| Answering a correspondent about Full Preterism|
By Steve Gregg
I received the following email today, and sent the response posted below:
Why are so many teachers and pastors are reluctant to deal with full-preterism? Is it because we really can’t refute that teaching? I have listen to you debate Don Preston you said that he makes a strong argument for that position. Are you going to do anything in the future regarding full-preterism? I live in New England and it has divided so many people in the body of Christ, but I believe that God has brought me to your website because you have the love for Gods truth and nothing else. I love the truth that you hold to The Word God. Thank you for all you do! You’re always in my prayer to keep you faithful in his word blessing always in wisdom and truth. God Bless.—Joe
Yes, I do intend to give some lectures refuting full-preterism. I simply am waiting for the proper venue to come up. I am already prepared. I have not yet gotten used to this new-fangled thing of sitting in front of a computer in an empty room to give a presentation. I am still more comfortable teaching to an audience of people that I can see.
I did, indeed, say that some of Don Preston's arguments were good, because some of them were. Of course, some of the arguments for Calvinism and some of them for a flat earth also sound strong, at first blush, but are not fully persuasive to a careful analyst.
Also, of course, the majority of passages expounded by a full-preterist would be understood the same way by a partial preterist, so I have no difficulty registering my agreement with many points, and acknowledging the prima facie strength of some arguments with which I disagree.
Some of his arguments were, in my judgment, fatally weak (e.g., his explanation of Jesus’ statement about no marriage in the resurrection), and proved that there are scriptures concerning the second coming that one can't really make good sense of from his system.
One reason I don’t deal with the subject more often is that I have not been able to get excited about this controversy. It has never been a front-burner topic for me. I have never, when questioning full-preterists, been able to elicit a sensible answer to the all-important question: “How would my becoming a full-preterist enhance my walk with Jesus every day?” Since they cannot give (and I cannot imagine) a credible answer to this essential question, I have seen the whole controversy only as a slightly-annoying distraction from Christian priorities.
I am willing to discuss and debate many theological controversies that are merely matters of curiosity (and often do). However, I can only really get excited about questions that are relevant to discipleship—since a man holding a wrong view of eschatology may be held in as high regard before God as a man with a correct view on it. However, one will not be held in high regard before God who devotes his ministry to sowing discord among brethren (Prov.6:16-19). I become concerned about any otherwise-godly man who devotes the majority of his ministry to a doctrine that has no practical ramifications for Christian obedience, and which has no effect on the church other than to agitate and divide the brethren.
I believe that the church has been correct—for the past 2,000 years—on a few things, at least. One of them has been its unanimous belief in a future, literal resurrection from the dead (one of the foundational issues of the true Christian faith—Hebrews 6:1-2), and that full-preterism has not been able to successfully assail that central truth with anything really threatening to an honest biblical exegete.
When I first became a partial-preterist, of course, the most natural question was, "Should this idea be applied, perhaps, to all eschatological passages?” I considered it with an open mind, but had to rule it out. Full-preterist exegesis paints (to my mind, recklessly) with a broad brush. Responsible biblical exegesis, like mathematics, has to be done with a pencil and an eraser.
| 2018/7/21 13:05||Profile|
| Re: Answering a correspondent about Full Preterism|
Steve Gregg is a partial preterist...right?
Steve Gregg has been married and divorced on two occasions, and those ex-spouses are still living...right? And he is presently married again now...right?
Thanks for your clarification.
| 2018/7/21 19:05||Profile|
| Re: |
Why don’t you email him and ask him about it? He has discussed it openly on many occasions.
Yes he is a partial preterist. He said that plainly in the OP.
| 2018/7/21 19:58||Profile|
| Re: Steve |
Thanks Todd...you are right! I didn't even have to email him, because he has discussed it openly. I found the following (below), which are all Steve's own words. I condensed it, but did not change one word of it;
At age nineteen (1972), I fell in love with a girl in the Jesus Movement...We were married, and within two years, as a result of my wife’s inability to embrace monogamy, the marriage was a seemingly hopeless disaster... She finally deserted and divorced me—eventually marrying another (and then another)...At age 21, I bore the stigma of a divorcee...Six years after the divorce (1980), when I was 27, I met and eventually married a very like-minded and devout Christian girl, named June. She was taken the same year in a roadside accident...While married to June, our family had become close friends with the parents of “K—”, who would later become my third wife!)...“K—” remained in the marriage for twenty years...Without a word of explanation, “K—” walked out on the children and me in November, 2001...Within four months of “K—’s” departure, she had divorced me and resumed her pre-conversion lifestyle...“K—” remarried, but divorced her second husband shortly thereafter.
A decade after the divorce, I became engaged to a godly woman...She had also suffered the loss of a 26-year marriage, due to an a spouse who left to pursue other relationships and a different lifestyle...In January, 2012, we were married and became partners in the ministry...by marrying again, both Dayna and I knew we would thereby invite the criticism of some, who might otherwise accept us and our ministries.
| 2018/7/21 22:33||Profile|