SLIPPERY ESCHATOLOGICAL LABELS

PMW 2023-003 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Confused bible

Be aware, if you try to discover if an evangelical has adopted Full Preterism (aka Hyperpreterism), you have to be careful and precise when you ask him his views. You cannot simply ask him about a certain label to discover where he stands. This is so for two reasons:

(1) Full Preterism (Hyperpreterism), like most theological systems and movements, has many variations. You cannot simply ask someone, “Are you a Full Preterist?” That person might want to avoid association with a few (or even many) of its implications, so they could simply say they are not “Full Preterist” since they don’t adopt the whole system. This is much like the logical problem of the Fallacy of the Complex Question. You can’t answer “yes” or “no” to the question: “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

In fact, Full Preterists themselves generally disavow the label “Hyperpreterism.” Common sense warns people not to be hyper anything (even hyper-spiritual). (Look at how much trouble Elon Musk is in because his hyper-rich!) The Hyperpreterist label has been applied to this movement from outside. It was created by orthodox men who wanted to highlight the erroneous nature of the movement while disassociating it from historic preterism. No HP would grin and say, “Yes, I am a Hyperpreterist.”


Why I Left Full-Preterism (by Samuel M. Frost)

Former leader in Full Preterist movement, Samuel M. Frost, gives his testimony and theological reasoning as to why he left the heretical movement. Good warning to others tempted to leave orthodox Christianity.

See more study materials at: KennethGentry.com


(2) To ask someone within orthodox evangelicalism if he is a “Full Preterist” is like asking him, “Would you mind standing on this Improvised Explosive Device for a few minutes, while I take this call on my cell phone?” If he is new to the system, he almost certainly will refuse such a fiery death, whether or not he liked the Dave Clark Five song, “I’m in Pieces, Bits and Pieces.” This is true even if he knows how James Bond is going to return to action after his fiery demise in the last Bond movie, “No Time to Die.”

History shows that the early stages of adopting an heretical view generally follow the rules of dodgeball. That is, as long as you can dodge the ball you are safe. But once you are behind the eight ball moving at a high rate of speed, you are out!
So then, to discover if someone is eschatologically heretical, you should ask three simple, basic questions:

1. Do you believe in a future bodily return of Christ?

2. Do you believe in a future physical resurrection?

3. Do you believe temporal history will end so that sin will be wholly removed from the world and suffering and death will be no more?


Why Not Full-Preterism? by Steve GreggWhy Not Full-Preterism
This work exposes some of the key flaws in Hyperpreterism by someone who has formally debated them. Much insightful material for those who might be tempted to forsake historic Christian orthodoxy.

For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com


10 thoughts on “SLIPPERY ESCHATOLOGICAL LABELS

  1. Kirk January 10, 2023 at 6:49 am

    Every eschatological sect sees some biblical passages as literal and some as figurative, being divided by which are which. Since either are possible, there is no way that you should be tossing around the word heresy just because they disagree with YOU on one or more! A resurrection of the spirit ONLY is in fact the LITERAL interpretation of Paul’s writings on it. Even if they are incorrect it certainly IS NOT HERESY to simply believe what the text SAYS! Also, to believe that Christ’s “coming” was figurative and has already happened is not heretical AT ALL when Christ’s own words LITERALLY say that he was going to “come” before the apostles finished going to the cities of Israel and before some of his listeners tasted death. They ARE NOT HERETICS simply because they don’t buy your spin that it was “a coming” but not “the coming” when you have absolutely NO EVIDENCE to make that assertion. Either view IS POSSIBLE, but according to the words of scripture on these first two points, their view makes more sense than yours does! Regarding the third point in your post, this is the ONLY ONE of the three that seems to be a no brainer in your favor. ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT, it’s certainly NOT HERESY, but is simply a case of YOU having a far too high view of yourself and your circles!

  2. Kenneth Gentry January 10, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Actually, my concern regarding Hyperpreterism’s heresy is not MY individual observation. It is the position of 2000 years of universal Christian conviction, which is affirmed in The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and other ecumenical creeds. This was the very purpose of the creeds: to define what constitutes the basics of true Christianity since various heretical corruptions of doctrine were entering into Christianity.

    The Apostles Creed (not Ken Gentry) declares “I believe … [that] “from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead” and I believe in “the resurrection of the body.”

    The Nicene Creed concurs and expands on the foundational doctrines in question, declaring that we believe “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead” and that we “look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”

  3. Leonard Lewis January 12, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    Ken, can you explain your wording of the third question and how you understand it? I ask, because I can easily and enthusiastically affirm the first two, but the third has multiple components—one of which, I don’t know that anyone can rightly affirm or require as a matter of eschatological orthodoxy, and its relationship to the other two components is confusing:

    a.) [Do you believe] temporal history will end…

    […so that…] (confusing purpose clause/relationship)

    b.) …sin will be wholly removed from the world…
    c.) […and] suffering and death will be no more…

    The relationship between (b) and (c) makes perfect sense… Suffering and death are a direct result of sin. And I would affirm that they will be done away with.

    It’s the wording of (a) and the joining purpose clause that gives me pause.

    First, how can we hold up something that no one really understands as a component of eschatological orthodoxy? What does it mean for time to end? Jesus speaks of “the last day”, and that implies an “end”; but there’s no way to understand that in relation to time—or even to the nature of the new/renewed heavens and earth.

    Second, I don’t understand how temporal history “ending” relates to the rest of the question. You imply that it is the end of time is necessary *in order* for sin and suffering/death to be done away with. I don’t know how anyone could know that.

    I’m not saying the question is fallacious, necessarily… I’m just not seeing how it is honestly answerable.

    Please explain.

  4. Kenneth Gentry January 12, 2023 at 4:24 pm

    If the word “temporal” confuses you, then drop it. The point is that world history will end, then the eternal order will begin. “Temporal” history is “temporary” history, it is here for a time then it ends eventually. Then in the eternal order the righteous will be perfected in every aspect of their being so that they will no longer sin (just as we know is the case in heaven, where we go in awaiting the resurrection of the body).

  5. David January 13, 2023 at 11:22 am

    Is it possible that the Nicene Creed could be in error regarding this statement: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead”, since Jesus himself said he would come again in glory with his angels to reward each man according to what he had done “before some standing here taste death”? Is it possible?

  6. Kenneth Gentry January 13, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    You are asking is it possible that Christianity has been mistaken on one of its fundamental doctrines for 2000 years. I don’t believe it is mistaken. You have to understand that “similarity does not entail identity.” That is, because two events are similar or are expressed in the same language does not mean they are the same event. AD 70 can sound like the Second Advent/Final Judgment because it is a distant adumbration of that complex final event.

    In the OT there are several “day of the Lord” events that are similarly expressed, but apply to different nations (Idumea, Jerusalem, etc.). Also we should recognize that Christ’s cleansing of the temple happened twice, once at the beginning of his ministry (John 2) and once at the end (Matt. 22). Though they are recorded in almost identical wording, they are separate events.

  7. Fred V. Squillante January 26, 2023 at 10:36 am

    And once we receive our resurrected body, we reinhabit the earth. Is that correct?

  8. Kenneth Gentry January 26, 2023 at 3:50 pm

    Yes, the New Heavens and New Earth (Rom. 8:18-23).

  9. James Lillis January 28, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    Ken maybe you have already done this but I would find it really helpful if you would be able to give us a simple non-existent exhaustive list of passages, you feel actually do refer to the final judgement and can’t be pressed into referring to the AD 70 event? Obviously, for those familiar with your work we are aware that you draw the line between v34 and v35 of the Olivet discourse, but I’m curious as to what other Scriptures you would add.

    I would assume:

    1Co 15:51-55
    1Thes 4:16
    Jn 5:25-29
    Jn 11:24
    Lk 20:34-37
    Rom 6:5
    Rom 8:19-2
    Acts 24:15
    Php 3:11
    Rev 21:3-7

  10. Kenneth Gentry January 30, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    Those and many others!

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