Bunch-V- Preston Written Debate
Don K. Preston’s First Negative
I am glad to receive Larry’s first Affirmative, such as it is.
Let me say first that I apologize for the delay in response. I had posted to Larry informing him that I would be in Orlando, Fl., for several days, and sent a post to the board, but, for some reason my explanatory note did not get posted to the forum. Nonetheless, here is my first negative.
I find it interesting that in my first affirmative, I carefully defined all of the terms in the proposition, just as is supposed to be done. However, you will note that LARRY DID NOT DEFINE ONE SINGLE WORD OF HIS PROPOSITION!
I suspect this was no mere oversight, but was done on purpose, and here is the why. LARRY IS AFFIRMING THE END OF WHAT THE BIBLE-BOTH O. T AND NEW- SAYS IS UNENDING!
When predicting the establishment of the church, Isaiah said that the government would be on the shoulders of messiah, "and of the increase of his government and of peace, there shall be no end." Now, the increase of the government can only come through evangelism. Thus, for Isaiah to say that the increase of Christ’s government will never end means that man, on earth, being taught and converted by the gospel, will never end! So, Larry can claim-without so much as offering a word of proof yet-that time will end.
The problem is that the Bible affirms that the church, as a teaching, evangelizing, growing body, will never end! Larry, will there be any evangelism after this supposed "end of time" scenario that you are affirming?
Jesus said that the covenant world of his Word, i.e. the gospel, WILL NEVER PASS AWAY (Matthew 24:35). What is the covenant world of the gospel? It is the church? What is the gospel? It is the proclamation of the good news of salvation in Christ-to the lost! In Larry’s view however, the gospel -and its pillar and ground the church- will one day become a museum piece as it were. The gospel will no longer be proclaimed, the church will no longer function as the church.
Incidentally, notice the vision of Revelation AFTER "THE END." We find the resurrection (20:12-15-21:1f). Then, outside the New Jerusalem, there are still nations, but the gates of the city are ALWAYS OPEN FOR THE NATIONS TO COME IN (21:24f)! What do they come in for? FOR HEALING (Revelation 22:1-4)!! LARRY, IN YOUR VIEW OF "THE END OF TIME" WILL THERE BE ANYONE LEAVING THE OUTSIDE, TO COME INSIDE, FOR HEALING?
In Ephesians 3:20-21, Paul wrote of the church as a fellowshipping, teaching body, and said: "Unto Him (God), be glory in the church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, age without end!" Here Paul affirms, in one of the strongest of all Greek expressions, the unending nature of the church age!
Yet, Larry is affirming the end of the current Christian age! Although as noted, he carefully avoided defining what his proposition actually meant!
SO, NO MATTER WHAT ELSE LARRY MAY AFFIRM, HIS PROPOSITION IS FALSIFIED. He affirms the end of the current Christian age. The Bible affirms that the Christian age has no end! That means there is not, and cannot be a resurrection at the end of the current Christian age. Larry’s proposition is falsified on this one fundamental fact. Now to address Larry’s arguments, and let it be noted that in sharp contrast to Larry, who finally openly stated what was obvious to any impartial reader of his "negatives": <I’m not going to do this (refute me, DKP), by examining all his affirmative arguments.> Larry openly stated that he was not going to follow my affirmatives! Unlike him, however, I will go to his texts of appeal, and exegetically and contextually prove his false application of them.
Larry argues that John 5:24-29 posits two different resurrections, of two totally disparate natures. There is no proof for this in the text, and further, Larry is completely ignoring the context for this prophecy.
Incidentally, I have a lengthy article on John 5 on my website:
While Larry does not want to discuss the O.T. let me say again that WITHOUT STUDYING THE O.T. YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE NEW! I asked Larry if it was possible to properly interpret any text, if you ignored its source and context. He ignored the question, simply insisting that he does not need the O. T. to understand the New. Well, in spite of his protestations, let me say again that if we ignore the fact that all N. T. references/predictions of the resurrection are based on, and drawn from God’s O.T. promises to Israel, then we cannot properly interpret the N. T., and will, like Larry has, misunderstand what the N. T. is saying. Paul said his gospel was NOTHING but what was found in Moses and the Law and the prophets (Acts 24:14f; 26:21f!
This is also clear in John 5 if we are willing to see.
Note that Jesus spoke of his "now" and a THEN. He spoke of SOME (v.25), and he spoke of ALL (v.29). He spoke of some to LIFE in his NOW, and the ALL to life or CONDEMNATION. What we have in John 5 is A PROCESS BEGUN, AND AWAITING CONSUMMATION. It is not two resurrections of two different kinds of dead ones, from two different kinds of graves! What had begun in Jesus’ NOW, would be consummated in the coming "the hour is coming."
John speaks here of the last hour, and in 1 John 2:18 he said, "Little children, it is the last hour. As you have heard that anti-christ is coming, even now there are many anti-christs, whereby you know that it is the last hour!" So, in John 5 Jesus predicted the "last hour," and in 1 John the apostle said the "last hour" was upon them! Larry, is "the last hour" of 1 John 2 the last hour of John 5? If not, why not?
Note that Jesus predicted the coming resurrection of both JUST AND UNJUST.
Remember that Jesus came to confirm the promises made to the O.T. fathers, (Romans 15:8)! DID THE O.T. PROPHETS PREDICT THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND UNJUST? Yes. In Daniel 12:2f, Daniel overheard the prediction: "Many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting life, some to everlasting shame and contempt." In verse 6, one angel asks another when these things would be fulfilled. Heaven’s answer (v.7), was, "When the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things will be fulfilled."
So, while Larry claims that in John, "There is nothing in what Jesus says that indicates some kind of resurrection at the destruction of Jerusalem!", the only way Larry can say this is to TOTALLY IGNORE THE O.T. SOURCE AND CONTEXT OF JESUS’ PREDICTION! WHEN WE HONOR THE BIBLICAL CONTEXT, John 5 is posited firmly within the context of A.D. 70.
Larry, here is my response to your first affirmative:
John 5:28-29 foretold the resurrection of the just and unjust at the time of the end, in fulfillment of the promises to Israel.
But, Daniel 12:2-7 predicted the resurrection of the just and unjust at the time of the end, in fulfillment of the promises to Israel, when the power of the holy people was completely shattered.
The power of the holy people was completely shattered in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Therefore, the resurrection of the just and unjust, at the time of the end, in fulfillment of the promises to Israel, was fulfilled at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Technically, Larry’s entire affirmative, including his confused comments on
1 Corinthians 15, is falsified in light of Daniel’s inspired wor
ds. Larry’s refusal to study the O. T. is again exposed as faulty and dangerous. Now to
1 Corinthians 15.
Larry’s confusion begins early.
He argues: <The resurrection of Jesus is under consideration; His resurrection from the tomb; the resurrection of His dead physical body.
Consequently, the subject under consideration, concerning saints, is what happens to the physical body!>
There are several problems here.
1.) Naturally, the discussion does mention Jesus’ physical resurrection.
But, Paul’s point is not that Christians are resurrected biologically just like Jesus, and Larry will even be forced to agree with this! Here is why.
Larry argues that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is of transformed, immortalized human corpses. Yet, he then argues that Christ was raised out of the tomb. Here is the point: CHRIST WAS RAISED UNCHANGED FROM THE TOMB! Jesus was not raised in an immortal, incorruptible human body! So, Larry, are you going to maintain your argument that Christians must be raised exactly like Jesus- UNCHANGED? Now, there was a change in Jesus at his
resurrection. However, IT WAS NOT A BIOLOGICAL ALTERATION, it was a COVENANTAL TRANSFORMATION. See 1 Peter 3:18. Like Paul, Peter is not speaking of any change in biological substance, but a change in covenantal
stance, from flesh to spirit.
2.) Paul’s, and the Bible’s, point in directing attention to the physical resurrection of Jesus is that IT WAS A SIGN AND GUARANTEE OF THE GREATER, SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION THAT WAS THE FOCUS OF THE ENTIRE STORY OF ESCHATOLOGY!
The focus of the eschatological resurrection is the overcoming of the death introduced by Adam: <As in Adam all men die, even so in Christ shall men be made alive> (1 Corinthians 15:22). That is sin-death. Loss of fellowship
with God, not the loss of biological life! John emphatically called Jesus’ physical resurrection a sign ( John 20:30-31; Cf. Matthew 16), and I should not have to remind you that a sign never signifies itself, but points to something else.
3.) On the nature of the death that was the focus of the resurrection, I asked Larry: <Did Adam and Eve die the very day they ate of the fruit? Larry responded simply, <Yes.> LARRY, YOU HERE ADMIT THAT ADAM AND EVE DID NOT DIE PHYSICALLY THE DAY THEY ATE THE FRUIT. God did not say "in the day you eat, you will BEGIN to die,
and eventually, hundreds of years from then you will die." Adam and Eve did die, THAT DAY, because they lost spiritual life and fellowship!
Here then is the argument, that fundamentally refutes Larry’s entire paradigm on 1 Corinthians 15. The eschatological resurrection predicted in 1 Corinthians 15 would be the overcoming of the death introduced by Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22). But, the death introduced by Adam was spiritual death, loss of spiritual fellowship (not biological death-as witnessed by Larry Bunch). Therefore, the eschatological resurrection predicted in 1 Corinthians 15 would be the overcoming of spiritual death, loss of fellowship with God, (not the resurrection from biological death).
4.) Larry fails to see that the focus of Paul’s initial discussion in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, is not WHAT is raised, but, WHO is raised! Paul was not disputing anyone who denied the resurrection, per se. He was refuting those who denied the resurrection of those who had died before Christ! IT IS CRITICAL TO SEE THAT THEY DID NOT DENY THE RESURRECTION OF CHRISTIAN DEAD!
This is indisputably clear in v. 18f, where Paul uses their own doctrine against them through implication. If they denied that the dead ones are raised, then, "those ALSO who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished." They DID BELIEVE that "the dead ones" had or would perish; THEY DID NOT BELIEVE that those who had died IN CHRIST had perished. This proves that they were not denying the resurrection, per se, BUT ONLY THE RESURRECTION OF A CERTAIN GROUP OF THE DEAD. Who was that?
Significantly, Larry never addresses this issue, yet, it strikes at the heart of his doctrine. JESUS WAS THE FIRST FRUIT OF THOSE WHO HAD FALLEN ASLEEP BEFORE HIM. That is the undeniable force of the PERFECT TENSE Greek of v. 20. Paul did not simply say here that Christ was the first to be raised from the dead, although he does say so, with incredible implications, elsewhere. Paul says that Christ was the first fruit of those who had died
before he (Jesus) died, and that refers to O.T. Israel. On to a critical related point.
Jesus was the first fruit of the resurrection. He was the first of those who had died before him to be raised from the death of Adam. Consider this carefully! In Acts 26:21f, a text Larry cited from the ESV, it states clearly that CHRIST WAS THE FIRST TO BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD!
Larry, was Jesus the first person to be raised from physical death? Yes or No? JESUS WAS, IN PAUL’S RESURRECTION THEOLOGY, THE FIRST TO BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD! Now, it is abundantly clear that other folks had been raised from physical death, in both the O.T. and in the gospels. Which of course means
that if physical death is the focus of 1 Corinthians 15, then Paul lied, for he said CHRIST WAS THE FIRST TO BE RAISED! In what way was Christ the first person to be raised from the dead?
CHRIST WAS THE VERY FIRST PERSON TO BE RAISED FROM THE DEATH OF ADAM, THE FOCUS OF PAUL’S RESURRECTION THEOLOGY IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15. This means, incontrovertibly, that the death of Adam was not physical death, and the resurrection to overcome the death of Adam is not physical resurrection!
Jesus was the first person to be raised from the death of Adam (Acts 26:21-23).
But Jesus was not the first person to be raised from physical death. Therefore, the death of Adam was not physical death.
The death of Adam was not physical death (Larry has implicitly agreed with this).
But, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 was to overcome the death of Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 was not to overcome physical death.
In my preliminary questions to Larry, I asked him to define as specifically as possible, "the law" that Paul called "the strength of sin." In his answer Larry defines the Law that is the strength of sin AS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS
CHRIST!!: <We are under law today, the Law of Christ, but under this law we can have forgiveness of sins through Christ (v.57). However, the POWER of sin is STILL the law! Without law, there would be no sin and without sin
there would be no sting of death).>>
This is surely one of the most confused statements possible, and impugns the gospel of Christ.
1.) THE GOSPEL IS NOT THE STRENGTH OF SIN, it delivers us from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-3). Larry, how can the law of the Spirit of life, that delivers us from the law of sin and death, be, at the same time, the
law that gives sin its strength? HOW CAN THE GOSPEL BOTH EXACERBATE THE PROBLEM OF SIN, AND YET, DELIVER US FROM THAT SIN?
2.) IT WAS THE OLD COVENANT THAT WAS THE STRENGTH OF SIN! It was the Law-the
Mosaic Law- that entered that sin might abound-not the gospel (Romans 5:20f)! It was the Mosaic Law that Paul said was given for the good, BUT BROUGHT DEATH INSTEAD (Romans 7:7f). Larry, does the gospel bring death or
life? Paul called the O.T. the ministration of death, because it could not give life (2 Corinthians 3; Galatians 3:20-21). Larry, does the gospel bring death or life? And if life, has not the law of sin and death been overcome?
And if the Law of sin and death-the problem of the Garden!– has been overcome, then 1 Corinthians 15 is fulfilled.
4.) Larry’s definition of "the Law" as the gospel violates Paul’s use of the term. Paul uses the term <the
law> 117 times in his epistles. When he uses that term without a qualifier-i.e. the Law of the Spirit of Christ, or "the law of sin and death", HE INVARIABLY REFERS TO THE MOSAIC COVENANT! There is no qualifier in 1 Corinthians 15 that remotely suggests that Paul is violating his preponderate use of the term!
5.) Note again Hebrews 9. The Torah prevented man from entering the MHP (Hebrews 9:6-10).
When Torah ended, through fulfillment, man could enter the MHP. In Corinthians, the removal of the Law that was the strength of sin would bring life.
LARRY SAYS THE TORAH IS REMOVED, BUT THAT MAN TODAY STILL CANNOT ENTER THE MHP! Thus, man is today still under the Mosaic Law, OR, THE GOSPEL HAS REPLACED THE MOSAIC LAW AS THE BARRIER BETWEEN MAN AND GOD! I asked Larry <WHAT IS THE DEFICIENCY OF THE NEW COVENANT THAT STILL
PREVENTS MAN, ALTHOUGH NO LONGER UNDER THE O. T., FROM ENTERING THE MHP?> He completely, 100% ignored my question and the issue! It is grossly confused to claim that the gospel is the strength of sin. Well, more on this later. Let me now frame some "time frame" arguments to Larry’s affirmative.
I call attention again to Daniel 12:2-7. Notice the parallels with 1 Corinthian15.
Daniel foretold the resurrection (v. 2); 1 Corinthians 15 predicted the resurrection.
In Daniel, the resurrection would be in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. In Corinthians the resurrection would be in fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel (15:54-56).
Daniel foretold the time of the end (v. 4); Corinthians foretold the time of the end (v. 19f).
Daniel foretold the time of the kingdom (v. 3->Matthew 13:43); Corinthians foretold the time of the kingdom.
Daniel foretold the resurrection to eternal life; Corinthians foretold the resurrection to eternal life.
Daniel’s prediction would be fulfilled in A.D. 70: "when the power of the holy people is completely shattered" (v. 7). Corinthians would be fulfilled at the consummation of Israel’s promises, and Paul affirmed that not all of his audience would die before the resurrection (15:50-51).
Larry’s assertion that all Paul was saying is that not all Christians or humans would die before the parousia amounts to a tautology, and reduces Paul’s words to an adsurdum.
HERE ARE SIX DIRECT, PERFECT PARALLELS, and Daniel’s time statement agrees perfectly with Paul’s. This demands that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be fulfilled "when the power of the holy people is completely
shattered" i.e. in A.D. 70.
Let me prove this even further, in refutation of Larry’s confused attempt to explain 1 Corinthians.
1.) THE RESURRECTION OF 1 CORINTHIANS 15 WOULD BE IN FULFILLMENT OF ISAIAH 25:8 (1 Corinthians 15:54-55) <<Then shall be brought to pass the saying…> Larry’s self-contradictory confusion in this regard is disturbing. First, he tells us that Paul’s hope and prediction of the resurrection would NOT be in fulfillment of Isaiah and Hosea. Then, when I asked him pointedly to answer whether Paul did say the resurrection would be in fulfillment of God’s O.T. promises to Israel, i.e. Isaiah 25 and Hosea, he says (again), <I don’t know.> Well, I say again, that Paul did not share Larry’s confusion about where his eschatological hope of the resurrection was found.
2.) THE TIME OF THE RESURRECTION PROPHESIED IN ISAIAH 25 WOULD BE THE TIME OF ISRAEL’S SALVATION: <It will be said in that day (the day of resurrection, the Messianic Banquet, on Mt. Zion, etc. v. 6-8), ‘Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.>
3.) THE TIME OF ISRAEL’S SALVATION WOULD BE THE TIME OF THE COMING OF THE LORD IN JUDGMENT OF ISRAEL FOR SHEDDING INNOCENT BLOOD (ROMANS 11:26-27->ISAIAH 59:2-7, 17-20). Paul was anticipating this day in Romans 11:26-27.
Larry argued that the coming of Romans 11 (and thus Isaiah 59), was Jesus’ incarnation. But, I proved -not simply asserted- that Isaiah’s predicted coming would be Christ’s coming in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent
blood. I asked Larry when Christ came in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, but of course, he ignored that question. THE ANSWER OF COURSE, IS FOUND IN MATTHEW 23:29-39, AND IS A.D. 70.
So, here is the condensed, succinct argument in response to Larry’s affirmative-and of course we will have a lot more to say next time.
The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8f.
The resurrection of Isaiah 25:8f would be the time of Israel’s salvation (Isaiah 25:8-9).
The time of Israel’s salvation would be the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:3-20).
The judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood was in A.D. 70 (Matthew 23).
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 occurred at the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, in A.D. 70.
I am confident that Larry will ignore this argument that based on the indisputable statements of scripture, but, the argument stands valid nonetheless.
Here is what I have done in my negative:
I have shown that THE CHRISTIAN AGE HAS NO END, and thus, Larry’s proposition is falsified.
I have responded to Larry’s two passages of appeal John 5 and 1 Corinthians 15.
I have shown that both passages would be fulfilled at the climax of the Old Covenant age of Israel.
I have shown that both Daniel 12 and Isaiah 25, with Isaiah 59, posit the resurrection directly and pointedly at the judgment of Old Covenant Israel in A.D. 70.
I have therefore, falsified Larry’s first affirmative.
The only thing Larry got right was to say that Paul clearly taught his (Paul’s) doctrine of resurrection. Unfortunately Larry has denied the source, context, framework and nature of Paul’s doctrine, and as a result has
completely distorted what Paul clearly does say.