Sam Frost / Howard Denham’s Fatal Argument #1
Sam Frost, former preterist, and Howard Denham, hateful church of Christ “minister” have recently joined forces (talk about a strange partnership!) to supposedly refute Covenant Eschatology. Now, I un-friended and blocked Denham long ago for his hate filled language and un-Christian behavior, but, others could see his and Frost’s posts together, and I have gleaned from Frost’s citation of Denham’s comments to know what was being argued.
The topic was martyr vindication and the resurrection. They responded to one of my YouTube videos, in which I demonstrated that Paul’s three fold reference to his suffering for Christ in 1 Corinthians 15 demands a first century fulfillment of that chapter- thus, of the resurrection.
Denham evidently posed the question (In which he totally, 100% ignored the exegetical arguments that I made) asking that if Preston were right and all the martyrs were vindicated in AD 70, what of all the martyrs that have died since then. Frost then responded to Denham by saying:
<<Howard Denham Preston has been asked the same….only the sound of crickets. They can’t say, “yes”, because then you involve the Purpose of God unfolding in history, time and space. They can’t say, “no”, because, well, what do you do with 2000 years of church history? Best answer: I dunno.>>
Frost then queried: What about those poor martyrs after AD 70….does god (sic) ever “vindicate” therm (sic)?” (March 3, 7:44 AM).
For an in-depth study of martyr vindication that reveals how comprehensive the doctrine is in scripture, and how naive the arguments of Frost and Denham really are, see my book The Resurrection of Daniel 12:2: Future or Fulfilled?
Frost then responded to someone that praised his remarks: “I mean, we have Christians literally being beheaded today…..was there something more special about those martyrs in the first century?” (EOQ).
Quick answer here: Yes, Mr. Frost, there was something special about those first century martyrs. They were the ones that filled the measure of eschatological suffering, something foretold by the OT prophets (Isaiah 65:6f), and something that our Lord himself predicted. Does that not make them special, in spite of Frost’s unbecoming derisive remarks?
Frost and Denham thought that they had / have posed an insurmountable question and problem for the preterist community. After all, they claim, if “all the martyrs” were vindicated in AD 70 as the preterists claim, then no martyr who has suffered for the cause of Christ since AD 70 has been vindicated and cannot be vindicated!
I want the reader to be aware first of all, of the response that I posted on FaceBook, in direct response to the Frost / Denham challenge. The response is a bit lengthy, but, it lays the foundation and groundwork for what I will share below.
Let me say unequivocally and without reservation, that Denham and Frost have utterly, absolutely, destroyed their own futurist eschatologies. It almost appears that these men have not actually given any serious thought to either eschatological studies, although they both claim to possess the truth, or, that they are so eager to make some kind of argument against the preterist paradigm that they simply have not thought through their arguments to see what they are saying. Their arguments are the very epitome of “knee-jerk arguments.” In truth, they are specious, pedantic, vacuous verbiage and nothing more. There is no substance whatsoever to them. With that said, let me now share my response to Frost’s claims. Below that, I will make a few observations. Finally, I will demonstrate even further that both Denham and Frost’s “arguments” are fatal to their eschatology.
Here is my response to Frost’s claim that if the martyrs were vindicated in AD 70 that this suggests that no martyr can be or will be vindicated today:
“Mr. Frost, you told Howard Denham that I have been asked before about whether there are martyrs today and if / when they will be vindicated. You claim that I gave no answer, because I can’t, in light of the fact that there have been 2000 years and counting of martyrs, and that we still see Christians literally being martyred today. You claim that when I have been asked this question, all there was and still is, is“crickets.”
Now, I want you to document for me, and for the readers, where I have been asked this question and refused or failed to answer. Just point us directly to a link somewhere, to an exchange where I was silent about this issue. Now, perhaps I did not give an answer that you liked– the most likely scenario– but, I have no recollection of being asked this, and most especially not by you. But, being that I am getting old and feeble, perhaps at some point someone did ask, and I just forgot.
But, so that you cannot – and Denham cannot– truthfully claim that I refuse to answer this question because I can’t, let me offer a few thoughts to demonstrate how fallacious your eschatology and that of Denham’s truly is. Let me set the stage here.
The doctrine of martyr vindication runs from Genesis to Revelation.
In the Tanakh, martyr vindication is invariably tied to the last days of Israel.
It would take place in Israel’s last days (Deuteronomy 32:19f; 31f; v. 43).
It would take place in the last days, at the day of the Lord, when Israel would fall by the edge of the sword (3:18f) when the blood guilt of Jerusalem was removed by the spirit of judgment and fire (Isaiah 2:2f, 10f; 4:1-5).
It would be at the resurrection, the Day of the Lord, when the earth would disclose her blood, (Isaiah 26:19f), at the time of Israel’s salvation, when the fortified city was desolated, the altar turned to chalkstone, and the people whom the Lord had created would no longer find mercy (27:10-13– which, as I have noted before, is a citation of the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32).
It would be at the Day of the Lord, in fulfillment of God’s covenant with Israel (the Israel guilty of shedding innocent blood (Isaiah 59:3-11), when He would take away the sin of those who would call on His name. This of course, is one of Paul’s sources for Romans 11:25f, and his anticipation of the salvation of the remnant. (All of which you totally ignored in our other discussion).
The vindication of the martyrs, including the death of Jesus, is confined to the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24-27- so tell us when the seventy weeks was – or will be– ended, Mr. Frost.
Please tell us, Mr. Frost, where and when did Jesus posit the vindication of the martyrs in his parables of Matthew 21-22– you know, the judgment of the Wicked, persecutorial vine dressers and the men who refused the Wedding invitation and killed the servants sent to them?
Where and when did Jesus posit the vindication of all of the blood shed on the earth, of all the righteous, from righteous Abel to Zecharias?
Revelation posits the vindication of all of the blood shed on the earth, the blood of the apostles and prophets, at the judgment and fall of Jerusalem.
Let me remind you, Mr. Frost, that in our recent exchange, you admitted that Babylon of Revelation was Old Covenant Jerusalem. And we cannot forget that the Lord’s wrath would be completed in the outpouring of the seventh vial, in the judgment of Babylon, that you identify as Jerusalem!!
You might want to check with Denham on this to see if the two of you are on the same page here! LOL!
I can assure the readers that Denham thinks that Frost is a false teacher for his views of Babylon! But, not just on Revelation!
Now, if Denham says that Babylon of Revelation was Rome, then he has the very problem that you and he think is my problem: What about the martyrs that died since the judgment of Rome and the vindication of saints since then? I mean, after all, haven’t there been martyrs since then? There are Christians being beheaded since the days of Rome, right?
So, if Preston is wrong since there have been martyrs since AD 70, then Denham– and Frost as well– have the same (actually worse problem), since Revelation posits the completion of the wrath of God at the vindication of the martyrs– all the blood shed on the earth– at the resurrection, judgment coming against “Babylon”!
With this in mind, in our next installment, we will take a look at some indisputable Biblical facts that the both of you are evidently unaware of, or that you are ignoring. Stay tuned!