Preston – V – Simmons Debate
Passing of Torah and the Completion of Salvation
Preston’s Final Negative
A word of clarification for the readers. In Kurt’s second affirmative he said he had granted me 8000 extra words, as if he had magnanimously offered me extra space– with the implication that I needed that extra space to prove my point. Kurt’s “offer” sprang from a misunderstanding on my part in regard to the length of his first three negatives. In private correspondence, I apologized to Kurt for my misunderstanding. Also, when Kurt wrote what he did in his second affirmative, I posted to him privately asking him to correct the impression that his “offer” would make on the readers. Regrettably, my friend did not see fit to correct this misunderstanding. It is important that the readers know that I have not taken, (nor did I need) 8000 extra words for my negative. I clearly do not need that extra space to rebut my friend’s position. The readers need to know that I have scrupulously followed the agreement that Kurt and I signed as to the length of our presentations. All of my negatives have been the agreed to 8000 word count.
(Don K. Preston)
My friend refuses to confront his self contradictions. He appeals to” 2000 years” of church tradition, as normative when that same tradition condemns his preterism!
1.) 2000 years of church tradition knows absolutely nothing of Kurt’s claim that the salvation of Hebrews 9:28 was deliverance from persecution.
2.) 2000 years of church tradition has taught that salvation– purchased through the cross– would be perfected at Christ’s parousia (Hebrews 9:28).
3.) 2000 years of church history knows nothing of Kurt’s view of the resurrection.
Kurt’s selective use of tradition is embarrassing. Creedalists Kenneth Gentry or Keith Mathison will gladly cite Kurt’s appeal to tradition, to validate their claim: “2000 years of church history about a literal return of Christ at the end of human history has stood the test!” And, every scholar Kurt cited would reject his eschatology as heretical! 2000 years of church history contradicts his eschatology! His adamant refusal to acknowledge his self-contradictory, selective appeal to church history betrays his desperation to make some point, any point.
Kurt’s statement that eschatology has nothing to do with soteriology is one of the most Biblically inaccurate statements imaginable! It is just stunning! Nothing is more soteriological than eschatology: “As in Adam all men die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” i.e. via resurrection, i.e. eschatology! Kurt’s denial illustrates that he has failed to grasp the very essence of the Biblical story. Hebrews 9:28 says Christ was coming– eschatology– to bring salvation– soteriology! Kurt is dead wrong.
In light of Kurt’s incredible claim, I contacted two major scholars with whom I correspond occasionally and asked them about Kurt’s position. Both reject Kurt’s position!
KURT’S ACCUSATIONS THAT I MISREPRESENTED HIM.
The Charge: Re: Romans 9:28– “He says I admit that Rom. 9:28 refers to the salvation of national Israel. I don’t. I believe it refers to their destruction!”
The Truth: Here is my argument:
The salvation of Israel in Romans 11:26f is the salvation of Israel in Romans 9:28.
But, the salvation of Israel in Romans 9:28 would be finished in a short time.
Therefore, the salvation of Israel in Romans 11:26f would be finished in a short time.
Kurt responded, (Second negative): “I agree with Don that the “short work” in Rom. 9:27-29 refers to national Israel. God gave the nation a 40 year grace period in which to obey the gospel, and then destroyed the nation.” Kurt now denies admitting that Romans 9 speaks of the salvation of Israel in AD 70. He says it speaks of their destruction.
Kurt is guilty of creating a “false either / or.” This is a debater’s trick. It is not, “If Israel was saved, she was not destroyed,” or vice versa. It is rather, the remnant was saved AND, the majority was destroyed at the same time! Kurt’s admission that Romans 9 was fulfilled in AD 70 is a fatal admission. It means that Israel’s salvation came in AD 70! And if Israel’s salvation came in AD 70, then salvation for the nations came then as well!
The Charge: “I have never said that physical death was the immediate result of sin.”
The Truth: Kurt – “Since physical death was the immediate doom brought in by sin, and bespoke the greater doom of eternal death that followed, it is from physical death that the promise of resurrection was given.” (Plow and Sword, October 2009. Read it for yourself!).
The Charge: “Don says I contradict myself by saying that the saints on this side of eternity had received the atonement before AD 70, but the saints in Hades did not receive it until AD 70. I never said any such thing.”
The Truth: Kurt has affirmed repeatedly that the living saints did receive the full benefits of the atonement before AD 70.
Kurt on the living: (Last Affirmative): “When did the saints first stand “soterilogicallly” (sic) complete before the throne of God, cleansed and made pure by the blood of Christ? The Cross or AD 70? I say the Cross.”
Kurt offered 88 verses, claiming that the past tense verbs prove the pre-parousia reality of salvation, justification and atonement. He said the living saints “were already in a present state of grace and justification.”
Kurt on the dead: “The souls in Hades could not enter heaven until they received the benefits of Christ’s atoning blood” (Kurt, SP, October, 2009). However, in his first affirmative, he claimed: “Thus, God had acquitted them (the souls in Hades, DKP) based upon reception of Christ’s blood.” (My emphasis, DKP).
So, Kurt says the dead saints did not receive the atonement until AD 70. On the other hand, they had already been acquitted before AD 70.
Kurt said the atonement was completed at the cross, and the saints before AD 70 were “already in a present state of grace and justification.” Yet, he now says he has never said that the saints, “this side of eternity had received the atonement prior to AD 70″! Really? What then has been the purpose of this debate, if Kurt now says the pre-AD 70 saints did not fully possess the atonement? This is a fatal self contradiction!
Kurt repeatedly said Romans 5:10 proved the saints had received the atonement, and chided me for saying it was proleptic! He said it was finished! Yet, he now denies they had received the atonement! Which Kurt do we believe? Kurt, you can’t say they had received it, and then turn around and claim they hadn’t! That is a fatal self-contradiction that all can see.
If those pre-parousia saints had not received the atonement, as Kurt now claims, when would they receive it? Well, Kurt told us that the dead saints received the benefits of the atonement in AD 70, and he now says he has always said the living and dead would receive salvation at the same time!
Kurt did, without question, affirm that the living saints possessed the atonement and salvation prior to AD 70. And he did, without question, affirm that the dead did not receive the atonement until AD 70. So, he has the living saints receiving salvation before the dead saints. He has not, as he now claims, always said that the living and dead saints received their salvation at the same time. Every reader of this debate– and Kurt– knows this is a false claim. His self contradiction is inescapable, undeniable and fatal.
Kurt has surrendered this debate by admitting that the living did not, in fact, fu
lly receive the atonement prior to AD 70, and by now affirming that salvation was in AD 70 for the living and the dead! This is my position! Kurt has conceded!
The remainder of this debate is now in book form: The End of Torah: At the Cross or AD 70?
Price is $19.95 + $4.50 postage. We will have the book posted on the website in the very near future. In the meantime, if you want a copy, please contact Don K. Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, you can send the funds via PayPal. Be sure to designate that you are ordering the Preston-Simmons Debate.