Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Last Days According to Jesus

R. C. Sproul wrote a book responding to the "false prophet" charge, defending a "partial preterist" understanding of eschatology.

13 comments:

Paul Manata said...

And I defend Sproul's (or, "the")partial-preterist position on exapologist's blog,in this combox.

Paul Manata said...

I also made a post on it on T-blog.

exapologist said...

I encourage others to come see what paul said on my blog as well. :)

Paul Manata said...

yes, the main thing I want the readers to see is that exapologist totally fails to respond, opting instead to simply *assert* how my post was ridiculous.

I mean, if he's going to bodly proclaim that Christianity is "clearly false" and then crumble under the weight of even a mild refutation, I'd say that Christianity is sitting pretty w/respects to the "challengers" we have in the blogosphere.

Anonymous said...

I've read Sprouls book and it wasn't one of his best works. He seemed to me he reluctantly came into the partially preterist camp by the end but hadn't even convinced himself.

freshread said...

What of the interpretation that the scene of the Transfiguration follows closely on the heals of the immenancy prediction (this generation will see the son of man come in his glory...)?

Paul Manata said...

freshread,

that's anothe rviable option.

indeed, the trasfiguration is refered to as "a coming" and so it appears that there are more than one "comings" of Christ in Scripture.

People need to distinguish comings from the second advent, which is the second *bodily* coming of Christ.

exapologist said...

For my part, I side with William Lane Craig when it comes to the implausibility of preterism. It's worth quoting Craig's critique of Wright's partial preterism (which occured in his review of Wright's tome on the resurrection of Jesus) at some length in this connection (sorry, but I can't resist using a greater apologist to refute a lesser apologist):

"...Wright defends in his earlier books [i.e. his books prior to his tome on the resurrection of Jesus]...the view that Jesus' prophecies of the coming of the Son of Man in judgement were fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem. Wright repeatedly asserts that Jews did not anticipate "the end of the space-time universe" at the coming of the Kingdom of God, but a shift within history. I wondered in reading those earlier works how Wright would interpret Paul's teaching that the general resurrection of the dead would take place at Christ's return (I Thess. 4:13; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 51-54), teaching which was given prior to AD 70. Surely Wright did not believe tht the predicted resurrection took place in AD 70? Certainly not; Wright maintains that the second stage of the resurrection remains future. But if that is the case, in what principled way can we discriminate prophecies concerning Christ's return in AD 70 from those concerning his final return? Are we really to think that Paul, writing in the AD 50s, took the return of Christ and the attendant resurrection to be something different than the return predicted by Jesus and anticipated by the early church (Mk. 13)?" Craig, William Lane. "Review of N.T. Wright's "Christian Origins and the Question of God Vol. 3: The Resurrection of the Son of God"", Faith and Philosophy, Vol. 22, No. 2 (April 2005), pp. 241-242.

Regards,

exapologist

Steven Carr said...

'Wright repeatedly asserts that Jews did not anticipate "the end of the space-time universe" at the coming of the Kingdom of God, but a shift within history.'

CARR
Sadly, Wright never deals with the imagery of the metaphors used to describe what will happen with the world.

Hebrews 1, which also talks about 'the last days' that believers are now living in, has this in verses 10-12

'He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.

You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.'

The writer clearly intends to contrast the God who remains, with the world, which will be rolled up and discarded like a garment.

To roll up and discard a garment means to discard it, to get rid of it. It will perish.

What is that if not 'the end of the space-time continuum'?

I'm curious also that Paul accepts that Jews had no problem with the idea of Jesus appearing in a non-bodily form when he 'came' to earth after his death....

And that he can assert that Jesus returned to judge Jerusalem and so fulfilled prophecy without even thinking that he ought to give some evidence that Jesus returned to judge Jerusalem and so fulfilled prophecy.

James said...

Exapologist said:

(sorry, but I can't resist using a greater apologist to refute a lesser apologist)

As a sidenote, I think it should be pointed out that while you attack Paul's ability (calling him an amateur apologist elsewhere and making a point to point out that William Craig is a "greater apologist") and credibility as an apologist, you are posting behind a fake name! What is your real name so that we know who you are?

I say this only because you have chosen to engage in circumstantial ad homs and I promise you that for almost every position that you hold philosophically as an atheist, I can find a more prominent atheist that disagrees with you. There are atheists who believe that the logical problem of evil is dead in the water, that morality is objective, etc. etc. What exactly is your point when making such comments exapologist?

exapologist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
exapologist said...

Hi james,

I think you're absolutely right: that was a completely childish thing of me to say to Paul. It was a cut-n-paste taken from a separate discussion with him. I actually forgot that the paranthetical remark was in there (which just goes to show that you shouldn't post things on a blog off-the-cuff).

In the context of the original post, I was responding with a bit of indignation to what I took to be an intellectually dishonest and vindictive reply to a post on my blog. In any case, that doesn't make it right to do the same in turn.

Many of my friends and family doen't yet know about my deconversion. Furthermore, an acquaintance of mine has been harrassed and threatened by Christians who've frequented his blog, and I don't want to run the same risk by giving my name out.

In any case, I don't know where you're getting the idea that I'm an atheist, or that I'm not a moral objectivist. But you're certainly right that there are many atheists -- many of whom are much smarter than I am -- who reject my positions on a number of points. As Plantinga has said, "that's just life in philosophy." All you can do is reason as best as you can, and then call them as one sees them (tentatively and defeasibly, of course).

Why do I do it? For a number of reasons. But one of them is that I agree with Richard John Neuhaus that a "naked public square" is deplorable in a society that claims to be democratic. I think we need to discuss our ideas and arguments publicly for the sake of gaining true beliefs and discarding false beliefs, for our own good and for the public good. So, if I say something true or reasonable, then others can benefit from it. The same goes for me: I can acuire true and reasonable beliefs from you and others. If you or others show me that one or my arguments is faulty or otherwise dubious, then I gain from the experience by discarding faulty or dubious beliefs. Thus, if I state my views and arguments honestly, fairly, and publicly, then whether I'm right or wrong, I can't lose.

Of course, all of this requires a good deal of faith, hope, and charity with respect to others, where we all play fair, and are interested in the truth. I, for one, am excited about such a vision of the democratic life.

All the best,

exapologist

Jason said...

Hey, Ex!

After some delay for composition (and to take care of other matters), I've posted up an essay in reply to what I take to have been the essay you addressed to me. It's in the previous thread Victor set up for you. (Only 2400 words! Go me! Woot! {ggg!} Some people will consider this to be an improvement on my part... {beam!})

Jason