Email Exchanges

Email Exchange with a New Covenant Pastor

An Email Exchange with a New Covenant Pastor From Kansas City

Some Background on the Following Email Exchange

Covenant Eschatology is on the move everywhere! Thanks to the efforts of Joseph Vincent and others, just recently a new fellowship group began in Kansas City, Mo. The good folks there asked me to post the details of their meeting times and location and I was more than happy to do so. However, after that posting, their pastor became very angry and demanded that the listing and information be removed immediately. This was a shock to the group since they had, per their reports to me, been led to believe that the minister, while not a preterist, was not opposed to the listing.
In the ensuing days, the minister, Vince Stigall, became increasingly hostile toward the group. It is reported to me that he claimed to have spoken with five fellow ministers in Kansas City, all of whom reportedly knew of our ministry and all vocally called me a heretic. Interestingly, although Mr. Stigall supposedly claimed that all five of the ministers said that they knew that I was well known as a heretic, one of those ministers– Mr. Steve Ward– claims in his correspondence below that he had never heard of me. There is a contradiction between Mr. Stigall’s story and Mr. Ward’s.
As a result of all of this, invitations were sent via email inviting any of the men to meet me in formal public debate to defend their charges of heresy against me. All of the men refused. Then, in the ensuing correspondence between myself and Mr. Vincent, with Mr. Vincent forwarding our correspondence to those ministers, Mr. Steve Ward, of the Heritage Baptist church, sent a post directly to me. He and I then began a correspondence over the next few days.
As you will be able to see, Mr. Ward refused to engage in serious, respectful, Christian dialogue. He was condescending and arrogant. He made not one solitary argument from scripture, even though I asked him to do so. He made a presumptuous argument from Wallace’s Greek grammar, but when I demonstrated the fallacy of his argument, he simply grew hostile. He appealed more to church history– as confused as it is– than to Scripture. He refused to answer a single question posed by me, and he misrepresented the arguments that I made. These actions suggest that Mr. Ward was simply desperate to avoid the issues.
The sort of arrogance manifested by Mr. Ward is truly a sad testimony. Fellow-believers should be able to dialogue honorably on matters of disagreement, in a non-judgmental, respectful, courteous manner.
I am posting this exchange so that our readers can examine the utter inability of the opponent’s of Covenant Eschatology to actually deal with the issues.
At the end of the exchange with Mr. Ward, I will also give an post from a Mr. Arbogast, a member of Mr. Ward’s church. Mr. Arbogast posted to me and suggested that my posts to Mr. Ward had been less than “charitable.” I will also give my response to that post.
 
 
 
—– Original Message —–
From: Heritage Baptist Church
To: don preston
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 4:19 PM
Subject: RE: Regarding Web Articles
Mr. Preston,
Though you did not seem to address me directly in the email, it appeared that you only sent it to me. So I will respond as though you meant for your message to be directed to me, though your lack of courtesy and respect makes me seriously doubt that you have meant to address a person whom you have never met.
Response: Actually, Steve, I did not personally send that to you. I was responding to Joseph who forwarded your message to me.
Steve Ward said– I don’t know who you are, beyond the exposure that has come up since two men that I have never met sent me an email explaining that somehow they thought that my doctrinal beliefs were an affront to you and equivalent to an accusation against you personally of heresy. Once again, let me state that I did not know who you were before these emails have forced me to find out.
As stated in my email quoted below, one of these gentlemen has since tried to coerce me into a public debate with you without a shred of initiation, intent or interest on my behalf. Once again, let me state that I did not know who you were before these emails have forced me to find out.
You sent me an email and in a seemingly arrogant manner you indicated that you think I (and several other pastors whom I know and love) am paranoid about having a dialog with you, and then you make another abstract statement about the alleged charges of heresy (whether you meant me or someone else, I do not know). Once again, let me state that I did not know who you were before these emails have forced me to find out.
Response: Steve, let me say that in no way at all was I expressing an arrogant attitude. I am very glad to say that the charge of arrogance is not one that has been laid at my feet, even in the polemic arena. I apologize if it came across that way.
Steve Ward said– As I mentioned to Joseph, I have no reason to debate you. This is not because I fear that you are superior to me in knowledge and wisdom, or that I lack the ability to defend my position (though your email seems to indicate arrogantly that this is the case).
Response: Actually, I think that you do have a reason to debate me. Whether you had previously charged me with heresy or not, you have now done so by charging me with preaching another gospel, which per your own citation of scripture, places me outside the pale of salvation. It seems to me that honor demands that you defend your accusation against me.
Steve Ward said– As I mentioned before, I don’t know you at all, except to now have learned that you teach and appear to be one of the main proponents of Covenantal Eschatology.
Now even though I do not hold to the beliefs of Covenantal Eschatology, I have no reason to debate you, for the Scriptures stand upon their own merit. I do not have to argue against you that “the natural body” is the very thing that is raised as a “spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15.44) in the resurrection of the dead (pl). Paul stated it in undeniable terms and believers in the Body of Christ have proclaimed it by the power of the Spirit for thousands of years. If you disagree with the words of Paul, you do not need to challenge me to a debate, for your issue is with the text of the Scriptures.
Response: Steve, you will excuse me, but this entire paragraph smacks of the arrogance that you accuse me of. Your statements are presuppositional, and ad hominem.
You assume that “the body” of 1 Corinthians is referent to a human body, not even considering the possibility that Paul is speaking of a corporate body. Yes, “dead ones” is plural, but Paul also uses the singular “body” in the previous verses. Also, Paul uses the present passive verbs, 9 times, in 1 Corinthians 15 to speak of the resurrection, meaning that the resurrection was already underway. Do you accept this undeniable textual fact, and its implications? Your view of the body being the biological soma of a human being hardly agrees with the text in this regard.
You appeal to the tradition of the church for 2000 years. Which tradition and message would that be, Steve? Would that be the chiliast view, (or now the dispensational), the amillennial, or the postmillennial paradigm?
The Jews had an unbroken chain of 1500 years of tradition and history on their side, and this is why they killed the Lord.
Yohan Eck made the identical appeal to tradition and the fathers when Luther was on trial. He challenged the audience to consider which of the church fathers, which of the councils, which of the Creeds taught what Luther did? I will follow Luther in his response on this.
I must also note your comment that the scriptures stand on their own merit and do not need argumentation. Steve, I say as kindly and humbly as I know how that you must surely understand how naive and wrong this is.
If the scriptures stand on their own merit and need no explication or defense, then surely Paul had no need to go into the synagogues and there reason with the Jews from the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Paul’s entire ministry could surely be called un-necessary, given your logic, since the scriptures need no defending!
To refer to Eck and Luther again, did either man take your view of scripture?
And what of Calvin? Did Calvin take your view of apologetics and the un-necessary nature of polemic?
Again, Steve, I say as kindly as possible that your statement in this regard is surely not well thought out. The entire history of Christianity can in one sense be described as an on-going debate, whether with society, with unbelievers, or within its ranks as sincere believers discussed differences within the body and sought to better understand the issues.
Were all of these debates and discussions un-necessary?
Your comment here comes across as simply an excuse not to engage in polemics. It can hardly be defended historically or scripturally.>
Steve Ward said– So, please, do not try to take some form of comfort and self satisfaction that you are intimidating and other people are afraid to hold forth the Gospel of Christ against your beliefs.
If I have misinterpreted your words in the email you sent, please forgive any tone that I thought of arrogance that I though you implied.
——
Steve Ward said– On a personal note, after reading through some of the information about you and your beliefs on the web site given to me by these men, I want to offer some counsel. I do not know you, nor do I know your situation. But please keep this in the back of your mind.
If some day you realize that the Gospel that the Body of Christ has been proclaiming for that last 2,000 years is indeed true – that the Spirit of God is blessing all of the nations and granting repentance and faith as the dominion of the risen Lord is advancing through this Gospel – please do not let your pride keep you from repenting and being restored to the Body of Christ.
Response: Again, Steve, please forgive me, but this truly does come across as arrogance. You assume your position is correct. You assume that you cannot be wrong. You assume that the church cannot have been wrong. I believe you when you say that you are not attacking me personally. And I appreciate this. Nor am I attacking you personally. I trust that you love the Lord, and I know that I love Him and His Word.
I am only a student of that Word and do not claim to know all the answers. What I do know is that the traditional paradigms do not answer the challenges facing the church in regard to eschatology. (I was raised a fifth generation amillennialist). You say that you accept the tremendous significance of A.D. 70, and that you espouse Covenant Theology. From my perspective, this is good. I would suggest that you follow the hermeneutic that led you that view consistently. When / if you do, you will become an advocate of Covenant Eschatology.>>
Steve Ward said– I have seen men who developed a hatred of Arminians, a hatred of Dispensationalists, and eventually were quite pleased to do nothing but withdraw from, and hurl scorn upon the churches in the world today. I have seen it drive them to beliefs and actions completely contrary to the Scriptures, with their hatred blinding them from the simple truth of the Gospel.
But then they realized that they were far away from the Gospel. They were far away from God through the Lord Jesus.
I know you think you are convinced in your viewpoints. But I also think that perhaps you may struggle to hold off the realization that you are devoted, not to the proclamation of the Gospel, but to the tearing down of the Body of Christ. Perhaps your deeds fit the description of those mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:14-17.
Response: This is simply unfair. My only goal in life is to glorify my Lord, and to build up the body of Christ. I most assuredly do not struggle to hold off the idea that I am tearing down the body of Christ.
I am seeking to answer some of the most troubling questions that have and do confront the church from our enemies. To do this, it is sometimes necessary to point out that our traditional concepts are in fact wrong. Do you not agree?
No futurist eschatology can answer the challenges of the atheists, the Muslims, the Jews, who all claim, correctly, that Jesus said he was coming back in his generation. Those enemies of the Cross have the same literalistic concept of Christ’s parousia as you, and they know–as you admit and claim– that he did not come back visibly, physically. As a result, they deny the inspiration of scripture, and the Deity of Jesus. And their accusations are being successful!
Your eschatology cannot stand up to their charges. Covenant Eschatology can and does.
I have gone on a bit, and I must close.
I look forward to hearing from you again very soon.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston >>
Steve Ward said– I do not say this as a personal attack. I am not going to post this publicly. I only leave it to you to consider between you and the Lord of Hosts. I only say it out of love.
But please consider this and if such a day of repentance comes, do not delay to be restored. Though there is indeed much to be frustrated about in many modern churches, I have seen the incredible power of the risen Lord, flowing through the Body of Christ as He equips it and sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts for the building up of the Body. As Paul states, this work of the Spirit is also the seal…the down-payment of the inheritance of the Body of Christ, until God redeems the Church as his own possession. I think your beliefs may compel you to believe that this day is already passed, but if you fail to find the power of God through Covenantal Eschatology Fellowships, consider that you may find it in the Church.
Sincerely,
Steve Ward
Pastor, Heritage Baptist Church
**************************************
—– Original Message —–
From: Heritage Baptist Church
To: don preston
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 12:31 PM
Subject: RE: Regarding Web Articles
Mr. Preston,
You have asked me to consider the following statement:
“Paul uses the present passive verbs, 9 times, in 1 Corinthians 15 to speak of the resurrection, meaning that the resurrection was already underway. Do you accept this undeniable textual fact, and its implications? Your view of the body being the biological soma of a human being hardly agrees with the text in this regard.”
In so doing, you are asserting that the Greek grammar of the text necessitates that Paul meant to communicate that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening as he was writing the letter based on the use of the present passive formation.
Is this correct?
Steve
********************
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Regarding Web Articles
From: “don preston” <dkpret@cableone.net>
Date: Thu, April 23, 2009 6:15 am
To: “Heritage Baptist Church”
Steve, allow me to answer your question with a question:
1 Corinthians 15:2– “by which you are saved” is– like the other nine instances of the present passive in the chapter– a present passive.
Did Paul mean to say that their salvation was taking place at that time?
Paul uses aorists, he uses future tenses, and he uses present passives. He (the Spirit!), knew how to use the Greek tenses. What is the linguistic, grammatical basis for altering the present passives into future tenses?
Ray Summers, Essentials of New Testament Greek, (p. 35)– The Present Passive Tense: “The significance of the passive voice is the same in Greek as it is in English – the subject is being acted upon by an outside agent, is receiving the action. Present active luo, ‘I am loosing’; present passive luomai, ‘I am being loosed.’ Thus the present passive pictures continuous action received by the subject in present time.”
Please understand that this is only a tiny fraction of my reason for understanding the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 as a first century event.
Thanks for your question and correspondence.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston
***********************************
This post contains both Mr. Ward’s post and my responses to him.
—– Original Message —–
From: Heritage Baptist Church
To: don preston
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 10:24 AM
Subject: RE: Regarding Web Articles
Steve Ward said– Let me call your attention to the words you used. You stated to me,
Do you accept this undeniable textual fact, and its implications? Your view of the body being the biological soma of a human being hardly agrees with the text in this regard.” (Emphasis yours, not mine.)
You base your statement on the grammatical tense of the Greek language, namely the present tense and passive voice. I have given you an opportunity to relent of the incredibly strong statement that, in your words, is an “undeniable textual fact”.
You did not do so.>
Response: Steve, is it an undeniable fact that the text of 1 Corinthians specifically and unambiguously utilizes the present passive indicatives? Yes or No?
Now since anyone that can even begin to read the text knows the answer to this question, the only question that remains is how to understand those texts, correct?
I pointedly asked if the present passive indicative in 1 Corinthians 15:2 was to be understood as a past event, a present, progressive event, or a totally future event. You refused to answer the question. Very revealing, Steve.
Now Steve Ward said–
“What is the linguistic, grammatical basis for altering the present passives into future tenses?”
Daniel Wallace does an excellent job presenting standard Greek grammatical classifications and discussion of the aspects of Greek Grammar in his book “Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics”. This book is a standard text for seminary students studying Greek Grammar. There you will find that, in answer to your latest question, in the Greek language tense is not an indicator of time as we think of the English present tense; it is the speaker’s presentation of the verbal action with reference to its aspect, and under only certain conditions is it an indicator of time!
Wallace details 11 categorical classifications of the present tense as found in the usage of Koine Greek literature. There, you will find a basic overview to show that the present tense is used to portray the verbal action as an internal or progressive event, without regard for beginning or end. The tense may be used to speak of an event that happened in the past time, the present time, or the future time.
Now there is one of the 11 categories of classifications where yes, indeed the verbal action is intended to be understood as happening at the moment of speaking.
But what of the other 10 categories of uses of the present tense in Koine Greek? Things like the “Progressive present”, “Iterative Present”, “Customary Present”, “Gnomic Present”, “Historic Present”, or, most pertinent to our discussion and your question to me – the “Futuristic Present”.
All of these commonly used categories of the present tense in the Greek language describe the verbal action in ways that do not indicate that the action is happening at the moment of speaking. There are many examples in which the present tense is used in the Greek language to describe a future event.
So, basic understanding of Greek grammar proves that it cannot be that based upon the tense of the word that it is an “undeniable textual fact” that Paul spoke of the resurrection of the dead was happening the moment he wrote his epistle. Your only appeal to me from the Scriptures was a false statement. You did not make this statement in the course of casual discussion, but emphasizing that my views must be wrong.>
Response: Steve, this is where your condescending and arrogance shines the worst. Also, you are guilty of major, logical fallacies.
1.) You assume that I am unaware of the different uses of the present tense.
2.) You assume that I have not analyzed those possible uses.
3.) You assume that your position is correct.
4.) You assume that since some instances of the present tense do not indicate progressive action, that this demands that it is so in 1 Corinthians 15. Your proof? Not a key stroke of proof was offered.
Steve, are you affirming that the present tense verbs never indicate time of action? Yes or No?
Steve, are you affirming that Dan Wallace affirms that the present tense never indicates time of action? Yes or No?
You confidently assert, with no proof whatsoever, that there is no time element involved in the present passive indicatives in Corinthians– all the while ignoring my question about time in v. 2. Now, let’s do this, shall we? Let’s take a closer look at the possibilities for the use of the present passive indicatives. First of all, allow me to refresh your memory a bit about the present tense verbs in the Greek.
While time is secondary in the Greek present tense, with the Actionsart being primary, when the verb is in the indicative, time is indicated.
Second, surely you will remember that Wallace’s list– and in virtually all the grammars, the eleven possible uses are listed by rank or order.
This means of course, that for your position to be even close to valid, and have any credence whatsoever, that you must be able exegetically to demonstrate that every single one of the higher ranked possible uses of the present tense must be eliminated.
Did you offer so much as a syllable of exegesis to show that the present passive indicatives do not, and cannot utilize the present progressive usage? Of course you didn’t. So, let’s do a little Greek lesson here, shall we? Let’s see which one of the definitions (uses) of the present passive indicative best fits. For brevity, I will list the nine classifications most commonly accepted, which Wallace expands on a bit, but in final analysis it does not radically alter what I will present.
Under the heading of Narrow Band Presents, we have the punctiliar, and Aorist possibilities. Now, you cannot affirm that this is the usage in Corinthians, right?
Then, the second ranked, in order of preferred usage, we have the Progressive Present. Since this is of such high ranking or order of preferred usage, I am only following the Greek grammars in suggesting that we honor this usage in Corinthians. This is especially true when I have massive corroborative evidence within and without 1 Corinthians 15 to support the idea that the resurrection was in fact on-going when Paul wrote!
Let me illustrate:
You are a proponent of New Covenant Theology. You believe that the kingdom is a current– progressive present tense— reality. Am I right, Steve?
Well, the fact is that the kingdom and the resurrection are synchronous events. The resurrection comes at the time of the manifestation and reception of the kingdom (Matthew 25:31f; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 11:15f).
Now, let’s take a look at the present tense verbs in 1 Corinthians, and I will ask that you please answer my question directly, without obfuscation or evasion.
Paul says of Christ “for he must reign.” This is from a present infinitive verb, correct?
Steve, do you believe that we must honor the present infinitive verb as indicative of the then present kingdom / rule of Christ? Yes or No?
If they were in the process— “We are receiving a kingdom” (present active participle, Hebrews 12:28)– of receiving the present rule of Christ, (or would you say that is a timeless participle???), and since the resurrection and kingdom are synchronous, then upon what grammatical, exegetical principle do you deny that the present passive indicatives must be taken in a special (low ranked) sense? This violates the connection between kingdom and resurrection.
Now, since you put such stock in your (misplaced) denial of the temporal element in the present tenses, can we not deny the present infinitive in reference to Christ’s rule / kingdom?
If not, why not?
I will very eagerly await your response to these questions. Well, back to our Greek lesson.
We then have the Broad-Band Presents. Under this heading we have:
Present of past action that is still in progress. We could perhaps list this as a Present as a Perfect. (As you know, I assume, some of these headings (uses) are so closely related that it is difficult to delineate between them. I am just listing them to demonstrate the difficulty that you face in ruling out the temporality of the present tense). Here, of course, the action is durative. John said “the axe is laid at the root.” The axe had been laid at the root and was still at the root.
Iterative Presents– Would you argue that the resurrection that Paul addressed is something that happens over and over, Steve?
As a subset of the Iterative, we might, if you wish, list the InChoative or Conative Present, which is very close to the Iterative. But, of course, even if one granted this usage, it is destructive to your view, right Steve? Would you argue that the resurrection had begun and was a present, on-going, although interrupted, present tense?
Now, here is an interesting, to say the least, point to ponder. Paul says Christ was the first fruit of the resurrection. Right? Well, that means that the resurrection was present. So, even if we take the inchoative, (Iterative if you please, or even the Present as a Perfect), application of the present tense, then this demands that the resurrection was indeed present in the first century, although interrupted (or even durative!!)! Are you going to now adopt the dispensational gap theory, Steve, and argue for a 2000 year gap between the first fruit and the harvest?
Here is what you theology does:
Christ’s first fruit resurrection occurred at the end of the age (Hebrews 9:26).
That was at the end of the Old Covenant age–not the end of the Christian age, correct?
But, in your theology, even though the first fruit of the harvest occurred at the end of one age, the harvest occurs at the end of another age that is totally unrelated to age in which the first fruit occurred!
What is your justification for bifurcating the first fruit of the harvest, from the harvest????
Well, to continue.
Customary or Lifestyle Present– Neither you or I would argue that this is the usage in Corinthians, correct?
Gnomic Presents– You would not argue that the resurrection is a timeless event that simply happens without time limits, would you, Steve? Of course not!
Then we come to the Special Uses of the Present: (Please take note that these are Special Usages, not the normal customary uses!)
Historical or Dramatic Present– Now, I am pretty confident that you would not argue that Paul is speaking of a past event as if it were currently taking place, right Steve?
Futuristic Present– Of course, this is what you want to argue for, but, there are problems with this:
A.) The futuristic present has a somewhat dramatic flair to it, and, “it typically adds the connotations of immediacy and certainty.” So, are you willing to acknowledge the immediacy and certainty of the resurrection, from Paul’s perspective, in 1 Corinthians 15, in order to affirm that the present passives are futuristic presents? Of course, this would agree perfectly with his statement that not all of the Corinthians would die before the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51).
B.) The futuristic present is virtually the last in the order or rank of preferred usages of the present tenses. So, Steve, the burden of proof is squarely on you to show that we must reject all of the previous, preferred usages of the present tense– most of which indicate at least some sort of present time action!!– and take all of the present passive indicatives in a futuristic sense! What is your proof that we must accept one of the Special Uses of the present tense? I did not read one syllable of proof– other than your ad hominem appeal to church history. Of course, you have already refused to answer which part of church history we should cling to and honor, chiliast, (and dispensational), amillennial or postmillennial. Which one of these traditions is the one, Steve?
Steve, what is your textual, exegetical proof for rejecting the higher ranked usages of the present tense, and appealing to (demanding!), the Special Usage, all the while insisting that we honor the present tense that speaks of Christ’s rule, and the sanctification of the Corinthians?
Now, please, no appeal to 2000 years of church history!
No ad hominem arguments!
No presuppositional arguments!
Sola Scriptura!!
You very condescendingly have told Joseph and me, that if I had even a beginner’s knowledge of the Greek that I would not have made my argument. I suspect you have shared the same with your compatriots. Well, teach me, brother! Show where my analysis is wrong! Show me why we must appeal to one of the “Special” uses of the present tense. Demonstrate from the text why I should, must, reject all of the higher ranked usages of the present tense verbs, and turn Paul’s repeated use of the present passive indicatives into future tenses!
Steve Ward said– “You are asserting things that you do not know as “undeniable” truth.”>
Response: Here is what I do know:
I know that the present passive indicatives are used repeatedly in 1 Corinthians 15. By the way, Steve, would you deny that sanctification was / is an ongoing, present, progressive reality? You know, as in 1 Corinthians 15:2? Paul uses the present passive indicative in 2 Corinthians 3:16 to speak of this. Well, he likewise says, “the death is being put down (katargetai— third person, singular, present indicative, passive).
I know that I am following the rules of Greek grammar in accepting the highest ranked definition of the present tenses.
I know that it takes overwhelming contextual evidence to establish the Special Usage of the present tense.
I know that the burden of proof is on you to produce the definitive evidence for rejecting the (preferred) progressive use of the present tenses in Corinthians.
I know that you offered not a single key stroke of proof for your position!
You said that Dan Wallace shows that there are non-time usages of the present tense. You assume and presume that this means that the present tenses in 1 Corinthians 15 do not indicate time. This is a huge logical non-sequitur!
Based on your logic (?), I can argue:
Wallace has shown that the present tense is not an indicator of time. (By the way, Wallace does not argue that time is never present in the present tense, does he, Steve?)
Paul uses the present tense to speak of the salvation of the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:2.
Therefore, 1 Corinthians 15:2 does not indicate anything in regard to the time of the salvation of the Corinthians.
Likewise, based on your logic (?) I could argue:
Wallace has shown that the present tense is not an indicator of time.
Paul used the present tense to speak of Christ’s (present) rule.
Therefore, 1 Corinthians 15 does not indicate anything in regard to the time of Christ’s rule and kingdom.
Will you accept your own logic on this, Steve?>
Mr. Ward continued: I am not arguing that every thing you say or teach must be wrong because of this. I am pointing out that if you begin the discussion of your beliefs with a false statement that you say is “undeniable textual proof”, you need to examine seriously how many other “undeniable” truths you hold that are false.
I hope the realization of your basic failure to exegete even the basic grammar of a simple word of the Greek text is shocking enough to you that you that you will rethink how you approach the Scriptures. You do not even understand how Tense, Mood, Voice, and Aspect affect the interpretation of the Scriptures. It is no surprise that you think that the Body of Christ is wrong or the translations of the Bible indicating words like this are intended to communicate future fulfillment when you abuse the Greek language like this.
Your entire ministry is based on the presumption that the biblical text asserts all prophesy had to be filled in a certain time period but you do not even know how the basic grammar of biblical languages relates verbal activity to time!>
Response: No, my stand in this is not presumptive. It is based on the inspired texts.
Every eschatological tenet foretold in the scripture is posited at the end of the Old Covenant age, not at the end of the Christian age.
1.) The Christian age has no end! Steve, how can you affirm the end of what the Bible says is endless? (Isaiah 9:6-9; Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:32f; Ephesians 3:20f). As Joseph has shared with you, you are assuming the end of the Christian age, when in fact, the Bible knows of the end of only one age, and that is the age that was to end with the dissolution of the Jerusalem temple.
2.) The NT writers all affirm that their eschatological hope was the imminent fulfillment of God’s Old Testament promises to Israel. This is an undeniable fact. Your paradigm turns this upside down by affirming that eschatology is about the end of the (endless) Christian age, in fulfillment of New Covenant promises made to the church divorced from Israel and the Old Covenant. Nothing could be more false. This is prima facie demonstration that your theology is false, for it invents an eschatology unknown to the Biblical writers.
3.) The New Heaven and Earth foretold by Peter was that foretold by Isaiah 65-66! Well, in Isaiah 65, that New Creation would come when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed (v. 13-19).
4.) The resurrection that Paul anticipated in 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8. But, that resurrection would be when the holy city was left desolate, the temple turned over to foreigners (Isaiah 25:1-3). Furthermore, that resurrection discussion is continued in chapter 26 and 27, and chapter 27 emphatically posits that time of Israel’s salvation as the time when the One who made her would destroy her, and would no longer have mercy on her. This is the time when the altar would be made like chalkstones and the city destroyed (27:9f). It is the time of the sounding of the Trump of God to gather the elect (the dead!), which Jesus cites in Matthew 24:31 and emphatically says it would occur in his generation.
Here is food for thought:
The resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8.
But, Isaiah 25 said that the resurrection (i.e. the salvation of Israel, v. 9), would be when Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple turned over to foreigners (Isaiah 25:1-3).
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be, (was, or will be– take your choice just for argument sake!)– when Jerusalem was destroyed and the temple turned over to foreigners.
5.) Daniel 12:2-13 says that the resurrection at the time of the end would be “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (v. 7).
Steve, would you tell me when the power of Israel was completely shattered? Will you please answer the question directly?
Here is another thought for you:
The resurrection of Daniel 12 is the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15: it is the resurrection of the dead; It is the resurrection to everlasting life; It is the resurrection at the time of the end; It is the resurrection for the rewarding of the dead (v. 13).
But, the resurrection of Daniel 12 would be fulfilled “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (v. 7).
Therefore, the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be fulfilled “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered” (v. 7).
Now, if this argument is invalid, or one of the premises is false, please, prove it! I have had formal debates with amillennialists, dispensationalists and postmillennialists, and they all have said, “But it didn’t happen!” which of course will be your argument. But, I am asking for proof! Not assertions, no appeals to church history! I am asking for textual, exegetical, definitive proof! Please!
No, Steve, so far as I can tell, it is not presupposition at work here.
It is not an ungrounded presupposition to affirm that all N. T. eschatological promises were the reiteration of the Old Covenant promises made to Israel. That is a fact.
It is not an ungrounded presupposition to affirm that the resurrection of Isaiah is the resurrection promise of 1 Corinthians 15.That is a fact.
It is not an ungrounded presupposition to affirm that the resurrection of Daniel 12 is the resurrection promise of 1 Corinthians 15. That is a fact.
It is not an ungrounded presupposition to affirm that the New Creation of Peter is the New Creation promised in the OT.
So, your claim that I am operating on presuppositions is untrue. It is your paradigm that is the guilty party here!
So, I would appeal to you to reconsider your reliance on church history, and place it instead on Sola Scriptura!>
Steve Ward said— Please reconsider your confidence to reinterpret the Christian faith and stand in opposition against the Body of Christ.
My dealings with Full Preterists, including this discussion with you, have reminded me of the dealings with Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are very quick to try to deceive their audience by appealing to the Greek language (in their case, to deny the deity of Jesus in John 1). But their assertions are false, both of the deity of Jesus and of the basics of biblical Greek. And as soon as it is pointed out, they assert, “Oh, but that’s really not that important after all. We have other reasons to assert our beliefs.” Their beliefs are not driven by the Scriptures. Their beliefs are driven by their presuppositions and they are willing to lie about the text of the Holy Scriptures to convince others to accept it.>
Response: It is interesting that you did not answer my questions about the text, or about the Greek. Instead, you make huge leaps of logic (illogic), you call on me to repent, and you engage in “guilt by association.” This is so lamentably typical of those who cannot engage in textual exegesis and open investigation of their own paradigms. It is little wonder that you refuse to openly debate me.
You that my beliefs are not driven by Scriptures, and yet, I am the one that has offered scripture. You have appealed to church history, and an illogical, ill grounded denial of the Greek.
And now, you essentially call me a liar by saying I am like the JWs who lie about the text. Well, you have not given so much as one syllable, one key stroke to prove that I have mis-represented anything. All you have done is to make unproven illogical assertions.
You say that my approach is presuppositional. Well, I was raised as a fifth generation amillennialist. Those were my presuppositions. However, it was the Scriptural testimony, not presuppositions– for I had no preterist presuppositions to “guide me” that forced me to reject the traditions of my fathers. You claim is misguided, ill informed and specious.>
So remember these simple facts. The Body of Christ throughout history has considered your beliefs to be heretical. You have challenged me to debate you on the issue. Your first appeal to the Bible in defense of your position is one that you declare to be “undeniable”. And yet it is clearly a false claim.>
Response:
No, my claim is not “clearly a false claim.” All you have done is to say it is false, but you have proven nothing. You have demonstrated the weakness of your position by your failure to offer exegesis, or to prove your case grammatically. Assertions are not proof, Steve!
How about answering my question about which eschatological paradigm is the approved view of 2000 years of church history? Please!
I will most eagerly await your proof that my claim about the present passive tenses is a false claim.
I will most eagerly await your comment on the present passive in 1 Corinthians 15:2.
I will most eagerly await your comment on the present infinitive in relation to Christ’s reign.
I will most eagerly await your comment concerning Daniel 12 as it relates to 1 Corinthians 15.
I will most eagerly await your comment concerning the fact that Isaiah posited the New Heaven and Earth– that anticipated by Peter– when Old Covenant Israel was destroyed.
I will most eagerly await your comment concerning when the power of the holy people was completely shattered– i.e. the time of the resurrection.
I will most eagerly await your comment concerning what Isaiah said about the time of the resurrection being when the city would be destroyed, the temple turned to strangers, the people that God had created would no longer receive mercy, and the altar would be turned to chalkstone.
I will most eagerly await your comment in regard to the fact that all New Testament eschatological promises are the reiteration of the Old Testament promises made to Israel, and that the New Testament writers anticipated nothing but the fulfillment of the hope of Israel.
I strongly suspect however, that you will refuse to answer my questions and comments (I do hope I am wrong). If so, this will be very revealing.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston >>
Thank you for your dialog. I hope it has been revealing to you.
– Steve>
******************************************
You will note that in the post below Mr. Ward told me that our correspondence was over. I was going to honor that demand, although I felt that it was less than honorable for him to make such serious charges against me, and then demand that I not respond.
However, a few days after demanding that I not correspond with him, Mr. Ward sent a post to me and several others, accusing me of theological bullying, and again, of dishonesty. That post will follow his post of 4-27-09 which is given here. I will then give my final response posted on 5-5-09.
******************************************
—– Original Message —–
From: Heritage Baptist Church
To: don preston
Sent: Monday, April 27, 2009 3:35 PM
Subject: RE: Regarding Web Articles
Let me remind you of how this situation has happened.
1. Two people, whom I have never, met challenged me to debate you.
2. I replied to all recipients of the email that I had not initiated this, nor had any intent to do such a thing.
3. You sent an email to me, but later said it was for Joseph Vincent. In that email you stated that you thought I was “paranoid” to debate you.
4. I responded and gave you an opportunity to explain your above-referenced email that was sent to me.>
5. You responded and gave me ONE BIBLICAL VERSE and stated that based upon the TENSE OF ONE WORD that it was an “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT” that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening at the time of Paul’s writing. You also challenged me to debate you again…this time saying that I needed to defend my personal honor.
6. I gave you a chance to retract that statement, since I knew it to be false. It was out of humility that I gave you an opportunity to explain yourself.
7. You responded and quoted from a textbook that continued to convey the confidence of your statement that the TENSE OF THE VERB was the reason you gave that it was an “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT”.
8. I wrote back to you and pointed out that you were basing this on a false premise and that there are many ways to classify the verb, showing you that you were wrong to make your “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT” statement based on the tense of the verb alone.
9. Now, you admit that you knew that the tense of the verb was not “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT”.
I will say it one more time with the hope that you will repent.”
You stated falsely that – based upon the tense of the verb – it is an “undeniable textual fact” we are to understand that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening at the time of Paul’s speaking. I ask you to repent of this before the Lord.
I at no time engaged in debate with you about the particular classification I believe the tense belonged. You have not shown until now that you even understand that an exegete of the Scriptures needs to do such things.
I simply stated that you were false in your statement (“undeniable textual fact”) about the meaning of the Scripture to me.
I did not know whether your were ignorant of the relationship of time to Greek tense or whether you lied about the Scriptures. Now you have made it clear that your were being deceptive. You admit that you knew there are multiple ways a Greek tense can relate to time (although I still don’t know if you really knew this or not). You were attempting to deceive me. You lied when you stated that the Greek tense made it an “undeniable textual fact” that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening at the time of Paul’s speaking.
Now, you try to mask your deception by asking me to respond to your questions!>
I ask you to stop lying to people about the Holy Scriptures, as you have done to me. Please, for your own sake, flee the wrath of God that burns against those who deceive others and upset their faith.
My conversation with you is finished.”>
Steve Ward
************************************
Since I was getting ready to go out of state for a few days, I wrote Mr. Ward a note telling him that I would respond further to his post when I returned. He posted back to me informing me that I was not to send any more emails to him at all.
Again, I was going to honor that demand, although I felt that it was disingenuous for Mr. Ward to make such serious charges against me, and demand that I not offer any kind of response. Nonetheless, it was only a few more days until I received another post from Mr. Ward. Since he felt free to continue to post to me, even though he had demanded that I not post to him, I sent a final response on 5-5-09. In the meantime, on 5-4-09, Joseph Vincent sent a post to Mr. Ward, concerning his “responses” (non-responses) to my posts.
************************************
Here now is Joseph Vincent’s post to Mr. Ward’s “responses” (non-responses) to my arguments and material.
Original Message ——–
Subject: Steve Ward’s Last to Don K. Preston
From: Joseph and Lauren>
Date: Mon, May 04, 2009 11:35 am
To: pastors@heritage
Cc: Don Preston <dkpret@cableone.net>, Jamie and Sarah Lundy
Steve,
I looked over your and Don’s previous emails as Don forwarded your discussions to our fellowship which contained the continuing dialogue which you both continued in. In reading these emails there was definitely a continuing attitude of arrogance and I feel that your behavior is inappropriate. Now, I will say that he replied a little heavy hearted, but I think any reasonable person would have given your remarks. When Don stated in his view that he believed that the Greek text was an “undeniable textual fact” of the nature of the resurrection, this is simply his view, and you have also stated in similar language claims of such manner, which I completely disagree with (of something being an undeniable fact in your view). Don gave you a complete (and well thought out) response to the Greek grammar and rules, and in his argument there is no way that the Greek text of 1 Cor. 15 can be used as you intend to do, or that if there is a reason to use it the way you choose to do, you are violating the basic rules of Greek grammar unless you can show what reason you have for not following the basic rules of Greek grammar, as Don pointed out. I am not saying you are right or wrong, or that he is, and I do not think that Don is either, but he is simply saying to you that unless you can show “why” you are changing the Greek grammatical rules as they are normally listed, you have no basis for doing so, and therefore you would be wrong (if you can’t show why you do so). Don’s application of the Greek grammatical use in 1 Cor. 15 is the normal usage and follows the basic structure of Greek rules, and I would suggest that your method of using the Greek as you do is not the norm, nor is it typical, nor is there any reason to use the Greek as you have done within the text itself. Don’s arguments are well thought out, and I read them, and I do not feel that he was giving you anything other than the Greek grammatical structure for his argument. Why are you so offended by this? And why are you accusing him of being a “liar” and asking him to “repent”? This is very much the same reason I originally stopped talking to you, because you came to me with the same attitude, and were unwilling to even dialogue on the issue, but simply accused me of things, and never actually spoke to the issues. Now, you did apologize, and I was grateful for that, but now I have seen your continuing comments even after you personally apologized to me. Your attitude is very derogatory, and definitely not the way Christ, or Paul would have handled this.
I do not expect a return to this email, but if you are not going to respond to his arguments for the Greek grammatical use as you have chosen to apply them, then I simply need to tell you that he has decided to post the entire contents of your discussions with him on his website for thousands to see, if you continue to reply with this attitude, and refusing to respond to his argument. I must also say, that your responses to him seem to be with the same attitude that I have experienced from Mormons, or JW’s, and other cultic people who do not know enough about their own religion to give a viable answer to their faith. Most of them refuse to “give an answer” with humbleness and as a Berean, and they usually resort to personal attacks, ad-hominem arguments, mindless statements, and very arrogant remarks which do not nothing but cause the person seeing the remarks to be very disheartened. And if it is your desire to bring people “closer” to your way of thinking (and to Christ Himself), and to get someone to take you seriously on the issues, or even as a person, then I hope you reconsider your recent attitude and the way you are responding. Accusing Don of being a liar and a deceiver and then telling him that he needs to repent…I mean, do you really think he is going to take you seriously and listen to you? This man is a very respectful man, and a very respected theologian by thousands of people across America and in other countries. Could you possibly expect any sort of a reasonable reply to this? If someone came at you this way, would you respond in a reasonable way?
I say all these things with respect, love, and understanding…I do not wish for you to respond to me unless you feel the need, but you must know that he is going to post your discussions for all people to see and critique, and I think you are being very negative with all this.
Blessings to you,
Joseph
*************************************
Later that same day, Mr. Ward then sent the following response to Joseph Vincent.
—– Original Message —–
From: Heritage Baptist Church
To: Joseph and Lauren
Cc: Don Preston ; Jamie and Sarah Lundy ; David Abrogast
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 3:29 PM
Subject: RE: Steve Ward’s Last to Don K. Preston
Joseph,
During our conversations with one another, we each stood for that which we believe in. We tried to communicate to one another in a convincing manner. It is obvious that neither of us convinced one another to be changed in our opinions. We each felt that the other failed and at times was guilty of arrogance and maybe even hard-headedness. In the end, both of us apologized to one another for our failures and agreed that our future conversations were most likely not going to lead to fruit, and so we stopped correspondence.
But I ask you to cease threatening me at once.
I will not dignify school-yard bully techniques (of challenging ‘my honor’ as Don has done, or threatening me as you both now do) with a response.
Let me say this in closing. Joseph, if you believe that you have the Gospel correct, you should be able to proclaim it in the power of the Holy Spirit and the risen Lord Jesus will bless it and bring about salvation through it. The Gospel has great power. If you are confident that Jesus will bless it, do not resort to formal debates relying upon the wisdom of men and eloquence of speech. Do not rely on threatening others to get an audience. Have faith in God and do what Paul did…hold it forth as though it were light in the midst of darkness.
But, as I mentioned to you before, if in the future you become convinced that there is no power in the gospel that you believe, then please consider again that you may return to the Gospel proven to extend the Kingdom of Christ throughout the world.
– Steve>>
***************************************
I then posted my final response to Mr. Ward. His post is that of 4-27 given above, but my responses are from 5-5-09. I have given his post above, but that post is given again here, and my responses are below.
From: Don Preston <dkpret@cableone.net>
To: Heritage Baptist Church; Joseph and Lauren
Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:17 AM
Subject: Steve Ward’s Last To Don K Preston
Mr. Ward, this situation is more than a little remarkable.
You took the opportunity to call me a false teacher, a liar, and a deceiver, and then told me not to respond, or to send any further emails to you at all. Then, although I was going to honor that request, you find it fit to send me an email accusing me of bullying you, and of questioning your honor.
So, it appears that you think it is proper and honorable for you to tell me not to send you emails, but, it is fine for you to send me emails in which you continue to demonstrate your arrogance and condescension, and to make more derogatory accusations against me.
Well, Steve, if you think it is honorable to judge another man’s heart, to call him names, to accuse him before God of being a heretic, but not allow him to defend his cause, then I must say that your sense of honor is skewed.
If you think it is honorable to say that a fellow believer has no fundamental grasp of the basics of Greek grammar, but when that charge is refuted and falsified, you say you never made that charge, then you have a different code of honor than most people.
If you think it is honorable to totally, utterly refuse to even begin to demonstrate the validity of your claims regarding the Greek grammar, or the text of Corinthians, or the theology of Scripture, all the while calling me a false teacher, then your concept of honor is wrong.
If you think that it is honorable to totally, utterly refuse to answer so much as one theological question, all the while calling me a liar and deceiver in my handling of the scriptures, then I reject your sense of “honor.”
Where I come from, all of the above is what constitutes theological bullying, and yet, you say that I am the one that has bullied you.
No, it was my sincere desire to engage in honorable, friendly and respectful dialogue with you. But from the very beginning, you have been arrogant and condescending in your attitude, and have refused to offer me a scintilla of respect as a person who loves the Lord and His Truth.
It is very distressing that you have taken this tack in our correspondence. You have chosen to judge my heart, my intentions, my motives, by calling me a liar and a deceiver.
What is a liar, Mr. Ward? It is someone who purposely misrepresents, purposely deceives!
Now, your charge is particularly distressing to me, for my entire life is devoted to knowing and glorifying my Lord and dealing with his Word with integrity and honesty. Mr. Ward, as you stated repeatedly in our correspondence, you do not know me. Yet, by your malicious claim that I am a liar, you are claiming to know my heart, and that I have purposely set out to deceive people.
Mr. Ward, do you not know the difference between being wrong, honestly, sincerely wrong, and being a liar?
I freely confess that as a human being, it is possible that I can be– I most assuredly have been many times– wrong. Yet, when I have been wrong, and that has been shown to me, I have changed when that new knowledge came. And I remain to this day, teachable and changeable. However, I will not and cannot change when all that a person offers me are ad hominem arguments based on church history, unproven theological claims, and illogical argumentation. Just what kind of evidential “proof” did you offer, Mr. Ward, to even hint at the need for me to change? I stand with Luther: “Unless I am convinced by scripture, and scripture alone, I cannot, I will not recant…”
Your charge against me is unwarranted, false, and unchristian. Yet, I am confident that you have shared your charge against me with your compatriots there in Kansas City, and this is all the more egregious, since I am very confident that you will not share our entire correspondence with them, and they will have no way of knowing all of the facts.
Yet, in spite of all of this, let me say very sincerely and honestly, that I sympathize with the pain that you are clearly feeling. I know first hand what it is like to have your personal theology challenged, and then find yourself completely unable to defend long held beliefs. I have been through that, and I know the emotional trauma and frustration that is felt.
When we find our personal theology challenged and ourselves unable to present an apologetic as you do, we have some choices. Like the Pharisees and Jews of Jesus’ day, we can fall back on tradition and pre-conceived ideas. We can condemn those that dare to challenge our traditions and the traditions of our fathers. We can, as you have, vilify, castigate, and denigrate those who have dared to question our hallowed ground.
Or, we can open our hearts and minds to the challenge. We can be intellectually honest and courageous enough to admit that we might, after all, be wrong. We can even admit that our church might have been wrong. We can even admit that our loving parents or grand parents, as sincerely as they loved the Lord, and served him to the best of their ability, might have been, after all, wrong.
Sadly, it seems you have taken the first road. At virtually every turn in your posts you did everything except address me as some one that loves the Lord as much as you. Did you count the number of times that you called me a liar, Steve? I must say that your post exudes a spirit that is everything but the spirit of Christ, and is a clear violation of Paul’s mandate in 2 Timothy 2:24f, even if I were to admit for one moment that I am the one in error. You call on me to repent. Yet, I am not the one that has impugned the integrity of a fellow believer in Christ. I am not the one that has called a fellow believer a liar. I am not the one that has refused to offer a single argument from the inspired word, appealing instead to church history.
 
It is my genuine and sincere prayer that you will take a long hard look in the mirror and rethink your caustic and un-Christian attitude and behavior. I say with candor that if I were guilty of treating another believer as you have done me, I would be ashamed of myself.
 
You had told me not to send any further correspondence to you. Again, I was going to honor that, but, since you have now sent me continuing email, I am going to send this to you, and address some of your claims below.
Here is Steve Ward’s post of 4-27-09 again, with my responses in the appropriate places:
<Let me remind you of how this situation has happened.
1. Two people, whom I have never, met challenged me to debate you.
2. I replied to all recipients of the email that I had not initiated this, nor had any intent to do such a thing.
3. You sent an email to me, but later said it was for Joseph Vincent. In that email you stated that you thought I was “paranoid” to debate you.
4. I responded and gave you an opportunity to explain your above-referenced email that was sent to me.>
Response: As I stated, I did not personally send you a post at all initially. I was corresponding with Joseph, and he forwarded my post to you.>>
5. You responded and gave me ONE BIBLICAL VERSE and stated that based upon the TENSE OF ONE WORD that it was an “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT” that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening at the time of Paul’s writing. You also challenged me to debate you again…this time saying that I needed to defend my personal honor.
Response: Steve, you are misrepresenting my position. While I may have referenced one verse, where did I indicate that there is only one verse in 1 Corinthians 15 that supports my view? In fact, there are at least six verbs in six verses–and nine usages–in the text that are in the present passive indicative that I could have appealed to. Why did you misrepresent my argument on this?
Also, I have asked you twice now, to tell me whether we must honor the time element in 1 Corinthians 15:2, concerning the present progressive salvation of the Corinthians. (I already know the answer to this, but, your refusal to answer shows that you know that the present passive indicative must be understood temporally. This therefore opens the door for that understanding in the other verses in the chapter, but, you would not even admit what you believe in order to mask that possibility.)
I also asked if we must honor the temporal element of the present infinitive of v. 25. What I just said on v. 2 likewise applies here.
Instead of taking the opportunity to show why we must honor the time element in these two verses, but not in the other instances of the present passive, you misrepresent my entire argument. And of course, you make no attempt to even address my real argument except to say that I have no basic knowledge of the Greek grammar, and that I am a liar.>
6. I gave you a chance to retract that statement, since I knew it to be false. It was out of humility that I gave you an opportunity to explain yourself.
7. You responded and quoted from a textbook that continued to convey the confidence of your statement that the TENSE OF THE VERB was the reason you gave that it was an “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT”.
Response: Once again, a misrepresentation of the facts, both of what I argued and of the text. I pointedly asked you if it is an undeniable fact that the present passive is used, (repeatedly) in 1 Corinthians 15. You would not even answer that question! Why is that, Steve?
By the way, Mr. Ward, you acknowledge that I cited a Greek text book that supports my contention. Yet you merely scoff at it as if had no credence whatsoever! I could quote from virtually any Greek grammar that says that time is included in the present indicatives, and as I have noted, the rank of the usage of the present tense speaks powerfully to the temporal element in the present tense. I challenged you to show where this is not true, but, you ignored the challenge. Why did you ignore my challenge, Mr. Ward? I think we know why, don’t we?
You claim that you know my position and claim in regard to the grammar is false. How did you demonstrate that? You didn’t. You just asserted it to be false, with an invalid, illogical appeal to Wallace. I have challenged you to show where Wallace eliminates the temporal element from the present passive indicatives. (I have his grammar before me, and I know full well why you did not attempt to do this.)
8. I wrote back to you and pointed out that you were basing this on a false premise and that there are many ways to classify the verb, showing you that you were wrong to make your “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT” statement based on the tense of the verb alone.
Response: You very condescendingly accused me of not knowing even the basics of Greek grammar. When I spent considerable time demonstrating the fallacy of your claims, all you can do is call me a liar! And yet now, you claim that you made no claims about my knowledge of the Greek! Well, you repeatedly said that if I knew even “the basics of Greek grammar” I would not have made my claims.
Steve, you and I both know you were impugning my knowledge of the Greek, and you were assuming I was unaware of the different usages of the present tense, and that I had not analyzed the text of Corinthians in the light of those different usages. You can say that you were not questioning my knowledge of the Greek, but the text of your posts say different.
You did in fact make the observation that there are many ways to classify the present tense. What you did not prove, what you did not even attempt to prove, is that we must reject the normal, higher ranking of the present tense verbs and resort to the Special Usage futurist present, which demands overwhelming contextual evidence to apply it that way. This is nothing short of theological bullying, Steve. Mere assertion proves nothing whatsoever, and yet this is all you have done.>
9. Now, you admit that you knew that the tense of the verb was not “UNDENIABLE TEXTUAL FACT”.
Response: Again, blatant misrepresentation. I affirm in no uncertain terms that the present passive indicative is in the text, and that this is an undeniable fact. Why are you misrepresenting my position on this, Steve? You know, yes, you know, that it is an undeniable fact that the present passive indicative is in the text of 1 Corinthians 15. The only question that then remains is whether the temporal element is present in those usages.
I took note of the fact that the Greek grammars lists the present tenses by rank and order, and that the future present– which is demanded for your theology– is the last in rank and order. I asked for you to go through the higher ranked usages of the present indicatives, and to prove, exegetically and grammatically, why we must eliminate and ignore the higher ranked, preferred usages. You ignored my request, and now call me a liar, insisting that I am ignorant of “basic Greek grammar.”
I noted that even in the future presents there is an emphasis on the immediacy of the action, and asked if you would accept this. Why did you refuse to answer this question, Steve Ward? We know why, don’t we?
You said that I was making claims in regard to the Greek that I did not know to be certain. I responded:
I know that the present passive indicatives are used repeatedly in 1 Corinthians 15. By the way, Steve, would you deny that sanctification was / is an ongoing, present, progressive reality? You know, as in 1 Corinthians 15:2? Paul also uses the present passive indicative in 2 Corinthians 3:16 to speak of this. Well, he likewise says, “the death is being put down (katargetai— third person, singular, present indicative, passive). You refused to address this. Why?
I know that I am following the rules of Greek grammar in accepting the highest ranked definition of the present tenses, before appealing to the Special Usages.
I know that it takes overwhelming contextual evidence to establish the Special Usage of the present tense. You refused to address this. Why?
I know that the burden of proof is on you to produce the definitive evidence for rejecting the (preferred) progressive use of the present tenses in Corinthians. I know that you offered not a single key stroke of proof for your position! You refused to address this. Why?
You said that Dan Wallace shows that there are non-time usages of the present tense. You assume and presume that this means that the present tenses in 1 Corinthians 15 do not indicate time. This is a huge logical non-sequitur! More on this momentarily.>
You then say: “I will say it one more time with the hope that you will repent.”
You stated falsely that – based upon the tense of the verb – it is an “undeniable textual fact” we are to understand that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening at the time of Paul’s speaking. I ask you to repent of this before the Lord.
Response: Once again, blatant misrepresentation! Why do you do this, Steve Ward? I argued that it is an undeniable fact that the present tense is used repeatedly in the text and that following the rules of grammar, the burden of proof is on you to show why the rules of grammar demand that the time element is not present in all of these texts. I have now challenged you repeatedly to show, following the rules of grammar, taking into account the normal ranking of the present tenses, why the temporal element is not found in those verses. You would not even try. Why is that, Steve? If you can falsify my paradigm so easily, why not set hand to keyboard, and, applying the rules of grammar, sound exegesis and logic, show where my claims in regard to the present passive indicatives is wrong headed. >
I at no time engaged in debate with you about the particular classification I believe the tense belonged. You have not shown until now that you even understand that an exegete of the Scriptures needs to do such things.

Response: This is almost unbelievable, Steve Ward! No, you did not engage in a specific discussion of a particular classification of the tenses of 1 Corinthians 15. However, you do deny the present passive meaning, don’t you? And, you do insist that a Special Usage classification be applied, don’t you, Mr. Ward? So, for you to say that you did not engage in a debate about a particular classification of the verbs may be technically true, in that you did not use specific words. However, your argument was itself an implicit debate about the classification of the verb usage in Corinthians, and you know it very well! You made the illogical argument:
Dan Wallace has shown that the time element does not have to be present in all uses of the present tense.
1 Corinthians 15 uses the present tense verbs.
Therefore, the time element is not present in the present tense verbs of 1 Corinthians 15!
That is the argument you were trying to make, Steve Ward, but it is fallacious to the core, and would get a failing grade in any logic class! You have violated the Law of the Excluded Middle and half a dozen other rules of logic.
The fact that the time element is not present in the use of present tense in some other contexts does not prove that it is not present in Corinthians, and you know it, don’t you, Steve Ward? After all, you do believe in the temporal element in 1 Corinthians 15:2, 25!
Your elitist attitude and arrogance is manifestly on display in that last statement, Steve, and is very unbecoming. You say: “You have not shown until now that you even understand that an exegete of the Scriptures needs to do such things.”
Just where did I show that I do not understand exegesis, Steve?
Was it by pointing out that I am fully aware of the various grammatical uses of the present tense?
Was it in asking that you demonstrate from grammar and context why we must eliminate the higher ranked uses of the present tense and apply one of the Special Usages, which demand overwhelming contextual evidence to do so?
Was it by noting that even you demand that we honor the temporal element of some of the present tenses in 1 Corinthians 15?
Was it by showing that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of the Old Covenant promises made to Israel– not, as you claim, New Covenant promises made to the church divorced from Israel?
Was it in showing that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25, and that Isaiah emphatically posits that resurrection as the hope of Israel, to be fulfilled when the city would be destroyed and the temple turned over to strangers?
Was it when I showed that Isaiah also stated emphatically that it would be when YHVH would no longer have mercy on the people He had created, and the altar would be turned to chalk dust?
Was it when I demonstrated that the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 is the resurrection of Daniel 12, and that Daniel was told that resurrection would be, “when the power of the holy people is completely shattered.” Is this when I “lied”, Steve?
Is this when / how I showed that I had no grasp of exegesis?
By the way, Steve, I pointedly asked you to please tell me, when was the power of the holy people completely shattered? You offered not a key stroke of response. Instead, you just called me a liar and a deceiver for asking such a question. Why the silence, Steve? I think we know why, don’t we?>
Steve said: >> I simply stated that you were false in your statement (“undeniable textual fact”) about the meaning of the Scripture to me.
I did not know whether your were ignorant of the relationship of time to Greek tense or whether you lied about the Scriptures. Now you have made it clear that your were being deceptive. You admit that you knew there are multiple ways a Greek tense can relate to time (although I still don’t know if you really knew this or not). You were attempting to deceive me. You lied when you stated that the Greek tense made it an “undeniable textual fact” that the resurrection of the dead(pl) was happening at the time of Paul’s speaking.
Now, you try to mask your deception by asking me to respond to your questions!>
Response: Mr Ward, your desperation is so unsettling and painful to witness! How truly sad!
Mr. Ward, how is it now deceptive on my part to demonstrate that I do have a knowledge of the present tense usage and it is that knowledge that I brought to my claims about the use of the present tenses in Corinthians? I fail to follow that kind of “logic.”
By asking other questions, I was not trying to mask anything. I was demonstrating that the wider context of the resurrection doctrine supports my analysis of the Greek of 1 Corinthians 15. How is this, in any way whatsoever, deception, Mr. Ward?
Do you not believe in analogia scriptura? To suggest that I was being deceitful by appealing to corroborative passages that deal with the resurrection is simply a smoke screen for your utter failure and refusal to deal with my arguments. If you could answer my questions substantively, then you could begin to show that my argument on the present passives is untenable. You refused to offer one single syllable of refutation.
Your total, abject silence tells us why, Mr. Ward. You did not try, because deep in your heart, you know you cannot do so.
You, once again, assume that I was making claims about the text and grammar without knowing anything about the grammar. You say that you did not know if I knew about the various uses of the present tense, yet you repeatedly said that if I had even “a basic understanding” of the Greek grammar that I would not make my claim. That contradicts what you just wrote, Mr. Ward! You did make the claim that I did not know, and when I proved you wrong, you claim that I was trying to deceive you, and that I am a liar! Even though I demonstrated that I do have a knowledge of the various usages of the present tenses, you very arrogantly claim: “(although I still don’t know if you really knew this or not).”
This sort of arrogance is almost unbelievable. Instead of acknowledging that my claims were in fact based on a knowledge of the Greek grammar and the various usages of the present tense, you simply call me a liar! The point of fact is that you accused me of being ignorant of the variations of the present tenses, and then when I asked for you to show that your application of those variations is correct, you refused to even try, and call me a liar and deceitful! You even claim that you made no argument about the proper classification of the present tense in Corinthians, all the while claiming that my assessment is wrong, and your’s– which is a futuristic present– is correct. Mr. Ward, that is double talk, and it is very, very revealing, and sad.
Mr. Ward, please consider the following facts:
You made not one single argument from scripture.
You appealed solely to church history– but, you refused to answer my questions about which part of church history is to be our guide!
You made an illogical appeal to a Greek Grammar, and when I demonstrated your illogical and improper use of that Grammar, you called me a liar.
You made no effort whatsoever to answer a single question that I asked, even though to do so, would have, ostensibly, refuted my position, if you do indeed possess the Truth.
Mr. Ward, if you were dealing with a dispensationalist, and they were guilty of arguing as you have, and doing what you have, you would call them dishonorable. You would say that they were illogical. You would say they had forsaken scripture and logic, and were now dependent on tradition, emotionalism, and ad hominem arguments.
You then say: “I ask you to stop lying to people about the Holy Scriptures, as you have done to me. Please, for your own sake, flee the wrath of God that burns against those who deceive others and upset their faith.”
My conversation with you is finished.”>
Response: Mr. Ward, as I stated above, I truly and sincerely do sympathize with the emotional and intellectual pain you are feeling.
Your call for me to repent is misplaced.
Your arrogance, your condescension, your accusations against me are open demonstration of your desperation and inability to deal with the issues.
You are in clear violation of our Lord’s words against judging others.
All you have left is emotionalism, creedalism and your appeal to church history. You have abandoned Sola Scriptura! You have abandoned analogia scriptura.
You would have stood shoulder to shoulder with Yohan Eck, and, with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. If you wish to make a call for repentance, Mr. Ward, please take a look in the mirror.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston>
**************************************
The following post– with my response following– was sent to me by Mr. David Arbrogast of Mr. Ward’s church. He sent it to Mr. Ward but CC’ed it to me as well. It seems that Mr. Arbrogast considered my unmasking of Mr. Ward to be uncharitable.
What is so interesting is that Mr. Arbogast was offended at my intent to publish my exchange with Mr. Ward for all to see, but, he was seemingly intent on sharing his thoughts about my supposed lack of charity with several people.
All colors and emphasis are those of Mr. Arbogast.
I felt it necessary to respond to the very serious charge leveled against me. Mr. Arbogast, like Mr. Ward, did not respond to my post.
—– Original Message —–
From: Arbogast, David
To: pastors@heritageonline.org
Cc: Don Preston ; Jamie and Sarah Lundy ; Joseph and Lauren
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 1:10 PM
Subject: RE: Steve Ward’s Last to Don K. Preston
“Dialogue When Possible
Debate When Necessary
At All Times, Charity”
Steve, It is quite obvious that Mr. Preston’s plan to expose to the public the private dialog between you and Mr. Preston for all people to see and crituque” is what any truly charitable person, like Mr. Preston, would do.
David
I sent the following response to Mr. Arbogast:
Tuesday, May 05, 2009 12:09 PM
 
Mr. Abrogast, let me say first of all that I have followed your correspondence with Joseph and have appreciated your attitude in that exchange. Your decorum has been far and away more Christian than that of Steve Ward. I appreciate that, and I know Joseph does as well. I could only wish that Steve had manifested that same spirit.
Yet you have taken the opportunity to say that my actions, in response to the unchristian actions of Steve Ward, are not charitable simply because I have stated my intent to publish our correspondence.
Nothing was ever said in my correspondence with Steve Ward that it was confidential. And as a public minister who is now proclaiming me as a false teacher, a deceiver and a liar, Mr. Ward needs to be exposed. Do I not have the right to defend myself against such egregious, false charges?
Is it charitable to allow such unchristian actions to be un-rebuked and un-exposed?
Did Steve Ward act charitably toward me in calling me a liar? Please answer.
Did Steve Ward act charitably when he said that I am a deceiver? Please answer.
Did Steve Ward act charitably in making unproven claims about my “ignorance” of the Greek grammar?
Did Steve Ward act charitably in misrepresenting what I actually claimed about 1 Corinthians 15?
Did Steve Ward act charitably when he refused to offer so much as one key stroke of proof in support of his claims that I was mis-using the Greek?
Did Steve Ward act charitably when he said that he still did not know if I was aware of the grammatical issues, even though I fully documented my understanding of the present tenses?
Did Steve Ward act charitably when he sent his missive to me, calling me a liar and deceitful, and then insisting that I not send him any response?
Did Steve Ward act charitably toward me by saying I was guilty of school yard bullying tactics and claiming that I had “threatened” him?
Did Steve Ward act charitably when he told me not to send him any more emails, and that our correspondence was over, but then he sent another email to me in which he continues to impugn my character?
By the way, was Jesus unkind and uncharitable, when he rebuked the Pharisees for their reliance on tradition?
True Christian charity rebukes and exposes when necessary.
At no time was I caustic in my correspondence, as Mr. Ward was toward me.
At no time did I impugn Mr. Ward’s motives, heart, or sincerity, in fact, just the opposite. This is unlike Mr. Ward who has– in violation of our Lord’s mandate– judged me to be a deceiver and a liar.
At no time did I call Mr. Ward a false teacher, Yet Mr. Ward is clearly labeling me as a false teacher.
At no time did I call Mr. Ward any name, yet, Mr. Ward has not refrained from calling me names.
At no time did I refuse to answer Mr. Ward’s questions to me. Mr. Ward steadfastly refused to answer a single question that I posed.
At no time did I fail or refuse to give documentation for what I believe. Mr. Ward on the other hand, has given no documentation, no proof for anything he said.
Mr. Abrogast, who has, in fact, demonstrated Christian charity?
I would kindly and respectfully ask that you please try to be a little more objective in your consideration of this situation.
For His Truth, and in His Grace,
Don K. Preston
 
 

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