Thursday, November 08, 2012

Part 1 – Response to Preterist Gary DeMar


  1. DeMar made a lot of excellent points in "Last Days Madness" and "End Times Fiction". Sproul and Gentry do also in there books on this subject. I don't agree with everything these men have written on this subject, but a lot of it seemed well grounded in exegetical rigor and historical background and solid NT theology, and the solution of 70 Ad as the answer to the liberal and skeptic criticisms of Bertrand Russell and Albert Schweitzer and those like them seemed to offer a very historically grounded answer that both preserves Jesus as truthful as to His prophesy of "coming soon" (in judgment on Israel and the temple)t; and also preserves a future physical bodily coming. ( I Thess. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15; Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:36- chapter 25)

    another subject:
    Have you read Joel Richardson's books, The Islamic Anti-Christ and the Mid-East Beast? If so, what do you think about them?

    I have not read them, but I get lots of questions from other believers who have read these books and they think his view is persuasive.

    1. I agree with Ken on the books by DeMar, Sproul and Gentry and how partial preterism seems to answer the alleged false prophecies of Jesus where He claims to be returning soon. Sproul's book opened my eyes to how serious these allegations are.

    2. I personally think that Postmillennialism depends on the truth of preterism (though, not all postmillennialists think so). Having said that, I'm not dogmatic on preterism and therefore maybe Amillennialism or Premillennialism is true. Interestingly, both amillennialism (some varieties) and premillennalism allow for an end of the Age anti-Christ. In which case, Joel Richardson's theory that the Islamic Mahdi will be the Anti-Christ is not impossible.

      I'm a continuationist and Richardson claims that his prophetic insight was confirmed by charismatics who have the gift of prophecy.

      He mentions this and his theory in this interview by Sid Roth (whose interviews I've enjoyed since the 1990s.).

      Joel Richardson interview:

      It makes some intuitive sense since Islamic theology clearly has the antichrist spirit. The apostle John described that spirit as one that denies that Christ has come in the flesh and that Jesus is God's son (i.e. "denying the Father and the Son" 1 John 2:22). By implication that's any denial of the incarnation, and therefore of Christ's divinity. Even though the proto-doceticism that John was combating would have affirmed Christ's "divinity" (in some sense), their rejection of the incarnation is like the Islamic rejection of the incarnation. The difference is that while docetism affirms the "divinity" of Christ to the denial of his real flesh, Islamic theology affirms the humanity of Christ to the denial of His divinity. Hence, the flip side of the antichrist spirit.

    3. What makes the connection even stronger is that Islam can be considered a Jewish and/or Christian heresy. Like Christianity it affirms the Messiahship of Jesus (but to the denial of His divinity); and like Judaism, it affirms Abrahamic monotheism (but to the denial of Jesus' divinity).


      1. Jewish messianic expectations were of a military genius (which, btw Christians don't deny) whose conquests would have religious implications. The same can be said of their version of the anti-Christ (i.e. "Armilus").

      2. The Islamic savior, the Mahdi, is expected to be a religious and military genius.

      3. The Christian Scriptures can be interpreted to teach that the Anti-Christ will be BOTH military genius and a religious reformer; mimicking Jesus' roles as King and Prophet.

      A European Anti-Christ would be unlikely to be both because the two authorities are usually distinct (with exceptions [in practice] like the Medieval Popes). That's why Dispensational theories usually split the roles with the Anti-Christ being the military leader while the Beast being the Religious leader.

  2. Dr. Kim Riddlebarger has FOUR lectures on Eschatology and the Antichrist at

    The Biblical Doctrine of Antichrist

    The Man of Lawlessness: Nero? The Pope? Someone Yet to Come?

    The Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet

    A Problem for Preterists

  3. I am not sure that the language of imminence demands the interpretation Sproul et. al. give to them. It seems that someone could just as easily take what Peter says in 2Peter about a day being as a thousand years, and understand the language of imminence to be used for ethical motivation. The judge is at the door, and the church needs to fulfill the great commission, which it has not done yet. I also think that Pratt's work on historical contingencies and biblical prophecies, undercut many of the arguments concerning Jesus as a failed prophet. But I digress...

  4. The Rabbis also understood the language of imminence in much the same way as I have pointed out above. You should check out Richard Bauckham's paper entitled "The Delay of the Parousia" in the Tyndale Bulletin. I think has it on their website.

  5. Annoyed Pinoy and Pseudo-Augustine -
    Both of you gave some really good information! Thanks for links and suggestions. You both have clearly thought these issues and studied these issues relating to eschatology.

  6. BTW, I spoke in hypotheticals. I personally lean toward preterism that's either Amiillennial (or possibly Postmillennial). So, I lean toward multiple manifestations of anti-Christ. The chief being either Nero, or a possible final anti-Christ right before the return of Christ. I agree with Steve's comments Here

  7. Annoyed Pinoy - what you write is very close to my view also; except I am always careful to write "Partial Preterist" (cause many on the other side think it means Full Preterism) - if Postmillennialism is true, it is a non-Theonomist view and it has to include some kind of active repentance of Israel before the return of Christ, in my understanding of Romans 11:11-15 and 25-26 and Acts 3:19-21; Matthew 23:39 - they will not just automatically be saved at the second coming, as some Pre-Mils seem to imply; rather the fullness of the nations comes in first, then they actively repent and believe in the Messiah, then Christ returns.

    also, the link to Steve's comments doesn't give anything. (smile)

    1. Yes, I should have been clear in saying partial preterism. I agree that Rom. 11 teaches that before the return of Christ, a time will come when the majority of ethnic Jews will have been converted to Christ. I personally prefer Postmillennialism, but I'm not convinced of it's truth from Scripture. Postmillennialism is so much more hopeful and exciting. Our efforts aren't just limited to spiritual results/effects, but also have lasting earthly effects. Christ's coming doesn't come to rescue a defeated Church which failed it's Great Commission, but rather to put the finishing touches on the work He did through the Church on earth when He comes to renovate the universe. But again, I don't rule out Premillennialism. Wayne Grudem has given some good answers to my objections to Premillennialism HERE. Also, I have to say that my natural reading of Rev. 20 is Premillennial (but natural reading isn't always true).I'm not dogmatic for or against the position of theonomy and whether it'll be part of the proper fulfillment of postmillennialism. So my default position is Amillennialism. I personally haven't read a very good critique of theonomy. Probably because I'm not well read on the subject. I've only read the theonomist side, and the basic stuff at that (e.g. By This Standard, By What Standard etc.).

    2. As I commented HERE. One argument that used to persuade me of Premil was... (quoting myself)

      The premillennial argument points out the following two "facts".

      1. According to Matthew 25, at the 2nd Coming of Christ the nations are judged BEFORE the devil and his angels are judged. That's because hell is "prepared for" them (implying that their judgement is yet future).

      2. Yet in chapter 20 of the book of Revelation people are judged at The Great White Throne judgement AFTER the Devil is judged and sent to hell. Therefore, there must be an interval of time in between these two judgements that happen right after the 2nd Advent (Matt. 25) *but* right before the commencement of the Eternal State (Rev. 20). It seems like a good inference to conclude that the "Millennium" is that period of time in between those two judgements. Especially since it's right there in the context of Revelation chapter 20.

      Notice also that Rev. 20:10 says that the "beast" and "false prophet" were *STILL* in the lake of fire. Implying that they were judged previously before the millennium (cf. Rev. 19:20). Thus implying there's no recapitulation involved in Rev. 19 and 20.

      Oh, it goes without saying that many forms of Amillennialism require the judgement of Matt. 25:41 and Rev. 20:11 to be the same event. But since the order of the individuals who are judged are reversed (people then devil versus devil then people), it's most likely not the same judgement described but two different judgements at different times.

      For those who don't know, here's a link to the Eschatology Discussion/Debate between Sam Waldron (Amiller), Doug Wilson (Postmiller), and [Jim?] Hamilton (Premiller). Moderated by John Piper (Premiller).
      LINK To the Discussion

      The discussion starts out slow and basic, but gets more animated (though friendly) by the middle of the discussion. For those who already know about the issues, it won't be that informative.

  8. I think Gary DeMar is completely off on 2 Peter 3 - that cannot be 70 AD - it has to be the personal, physical second coming future to us, as is
    1 Thess. 4:13-18
    1 Corinthians 15:23-28; 15:51-54
    Acts 1:11
    John 14:1-3
    2 Thessalonians 1:3-10
    Titus 2:13
    Hebrews 9:28
    Rev. 19
    Matthew 24:36 ff to end of chapter 25

    I also think Sproul was wrong on Matthew 13:37-42
    That cannot be 70 AD.

    But Matthew 23:36 - 24:35 does seem to be mostly about 70 AD, with some kind of a double fulfillment of Matthew 24:29-31

    I think Kenneth Gentry's take on 2 Thess 2 is very good in his book
    Perilous Times