One of the more focused on topics within Preterist theology is the understanding of the ‘resurrection of the dead’. I, as a Full Preterist who holds to the Corporate Body View (CBV) of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ assert that the ‘resurrection of the dead’ is not a universal yet-future promise, but rather was something that was hoped for by a particularly people and was past-fulfilled in a corporate way. There have been a variety of debates recently focused on whether the ‘resurrection of the dead’ is future/physical or past/spiritual. I have provided a list of the most recent debates below:
Miano/Debate Debate – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLmRpxRhN4&t=1s
Graham/Holloway Debate – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7o3VcoGMAc&t=9s
Israel/ Holloway Debate – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGQO7jt0UC0
Regarding the topic of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ alone, you can find a host of resources at MGW Apologetics (www.mianogonewild.wordpress.com) as well as through this blog, www.powerofpreterism.wordpress.com.
What I’d like to do in this blog is provide a review of the most recent one of those aforementioned debates – Elvin Israel and Michael Holloway.
First, I’d like to share two quotes I pulled from the Opening Statements of these men.
‘Elvin Israel Israel explained the position he would be offering and why that would be important by stating, “a different perspective…the problem we are running into in the 21st century…is that we have forgotten the foundation upon which the Scriptures were written, we have stepped away from the historical information and we put it in our time-frame, our own personal narratives”. All throughout the debate, Elvin sought to honor the principle of audience relevance to which Mike Holloway could not argue against.
I appreciated that Elder Michael Holloway highlighted the sufficiently of Scripture at the beginning of the debate, in his encouragement that, “…each and every one of you to LISTEN VERY INTENTLY TO THE TEXTS because at the end of the day, and I’ll be quoting some history, I’m sure Elvin will be quoting some history, and we will be quoting some background information on a lot of places, but at the end of the day, ONLY THE SCRIPTURES ARE INSPIRED BY GOD, and the Scripture has to be the authority in all that we do”. Amen and amen.
Elvin opening up by going to Daniel chapters 9-12, and demonstrated that Josephus, being a Jew, had the understanding that these prophesies were being fulfilled in the first century. In the cross-examination, when pressed by Elvin about the correlation of the “books” and judgement in Daniel correlating to the book of Revelation, Holloway not only tries to assert a confused hermeneutic of reading through apocalyptic literature, he admitted to not having a strong understanding of the texts, but that he does see an “Israelite focus”. Mike Holloway began his opening by setting up a false dichotomy between the 1st century Apostles and Church history and which he referred to as “my opponents view which surfaced to popularly in the 1970’s.” (Elvin Israel’s view). Later in the debate, Holloway goes on the cite church Fathers and demonstrates not only a failure to discern and apply historical witness to our understanding of Scripture (an example would be the whole discussion regarding Philo), but also doesn’t understand how and why the Preterist asserts that Preterist got lost in the early church (please see, The Road Back to Preterism by Kurt Simmons; available at the following link, http://www.preteristcentral.com/The%20Road%20Back%20to%20Preterism.html)
As I watched the debate, I made the following comment on my social media, “Church history and contemporary reality, as well pragmatic reality, continue to show that we cannot trust any particular generation of Christians thought’s over the other. We must study the ancient cultures, backgrounds, and immediate audience relevance (beyond citations of Church Fathers or commentaries) to best understand Biblical thought”. In that same vein, it seems as though many fail to realize the benefit, but also the problem, of highlighting 2nd Temple Literature. The benefit being our ability to learn and discern the variety of Jewish perspectives that arose after the house of Judah came out from Babylonian captivity and well into the 1st century. The problem with using that literature to assert doctrine though is that it was a period of confusion, division, and erroneous influence (be it Babylonian idolatry or Hellenism). Whether the people were united in their confusion or divided doesn’t make a difference – they were confused and as the prophet remarked, “there was a famine regarding the Word of God (cf. Amos 8:11).
Holloway dismisses and or misunderstands the corporate nature of the New Testament texts (and thus the “hope of Israel), or vice versa. He brings up texts such as 1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 15:41, and Philippians 3 without recognising they are written to groups of people and thus to pronouns need to be understood as such. A great read on what is going on in the context of Philippians chapter 3, is David Green’s responses, https://fullpreterism.com/philippians-3-questionchallenge-on-what-deathresurrection-is-in-view/?fbclid=IwAR2787paLbD9rxVzAxxm2OUZbw8uLRRiK1HpMJ7ez1hUbUGABp0VtAIpzBA
As if Mike Holloway confusing the context of many passages wasn’t already on full display, we find him grasping at straws by asserting that we are still waiting for the “end of the world’ by asserting such texts as Revelation chapter 20 and 2 Peter chapter 3. Noting the textual correlation between the coming of the Son of Man and the flood of Noah’s day (cf. 2 Peter 3:1-9; Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 17:26), Michael Holloway went on to assert, “Noah’s destruction was absolutely global”. I am ever so grateful for the book Beyond Creation Science and the Covenant Creation view that helped me gain clarity on the contextual understanding of Genesis chapters 6-9. I have written extensively on that topic on my blog, mianogonewild.wordpress.com
Running concurrent with the issues Futurist’s raise with the Preterist view of the ‘resurrection of the dead’ seems to be the assertion of Jesus Christ retaining some physical form to later return in, i.e., the end of the world. The obvious question that comes to mind for me is, ‘Why do the Futurist read into the text that Jesus Christ needs to be forever in a body?’. I have heard a variety of opinions offered up – some assert an “eternal incarnation” that Christ had with the Father before His 1st century incarnation (sounds confusing, I know), others simply hold to confusion regarding what happened after the physical resurrection and ascension of Christ, and others utilize Church Fathers and Creeds. Nonetheless, there is a lot of confusion within the Futurist camp in that regard though they assert it with such firmness. Mike Holloway tried to use texts such as Acts 1:9-11 and 1 John 3:2 to make his case to no avail. Not only do those texts made the case that Christ is now in some other form than the Apostles would have known and understood after His resurrection and ascension, but there is also the fact that
Christ not only made it clear when He would come in His kingdom, but also the nature of that coming (cf. Luke 17:20; John 16:16; Mark 9:1; Matthew 16:27-28).
In the closing portion of the cross-examination, Elvin did a great job of outlining Revelation chapters 19-21. In Revelation chapter 19, we have the coming of the Lord with His saints (cf. 1 Thess. 4). In Revelation chapter 20, we have the resurrection of the dead (cf. Daniel 12; 1 Cor. 15). And lastly, in Revelation chapter 21 we have the change of the living and the ‘restoration of all things’.
Overall I must say, as I posted on the original YouTube video of the debate, “I must say this debate was edifying in many ways! Thank you both – Elvin and Mike. The gracious attitude and intelligence in this video is strong! Praise God.”.
Submitted for the edification of the saints,
Pastor Michael Miano
P.S. – William Bell’s 3 part review on All Things Fulfilled YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/AllthingsfulfilledEschatology/videos