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Friday, December 13, 2019

Responding To Don K Preston's "Refutation" of Hope Resurrected #2

For context, you can watch this Youtube video of Don Preston I am refuting.

Preston starts this video off by using a straw man statement that "you can waste good money by buying that [book] off Amazon".

Merely 2 minutes into this video, Preston manages to lie claiming that I don't think that Scripture can be read by itself to find the truth. That is a misrepresentation of my beliefs and it is not an accurate statement whatsoever. This is nothing new as Preston has done the same thing as I have noted in the two blog posts I wrote over his first video.

He makes an absurd assertion already that if apostolic succession is true that there should be no division. That is absolutely an absurd assertion and nonsense as some people divert from the truth given to them and cause schisms to take place. Does Don realize that it took Christianity until the Nicene Council to formally decide on an official New Testament canon? Guess not. Foolish.

Don claims that the Holy Spirit and God are not the author of confusion in an attempt to discredit my belief in apostolic succession (and yes I absolutely affirm it)... yet one can note that in full preterism, as small as it is, there are many divisions in it for such a small group of people. One can simply go on a full preterist Facebook group or YouTube video and find multiple variants of full preterism beliefs such as IBV Full Preterism, CBV Full Preterism, Covenant Creationism beliefs, Young Earth Creationists, Flat Earth believers, Israel Only Full Preterism, the list goes on proving Preston to be making a ridiculous assertion. If full preterists carry the truth, why can't we find all of them agreeing with their interpretation of the Bible? This is ridiculous and fallacious reasoning at best from Preston, as usual.

As for the apostolic succession, one can simply read works of the Early Church Fathers such as 1 Clement, Polycarp's writings, as well as St. Ignatius' letters and see that they all three are united in doctrine. As a matter of fact, should you decide to read more Church Fathers, you will find that the patristics do in fact agree to all the basic tenants of Christendom and really only differ on what the meaning of the Millennial Reign in the Revelation might mean or be, which is not an issue as eschatology is in the realm of Divine Mystery. Again, foolishness from Preston.

In around 4 minutes of the video, Preston lies about me claiming a lot of nonsense about Justin the Martyr and myself. He claims he has asked me no less than 4x if I believe sex is reserved for bearing children. To that, I obviously answered YES and have answered that repeatedly to him that I believe that sex is reserved for marriage. He also lies as well about the context of his questions. He clearly asked earlier if I accept Justin about making people eunuchs and then claims he never said that but as was shown in earlier blog posts, he did absolutely. Furthermore, I note that in his YouTube comments...

Preston's words on YouTube: "I never said that Justin taught anyone to become a eunuch". 

Also Preston: "Now, I asked you if you accept as authoritative, the tradition that taught no sex except to have children, becoming eunuchs to negate the sex drive and thus remain 'chaste'." 

Pick one lie and stick with it Don. Preston as you can see can't keep his lies straight. First off, there is NO tradition saying to become eunuchs to negate the sex drive to become chaste. Second, sex is to be pleasurable and for love obviously, but is reserved for marriage and is primarily for bearing children. There is no question about that. Preston's claims are really absurd.

He claims around 5:30 that I used expletives about him in my blog post which is false. If you read my 2 blog posts on this topic I simply state that in Preston's first video he could have summed up his entire babbling ranting ramble of ad hominems about me for 5 minutes by simply saying "I think Lance Conley is an asshole". This is referring to me, not him. I only say it once and there is also nothing wrong with this statement I made. His ad hominems and lies are ungodly and unwholesome language by his own definition of it as he constantly lies and misrepresents myself and various others. Furthermore, I referred to myself so this is not an expletive directed at him. Besides that, lying is a greater sin against someone than using what some might consider a cuss word once, which was done referring to myself, can ever produce, which Preston has done plenty of.

Barring the time I use the word "asshole" referring to myself and my opinion of Preston's 5 minute babbling rant about how evil and vile of a human being he thinks I am in order to poison the well as I noted in my 1st blog post, this is simply another time where Preston decides to lie and misrepresent me again... This goes on for about 6 minutes in this 2nd video against me he makes with more lies and misrepresentations. All one can say is wow and bravo and pray Preston one day goes and gets help for his apparent compulsive lying disorder he seems to suffer from. Again, as I said in earlier blogs, whether or not he thinks I'm Satan incarnate is irrelevant to the arguments. He is doing this to poison the well to try and make his arguments look better and more sophisticated to his audience.

Now to the nit and grit of this silly video response. It is true that I do not find the dating of Revelation to be relevant. If it was proven unanimously that Revelation was written in the reign of Nero I am quite fine with changing my mind about it, if given indisputable evidence.

I wrote the chapter Preston references because I find that there is evidence that supports the late-date scholarship of the Revelation and I do think Gentry is wrong when it comes to his external evidence claims that he proposes. I do not condemn early date believers. I make that clear in my book. As I wrote in the book, I think Gentry does do an excellent job with his internal arguments. I've never claimed otherwise. There was no need to refute his internal arguments since I do not think that his arguments internally are bad arguments. That chapter is a CRITIQUE of the external arguments, therefore I examined his external arguments in my book. Simple as that. I do not "ignore" the internal evidence because the point of the chapter, that I clearly laid out bare and simple for anyone to read, is that I am critiquing his external evidence. That is all. I did not and was not seeking nor was my intent to refute partial preterism in this book.

Whether early or late, the date is irrelevant but I wrote the chapter anyways to show why I believe the Revelation probably was written in the later date during the reign of Domitian. Preston lies and claims in 8:30 that I condemn Kenneth Gentry. A critique is NOT a condemnation. I do NOT condemn Kenneth Gentry in this book. Preston should seriously be ashamed of himself for the lies and mischaracterizations he has produced against me and others.

After that lie, he goes right back to claiming that I don't think that Scripture can be read by itself to find the truth of the Gospel. That is still a misrepresentation of my beliefs and it is not an accurate statement whatsoever.

I think my view can best be summed up in this manner. Anyone can pick up the Bible and manipulate and claim it says or teaches something. Many people read scripture today and become dispensationalist for example.

As Trevin Wax notes in the CSB Ancient Faith Study Bible in his article "Reading the Bible With the Church Fathers": 

Many years ago, I worked alongside a Sunday School teacher who insisted that he didn't need any curriculum or study helps. He just wanted to take his group through the Bible without any guidance. "Who needs a commentary or study notes? I just pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me to the right interpretation, and then I read it for myself. 

Eventually, this teacher decided to tackle the last book of the Bible, Revelation. I wasn't a member of his class, but from what I heard, those sessions on the Bible's famous apocalyptic letter elicited some strange predictions. Members expressed frustration with the incoherence of the weekly study, as the teacher's "interpret as I go" approach led him frequently to revise things he'd taught in previous weeks.

The idea that Bible interpretation is only about "me and the Holy Spirit" is widespread in our time, and worrisome. It sounds super-spiritual on the surface, but it ignores the fact that Bible interpretation is never just about "me" but also about the Church. Likewise, the Holy Spirit doesn't just illuminate us today but has been at work in guiding Christians to understand and apply the biblical text for millennia. What's more, none of us approach the Bible as a "blank slate", without having first been formed by various influences to read the Scriptures in a certain way. We all have our biases, our prejudices, and our interpretive approaches even if we don't think we do. In fact, the most biased Bible readers are probably those who believe they have no biases!

Thankfully, many readers of the Bible recognize the need for guidance. For this reason, we consult study Bibles and commentaries or listen to preachers and scholars who have done extensive work in the original languages. But even here, it is possible to adopt a tunnel vision approach to the Bible, where we only consult contemporary commentators and preachers. Many of the leaders we listen to share our same cultural moment. Without intending to, we succumb to what CS Lewis called "chronological snobbery", the idea that Bible interpretation of an earlier era is inferior simply becaues it is older. We unconsciously look down on ancient Christians, without realizing that it's on their shoulders that we stand. 

...[We] are not the first to encounter these biblical texts. The roots of our biblical interpretation go deep. By listening carefully to ancient church leaders, we come to understand that our faith is relevant not because it is "modern" but because it is rooted. The Holy Spirit is not stingy with spiritual insights. He's been at work for thousands of years. We see this truth clearly when we read ancient saints. 

...The Church Fathers are not inspired, but they are wise." [Preface. 19-20]

Preston is really stretching a LOT in this lame video. I trust and read the Scriptures and also use study tools to help me in studying the Scriptures like Church history, Church Fathers, etc.

It is wise and smart to look at those believers who came before us and see what they thought about the Scriptures. It helps us avoid stupid heresies like full preterism. When you look at those believers that came before us, you clearly find that they did not teach sola scriptura and that this doctrine did not take place until the 1500s with Martin Luther and the Reformation era.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 states that: 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

What does Paul mean when he says "sacred writings" Timothy has known since he was a child? We can be sure it's not referring to the NT, because the NT had not been written yet when Timothy was a child. In fact, only a few of the books of the New Testament were written when Paul wrote this epistle to St. Timothy. The NT canon most certainly had not been collected together yet into the canon as we know it today. Obviously, Paul is speaking of the OT here. If this passage is used to set the limits on inspired authority, not only will Tradition be excluded, but this passage itself - and the entire NT. If St. Paul secondly, meant here to exclude Tradition as not being profitable, then we should wonder why he uses non-biblical oral tradition in this very same chapter. The names Jannes and Jambres are not found in the OT, yet in 2 Timothy 3:8 he refers to them as opposing Moses. He's drawing on the oral tradition that the names of the two most prominent Egyptian magicians in the Exodus account (chapters 7;8) were Jannes and Jambres and this is by no means the only time a nonbilbical source is used in the NT. Jude does so as well quoting from the Book of Enoch in Jude 14, 15 (Enoch 1:9).

The primary purpose of creating the NT canon in the first place for the Church was to establish an authoritative list of books to be received as sacred Scripture to protect the Church from spurious books which claimed authorship from apostles like Gospel of Thomas for example.

Furthermore, Don has never once, not one keystroke, EVER, explained how he determines what is and isn't Old or New Testament canon and that is BECAUSE HE CAN'T. If one looks at history, it is unanimous that the Early Church had a heirarchal structure of apostolic succession and bishoprics and priests.

I also trust the Early Church Fathers because they kept to and preserved the Scriptures. We do not have the original manuscripts of the NT. As of right now, our oldest NT manuscripts are from the 3rd and 4th Century. We have to trust that they did not edit nor distort the Scriptures and we know they did not because we have the writings of the Early Church where they actually quote Scripture before the 3rd and 4th Century and say the same things that the Scripture say because they are quoting the Scriptures in their writings. And as I have said multiple times in discourses with Preston and other full preterists, if we are going to discredit the ECFs as untrustworthy and unreliable, this does in fact undermine the validity of the claim that the Scripture is infallible, as it follows that if we can't trust the people who supposedly kept and preserved the Scriptures, we can't trust that they actually did keep and preserve the Scriptures, especially since we have none of the original NT manuscripts available to us, for now, lost to time.

Back to the video though, I do in my book give my case for late-date scholarship of the Revelation. I never claim that you have to accept this. I never claim infallibility over this period. Rhodes who I quote in the book lays out some good evidences that may support Revelation being late-date that I find compelling. Preston misrepresents me throughout the video on my quoting Rhodes. He asks if I document persecution of Christians in this book and I actually do. I mention Dio Cassius, Trajan, Pliny, the Cult of the Sebastoi, etc.

Pseudo-scholar Preston should absolutely be ashamed of himself for his compulsion to lie and misrepresent. It's even more shameful of someone who claims to be a teacher of the Gospel who willingly lies and attempts to deceive any of his followers.

2 comments:

  1. To say that Mr. Conley has lied about what I said- about what he said- about what Justing said, is huge understatement.
    Note: I read straight from Mr. Conley's book where he said that it is a nice thought to thing or say that we can get all our objective truth from scripture, but that idea is not true. But of course, he says I lied about him.
    No, he believes that the Scriptures ARE NOT the all sufficient source of truth. In addition to the Scriptures, we need the tradition of the patristics-- the uninspired patristics who so often contradicted themselves and scripture.
    Then, he totally distorts- as his usual practice-- the entire issue of Justin and the early church's attitude toward sexuality.
    I have proven over and over again that Justin praised a young man that wanted to be castrigated. I have proven beyond doubt that the patristics taught that sex was not to be engaged in -- even in marriage-- except to have children. I have asked Conley over and over again if that is his position. Just read his comments above and see how he totally evades and obfuscates. He says he believes in chastity. Not the issue. He said he believes sex is for producing children. Not the issue, Mr. Conley. He claims I contradict myself in regard to the questions. Here is what he says:
    He clearly asked earlier if I accept Justin about making people eunuchs and then claims he never said that but as was shown in earlier blog posts, he did absolutely. Furthermore, I note that in his YouTube comments...

    Preston's words on YouTube: "I never said that Justin taught anyone to become a eunuch".

    Also Preston: "Now, I asked you if you accept as authoritative, the tradition that taught no sex except to have children, becoming eunuchs to negate the sex drive and thus remain 'chaste'."
    Well, FACT-- I NEVER SAID THAT JUSTIN TAUGHT ANYONE TO BECOME A EUNUCH. Period. (Notice he did not produce the quote). I said that Justin praised a young man that wanted to become a eunuch. That is not saying that he taught people to become eunuchs.
    Now, one more time, Mr. Conley. do you accept the patristic consensus that married couples should not have conjugal relations except to bear children. Folks, just read his post and see how he dances around this, claiming he has answered it.
    Over and over again, on apostolic succession, on virtually issue, Mr. Conley distorts and perverts what I said-- and viewers can see that immediately.
    Well, I have to run. Wife and I are headed out for a day together.


    ReplyDelete
  2. You need to quit lying. This is pathetic Don. Be better than this.

    ReplyDelete

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