"Grave" Error: Hyper-preterism and the Response
of the Church by Dee Dee Warren

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Disclaimer: As a general rule I never link to heretical sites. However in this article I have made an exception as was necessary to endnote the support and/or source for my statements and assertions. This article will be updated as additional relevant information is assimilated. Last revision: 9/19/06

This current article is a revision and update of Is it a Duck? with HOW TO COMPLETELY MISS THE POINT IN 450 WORDS OR LESS (as demonstrated by Don Preston, my response to Preston's critique appended to the very end (scroll down). Hyperpreterist Samuel Frost has also responded with an article entitled "The Assumptions that Kill." I have responded to Samuel with "Frosty the Strawman". Misc. Responses are noted in Appendix A and throughout the article.

SYNOPSIS

A new version of an old eschatological error is gaining popularity in the evangelical community. This view, known as "full preterism" or "hyper-preterism," teaches that ALL prophecy, including the Resurrection (of the just and the unjust), the Second Coming, and the Final Judgment had their fulfillment in the first century surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. This is in contrast to the historic and orthodox preterism of such teachers as R.C. Sproul, Kenneth Gentry, and Gary DeMar who affirm the future bodily return of Christ and the future bodily resurrection. Is hyper-preterism merely yet another valid view within the spectrum of Christianity? How should the Church react when facing this radically different teaching? Is this a cause for Christian tolerance or doctrinal division? The Church has consistently held that certain core beliefs, including those denied by the hyper-preterists, are definitional and foundation to the Christian faith. Further, the Scripture gives specific examples demonstrating that serious errors regarding the resurrection are a line of demarcation for Christian faith and praxis. In the final analysis, this teaching cuts out the heart of redemption and is not acceptable as part of the spectrum of Christian faith. Urgent prayer is needed for those blinded by this paradigm, but it cannot be allowed to operate under the rubric of Christian eschatology.


"Grave" Error: Hyper-preterism and the Response of the Church

"The Second Coming has already happened, and Christ will not ever physically return to the earth." [1]

"The Resurrection is past. When we die, our bodies remain in the graves, and the resurrection is the creation of a new 'spiritual' body." [2]

As many in the Church grow disillusioned with many popular "end times" [3] scenarios, a relatively new movement is spreading that teaches that ALL Biblical prophecy is fulfilled, including the Second Coming, the Resurrection, and the Final Judgment. [4] This view is known popularly as "full preterism" [5] or "hyper-preterism" and polemically as "Hymenæanism." [6] This view is necessarily differentiated from the historically orthodox view of "preterism," or as it is now more popularly known to avoid being confused with the above, "partial preterism" or "orthodox preterism." [7] Orthodox preterism holds that MANY (but not all) "end times" prophecies were in fact referring to the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in 70 A.D. [8] Hank Hanegraaff's new book, The Last Disciple, offers a scenario consistent with that viewpoint. [9]

Though generally not formally organized, the hyper-preterist movement operates within the bodies of local churches, very often spreading these ideas and doctrines though home Bible study groups or other small groups of friends as well as having a very prominent presence on the Internet. [10] Further, there is a concerted effort by this movement to brush aside or minimize the obvious deviations of this view from the historic faith and to present it as simply another view among many acceptable views at the eschatological table. Therefore, as a noticeable number of people have begun embracing hyper-preterism, [11] and it appears more frequently in churches and other fellowships, a vital question presents itself:

Is this issue simply an "in-house" dispute about which Christians can differ without dividing (much like Calvinism versus Arminianism)?

The answer must be a resounding "no," supported by at least two lines of reasoning. [12]

First, the Christian Church has embraced, throughout two millennia, certain core and essential doctrines which are codified in the ecumenical Creeds, the best known of which is The Apostle's Creed, recited each Sunday as an article of faith by countless Christians. These core doctrines have always included the future bodily return of Christ, the future bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the future Final Judgment (all of which are denied by hyper-preterists).

Second, the Scriptures themselves appear to single out errors concerning the resurrection as being of paramount consequence. As it is undeniable that the historic Creeds of the Church would exclude this view from the historic faith (and a much longer discussion would be required to explore the legitimacy of the Creeds in making these determinations) [13], I will focus on this second prong in answering the above question.

There is Nothing New Under the Sun

Out of all of the heresies that have plagued the Church, the New Testament explicitly deals with relatively few, while others are implicitly condemned. However, it is interesting that Paul does deal with errors concerning the resurrection specifically and explicitly in two different epistles, and treats them as issues of foundational importance.

Paul's Second Letter to Timothy. In 2 Timothy 2:15-19, Paul singles out two men, Hymenaeus and Philetus, who were wreaking havoc with the faith of others and spreading doctrine that he denounced as a "cancer" or "gangrene," and from such, Timothy was told to divide. Only one detail is given about their teaching - they taught that the resurrection was past.

The prima facie similarity is crystal clear - modern hyper-preterists assert that the resurrection was past, and Paul blatantly condemned that same belief in two ancient false teachers. Thus, we have explicit warrant to reject this teaching as not only in error, but also outside the bounds of the faith and spiritually dangerous to other believers. [14] The primary defense of the hyper-preterist is to claim that Paul condemned this view because at that time, the resurrection was still yet future, but it is now in fact a past event since AD 70. [15] However, this is tautological, basically asserting, "I am right so you cannot say I am wrong." It begs the very question under dispute: What should be the reaction of those who hold that the resurrection is future to those that hold that the resurrection is past? It is clear on that basis alone - there is no Biblical choice but to separate over this doctrine.

A secondary defense of the hyper-preterist posits that Hymenæaus and Philetus must have understood the resurrection in a non-physical way because Paul did not object to their ideas on the nature of the event, just the timing. First, it is far from certain that these men were teaching a non-physical resurrection at all - they very well could have been teaching that the resurrection of the "many" which happened at the time of Christ's resurrection (Matthew 27:53 ) were all that would occur. If that were the case, there would be the additional error of scope and not of nature at all. Additionally, it is obvious that a condemnation of the timing would implicitly recognize the gross error in the nature or scope of the event. For example, when I write that hyper-preterists say that the resurrection is past, all readers immediately recognize that such persons must be either blindly oblivious to reality or that a serious redefinition of the nature and/or scope is also necessarily in view. Given the nascent Gnosticism evident in early heresies, it is indeed highly likely they were indeed positing a different nature which would explain the extreme reaction of Paul; however, the bottom line is that Paul gives only one detail for the explicit denunciation, "[they say] that the resurrection is already past." [16]

Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. 2 Timothy is not the only place that Paul effectively anathematizes an incorrect view of the doctrine of the resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, Paul confronted the Corinthians who claimed that there was "no resurrection of the dead" and carried that assertion to its logical conclusion: if the dead are not raised, Christ was not raised, and consequently if Christ was not raised, they were still in their sins and lost. Again, the prima facie case is made - the denial of the resurrection of believers would entail the logical denial of the resurrection of Christ, and thus is a position outside the pale of acceptable Christian belief. The two concepts, in Paul's theology, are inseparable.

At this point, the hyper-preterist would object that they do not deny the resurrection of the dead; they just define it differently as a spiritual "raising" of the soul out of Hades, which is then fitted with a spiritual body. [17] Many objections and refutations could be raised to this idea; [18] however, a full refutation is beyond the narrow scope of this inquiry, which was to take the presuppositions of orthodox teaching as true for the sake of argument to determine if charity should be extended for freedom and latitude in this area. Once again, the answer is an unqualified "no."

Words Have Meaning

Many people are confused by apparent "agreement" between persons holding inherently contradictory views because both sides use the same "language." For example, both a Mormon and a Christian profess faith in "Jesus" and use much of the same terminology, but entirely different meanings are poured into these words. The issue in such discussions is not what a person says, but what they mean by what they say. [19] Thus, when a hyper-preterist claims that they do not deny the resurrection of the dead, it is apparent that they mean something entirely different by those words than what is meant in historical Christian doctrine. [20] Therefore, they do in fact deny said doctrine because doctrine is not a mere outward adherence to "words" but to the concepts intended to be communicated. If one adheres to the orthodox and historic doctrine, it is clear that this fundamentally different view is not one of those erroneous teachings that can be treated with freedom, for it is indeed asserting, "There is no resurrection of the dead." [21]

The orthodox position of Paul's intended meaning in historical context would be the only view that would make sense of the argument presented to the Corinthians. As Greeks the idea of a non-bodily "resurrection" of the literally and physically dead would have been nonsensical - not because it would be impossible, but because that is simply not what that word meant [22] - it was the physical resurrection of bodies that was the stumbling block, [23] and it is the physical resurrection of Christ's body that is at the fore in this passage leaving no doubt that there was not a radical redefinition of terms when it comes to the fate of believers.

Furthermore, Paul's theological background cannot be ignored. [24] Before becoming reconciled to Christ, he was a Pharisee, that sect of Judaism which was commonly differentiated from the other major sect at that time by its belief in the resurrection of the dead. The beliefs of the Pharisees on this subject are not in dispute or mysterious - even to the extent of far flights of fancy - they without a doubt believed in a very physical, bodily resurrection of the dead from out of the literal place of burial. Thus it is interesting to note that when Paul was brought before Felix, he testified to his fidelity to the doctrines of the Fathers, including his adherence to the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, "which they [the Pharisees] themselves also accept." [25] This defense was made necessary due to the commotion that Paul caused when speaking to a mixed council, he cried, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!" [26]If Paul did not in fact believe in the resurrection, just as the Pharisees did, he engaged in downright dishonesty. If he did, the hyper-preterist has no case. [27]

Furthermore, Paul's logical progression makes no sense if there was a radical mid-stream redefinition of terms. [28] Let us look at the specific verses: "Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen." The hyper-preterist asserts that the verse really means, "Now if Christ is preached that He has been (physically) raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no (spiritual) [29] resurrection of the dead? But if there is no (spiritual) resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not (physically) risen." [30] In the context of that culture, they simply knew that dead bodies do not come back to life [31] - yet they apparently believed that Christ did. Paul is pointing out the inherent futility and incoherence of their views. If they deny the physical resurrection of the dead, they must then deny the physical resurrection of Christ from the dead.

This logic of Paul proves true even today. It is not unusual, though certainly not universal, for hyper-preterists to become truly consistent in their eschatology and deny either the physicality of Christ's resurrection [32] or His continued enfleshment. [33] This of course raises all kinds of theological brambles. If Christ is no longer in the flesh is He really our Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus? [34] Enfleshment is an integral part of humanity - the perfect man, the First Adam, was created as a being of flesh. How can Christ fully recover everything that the First Adam lost when he is no longer a proper representative of humanity?

Further, if a hyper-preterist goes down that road, he finds himself in yet another heresy that is specifically condemned by Scripture. There are two similar passage, 1 John 4:2-3 and 2 John 7, which speak of deceivers and antichrists who deny that Christ has come in the flesh. While the phrase "come in the flesh" is the same in both passages, the Greek construction is not. In the second passage the perfect, rather than the present, participle has been used. This argues strongly for a "timeless present" indicating not only Christ's past coming in the flesh, but his current abiding in the flesh, and as many have argued, including the late Walter Martin, his future coming in the flesh. [35] The consequence then of the denial of any current enfleshment of Christ is that such a person is antichrist.

Now most hyper-preterists do not deny the physical resurrection of Christ (i.e. they are inconsistent according to Paul) or the current enfleshment of Christ. However, this forces them into a bizarrely uncomfortable situation within their own theology. Many hyper-preterists rely heavily upon the first half of 1 Corinthians 15:50: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..." as a classic "proof-text" for their position that the physical body raised cannot be raised. Many works have already been written demonstrating that "flesh and blood" is a culturally idiomatic expression for the frail mortal condition. [36] However, in evaluating this argument from the hyper-preterists' own interpretive grid, it paints them into a very painful corner. If "flesh and blood" (meaning a physical human body as we know it) cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, then this means either that Christ is no longer flesh and blood (and no longer truly human) or that Christ did not inherit the Kingdom of God. [R-1]This conclusion can only be avoided by the most contrived of explanations, such as positing that Christ had not an ounce of blood in his resurrected body but only consisted of flesh and bones. Well if that is the case, using Paul's unavoidable connection of the nature of Christ's resurrection with the nature of ours, then we are not raised flesh and blood, but flesh and bone - still very physical and still very much like Christ. While the concept of a yet future bloodless physical resurrection might be properly classified as literalism run amuck, it likely passes the muster of orthodoxy and still contradicts the most basic of hyper-preterist beliefs. [37]

The Reduction of Redemption

Hyper-preterism either must maintain, as inherent to its system, that any passages which speak of a consummative moment in history at which point the victory of God is complete must take place progressively yet never-ending, or have had their ultimate triumph in AD70. A critical passage in this regard is 1 Corinthians 15:20-28. This passage speaks of the ultimate victory of Christ - in fact the very culmination of His Messianic reign, when He puts an end to all that would oppose Him with the crowning glory of this achievement being the destruction of the very last enemy - death. There are acceptable variations and deviations within orthodoxy in interpreting this passage. Premillennial believers would posit an intervening Millennium between His Coming and the destruction of the last enemy, but all orthodox systems recognize that there is a redemptive purpose to Christ's Coming that goes beyond the destruction of His first century enemies to the final and ultimate victory over ALL of His enemies, including any and all false doctrine. In the hyper-preterist scheme, we are living in the consummate New Heavens and New Earth in which there is no more death, crying, or pain, for the former things have passed away. [38] Further, there is no need for spiritual warfare as Satan and his angels have already been definitively cast into the lake of fire. The final war of Christ against evil has been fought and won, and yet somehow this victory has left evil very much operating in the world. [39] This is an ethereal quasi-Gnosticism in which the creation is never redeemed, and evil is never finally purged from the material world. It is the death of hope and redemption - no small wonder that Paul condemned so strenuously which may seem on the surface such a silly thing to believe, "[they say] that the resurrection is already past," [40] - for in that one small phrase is the downfall of the classical Christian linear and conclusive plan of redemption. [41] It inevitability reduces not only the work of Christ but also the reality of evil and pain. [42]

Ironically, it appears that the logical outcome of consistent hyper-preterist belief is the inevitable separation into an exclusive cult. [43] 1 John 3:2-3 speaks of the personal purity we are to pursue in the hope of our transformation at the Coming of Christ for then "we shall be like Him." Would Christ falsely accuse the brethren as hyper-preterists would say that we are doing? Did the believers who came through the first century demonstrate an uncanny Christ-likeness? [44] Ephesians 4:11-16 speaks of our inevitable completeness in Christ being characterized by having unity in all things, no longer being tossed about by the winds of doctrine. The very fact of this current dispute shows that at least one group is being severely buffeted by widely divergent views. Did the early Church which went though this momentous change demonstrate any more doctrinal unity than those that come before? No. In fact, there were none who professed hyper-preterism! That radically transforming event apparently had no consequence on the ability to understand Scripture or formulate sound doctrine under a hyper-preterist paradigm, despite the fact that the "perfect has come." [45] [46] The only truly consistent escape for the hyper-preterist in this instance is a claim to the "lost" truth at the exclusion of others who obviously have not come into the faith which is now fully mature.

In conclusion, the narrow purpose of this apologetic was not to refute all of the arguments given by the hyper-preterists for their beliefs, but to provide down-to-earth Biblical support as to the necessary status of this belief system among the orthodox. Some broad outlines and rebuttal was given so that the far-reaching scope of this system, which leaves nearly no doctrine of faith unscathed, can be appreciated. So now, the question is answered. The response of the historic Church, and those who hold a like precious faith, must be ecclesiastical separation from those who would hold these tenets, which are both Creedally and Biblically heterodox in the strictest sense of the word. [47] This is not an easy thing to say or to do as some may have beloved friends caught up in this error. [48] I would urge you to remember that the ultimate purpose of Church discipline and ecclesiastical separation is not primarily to "punish" the offender but to make them long for the fellowship of the saints and thus to repent and return. [49] This is the most loving thing to do. Eternal consequences are at stake. [50]


ENDNOTES

[1] This is a universal view amongst hyper-preterists. Go Back

[2] This view is the most common amongst hyper-preterists, and one that would most "closely" resemble an orthodox belief (and thus trap the unwary). All hyper-preterists believe that the resurrection/rapture of 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 is past. Go Back

[3] More technically known in theology as eschatology - the study of "last things." Go Back

[4] See Jay E. Adams, Preterism Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Timeless Texts, 2003). Hyper-preterists rely heavily upon J. Stuart Russell's work, The Parousia, a hyper-preterist work from the 19th century (there are some who claim that Russell's uncertainty on Revelation 20 rescues him from that label, I do not agree). Go Back

[5] Some hyper-preterists prefer to co-opt the historical term "preterist" as their exclusive right or to designate themselves with the semantically loaded "consistent preterist." However, while the hyper-preterists are consistent in agreeing that all prophecy is past, there is very little consistency in anything else. See Jim West, The Allurement of Hymenæan Preterism: The Rise of Dispensable Eschatology, http://theologyweb.com/article/HymAllure. Go Back

[6] See Andrew Sandlin, Hymenæaus Resurrected, http://theologyweb.com/article/HymRez. Also see C. Jonathin Seraiah, The End of All Things (Canon Press 1999), in which he coins the term "pantelism" as an alternative that the hyper-preterists themselves might accept. Go Back

[7] I absolutely reject the qualifier of "partial" as non-historical and semantical gerrymandering. This will be the subject of a future article. Go Back

[8] See James Patrick Holding, What is Preterism? http://www.tektonics.org/esch/pretsum.html; Adams, Preterism. Go Back

[9] Hanegraaff rejects any label of "preterism," instead preferring to refer to his position as "exegetical eschatology." I do not find such neologism helpful as it implies that any opposing view is wrong by definition, i.e. if someone is not engaging in eschatological eschatology, then there is no option other than eisegetical eschatology. This the exact complaint levied against those who would propagate the terms of "full preterism" and "partial preterism" which leaves the insinuation that one of the views is incomplete and lacking. However in a telephone conversation (http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/ddwhank.html) with Hanegraaff, he explained why he is reluctant to use the title preterism, that many orthodox preterists make the same error as futurists in reverse - they attempt to shoehorn passages solely into an first century boot. I agree with Hanegraaff on this observation as noted in Hello Parker! http://preteristsite.com/wordpress/?p=38. Go Back

[10] In fact, my site, The PreteristSite (http://www.preteristsite.com) was started due to my disgust and frustration at personally having to wade through heretical sites to find needed information and having to send others to them as well. One such site appears to purposefully host a wealth of orthodox preterist material exactly for that purpose. Go Back

[11] The late David Chilton, a noted Reconstructionist author, adopted this position in the years just prior to his death though there is some heated controversy as to his mental faculties due to health issues surrounding his prior massive heart attack. See Gary North, David Chilton, RIP, http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/chiltonrip.html. Go Back

[12] See also Kenneth Gentry, A Brief Theological Analysis of Hyper-Preterism, http://theologyweb.com/article/BriefHyper. Go Back

[13] See Keith Mathison, ed., When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper-Preterism (P&R, 2004), specifically chap. 1 and 6 by Kenneth Gentry and Douglas Wilson respectively. Go Back

[14] This author nearly rejected the faith due to this doctrine. Go Back

[15] 2 Timothy was likely written about 67AD. In this case, under the hyper-preterist view, Paul unleashes strong condemnation against two men who were off by at most 37 years, with a mere three years to go - see Dan Trotter, Why it is Perfectly Acceptable to Call Heretical Preterists Naughty Names, http://www.thingstocome.org/perfectly.htm. Go Back

[16] 2 Timothy 2:18, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version. Go Back

[17] There are multiple variations upon this basic theme in hyper-preterism. The resurrection is such a difficult doctrine to redefine that there is an element of chaos in the various hyper-preterist proposals - for an overview see Kenneth Perkins, [Hyper] Preterist Views of the Resurrection, http://www.preterism-eschatology.com/Preterist%20Views%20of%20the%20Resurrection.htm - a hyper-preterist work. Go Back

[18] A comprehensive index of books and articles with Scriptural refutation can found at my site, The PreteristSite, http://www.preteristsite.com.Go Back

[19] One is reminded of Alice in Wonderland, - "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." Dr. Robert Culver made this exact observation and quote when opposing Murray Harris' flawed views on the nature of Christ's resurrection. Not surprisingly, Dr. Harris has some strong supporters in the hyper-preterist camp.Go Back

[20] Another example would be theological liberals who affirm the "resurrection of Christ" but define it in such a way that while Christ remains dead, it is the Christ ideal that "lives" on. Go Back

[21] 1 Corinthians 15:12 Go Back

[22] N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, , 2003), chap. 2. Also see specifically page 314, "When Paul said 'resurrection,' he meant 'bodily resurrection.'" Go Back

[23] See Acts 17:32 and 1 Corinthians 1:23 (in this latter passage, the crucifixion and resurrection are intrinsically tied and to which the Greeks considered foolishness) Go Back

[24] N.T. Wright argues that Paul's entire resurrection argument to the Corinthians is structured around a very specific Pharisaic worldview stressing the goodness of creation reaffirmed in the consummation. Wright, Resurrection, chap. 6 and 7, and pages 215 and 314. Go Back

[25] Acts 24:15 Go Back

[26] Acts 23:6 Go Back

[27] See also Mark Horne, Why Side with the Sadducees?, http://www.hornes.org/theologia/content/mark_horne/why_side_with_the_sadducees.htm. Go Back

[28] Barcellos, Richard, Some Thoughts on Hyper-Preterism, http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/barcelloshyper.html. Go Back

[29] "Spiritual" as used here is intended to convey the opposite of material, bodily, enfleshed - the spirit takes on a new different body, the old body lies moldering in the grave. Go Back

[30] This is an example of the "Paraphrase Principle," Greg Koukl, The Christian Research Journal, Vol. 26, No. 2, pages 62-63. This principle shows how substituting the intended meaning into a Biblical text in place of a disputed word or phrase can often reveal the errors of an exegetical argument. Go Back

[31] Wright, Resurrection, 33. Go Back

[32] In His body that He possessed prior to death. See Vern Crisler, The Eschatological A Priori of the New Testament, http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/crislerapriori.html, in which the views of hyper-preterist Randall Otto are examined including his redefinition of Christ's resurrection body (similar to that of Murray Harris) and his denial of the physicality of the Ascension in order to downplay its relevance to the physical Second Coming. Go Back

[33] It was said to me once in a debate, "Of course you are still blinded by your so-called orthodox presupposition that Christ is now a meat ball with a spook in it, sitting in heaven." (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showpost.php?p=538132&postcount=50)- while this idea is NOT universal to hyper-preterists, it is not unusual, though it is rarely expressed this crassly. Go Back

[34] 1 Timothy 2:5 Go Back

[35] J.A. Schep, The Nature of the Resurrection Body, (Eerdmans, 1964). Go Back

[36] See Wright, Resurrection, 359-360; Norman L. Geisler, The Battle for the Resurrection, (Thomas Nelson, 1989) 122-123. Go Back

[37] This "bloodless flesh" view of the resurrection is advocated by J. Hughes-Games, The Nature of the Resurrection Body, (James Nisbet < Co. 1898) Go Back

[38] According to their interpretation of Revelation Chapter 21 and 22. However, it is interesting to note how this language is definitely an "undoing" the curse brought in by the First Adam of which one aspect was pain and sorrow for women in childbearing. Though there are reports of some Christian women who have borne children without drugs and without pain, there is no doubt that many Christian women have not experienced the cessation of that burden ~ are they less redeemed? This line of argumentation was pursued by Pastor Gene Cook and Paul Manata in a dialog at a home Bible study of hyperpreterist H.L. James Go Back

[39] See Steve Atkerson, "Back to the Future: A Critique of Hyper-Preterism," (audio presentation) http://www.preteristsite.com/mp3/atkerson.mp3 (part one), http://www.preteristsite.com/mp3/atkerson2.mp3 (part two), Atkerson notes, "At some point your theology has to meet reality."

[40] 2 Timothy 2:18 Go Back

[41] See Dan Trotter, A (Somewhat) Irenic Response to Certain Naughty Heretical Preterists, http://courses.coker.edu/dtrotter/contra/preterism/frame2.htmlGo Back

[42] Gary North has argued that hyper-preterism is forced to affirm either dualism, perfectionism, or pelagianism , Dualism's Doctrine of the Eternality of Evil: A Critique of Heretical Preterism, http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/dualism.pdf. Go Back

[43] No prominent hyper-preterist that I am aware of takes this position. However, one evening in a hyper-preterist chat room, it was inquired quite sincerely, "Are the creedalists saved?" Go Back

[44] Hyper-preterist teacher H.L. James has claimed that when he looks in the mirror, he sees not himself, but Christ in explaining his position on 1 Corinthians 13:12. Go Back

[45] 1 Corinthians 13:8. It is correct that some orthodox believers hold that this event refers to the completion of the canon. However, since the hyper-preterists do agree this refers to the "consummation" referred to in 1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 21-22, and similar passages, this criticism is profoundly valid. Go Back

[46] This argument is similar in parts to Paul Manata's The Transcendental Argument Against Hyper-Preterism, which originally appeared here: http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=2599. This formulation met with strenuous rebuttal from hyper-preterists, particularly hyper-preterist leader H.L. James, which rebuttals primarily focused on a portion of Manata's argument I have not used here. Paul Manata is currently working on an updated version to address the points raised. Go Back

[47] Hyper-preterist David Green conceded this point to Keith Mathison, "Keith Mathison was correct on this point: If [partial preterism] futurism is true, then [hyper] preterism is definitely (not "possibly," as I said) a damnable doctrine." - bracket insertion mine for sake of clarity, parenthetical comment is totally Green's - http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/matresponse.html Go Back

[48] See Brandan Kraft, Hyper Preterism Renounced, http://www.5solas.org/media.php?id=555. Go Back

[49] 1 Corinthians 5:5, The Nelson Study Bible, (Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1977) notes concerning this verse, "After being separated from the spiritual protection of the church, ideally the offender would recognize his sin, repent, and return to the church. All church discipline has restoration as its ultimate goal." Go Back

[50] Keith Mathison concluded, "I really hope that other full-preterists read this article because if they think through the implications of it, they will realize that they have to make a choice between full-preterism and Christianity." http://www.preteristsite.com/docs/matthisongreen.html in response to David Green, Preterism and the Ecumenical Creeds, see also endnote 47. Go Back


APPENDIX A

This area catalogues responses of note that I have made to alleged rebuttals to this piece.

[R-1] Frosty the Strawman, a response to Samuel Frost

[R-2] Flesh and Blood, a response to Alexander Rodriquez who has since retracted this objection but it is still useful in case anyone else poses it. Go Back

[R-3] Sem[ANTICS]: Perfuming the Hog ~ not a response to any specific rebuttal but an apologetic why an orthodox person should not buy into the semantical games of hyperpreterists by using their terminology, we are not "partial preterists" - we are preterists

[R-4] Logically Prior ~ answering a charge that my main point is circular and that I don't understand the concept of the logically prior