Written Debates

Preston-Simmons Debate: The Perfection of Salvation and End of Torah- Simmons' Last Affirmative

Preston-Simmons Debate

 

When was Sin Defeated? The Cross or A.D. 70?

Simmons’ Third Affirmative

This debate has now reached its end. A lot of ground has been traversed. We appreciate the reader’s patience. I know I have learned a lot; I trust the reader has too. We also want to thank Don for his brotherly conduct and vigorous advocacy throughout this discussion. We hope and trust that truth and understanding have been advanced through this exchange.

 

As suggested by the title above, this debate has been about the defeat of sin. When and how was sin defeated? When did the saints first stand “soterilogicallly” complete before the throne of God, cleansed and made pure by the blood of Christ? The Cross or AD 70? I say the Cross. Don says AD 70. The difference in our answers reflects the difference between Preterism and Covenant Eschatology. Preterism itself has nothing to say about redemption; it is not a system of soteriology (study of salvation), but of eschatology (study of last things). Preterism adopts a “contemporary-historical” analysis of Revelation and other “end time” prophecies, affirming that these were fulfilled in the events that overtook the Roman Empire following the death of Nero, including the AD 70 Destruction of Jerusalem. Preterism honors the traditional teaching of the church and Bible regarding the time and manner of our salvation from sin, affirming that all was accomplished at the Cross. This is the view I have been defending in this debate. Covenant Eschatology, which Don had been defending, is not Preterist per se. Unlike Preterism, which is merely a school of eschatology, Covenant Eschatology is also a system of soteriology. Not content to merely explain end-time prophecies from a contemporary-historical perspective, Covenant Eschatology completely re-interprets soteriology, changing everything the church has always taught about when and how man was saved from sin.

 

For two thousand years the church has taught that salvation came at the cross and that Christ’s resurrection was the objective evidence that the atonement was complete. (“And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again” Acts 13: 32, 33.) Nowhere in the history of Christianity has the least suggestion ever been made that the fall of Jerusalem contributed anything to man’s redemption from sin. Search the volumes of the Ante-Nicene Fathers; pour over the volumes of the Post-Nicene Fathers; traverse the long centuries of the Middle Ages; study the work of the Reformers. You will not find it taught anywhere, at anytime, by any Christian writer that man’s justification was held in abeyance from the cross until AD 70 (or the second coming, if you prefer). You will not find it taught the saints continued under the debt of sin, or that the Old Testament was “valid, binding, and obligatory” after the cross. You will not find these things taught by the church fathers because they are not taught by the Bible. No one even ever heard such claims until Max King, who stripped the cross of its glory, and made AD 70 the focal point of salvation. Here is the chart we produced in our third negative. Please consider it again now.

 

 

Cross

Covenant Eschatology

 

 

 

?

 

Atonement – AD70

?

 

Justification – AD 70

?

 

Reconciliation – AD 70

?

 

Forgiveness of sins – AD 70

?

 

Legal admittance into presence of God with the veil – AD 70

?

 

Time of Reformation – AD 70

?

 

Spirits of just men made perfect – AD 70

?

 

Old Testament fulfilled and legally annulled – AD 70

 

 

 

Virtually everything that the Bible teaches about the cross, Covenant Eschatology transfers to AD 70. Does the Bible teach that atonement was made at the cross? Don denies it. Does the Bible teach that reconciliation happened at the cross? Don denies it. Does the Bible say we have forgiveness of sins in the cross? Don denies it. There is NOTHING in terms of man’s salvation that my brother Don is willing to say arrived at the cross. According to Don, nothing happened at the cross. In the church in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where Don used to serve as preacher, there was even a big picture of Titus’ siege of Jerusalem on the wall when you entered the sanctuary. Where other churches might have the cross, or a scene of Jesus praying in Gethsemane, instead we find the fall of Jerusalem! What does that tell you about the misplaced emphasis of Covenant Eschatology?

 

The remainder of this presentation, and the entirety of the debate, is now available in book form, entitled, The End of Torah: At the Cross or AD 70. The book is now available from Don K. Preston. Price is $19.95 + $4.50 postage. You can order the book via PayPal. Be sure to include a note indicating that you are ordering the Preston-Simmons Debate.

 

 


[1] Don K Preston, Like Father, Like Son, On Clouds of Glory (Ardmore OK, 2006), p. 109.

[2] N.T. Wright, Jesus the Victory of God (Minneapolis, Fortress, 1996), p. 361.

[3] Don K Preston, Like Father, Like Son, On Clouds of Glory (Ardmore OK, 2006), p. 33.

[4] Don K. Preston, Like Father, Like, Son, On Clouds of Glory (JaDon Productions, Ardmore, 2006), pp. 190.

[5] Ibid, pp. 134, 135.

[6] Ibid, p. 180.

[7] Homer Haily, Commentary on the Minor Prophets (Religious Supply Co., 1993), p. 181.

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