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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Why Sam Frost’s Ascension Argument Delivers a Death Blow to Full Preterism.

By: William Vincent

I wish I could claim to have originated it myself, but I was immediately struck by its implication. I had noticed the motion as a FP and had tried to incorporate into in my synthesis; one which was unfortunately doomed to failure. Like many brilliant original propositions in history, once it is seen, its simplicity is both obvious and profound. What am I referring to? – simply the fact that in Daniel 7 the Son of Man is going to heaven, and not coming from heaven.

As a FP I had tried to use this important directional reality to suggest that 70AD was the fulfillment of Daniel 7. I had suggested that what took place in 70AD was that the Son of Man was brought before the Ancient of Days in the heavens, and simultaneously Jerusalem was falling on earth. I had noted that in John 17 Christ prays that His disciples that His disciples could be with Him “where He is” and to see His glory. I had noted that in 1 Thess 4 those who sleep in Christ would be brought with Christ, thus meaning that they were “with Him” in heaven and would have, there, beheld His glory. Of course, I was trying to make all of this work from a FP paradigm, which meant that I needed to align all of this with 70AD. But when recently I saw Sam Frost suggest that Daniel 7 described Christ being brought before the Ancient of Days, and then relating this to the Ascension, I became instantly aware of the implications. I also instantly realized how this devastates the FP paradigm.

In order to demonstrate why this is the case I need to return to the basis of Preterist thought; the infamous time-texts. I can clearly remember my early encounter with FP and how often I heard “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” and “some of you standing here shall not taste of death until you see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom.” Statements of scripture that we were sure meant the return of Christ was to take place within the lifetime of the audience. We had leapt to this conclusion because we had not traveled too very far from the Dispensationalism we came from and assumed that the Kingdom of God was synonymous for the return of Christ from heaven. Because of this assumption, we were sure that the time-texts demanded the return of Christ from heaven within the lifetime of the first Christians. But what Sam Frost has done is shown that the time-texts do not demand what FPs claim. Rather than calling for the imminent return of Christ from heaven, what the time-texts demand is the imminent glorification of the Son or Man and inauguration of the Kingdom of God.

Deprived of the weight of the time-texts FP loses all of its force. Why continue the absurd attempt to have Christ return from heaven in 70AD, if that was never predicted by the time-texts to begin with? Sam has shown us that FP makes a wrong turn right out of the gate, and this wrong turn exposed, erodes the entire premise. This is why I believe what Sam is giving us here is more than another argument against FP, I believe Sam has put forth a proposition that unravels FP altogether. In days to come FP needs to respond to Sam Frost, and it needs to do so with gravity. Unfortunately, there will be no substantial response to give. It is perhaps keen irony that one of the most bright and educated proponents of FP would be the one to deliver its death blow, but this seems to be precisely what has happened.

1 comment:

  1. First, William, coming from you, I am humbled. But, also, I must also indicate that I "got it" from Gary DeMar (The Debate over Christian Reconstruction, Dominion Press, 1988), who "got it" from R.T. France (Jesus and the Old Testament, Baker Books, 1982); and also from N.T. Wright. I have fleshed it out considerably - linking the understanding that the "fourth beast" in Daniel 7 is the Seleucid Empire with the "little horn" being Antiochus IV. He is burned up (made dead), and the three other Empires continue on (of the famous Diadochoi). It is during the 'time and season' or some time after (the text is mysterious and does not tell us) that the vision - the event- of a son of man approaching the Ancient One is during this time (1st century ad).


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