Preston has yet to step up and answer the actual points I raised in my first article which I believe he will continue to refuse because Preston can't do so without redefining eklektos into something that it isn't or something will have to be redefined like God’s omniscience which would sour him with some of his own followers perhaps. We shall see I suppose. Til then, I'm under no obligation to do a Romans 8 commentary.
As I wrote previously in an article: What it appears Preston is doing with this article with Romans 11 is that, with the Greek, hetemma and plemora, he is trying desperately to make a point that there is no elephant in the room, yet the whole time has failed to prove that the elephant making noises clearly in the room and even physically doing things is still there.
Preston has still despite his attempts, failed to produce any reason why Christ doesn't know who will choose Him or not since He knows all and has failed to produce anything significant about why this number in Romans 11:25-27 is not numeric; it is numeric. God again knows the EXACT number.
Furthermore, one has to logically conclude, if all is fulfilled (which it's not), that the time for the Gentiles has passed and ended in or by AD70. So no more Gentiles if all is fulfilled and ALL Israel being saved. Their election ended in AD70 if one logically assumes that all is fulfilled. We therefore are not part of the elect nor Israel.
I stress this to full preterist reading this. Christ hasn't returned. There's no evidence for FP. Preston's tried desperately to make it work but I surmise sees the train has finally come off the rails and will be a massive trainwreck. There are only two major things I see he can try to do to become more logical and coherent but in doing so it will make him look unscholarly and insane to anyone who is not ignorant. The third option would be repent but that seems unlikely.
1. Preston will have to redefine the eklektos, an impossibility; something all of Greece throughout history would laugh at him for. Fun fact. If you told a Greek from Ancient Greece and a modern Greek today the word eklektos they both would know what you are saying and both understand it the same exact way. It has been one word that has not ever changed in the Greek language.
2. Preston will have to redefine God's omniscience, which if he would try, all I can say is good luck and may God have mercy on your soul if you do.
Bottom line. If all is fulfilled, ALL of Israel was either saved in AD70 OR it wasn't. The election either ended or not. If all is fulfilled, that is not you nor anyone else post AD70 who is part of the elect.
Now to the article!
“Conley attempted to negate my arguments on Romans 11 by commenting (with no actual exegesis) on Romans 8”.
This is false. I brought up Romans 8 in my article because it is relevant to Romans 11. Remember this is all part of his set-up to distract his audience from the fact that he hasn’t once answered the points raised on Romans 11:25-27. Keep that in mind.
“Now, as I have shown in my previous responses to Mr. Conley’s comments on Romans 8, he openly admitted that he ignored the context setting, context controlling verses of Romans 8:16-18. He just jumped in, purely arbitrarily, at verse 19.”
Another falsity. I explained why I did so in many of my responses. You can read them on “Conley’s Blog” if you wish where I said I used Romans 8 and 9 to explain the concept of election and predestination which does ties in to “the fullness of the Gentiles” because it relates to the questions I raised for Don which was ignored.
Did I ignore “the motif of the sufferings of Christ” and ignore “the motif of the promised vindication of that martyrdom”? I didn’t mention them obviously but I’ve explained why I elected to do so because it wasn't relevant to my main points and is a secondary issue with the primary goal being I was discussing election and predestination which Romans 8 and 9 discuss.
“Jesus’ discussion of this in Matthew 23 undeniably demands a first century fulfillment. Little wonder then that Conley totally ignored this. He ignored the motif of Shame versus Glory that is dominant in the context. He ignored the fact that Revelation 3 posits that reversal at the judgment of Jerusalem.”
This is another set-up for a false trail. And it’s not “undeniable” as he claims that it DEMANDS a 1st Century fulfillment. Let’s just use Preston’s logic here and go off on a random tangent like he does. I noticed Preston discusses Matthew 23 but doesn’t bother and completely ignores Matthew 22 and 24 and 25. He mentions Revelation 3 but then completely ignores Revelation 1, 2, 4, and 5! Do you see how this works?
By setting up this false trail and then carrying on with it Preston can attempt to divert you, the reader, into other trails of thought without ever once answering the question that was presented to him originally about Romans 11:25-27! Did you catch the power of that?
This is blatantly dishonest of Don and reeks of desperation. He can’t answer my objections so he goes on rabbit trails about how I haven’t done a commentary on Romans 8 and here goes on a rabbit trail about Matthew 23 and Revelation 3. Talk about obfuscating the actual issues! Unreal!
To the reader, note I REPEATEDLY said I'd be willing to go through Romans 8:1-39 but in a separate post. He's never once responded to this offer! Quite telling! The reason is clearly because he is only using this to obfuscate. No other reason.
So Preston quotes me and then states:
Now Mr. Conley assumes– once again without offering so much as a keystroke of evidence – that the corruption that Paul has in mind here is the corruption of physical decay and “mortality” of not only the human body, but of material creation. I have asked him in the past if the deliverance from that corruption, that mortality, involves “bugs, slugs and mosquitoes” and he has answered unequivocally YES! Now, think of that folks!”
I would question what is to think of? Adam is the man of soil. He corrupted the universe by His sin against God. It did not just effect the man of soil Adam alone. When Adam and Eve were cursed with mortality, they also cursed and effected the entire cosmos. Adam is the man of soil. Made from dust/soil. Who is the serpent in Revelation revealed as Satan in Revelation 12 constantly trying to devour? The Church in context, but those who were born in Adam and reborn in Christ. One could reference Genesis 3 obviously here.
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
To Eve, she's cursed with mortality as well as Adam but also is cursed with pain, which is suffering in order to bring forth life. A prefigurement of sorts of what we, all who are of the elect, must go through to inherit eternal life in Christ as the Church.
Genesis 3:16 says To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
She's given this as her curse along with mortality as is clearly shown.
Genesis 3:17-19 lastly, Adam’s curse. The curse on the man of the soil.
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ CURSED IS THE GROUND because of you; in PAIN you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
It's quite evident that Adam is the man of soil and was made from dust. Just as his body is cursed and now in opposition to him, the man of soil Adam also now, because of his actions, has cursed the ground. It wasn't cursed before as a result. It was blessed and now it's a curse. The ground is the land and the land is a part of Creation. Creation therefore, logically, has been cursed as a whole because of Adam and his actions. To deny this is absolutely absurd!
Now catch the power of this next two verses in Genesis 3:22-24!
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and LIVE FOREVER—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Question: Preston asserts all Adam’s death was is a spiritual death. Why then does God all of a sudden have a tree of life that if Adam takes and eats will make him live forever? It's because Adam's been corrupted by his sin. He's had a spiritual death and has begun to die the death. He's gone from incorruptible to corruptible. Immortality to mortality. And now he's cursed with sinfulness. If Adam takes of the tree of life he'll live forever and still be cursed eternally! What a tragedy it would've been! Therefore, God in a sense blesses Adam and Eve by kicking them out of the Garden of Eden in order to eventually redeem them through the Lord Jesus Christ and rid them of sin, their bondage to Satan, and their inheritance of death! Since Adam's tied to the Creation being made from it, he who's been cursed and has cursed what he's been created from, the ground, shall also be redeemed from the curse. This involves ALL of creation. For Preston to assert otherwise is absurd and betrays the power of Christ.
Preston fails to realize that there was a creation by God in the beginning of time, a special divine intervention in the Creation of Man. There was in this the existence of the 1st Man Adam in a condition of friendship and perfection and order with God. There was a Fall from that amazing beautiful condition and eventually an increase in that separation between man and God brought about by man’s sins, and succession after succession of natural catastrophes which man suffered and still suffers from the consequences of sins that only Christ alone can ever hope to change which He does and has promised to do!
God wasn't forced to create this universe. He chose to do so out of love.
God created everything and man was made IN HIS IMAGE!
“God saw it was good” (Gen 1:31)
underscores the goodness of matter and the whole created order, and God still does this even after the Fall! It's something God loves and wishes to redeem! Why would He redeem it? Because of love! Preston obviously doesn’t care about sacraments but this is a great basis for understanding a basic sacramental world-view – that Creation isn't only good, but is also a means for communing with God, by virtue of being created by the All-Good God!
Genesis 2:17’s mention of “you shall surely die” isn't just about spiritual death whatsoever. If you literally translate Genesis 2:17 it's Tree. Knowledge. Good. Evil. Day eat (dying) die. The literal Hebrew's dying-die. It's two different verb tenses (dying and die) which translates as “dying you will die”. It's an ingressive statement culminating with physical death. At that point, after they ate of the fruit, they died a spiritual death (this cannot be seen by Genesis alone but rather with other texts that show it to be true later beyond Genesis; in Genesis the only thing we see here is physical death beginning to happen in man after he eats the fruit), but also began to die and would return to dust. If they'd been meant to die right then instantaneously, the text would only say muth once, meaning dead, died, or die and not “beginning to die”, “surely die” or “dying you will die”.
Keep what I’ve said all in mind as I continue.
“Conley is arguing for a yet future resurrection of every bug, every mosquito, every dog, every cat, every horse, every elephant, every living creature that has ever lived and died! I mean, after all, if you are going to argue that Romans 8 is the resurrection of human corpses and the deliverance from physical death and corruption, then since “creation” (the bugs, slugs and mosquitoes, per Mr. Conley) then you cannot deny all of those dead and decayed “bugs, slugs and mosquitoes” the same resurrection to incorruption, life and immorality! Does Mr. Conley believe in a yet future resurrection of every dead microorganism, every dead cockroach, every dead mosquito, every dead Mastodon, or saber-tooth tiger that has ever lived and decayed into the ground? If not, why not?”
The answer is obviously and emphatically YES! And I'll scream it from the mountain tops for all the universe to hear! YES!! LET IT BE DONE! Let God’s Creation which He loves be redeemed from the curse when Christ returns physically in the 2nd Coming! Let all of Creation rejoice! The Savior will come! Every human, bug, slug, mosquito, microorganism, cockroach, mastodon, saber-tooth tiger that's ever lived and will live and died and will die and has and will go to the ground will celebrate the Lord as He delivers the universe in decay and dying from death; and He'll recreate and restore and redeem it into eternity out of His Divine Agape for mankind and Creation! Hallelujah! Preston’s feeble god can’t save material creation but the One True God can! Catch the power of that!
Is Preston going to tell us that God doesn’t care about Creation? Has he never looked into basic biology and not just been astounded by God’s Creation? God put so much detail as the ultimate Iconographer into His artwork! It’s a shame that Preston doesn’t think that God cares about Creation whatsoever one bit and just will let it all decay into nothingness. Preston seems to believe that ex nihilo means material creation has to go nihil ad or obliuionem decidet.
God commanded Adam to be a caretaker of the Garden of Eden! To name the animals! It becomes more real when you put a name to it! More care is put into it when you name it and in Adam’s case he has to take care of it! When we give something a name we give God’s Creation more Being, more of an existence! We make it more of a Reality!
Matthew 6:26-34 NKJV comes to mind!
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b]stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
It’s quite clear God cares about His Creation and loves it! If God didn’t, He wouldn’t have bothered to become one of us as a human being in the Incarnation, living, dying, and bleeding for us. He wouldn't've bothered to come at all if He didn’t love and care about His Creation.
“If corruption is the futility of physical corruptibility and mortality, and “all creation” is to be released from that, then this demands the resurrection of “all creation” that was ever subjected to that futility of physical corruption”.
Emphatically to this yes! All of Creation will be redeemed and restored! Not just man but the entire Cosmos! All Creation!
Preston argues I don’t use exegesis or establish my case linguistically but I explain when and why I don't in every case. I've also said multiple times in other articles, when Preston demands it, the ones he demands exegesis for are irrelevant. I was discussing election and predestination as it pertained to Romans 11:25-27. It’s funny how I can stick to the actual point and address it but Preston still perisists with the dodge, deflect, and dishonest tactics isn’t it? All to avoid the elephant in the room he emphatically denies exists but yet everyone else sees it making noise and being quite the rambunctious elephant in the room. Much like a scene in South Park about ManBearPig...
“He tells us that corruption, from the Greek word phthora and cognates, means corruption. Ok, so far so good. No argument there. The issue is, what kind of corruption is in the text and context! Is it the normal physiological weakness of flesh that with the passing of time grows stronger and stronger as our bodies grow weaker and weaker? Does it refer to all the bugs of the world dying because they are subject to corruption, as Mr. Conley defines it?
It is more than telling that Mr. Conley does not deem it necessary (or relevant, evidently) to share with his readers that phthora is a word that in a large number of contexts- and resurrection texts at that. Those contexts include the ideas of the Old Man, versus the New. Passages in which phthora or cognates are used, speak of the mortal body, versus the spiritual body, putting off the Old Creation / Old Man, and putting on the image of God (which is resurrection per 1 Corinthians 15). In other words, in resurrection passages, phthora is used but, it has absolutely nothing to do with physiological decay, material, bodily “corruption” but, to moral corruption! It is a word that is used extensively to speak of the Old Way of life under sin, versus the New Creation in Christ, where believers are made once again (re-created) in the image of God who created man!”
It’s telling that Preston has gone so far deep down this rabbit trail and never once in any article responded to nor dealt with the implications of Romans 11:25-27 with pleroma, hetemma, nor eklektos but now sets some lie up forcing me write all about phthora and explain all these verses because he's made me out to be lying to people when in fact he's the liar.
You've got to be kidding me! This is a lot to ask from anyone to go into all these texts when Preston himself refuses to deal with what I’ve asked him to do and has repeatedly dodged, deflected, and done nothing to address the actual issue but I digress.
I’ll do it because Preston has lied, accusing me of using words in Scripture the same way all the time. I have nothing to hide here like Preston and truth ultimately prevails over all heresy and dishonest tacticians like Preston too as obviously if I’m discussing what pertains to election and predestination in regards to Romans 11:25-27 my focus is not going to be on every single mention of phthora in the Scriptures. It’s not the focus! Another attempt to divert attention again. Madness!
I explained in the 1st article against Preston that pleroma and hettema in Greek sometimes are used the way he says but then shared that the way he's gone about it with pleroma is absolutely wrong with the Greek. Hettema means failure and it's consistent with Paul’s writings the 2x he uses it. With pleroma it's not used the way Preston contends it's used in Romans. In Romans 11:12 and Romans 13:10 for example pleroma is used in the sense of fulfillment while Romans 11:25 and Romans 15:29 use it to explain fullness as in being filled or full of something in it. The sense it's used in Romans 11:25 and Romans 15:29 uses it in similar fashion to how Mark 6:43 and Mark 8:20 use it to say that there are “12 full baskets” and “large baskets full of broken pieces”.
I never gave all the definitions for phthora in Scriptures because it's used once in Romans 8:21. In context, phthora has in general two definitions but one also has to take the sentence itself in the verses into consideration.
One definition of phthora is: corruption, perishing, destruction.
a) That which is subject to corruption physically; what is perishable.
b) In the Christian sense, it can mean eternal misery.
Another 2nd definition of the word is: In the NT, it can be used in a more ethical sense for corruption or moral decay.
Again, I didn’t define all the words or explain the word phthora because that wasn't the focus.
Preston's just deflecting and going on a rabbit trail tangent to avoid having to address Romans 11:25-27 anyways in regards to election and predestination and how the Gentiles are used in a numeric sense.
Phthora is used in Romans 8:21, 1 Corinthians 15:42, 1 Corinthians 15:50, Galatians 6:8, Colossians 2:22, 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Peter 2:12, 2 Peter 2:19.
For Romans 8:21 it means that which is corrupt and it's physical. Preston charges me with using everything the same way but I never once declared such a thing. This is Preston being dishonest.
I fully acknowledge phthora could be used in an ethical sense or moral decay but to clarify, in Romans 8:21 phthora isn't being used that way.
It's instead being used to mean physical corruption and physical decay. And this is obvious if you just read the chapter… more specifically, starting at v. 18 (Preston take note cause you will like this!),
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that’s to be revealed to us”… This verse introduces the 3-fold testimony given to the Christian destiny, which is sharply contrasted with the sufferings just mentioned… “the glory to be revealed to us”: Paul reminds his readers that although suffering is a sign of the authentic Christian experience, it's only a transition to the assured glory that awaits them in the eschaton’s completion.
V. 19: “For the created universe waits with eager longing for the God’s sons to be revealed”: Paul discloses his view of the created world, which in its chaotic state manifests its cosmic striving toward the very goal set for man himself. He affirms the solidarity of the human and subhuman world in its share in the redemption of Christ. It recalls God’s promise to Noah of the covenant to be made “between myself and you and every living creature” (Gen 9:12-13; Cf. Ps 135). The noun ktisis denotes “material creation” apart from man (see v.23 if you’re confused). Created for man, it was cursed as a result of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:17), and since then it has been in a state of abnormality or frustration, according to Paul, being subject to corruption itself. And yet, he sees it sharing in man’s destiny; for it too – through him – is somehow redeemed, freed from its natural proclivity.
V.20-21: “For it was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the created universe itself will be set free from its bondage to decay/corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God”.
The frustration of material creation is its inability to realize its goal as it should. Before Adam’s sin, material creation is depicted in Genesis as subject to him, just as he was to God (Gen 1:28). But mans’ sin disrupted the subordination and introduced abnormality and futility.
“But BY HIM who subjected it in [the] hope, that creation itself would be freed from the bondage of decay””: Paul refers to God, who cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin (Gen 3:17). “By him” (dia with the acc., as in Rom 3:25; John 6:57; Sirach 15:11) means God in this view. The “hope” (eph’elpidi, “in, with hope”) expresses not God’s hope, but the hope given creation itself by him who subjected it (referring to hypotaxanta of v.20). It also reads hoti (that) instead of dioti at the beginning of v.21; this conjunction introduces the hope given to creation.
This seems to be the most natural interpretation of this verse, despite the fact that the use of dia with an accusative is not common. Paul's saying here that God, though he cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin, still gives it hope of sharing in man’s redemption. Redeemed humanity will live in peace with God in a world transformed by His Spirit. Paul sees this condition as an aspiration of all creation. “decay”” not just moral corruption, but the law of physical decay found in nature, the reign of dissolution and death.
For Paul, the created physical universe isn't to be a mere spectator of man’s triumphant glory and freedom, but is to share in it. When the children of God are revealed in glory, death will have no more dominion over them, and the material world will also be emancipated from this “last enemy” (1 Cor 15:23-38). What Paul teaches here will be developed in his letters in captivity in his notions of the recapitulation of all things in Christ.
v. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now…
Paul adopts the image of the rebirth of nature to a woman’s travail to express the tortous convulsions of a frustrated material creation, as he sees it. It groans in hope and expectation but also in pain/suffering. There really is a suffering bringing about glory going on here with Paul and it’s astounding! The compound verb (synodinei) expresses the concerted agony of the universe in all its parts.
V. 23 – And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we weait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”.
“we ourselves”: Not only the material universe bears testimony to the Christian destiny but Christians themselves do too also by the hope that they have – a hope based on the gift of the Spirit already possessed! “Who have the firstfruits of the Spirit: The Spirit has already been given to the Christians as the principle of the new life. What a great promise of things to come thanks to Christ who is already working this change in us through God the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah!
Catch the power of that!
Preston goes on this strange spiel that I interpret phthora the same way in every sentence in the bible where it is used which is false as I never made such a claim… That's a lie.
Even stranger is that instead of Galatians 6:8 where phthora is used, Preston goes on some other random rabbit trail about Galatians 6:2 where phthora isn't even mentioned… and then ends up going on some rant about the word “flesh” (sarx) and corruption (phthora). Galatians 6:2 just to clarify is talking about works of the flesh. Our bodies aren't evil. It's what we do with our body when we put our carnal works into it that profanes our temple and makes us sinful. The same is talked about in 1 Cor 15:50 that the works of the flesh won't inherit the Kingdom of God.
To clarify what I mean… your hand isn't evil. It does nothing alone. It’s what you do with your hand that either blesses or profanes God. If you profane God with your hand then you're working what’s phrased as “a work of the flesh” or as Paul uses it often and does it in Gal 6:8 “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap decay, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life”. This isn't just moral or spiritual corruption. It states “eternal life” in Gal 6:8… This verse actually sums up Romans 5:16-26.
To clarify Genesis 6:8’s usage of phthora, no I don't use it all the same exact way all the time as I'd do with Romans 8:21… but Preston never bothered to ask… and just lies asserting that, for whatever reason, I interpret phthora to all mean the same thing… which is absurd if you just go look at a lexicon and know there’s about 2-3 solid definitions worth taking consideration of.
The word here for Gal 6:8 is used for eternal misery in Hell instead of Eternal life in God’s Kingdom with Christ probably. So no Preston I don't impose the same definition into everything as you claim.
This is utterly dishonest and all he does is continue lying the rest of this article about me having one solo definition of the way phthora is used (when in fact, I only mentioned it once for the specific verse Romans 8:21 and didn't mention any of the others… This was never the focus nor intention to talk about that word specifically. The original article was about Romans 11:25-27. Romans 8 and 9 were used by me to explain election and predestination as they were relevant to the refutation which Preston continues avoiding to answer. As usual.
Now Preston moves to Col 2:22 which uses phthora. How will Conley use it in this context? Does Paul have biological perishing body in mind? Let’s read it and not make assumptions like Preston.
First, before we get into good old Col 2:22 I want to do my own diversion for a second with the reader just to see what it feels like to pull a Preston… let us go to Collosians 1:15! How could Preston forget such an important passage!?!? Obviously if we’re going to talk about phthora we have to talk about the eikon of the invisible God. Right? No? Oh well let’s talk about it anyways.
Verses 15-20 form a great Christological section that proclaims Christ as the center of the universe and the head of the Church. It abounds in references to the wisdom literature (cf. Job 28; Proverbs 8; Sir 24; Wis 7). Wisdom, word, and spirit are closely connected in Jewish thought and are frequently set in parallelisms in OT literature… but okay let’s focus on the fact that Paul says “Christ is the eikon of the invisible God”. Cf. Hebrews 1:3; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Cor 11:7 and know there may be a reference to Wisdom 7:26 in here as well.
Did you know the word for image here is called eikon which is a visible image? Preston believes that Christ divested or stripped His self of His human flesh in the Ascension. Do tell how a now-made invisible God who's divested Himself of all physicality can still be an eikon of the invisible God? Paul wrote this post-Ascension of Christ! An image has to be visible in order to be an image because you have to be able to see an image! Did Paul lie when he claimed Christ is, present tense, the visible image of the invisible God? Was he mistaken? Obviously the reader should be able to say no Paul wasn't a liar and wasn't mistaken. Christ's the image of the invisible God because He's fully divine and fully human physically still retaining His human body 100% as the eternal God-Man and eternal High Priest. But I digress.
Now look at Col 1:19 where it says “all the fullness should dwell”: The concept of pleroma, (a word Preston seems to run away from these days for some odd reason) or God’s fullness is found in the OT in Is 6:3… More important though is that Paul uses this OT literature and in his usage of it we find the idea of Wisdom filling the earth (Wis 1:7).
The fullness of God – his presence, divinity, and wisdom – is in Christ, who shares this with the Church, which in turn affects all of humanity! The emphasis isn't on God’s immanence here, but on the cosmic effect of God’s power working in Christ and in the Church. In 1:20, we have “to reconcile all things”… According to many various NT texts, all creation must be restored to God (Rom 8:19-23; Mk 16:15). This implies a state of alienation: in man by reason of sin, and in all creation by the loss of unity and harmony through sin. The prevalent Jewish belief was that the world had fallen into the captivity of ruling world powers through man’s sin. Christ however overcame these powers by taking away their control over believers.
Now to Col. 1:21 and 22… which is gonna get weird and I wonder how Preston would answer this one since He believes Christ no longer has a flesh suit… “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has NOW reconciled IN HIS BODY OF FLESH BY HIS DEATH in order to present you holy and blameless and abover reproach before him”.
It says “to present you holy, without blemish, and innocent before him”: Christ’s act of reconciliation is presented in sacrificial terminology here much like Eph 1:4… “to present”: Although used at times in connection with the Parousia this verb is also used in a sacrificial sense like in Romans 12:1… Amazing! Christ has NOW reconciled us IN HIS BODY OF FLESH… and has NOW done it… If I didn’t know any better I’d say that Christ is still reconciling us in His Body of flesh by His death and Resurrection but I digress. I’ve done my little rabbit trail here. But alas, unlike Preston, I get back to the points others make and try to answer them instead of divert, dodge, and pull dishonest tactics all to fool people.
Col. 2:9 “For in Him the whole fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (physically as it is somatikos).
Preston says that “In Colossians 2:22, the apostles spoke of the “elements” of Old Covenant Judaism, the new moons, feast days and the Sabbaths” as the world that was about to perish; the word perish is phthora. It is more than obvious that Paul did not have biological, fleshly perishing here. The Old Law, that Old World, would cease to function; it would pass away. There is no reference here to the human body and its physical mortality. Notice then in chapter 3 where Paul speaks of putting off the Old Man, the Old Man that was, per Ephesians 4:25f– “corrupt (phthora) according to deceitful lusts.” So, just like in 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul spoke of the resurrection change going from corruption to incorruption, putting off the Old Man, in Ephesians and Colossians he talks of putting off the “corruption” of the Old Man. Now, if Paul is talking of biological resurrection this poses a huge problem for folks like Mr. Conley. Paul is very clearly putting the burden of responsibility of putting off the corruption of the Old Man on the believer! Paul was commanding them to put off corruption! Now, if phthora is referent here to the body of physical, corruptible flesh, then that means that Paul was commanding them to put off their human bodies of corruptible flesh! Was Paul actually telling them to commit suicide?”
This all comes across as word vomit.
Paul in Colossians 2:16-23 speaks out to the church of Colossae against false worship, false mysticism, and false ascetism which will all perish; as in that which is subject to destruction. In this case, phthora is used to describe things not of God ultimately being of no use because they'll be destroyed by God. This isn’t a problem for folks like me. I take the words in the Greek, look at them, look at their definitions, and then discern what it means with the Greek. This isn't rocket science. But obviously Preston had an agenda to lie and deceive everyone here into believing I only use one definition of phthora… And no. Paul wasn't telling people to commit suicide but I’ll tell you this.
While on the subject of suicide, I can’t for the life of me tell you why anyone who follows Preston’s CBV view of full preterism can tell someone a good reason why they shouldn’t commit suicide… you can see that question I posed in another blog post I wrote on Hope Resurrected! Sorry! I wanted to see what it was like to just randomly promote something like Preston does when always trying to promote all his books in every blog post.
Another point. If you want to commit suicide because you follow Don Preston’s view you should just leave his view behind and come to a more orthodox position! It'll take time and patience with yourself to recover but it should ultimately help one stop wishing to commit suicide. If anyone feels suicidal come talk to me or talk to someone. I’m willing to do so as I did a lot of counseling back when I was involved with youth ministry for 8+ years and 2 as an associate pastor at a Southern Baptist church. I can understand it as I was a Full preterist. I would want to kill myself too trying to hold to Don Preston’s CBV position since we’re on the subject of suicide.
We were talking about phthora but then Preston says something about Ephesians and Colossians agreeing with 1 Cor 15:49 and doesn’t quote anything. This is a mess. I took it as Preston simply trying to spiritualize the texts maybe? Who really knows? We were on the topic of phrhora and now suddenly he’s trying to talk about the resurrection… I guess because he doesn’t believe it is physical and phthora means corruption and decay and perishing? Has to spiritualize it I guess? Que esta pasando con el jefe de Preston?
And why'd Preston forget to talk about 1 Cor 15:42 where phthora is talked about? Why forget this and skip to 1 Cor 15:49 that doesn’t mention it when he has 1 Cor 15:50 to talk about? What a convoluted mess this article actually is of Preston’s!
15:42 says “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a corrupt body, it is raised an uncorrupted body”. This is physical resurrection. You can also find Clement in agreement later in 1 Clement… but Preston will just call Clement (who is mentioned in the bible) a liar because Preston thinks everyone post AD70 is an apostate until he, by magic, came into this world and brought us all himself as God’s theological gift to the world.
So what does 15:42’s use of phthora mean? Corruption… decaying body… Simple.
Our bodily physical existence is right now one of corruption, dishonor, and weakness, and these things characterize this present age. Now, in this vale of tears, all is illness, and loss, weakness, failure, and futility, the humiliation of aging and death. We’ll one day end our earthly existence, being “sown” like seeds in the earth in their state. But it'll be otherwise in the future age to come as Christ hasn’t returned yet. Our bodily existence then at that time will conform to the glory of that coming age and will be one of “incorruption, non-decay, glory, and power”, as all these earthly things are swallowed up in the endless triumph of Christ and His Resurrection and our Resurrection! Now our “body” and existence is “soulish” (psuchikos), that which is dominated by the soul (psuche) or the life of this age – hence, “worldly, unspiritual”. James 3:15 uses the word to characterize the wisdom of this world which is also “earthly and demonic”.
Our present bodily existence is characterized by the world of the senses, with all its weakness and limitations. In the age to come, our bodily existence will be “spiritual” (pneumatikos). That is, it'll be characterized by the boundless energies of the Divine Spirit, being freed from preent limitations of this sensual existence… recall what I’ve said about Romans 8:21 and it'll all be clear!
This humble and earthly (psuchikos) aspect of our existence is expressed in Scripture by Genesis 2:7 LXX that “the 1st man, Adam, became a living soul” (psuche). Our way of life inherited from Adam, the originator of our race, is characterized by his limits. He was “from the earth” and thus, “made of dust” (choikos), sharing all the humble lowliness of the earth beneath his feet. We're the same, “bearing the image of the one made of dust” sharing this age’s humiliations. But, not forever, for the “soulish” will give place to the spiritual in the age to come. We mustn’t expect the spiritual to come first! We must wait! It'll come! In Christ, the fullness and fulfillment of the human nature to its greatness will become for us in the last Adam the life-giving spirit! Paul contrasts our 1st state, from Adam, with our final state, from Christ. We shall all share the glory of Christ’s life of “heaven” bearing His celestial “eikon” at the resurrection which will be visible because HE IS CURRENTLY PHYSICAL (see my comments on Collosians 2 earlier).
Now to 1 Cor 15:50… What does 1 Cor 15:50’s use of phthora mean? We’ve found what 1 Cor 15:42 meant without Preston even mentioning it for some odd reason!
Pretty simple. 1 Cor 15:50 says “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the decay inherit the non-decay”.
It means corruption obviously. Physical decay. Because physical decay doesn't inherit the Kingdom of God obviously. Romans 8 explains this as well. We and creation shall be made free from the decay and 1 Cor 15 says we'll physically be raised uncorrupt because Christ raised physically incorruptible.
Note also that when Paul says flesh and blood here he's specifically talking about the works of the flesh and blood being what doesn’t inherit the kingdom of God. We aren’t Gnostics. Your physical body and skin isn’t evil. It’s what you do with your physical body and skin that can be profane and evil. That's what will not inherit the Kingdom of God because it does nothing but corrupt if you constantly use your body for evil instead of using it to glorify Christ.
Let's continue. Preston quotes: “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” which is humorous since the word for image is eikon… which is a visible image… oopsies!
Preston claims next that “Like Paul, Peter also used phthora and cognates, but not of physical, biological mortality and “corruptibility.”
We've already shown how Paul uses it… Peter uses phthora in 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Peter 2:12 and 2:19.
“In 2 Peter 1:3f the apostle said that his audience had already escaped the corruption (phthora) of the world!”
This is false. They're promised that because of His divine power that has been given to us, all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the decay that is in the world through lust”.
As Christ has not returned yet, we're living in the promises today. The already, not yet principle.
In 1 Peter 1:3-4 God’s benefits are being recalled as the basis and motive for this exhortation. We're told concisely that the totality of religious life is the gift of God’s power to those he calls, and that this call is by means of his glorious revelation, and that the acceptance of this call, this ELECTION, is a form of knowledge of God.
This knowledge – usually with Christ as its object – is stressed in 2 Peter: cf. 1:2, 5, 6-8; 2:20; 3:18. 2 Peter adapts some Hellenistic vocabulary from Hellenistic philosophy to express very Christian concepts. He does it to employ it as an apt expression of the fullness of Christian life. The same basic idea is in different terminology in 1 John 1:3; 3:2, 9; John 15:4; 17:22-23; Rom 8:14-17.
Preston may get worked up on this if he bothers responding but remember that Paul used Greek plays and used what was around him on Mars Hill with the unknown god to reveal the truth of God to the people of that culture. It's fine for Peter to do so as well. There should be no objection.
Of note! Not a single time does Preston in his article ever once discuss the eklektos in 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 2:6, nor 1 Peter 2:9! Very telling! And should Preston get bent out of shape over me saying this and pointing this out randomly… he's no room to talk as he's acted so very bent out of shape at me for not mentioning “shame v. glory motif” that he so desperately wants me to do in every article… Only difference here is that me bringing up election is actually relevant to the other articles I wrote WHICH PRESTON NEVER ONCE TOUCHED and probably won’t touch with a 6 foot pole.
He tries to pin 1 Peter 1:3 with 1 Cor 15:46-49. We've proven however conclusively that since Romans 8 is connected with 1 Cor 15 (and that means Romans 7 too) and Genesis 1-3 are a bit referenced in Romans 8 and 1 Cor 15 that Preston is therefore wrong.
“He says that they had ‘escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Notice that Peter uses the aorist participle active, to indicate that they had escaped the corruption of the world. Was Peter saying that they had escaped– already escaped biological corruption? Really? That would be nonsensical, and would demand that if they had already escaped from the human biological condition of physical mortality, demanding that they would never die! I am pretty safe in saying that was not the case”.
Preston's just plain off here. Peter lives in the promises today of Christ as we all do who await His 2nd Coming. Preston's deluded himself so long it seems with his full preterist view that he can’t grasp these simple concepts that when Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave physically, He ushered in the New Covenant well before AD70 was even a thing.
Preston also forgets the Early Church was sacramental and partook of baptism, chrismation, the Eucharist, etc. which assist in helping us live today as partakers of the Divine nature TODAY, which perhaps only Preston would dispute but no one else does as the whole Church believes in theosis of some sort aka communion with God. How can we all have total communion with God today if God came back in 70?
How are we even part of the promise of being partakers of the Divine Nature if we are not part of the promises as we are not part of the elect as election can’t be ongoing nor continual (Mt 24:31)?
Preston likely won’t ever answer anything about election. He’s scared to touch it because anything but the truth will be scrutinized harshly by the ex-FP crew, the IO’ers, IBV believers, and even his own fellow CBVs may even cannibalize one of their own if he ever answers it with anything but the truth, that being that if AD70 is the end, Mt 24.31 was fulfilled and thus, election is over and there is no more election and thus since election is tied to salvation (at least 17-18x election is tied to salvation) then salvation has ended and is no more as the elect have received the fullness of this promise.
“Notice that Peter says his readers had escaped the corruption (phthora) of the world”.
Yes Peter does say his readers have escaped the decay of the universe. That’s why he says kosmos as Preston notes. Because in Christ we live in the promises of today! Christ won't leave us hanging! He'll free the Creation of decay and bring about incorruption!
Preston doesn’t get this because he doesn’t want to get it. Too much investment in FP to change now.
“According to Mr. Conley the world that was corrupt was the material, physical creation, subject to biological and physiological decay rocks, trees, bugs, slugs and mosquitoes.” But, if that is the case, it demands that Peter said that the deliverance from that corruption of physical mortality had already begun and was taking place when he wrote! But that is not all. To suggest this is to refute it, the idea is patently ridiculous.”
Not at all ridiculous. We live in the promises today! Our God's been known to heal people, bring people from the dead to life, etc. Even today. Preston can be cessationalist but no one else does. We live in the promises today! St. Antony raised people from the dead and healed people. So did the Apostles in their day! There’s nothing to suggest that we don't in fact live in the promises today just because the 2nd Coming hasn’t come yet to bring everything into fullness and completeness.
He brings up a few more verses about putting off the Old Man but 1 Cor 15 is about the physical resurrection despite what spiritualization nonsense Preston does to butcher the texts in that chapter. He goes on about Romans 7 which I could do a whole commentary on along with Romans 8 but choose not to (I've actually done one in private but that'd be more than 20+ pages extra making this way longer than need be. We can’t go into length with that but may do so later in other words if people become interested. In the meantime, go read St. John Chrysostom or Dmitri Royster or etc. on it. They wrote much on these topics and are smarter than myself or Don K Preston by far!
“So, as usual, Mr. Conley simply makes some more bold assertions, but, he did not even try to establish his case exegetically or even linguistically. He just typed the word phthora and told us it means “corruption” – which is fine as far as it goes– but, it does not go far enough! He utterly failed to prove that the corruption in Romans 8 is biological mortality. The reader needs to be reminded that mere assumptions and assertions are not proof. They are not even evidence.”
Preston gets on my case about not going far enough to discuss corruption – which is insane and laughable since he never once discusses ELECTION. Hypocritical much Mr. Preston? Let’s see him do an actual article about that one…
His closing statements are ludicrous. I explained why I didn’t discuss this. It was irrelevant to the conversation at hand. It'd be like me asking Preston to talk about seeds in a conference and him delivering to us all info about black holes and then yelling at everyone for not talking about black holes in what was clearly a conference about seeds. While it may be interesting and might be factual (from Preston I doubt it would be though) it's irrelevant. I didn’t have to do anything about any shame v. glory motif. Preston then goes on to say that the “end of time” is unbiblical… which is a half-truth but in essence false but I think the reader has read enough for now. Perhaps I’ll go over that topic in the future as time really doesn’t end so much as it gets transfigured and changed along with the rest of Creation… but I digress.
He accuses me abusing contexts of passages and all I have to say about that is Preston abuses the scriptures all the time. I don’t do that with the Scriptures at all. Everything I say can be backed by Scripture, Tradition, history, etc. Preston just takes scripture, butchers it, and takes it out of context all in the name of AD70 and full preterism.
“Mr. Conley admitted that he ignored those contextual qualifiers and controls and yet, still claimed that he had answered my posts. But, how can you totally ignore the context setting, the context controlling tenets of a text, and claim to have properly exegeted it and to properly interpret it? You can’t. Period!”
Says the guy who ducks, dodges, and deflects from ever answering anything about election or Romans 11:25-27… Laughable.
He says I hope people just take my word for it. Another lie from anyone who knows me. I hope the readers will take what Preston says and throw it in the trash absolutely because he’s a heretic and a deceiver. However, I hope and pray readers will take the Scriptures, look at history, look at tradition, and do their own studies with much prayer in order to come to the truth. If I’m wrong, let me be wrong and the truth be told!
Preston asks me to “produce the texts where any apostles went out into the wilderness and preached to the rocks, the trees, the rivers and the animals”
So just for fun I’m going to do it. I’ll be using the Acts of Paul as my evidence. It's up to Don K Preston to prove how come this isn't Scripture, is uninspired, and also needs to provide evidence why it shouldn't be counted as part of canon. He may not use the Church Fathers, may not use tradition, may not even use history, and may only use Scripture. Serpents and donkeys talk so refrain Mr. Preston from claiming lions can't talk.
For the sake of argument let’s say I do find it to be inspired and Scripture. Preston must show why it can't be accepted while his version of what is and isn’t canon can since he's claimed emphatically tje Councils and Creeds of the Church are uninspired as are all patristics, even Clement and other apostles' disciples being in error. I look forward to seeing this from Preston. I quote Acts of Paul where Paul deals with a lion’s prayer and its conversation with Paul.
“Away with the sorcerer! Away with the prisoner! But the lion looked at Paul and Paul at the lion. Then Paul recognized that this was the lion which had come and been baptized. And borne along by faith, Paul said: “Lion! Was it you whom I baptized?” And the lion in answer said to Paul: “Yes”. Paul spoke to it again and said: “And how were you captured?” The lion said with one voice: “Even as you, Paul”, As Hieronymus sent many beasts, that Paul might be slain, and against the lion archers, that it too might be killed, a violent and exceedingly heavy hailstorm fell from Heaven, although the sky was clear, so that many died and all the rest took to flight. But it did not touch Paul or the lion, although the other beasts perished under the weight of the hail, which was so severe that Hieronymus’ ear was smitten and torn off, and the people cried out as they fled: “Save us, O God, save us, O God of the man who fought with the beasts!” And Paul took leave of the lion and went out of the stadium and down to the harbor and embarked on the ship which was sailing for Macedonia; for there were many who were sailing, as if the city were about to perish. So he embarked too like one of the fugitives, but the lion went away into the mountains, as was customary for it”
“But when I finished praying, the beast had cast himself at my feet. I was filled with the Spirit and looked upon him, and said to him: ‘Lion, what do you want?’ But he said: ‘I wish to be baptized’. I glorified God, who had given speech to the beast and salvation to his servant. Now there was a great river in that place, and I went down into it. Then, men and brethren, I cried out, saying: “You who dwell in the heights, who looked upon the humble, who gave rest to the afflicted, who with Daniel shut the mouths of the lions, who sent to me our Lord Jesus Christ, accomplish your plan which you’ve appointed for me’. When I’d prayed this, I took the lion by his mane and in the name of Jesus Christ immersed him 3x. But when he came up out of the water he shook out his mane and said to me: ‘Grace be with you!” And I said to him: And likewise with you”. (p. 454-55 and 458 of The Other Bible – Acts of Paul).
The only real surprise aside from the lies and massive problems with Preston's article against me is that Preston didn’t promote a book sale for once.
I'll conclude with this... Preston has yet to explain how Romans 11:25-27 works since I've proven pleroma is numeric in my 1st Article and also has yet to explain how election is ongoing and continual (as I know he won't do it since he's never answered this as of oh... I've lost count now how many responses he's given without answering anything). I challenge him to do this at some point instead of constantly dodging and deflecting and to explain how Acts of Paul is not scripture. I think I have clearly refuted this heretic with ample evidence. I also ask Don K Preston to repent of his heresy and quit lying about people as he has been misrepresenting and lying about me in his last post. His followers deserve the truth and deserve to not be led astray by the lies of Mr. Preston.