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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Refuting Full Preterist Articles: Caleb Graham's "Eternal In Nature Upon Past Fulfillment"

We are going to refute this next article by Caleb Graham, a full preterist, linked below so you can read it for yourself: https://authenticrev.wordpress.com/2019/12/23/eternal-in-nature-upon-past-fulfillment/

This should be a short one since Caleb wrote a short article here.

Caleb writes: "Hermeneutics basically means your approach or method of interpretation. 'Sound hermeneutics,' to me, is just a way of saying it’s a reasonable, legitimate, healthy, and valid approach to use, as opposed to an 'unsound hermeneutic', or an approach that is more likely to lead to misinterpretation, confusion, etc…"

Hermeneutics are defined as a branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. A hermeneutic is a method or a theory of interpretation. It's not actually something that is subjective either when we are talking about biblical hermeneutics. 

"Biblical hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. It is part of the broader field of hermeneutics, which involves the study of principles of interpretation for all forms of communication, nonverbal and verbal".[1].

He writes that: "One of the foundational approaches I’ve developed in regards to the Full Preterist View is this idea of something being: "Eternal In Nature Upon Past Fulfillment”. So what does that even mean? ... It means that something can be “FULFILLED” in the sense that it was “Bible Prophecy” but that doesn’t always mean it “stopped” or came to complete termination, and sometimes the topic the prophecy was referring to involved something that had an ETERNAL NATURE. One example in the Bible of something that is “Eternal In Nature Upon Past Fulfillment” is the Kingdom of God. It came long ago, but it’s here presently and is everlasting… the fulfillment of the PROPHECIES about that eternal Kingdom coming, are fulfilled, but it’s nature is an ETERNAL nature, and thus is still here and available to believers today by faith in Christ."

If you didn't catch what the heck he is talking about, he is saying that he believes that just because bible prophecy might be fulfilled does not neccessarily mean that everything ends or is terminated. He doesn't really specify what he is talking about in this article except claim that somehow, although he believes prophecy is all fulfilled, that because the Kingdom of God is of an "eternal nature" that means that it is available still to all believers today by faith in Jesus Christ. 

To make this claim Caleb Graham has to reject sound hermeneutics. For example, with biblical hermeneutics we must use methods to explore the meaning of Scripture and explicate on that. This requires touching on things like grammar and exegesis, or looking at the interpretation of certain words and letters and looking at what they mean in that language and also looking at the audience relevance as well. 

There's multiple ways to do this but Caleb's whole method of interpretation falls flat at the end of the day when we are studying the NT by looking at words in the bible and explicating on them. We can use the Greek word eklektos as an example. God's Kingdom can be eternal as Caleb says but there is no reason that this means that the Kingdom of God is available to all believers today by faith in Jesus Christ. 

Especially so, is this true if the elect were all gathered in AD 70 as Caleb will claim has to have taken place in AD 70 in some way or another, in order to fulfill Matthew 24:31. The elect or eklektos are those chosen by God (a noun). It can also mean to vote as a verb or choose. The elect in the NT are those who inherit God's Kingdom. Eklektos is temporal, never eternal. Once someone or something is chosen, it has been chosen. That is it. 

Romans 11:25-27 says: Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

If we are to take audience relevance and apply time texts in the fashion that Graham wants us to do... well I will bolden key words for you so you can see the problem going on. 

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”.

The word "fullness" here is pleroma and is used numerically in the same fashion as it is used in Mark 8 regarding a basket being filled to the brim with fish and loaves. In the same way once all the Gentiles have come in and been filled to the brim, then ALL Israel will be saved and the Deliverer will banish ungodliness from Jacob and this will be His covenant WITH THEM when He takes away THEIR sins. This is all referring to the chosen people of God, the eklektos. This is for THEM, not Caleb Graham. He cannot be part of the chosen people of God as the promise was fulfilled in AD 70 and cannot be eternal since election is not eternal. One does not continue voting forever and ever for all eternity. Once the election is over, the elect have been elected and that is it. This also being numeric because of the word pleroma being used in the same fashion as Mark 8 it is used shows us that Romans 11 is numeric. One must conclude, with sound hermeneutics of interpretation therefore that salvation came for Israel, the elect people of God then in AD 70 and will not come again for those who are the non-elect, the loipoi, as The Deliverer was to come for THEM and take away THEIR sins. In other words, Caleb Graham cannot be part of this eternal kingdom of God. None of us could be if he was correct about time texts (and thankfully Graham is wrong).

This is how we use biblical hermeneutics correctly instead of making stuff up and displaying shoddy works from a subjective, postmodernist, make it up as one goes method of interpretation. As one can see, full preterism falls flat on its face like it always has. 


[1] Ferguson, Sinclair B; David F Wright; J. I. Packer (1988). New Dictionary of Theology. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-1400-0.

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