Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

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Paidion
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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by Paidion » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:08 pm

Doug, I think I know preterism well enough. I just don't agree with it as it is usually expressed.
It seems to me that putting any weight on Irenaeus' writings is a problem. To start with he was an outspoken chiliast, which was condemned by the church as heresey in 381AD. Second he was known for whacky errors such as claiming that Christ was in his 50's when crucified. Finally, and most importantly in this context the passage you just quoted describes his fundamentally erroneous eschatology in which the world would only go 6000 years before the millennium. This obviously didn't happen so why, exactly, should we consider him an authoritative voice on eschatology.
I don't give much weight to the church of 381 A.D. The church had gradually drifted away from early Christian teaching, and by 381 A.D. their teachings and practices were far removed, and no longer apostolic. I'd go with the teachings of Irenæus any time before I would accede to those who wrote in 381 A.D.

I gave Irenæus as an example. The second century church in general were "chiliasts". Why? Because the author of Revelation was a "chiliast", and contrary to the opinion of preterists, and Revelation was written after 70 A.D. Oh, I know preterists must deny this or their whole system crumbles. But both internal and external evidence seems to show that it was written considerably later:

https://www.christiancourier.com/articl ... on-written
Paidion

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dwilkins
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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by dwilkins » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:19 am

So, if we're going to stick with Irenaeus over the later creedal church then how do you explain him being flat wrong about eschatology? I think this is an incredibly important point that you are avoiding. Irenaeus quotes a long series of scripture to build the case for his eschatological point of view. As far as I can tell, he does not claim it comes from any Apostalic tradition outside of scripture (which tells me that he basically made it up after reading scripture). Why should his position be any more compelling than anyone else's? And, if he made it up after reading scripture, and doesn't claim to have gotten it from anyone in particular, why would we think that the Apostalic tradition itself was being handed down in any coherent way?

But, most important of all, since Irenaeus' view of human history lasting 6,000 years on the earth before the start of the millennium is obviously completely wrong, why is anything he has to say on the topic credible?

Doug

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Paidion
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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:10 am

And, if he made it up after reading scripture, and doesn't claim to have gotten it from anyone in particular, why would we think that the Apostalic tradition itself was being handed down in any coherent way?
He didn't make it up; clearly he was giving an exposition or explanation of passages from Revelation.
Paidion

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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:25 am

But, most important of all, since Irenaeus' view of human history lasting 6,000 years on the earth before the start of the millennium is obviously completely wrong, why is anything he has to say on the topic credible?
That was also a common view: the idea that "a day is as a thousand years to God" and the the 7 days of creation, with God "resting" on the seventh, is a type of the whole of human history, with 6000 years passing and then the 1000 year millenium of peace and rest.

But to address your question, it is a fallacy to dismiss someone's reasoning on the basis you have found a flaw in part of it.

This fallacy is fairly common. Some say that if there is one factual mistake in the Bible, we might as well throw the whole thing away. But the fact is, there ARE factual mistakes in the Bible. That should not faze us.
Paidion

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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by dwilkins » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:07 pm

I agree with you that sometimes people have something useful to add even if they are not completely right. I wasn't claiming otherwise. My point was that you are relying on Ireneaus as someone who had a more qualified opinion than more modern ones (presumably because he lived closer to the era of the Apostles and was reflecting their tradition that is lost to us now). I have demonstrated that he had no special knowledge because he not only self admittedly based what he was teaching on the text as opposed to a tradition he'd received, but his basic paradigm was flat wrong. In addition, you have strengthened my argument by pointing out that most early church writers agreed with Irenaeus in their basic paradigm, which demands that none of them were relaying the basic paradigm that the Apostles were trying to teach since all of those backing that approach turned out to be wrong. That doesn't mean that they have nothing useful to say. It simply means that their opinion is no more qualified than ours in this age, and I think we have several advantages that they don't due in large part to the study tools available to us. They were smart enough to see that the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled by the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. And, some of them also pointed to the prophecies of Daniel as being fulfilled. I think these are interesting observations that we can use to demonstrate that they didn't have a unified theory on eschatology since in modern times it seems obvious to us (with our powerful ability to cross reference various texts) that both of these events are intimately tied to the Second Coming.

To keep from drifting too far from the point of the thread, it's been acknowledged by DTS that the dispensational approach to premillennialism can't be found in the early church. This is because the early church was generally supercessionist. My observations about the importance of early church tradition would apply here too.

Doug

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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:00 pm

Doug,you wrote:To keep from drifting too far from the point of the thread, it's been acknowledged by DTS that the dispensational approach to premillennialism can't be found in the early church. This is because the early church was generally supercessionist. My observations about the importance of early church tradition would apply here too.
I agree that the dispensational approach cannot be found in the early church. Indeed, it cannot be found in the later church either until the nineteenth century. But neither can the preterist approach be found in the early church.

It is true that the early church was generally "supercessionist" (as am I).

Most early church fathers were also "historical premillenialists" (as am I).

Not only Irenæus (who was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John), but also Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.), and Papias (80-155 A.D.) taught that there would be a visible Kingdom of God on earth after the return of Christ.
Paidion

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dwilkins
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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by dwilkins » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:36 pm

Why do you think it is that Irenaeus doesn't simply base his argument for his eschatology on his lineage of relationship with John? Why is he so dramatically wrong about his paradigm if he had inside information?

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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by TheEditor » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:24 pm

Still wondering about Polycarp and Papias--did they miss the train? Or were they too young to ride? :?

Regards, Brenden.
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dwilkins
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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by dwilkins » Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:46 am

TheEditor wrote:Still wondering about Polycarp and Papias--did they miss the train? Or were they too young to ride? :?

Regards, Brenden.
I'm not sure what your question is, but they are interesting characters. I wish we knew more about Polycarp. There is a lot of tradition surrounding him, but essentially nothing that doesn't come through Irenaeus (who I've demonstrated can be of marginal value). Papias is another interesting character. He wrote some long works that I wish we had. But they are all lost to history. And if we keep in mind Eusebius' opinion of him, he might have been somewhere between an idiot and a fraud. Who knows. I'm hoping before I die that there will be some additional archaeological work that recovers original information so that we can find out what these people said in their own words.

Doug

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Re: Point of view on Left Behind, anyone?

Post by TheEditor » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:25 am

Hi Doug,

On the other thread I had asked that question and you had said you'd get back to it. My point was, if they lived when they are presumed to have lived, then one of them at least would have been alive when the big bus came that ya' all full preterists think it did. Why didn't they take it? Were they too young? Aren't children of Holy Ones called "holy" in Scripture? And as such, would they not have gone as well? Or at the very least, wouldn't they be well aware of the event and have recorded it? :?

Regards, Brenden.
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