This is the very last installment in the protracted debate with Jerry McDonald.
Brother Preston and interested readers:
The proposition we have been discussing for my affirmative states: “Resolved: The Bible teaches that the Second Coming of Christ, the resurrection and the Judgment will occur at the end of the current Christian age.” While I have been in the affirmative I have given structured evidence affirming this proposition, and Don has not even come close to responding to it.
I gave one main argument; the constituent element argument which simply states that if all of the constituent elements of my argument are factual, then my argument is sound, and if my argument is logically valid, and it is sound then my proposition is true. If my proposition is true, then Don’s denial of my proposition is false.
Major Premise: All total situations, the constituent elements of which are factual are total situations which are true.
Minor Premise: The total situation described by my proposition is a total situation the constituent elements of which are factual.
Conclusion: Therefore, the total situation described by my proposition is a total situation which is true.
The argument is valid because it meets the qualifications of this type of syllogism. The major premise is axiomatic, if all the parts are factual, then the whole is true. The only premise that can be questioned is the minor premise “The total situation described by my proposition is a total situation, the constituent elements of which are factual.” Has Don taken each of these elements and shown that they were not factual? No, he has not! Has he even taken one of these elements and shown that it is not factual? No, he has not! So what has Don done during this portion of the debate? All he has done is to avoid the issue and bring in things that were part of his affirmative. Notice the constituent elements of my argument:
- ELEMENT NUMBER ONE: The second coming of Christ will be a literal coming. Now he did actually try and deal with this one, but he did not show that it was false. He tried to argue that because Christ was taken away on clouds and the angels said he would come again in “like manner” as they had seen him go, that this does not mean that he will come on literal clouds. So what else does “like manner” mean? Notice the following verses:
“And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death” (Mar 14:62-64).
Now notice that he said that he would be coming in the clouds, and when they heard that they accused him of blasphemy. Why? Because in so doing he said he was God because God is the one who comes in the clouds. Just as God came in the clouds on Mt. Sinai (a passage that I brought up previously and Don conveniently overlooked). So what does this tell us? Jesus was taken away on a literal cloud. The angels said he would return in like manner. He said he would come in the clouds. Therefore we can look for him to come in the literal clouds. Don has not yet proven this element false.
- ELEMENT NUMBER TWO: The Second Coming Is Yet To Happen. Has Don disproven this element? O he has argued that Christ returned again when he came in judgment upon Jerusalem, but he has not dealt with the evidence that I have given.
- ELEMENT NUMBER THREE: THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IS A LITERAL RESURRECTION OF THE BODY FROM THE DEAD. He has not been able to show that this was false. He has even gone on record as stating that Jesus’ resurrection was a spiritual resurrection. When I pointed this out, refused to even deal with it.
- ELEMENT NUMBER FOUR: ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY THAT DEPEND UPON THE SECOND COMING: Repentance; the Lord’s Supper; the death of the testator before the testament could be of effect, and once the testator died the testament was in effect.
- ELEMENT NUMBER FIVE: Chapter Fifteen Of Paul’s Letter To Corinth Discusses A Literal Resurrection. He claims that there were none in Corinth who denied the resurrection and claimed that I was chanting mantra: “here is my mantra ‘If it be preached that Christ rose from the dead, how say some of you that THERE IS NO RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD?” (1 Cor. 15:12). I have tried to get him to deal with that verse throughout this debate, but he has ignored it completely.
- ELEMENT NUMBER SIX: Paul’s Teaching To The Church In Thessalonica Teaches A Literal Resurrection.
To date, Don hasn’t even touched these arguments, yet he says that he has answered them. Then he said in his closing statements: “But, remember that Jerry told us, both in his affirmatives and negatives that he had no obligation to follow me, and in fact, openly stated that he would not do so” (Preston’s Final Negative). There is nothing further from the truth. I never said any such thing! What I said was that I was under no obligation to follow him off into his repetitions. You see Don would make an argument more than once and consider it two or more arguments. No one argument made twice is still one argument, and if answered once, it is answered for every time it is given. If he repeated it in another article I would either answer it again or show where I had answered it already. But he knows better than to make such a statement, but that is like his statement that he gets to make a negative summary after my rejoinder when the rules state: “There will be a 2000 word rejoinder for each affirmant at the end of the exchange” (http://maeft.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/agreement/)
Don defines the resurrection of the dead as the restoration of the life lost in Adam, and I asked him about the resurrection of the unjust in Dan. 12:2. Does he answer? No, he says that my position is in as bad a shape as his. He says that I made a spiritual application, but I didn’t. I made a figurative application as opposed to a literal one. What do the unjust rise to? Don has refuse to answer an now he never will be able to.
Don says that I have changed positions many times, but again he knows this isn’t true, but he has to have something to say so that he can fill up space. He claims that I don’t have scholarly articles. Well, he is probably right, as I have never claimed to be a scholar of anything; just a preacher. I certainly don’t call myself “Dr.” when I only have an honorary doctorate. If I was going to call myself “Dr.” I would make sure that I had an actual Ph.D after having spent the amount of time and effort in a University to earn that Ph.D.
Don has avoided my arguments like the Plague in this debate. He has resorted to ad hominem remarks about my character and person. He has accused me of doing things that I have not done. He has then had the audacity to come before this reading audience and say that he has answered all of my arguments, and that I have not answered his.
I join Don in encouraging readers to read and reread this debate. I have done my best, and if you will read and examine your Bibles I think you will see the truth on this matter. This is the last article in this debate; with it’s publication the debate is now brought to a close.
Looking forward to the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ