Dr. Michael Brown (Classic Premillennialist) to Debate Don Preston (Preterist)

Don Preston is an experienced debater, but its hard to debate an indefensible position. Preston announces the debate here.

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21 Comments
  • Nick
    Posted at 23:38h, 17 May

    Yes, it is quite indefensible. It is a false doctrine because Jesus was not a false prophet. I am sure that Dr. Brown will bring this out quite capably.

  • Christopher
    Posted at 00:45h, 18 May

    That debate will be won by Dr. Brown, hands down.
    It is in essence a pointless debate. There are too many promises left in scripture to fulfill.
    You can share what you believe with others but unless they have an open mind to genuinely trying to see your perspective, then your efforts are wasted.
    We should be humble toward our understanding of scripture. Only Jesus can speak with authority.

  • Casey
    Posted at 01:21h, 18 May

    Coming from a German Protestant heritage towards a more commonwealth one, I have been enjoying Dr . Brown’s work on restoring a Hebraic understanding to the faith. Will be looking forward to it.

  • Simon
    Posted at 03:26h, 18 May

    It’s worth reminding ourselves exactly what Preterism claims “from the horses mouth.”

    Here’s their list: http://www.preterist.org/articles/doctrinal_implications.asp

    In essence: relax persecuted Christians, aborted children, starving nations, oppressed citizens, sexually abused, human trafficked, any women abducted by Boko Haram, and Satan, because regarding Christ, his kingdom, and the new heavens and new earth:

    “It’s here. We can live optimistically and victoriously in it right now and indefinitely into the future.”

    Oh, happy day!

    Truly, Preterism is a view that only a contemporary westerner could hold to. Sheer insanity that is irreconcilable with reality at any level, be it personal or universal.

  • Philip Brown
    Posted at 13:13h, 20 May

    It seems to me that the Islamic Antichrist arguments for Daniel 2 could be the Achilles’ heel of preterism. Preterits do not use allegorical interpretations of Daniel 2 since the legs of iron can be argued to be Rome, with the eternal kingdom of God (Christendom) right afterwords. If one were to apply the strong arguments that the legs of iron do not represent Rome, but instead represents the Islamic Caliphate, then it pushes the kingdom of God into the future. This destroys preterism.

  • Joel
    Posted at 16:57h, 20 May

    Philip,

    I agree. However, to my surprise, Sam Storms, in his newer book Kingdom Come, argues for the legs as Greece. He has taken the liberal, historical critical perspective. Ironically, he makes some valid points as to why it does not align with rome, but then is forced to have all of Daniel’s prophecies wrap up with Antiochus, which doesn’t align with 70 A.D. which of course is the pinnacle of preterist expectation. So in reality, he shoots himself in the foot. In the end, a futurist perspective that sees the Islamic Caliphate as the fulfillment of the prophecy is the only one that is faithful to the text as well as Jesus’ relation to the text in His Olivet Discourse.

  • Adam N.
    Posted at 23:08h, 20 May

    Wow, never really thought about the Islamic End-Time paradigm being the Achilles heel of Preterism like that, interesting!

    Joel, I recently watched an evening of Eschatology with Sam Storms, John Piper, James Hamilton, and Doug Wilson. Not sure if you watched it or not, it was really good! Funny though how the subject of the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people wasn’t even on any of their radars. It’s like the major missing piece of a puzzle that they were all attempting to solve and refuse to even consider that the piece does in fact fit… Wondering what your thoughts are though about a particular issue that Sam Storms continually brings up?? The issue of how the N.T. seems to say that the 2nd Coming immediately ushers in the New Heaven and New Earth, Sam also argues for recapitalization in Revelation 19 and 20.

    I usually stand on the premillennial side, but that admittedly has always been a problem for me… How do we have nations rebelling against Christ after 1000 years of Him ruling on earth, especially in light of the fact that the rest of the N.T. seems to indicate a finality in judgment when Christ returns???

    In no way am I amillennial or preterist, just questions I have…

  • Joel
    Posted at 00:53h, 21 May

    Adam,

    Believe it or not, Sam was my teacher in Bible school. I used to attend a group at his home for a couple years. I love him. I really do. But as an avowed supercessionist / amillennialist his eschatology is simply horrific. (He calls his eschatology inclusion theology, I believe, but there is no real difference) I’ve also read his book. Its shocking the degree to which his eschatology results in such a deeply disjointed view of the Scriptures. As an example, I mentioned above how he sees Daniel’s references to the Abomination that Causes Desolation as having been fulfilled in the acts of Antiochus Epiphanes. Yet in the Olivet Discourse, where Jesus references the Abomination that Causes Desolation, and specifically tells his hearers to pay notice to what Daniel had to say, he interprets that as referring to Titus. (So much for THE Abomination of Desolation. Apparently it is merely AN Abomination that Causes Desolation.) This is what I mean by disjointed. Examples such as this abound. Sam will take one particular issue, such as the one to which you refer, and make a seemingly good case. Most often he does so through very long and well developed arguments. (This always makes me leery, if one cannot do it more simply, it becomes a bit of a smoke screen). But then when it comes to making the passage that he has just exposited relate to another passage, there is simply no consistency.

    Now, admittedly, there a few passages where it does seem to roll directly from Jesus return into the eternal state. ISa. 25 for example. However, this is simply a prophetic truncation of the future. It is an abbreviation of the future into a simplified picture. Th prophets do this quite frequently and this is something found in numerous place throughout the Scriptures, where Sam would not apply the same logic to as he does with his proof texts for amillennialism. Isaiah 9 is a classic example of such truncation. Years ago in Jerusalem, I met a couple of young Chassidic Jews who said that the reason they reject Jesus is because when they read Isa. 9 and see the messianic child being born, and he immediately ascends to the throne and rules forever. In one brief passage, only a couple of sentences, the child is born and rules the nations. Yet there is no reference whatsoever to the cross, or the two thousand year gap between then and his coming reign, etc. Admittedly the passage does read this way.

    But if we were to reject Jesus because of this, while ignoring the wealth of other passages that fill in the gaps here, we would be guilty of forming doctrine on what all Christian will acknowledge is a prophetic truncation, while ignoring all of the other very specific texts that speak to this matter. Likewise, regarding those few passages that seem to indicate that the millennium and the eternal state are one, if we were to read those and become amillennialists, while ignoring the abundant wealth of passages which paint a very different picture of the age to come, (that of a thoroughly Jewish Kingdom), we would be embracing a deeply irresponsible position that ignores the wealth of material that any Jew of Jesus day would have been well familiar with. Sad to say, this is exactly what amillennialists do. Consider for example just a tiny bit of what Sam ignores or must deconstruct or fundamentally reinterpret.

    For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7 emphasis mine)

    And this:

    “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Luke 1:31-33 emphasis mine)

    According to Storms (and any amillennialist), the “throne of David” which is obviously a reference to the Jewish royal dynasty, has absolutely no Jewish implications. It has no literal correlation to the Jewish Davidic Dynasty. Essentially, it loses its meaning entirely. The age to come which Storms believes in is a thoroughly ethnically homogenized kingdom with zero Jewish characteristics. It is a universalized kingdom, with no Jewish national distinction, that encompasses the whole earth. This is key. Amillennialism is simply Replacement Theology as it plays out after the return of Jesus. (Preterism is simply the logical play out of Replacement Theology before the return of Jesus). Amillennialism is simply the effort to sanitize the age to come of any distinctly Jewish characteristics. It must do this to support its claim that we are the new and true Israel, and the literal physical Israel is now obsolete.

    What did Jesus say? Jesus himself spoke of the time of His return and His enthronement as King, using profoundly Jewish descriptions to speak of that time.

    Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:28-29)

    According to the worldview of amillennialism, the twelve tribes no longer exist, or most certainly will not in the age to come. As I said above, after the destruction of the Temple, and the entire Torah system, the Jewish people have essentially become obsolete in God’s eyes.

    But again, this is not the picture of the age to come that the prophets painted. Israel is portrayed as being the chief among the nations:

    Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD (The Jewish Nation and Temple) will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. (Isaiah 2:1-4)

    Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favor I have had compassion on you. Your gates will be open continually; they will not be closed day or night, so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined. The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I shall make the place of My feet glorious. (Isa. 60:10-13)

    The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; and they will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation. (Isa. 60:10-15)

    Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (Zechariah 14:16-18 emphasis mine)

    The effort of amillennialists to ignore or reinterpret these passages is truly I believe, an abomination in God’s eyes.

    After Jesus returned from the grave and was now dwelling among his disciples in His immortal resurrected body, His disciples asked Him concerning the time that He would restore the kingdom to Israel:

    So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. (Acts 1:6-7)

    Jesus refused to address the timing, but assured his disciples that at the proper time, according to the time set by the Father, He Himself will return and restore the Kingdom of Israel. Amillennialists always hate this passage, casting the disciples as bumbling idiots who had no idea what they were talking about. Even John Calvin, in his commentary on this passage, states that Jesus must have looked at the disciples and thought, “How dumb can you be?!” The question that I would ask is how dumb can those who take this position be? If one simply takes the words of Scripture at face value, they will be a Premillennialist. But one needs a theological guru to become an amillennialist.

    But one of the biggest achilles heels of amillennialism is the binding of Satan. Sam actually admitted this in class. On one hand, we are to believe that Satan is now bound, yet numerous passages speak of the devil completely being free right now. (Not to mention common sense.) Read Alan Kurschner’s article on this issue here:

    http://www.alankurschner.com/2013/07/21/why-the-present-church-age-is-not-the-millennium-the-devil-is-on-the-loose-not-fettered/

    I hope this has helped. I understand that I am barely skimming the surface.

    Bless you!

  • Adam N.
    Posted at 02:19h, 21 May

    Absolutely! Thanks for taking the time to answer! Yeah, I’ve listened to Sam give some very good pastoral messages before, I like the guy, but I’m amazed at how he and others like John Piper who are clearly Men of God, seem to utterly fail and miss it on such an important issue as the Jewish people. Hard to disbelieve in healing when you’ve already saw it with your own eyes. Hard to believe in replacement theology when they’re already back in the land,lol!

    I pray their eyes are opened on this matter!

    Thanks though for your thoughts on the issue…

  • Joel
    Posted at 09:38h, 21 May

    Piper is a premillennialist.

  • Adam N.
    Posted at 20:44h, 21 May

    Yeah, but I believe he is based on his reading of Revelation 19-20 alone, not because of any belief concerning the regathering of Israel. I think he’s into replacement theology… Either way, I believe he loves and is used by God. I just choose to pray for him…

  • Nick
    Posted at 22:03h, 21 May

    Hi Joel, do you have any articles on premillenialism, specifically post-trib or pre-trib? What do you lean more toward?

  • Joel
    Posted at 02:37h, 22 May

    I lean toward Pre-Wrath, Post-Trib.

  • Alan Kurschner
    Posted at 15:20h, 23 May

    Adam,

    Next summer I am publishing a book from a futurist premillennial perspective. I have a lot of theology in common with Storms, but he is deeply mistaken in his hermeneutic and application on eschatology. And the pretrib exegetes out there are not doing a good job in responding to him. The title of my books is as such:

    _Premillennialism Answering Amillennialism: A Rebuttal of Sam Storms on the Binding of Satan_ (Pompton Lakes, NJ: Eschatos Publishing, 2015)

    It will be focused on Revelation 19:11–20:6 (incidentally, many amills including Storms commit what I call the “chapter-break” fallacy, by beginning their exposition at Rev 20:1. This is not where the narrative begins. So it biases an amill reading). See my brief article here:

    http://www.alankurschner.com/2011/12/04/premillennial-nuggets-a-plea-to-amillennialists-to-read-revelation-201-6-in-context/

    “I recently watched an evening of Eschatology with Sam Storms, John Piper, James Hamilton, and Doug Wilson.” There were some good points, but unfortunately, there were no futurists represented in this discussion. Which I found odd. Both Piper and Hamilton are historcists. True, it was on the millennium; however, a futurist interpretation can give a more robust and biblical treatment on this issue, in my opinion, than historicists can.

    One of the presuppositions that I will be addressing in my book is that amills assume a simple eschatology. That is basically when Christ returns…ZAP…judgment is finished, everything transformed, etc in a twinkling of an eye, pun intended. Incidentally, many posttribs also fall into this faulty presupposition. However, Christ will be glorified in the complex nature of his judgments, redemption, and his rule in the physical kingdom as the biblical texts convey.

    The book will not cover the issue of the salvation of Israel, since my thesis is focused on when the binding of Satan occurs: at the first coming or the second coming? The salvation of Israel topic is a book in itself.

    I hope that helps.

    Regards,

    Alan

  • Nick
    Posted at 16:40h, 23 May

    I might have a few questions, bear with me! Also read your Biblical Fall Feasts PDF, specifically “OVERVIEW OF THE RETURN OF THE MESSIAH, HIS VICTORIOUS PROCESSION AND THE ULTIMATE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY.” There is a section that you highlight that takes place after the Rapture and upon entering Jerusalem: “Jesus and the procession will free prisoners of the Antichrist.” Are these prisoners those who were not raptured because of unbelief, yet did not take the mark of the beast?

    Also, there is a section that you highlight: “The children and remnant of the peoples of the Antichrist and the Gentile nations will come to repent and serve Israel and Jesus her king.” Are these peoples those who lived in the Gentile/Antichristic nations that also did not receive the mark of the beast (my guess is that they previously went into hiding)?

    Hopefully these questions make sense. Thank you for your time to review these.

    Blessings,
    Nick

  • Alan Kurschner
    Posted at 22:20h, 23 May

    Nick,

    Who are you addressing? I am not aware of this –> Biblical Fall Feasts PDF

  • Nick
    Posted at 22:39h, 23 May

    For Joel

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:27h, 24 May

    Nick,

    I cannot answer concerning the issue of the Mark of the Beast. But it is clear that many Jews and even those from the surrounding nations will survive and be forgiven at the onset of the coming Kingdom.

  • Joel
    Posted at 22:49h, 24 May

    Apart from taking some verses out of Revelation and interpreting them literally, is there one single verse in the NT that actually males a case for the millenium.

    Most bible teachers read the OT through the lens of the more perfect covernant and revelation of the NT. I dind it odd to read it the other way around.

    The millennium is not merely defined by a period of 1000 years, but it is defined by the restoration of the Jewish Davidic Kingdom. As such, every verse that speaks of anything Jewish in the age to come is a proof text for the millennium. I cited several above.

    As for your other comments, yes, the OT is read through the understanding revealed in the New. And yes, the New Covenant replaces the Mosaic Covenant, but not the Abrahamic nor the Davidic. Most Christians do not even know the difference. The Abrahamic Covenant and Davidic covenants are unconditional, unilateral and everlasting. This is where Supercessionists universally get it wrong. Either they blur all of the “Old Testament” into one vague “Old Covenant” or they argue that these other covenants have been reinterpreted by the New Covanent. But “reinterpreted” is really just a code word and smoke screen for changed and done away with. But God is not a promise breaker. It’s quite simple.

  • Adam N.
    Posted at 00:38h, 25 May

    Thanks Alan, look forward to reading the material!

  • Nick
    Posted at 16:45h, 26 May

    Thanks Joel!

    Also, to both Alan and Joel, let your ministries be blessed beyond measure. Your research and contending for the faith are not in vain.

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