I'm back!

Wow, nothing like a few weeks of being sick to take the wind out of you sails.  But, I'm doing a lot better now.  To let you know how sick I was, I missed church and two different studies!  And, if you know me, you know that that is not me.  But, again, I'm back and ready to get this show on the road.

I have been having some good discussions with a friend of mine regarding the resurrection and the Full Preterist view.  That view is all of the 'end-time' prophecies of the Bible were fulfilled in AD 70 at the fall of Jerusalem.  (For those of you who don't know, this was a war with the Romans that lasted 3.5 years.  It is an incredible story and a lot of it reads like a commentary to the book of Revelation.  You can read it online but I would suggest getting a hard copy of it or, at least, a software module for you Bible software.)  I used to hold to this view but the historical work of Bishop Tom showed me the errors of my position.  The historical view of FP is very good.  It takes the Bible very seriously and understands the different types of language used throughout.  I am very appreciative for that position.  It forced me back to the texts over and over again.  But, alas, it goes too far.  It's 'spiritual' interpretation of the 'time of the end' is very dualistic, platonic, and yes, gnostic.  I couldn't see that when I held that view.  But, again, doing the necessary historical work showed me that it actually is gnostic.  Perhaps not in the classical sense, in that the physical world is 'evil' but in the way it proposes the 'spiritual' and 'heavenly' as the 'reality' and this world is nothing more than just a 'shadow', a 'physical' example of the 'true world'.

There are basically two different views of the resurrection within FP.  One is that when we die, we receive our 'resurrected' bodies then.  The other view is that we receive our resurrected body the moment we are 'saved'.  We have it now.  Both views, however, don't seem to grasp what the term 'resurrection' means.  In both views, they really make a claim to the metaphorical meaning of resurrection (e.g., Eziekial 37).  This, quite naturally, fits into the 'physical' versus 'spiritual' view of FP.  The problem comes when the view doesn't acknowledge the other aspect of resurrection.  In other words, FP leaves out the 'physical' aspect of the resurrection.  To its credit, however, that is consistent.  But you can't just drop off a part you don't like.  You have to deal with it.  You can't write it off by saying things like 'The Jews were so caught up in the physical that they missed the spiritual'.  You still have to deal with that part of what resurrection means.  The New Testament writers didn't change the physical side of resurrection; they changed the metaphorical side.  Metaphorically speaking (and to over simplify), the resurrection meant the restoration of Israel.  However, the New Testament changed that meaning to the restoration of all people (Jews as well as Gentiles) to YHWH (and, perhaps all of creation; see Romans 8).  They still held to the physical aspect of the resurrection, as 1Corinthians (at least) shows.

One of the main problems with the FP position (and this could be said of Dispensationalism, too) is that it doesn't take took kindly to church history.  They are right to point out, however, that some people hold to tightly to tradition.  That is, some people hold church history on an equal plain with the Bible.  However, here again, you can't write off what you don't like (well, I guess you can but that leads into different problems).  It gives off a kind of 'holier than thou' feeling when we say that church history has missed the point and that we have got it right.  That is a scary statement to make.  And I should know.  I made it!  Instead, we should step back and look at those biblical passages and then see how the church has interpreted them.  I think, more often than not, we would be better if we followed that route.  A lot of the problems we face today in the church are not new.  It is wise council to look back at our history and see how they handled things.  Then, based on those things, we can make reasonable decisions for our time.

Peace be with you.

+ OD

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