Donald Perry 2/9/2020 8:26 AM
5 Davis Ave.
Kearny, NJ 07032
The American Vision PO Box 220
Powder Springs, GA 30127
Dear Gary DeMar,
Re: Is it possible to hold Full-Preterists accountable to a Partial Preterist soteriology and eschatology through the Partial Preterism system and if so how? And, is the cross and tribulation still our means of vindication after the fulfillment of Matthew 24?
Introduction: I am glad I have finally been able to reach you, I had given up hope, it only took 20 years. The reason why I do not like writing is that it can take more time in my experience, and more often than not it will lead to being pigeonholed. Talking on the phone works better for me. But I will try and narrow down what I would like to talk about in as few words as
possible. I wanted to discuss Partial Preterism and Reconstructionism with someone who could answer questions accurately, in my estimation you represent the quintessence of that doctrine in your writings. I had contacted John Bray in the past, but at that time he was unable to think through my questions or give any answers.
I do have a library, but not one of 20,000 books, I count a mere 665. I do not think I need to read a book to understand your position. I am familiar with your position and have devoted over 20 years of my life in the subject of Preterism, as well as other studies. I have written a commentary on Eschatology and tried to answer other Scriptures in the Bible. I have spent a lot of time in the material of Keith Mathison, Kenneth Gentry, and Ray Sutton for example.
Presently since 2017 I have been attending reformed church Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, NJ. They wish that I attend the Wednesday night meetings to become a member.
My Position: My position is what I would call a form of idealism expressed in “the already but not yet” concerning the coming of AD 70, but a realist-futurist (without emphasis on idealism) concerning the Second Coming of 1 Cor. 15:27, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians
15, Acts 1:11 to come future.
Tribulation Is Where I Anchor My Soteriology: We know that Christ has not yet come because we are still in the “already but not yet” of resurrection, and Christ has yet to conquer all things in us and in the world. I think we can understand Matthew 24 as having an “already but not yet” fulfillment. In the fullest sense this will happen when the church has reached maturity, Revelation 19:7, Rev. 1-3. And Scripturally, this only happens through persecution, otherwise the church is only committed in part, in part to the world and in part to our Lord. Paul may have touched on this in 1 Corinthians 15:29-32 “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, … But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife.” Likewise, we see in Matthew 13:21-23 “For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word,
and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some
thirty.” Therefore, tribulation is a key part in Christ putting all things under His feet. Of our Lord it says in Hebrews 5:7-9 “[W]ho, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,… “
In the Christian life defined by Scripture, the “word” (Matthew 13:21) brings tribulation and the coming of AD 70 Revelation 1-3. Revelation 1-3 brings about an understanding of the necessary and vital ideological understanding of how we are to then live according to an expectation of judgment in the world and vindication with Christ. As the Gospel is preached there will inevitably be persecution and tribulation followed by judgments and vindication, Hebrews 11 shows this. It is through this and the example of Matt. 24 that the Lord will come to a holy church. In other words, Christ did not merely live under the law, He lived under lawless persecution as seen above in Hebrews 5:7-9 and in the Psalms. Christ uses tribulation throughout the NT to put all things under His feet. Even when we go to Isaiah or Rev. 21-22 that glorious city is surrounded by the wicked and is only realized in Christ and not in the world!
This being the case, there is therefore nothing preterist in an ideological sense about 33-70 AD. In a historical sense, yes I agree. Antichrists cannot build an Antichrist temple in the future, where after God will call it “THE TEMPLE OF GOD” defined by Paul under the direction of the Holy Spirit in 2 Thessalonians 2. Therefore, neither the coming of Matthew 24, nor the tribulation is preterist, having been fulfilled (ideologically), as did John Bray imply. The view supports a Christian life without hope of necessary sanctification, and suffering in sowing the word, which must eventually be followed by tribulation and death with Christ as we carry the cross today. In effect I see in Reconstructionism an eschatology that has been reversed from what I find in the Old and New Testament
Defining The White Horse: I suppose we could argue, it is the Christian life represented in the New Testament that disproves such a position. But in a reverse eschatology defined by a new age within the Partial Preterist Reconstructionist system the main body of Scripture can no longer define it. Christ, Paul, and that age is no longer an example for victory through the cross, humiliation, shame and death, being overcome by the world (Revelation 13:7, Daniel 7:22) yet victoriously crowned through those selfsame means. I understand that Reconstructionism claims victories, those victories through God’s plan, but how can it receive a crown rightly having averted the cross and the definitions of that previous age? The crowns in the Millennium and New Jerusalem point foremost to that already but not yet generation of the Apostles and not some other age,
The Creeds: After one reads through John Bray, what can one say to prove that Christ will come in the future through Partial Preterism? What hope does Bray offer, he did not provide a futurist position, as he said on page 284. When you say all of Matthew 24 is fulfilled it follows that all of Matthew 25 is fulfilled, and then all of Revelation is fulfilled, they all stand or fall together. Bray is like the emperor with no clothes to identify AD 70 as the end of the age, and then say “…fulfillment in the first century . As I see it, this does not preclude a resurrection in
the future for all men, nor a final judgment for the entire world.” Matthew 24 repeats Revelation
20 in 24:45-51 and 25:14-46. The only answer that works logically and consistently is the one I have provided, and it is not preterist. Can you demonstrate a logical answer through Partial Preterism after saying Matthew 24 is fulfilled? I do not think it will be consistent. Mathison (Postmillennialism An Eschatology Of Hope) nor Sam Frost (Why I Left Full-Preterism and Misplaced Hope) etc. do not offer such solutions from their Partial Preterist systems, they merely point to the creeds and the necessity of the end thereby.
Your truly in Christ, Donald Perry