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Friday, December 20, 2019

Who Is This Babbling? - Responding To Don K Preston's Review and "Refutation" of Hope Resurrected #3 - Dating of Revelation


As always, I give you the video so you can watch for yourself to get context...

As usual, pseudo-scholar Preston gave his lies... er... alternative facts yet again.
Alternative Fact #1 in this video: Don claims of me that "while he denies it verbally, in practice, he places tradition, the testimony of the early church writings, the patristics, over the internal evidence of what the Bible says".

He distorts my book in page 25 taking it out of context and just simply making a twist to try and make me into a person who is anti-Scripture which is far from the truth and misrepresents me. He is referring to the 3rd Chapter in Hope Resurrected where I explain why tradition is important and why we can ultimately trust it. 

As I wrote in my 2nd blog post to make it quite clear that Preston has misrepresented my beliefs. My view can be best 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. 19-2]


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.

It is astoundingly pathetic of Preston to pull this tactic.

One CAN give internal evidence that the Revelation is written in the reign of Domitian as many writers have done so. Just go read a book. Early date proponents like Gentry will argue otherwise. The debate is just that, a debate. Both sides have good arguments and neither side can truly claim conclusivity on the topic. However, the late-date proponents can use historical data and patristics to back up this claim. Either way, full preterism is still false on all accounts and Don Preston is still a liar.

His whole video is essentially this:

I find it downright detestable of Preston to lie in this matter and purposely misrepresent me as he has. 

One thing I pride myself on is that I do my best to be honest and not take people out of context just to win an argument. I can’t say the same for Dishonest Don and I will be honest in saying that it really is irritating to me that he can’t just be honest and has to pull what I can only call weasel tactics he does when he’s exposed for the lying pseudo-scholar he is. 

He takes me out of context with page 32. Earlier he had accused me in the 2nd video of condemning early date proponents and Gentry. This is false and Preston should be ashamed of himself. 

I have always maintained that if given indisputable evidence that Revelation was written in the reign of Nero I would be quite fine with changing my mind about that. 

As I said before, I wrote the chapter Preston references here because I find that there is evidence that supports the late-date scholarship of the Revelation and find it much more compelling than early date proponents. I also do think scholar Kenneth Gentry is wrong when it comes to his external evidence claims that he proposes. I do NOT condemn early date believers and 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 that isn't incompetent, is that I am critiquing his external evidence. That is all. I did not, was not seeking to, nor was my intent to refute partial preterism in this book.

As I say in page 25 which Preston takes out of context: "Before I get into this topic, I want to bring a disclaimer here and address that while I am not an early-date partial-preterist, I have been a part of that camp of thought before and must say that there are some very decent arguments for the Revelation being written in the 60s AD as far as using scripture and internal data in the bible goes. While I disagree with the early-date arguments it has to be noted that early date partial preterism does fit in within the realm of orthodox Christendom (thought it may be argued that it may be inconsistent). It can work as your personal eschaton as it doesn’t deny any of the basic tenets of Christianity like full preterism does. I would not classify myself as a preterist per se but if I am found preteristic in any sense then it would be similar to the likes of Albertus Pieters perhaps, who was a late-date partial preterist. Like Pieters, in the sense of eschatology, I remain increasingly convinced that because Revelation is a prophecy and is a mystery of Christ that it hasn’t been fully revealed to any of us yet, that “[no] schools of (orthodox Christianity’s) interpretation can claim any monopoly on scholarship or faith. Each group numbers many fine scholars and devout Christian believers. Therefore complete certainty in regard to the interpretation of the Apocalypse is not to be had. It’s our duty to do the best we can, to study the various systems and accept the view that seems to us right, but always with a certain amount of reservation and of respect for the opinions of others”.

 We have also never gained an answer why we can trust the scriptures if we can't trust the Church Fathers who, and this is a FACT, put the canon together of the bible. We also know the Bible has been preserved and we claim infallibility of the Scriptures despite not having manuscripts before the 3rd Century. Do you know why? Because we have the writings of the Church Fathers WHO QUOTED THE SCRIPTURE! Don's position is essentially this... and I've explained in the book and elsewhere why that's an absurd position to take that these men were ALL wrong and somehow Preston managed to get it right after 2000 years. 

The truth of the matter is this. Preston is afraid of Church History and has to undermine it as much as he can because it clearly refutes him entirely since there is NO support for full preterism...

The next thing Preston does is promote his trash book Who Is This Babylon. He makes a stupid assumption that if the Revelation is early-date then he of course must be correct about full preterism being true... apparently because he says so? 
He bizarrely claims that in his book it "identifies the city of Babylon in the book as first century Old Covenant Jerusalem" and that "if that identification is true...then virtually everything that Mr. Conley wrote in his 400 plus page book is false". 


That's first off a false assumption fallacy. Second, the Old Covenant was rendered obsolete and done away with at the Cross, not the Parousia, as I show quite clearly in my book which refutes Max King and Don Preston's bizarre heretical claim that the Old Covenant ended in AD70 with the fall of Jerusalem. 


Third, I never do give my view of Revelation. That was not my aim in the book to do so either. The aim was simple: to refute the heresy of full preterism. Nothing more. Nothing less. 
He claims "Jesus taught repeatedly that it was Old Covenant Jerusalem that had killed the prophets". His next point is that "Jesus said Jerusalem would kill him". I hate to break this to Preston but if someone murdered in the Old Covenant they were guilty of breaking the Old Covenant. There was nothing evil about the Old Covenant either. God brought about the New Covenant because the Old Covenant was a shadow of things to come and put in place to force Israel to come to the realization that they could not fill the Law and lead them to the New Covenant under the Messiah promised to come, Jesus Christ. Read Romans for crying out loud. If it were evil, Jesus wouldn't have gone through all the trouble he did with the Incarnation and fulfilling the Law and installing the promised New Covenant through the Cross for us. 


Also, no one ever claimed otherwise that Christ died outside of Jerusalem. When you can't defeat the argument I guess the next option is to just make absurd claims I suppose which is apparently what Preston has done here in this video. 

To his 3rd, 4th, and 5th points, his 3rd makes no sense because the Old Covenant was done on the Cross (Hebrews 8:1-13). Literally no one denies Jerusalem was judged. No one denies that there was a judgment on Jerusalem. I repeat. No one denies that Jerusalem would be judged. What is denied is that this event in Jerusalem was the 2nd Coming.

As for who is Babylon, despite Preston's claims, there are multiple scholars out there who do not identify Babylon as Jerusalem. I will not claim it is or isn't Jerusalem. It could be. It's not Old Covenant Jerusalem nor Old Covenant period however. The Old Covenant ended at the Cross as the New Covenant was installed then. One cannot end the Old Covenant in AD70 if the Cross ended it, period. 


All these silly claims coming from a pseudo-scholar who claims that Jews don't exist today. Preston just babbles on and on with lies interspersed in this lame video for 21 minutes straight...

By the way, if you the reader have not, and want to study early date partial preterism, I would not recommend Who Is This Babylon by Preston. He is nothing more than a sad pathetic pseudo-scholar out to make a buck off you. If you are going to and want to study early date partial preterism, I would still recommend, even if I disagree with his external evidences he puts up, Kenneth Gentry. As I said in my book, he IS a scholar, and DOES make decent coherent arguments that are totally orthodox in doctrine. In other words, being an early date partial preterist will not make you a heretic like Don K Preston with his full preterist pseudo-scholarship hogwash. For a late-date partial preterist, I would reccomend reading Albertus Pieters or William Hendriksen perhaps. 

Lastly, I want to point out these strange words from Preston: "Pretty sure he can't prove Jesus wasn't slain by Jerusalem"... This is nonsensical arguments and to be quite frank, Preston has become unhinged and is more than bizarre here. Jesus was slain in Jerusalem as a matter of fact. I have never denied this and wouldn't. Preston is making statements like this to try to make it out that I am anti-Scripture as usual. It is an attempt to discredit and distort me to his followers. It's absolutely vile, abhorrent, and dishonest. 

His argument that someone else would have to persecute Old Covenant prophets makes no sense and none of that is evidence that proves Revelation was written in the 60s AD on top of that. It also doesn't prove one iota that Christ's 2nd Coming happened in 70AD either. 

Preston rambles again that "we don't have to rely on uninspired, external arguments. We don't have to reject the inspired, internal testimony of the Scripture as Mr. Conley does".

Once again, Preston lies about me, as if I hate the Scriptures and reject Scripture. I love God and His Holy Scriptures thank you very much. I've made this perfectly clear and I've also made it perfectly clear how I view Scripture along with Tradition.

To conclude, Preston is lying as usual about me, distorting what I have wrote and said, and misrepresenting me. I will not claim perfection by any means but I do pride myself on being honest when I engage in refuting people's works by taking them in context to the best of my ability. I'll even concede if found that I did misread or take someone out of context as anyone who knows me can tell you, I have had many discussions with full preterist where I mistakenly assumed a position of there's that was not their position and quickly recanted when it was shown that what I said and claimed was not their actual position. Preston is playing dirty dishonest tactics and should be absolutely ashamed of himself. 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.


I close with these words that Preston should really read again... I've highlighted for emphasis so he can comprehend these Scriptures.
"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

"Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood". (Revelation 22:15)

2 comments:

  1. abylon is the city where the Lord was crucified.

    The Lord was crucified in Jerusalem-- Even Lance Conley understands that.

    Therefore, Babylon was Jerusalem, and Mr. Conley's book is falsified.


    That simple, that easy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's such a ridiculously absurd stretch to suggest my entire book is falsified by Babylon being Jerusalem.

      Serious scholar talk: Babylon COULD be Jerusalem. It also could very well NOT be. Debatable.

      Delete

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