condemning it!
  • My Reformed view is that the reformed creeds can be in error and are subject to change in light of Scripture as they themselves affirm.  I just demonstrated and proved in what areas they need to be changed.
  • My Reformed views on “Sola Scriptura” or “Reformed and always reforming” are Biblical and historical.
  • My Reformed and Biblical challenge to Reformed eschatology as a whole (classic amillennialism and partial preterism) to “always be ready” to “defend” and or sit down and discuss these issues should be honored.  I am requesting a hearing at any Reformed Bible College or Seminary that has the courage and humility to do it.

Objection “If full preterism is true, then why can’t we find this teaching anywhere in the early church fathers?  Did the Holy Spirit fail the Church for 2,000 years before full preterism came along?”
Answer – Since the important doctrine of forensic justification was not found anywhere in the early church fathers prior to Luther, does this mean the Holy Spirit failed the Church for 1,500 years?  Was John Eck and the Roman Catholic Church justified to condemn Luther and his teachings based upon this kind of thinking that the “Reformed” Hyper-Creedalists are now using against their own brethren?!?
One Reformed writer addressing one of the Reformation’s battle cries, “Reformed and always reforming” correctly states,
“In hermeneutical and exegetical practice “Reformed” folk today have regressed to the security, comfort, complacency, naïveté, false humility, ignorance and laze of the Dark Ages—blindly following their own confessions and catechisms, now ironically immune to further biblical reform, searching the Scriptures only to contrive new ways to defend the doctrines spoon-fed them by the “great Reformers.” To them it is unimaginable that their sixteenth-century heroes could have been substantially wrong on anything (save, perhaps, on blatant snafus such as the pope being Antichrist). To be sure, if today’s Reformed scholars and churchgoers (who take pride in tradition-acquiescence rather than in the hard work of reading Scripture themselves in any serious, self-critical way) had lived in Luther’s and Calvin’s day, there may be little doubt they would ironically have been on the side of Rome—condemning the Reformers for their innovative departures from the “tried and true traditions of the church.”  (M. Allan Eby, Requiem for a Reformation, http://secundum-verbum-dei.blogspot.com/2012/10/requiem-for-reforma…).  Special thanks to David Green and Michael Bennett for posting Eby’s comments on their lists.
Reformers are indeed condemning themselves.  Full preterism is not new as this article demonstrates at every point!  The Reformed Church (through the classic amillennial and partial preterist views) has been teaching the premises and doctrine of full preterism this entire time.  Just because full preterists are uniting and putting the two together (systematically or in a non-contradictory form “Reformed and always reforming”) does not warrant excommunication of its members – rather these men and women ought to be honored for their desire to follow God’s Word at any cost and be peace makers and bridge builders among the Reformed brethren.  Selah.
“In the minds of those who coined it, the phrase semper reformanda emblematized the conviction that the church must continually reexamine itself in light of Scripture in order to maintain (and where necessary, recover) its purity of belief and practice. The Reformers themselves, of course, were mindful of the fact that they, like popes and councils, could err. Indeed they (like popes and councils) often contradicted one another at points and openly welcomed correction, so long as it came plainly reasoned from Scripture. They recognized that their newfound biblical re-readings were an ongoing work in-progress, and that further progress toward truth could only come via close and repeated inductive examination of Scripture. They called their followers to be “Bereans” with them (Acts 17:11). This humble approach was beautifully captured on April 18, 1521 at the Diet of Worms, where Luther’s corpus—indeed his very life—was on the line.

Luther:  “When Christ stood before Annas, he said, ‘Produce witnesses.’ If our Lord, who could not err, made this demand, why may not a worm like me ask to be convicted of error from the prophets and the Gospels? If I am shown my error, I will be the first to throw my books into the fire. . . .”

Johann Eck:  “Martin, . . . . Your plea to be heard from Scripture is the one always made by heretics. You do nothing but renew the errors of Wyclif and Hus. How will the Jews, how will the Turks, exult to hear Christians discussing whether they have been wrong all these years! Martin, how can you assume that you are the only one to understand the sense of Scripture? Would you put your judgment above that of so many famous men and claim that you know more than they all? You have no right to call into question the most holy orthodox faith, instituted by Christ the perfect lawgiver, proclaimed throughout the world by the apostles, sealed by the red blood of the martyrs, confirmed by the sacred councils, defined by the Church in which all our fathers believed until death and gave to us as an inheritance, and which now we are forbidden by the pope and the emperor to discuss lest there be no end of debate. I ask you, Martin—answer candidly and without horns—do you or do you not repudiate your books and the errors which they contain?”
Luther:  “Since then Your Majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me! Amen.”” (Ibid., Eby).
“…I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason…” that full preterism is true and have therefore sought to peacefully “bridge the gap” between the classic amillennial view and the partial preterist view which without full preterism “…have contradicted each other…”  as have “…the authority of popes and councils…” in the past.  As we wrote in our book, House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology —  “And lastly, we are grateful to the Partial Preterist and Amillennial theologians of the historic Reformed church, on whose shoulders we stand, and through whom God has led us, and so many others, to the biblical view of Full Preterism.”
I rest my case.  Selah.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAFnbkEwqjI

House Divided Chapter Three Openness Futurism "Reformed" Open Theist Richard Pratt Vs. Full Preterist Edward J. Hassertt

House Divided Bridging the Gap in Reformed Eschatology A Preterist
Response to When Shall These Things Be?
 
Chapter Three
Openness Futurism
 
Edward J. Hassertt
Copyright 2009 and 2013 – All rights reserved.  No part of this
book (or article) may be reproduced in any form without permission
in writing from the publisher or author of this chapter/article (Vision Publishing
or Edward Hassertt), except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical
articles or reviews.  

According to Dr. Richard Pratt, one of the central errors of preterists
is our belief “that all biblical predictions must be fulfilled just as
they are stated” (WSTTB, 121). In contrast to the teachings of preterists,
Pratt says that the prophetic predictions of the Bible are “seldom
fulfilled exactly as they are given” (122). In fact, “true prophets,” he says,
“often predicted things that did not happen” at all (131).
 
According to Pratt, the reason that biblical prophecies failed to be
fulfilled is because human choices intervened and played a major role
in determining how or if the predictions would be fulfilled (123, 126).
Therefore, concludes Pratt, “it does not matter if the Scriptures depict
Christ’s second coming in close proximity to his first coming. . . . [H]is
return could still be in our future, even two thousand years later” (122).
 
Pratt begins his chapter, “Hyper-Preterism and Unfolding Biblical
Eschatology,” lamenting that many Christians endorse “the hyper-preterist
proposal” that the predictions of true prophets are fulfilled just
as they were stated (122). He complains that it is “quite common” for
evangelicals to agree with “the hyper-preterist interpretation” of Deuteronomy
18:22 (122–123):
 
If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not
take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.
That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid
of him.
 
Many or most Christians, including preterists, believe this verse to
be saying that if a prophet makes a prediction in the name of Yahweh
and the thing predicted does not take place or come true, then the prediction
was not a message that Yahweh had spoken. Pratt says that this
interpretation is not “subtle” enough (122–123).
 
Halfway through his chapter, Pratt, in one paragraph, explains his
interpretation of this verse. He says that different prophetic predictions
were meant to be taken in different ways and indicated various levels of
determination of God to direct the future. Almost none of God’s predictions
in the Bible, according to Pratt, offered absolute certainty that
they would be fulfilled. Thus, a true prophet passed the test of Deuteronomy
18:22 “so long as historical events took place that matched the
level of certainty that their predictions offered” (137).
 
Although Pratt does not say so, this interpretation of Deuteronomy
18:22 means that if a false prophet uttered a prediction in the name of
Yahweh and the prediction failed to come to pass, the false prophet and
the people could simply say: “The fact that this prediction in the name
of Yahweh did not come to pass only proves that this was a typical prediction
of God. He simply did not have a high level of determination to
direct the future when He made this prediction.” No one could prove or
disprove this argument if Pratt’s interpretation is true. Pratt thus renders
Deuteronomy 18:22 practically useless and ultimately meaningless.
 
Pratt versus Reformed Theology
 
Not surprisingly, Pratt attempts to dissociate his view from Open
Theism[1] and to connect it instead to traditional Reformed theology
(123–124). He does this by affirming God’s sovereign immutability,
and by affirming that everything that takes place in the universe is part
of God’s eternal plan (124–125).
 
He also reminds the reader of the Reformed teaching that God’s immutability
does not mean that He is unchangeable in every way imaginable.
While God does not change in such things as His Being, character,
attributes, eternal counsel/plan/purposes, and promises, God does
change in the sense that He has meaningful interactions with and relationships
with man. He is actively involved in history. He lives our life
with us. He judges us, redeems us, and answers our prayers. He also
changed in that He “became flesh” (124–125).
 
This is all well and good and perfectly in line with Reformed theology.
But Pratt subtly shifts this Reformed teaching into the area of prophecy
fulfillment. It is at this point in his chapter that Pratt begins his defense
against preterism in earnest. And according to the pattern of WSTTB, he
begins his arguments with a creed, instead of with Scripture (125):
 
Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decrees of God,
the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly;
yet, by the same providence, He ordereth them to fall out according
to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely,
or contingently. (The Westminster Confession of Faith, 5.2)
 
The illusion that Pratt attempts to create by referencing this section
of the Confession is that it says anything about prophecy or the end
times. But of course, it does not. This section of the Confession deals
only with God’s eternal decrees made within the Godhead. Nowhere
does it address prophetic predictions. Pratt also attempts to use the
scriptural proof text that the Confession uses (Isa. 10:6–7) in order to
validate his view that God causes His own prophetic predictions to fail
(126, 152), but that scripture in no way suggests what Pratt contends.
 
Sawing Off The Limb He is Sitting On
 
Pratt begins his attempt to prove his view through Scripture exegesis on
pages 127–128, by using Jeremiah 18:7–10:
 
The instant I speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom,
to pluck up, or to break down, or to destroy; if that nation
against whom I have spoken will turn from their evil, I will repent
of the evil that I thought to do to it. And the instant I speak
concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to
plant it; if it does evil in My eye, not to obey My voice, then I will
repent of the good which I had said to do good to it.
 
According to Pratt, this passage demonstrates that the prophets of
God often made predictions (of judgment or of salvation) that did not
come true, because the intervening historical contingencies of the people’s
repentance or of the people’s sin caused God to cancel or postpone
or change the fulfillment of the prophetic predictions.
 
What Pratt misses here is that Jeremiah 18:7–10 itself is a prophecy
which Pratt is assuming must be fulfilled just as it was given. The
irony is thick here. Pratt claims that preterists are wrong in their view
that prophetic predictions were always fulfilled as they were written,
because human action usually changed things so that the predictions
were not fulfilled as they were written. Yet to prove this claim, Pratt assumes
that Jeremiah 18 is fulfilled exactly as it was written.
 
According to the logic of Pratt’s scheme, God is or was likely to
change His mind about His prophetic prediction in Jeremiah 18 and
God could decide instead to never change His stated plans when nations
repent or sin. Yet illogically, Pratt argues with certainty that God,
according to the sure prediction of Jeremiah 18:7–10, causes His own
predictions to fail.
 
Pratt is like a radical anti-creedalist who illogically endorses a creed
(“all creeds are false”) to prove that all creeds are false. The anti-creedalist
must assume—based on nothing—that his own creed is correct in
order to reject all creeds. He does not realize that his anti-creedal position
invalidates his own creed. Likewise, Pratt is assuming—based on
nothing—that a biblical prophetic prediction (his proof text, Jer. 18:7–
10) is sure and certain in order to prove that all such predictions are
unsure and uncertain. Pratt does not realize that his position removes
all certainty from the very text he is using to prove his position.
 
Predictions versus Threats
 
As we can see, Pratt’s view is logically invalid at its exegetical inception.
But let us move on through the rest of his chapter and take a look at the
first specific example he gives of his notion that God’s prophetic predictions
usually failed to be fulfilled as they were written (152). His first
example is 2 Chronicles 12:5 (129), where the prophet Shemaiah said to
Rehoboam and to the leaders of Judah,
 
This is what the Lord says, You have abandoned me; therefore, I
now abandon you to Shishak.
 
As a result of this prophetic word, Rehoboam and the leaders of
Judah humbled themselves, and God did not destroy them through
Shishak but only caused them to be subject to him (2 Chron. 12:7–8).
Thus God did not abandon them to Shishak even though He said He
abandoned them to Shishak.
 
The second example Pratt uses for his prediction-failure doctrine
(130–131) is Jonah 3:4:
 
And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he
cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
 
As we know, because the city repented, Nineveh was not overthrown
(Jonah 3:7–10). Thus God did not overthrow Nineveh even
though He said that Nineveh would be overthrown.
 
Pratt’s conclusion when he puts Jeremiah 18:7–10; 2 Chronicles
12:5–8 and Jonah 3:4–10 together is that “true prophets often predicted
things that did not happen” (131).
 
While Pratt says that his view is “complex” (122), the cause of the
complexity (i.e., of his error) is surprisingly simple. His primary exegetical
mistake is reflected in his use of the word “prediction” (127–
131). Pratt acknowledges that the two prophetic utterances above were
“threats” of judgment. Though Pratt calls Shemaiah’s prophetic message
a “prediction” (129), Pratt nevertheless acknowledges that it was
“just a warning from God . . . of judgment that might come” (129–130).
Pratt misses the fact that if the prophetic word of Shemaiah was “just a
warning,” then it was not a prophetic “prediction.” There was therefore
no failed “prediction.”
 
Though Pratt says that Jonah made a “prediction,” he acknowledges
that the “prediction” was actually “a threatened judgment” (130–132).
Jonah was called to “preach” (warn/threaten) not to make a prediction.
There was therefore no failed “prediction.”
 
Incidentally, Pratt says that God delayed His predicted judgment
of Nineveh as a result of the repentance of the people (132). But there
was no delay, even as there was no prediction. Rather, God “relented
concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon
them. And He did not do it” (Jonah 3:10). The judgment that came upon
Nineveh some generations later was unrelated to the judgment that
God threatened in Jonah’s day.
 
These passages of Scripture in no way show that a prophet of God
ever made a “prediction” that failed to come to pass. These were not
“predictions” at all. Even though Pratt acknowledges that these and
many other such words of the prophets were merely threats/warnings
or offers of blessings, he spends his chapter equivocating, calling those
threats and offers “predictions” when they were not.[2]
 
This is the source of Pratt’s confusion and the confusion he is sure to
cause his readers. When Pratt said that “true prophets often predicted
things that did not happen” (131), what he should have said is that God,
through the prophets, often threatened to do things and offered to do
things that He did not, in the end, do. This biblical and Reformed truth
is a far, far cry from Pratt’s doctrine that God prophetically “predicted”
things that did not and will not ever come to pass.
 
Contrary to Pratt, whenever prophets of God actually predicted
things, those things happened —100% of the time. How Pratt can put
the “warnings” and “offers” of the Bible in the same category as the predictions
of the Second Coming, resurrection of the dead, and judgment of all
men is mystifying.
 
On page 137, Pratt says,
 
From the viewpoint of hyper-preterism, the predominant
purpose of predictions in the Scriptures was prognostication.
Hyper-preterists assume that prophets intended to give foreknowledge
of things to come.
 
I am truly surprised that Pratt’s editor Keith Mathison allowed
these sentences to pass inspection and to be sent to print. Obviously
one of the main purposes of a prediction was prognostication. “Prediction”
means “prognostication.” And obviously the prophets intended
to give foreknowledge of things to come. Who could possibly
deny this?
 
What Pratt should have said in the first sentence is that the predominant
purpose of prophetic messages (threats of judgment and offers
of blessing) was not prognostication. And what he should have said
in the second sentence is that not every prophetic message contained
foreknowledge of things to come.
 
Haggai 2:21–23
 
On the thirteenth page of Pratt’s chapter, he finally reaches an actual, predictive,
decretive prophecy (not merely a solemn threat/warning or offer):
 
Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah saying, I am going
to shake the heavens and the earth. And I will overthrow the
thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of
the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders,
and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the
sword of another. On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will
take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant, declares the
Lord, and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen
you, declares the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:21–23)
 
According to Pratt, the fulfillment of even this prophecy was conditioned
upon the obedience of the people. And not only that, says Pratt,
the prophecy failed to take place as it was written: “ . . . [T]hese things
did not happen to Zerubbabel. He never became the king over God’s
people, and the nations around Israel were not destroyed. Why was
this so? It was because the postexilic community failed to be obedient
to the Lord.” The disobedience of the people, according to Pratt, caused
the “postponing” of the fulfillment of the prophecy (133).
 
First of all, when God says, “On that day, declares Yahweh of hosts,
I will,” the decretive nature of the prophecy is established. There is no
condition, implicit or otherwise, in the prophecy. The prophecy was
sure to be accomplished as it is written, Pratt notwithstanding.
As for Pratt’s claim that Zerubbabel “never became the king over
God’s people,” the prophecy says nothing about Zerubbabel becoming
the king over God’s people. It says only that God would make him
like a signet ring.” This could possibly mean that Zerubbabel became
highly esteemed and exalted in the sight of God. And/Or the promise
to Zerubbabel could have been meant to refer to Christ, who was born
of the seed of Zerubbabel, who was of the seed of David. Either way,
there was no “postponing” of the prophecy.
 
But as is often the case, the biblical answer is the obvious answer,
and it is missed because it does not fit the futurist paradigm. The
prophecy of Haggai 2:6–9, 21–23 was fulfilled, in a “typical” sense, in
the lifetime of Zerubbabel. In about four years (“in a little while”) after
the prophecy was given, God overthrew all the nations, (He “shook the
heavens, the earth, the sea and the dry land”) and the desire or wealth
of all nations came, and the temple was filled with glory (with gold and
silver). (Compare Haggai 1:15; 2:10 and Ezra 6:15.)
 
This all took place when Darius King of Persia overturned Israel’s
enemies, who for years had been preventing the rebuilding of God’s
house. Darius decreed, “May God . . . overthrow any king or people who
lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem
(Ezra 6:11–12). Darius forced Israel’s enemies themselves to pay the full
cost of the rebuilding, as well as the full cost of all the daily, priestly
services (Ezra 6:8–10).
 
The military and political power of Israel’s enemies was overthrown.
They had tried to turn the king against Israel (Ezra 5), but God turned
their own stratagems against them. He made them subservient to His
people, taking their own wealth for the building of His glorious, earthly
house. God had thus “moved heaven and earth” to keep the covenant
that He had made with His people through Moses (Ezra 6:18; Hag. 2:5).
The prophecy of Haggai 2:6–9; 21–23 also foreshadowed the fulfillment
of the better promise (Heb. 8:6) that was fulfilled in Christ’s generation.
Israel’s building of the greater, earthly house in Zerubbabel’s generation
was an example of the building of the true, heavenly “House” in Christ.
 
Within perhaps only four years (“in a little while”) after Hebrews
12:26 was written, God overthrew all the nations. He “shook the heavens,
the earth, the sea and the dry land.” The desire of all nations came,
and God’s Temple was filled with Glory.
 
This happened when God overturned His kingdom-enemies who,
in their persecution of the church, had furiously resisted the construction
of His new covenant temple (Eph. 2:21–22; I Peter 2:5). Despite
the rage of the enemies, God enlisted countless multitudes of them to
build His new House (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21; Rev. 5:9); and the enemies
who resisted to the end were crushed, and were cast out of the kingdom
in AD 70 (Matt. 8:12; 21:43; Lk. 13:28; Acts 4:25–28; Gal. 4:30; Rev. 3:9).
God “moved heaven and earth” to keep the covenant that He made
with His elect through the blood of Christ. Now the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit dwell eternally in the universal church, which is the new
covenant House of promise (Jn. 14:23; Gal. 4:19; Eph. 2:21–22; 3:17; Col.
1:27; II Peter 1:19; Rev. 3:20; 21:2–3). Through the power of the eternal
gospel, the desire of the nations flows into “the more perfect tabernacle
today and forever (Heb. 9:11; Rev. 21:26–27), and God Himself is its
unfading Glory (Rev. 21:23). Amen.
 
Pratt’s Three Failed Eschatons
 
In the last thirteen pages of his chapter, Pratt descends into an exegetical
abyss from which, sadly, he never returns. On pages 141–143, he says
that, according to Jeremiah, the beginning and consummation of the
eschaton (the Last Days), the culmination of history, the restoration of
Israel and of the Davidic throne, the rebuilding of the temple, and the
defeat and gathering of the Gentiles were all supposed to take place after
the Babylonian Exile in about 538 BC. Pratt says that the prophets of that
generation expected that the eschatological hopes of Israel would be imminently
realized.
 
But alas, according to Pratt, Daniel observed the alleged “failure” of
the supposedly imminent restoration of all things that Jeremiah allegedly
predicted. Daniel, in the prophecy of “the seventy weeks,” allegedly revealed
that the fullness of the eschaton, which allegedly should have happened
in Daniel’s lifetime, was allegedly postponed/delayed for about 490
years “because of a lack of repentance” (144–145, 147, 149, 152).
However, according to Pratt, about twenty years after Daniel received
that prophecy, the blessings of the eschaton were “offered” yet
again through the predictions of Haggai and Zechariah (520–515 BC).
But evidently, there was again insufficient repentance for the predictions
to be fulfilled (146–147).
 
Then according to Pratt, five hundred years later in the New Testament
era, the consummation of the eschaton was “offered” again
(meaning predicted but not promised, in Prattian usage). But “the lack
of repentance within the covenant community caused an indefinite delay
of Christ’s return” (149).
 
Apparently there was no “Daniel” this time around to tell anyone
there was going to be a delay (as though Daniel ever suggested a delay in
the first place). There was however the writer of Hebrews, who said in
about AD 66 that Christ would “not delay” in His Parousia (Heb. 10:37).
But that must have been one of those “failed” predictions.
 
Pratt comments on Acts 3:19–20:
 
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away,
in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of
the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for
you. . . .
 
According to Pratt, Peter was saying that the imminent Second
Coming was a “conditional offer.” If those who were listening to him
repented, then there was a “hope”/“possibility” that it would happen in
their lifetime (150–151).
 
This interpretation however can be quickly dismissed. The Second
Coming in Christ’s generation was neither “conditional” nor an
“offer” nor a mere “possibility” that was contingent on human behavior.
The contingency was the elect being saved, and that work was of
the sovereign Spirit, not of man. Therefore the eschaton was going to
be fulfilled in the last days of the old covenant age no matter what men
would do to resist God’s purpose. There was absolutely no way to stop
the fulfillment of the Second Coming and resurrection of the dead in
the apostolic generation, Prattian contingencies and postponements
notwithstanding.
 
On page 134, Pratt says, “When a sign accompanied a prophecy, it
showed that God was very determined to carry out what the prophet
had predicted.” However, the prophetic time statements of the New
Testament were accompanied by signs. Yet Pratt claims that those
prophecies were all altered by human contingency.
 
Pratt says on page 135 that “when God adds an oath to a prophetic
prediction, it raises that prediction to the level of a covenantal certainty.
Pratt gives as an example, “There as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign
Lord . . . ” (Eze. 5:11). Yet when the Lord Jesus Christ Himself says,
Truly [Amen], I say unto you,” in regard to the timing of His Parousia
(Matt. 16:28), Pratt for some reason does not count Jesus’ promise there
as “a covenantal certainty.”
 
Pratt says on page 137 that the question of timing always remains
open in prophecies with oaths. Evidently, Pratt has never read Revelation
10:6: “and [the angel] swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who
created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it,
and the sea and the things in it, that there shall be delay no longer.”
 
Later in the apostolic generation, Pratt says, the apostles had to deal
with the unexpected delay of Christ’s return (despite the oath in RevelaOpenness
tion 10:6), and the Christian community was beset with “discouragement”
as a result of that delay (151–152). How Pratt knows about this
delay definitively within his system of contingency and ambiguity is a
mystery he does not solve. But, Pratt continues, Peter did not give up
hope, because he knew that God was showing great patience, not wanting
anyone to perish but desiring “everyone” to come to repentance
(152). And according to Pratt, this has been going on now for about
2,500 years, since the days of Daniel. Thus ends Pratt’s notable chapter.
 
The last thirteen pages of Pratt’s chapter certainly do not merit any
further refutation. His arguments are transparently wrong. The eschaton
was never scheduled to arrive in 538 BC in the time of Daniel. Nor was it
supposed to arrive in about 520 B.C. in the time of Haggai and Zechariah.
Nor was it merely “offered” conditionally in Christ’s generation.
 
If Pratt is correct, we must ask: Has the eschaton been “offered” at any
other times since the first century? Was it “offered” again in 1843, as per
William Miller? Was it “offered” again in 1988, as per Edgar Whisenant?
Was it “offered” again in 1994, as per Harold Camping? Were those the
failed predictions of men, or the failed predictions of God? Who can say
one way or the other with any certainty, in Pratt’s “Openness Futurism”?
 
It may seem difficult to imagine how someone who is a Doctor of
Theology could believe and teach such incredibly unbiblical things.
But the reason is apparent if we paraphrase Pratt’s argument: “Hyperpreterists
think that prophecies are fulfilled as they were written. But
according to my futurist paradigm, prophecies were not fulfilled as they
were written. I know they were not fulfilled as they were written because
they were not fulfilled as they were written, according to my futurist
paradigm. Therefore, hyper-preterists are wrong when they say
that prophecies are fulfilled as they were written.”
 
Circular arguments, ad hominems, and question begging, oh my!
Preterism, in contrast, walks by faith. If it appears that a divine prediction
was not fulfilled when and how God said it would be fulfilled,
then it is our interpretation of the prediction, not its fulfillment, which
must be called into question. Amen.
 
Pratt and Openness Theology
 
Pratt’s eschatological error is not merely one of many perfectly acceptable
options within futurism, as Mathison suggests in his chapter.
 
Pratt comes dangerously close to Openness Theology in every one of his
analyses of prophetic utterances and in every argument he uses against
preterism. Anyone who is familiar with the writings of Open Theists
can see the source material for Pratt’s arguments. If his arguments
were not directly reproduced from Sanders and Pinnock, he has clearly
drunk from the same well as those men.
 
According to Pratt, even if Jesus Himself bluntly declared, “Verily I
say unto you, I will return in August of the year AD 70,” that would not
mean that His return actually occurred when He said it would (122).
His return could still be in our future, because His church could have
failed to repent and be faithful, and this “human contingency” could
have caused Him to delay His return for two thousand years, or even a
trillion years.
 
Who knows? Human contingency could also have caused Him to
change the way the promise of His return was supposed to be fulfilled.
Maybe He originally meant for His return to be fulfilled literally but
then human contingency caused Him to fulfill it spiritually, or vice versa.
In Pratt’s paradigm, even the eschatological predictions of Jesus and
the New Testament writers become ultimately meaningless.
 
Pratt’s notion that we can have no confidence in Jesus’ predictions
and time statements is the same contingency-based, changing-mindof-
God nonsense of the Openness heretics. Pratt asserts that he is not
of the same cloth as these men, yet he seems to channel John Sanders as
his primary source without ever citing him. Pratt’s language could have
been pulled out of Sanders’ The God who Risks. In fact the very categories
of possible fulfillment that Pratt advocates appear to be lifted from
that very book.[3] Let us compare the statements in Sander’s Openness
volume to the same categories and modes of prophetic interpretation in
Pratt’s so-called “Reformed” response to preterism.
 
From Sanders: “A prophecy may express God’s intention to do
something in the future irrespective of creaturely decision.” He uses
Isaiah 46 as an example (Ibid., 51).
 
Sanders here expresses what Pratt calls “sworn predictions”
(WSTTB, 131). For Pratt these prophecies take the form of divine oaths
(135). For both Sanders and Pratt this category of prophecy includes
those things which God has said he will do and which will come to pass
as God said they would. Pratt is arbitrary in classifying prophecies in
this category, automatically assuming any prophecy preterists claim as
being fulfilled could not possibly fit into this category.
 
From Sanders: “A prophecy may also express God’s knowledge that
something will happen because the necessary conditions for it have
been fulfilled and nothing could conceivably prevent it.” He uses Pharaoh
and Moses as an example (51).
 
Sanders here expresses what Pratt calls “confirmed predictions”
(WSTTB, 131). For Pratt, as with Sanders, these predictions are accompanied
by specific words calling God to the outcome or by certain
signs that show nothing could conceivably prevent the fulfillment of the
prophecy (134). It is impossible to determine why the clear words of
Jesus and of the New Testament writers about the imminent Second
Coming and resurrection and judgment of the dead do not constitute
such predictions.
 
From Sanders: “A prophecy may also express what God intends
to do if certain conditions obtain.” He uses Jeremiah 18 as an example
(TGWR, 51).
 
Sanders here expresses what Pratt calls “conditional predictions”
(WSTTB, 131). Pratt says: “There are many examples in the Bible of
situations where the contingency of human choice made a difference in
the fulfillment of a prophetic prediction” (129). By “difference,” of course,
Pratt means that even though God prophetically “predicts” an event, man,
through his choices, can cause the “failure” (152) of that divine “prediction.”
Notice for Pratt who acts, and who reacts after God issues a divine
“prediction.” In reality, as we’ve already stated, conditional if/then prophecies
(such as Isaiah 1:9–20) are not predictions at all. They are warnings
and offers.
 
From Sanders: “The typical prophecy expresses God’s intention
to act a certain way, depending on what his creatures decide to do”
(TGWR, 53). He uses Jonah as an example.
 
Sanders here expresses what Pratt calls “unqualified predictions”
(WSTTB, 131). He states that even though these prophecies use unqualified
language they are not necessarily fixed in stone. And just like
Sanders, he uses Jonah as an example. According to Pratt, Jonah gave
a prophetic “prediction” and God caused the fulfillment of the “prediction”
to be delayed (131). But again, as Pratt himself admits, such “predictions”
are not predictions. They are warnings/threats and offers of blessings.
 
There can be precedent in the Reformed community for Pratt’s and
Sanders’ four-fold division of prophecies, but only with the understanding
that not all prophecies are predictions. Pratt’s contention that actual
“predictions” (not merely prophetic warnings and offers) of God can
be thwarted by human actions has absolutely no place in Reformed or
Reformed preterist theology.
 
Lastly, only the Openness theologians make any claim that the New
Testament prophecies of the Second Coming are contingent, or not
necessarily to come about as stated. There are disagreements about
what is stated, but never disagreements in the Reformed community
about whether they are actually to be fulfilled as stated. Pratt departs
from the Reformed tradition in his application of contingency to prophetic
predictions, and especially when he applies contingency to the
New Testament predictions concerning Christ’s Parousia.
 
House of Cards Divided
 
Pratt’s deconstruction of Deuteronomy 18:22 leads to a morass of sophism
in prophetic interpretation. He tears the foundation out from under
any eschatological claims whatsoever, not the least of which are those of
his fellow contributors. There is no reason to claim postmillennialism,
amillennialism, premillennialism, or any form of prophetic ism if Pratt is
correct. His chapter throws the entire remainder of the Mathison book
into the vast shifting ocean of subjectivity. If prophetic predictions can
be fulfilled in any way, or in no way at all, as Pratt claims, then we have a
plurality of possibilities, with no possibility of a unified argument of truth
versus error. Biblical prophetic predictions become vain babblings and
worthless because we cannot know with certainty if fulfillment has occurred,
or even if it will ever occur.
 
Faith becomes arbitrary because we can never know with certainty
which of the things God has predicted will come to pass and which are
destined for the trash heap of unfulfilled predictions due to human-enacted
contingencies. If we cannot fully know which divine predictions
may reach fulfillment and which ones need not be taken seriously, then
how can we put our faith in any of God’s predictions?
 
Pratt’s argument invalidates all the anti-preterist arguments of his
co-authors. For instance, Gentry criticizes preterists for the way we see
prophecies concerning the resurrection fulfilled (28), while Pratt tells us
that it is possible that prophecies can be fulfilled in ways that actually
contradict the prophecy as it was written. If Pratt is correct, then Gentry
cannot be confident that the prophecies concerning the resurrection
of the dead will be fulfilled as they were written.
 
There can be no real hope because we cannot tell with certainty
which prophecies of God constitute a promise/oath and which do not,
and we cannot tell with certainty what historical contingencies may or
may not obtain to prevent any given prophecy from being fulfilled. Will
there be a resurrection of the dead? Who knows? In the Prattian paradigm,
we can only wonder what human actions may alter the timing or
completeness or nature or even the existence of fulfillment.
 
Will Christ return literally and physically on a cloud, as argued by
the authors of WSTTB? Or will human contingencies cause Him to
alter the fulfillment of His prediction and cause Him to return in the
form of a great teacher in the Middle East? Was Mohammed the Second
Coming of Christ? Did Mohammed reflect a change in the Second
Coming due to human actions? Who can really know for sure in Pratt’s
horrific contingency paradigm of uncertainty?
 
Charles Hill asks:
 
How could it possibly be that the very people who were
taught about the consummation of redemptive history by
the apostles, and who lived through this consummation,
missed the great event when it happened? (105)
 
Likewise, Doug Wilson says that if preterism is true then:
 
. . . the apostles spent a great deal of time preparing the
early church for a world-shattering event, but then, when
it happened, the early church completely missed it. (276)[4]
 
If we believe Pratt, then the result is even worse than what Hill and
Wilson are saying about the historical implication of preterism. If Pratt
is right, then it is possible that the consummation has been fulfilled
in a radically different way than the prophecies themselves predicted.
The consummation could have been totally and absolutely missed on
a wholesale level because it bore no resemblance whatsoever to the actual
prophecies. Within Pratt’s paradigm, we are necessarily left forever
wondering if this event or that event was the fulfillment, or if the fulfillment
will ever happen at all.
 
What Pratt refrains from stating explicitly is that human contingency
can alter the fulfillment of a prophecy so much that those who
read the prophecy could be unable to recognize its fulfillment when it
happens. Prattian contingencies make the fulfillment of prophecy absolutely
uncertain. The consummation of redemptive history could be
fulfilled in any way at all. The wording of the predictions is irrelevant.
 
Mathison says that, “if Scripture can be trusted, the visible return of
Christ is something that literally remains to be seen” (188). In Mathison’s
view, God will certainly do what He prophetically predicted He
will do. Pratt’s view, in contrast, makes Scripture a jumble awaiting human
actions to sort out what can be believed.
 
Conclusion
 
It is time to stop believing in theological pluralism as anything
more than a temporary stopgap. It is time to reject the idea of
the equal ultimacy of incompatible theological positions. Premillennialism,
postmillennialism, and amillennialism are theologically
incompatible. God cannot be pleased with all three. At
least two of them should be discarded as heretical, if not today,
then before Christ comes in final judgment. (A Defense of (Reformed)
Amillennialism, Prof. David J. Engelsma)[5]
 
Preterists know why the three incompatible eschatological positions
are tolerated in the Reformed community. They are placeholders
for the biblical truth of preterism. When the truth is allowed to
replace these flawed systems of theology, then eschatological unity can
be achieved.
 
If there is no agreement as to what eschatological truth is, beyond
two or three points, how can there be certainty that preterists are
wrong? If preterism is error, where is the certainty of the truth which
shows it to be so? The lack of unity in message, methodology, and interpretation
of prophecy makes any Reformed response to preterism not
only tentative and incomplete, but premature.
 
WSTTB is a source of comfort to me and to other preterists. The
manifest inability of scholars within the Reformed community to organize
a coordinated, logical, and non-contradictory argument against
preterism is telling. Their eschatological house is divided and falling,
just like the Papal See fell under the weight of the truth of the Protestant
Reformation.
 
WSTTB shows nothing other than a disoriented theological base
that men are desperate to maintain. I cannot judge their hearts, but
I can judge the system for what it is. Some of the best minds of the
Reformed futurist community came together and no two of them can
agree on even the fundamental questions of the nature of prophecy,
how prophecy is fulfilled, which verses apply to past events, and which
(they claim) apply to yet future events.
 
In the end, Pratt reveals the crack in the Reformed, eschatological
House of Usher. The willingness of Pratt’s co-authors to unite with his error,
and with each other’s errors, in order to ward off the persistent challenge
of preterism is resulting in the sure and imminent fall of futurism.
 
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds
blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its
fall. (Matt. 7:27)



[1] Open Theism holds that God does not exhaustively know the future and
that His prophetic predictions can be thwarted by the will of man.
[2] Keith Mathison seemed to favor the Reformed view in his chapter, saying
that “in some circumstances, prophesied judgment can be averted” (163).
Mathison avoided Pratt’s error. Mathison did not say, “In almost every instance,
God’s predictions have been averted.” Later in his chapter however,
Mathison implies that Pratt’s view is actually a viable option, saying that preterists
have “failed” to consider it (181).
[3] The God who Risks (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1998), 51–53
[4] See David Green’s response to Hill in this book for an invalidation of
this argument.
[5] Available online at: http://www.prca.org/articles/amillennialism.html
Openness Futurism 73
 

The Contradictions Among Dr. Talbot's Disciples and the "Scholarly Consensus" of Daniel 12:1-13/Matthew 13:39-43

No one can deny that Full Preterism is the organic development (“Reformed and always reforming”) of the reformed orthodox church as it pertains to the time and nature of fulfillment for the judgment and resurrection of Dan. 12:1-4, 7, 13/Matt. 13:39-43 to take place.  These texts would be fulfilled at the end of the “last days” or “end of the age” period:
1) Classic Amillenialism – The resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 IS the resurrection of Matthew 13:39-43/24:31—25:31ff.; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 20:5-15 and takes place at Christ’s ONE “the parousia” at the end of the “last days” or “end of the age” period.
2) Postmillennial Partial Preterism – The resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 took place at the end of the NT’s “last days” period – at the end of the OC age at Christ’s “the parousia.” At which time…:
a. “John in Revelation picks up where Daniel leaves off” (James Jordan on Dan. 12:2, 13/Revelation 20) and Daniel’s soul was raised out from among the dead ones of Abraham’s Bosom/Hades and stood in God’s presence having inherited “eternal life.”
b. This was a covenantal resurrection for OC Israel and the NC Church in AD 70.
c. This was a corporate resurrection for the Church which took place in AD 70.
* Not only this, but PP have actually ripped off (stolen) some FP arguments from various texts to arrive at this – without giving FPism the credit – lol.
Talbot-Sam doesn’t want to say the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 was fulfilled in AD 70 because the consensus of the scholars teaches this is a physical resurrection which will take place at the end of “the last days” or “end of the age” period. All the while Talbot-Sam denies the overwhelming consensus among the scholars that the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 is to take place at the end of the age — THAT HE [Talbot-Sam] says was the OC age in AD 70 Matt. 13:39-43! Way to avoid that key passage in your little article on Daniel 12:2 Sam.
Talbot-Gentry is on the other side of the coin that Talbot-Sam is on. He accepts the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 took place spiritually in AD 70, but apparently didn’t want to suffer the condemnation of Gary North on this text and “break from the historic faith of the church” and the scholarly consensus that Matt. 13:39-43 is allegedly dealing with “the end of history” and not the end of the OC age in AD 70.
Talbot-McDurmon comes along and wants to be more consistent than Talbot-Sam and Talbot-Gentry and correctly claims that Dan. 12:2-3 and Matt. 13:39-43 are addressing the same event and were fulfilled at the end of the OC age in AD 70 (and is even willing to surrender the resurrection of 1 Cor. 15 to the FP).  But after conceding these points, he becomes delusional (along with other disciples of Dr. Talbot) and wants to act and pretend as if he has won the debate against Full Preterism.  Amazing irony!
Since the almighty ivory tower great “Dr.” Talbot of Whitefield Seminary has been or is the professor of these three men, we must ask:  WHEN will the great “Doctor” ever walk down and bless us all with his presence and fix these contradictory views his students are promoting on Dan. 12:2-3/Matt. 13:39-43 as they pertain to the “scholarly consensus” of the Church? Don’t hold your breath – Lol.