This is a brief final article in review and response to Roderick Edward’s two books, About Preterism.
It needs to be noted that on a Facebook page Edwards took issue with my first article and tried to accuse me of misrepresentation (this is a common charge from him when his comments have been exposed as false). He noted that in my first article I said his books were written to refute Covenant Eschatology. He wrote that this was false because in his book he specifically says that the books were not primarily intended to refute preterism. This is another example of Edward’s duplicity. His books were assuredly written to “prove” that the way to deal with preterism is not through engagement in discussions of what the Bible says, but to force preterists to confront the issue of the Sovereignty of God. Per Edwards, preterists don’t understand that doctrine, and thus, to force preterists to face the issue of God’s sovereignty will refute them! Thus, logically, Edwards’ books most assuredly were written to refute Covenant Eschatology via a discussion of the Sovereignty of God. So, with these preliminary thoughts in mind, let me present my final thoughts on his claims.
A Closing Thought On Edwards and the Sovereignty of God
One should give careful thought to Edwards’ view of the Sovereignty of God.
Remember, Edwards claims that if God is truly Sovereign there could not have been a loss of the truth concerning eschatology. Compare that with the atheist’s argument on the Sovereignty of God. The atheist argues that if God exists and if God is Sovereign, then evil could never exist. But, evil surely does exist. Therefore, either God does not exist or God is not good. But if God is not good, then He is not God.
Does Edwards accept this view? No. Why not, however, since logically, there is a “one to one” comparison between his concept of the Sovereignty of God and the atheists’ argument. It seems patently clear to me, however, that Edwards needs to seriously rethink his claims about preterism and the Sovereignty of God. His argument opens the door wide for the application of the atheists argument.
So, what have we seen in this consideration of Edwards’ Objection?
Edwards devalues and discourages the study of Scripture alone to settle issues of eschatology. Yet, we have shown from Scripture that from the very beginning of Christianity individuals went to the Scripture and Scripture alone to determine the truth.
Edwards attempts to deflect attention away from Scripture by focusing on the Sovereignty of God, claiming that, “God is either in control or He isn’t.” (He never explains the source of his doctrine of the Sovereignty of God, but of course, he would claim it is from Scripture. Yet he urges folks not to use Scripture alone. The irony here is incredible). This is obfuscation and exposes the fallacy of Edward’s own view of the Sovereignty of God. If God’s Sovereignty was applied in the way that Edwards is suggesting, there would have never been such widespread apostasy as described in the Biblical texts.
We have shown that Edward’s own Reformed view of God’s Sovereignty which teaches that every single thing that happens was predestinated before the world began, means that the apostasy that did happen was in fact predestinated by God. Thus, Edward’s claim that if God is truly Sovereign – in total control of every event – there would have been no apostasy, is falsified by his own view of God’s Sovereignty.
We have shown that:
A. There was a massive apostasy from the truth in the first century, and,
B. Part of that apostasy was about eschatology.
We have shown that Edward’s attempt to “re-tell” and “re-frame” the story of Martin Luther is in fact wrong. It denies or falsifies the actual charges brought against Luther, and, importantly, ignores Luther’s appeal to Scripture alone, the very thing that Edwards eschews.
With these facts indisputably established, Edward’s entire argument about the Sovereignty of God is falsified, and his Objection is Over-Ruled!