DOBBS’ EIGHTH RESPONSE
It is not necessary for the negative to examine convoluted affirmative assertions.
His only responsibility is to show the affirmative’s position is wrong.
There is a difference, brother Preston, in argument and in position, in assertion and in proof.
Here is a properly constructed argument:
1. Jesus will return from heaven to earth a second and final time (Acts 1:11; Heb 9:28).
2. When Jesus comes the ultimate time, the universe as originally created will disappear Rev 6:12-17; 2 Pet 3:8-11.
3. The created universe has not ceased to exist; therefore, Jesus did not make an ultimate return in A. D. 70.
The Bible begins with the creation of a material universe and ends when the created universe ceases.
Any theory that denies this basic teaching is false.
The above syllogism shows at least two things:
(a) The far-fetched theory of “Realized Eschatology” is wrong; and
(b) Demonstrates the proper way to present an argument (this is for the edification of brother Preston).
There are at least two ways in which Jesus can be said to return, or appear … one is figurative (not literal) and the other is actual (not figurative).
A basic rule of hermeneutics is that everything is literal, unless the context demands a figurative application. If we do not follow that fundamental principle of understanding and explaining biblical texts, we will wander aimlessly in a labyrinth, like the muddle and jumble of those advocating “Realized Eschatology.” The presentations of Don Preston are a case in point.
The final appearance of Jesus, mentioned in 2 Pet 3:8-11, Heb 9:28, and Rev 3:12-17, brings total destruction of the created universe. Any appearance of Jesus that does not bring total destruction of the created universe must therefore be figurative, and is not his ultimate return. That is true, for instance, of Matt 24:30. We know that appearance of Jesus was symbolic because it did not bring the total destruction of the created universe.
Preston teaches Jesus made a literal return in A. D. 70, raised the dead … judged the people of all nations of all time … and made the final decision on the eternal destiny of all who ever lived, were living, or ever would live.
Jesus said, “Believe it not” (Matt 24:23, 26).
Richard McPherson, a preterit-collaborator of Don Preston, holds this position (that the final resurrection is past already) and therefore believes baptism has not been required since 70 A.D.
McPherson is consistent with his realized eschatology theory.
If he is coherent, Preston should hold the same position as McPherson. (McPherson also teaches physical death ceased in A. D. 70!)
Furthermore, Preston should not eat the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:26); nor have a wife (Matt 22:30).
Burden of Proof
It is the responsibility of the affirmative to attempt to prove his proposition; it is the responsibility of the negative to disprove the affirmative’s position. It would be illogical for the negative to accept the burden of proof.
Preston, in virtually every paper, demands the negative prove something. He wants the negative to answer the affirmative’s ridiculous assertions. Assertion (emphatic statement that something is true) is not proof of anything. The negative is not required to answer assertions.
Preston demands the negative not only prove something, but that he prove a negative. Here is what Present demands:
“To negate my argument Dobbs must prove:
That the resurrection of Daniel 12 and … Matthew 13 are not the same.
That Jesus was not citing Daniel 12:3 as the source of his prediction in Matt 13:43.
That the end of the age in Dan 12 is not the same end of the age in Matt 13.”
Preston wants me to prove something is not!
It is not the business of the negative to prove anything – his duty is to disprove; neither is it the responsibility of the negative to prove that something is not.
Here is Preston’s junior-high-school technique: He reads something in the Old Testament prophets that is totally unrelated to his proposition. He then cries, “Oh, look, it’s a bunny rabbit.” He belligerently demands that the negative prove that it not a bunny rabbit. If the negative will not take his succor-bait, Preston cries, “My opponent is desperate. I have proved that it is a bunny rabbit.”
Jesus said his ultimate return would occur after “a long time” (Matt 25:19).
Preston says Jesus made his ultimate return after a short time.
Who shall we believe? Preston? Or Jesus?