Does King's Covenant Eschatology Lead to Universalism?
Why Simmons Is Wrong: A Tour de Force
le Tour de France
Written by Samuel Frost
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
1. Bad Greek
My first argument is the easiest to reveal the incompetence of Simmons. I had a good laugh over this one. Simmons wants his readers to think that the Greek article is of no real importance. Yet, anyone can read any grammar (I have about seven of them) to see that this is false. He notes that the Greek article appears before names, like, "the Jesus said..." Why the article? Simple. It is specific. Names are very limited and specific, and thus the article often accompanies them. It's just the Greek way.
His second clumsy mistake was to note that "not one" (italics his) translation agrees with my translation. All I have to do here is produce one translation to prove Simmons false. Young's Literal Translation: "because of this, even as through one man the sin did enter into the world, and through the sin the death; and thus to all men the death did pass through, for that all did sin." Notice the articles. Romans 5.14 shows that Young translates, "the death." I could go on, but if you happen to have a Young's, read Romans 5.12-21. Score one for Frost, 0 for Simmons.
His next very bad comparison is to make me sound like I am inventing a translation akin the New World Translation (NWT) of the Jehovah's Witnesses. False. Since Simmons has not been schooled in Greek, and since he does not teach Greek, his "knowledge" here is deficient. The NWT makes a case that "a" god in John 1.1 is a legitimate grammatical point. Fact of the matter is Greek has no indefinite article (no "a"). The second fact of the matter is that my translation is a literal rendering of the Greek. Why, then, does English not bring out "the"? Simple. When we learned translation under the rigors of seminary training (which Kurt has none), we heard the concept of "smoothing out" the Greek to make it readable in English. To the Greek, "the death" was perfectly readable because it's Greek to the Greek! To the English reader, "the Jesus said" is not "smooth English." But, amazingly, Simmons is trying to make the point that since "the" is not in most of our English translations, then it is not really there, and of not much importance to exegetical considerations! If Simmons tried to sell this line of garbage to any Greek professor, they would laugh him out of the class and tell him to continue pursuing law. Score: Frost, 2; Simmons, 0.
Finally, I'll leave the reader with a quote from someone who actually knows Greek, wrote a well-received textbook on the subject, and should put this baby to rest. "There is no more important aspect of Greek grammar than the article to help shape our understanding of the thought and theology of the NT writers." And, "...[T]he article is able to turn just about any part of speech into a noun and, therefore, a concept. For example, "poor" expresses a quality, but the addition of an article turns it into an entity, "the poor." It is this ability to conceptualize that seems to be the basic force of the article" (Greek Grammar Beyond The Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Daniel B. Wallace, Zondervan, 1996, pp. 208,209). Now, Paul consistently used "the death" and "the sin." "Sin" is just a quality. "The Sin" is an entity, a concept. Paul is not, then, talking about individual sins, but the very concept and definition of the Sin. If Simmons would actually read technical commentaries that deal with the Greek text, he would see that they talk about the article and the concept of "death." Frost, 3; Simmons 0.
2. Bad Logic
Simmons uses what he calls "syllogisms" to dismantle my argument. He states that I must prove that his reasoning here is false. It can easily be done. In Logic 101, there are valid syllogisms and invalid ones. Logic operates much like Math. 2+2=4. All A is B cannot imply No A is B (symbolically written A(ab) ~ O(ab) following the affirmo and nego as contradictions). There are many syllogisms that go under mnemonic devices like Barbara, Celarent, Darii, Freioque prioris. Notice that each word (in Latin) has three vowels. The first is Barbara (AAA): All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. That is, A(ba). A(cb) -> A(ca). That's logic, and there are only 24 valid syllogisms (in Logic AEIO stands for the four declarative statements).
Another rule of logic is that although a syllogism is true structurally speaking, it may be false factually speaking. In other words, "All dogs are cats. Fifi is a dog. Therefore, Fifi is a cat." Perfect logic! But, is the major premise factually true? Logic cannot give us definitions. Now, aside from this all too brief lesson in Logic, Simmons fails on both accounts. He fails on a third account, too, which I will show.
First off, his syllogisms follow no known logical syllogism of the 24 valid ones. Let's look at Simmons first syllogism:
Major Premise: The reign of sin and death over man (A) was determined by the Mosaic law (B)
Minor Premise: The Mosaic law (B) was annulled at the eschaton, losing all men of its power (A); therefore,
Conclusion: Men are universally reconciled (C) to God.
Now, from this, we can see that Simmons adds a subject in the conclusion that is not contained in the premises. Very bad logic. In fact, this is a violation of one of the first rules of syllogistic reasoning. The Conclusion must contain a subject in the Premises. There is no need, then, to refute a bad, logical argument! But, even if we grant that somehow Simmons may salvage some rationale for this mess, he still is factually false in the first premise: Max King and Samuel Frost do not teach that the Mosaic Law determined the reign of the Sin and the Death! This will be shown under section 5 conclusively from multiple quotes from King.
Simmons wants to parade around his knowledge and supposed defeat of covenant eschatology by stating that he is giving "hard evidence" from King and me. He quotes merely a few sentences from myself then spins his interpretation of what I meant! He allows for no context. It is like one observer remarked: Simmons is the master of the cut and paste. Rather, what Simmons (and Dennis, Dubois, B. Simmons and others) has done is create an argument; create a supposed link between covenant eschatology and Universalism. Once they have created this illusion through very bad arguments (I have proven some very easily above), they get others who are impressionable with the use of their sophistry to go along with it. Then we have to have a "debate." Well, I am debating, and what I have found so far, as written so far in this paper, is demonstrably dumb.
Simmons' second syllogism goes like this:
Major Premise: The resurrection consisted in the removal of legal condemnation.
Minor Premise: Legal condemnation exists today despite annulment of the Mosaic law. Therefore,
Conclusion: There was no spiritual resurrection based upon the annulment of the Mosaic law.
Anyone spot the error here? If you had a few courses in Logic and actually paid attention in class instead of waiting for the next game of beer pong, you would see it. Rule, "Two affirmative premises do not imply a negative conclusion" (G. H. Clark, Logic, Trinity Foundation, p.78; vid. Basic Logic, Raymond J. McCall, Barnes and Knoble Pub., pp. 132-196) Yet, that's what we have here. The Major Premise is affirmative. The Minor Premise is affirmative. The Conclusion is negative (notice the word, "no"). Simmons' syllogism here is invalid and to be shunned. It is not an argument. It is nonsense and unintelligible. There does not need to be any response to a badly constructed syllogism. Frost 4; Simmons 0 (but, hey, who's keeping score?).
3. Bad Exegesis (or No Exegesis at All)
Unfortunately, there is none at all. Simmons offers no exegesis. He offers, instead, Arminianism under the banner of Church of Christ. Why he wants to pull Calvinism into this is a smokescreen. Even one of my most ardent opponents noted this. I can't find any exegesis in Simmons' two papers. Exegesis that deals with the Greek text. I will not make this into a Calvinism versus Arminianism. I deny freewill. I believe in total sovereignty, down to the number of hairs currently on my head. I believe that there is no question that could ever be formed that God could not exhaustively answer. God "knows all things" (I John 3.20). I guess Simmons wants to "link" that to Universalism, too. I could argue that the Bible leads to Universalism since, from Origen on, all Universalists use the Bible as their source!
On the contrary, my first paper was nothing but exegesis. Simmons does very little to counter this. He does not deal with the 5 Points that are derived solely from the scriptural material:
Point #1: In I Co 15.54 Paul quotes Is 25.8. In the Hebrew it is "ha muth" or "the death." The Septuagint also reflects this, and so does Paul. Paul mentions "the death" in I Co 15.26. There, the "last enemy that is being destroyed" in Paul's day was "the death." No doubt that "the death" he has in mind here is the same "the death" he has in mind in 15.54-56.
Point #2: Paul also quoted from Hosea 13.14 where "death" is addressed in the vocative. Paul links these two contexts together, meaning that "the death" in Is 25.8 is the same "O' Death" that is being addressed in Hos 13.14. Both of these contexts are Restoration of Israel contexts, with which no one would disagree.
Point #3: In I Co 15.56 Paul links "the death" with "the sin" and "the law." Very recently, many scholars, none of which are Full Preterists, have noted the clear connection between 15.56 and Rom 5. In other words, 15.56 is a condensed argument of Rom 5, which the Corinthians would have been familiar with since Paul stayed so long with them. In the letter to the Romans, however, Paul has to expound upon this doctrine since he has never visited Rome. The same can be said for the language of II Co 3.5, which appeals and quotes Gen 1.3 and clearly connects "the death" with the "law written in Stone." The Law of Moses was "the administration of the Death" (3.7). Unless Paul has more than one definition of "the death" that consistently occurs in contexts talking about Israel and the Law of Moses, then we are perfectly logical in insisting that all of these usages of "the death" means one thing: the death that passed on to all men as the result of the one man.
Point #4: John's vision of "the death and the hades" (which, in the Hebrew Scriptures, these words are often coupled together) ends with the destruction of "the Death." That John has Isaiah in mind (or, rather, that the Spirit inspiring John is alluding to His past revelations given to Isaiah) is plain. The Death is destroyed and John writes, "He will wipe away the tears from their eyes. There will be no more the Death" (Rev 21.4). Now, let's read Is 25.8: "He will swallow up the Death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces." That there is a connection here is plain for all to see.
Point #5: Conclusion, John and Paul did not make up a new doctrine concerning "the death." They explicitly got it from Isaiah. John pictures the fulfillment, therefore, of Is 25.8 in Rev 21. Paul is looking forward to the same fulfillment in I Co 15, using the same language. It is quite clear and plain that Paul has connected "the death" with "the law of Moses" and more explicitly with the law given to Adam, which he transgressed. It is quite plain for anyone to see that with the "dissolution of the law" of Moses, the "administration of the Death" would be equally swallowed up. The Law of Moses was "added to" the Law that Adam broke, and thus became the main "administer" of the Death which came because of Adam. The fulfillment and subsequent dissolution of the "written code on stones" would mean that "the Death" would cease to "reign" over "all peoples." The Death does not reign in the New Heavens and New Earth.
It is my conclusion that he cannot deal with these points. Secondly, Simmons does not ever exegete Isaiah 25.8, in which every commentary I have on Isaiah concludes that this envisions a once and for all swallowing up of "the death." However, the commentators point out the next verse, as I did, that "Moab" is destroyed. Universalism cannot be the case. Simmons ignores this point. Let me repeat it:
"You have to see this picture. If the sheet of the Death that covers "all peoples" includes Moab, then it follows that the sheet of the Death is removed for Moab. Moab is no longer under the sheet, for the sheet has been removed. However, Moab is destroyed, not saved! Isaiah 26 continues to remark that "in that day" (26.1) "grace will be shown to the wicked, though they learn not righteousness." What is interesting here is that Paul speaks of "grace reigning in the righteousness to eternal life"! As we have shown, "eternal life" is the result of the swallowing of the Death. However, just because the Death is swallowed up for all, does not mean that all enter into the Kingdom of God wherein is Eternal Life."
Simmons ignores the very framework that Isaiah has laid out here. Get this, readers. Every commentary I have on Isaiah sees this passage as referring to the absolute destruction of the Death. Now, they define it, traditionally, as the end of any and all forms of death. That is, when this passage is fulfilled, "there will be no more the death." Simmons is a full Preterist. He must do something with this verse. He must redefine the traditional reading of this verse like I am in order to stay a full Preterist.
Now, to be fair, Simmons does offer some sort of explanation concerning Adam. It is confused, however. Simmons wrote, "At its heart it impugns the cross, saying men could not be justified unless the law was removed. But this is wholly false for Christ's cross triumphed over the law." King's point would be that he triumphed over the Law by removing the Law. But, let's continue to read, "Hence it was hardly necessary for the law to be removed for man to be justified." Got that? Christ triumphs "over the law" but it was not necessary for the law to be "removed." In fact, "Indeed, its very assertion that the "law" was removed is found a lie." Got that? To assert that the Law is removed at all is "a lie." Simmons continues, "for the law of Moses was merely the outward and perishable form temporarily imposed upon the moral law of God to show man his sinfulness." Now we have two laws introduced here! Watch closely, folks, for Houdini is getting ready to perform a card trick! "The outward form, consisting in the ceremonial and certain other incidentals, was indeed removed, but the inward part remains until this very day." Wow. Now, let's get this straight, if that's possible. Which "law" did Christ triumph over? Which "law" was removed? If it false to say that "the law" was removed, and then turn around and identify two laws, one of which is removed, then for which "law" is it false to say that it was removed? Confused? Good.
Notice that Simmons' sleight of hand card trick is to introduce the traditional, theological (Lutheran) version of dividing up the law into three parts: the Moral, the Ceremonial, and the Legal. The Ceremonial is removed, but the Moral remains. I guess the Legal is removed, too, since I like shellfish. Notice that what this "theory" fails to take into consideration is that the whole Law stands or falls together. This threefold distinction of the Law is theologically foreign to Paul. It a man-made theology to "get around" applying all of the Law, yet forcing some of the Law on parishioners. Did Jesus mean this when he spoke about "not one jot or tittle?" No. There is no exegesis here. Just forced tradition upon a full Preterist framework. What you get is a freaky theology.
Now, Simmons goes on to say that, "Indeed...the Mosaic law was merely superadded to the moral law." Wow. The Mosaic Law was added to the Moral Law. The Moral Law is apart of the Mosiac Law, but here the Mosaic Law must mean the Ceremonial and Legal Law. But, when Paul uses the phrase, "the Law of Moses" was he talking about the Moral Law in Moses' Law, or just the Ceremonial Law in Moses' Law? Or maybe the Legal and Ceremonial laws, but not the moral laws? Confused? Good.
What Simmons fails to see is that for the Jew in Paul's day, failing to do any part of the law was immoral. That is, if a person failed to tithe to the Jerusalem temple, he was a sinner. If a person failed to offer appropriate sacrifices, he was a sinner. If a Jew did not perform ceremonial aspects of the Law, he was regarded as a sinner. No Jew said, "oh, that's just ceremonial." Simmons is entirely wrong on this point and it is high time he caught up with good Evangelical theology.
Now, further confusion. Simmons actually thinks that King teaches that only the ceremonial law condemned all men. Keep this in mind when we cover section 5. Simmons wrote, "The "old aeon" of the ceremonial law was not removed so sin could be defeated and death annulled as asserted by King; just the opposite: it is because sin and death were defeated that the old aeon of ceremonial law was removed." I will consider this further in section 5, but here note that Simmons asserts a "defeat" of "the sin and the death." When? Notice that he does have a connection between the "defeat" of "sin and death" and the "removal" of the ceremonial law in A.D. 70. He never elaborates, but there it is. But, based upon my points above, the removal of "the sting of the death" is in fulfillment to Isaiah 25.8, which Paul clearly saw as still future. When was "the death" in connection with the "removal of the ceremonial" swallowed up and defeated? If the death is defeated at the cross, according to Simmons, then why is Paul still looking forward to its defeat at the parousia of Christ? The parousia, mind you, that coincides with Simmons' "removal of the ceremonial law". When was death defeated? At the cross? The resurrection? The Ascension? The parousia? When was the old aeon of the ceremonial law "removed"?
Finally, and most devastating, Simmons wrote, "the moral law continues to condemn all men today (for all men sin), it is impossible that the removal of the Old Covenant brought about the "resurrection" covenant eschatology asserts." Let's straighten all this out, okay? The Ceremonial Law was superadded to the Moral Law. Sin and death were defeated at the cross, and it was because of this that the Ceremonial Law was "removed" in A.D. 70. However, the Moral Law continues to condemn all men and sin and death continue to reign. However, sin and death are defeated when one comes to Jesus. However, since no Christian alive today can claim to be raised from the dead, then he must still be under sin and death until, in Simmons' view, he dies and gets a new body. Get that? If that's what Preterism teaches, I declare to all today: I want nothing to do with it.
What Simmons fails to see is that sin and death was not pictured by Paul (and Isaiah) as being swallowed up for some, but not others. The Death is swallowed up "for all peoples" as Isaiah plainly says. Let's read Revelation 20.13: "the Death gave up the dead that was in it." Now, according to point 4 above, "the death" that John has in mind here is the same "the death" in Isaiah 25.8. Notice that first, the Death gives up the dead that were "in it." Notice that, two, these dead ones are judged according to their deeds. It is their deeds that ultimately condemns them. Abraham was just as much "in Adam" as was Sennacherib. Both were under the reign of the Death. Abraham, because of his faith and works that followed, rose to receive eternal life. Sennacherib did not. Some of those that are taken from "the death" go on to eternal life, others do not. Clearly, then, the swallowing up of the Death did not mean that all would gain eternal life. The Bible teaches this plainly, and Simmons flatly contradicts the Bible. Don't be swallowed up by his mess. If we are in the Age to Come, then all are in the Age to Come, but, as the Bible teaches, one must "come and enter" to have eternal life. Preterists must deal with this framework or, like Dennis, abandon it.
4. Bad Understanding of Calvinism
I am not going to spend a lot of time here because it is so unnecessary. First off, I'll let you in on a secret: I am a "five point Calvinist" and since 1989, when I read the Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Lorraine Boettner, I always have been. Simmons keeps calling me a "four point Calvinist" simply because he does not understand Calvinist lingo. This point, and this point alone, should reveal that Simmons is incompetent. In fact, I go further. Since 1989 I have been what is called a "supralapsarianist." That is the "dangerous" kind of Calvinists (chuckle...lighten up, folks). Since 1989 I have always affirmed what has been called, "limited atonement." I still affirm it. Simmons does not understand my position at all, and this fact ought to alert the reader that he misunderstands a lot of things.
Now, I must talk, briefly, about being a baby killer as Simmons wants to make us Calvinists out to be. Again, if Simmons actually read Calvinist theology (like Bede, Turretin, Gill, Hodge, Clark, Machen, sigh!), he would see that for Calvinists, the question about God burning up little infants in hell is silly. The Bible does not answer this question. It is a supposed logical inference emphasized by Arminianists that if the Calvinist doctrine of election be true, then God burns babies in hell. Now, in Logic, an "inference" may or may not be true. That is, Sally was killed by a .44 caliber. Her husband owns a .44 caliber. Inference: Sally's husband shot her. That may or may not be true. We don't have all the facts.
This applies directly to this strange addition to the debate that Simmons has brought to the forefront. If I asked Simmons if there are "babies" in heaven, what would he say? That is, if a three week old fetus is aborted and goes to heaven, does it go and remain as a three week old fetus or a person? I would think that Simmons would say, a whole person, mature. Great answer. Now, can we get rid of the picture of God burning babies in hell? Babies are not in hell. People are. Babies are not in heaven. People are. Mature people.
Usually the Calvinist will respond with his own caricature of the free-will lovers. It goes something like this: when I was a fetus to the "age of accountability" I had eternal life. When I was eight I stole a piece of candy, sinned, and lost it. Now I was on my way to hell. But, when I was 13 I heard Billy Graham speak and gave myself to Jesus. Now I was on my way to heaven. However, I had an alcoholic father and could not quit drinking myself. I fell away from Jesus and now I am bound for hell again. Maybe I can get saved again before I die. Simmons would probably reject such a view, and most Arminianists I know do reject it. Just like we reject to being baby burners. It's a moot point. We don't know all the facts. It's another smokescreen from Simmons to further distance people from Sam Frost. After all, Sam Frost is a baby burner and has helped foster the massive spread of Universalism amongst the Preterists. Laughing now? Good. You should be. I am, too. Frost, 34; Simmons 0.
5. Bad, No, Terrible Understanding of Samuel Frost's
and Max King's Position
Quickly, Simmons believes in two things about King's position: "the ceremonial law condemned all men." And, "The power of sin and death over mankind resided in the Mosaic law." He believes this about my position: "Sam's article [is] irrelevant to King's covenant eschatology." That is, my paper "said little or nothing thing about covenant eschatology." All three of these assertions are as false as false can be. I plan on scoring three more points here.
First off, if one has a copy of The Cross and the Parousia (CP) by King, then it would be wise to read pages 612-633. There one will read the massive material under the heading, "The Fall of Adam." King wrote, "It is essential...to understand the nature of Adam's fall" (CP, 612). He then moves on to consider the single sin (what I called, "the sin") which resulted in a universal separation of all that belong to Adam: "Does it not follow, therefore, that if Adam could not achieve life on his own strength and power, neither could any of his descendents?" (617). Further, "Adam's sin was the sin of all men" (617). Man after Adam was plunged into "a world of sin and death" (617).
The meaning of "for all have sinned" in Romans 5 is clearly of "a corporate nature" (616), drawing from the theology of Ridderbos and Shedd, two scholars I admire. From this foundation King, commenting on Romans 5.13,14, wrote, "[W]e believe Paul's argument is structured to establish that the Gentiles are no less under bondage to sin and death than is Israel of the law" (623). It is here that King makes the distinction between the personal sins of those from "Adam to Moses" and the specific Transgression of Adam which caused "the death" to reign over all men before the giving of the Law to Moses. "This means, as we have pointed out above, that death, and its entrance into the world, must be seen as occurring when Adam was driven from Eden, and from the life and presence of God. Therefore, death (i.e., separation from God) became a fixed mode of being in the world of humanity, which no descendent of Adam possessed the power to change except the Promised One" (624). King continues to elaborate and I urge the reader to locate these pages, well over 20, that basically reflect the exact same points I made. The same points that, according to Simmons, has "nothing to do with covenant eschatology." Frost, 67; Simmons 0.
Again, King: "This raises the question about Israel. In being placed under the law, their sins are imputed, but is this why they are under the reign of sin and death? This cannot be the reason...Death reigns where sin is not imputed" (ital. mine, 624). King goes on to show that it was Adam that introduced the reign of sin and death, and it was this reign that Israel was under. The Law of Moses did not put them under "more condemnation" and did not make them "more enslaved" (624). The Law of Moses, the whole law of Moses, was added to show what Adam's offense meant (625). The Law of Moses was added to show that all men are alike condemned, Jews and Gentiles. The Law was added, also, to typologically point to the spiritual highway of Deliverance that would come through the Star of Judah. The theology in these pages by King is masterful as it is brilliant. But I only want to point out that the very foundation of King's "covenant eschatology" is rooted in Adam and what I wrote about in the first paper. Remember, as I have pointed out, Simmons says that my first paper had "nothing to do with King's covenant eschatology." This is proof that Simmons has no true grasp of the theology represented by Max King. He misrepresents it at its very foundation. Nowhere does King see the reign of sin and death as beginning with the Law of Moses, or "determined" by the Law of Moses or "residing" in the Law of Moses. Simmons has mislead his readers.
On pages 628-633 King brilliantly shows that universalism is not the result of a corporate reading of Romans 5. Now, based upon my memory, in my last conversation with King, he was considering redefining the word "all" so as to include everyone. He stated to me that he knew this would change the definition that is in CP. But, as I showed, this has nothing to do with the corporate view, but with the definition of the word, "all." Anyone who is a Calvinist or a Preterist knows that "all" in the Bible is a sometimes tricky little word. The discussion, then, should center in on "all in Christ shall be made alive" and its relation to Universalism. It should not focus on baby burning Calvinists who share with King the Corporate View that leads to Universalism, as Simmons has made it out to be. Simmons has created a false argument (borrowed from Todd Dennis). Neither one can hold a candle to King.
CP goes on to define "death" and "sin" in much the same fashion I did in my first paper. On page 643, under the heading, "The Defeat of Death", the material jumps to Isaiah 25.8. Go figure. I could go on and on for pages and pages of material that refute Simmons' understanding, or rather misunderstanding, of King. But, one last quote from the book will do well: "The old aeon of the Law has been done away...but it remains that apart from Christ creaturely man continues to reside "in the flesh" from a non-covenantal perspective; a mode of existence that is incapable of achieving life due to the weakness of the flesh. Hence deliverance from the flesh through "the circumcision of Christ" always will be the need of humanity..." (715). That is, all men everywhere live in the Age to Come, under the Rule of the Grace in The Righteousness that draws people from all nations to come and join God's People, the Israel of God, the Body of Christ.
The world has changed. As a result of the parousia of Christ, "the kingdoms of the world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11.15). Simmons would have you believe that this is not so. God's kingdom is not a kingdom or more reigning of sin and death. The reign of the Death and the Sin of Adam has been annulled. All the kingdoms (reigns, Greek) have become the Kingdom (reign, Greek) of Christ, the single kingdom. This is exactly how Zechariah 14 pictured it: "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name" (14.9). Yet, "Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples do not come to Jerusalem, they will have no rain...the Lord will bring a plague and inflict the nations that do not come up." (14.16-19). That is, "Outside are the dogs..." (Revelation 22.15). Zechariah is, in effect, saying that the Lord reigns over all the nations and He reigns in Grace and Righteousness. Those who come to the New Jerusalem celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, or simply understood typologically as being "in Christ" the "tabernacle of God." Those who refuse to come "inside" are cursed.
On this passage listen to Milton Terry, "All this glowing picture of the triumph and glorification of Jerusalem is the prophetic ideal of the future of the kingdom of God. It was introduced at the coming of Christ and the overthrow of Judaism and the old Jerusalem. It's one long day is known to the Lord; for nearly two thousand years it has been neither day nor night, but a conflict and mixture of both...With this ideal all the great apocalyptists agree" (Biblical Apocalyptics, p.167,168). Universalism is denied. Simmons is mistaken and has created an entire debate and argument based on his own misunderstanding. It's not looking good for Simmons' at all. Frost, another 3; Simmons, zilch.
I have set out to dismantle several things about Simmons' last paper. I have shown that he knows no Greek and does not understand the Greek article at all. I have shown, no, proven, that his so called "syllogisms" are logically incoherent and in fact at every turn violate the most fundamental laws of the logical syllogism. I have shown that his lack of exegesis is mainly negative and critical of mine, offering no real alternative except more of the "same ole, same ole" traditionalism-rooted-in-futurist-eschatology. His tirade against Calvinism is completely without merit and his understanding of my own Calvinistically derived views are completely wrong. Finally, and most devastating, I have proven that he has no real, true grasp of King's system as presented in Cross/Parousia. He has, rather, based his whole argument on a faulty misunderstanding of King and me. With all of these considerations in mind, it should become plain to everyone that Simmons needs to go back to the drawing board and ink out a new plan. This one has been destroyed. It also places into serious question the scholarship of Simmons.
I do want to add that Universalism has been entirely defeated by the Scriptures. It matters not whether one is a Corporate Body guy or a "get a new body when you die" guy. It matters not whether one is a Calvinist or an Arminianist. It matters not whether one is Church of Christ, Catholic or Presbyterian. It matters not if you believe in physical rapture in A.D. 70. It matters not if you are postmodernist or empiricist. It matters not if you take Eden literally or merely symbolic and non-real. Young earth, old earth, global flood, local flood, whatever. None of these views "leads" to Universalism. Exegetical considerations of universalistic passages in the Bible (like, "every knee shall bow...") are the issue and the only issue. To make it anything else is to have hidden motives and axes to grind; an attempt to bury someone by "proving" that they are the reason for something that most of us view as aberrant. It's a game of pin the tail on the donkey, and the donkey is Universalism. What I am saying is that this donkey already has its own tail. It's already a complete donkey. It is its own system. Full Preterism didn't "invent" it and those who are Full Preterists who have come to believe in Universalism got there from bad exegetical leaps. It's as simple as that. There...now I have spoken my peace. As far as I am concerned, this debate is over. Besides, I've got some babies to burn...
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