In the addendum of the book form of our formal debate, held in July 2012, Joel McDurmon repeatedly accuses me of dishonesty, lack of integrity, and of misrepresenting him by offering false “quotations” of what he supposedly said. This is a very serious charge, and in a series of articles, I am demonstrating that this charge is brazenly false. Be sure to get a copy of the book, or the DVDs and see for yourself that I did not misrepresent him.
In his Addendum, McDurmon repeatedly charged me with misrepresenting him and of being dishonest and less than scholarly. Here is one of his claims: “For starters, let’s note that I never said, ‘Zion has been spiritualized and fulfilled.’ When Don attributes this to me as a direct quotation, it is simply sloppy scholarship and is thus irresponsible and bearing on false witness.” (His emphasis. Cut and pasted from the book).
Well, let’s look closer, shall we? McDurmon said: “Zion has been ‘spiritualized,’ if you will, and revealed to be fulfilled in the person of the ascended Christ.” (Verbatim quote) But, he now claims, “I never said, ‘Zion has been spiritualized and fulfilled.’”
I respectfully submit that McDurmon has been caught in his own web of misrepresentation and false charges against me. He clearly and undeniably did say Zion has been “spiritualized.” And he unequivocally did say Zion has been “fulfilled.” He can deny all he wants, but, the record is undeniable, clear, and emphatic. The key issue is whether, by omitting a few words, I changed the meaning of what McDurmon was communicating, and the answer to that is irrefutably clear: There was no change of meaning!
There are a couple more issues to consider in regard to this charge of misrepresentation. During the debate, I said McDurmon believes “all Zion prophecies are fulfilled.” In his Addendum, once again, McDurmon charged me with misrepresenting his views. He said he does not believe “all” Zion prophecies are fulfilled. This is where is gets especially troublesome for Joel’s theology– and his charge of misrepresentation.
No where, let me repeat that, no where, in his article against Horton- the article cited above– does McDurmon qualify his comments about the fulfillment of Zion prophecies. Look again at this quote from the article:
“This arrival verse (in Hebrews 12:21f, DKP) is very important. Horton refers to the Christians a pilgrims. He denies we have arrived, or downplays it in any meaningful sense. He constantly refers to Zion as a future destination: the “path to Zion,” “this journey to Zion,” “Marching to Zion.” But Hebrews makes it absolutely clear that New Testament believers “have come to Zion.” This is in the past tense. Horton says nothing about this verse, and yet it is the culmination of the argument the author began in Hebrews 11.”
Is there any qualification in his comments? No. Is there any suggestion that while Zion has come we are still waiting on Zion? Clearly not. Instead, he simply castigates Horton for saying Zion is “a future destination.” He condemns Horton for denying “we have arrived” at Zion. Yet, of course, in his addendum he insists we are still waiting for Zion to come! He says there is no debate about it: Zion has come! Oh, but wait, Zion has not yet arrived after all, when debating the preterists.
So, the futurist Horton says Zion has not come. McDurmon says that is unbiblical– Zion has come. Horton says we are waiting on a future physical Zion. And yes, Joel says we are still waiting on a future physical Zion. Horton says we are pilgrims headed to Zion. McDurmon claims we are in Zion, but, not the “real” one, because we are waiting on the real one to come down from God! Does that not demand that we are still pilgrims– at least in some sense? After all, if our true citizenship is in the heavenly Zion, and, if that true, heavenly Zion has not yet come, then we are not in our true home city (Philippians 3:20). We are therefore pilgrims.
In addition to his comments contra Horton’s futurism, no where, (unless I completely missed it) in his book Jesus V Jerusalem, does McDurmon qualify his comment that, “Zion has been, as it were, spiritualized and revealed to be fulfilled in the ascended Christ.” He no where says, “some, or even most of the Zion prophecies have already been fulfilled, but we are in truth awaiting the fulfillment of some of the other prophecies.”
Finally, in our debate, at no time did McDurmon exegete a single prophecy of Zion that he claims is unfulfilled. Take note, however, that on the one hand he does claim that Revelation 21 remains to be fulfilled, as he claimed in the debate, but, on the other hand, he says it was fulfilled in AD 70 as we have documented.
He attempted no exegesis of a futurist Zion prophecy. All he did was to fall back on his pre-suppositional theology of the Curse of Adam, and say that since physical death has not been overcome, then there must be a future fulfillment of some Zion prophecies. He said, when pressed, that his belief system allows him to believe such things, but, offered no true exegesis from 1 Corinthians or Revelation 21 that allows such a specious interpretation.
What Joel does do is to say we are waiting for Christ to subdue the last enemy, i.e. death. The trouble is, in our debate, he admitted that there was a fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15 (which is the prediction of the defeat of the last enemy!!) in AD 70. So, the last enemy was defeated in AD 70 in a fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15 and the Zion prophecies. But again, we are somehow awaiting another defeat of the last enemy and thus, logically, for the true arrival of Zion. But, once again, this is troublesome for Dominionist theology, as we shall see in the next installment