TLM’S REVIEW OF THE AMERICAN VISION’S
2009 WORLDVIEW SUPER CONFERENCE III
Now that the conference is over and I’ve had a little time to relax, I can now write my review of American Vision’s Worldview Super Conference III. This is not intended to be an in-depth review of the conference as far as a critique of all of the theological content of each speakers talks etc…, but rather, a sharing of my experience and how the Lord blessed me and challenged my faith while I was there. There will be some of the former but more of the later involved in this review.
First, let me begin by expressing my experience and thoughts in a “nutshell” and then what follows will be more specifics. I must confess that I have never been served and treated with more love by a Christian staff or apologetics group than the American Vision staff. You usually can gauge these kind of things based upon the character and leadership of the organization and particularly with its president. And this is most definitely the case with Mr. DeMar. The American Vision slogan of – “Exercising dominion through servant hood” is lived out in Gary DeMar and his staff. I had a great experience at this conference and let me tell you why…
I experienced God’s Hand Moving in me ministering and being ministered to among the brethren – God’s Providence
Like-minded fellowship & open and closed doors:
“True” Preterist fellowship
I was wondering if I would be the only full preterist attending, but amazingly the first people I talked to as I was waiting in line for lunch was a married couple who were full preterists. The conversation began with then asking me what I thought of the speakers AV had lined up and of Gary North. I was honest and told them that I didn’t know much about some of them and that I didn’t care or respect Gary North because of his unrepentant and public comments of David Chilton and full preterists in general. So they asked me, “So are you a partial preterist or a ‘true’ one?” I said I’m a “true” one. They laughed and said they were as well.
My brother and sister in Christ also began telling me that they had also attended Don Preston’s conference that very same week before coming to Gary’s. I asked them if they had gotten a copy of our book “House Divided” and they said that they had. We also talked about our hope and prayers that the Lord will one day soon open Preston’s heart and mind to the doctrines of grace. Unfortunately I am bad with names and hope this brother and sister will contact me soon so I can have their email addresses and can stay in touch. I also wanted (Richard?) to write TLM some articles. We enjoyed discussing the Scriptures freely and joyfully.
I noticed that Kenneth Gentry had a booth at the conference and so I went up to give him a complimentary copy of one of our books (since he is one of our opponents) but at the time, he was involved in a conversation with an individual who was commenting on how he was not content with Gentry’s preterist interpretation of Revelation and then his inconsistent futurist view of the millennium. I said to myself, “Man I have to catch this guy later on in the conference and talk with him!” Later in the conference I came up to Darren and asked him about his thoughts on the millennium and shared my view and gave him a copy of our book and asked him to read my section on the millennium. In the course of the conversation he told me that he enjoyed reading James Jordan’s material. I asked him if he had ever listened to the Preston / Jordan debate and he said he never knew it existed (hmm, wonder why – lol?). Anyone who listened to that debate can understand why partial preterists aren’t offering it (but I am on the TLM online store – yes that was a plug). Before I left for the conference I prayed and asked the Lord to use me and took a couple of items from TLM’s online store which included two of those debates and one of Preston’s commentaries on Revelation (along with our HD book). I gave my brother the CD of the debate between Jordan (partial preterist) and Preston (“true” preterist) which he was very thankful for.
In the course of the discussion with Darren and Ken, I heard Ken tell him how his interpretation of the millennium had changed some. I didn’t catch all of it, but Ken was talking about the relationship between the martyrs in Revelation 6 with those in chapter 20 and that there was a new development in his thinking on the relationship of these two chapters. So this was the providential ground work that the Lord was laying before me as I introduced myself to Mr. Gentry and handed him our book. I told him that I had over-heard him (with others) talking to Darren about a slight change in his thinking on the millennium in connection with the martyrs in chapter 6 and wanted to know more about what that was. From what I gathered from what he was saying (if I’m not mistaken), he still believes that we are in the millennium (with certain elements of it beginning in Christ’s earthly ministry [the binding of Satan] and yet somehow it also begun in AD 70 as well – like Jordan tried to defend in his debate with Preston?). And yet at the same time he acknowledged that the martyrs of Revelation 6 whom were vindicated at Christ’s imminent return in AD 70 are the same group of martyrs in Revelation 20 that are resurrected at Christ’s return. I found what he was saying to be hard to follow (from a creedal/futurist perspective) and tried to make the following points (unfortunately most of which I couldn’t finish because he kept interrupting me with ad hominem statements):
1) The martyrs in Revelation 6 and 20 are indeed the same group that are vindicated and resurrected at Christ’s imminent return.
2) All of the main elements of the millennium in chapter 20 are described elsewhere in the NT as being imminently fulfilled by AD 70:
· The judgment and resurrection (ie. the rewarding of all men) – that is of the “living and the dead” were “at hand” “about to” and “soon” to take place in the first century (Acts 17:31; 24:25/Romans 8:18-23 cf. YLT & WEY translations; 1 Peter 4:5-7, 17). Some (“we shall not all sleep…” 1 Cor. 15:51/1 Thess. 4:15-17) would remain alive in the first century church to experience Christ’s parousia, the end (of the old covenant age and thus “the [Mosaic Torah] law), and therefore – the judgment and resurrection. This is consistent with the teaching of Christ Himself (Matthew 16:27-28; 24:27-chapter 25).
· The Great Commission or Satan being bound for the purpose of the success of this event to be fulfilled “shortly” and in Jesus’ “this generation” among the “nations.”
1) Matthew 24:14 Romans 10:18 “all the world” oikoumene
*2) Mark 13:10 Romans 16:25-26 “all nations” ethnos
3) Luke 24:46-47 Romans 16:25-26 “all nations” ethnos
4) Mark 16:15 Colossians 1:5-6 “all the world” kosmos
5) Mark 16:15 Colossians1:23 “every creature” kitisis
6) Acts 1:8 Romans 10:18 “ends [or all] of the earth/land” ge & oikoumene
*7) Acts 1:8 Revelation 14:6 “to every nation” ethnos
· The martyrs being vindicated within Jesus’ “this generation” (Matthew 23:31-36; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16/2 Thessalonians 1:4-7).
· The judgment and destruction of Satan (Romans 16:20/Genesis 3:15).
3) The recapitulation structure of Revelation disproves Gentry’s eisegesis in separating Revelation 20 as alleged end of time events with his preterist AD 70 interpretations of the previous chapters. Since he seemed to see the connection between the martyrs of Revelation 6 with that of 20, I gave him just one more example of this in relation to the judgment and rewarding of the dead in 11:18 with that of the judgment of the dead in chapter 20.
Here was Gentry’s “rebuttal” and apologetic method which hasn’t changed since the writing of his chapter in WSTTB. These included:
1) Name calling / ad hominem arguments.
· He kept interrupting me as I was trying to make many of the points above and in me making my last point in #3, there was an interruption and methodology that he used that would bring the conversation to rapid conclusion.
He asserted that Revelation 19-20 were more “chronological” chapters than the rest of the prophecy (which did use recapitulation). As I began to respond that “the death” being destroyed in chapter 19, corresponds to the same recapitulated time frame and judgment scene of the previous chapters and that of chapter 20, he interrupted me and told me that, “that is typical of “hyper-preterists” and the mindset of the cults.” Why you might ask? Well, apparently it was because I hadn’t read Gentry’s exegesis or commentary of Revelation (particularly his revised understanding of Revelation 19-20) that he is working on. Apparently my own study of Revelation and what I have read of Gentry and other partial preterists on Revelation in the past did not qualify me to correct my brother or that position.
I of course rebuked him and instead of apologizing for the ad hominem “cult” comment, he degenerated into whining and trying to get out of the conversation by stating the following objections:
· “Mike I shouldn’t talk to you because this conversation will probably lead to you writing a large article or book on this discussion.” He used me questioning him about his answer to my question about his seemingly contradictory comments on the “end of the age” in his debate with Thomas Ice on the tribulation, and questioning him on his new preterist interpretation of the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 on facebook as an example. He also stated that preterists never leave him alone and flood him with emails.
My response: 1) “It wasn’t a “book” or a long article addressing your answer and your new interpretation of Daniel 12:2. 2) He did not explain to me how writing an article on this was in anyway sinful or wrong. 3) I responded – well, don’t dispensationalists “flood” you with emails as well with questions and challenges from your writings?” He apparently thought he got me and said, “no”! My answer to this was – A) Preterists email you constantly because we are more studious in the Word of God than dispensationalists and B) you and your position have consistently and unethically avoided debating and interacting with us when we demonstrate that your partial preterist hermeneutic is not exegetical or in harmony with the analogy of the Scriptures. And C) (which was my favorite) “hasn’t North said in print that the position that doesn’t respond any more is the position that loses the debate?” To that he sarcastically said, “alright you won the debate then Mike.” Yes Ken, I did and it didn’t take longer than 10 minutes.
Apparently Ken was trying to make the case that Don Preston was misrepresenting him. He pulled off a copy of his book, THE GREATNESS OF THE GREAT COMMISSION and read to me a section on page 142, “Contrary to dispensationalism and historic premillennialism, there is but one resurrection and one judgment, which occur simultaneously at the end of history, see: Daniel 12:2; Matthew 24:31-32…” (bold emphasis added). He said, “this was a misprint, Matthew 24:31 should have been Matthew 25:31.” And he went on to say that he quoted me as saying in one place that the last days ended the “Jewish age” when in fact my editor at the time (Gary North) put that in and not me. I didn’t speak for Don, but interjected, “But you now have publically reversed your position on the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 in your revised edition of Dominion as not “one” resurrection and judgment taking place at the end of time, but rather as being fulfilled in AD 70 – thus creating two resurrections, judgments, comings of Jesus, Great Commissions, etc… So a criticism that Dispensational theology is seeing double when the NT is seeing singular – is an hypocritical and unethical argument to make. And as far as a preterist interpretation of Matthew 25:31 you have publically stated that a preterist exegesis of this text taken by DeMar and now Mathison are orthodox and acceptable (again in the revised version of Dominion).” And as far as my initial question on facebook that had to do with Gentry teaching two end of the ages in Matthew 24, that didn’t have anything to do with North’s editing did it? Did he edit that book for him too? I have caught Mathison doing this same thing with the last days being both the end of the old covenant age (when debating futurists) and then using the exact same passages claiming they are describing the “last days” of the Christian age (documented in our House Divided book).
So, I’m just not interested in Gentry’s ad hominem arguments – in which brother Joel McDurmon said can and often times do cross the line into deception and sin (the use of illogical arguments). Nor was I impressed with Gentry’s incoherent whining and sniveling. He should have stuck around and listened to Steven Camp talk about “whining” in the preaching of the gospel and apologetics. That was good stuff!
In my apologetic model, I almost compromised myself and entered into an unbiblical covenant. I almost felt sorry for Gentry and sought to find a “neutral” exegetical conversation to have with him, so I picked the 3 ½ year period in Revelation and Kistemaker’s comments on in WSTTB. Even here he said that he didn’t want to discuss that with me. I told him that IF he did, I would enter into a covenant with him and promise not to divulge it if that would relieve his fears. Thankfully and providentially he said he wasn’t interested in making any such covenant and just didn’t want to talk about Scripture with me anymore.
Brother Kendell of Logos.com
Thankfully the Lord provided much more positive fellowship in discussing the Word of God with the brethren than my discussion with Mr. Gentry. I skipped some of the Creation Science lectures and just had some excellent fellowship with Kendell – the Logos Bible Software rep. Interestingly (providentially) enough, Kendell is very good friends with Professor Warren Gage of Knox Seminary – having had him as a professor in seminary. I asked him if he was the guy writing a commentary on Revelation and he said, “that’s him!” I told him that I thought so, and that I had had some email correspondence with him through a mutual friend within the last year or two, but I haven’t communicated with him since. Kendell talked about Gage’s work on developing typology in Revelation which I too enjoyed (he sent me some of it). However, I shared with Kendell the same thing I had with Dr. Gage and that was – it’s not because the Reformed community doesn’t understand typology that is the cause of them having no consistent consensus in interpreting or understanding the book of Revelation, but rather, their inability to unite the amillennialist recapitulation structure of the book of one coming of Jesus and judgment, with the partial preterist interpretation which seeks to honor the AD 70 imminent time of the coming and judgment it addresses. I explained to Dr. Gage and Kendell that 1) being honest with the recapitulation structure of Revelation 20 with the rest of the prophecy and then 2) honoring the time texts will bring us to the full preterist view. As cool and excellent as Dr. Gage’s research into typology is (and I have read some of it and totally love it!), I don’t believe that it is the “missing link” (so to speak) to uniting the reformed community on its interpretation of the book of Revelation.
Providentially he explained some of Gage’s views on Genesis and recommended this book: http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-Genesis-Warren-Gage/dp/1579106080 From what he was saying, this is more in line with what I’m thinking in Genesis and was more useful info than was coming from some of the other speakers. I’ll have to now buy and read the book (as if I didn’t buy enough at the conference) – lol. But seriously, I know God’s hand of providence when I see it and I’m sure there is something that will be useful in that book – Lord willing.
Kendell expressed his zeal and passion for the Logos software and sharing with me how it will transform the way Pastor’s and laymen study God’s Word. I totally agreed with him as I have been using the “gold” edition or version for a while now. I thought it was providential that one of the speakers was accidentally sitting in Kendell’s workshop and said, “Ooops this a computer thing” (and said something to the affect that he was scared or intimidated by them), so he walked out. At the conclusion of Kendell’s talk I said, you know that brothers comments earlier were really sad because he just gave a lecture quoting John Calvin and his use of “decrease” (I think it was) and how important that was. And yet if that guy had this software he could do a scan of this word throughout Calvin’s works and just cut and paste it into his sermon and SAVE ALL KINDS OF TIME. And how was this relevant to the conference – well, it saves time that can be spent building the kingdom with our families or other things. I got brownie points for that. But it really is true.
I totally agree with Kendell that his software is going to change the way the Church studies the Scriptures. I think it is similar to how the Reformation and printing press gave the Bible into the hands of the average layman to study. This coupled with the preterist view (which makes Bible prophecy easy to understand) will put guys like Gentry and Strimple (the Four Views of Revelation and Millennium type books) out of business along with all of the other Dispensational “prophecy expert” propaganda out there. It is all about educating and getting fathers to take the time and due diligence to dig in and study God’s Word. If time is a problem in our culture, then Kendell and Logos help tremendously in this area.
I enjoyed hearing my brother’s passion for his profession and felt the Lord lead me to give him the one commentary by Preston on Revelation that I brought with me for such a providential encounter (along with our book). I pray about the content of what I offer on my TLM online book store and asked the Lord to use me in giving some of it away if the opportunity arose. I also wanted to give a copy to Kendell, because in my emails with Dr. Gage I recommended this commentary as a good source that was seeking to be honest both with the time texts and the recapitulation structure, and would be a helpful guide that would point him in the right direction (along with all of the wonderful typology that he was seeing) in the development of his commentary – which I really look forward to getting when it comes out. Not sure if he ever bought one, so I gave Kendell a copy to read for his studies and then pass along to his good friend. God has a good way of confirming things.
Well, if one has read my open letter to Gary North, they can readily see that I don’t have much respect for the man that many there had. I think he can be very unloving and reckless with his condemnations of other Christians – especially “true” preterists. However, that does not mean that I can’t learn from him in areas of history and Biblical economics. Although North’s lectures seemed to be one of the highlights of the conference, to be quite honest, I found them extremely boring. Not because of the content per say, but because I wasn’t on the same level as apparently most in the audience. I came to the conference wanting someone to explain to me what the Austria school of economics is and to develop from the Scriptures what a national model would be. Apparently they weren’t offering Biblical economics for beginners in this area like me.
I was tempted to hand North a copy of our book and say, “Well, since you are so interested in history and church history, I believe church historians will look back and our book was the beginning of the explosion of the preterist view for the church. So why didn’t I? Well, I just don’t like the guy and had already had a degenerating and Scripturally un-stimulating conversation with his golden boy declared by him to be the next greatest thing – so I doubted that his ad hominem style would differ much from Gentry’s. Granted, such a response would have been to “answer a fool according to his folly,” but I just assume not to stoop to that level. I’ll let time and the growth of the preterist movement decide if my convictions on this are accurate.
Joel’s topic was “Protect your wealth from liberal fallacies.” I had never heard of Joel before, but someone in one of the breaks told me that he was North’s son in-law and that he was “very loving” and “humble” unlike North and was therefore good for the movement. That was nice to hear. It says a lot about a man’s character when others speak well of him.
Joel’s presentation was very professional, eloquent, easy to follow, and well, just really good! So good that I bought his book, BIBLICAL LOGIC IN THEORY & PRACTICE. I can only hope that based upon Mr. Gentry’s chapter in WSTTB and in experiencing Gentry’s apologetic methodology in person, that he bought a copy and is reading it as well. I also hope that Joel will read our book and in particular Ed Hassertt’s Internet article refuting Gentry where he specifically deals with Gentry’s dishonesty and lack of sound logic – http://treeoflifeministries.info/index.php?view=article&catid=35%3Apreterist-eschatology-all-prophecy-fulfilled-by-ad-70&id=102%3Aedward-j-hassertt&option=com_content&Itemid=75
Since Ed has a law degree, I also hope that Herb Titus will take a look at Hassert’s methodology – I loved it!
I look forward to reading and hearing more from brother Joel.
Darren Doane & Dr. Ted Baehr
Darren spoke on “The Nitty-Gritty of Film Production” and Dr. Baehr on “So You Want to Be in Pictures?”
I am thankful that Gary gave Darren the opportunity to speak at the conference. These were the main things I walked away with:
1) You have to pursue your passions in life with diligence and having a Biblical work ethic. If you do, your work will be seen before Kings.
2) You learn by doing.
a) This involves diligence and repetition and…
b) Criticism. You will bleed, so you need to acquire a taste for blood (or thick skin).
One of the things I liked about what Darren said was that he pointed out that many people come up to him and tell him that they want to work for him. He tells them if they will film the sun coming up for 20-40 days in a row, he will higher them. He said that no one has done it yet. Here is my response – Darren, if you read my letters to Ridley Scott or Ron Howard and can catch the vision of what I’m trying to plot out there for a preterist movie and would have a desire to develop either one of those movies – then you just met your first taker of your filming the sunset offer. Hope you enjoy our book and the Preston / Jordan debate brother. I believe God through His providence caused our paths to meet.
Mr. Baehr was very astute to point out that a part of the success of the Reformation was that Luther used the printing press while the Roman Catholic Church sought to destroy it. Movies are today’s printing press. I couldn’t agree more!
Ted was so kind as to read my open letters to Ridley Scott and Ron Howard where I outline two preterist plots and themes for two movie ideas. He felt that because these men are so liberal that they wouldn’t want anything to do with them. I have heard that helpful criticism before and it very well will be the case.
He also seemed to gently insinuate that I needed to begin writing the script. And that if I would read his book, SO YOU WANT TO BE IN PICTURES? and begin writing the script he would help me if I needed help.
If that is the deal/covenant these two men will make with me, and they see the vision of this project, count me in!
If Howard and Scott don’t catch the vision, then its their loss not ours. In the case of the part 3 in the Ron Howard series, I’ll need to take my original outline and develop the same concepts – just using a different character. This would be to work from the ground up as an “outsider” and not be able to use the influence of these men and Hollywood (along with an already know character such as Tom Hank’s). But I’m used to that! No one in the Christian mainstream publishing industry caught the vision or had the courage to pick us up – their loss. Our book House Divided will over time radically change the platform of the futurist vs. preterist debate. Over time other publishers will want to pick it up and regret that they missed this the first time around.
When it came to courting publishers for our book, in the beginning I was just praying for the big names Zondervan, Baker, IVP, etc…, but as time went on, my heart yearned for a publisher that could catch “the vision” of our book and have the faith and courage to stand behind it. Literally within a week or two of us having it finished Michael B. emailed me with the contact info of Ron Wright with Vision Publishing. Providentially he just so happened to be a “true” preterist and was excited to help us out. Did we pay a little more per book going this route – yes. But will a publisher excited about what you produce win in the long run – I think so. Maybe things will change later on down the road, but if God can do this with a publisher, He can do it to create the best film ever with the most noble purpose of our day – achieving peace in the Middle East by educating all sides that peace will ONLY come “in Christ” and NOT “in the land.”
I have already been criticized greatly for these two plots by unbelievers and believers alike. It honestly doesn’t even remotely phase me. It can be done, if the Lord wants to open that door – NO ONE is going to close it let alone stop me from going through it. I tend to ask the Lord for a “sign for good” or assurance that He will “go before me” before I move ahead. However, I will begin the initial phases of reading the book, beginning the script, and then waiting to hear from Daren and Ted to see if they are serious as well.
Listening to Mr. Titus on law and government and North on history and economics reminded me of just how much I don’t know in these areas. So much of what they had to say went over my head – just being honest. However, because Herb used to be a Mormon he may see the power of my introductory comments in this article not only to a Mormon source of authority, but the traditional Reformed and Evangelical argument: http://treeoflifeministries.info/index.php?view=article&catid=35%3Apreterist-eschatology-all-prophecy-fulfilled-by-ad-70&id=118%3Amike-sullivan-&option=com_content&Itemid=75
I didn’t get a chance to talk with Herb but at one time tried. I think it would be great for him to read the intro to that article regarding the Mormon apologists methodology and the traditional arguments inability to answer it. I also would love for Mr. Titus to read Ed’s article in response to Kenneth Gentry’s “arguments” (as cited earlier).
Herb used an illustration in one of his talks with that of the Reformation and the source of authority. Using it as an illustration, he said something along the lines that the RCC was confronted for the first time with the Church not having a single man in power with divine authority to interpret it – and that the Word of God had always been the real source and was going to continue to be. I think the illustration came from the constitution as a covenant document being the final source of authority and defining the country and not liberal judges having the right to change it? I would like to hear him develop that more. As a preterists we are constantly being told by RC’s and want to be RC’s like Gentry, that their interpretations are “infallibly certain” and therefore our position can’t be true and shouldn’t have a hearing. However, the POWER and AUTHORITY reside in the Word of God and in the people of God bear testimony to its accuracy.
Creeds and confessions have been in error and are subject to change by the Body of Christ when confronted with a more accurate teaching (ex. The reformers on baptism and justification – and now preterism). But the authority of the Bible will never change and remains absolute and constant.
Intense & Memorable Exhortations
Kevin Swanson (Equipping Kingdom Warriors for the Battle of the Millennium)
I obviously don’t get out much because not only had I not heard of brother Joel and some of the other speakers, but I hadn’t been introduced and blessed by brother Swanson either. Outwardly he is a little man but inwardly he possesses the heart and oratory skills of a lion. The passion and style of exhortation is what I love!
I could do nothing but relate to every sad statistic he threw out – of children living in divorced homes and young boys growing up without godly influential fathers in their lives etc… The issue of the state raising our children through the public school system was also troubling to me. I am more than painfully aware of the things my children come home saying and thinking due to their public school environment. It disgusts me.
Kevin also brought out a point that hit hard upon my heart. He not only said that we need to be like David attacking Goliath (ungodly government and leadership) with the Word of God, but we need to be valiant warriors that are willing to lay our lives down for our brothers citing (2 Sam. 23:16). I couldn’t help but think of the verbal disagreement with Ken prior and just not caring if I didn’t see that guy ever again. I remain in a state of asking the Lord to give me grace and love for men like North and Gentry.
Since Kevin was staying in the same hotel as I was, we got to talk at breakfast and he gave me some needed counsel and some issues in my life. I also was able to give him a copy of our book. I know the Lord will be challenging him with that material as he challenged me in his messages.
Dr. Voddie Baucham (The Church & Family)
Between brother Swanson and Baucham, there was just so much godly exhortation to meditate upon concerning our roles within the family – especially the men. He hit real hard on home schooling as well. One woman stood up and asked what should a single woman do or her church do in that situation. He said the older women in the church and the church would step in and help. Being a single father raising my children during the week and every other Sunday I stood up and asked the same questions. His answer is still hard to swallow. He said that the church would help with the children and that when I got home I should begin to home school the children as the king and priest of my home. I also had to look back at what Kevin had said of homeschooling being able to get the same education done in ½ the time – if organized and done properly. So public school may take 6 hours but one could get it done in 3. But wow, after a hard day of working – could I really pull that off?
I have a lot to pray through on concerning his messages. If anything, his exhortation to me makes me cry even louder and intensely – “GOD PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, send me a wife!”
Very Practical Stuff
Byron Reese (Starting an At-Home Web Business)
I really enjoyed this brother’s lecture. A very good communicator and his talk was timely as I was sitting there with my new book which had just been shipped to me the day before the conference. I was wondering how to have more of an Internet presence. He gave some good tips.
He also was very influenced by David Chilton as I had been. Great brother – humble and has a servants heart.
Worship & Entertainment
First, I never realized Steven Camp was a Calvinist, let alone him having read Sproul’s book on preterism. We had a brief but very good conversation on the subject. He asked how I handled the resurrection and I told him in the very brief time I had. I also gave him a copy of our book and told him to check out David Green’s exposition of 1 Corinthians 15.
We both had a background and influence of Pastors John MacArthur and Chuck Smith in our lives. We also briefly talked about that.
I bought a CD of this brother’s music and listened to it on the way home. He sings Scripture and it is great! I may eventually sell it in our store.
Gary DeMar (Our Legacy)
Although Gary may be the closest partial preterist to full preterism that I know (along with Mathison), he still is able to conduct himself in a loving and humble way with us. The contrast and style is very different than that of Gentry and North. I really appreciated the love and desire to serve those how attended the conference.
Here is what impacted me from Gary’s messages:
1) He communicated that if a dumb jock who never paid attention in school in his early years can now read and write as much as he does and organize and lead AV (through the grace of God), then “anyone can do it” and none of us had an excuse. He said that it seems that everyone around him is smarter than he is, but the Lord keeps using him. This really comforted me, because I have the same “dumb jock” background and still suffer in my spelling and grammar to this day as a result. But there just aren’t any excuses!
2) Probably the most comforting words were when he said: a) find your passion and nitch, and c) become an expert in that one thing and do it for the glory of God! God has called me to develop and spread the preterist view alongside some other very courageous men (by the grace and strength of God). I know that and at the age of 40 I can’t stop writing and thinking about it. It is comforting after all of these years to finally have the Lord focus me in on this area of theology. Was DeMar saying don’t be well rounded – no.
3) He gave a closing exhortation out of Judges 6 and 8. When a nation becomes too busy and lazy in the things of God in their families and national life, the wicked will gladly fill the void. We have to take back our culture beginning in our families and work our way outward.
TLM Conclusion – Judges 7
I was greatly blessed and my faith intensely challenged by the speakers and worship services at this conference. I can only hope and pray that those few books that I gave out of our book will equally bless and challenge those it reached. Gary touched on Judges 6, 8, and 9 in his conclusion and my text will fill that gap – Judges 7. In times past some have thought full preterists were just an insignificant group of Sovereign Grace Preterists that might have an active Internet influence of around an army of 300 people. Therefore, it was easy to ignore them and not answer their difficult and challenging questions. Those days are rapidly ending as more and more people are hearing the truth.
In Judges 7 God is extremely gracious to Gideon and gave him a sign for good to confirm the direction he and Israel (his ministry) ought to go in. This calling challenged the way things should get done and with the amount of people it should take to get them done in.
God will be gracious and longsuffering towards us as we study His Word and seek confirmation among the brethren and His providence. But we do have a responsibility to act when confronted with the truth of God’s Word. You are a soldier and as such you find your purpose in following the teachings of Scripture. As a soldier, you know you don’t have many choices that will lead in dominion for you and your family other than complete surrender and obedience. You cannot turn to the right hand or the left of God’s Word (Josh. 1) in order to take God’s glory and kngdom dominion to the Church and our culture.
Choose this day who you will serve. To my traditionalist amillennialist reader (there is only one second coming in the NT) and my partial preteirst reader (the NT time texts “demand” a preterist interpreation), I can only say that we have blown the trumpet in our book, and you can either join our seemingly insignificant army of 300, or continue to pull out your swords and fight among yourselves (amillennialists vs. postmillennial partial preterists) in hopelessness and in utter contradictory confusion as we take the eschatological promised land for the glory of God. Those are the options.
May God give each of you the grace and strength to step out in faith and offer your ministries and families before God as Abraham offered up Isaac in obedience. “But how can we do something like that especially in this financial crisis?” “And what will our close friends and Pastor’s think etc…?” “We will be called heretics!” As Darren exhorted us, “bleed and get used to it and continue on…” Or as Steven Camp said, “Stop your whining.” “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” And most importantly remember, “The fear of man brings a snare, but those who trust in the Lord will be safe.” (Prov. 29:25). He will be with you no matter what (Ps. 56). As you remain faithful there might be seasons of struggle, but you WILL see God’s hand do wonderful things – in ways you could have never have imagined.