Notes on Preterism By Howard Denham

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Howard Denham

One of the newest wrinkles in Full Preterism is to redefine "death" in 1 Cor. 15 as "spiritual death" but not in the sense as that phrase has been most commonly used. The design is to create three kinds of "death" equating the third kind to "the second death" or else an entirely new species of death (e.g., "juridical" or legally decreed death). They will try to hide this new creation under the mantra of "death is destroyed 'in' Christ" and then apply that to A.D. 70. Interestingly, the advocates for this view try to use the very passages that concern "spiritual death" as it has historically been defined — separation from God due to sin. One of the texts used for this is Ephesians 2:1-2, which reads: "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, who now works in the sons of disobedience." They focus on the phrase "the course of this world" and assume that refers to Judaism or the Jewish age. But if one will look carefully at the syntax of the text and the context of the verse, he can easily see the absurdity of this vain attempt to concoct this new definition and apply the text to the A.D. 70 event.
 

 
Howard Denham

There is an interesting statement from Don Preston that ought to have his supporters who are members of the Lord's church scratching thei heads and wondering wshy they are following his lead. In an interview Don K. Preston stated: "I think Preterism today is in the discovery stage. Historically, every movement had its beginnings at a time when people just discovered the freedom of thinking for themselves."

 

Howard Denham

Some of the Full Preterists try to avoid the grave of Judaism error by saying that the church was in a grave in the sense that Israel and Judah were pictured being in a grave during the Babylonian Captivity. But that creates its own series of problems. (1) When did the church go into that captivity? (2) As Israel and Judah were being punished for their sins, which is why they were pictured as spiritually dead in Babylon, what did the early Christians do that caused God to send them into their spiritual captivity or death? (3) Was it by their obedience to the Gospel? So, they simply trade one series of problems for another.

 

 
Howard Denham

Steve Baisden is dividing churches by his teaching that the Second Coming is past. As an essential part of that teaching he affirms that all prophecy has been fulfilled, completely realized. The following argument refutes that false assertion. Major Premise: If it is the case that John 8:51 is a prophecy that applies to Steve Baisden, then it is the case that John 8:51 must have a scope as to its fulfillment that, at the very least, includes the time period from A.D. 70 until now.
Minor Premise: It is the case that John 8:51 is a prophecy that applies to Steve Baisden. (NOTE: Baisden’s own use of the text).
Conclusion: Therefore, it is the case that John 8:51 must have a scope as to its fulfillment that, at the very least, includes the time period from A.D. 70 until now.
One will note further that this same argument can be used of every prophetic text that Steve Baisden has tried to apply to himself and his salvation this side of A.D. 70.

 

 
Howard Denham

C.H. Dodd (1884-1973), who is the real fountainhead of the Full Preterist movement in the 20th century (even before Max R. King), was a modernist influenced by Adolf Harnack. Many of his disciples became far more radical than he in their views, but he was far out enough. His teaching on the difference between "the preaching" and "the doctrine" served as the basis for the teaching of ultra-liberal and change agent Carl W. Ketcherside, and Dodd's teaching on the kingdom was involved in the development of the Emerging Church Movement as it combined with the Social Gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch and Sailer Mathews. It is interesting that Steve Baisden and Holger Neubauer have aligned themselves with probably one of the most liberal movements to attack the church of Christ in the past two centuries. Max R. King followed the teaching of Dodd to its ultimate conclusion — the doctrine of Universalism. That same doctrine is entailed in the teaching of many in the Emerging Church Movement, with which Don Preston has become entangled. The ecumenicism of Ketcherside and his partner, Leroy Garrett, has destroyed many congregations and taken many souls off into abject error on a wide assortment of false doctrines. I suspect that Preston, at his current evolutionary state, would have no problem with much of what Ketcherside and Garrett have advocated. The question is: How long until Steve Baisden and Holger Neubauer join him in that evolution — or, better, devolution — into error?

 
Howard Denham

Steve Baisden, it will be recalled, about a month ago now requested some of us o come over to his AS IT IS WRITTEN site to study together on this subject. He even claimed that he was studying and had some questions leaving the clear impression that he had not made up his mind on these things. We found, once we were on the site, that he already had Don Preston and William Bell to serve as his mouthpieces. We also observed how Steve and Scott Klaft threatened those who pressed questions or made strong statements against the A.D. 70 doctrine with being banned. Yet when the A.D. 70 people did the same thing or worse, they were ignored. We also saw that we were being demanded to answer every question and quibble while Don Preston, William Bell, and company were given a free ride. It was clear that no honest study was ever really intended. It was all about indoctrination and pushing the A.D. 70 heresy to try to affect as many unsuspecting souls as possible in a blitz format. That's when I pulled the plug on my part of the discussion and left the site. Steve has despised me ever since for busting up the play house. He claimed that this never should be treated as a fellowship issue (famous cry of all liberals for their pet theories). A day or so ago in a personal message to me he admitted that he had "repented" of teaching what we have commonly taught on the 2nd Coming of Christ some "three months ago." Now, repentance would entail the recognition of sin. That being so it indicates that 2 months before their special "study" Steve had already determined that: (A) the A.D. doctrine is true; (B) the "traditional" doctrine, as he terms it, is false; (C) not only is the latter false, according to him, but is fatal error requiring repentance; and thus (D) it really is a fellowship issue. It implies that they were intentionally seeking to spread the doctrine to the point that they could then dictate to churches either get on board with this new doctrine or get out. It was an attempt to take over churches through those on Steve's site. And he has even boasted of what few churchs have alligned themselves with him.

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2 thoughts on “Notes on Preterism By Howard Denham

  1. Steve, sorry for responding at this time. I have just seen your comments. First, Holger made no logical arguments — none, but simply strung passages together without any real regard for their context, grammatical constructions, and historical backgrounds. That is a Jehovah’s Witness tactic. Second, if you can’t even get my name right, when it is posted on the very page you supposedly are responding to, then I suspect trying to reason with you is not really what you want. Third, you did not respond to anything actually posted in this entire thread. Fourth, the perception of a lot of people, including many experienced debaters, is that Holger did not really engage in debate, but resorted to repeating his “stump speeches” and “prechewed assertions” designed to appeal to his sycophants, but not engage the truth. In fact, several noted a distinct difference between the Holger of the past and Holger of the present as a debater, and that he knows he is in error on a lot of things. Howard D. Denham

  2. Mr Dunham

    I heard you speak this week at the debate in South Haven Michigan this week. I was disappointed in your view and attitude through out the week. I find it very hard to believe that you did not find any substance in much Holger had to say.  When Holger first started teaching this I found it very hard to believe myself but before I threw in the towel and left I knew that I needed to look deeper into his teaching of the Bible. Chuck Swindell once said if I say something that does not sound correct do not just say he knows he is the teacher. Look it up study it mill it over and if you believe I am wrong please bring it to my attention and we will sit down and study it together. He said I am not always right, no man is, do not believe me believe the Bible he said. So I did what he said and from my letter you can probably tell I am not an educated biblical scholar but I do have half a brain. So throwing preconceptions aside and going forward with an open mind and eyes I started to study the scriptures much deeper than ever before. What I found out was his teaching on eschatology made more sense and fit better than anyone else I've ever heard. So by letting the Bible interpret the Bible along with a lot of prayer and study I've come to believe in what Holders teaching. From what I've seen and as far as I can tell most people that either debate Holger or disagree with him about realized eschatology don't even give it a second thought. I myself do not believe they even look into it they go with their preconceptions and what they've been taught by others and ignore what the scriptures have to say thinking all my teachers could not have been wrong.. Maybe if it had a more direct impact on salvation more would look into it. I know Holger and he doesn't do it to outdo anyone or to show himself smarter than anyone else he does it for the Love of that person and the Lord. If there's even a chance somebody is right about my beliefs and I think there's a chance I'm wrong I look into it because when it comes to God and my salvation I want to be as correct as I possibly can to please my Lord and Savior not men. I would hope that you feel the same way and you take a deeper look into what he is saying and teaching. Like a friend of mine says if the Earth is going to be destroyed what good is fleeing to the mountains or getting on your rooftop going to do. One last thing there are couple things that you said that I am not sure about and I'm going to check into them. I hope and pray this will get you to look a little deeper into this.

    Steve R Smith

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