"I believe Preterism, or even partial preterism, is a frank concession of the fact that Jesus did not return as was expected from the earliest days of Christianity until recently. It’s one thing for skeptics to scoff, it's quite another to see Christians re-invent their eschatology to accommodate this glaring problem."
1. What's he talking about? What was the "return" that the early church expected? A bodily one? The one where Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead, etc? Well, "partial-preterism" doesn't think that this "return" has happened. So it looks like Loftus doesn't understand either partial-preterism or early church history. Which is it partner?
2. Partial-preterism is a hermeneutical principle. Since the early church many have understood certain passages in a partial-preterist sense.
3. Do your homework and check out
something like this for a more thorough refutation of your views.
4. Early church eschatology was largely undeveloped. The believed in a future resurrection, judgment, and coming of our Lord. As do I. But for the most part they were silent on other matters. They were debating other topics. Furthermore, it only confirms the Bible to point out that the church is growing in understanding (cf. Eph 4).
" had already mentioned on the Unchained Radio program and in a Blog entry how believers read the Bible through the lenses of their present experiences when it comes to the creation accounts in Genesis, women's roles in leadership, and slavery. Both Paul Manata and Gene Cook disputed that they do this. But here is a case where Manata has done just that."
5. That's odd. I used the Bible to interpret the meaning of the passages, but yet I'm the one reading the Bible with 21st century goggles on.
6. No, it can't be John. I mean, after all, it's not 21st century of him to assume that Jesus' coming on the clouds means that Jesus will be surfing clouds to earth, is it?
7. How has "Manata done just that?" Do we see analysis? Argumentation? No, he's shooting blanks! No cowboy should ever go to a gunfight unarmed.
8. At any rate, Loftus must do that also. And so why should we trust his reading of Scripture. To the extent that his objection works, then, it doesn't allow him to criticize the Bible!
9. But if John Loftus can transcend his cultural conditioning, so can we. If not, why can John Loftus, but not us? Either way, either he's wrong or he can't critique the Bible. Which one is it, John?
"Now here's the question for Manata. Why can he do this with the return of Jesus and I cannot do this with the present day lack of miracles occurring today? He reinterprets the historical church understanding of eschatology in light of 2000 plus years of experiences, including several recent failed predictions of the return of Jesus in 1974, 1988, and 2000. So why is it illegitimate for me the see the creation accounts in Genesis as myth because of present day modern science?"
10. Do what with the "present day lack of miracles?"
11. Since miracles are extraordinary events, aren't there always a "lack" of them?
12. John betrays his ignorance. There was no such thing as "the early church's eschatology." To the extent that they talked eschatology in any unified way, I'm in full agreement. Jesus has not returned to judge the living and the dead.
13. Who knows what "failed predictions" regarding the return of Jesus has to do with anything. Indeed, given my postmillennial leanings, I think the second advent is a ways off.
14. Yes, it's illegitimate of you to see the creation account as a myth because of "modern day science." This is a red-herring though. Nonetheless:
a) There is not such thing as a unified opinion on the creation account given by "modern science."
b) Science can't render dogmatic conclusions on anything, let alone the creation account, as far as the atheists tell us.
c) This assumes a realist understanding of science and, to my understanding, you've never answered Steve's repeated request for you to argue for realism.
All I did as a former believer was to attempt to reconcile modern science with Genesis, just as he does with the failed bodily return of Jesus?
15. Notice that his entire attack is an ad hominem one. He never bothers to address my post.
16. There was no failed bodily return of Jesus since it hasn't happened yet.
17. He must be assume that when Jesus said they would see him coming on the clouds that that meant that everyone would see a 6ft (or so) figure surfing the clouds to earth.
18. Loftus just doesn’t like my approach because it handles the objections. But then he cries, “No fair! You’re cheating!” You know, like those kids on the playground who get skunked in pick-up football games and have to resort to the “he cheated” tactic in order to make them feel better about loosing, or to get an advantage. If my "reconciliation" works, it works. Loftus needs to engage his opponent. So, if Loftus really had "reconciled science with Genesis," then where would the problem be? Likewise, if I have "reconciled" certain passages, then where's the problem? Thus it boils down to my interpretation of the passages. Thus John needs to engage my post. My interpretation. Why does he assume that he can just name drop, act skeptical, but refuse to actually do his homework and engage in debate? I'll tell you why: That's how apostates sleep at night. If they refuse to study the Bible, they can come up with objections all day long. Just like, well, Loftus' Bird Man argument.
19. So fellow believers, be encouraged. Right now you have your wits about yourself, leave Christianity you'll start doing drive by posts with no intellectual weight behind them, and then claiming that God should have made men with wings so they could fly and gills so they wouldn't drown.
20. After this Thanksgiving, thank the Lord that you're still in the faith.