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Christology and Preterism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by John of Japan, Oct 16, 2017.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Eschatology is the study of future things, of prophecy fulfilled and unfulfilled in the Bible. This thread will have a much more narrow focus, so please don't make it about prophecy per se. Eschatology intersects with Christology, the doctrine of Christ in the doctrine of the Second Coming. However, more importantly to the cause of orthodox Christianity, the full preterist insistence that Christ came spiritually in AD 70 has very serious consequences for Christology proper.

    Consider. If Christ came spiritually in AD 70, but did not come physically, then the hypostatic union of Christ as 100% human and 100% God is not true. This doctrine was formulated way back in 325 at the first Council of Nicea in opposition to Arianism. Arius (c. 250-336) was a popular elder from Alexandria who developed a Christology that said Christ was truly a Person, though He was not equally God with the Father, but was eternally subordinate. In answer to this heresy, the council's phraseology was that Christ was 100% God and 100% Man, with neither being subordinate. This is called the hypostatic union.

    Later, in the 5th century came the Nestorians, and the Nestorian heresy (which Nestorius probably did not teach) was that the deity and humanity of Christ were separate instead of united.

    If the hypostatic union of Christ is true (and it is), then full preterism denies this doctrine. Preterism says that Christ came spiritually in AD 70, and therefore there is no need for a physical coming of Christ. But if Christ came spiritually, then the deity and humanity of Christ were divided. How could the spiritual part of Christ come to earth and the physical part stay in Heaven? The human soul of Christ and the spiritual nature, God Himself, are eternally united in Christ.

    So when was the soul/spirit of Christ divided from the physical body? On the cross!! With that as a basis for thought, full preterism must then say, "Well, Christ came spiritually, but then His body in Heaven died at that time. Can you see how absurd this is?
     
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  2. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    Well I don't agree that Christ came spiritually at that time. BUT.
    • Ruth 1:6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
    Did the LORD visit his people visibly, spiritually or metaphorically?
    • Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
    • 41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
    • 42Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
    • 43Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
      • Exodus 19:6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
    The Jews did kill the son and God did take away the Kingdom and gave to another. The Jews were to be a Kingdom of priests, but they kiiled the son and so The LORD came, v40, and took the kingdom from them and gave it to another nation who became
    • Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The Hebrew word for "visit" here has a much wider range of meaning than the English word "visit." In Hebrew it can mean: "to attend to, muster, number, reckon, visit, punish, appoint, look after, care for" (BDB Hebrew Lexicon, accessed through e-Sword). In this context it just means that He had cared for the Jewish people, ending the famine. It does not mean that He "spiritually" dropped in on them somehow.
    I'm not sure what point you are making here.
     
  4. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I can see how absurd this is.

    I will reply on the basis that Jesus' coming as prophesied in his Olivet prophecy took place in the events surrounding the AD 70 destruction. That coming was not the prophesied final coming for the resurrection & judgment, when Jesus will bring about the NH&NE. If you only want to argue about "hyper preterism" then I will leave the thread.

    My reading this morning was in 2 Timothy:
    2:14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

    Your fundamental error here is to reinterpret the teaching of others, using false logic, so that it is contrary to Scripture.
     
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  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Do you or do you not believe that Jesus came spiritually in AD 70? Do you or do you not believe that Jesus is still coming physically in the future?
    Surely you do not believe that a discussion about Christology is striving about words "to no profit," do you??? I'll talk about my Lord Jesus Christ all day long, personally.

    Christology is so important that it is the primary basis for separation on the grounds of doctrine (2 John 9-11).
    I'm giving you the chance to clarify so I do not misrepresent your views. Did or did not Christ come to earth in AD 70? If He came, was it physical or spiritual?
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    The position of JW teaching is that Jesus did NOT have a material resurrection of the body and when He ate the fish post resurrection with the disciples it was simply a show to give them assurance that He was still alive.

    I once asked a JW what happened then to the body of Jesus in the tomb.

    The official JW answer is that it was disintegrated.

    This is a truthful recounting of what I was told, maybe its been changed by JW's by now.

    but my question to full preterists is similar.

    If the material body of Jesus that ate with the disciples post resurrection is not in heaven,
    what happened to it and/or where is it now?

    HankD
     
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  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The primary passage on the hypostatic union of Christ is Phil. 2. Christ was "in the form of God" (v. 6), meaning He was wholly and completely (100%) God. He took on Himself the "form of a servant" (v. 7, same word for form), meaning that He was then 100% human.
     
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  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    it is statements like this that keep things so hostile around here. Its childish and unnecessary.
     
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  9. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    I've never heard the term "hypostatic union" in all my life, but I do believe, & have always believed in the full & perfect deity & humanity of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Trinity.

    As a diabetic, I am familiar with the term "hypo" & I had bad side effects when I was given statins for raised cholesterol. As a preacher I seek to present my teaching in terms my congregation can understand, rather than use technical terms that have to be defined.

    I believe Jesus came in the events relating to the AD 70 destruction as he prophesied, being seen in the clouds by the signs he gave.
    Mat. 24:Mat 24:30 - “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    I believe he will come in glory at the end of time for resurrection of the redeemed to eternal glory & the unjust to eternal separation from God in hell.
    John 5:28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

    2 Thes. 1:9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

    In no way do those beliefs contradict my belief in the "hypostatic union" aka the perfect deity & humanity of our Saviour & Redeemer the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
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  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'm a preacher, you're a preacher. Are you saying that between preachers we cannot have a higher level of theological discussion? At this point I am wondering about your theological education. Did you go to Bible college and/or seminary, or were you self-educated? (Many great preachers have been self-educated. I'm not criticizing that.)

    Even if you are self-educated, you should learn the term "hypostatic union" from this thread. It is an extremely important term in Christology.
    You did not answer the question. Did Jesus Christ come physically (bodily) in AD 70, or "spiritually"?
    Again, you did not answer the question. In the future, will Jesus come physically (bodily)?
    I don't think you are understanding my point here. It all hinges on the idea that Jesus came "spiritually" but not physically in AD 70, something you've not addressed.
     
  11. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    I'm theologically self educated by reading Scripture & Reformed & Evangelical books, & of course attending church & listening to sermons, & focused studying in order to teach. My degree is in Chemistry, with Physic & Maths; I self educated in the 80s in Computer programming. In the 90s I took a one year course in Conservation & Environment Management.

    In my employment, I wrote reports for management that had to be understood by the non-technical, & also Patents that had to be technically precise.

    My wife has a joint degree in Theology & History, at the same university. When I retired I bought a piano - keyboard & took adult education music classes & am church musician. The instrument in my photo is an Indian harmonium - I bought it to accompany Asian songs & hymns - & I learned Punjabi & Hindi scripts to produce printed songbooks with text in Roman, Punjabi & Hindi so we could all sing from the same hymn-sheet.

    No, I would not class myself as a theologian, but I do understand theology for practical purposes.

    Your question -
    "Did Jesus Christ come physically (bodily) in AD 70, or "spiritually"?
    Again, you did not answer the question. In the future, will Jesus come physically (bodily)?
    I don't think you are understanding my point here. It all hinges on the idea that Jesus came "spiritually" but not physically in AD 70, something you've not addressed."​
    - requires an answer that is beyond my understanding.

    How can an infinite being - God the Son - be confined in a human body?

    How can one God be a Trinity?

    In what sense is Jesus with us always?

    How can he uphold all things by the word of his power across the vast universe of time & space?

    What I understand, with my limited human intellect, whether Jesus was present as a spiritual or physical being when he came in AD 70, or how he will be when he comes at the last day, cannot affect the hypostatic union.

    Let me ask you - is the soul/spirit of Christ confined to his physical body - is his spiritual presence with his people a separation of the hypostatic union?

    Does the hypostatic union of deity & humanity of Jesus Christ require his deity to exist within his physical body?

    And when every eye will see Him what will 10 billion people around the earth see?

    Theses are HUGE questions that will be best discussed as questions for all of us, for our blessing & understanding, NOT as points of contention. And I don't expect a concise answer :)
     
  12. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    Well I am not a preacher. I have would have liked to but it is not one of the gifts that God gave me.

    But I can see that if your theological lecturers are following erroneous teachings you are likely to follow those teachers if you don't do what scripture says, "Test everything" That is the scripture test for all teaching especially prophecy.
     
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  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Good for you. :)

    No, I would not class myself as a theologian, but I do understand theology for practical purposes.

    That is the mystery of the incarnation. I don't pretend to understand it, but I certainly do believe it.

    In the person of the Holy Spirit, who indwells every believer.
    Because He is God, and therefore omnipotent.
    Of course it can't affect the hypostatic union of Christ if He is said to have come spiritually--because He did not come in AD 70 in any way, shape or form. And the Scripture is clear that He will come physically someday. If you do not believe that, you have abandoned orthodoxy.
    Once again, Christ is present with His people through the Holy Spirit. (You cannot separate the trinity, nor can you separate the hypostatic union of Christ.)
    I don't like the use of the term "require" here, but His deity does exist in the hypostatic union.

    They will see the Risen Christ in all His glory as portrayed in Rev. 1.

    The Bible commands us to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude v. 3). Any Christian who is not willing to contend for the doctrine of Jesus Christ his Savior is a disobedient Christian.
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Folks, I want to reiterate an important point. Consider Christ on the cross. In John 19:30 it says that when He died "He released His spirit" (my translation). It is very plain that the body without the spirit is dead. So once more, if Jesus came "spiritually" in AD 70 but not physically, He had to physically die in Heaven.

    This thought is so absurd I wonder that otherwise intelligent people can actually hold to a spiritual coming of Christ.
     
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  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I have no idea what this post has to do with the OP. Clarify it if you wish.
     
  16. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Systematic Theology,Three Volumes in One; Augustus Hopkins Strong, 1912, page 279.

    If we can accept the above definition of the omnipresence of God then there should be no theological rational reasoning speaking against the presence of the Logos residing in the (x,y) coordinates of His resurrected and glorified body simultaneously with the rest of His infinite creation.

    HankD
     
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  17. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    "By this we mean that God In the totality of His essence"

    The entire Triunity of His essence. Christ is present with us in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

    When the Spirit left the Body of Christ, the Body died. When the Spirit returned the Body Resurrected. Unless there was a second death and resurrection of Christ in 70 AD, Preterism is theological nonsense.
     
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  18. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    Your attempt by false "logic" to refute Jesus' prophecy is nonsense.

    I answered the question from Scripture:

    I believe Jesus came in the events relating to the AD 70 destruction as he prophesied, being seen in the clouds by the signs he gave.
    Mat. 24:Mat 24:30 - “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
     
  19. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    He took the kingdom away from the spiritual leaders of that time who willingly had him crucified, but Paul also makes a valid case that God still has a future for the Jewish people to yet come, when they as a people received Yeshua at His second coming!
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Jesus is Both God and Mna, so when he comes back, it will be in the same Body that was raised, in a physical form.
     
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