Touching DeMar’s and Burgess’ Conversation on Consistent Preterism

OK … I’ve listened to the first two parts of Gary DeMar’s interview with consistent Preterist Kim Burgess.

See the episodes;

1.) One Diamond, Many Facets
2.) Dissection or Vivisection

So far, nothing has been said that is necessarily a red flag. However, there are some questions that need to be asked.

Kim uses the Murray model of Redemption accomplished and Redemption Applied. Kim insists that the Redemption accomplished is an objectively completed act finding its final act in the events of AD 70 and Jesus judgment coming against Israel. There Israel’s OT eschatology was fulfilled as they had their long promised “Day of the Lord.” However, their remains a not yet in fulfillment (redemption applied) that is applicational in nature.

The question that needs to be put to Kim is whether or not his Redemption Accomplished model means that the following have been completed;

1.) Great White Throne Judgment

2.) Christ’s 2nd Advent that is promissory of a resurrected world
3.) Resurrection of the saints
4.) Casting death into hell

Now, I have chatted with Kim in the past and he has insisted that there is no resurrection of the body though there remains a resurrection of the person to receive a body befitting them.

We can subscribe to Kim’s model when it provides, for example, the current reality of positional sanctification (redemption accomplished), while at the same time insisting on progressive sanctification in terms of redemption applied. We can subscribe to Kim’s model when it provides an already, now, and not yet as definitive, progressive, and eschatological in terms of time markers. I even had no necessary problem with saying that the Old Testament eschatology of Israel was fulfilled with the first advent of Christ.

The problem arises with the seeming denial of this part of the Apostle’s creed;

I believe (Jesus) will come again to judge the quick and the dead.


I believe the resurrection of the body.

I don’t believe those are small matters that can be swept aside. Indeed, the denial of these confessional article strike me as approaching a denial of the Christian faith.

It would also help if Kim would explain how his position isn’t the position of Hymenaeus and Philetus. These two men had departed from the truth. They had said that the resurrection had already taken place, and they destroyed the faith of some.

If Kim’s position is that the resurrection that was referenced in the NT was the spiritual resurrection of Old Covenant Israel How does Kim’s explanation avoid Hymenaenism? The resurrection that Hymenaeus was denying certainly wasn’t Old Covenant Israel’s resurrection.

I also don’t agree with Kim’s sneering dismissal of systematic theology and his favor of Biblical theology. It seems he should take his own advice and see these two in a “both and” approach as opposed to the “either, or” he seems to be advocating. I would note that Biblical theology as a discipline really didn’t come around until the 19th century and was only rescued from Liberalism by the work Geerhardus Vos. So, compared to Systematic theology, Biblical theology is a Johnny come lately. Also, I would note that in my estimation Biblical theology can’t even begin to get traction without Systematic theology categories. It is systematic theology that give us categories of sin, righteousness, salvation, covenant, etc. Biblical theology says it is just beginning with the text but every beginning point I would contend begins because of some previous systematic presupposition. I say this as someone who loves Biblical theology. I’ve read tons in both categories. I quite agree that systematic theology needs Biblical theology but I also insist that Biblical theology needs systematic theology. In my estimation, it is a matter of “both, and.”

I do agree with Kim that too many ministers/theologians read the Scripture too one dimensionally (too flat). I also continue to insist that Kim has a certain brilliance and so he should be heard out. I can seriously say that I wished I could make all the connections in Scripture that Kim makes. Keep in mind that I could say much the same of J. Stuart Russell’s work “The Parousia,” though I think him wrong when he goes all Full Preterist.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

13 thoughts on “Touching DeMar’s and Burgess’ Conversation on Consistent Preterism”

  1. “The resurrection that Hymenaeus was denying certainly wasn’t Old Covenant Israel’s resurrection.” Why not? As Gentiles we are grafted into Israel’s promises. Their salvation, restoration, and resurrection have become ours through faith. We get what they get. If they don’t receive the promise of resurrection then we don’t either which is what Hymenauus must have advocated since the old covenant had not yet passed away. To teach a resurrection before all Israel was saved would be to exclude Israel from her promises and thus undermine the harvest resurrection at the end of the age. If Israel is not raised then neither will those grafted in be raised which would destroy the faith of many. Kim and others can’t possibly be like Hymenaeus because they believe the resurrection happened at the end of the age in AD 70 not before.


    1. Hello David,

      Thanks for the interaction. Let us say that in I Corinthians 15,

      1) Christ’s resurrection is paralleled with those “at His coming” (15:23). Paul insisted that Christ’s resurrection is the “first fruits” of the resurrection harvest two times in I Corinthians 15 (20 & 23). This surely requires our resurrection to be of the same kind of harvest, a point that might be exegetically confirmed in elsewhere (Phi 3:21). But full preterism cannot maintain that post-70 A.D. believers’ resurrections will be substantially the same as that of Christ. Paul’s polemic rests, however, on the similarity of Christ’s resurrection and the resurrection of those at His coming. A central point of Paul’s defense in I Cor. 15 is that Christ’s resurrection was verifiable, “He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time” (15:6). (To add, if the parousia-transformation-resurrection happened in 70 A.D., what shall we say of believers after that? Is there any biblical teaching which addresses their resurrection-transformation? Full preterism must postulate an unorthodox, radical non-physical understanding of resurrection in order to explain how the resurrection is a past event.) I know that Kim believes just that. Kim teaches that the person is raised but not the body.

      2) It is evident that the overcoming of enemies and abolition of powers results in an observable change in the world in I. Cor. (15:25–26) (cf Heb 2:8). This is confirmed, moreover, by the fact that Paul speaks of a future “when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God” (15:24); a future “when [after] all things are subjected to Him” (15:28); a future “when this perishable will have put on the imperishable” (15:54). Unorthodox preterism requires the orthodox to believe that the actual subjugation of all in the (observable) sense of 15:24–28 became a reality in 70 A.D. But would the Roman Christians of 71 A.D. “see” “all things subjected to him” (Heb 2:8)? If so, how so David?

      3) Unorthodox preterism requires us to believe that the kingdom of Christ (His reign) lasted only about 37 years. But the concept of a “millennium” is also a time reference to be taken literarily just as Preterism reminds us that words like “short” and “soon” are time concepts that must be taken seriously. Milton Terry, rightly relates the kingdom to Jerusalem’s fall: “The entire New Testament teaching concerning the kingdom of Christ contemplates a long period, and the abolishing of all opposing authority and power; ‘for he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet’ (I Cor. xv, 25). The overthrow of Jerusalem was one of the first triumphs of the Messiah’s reign, and a sign that he was truly ‘seated at the right hand of power.’” If full preterism is true, all post-70 A.D. church history, turns out to be after “the end.” This makes church history the encore (?) to the kingdom, rather than the expansion of the kingdom. Thus, we no longer enter the kingdom, proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, are transferred into the kingdom, work for the advance of the kingdom, or pray for Thy kingdom to come. The kingdom is gone (?). So even apart from specific resurrection problems, considering the nature of the kingdom leads us to a full rejection of full preterism.

      4) Unorthodox preterism is unsatisfying on the basic worldview level, the level at which Paul frames the discussion of resurrection. When Christians of all sub-creeds affirm, “I believe. . . in the resurrection of the body,” what is being affirmed satisfies a profound worldview demand, the redemption of the body (Rom 8:23) in world which is permeated by death. Will the evil of the world be a perpetual enemy without actual subjugation, world without end, Amen? Unorthodox preterism is unsatisfying too on a theological level; it makes no sense of the perennial kingdom of God motifs, reducing the fullness of that kingdom to less than a generation. Unorthodox preterism is unsatisfying at a biblical theology level, considering the development of sin, death, kingdom, and the advance of the gospel. Unorthodox preterism is unsatisfying on an exegetical level in view of the key didactic passages addressing the Second Advent and resurrection of believers (especially 1Co 15:22–26 & 1Th 4:16–17).

  2. I’m fairly new to Burgess’ brand of preterism. I find it interesting now 5 episodes in or so.
    You mentioned he believes in the resurrection of the person not the body, which I find problematic. Would you be able to point to a written or recorded source for his making this claim?

    1. Hello Scott,

      No, I can not do that. It was in a one on one conversation on the subject.

      But you can certainly ask him. Send a letter or note into Gary.

  3. All of this is interesting. I like the first of the podcasts and also the jetbrane discussion of full preterism above. Thank you!

  4. Jetbrane,

    Have you listened to any more of the podcast with Gary and Kim? Thoughts? It seems to me that they are wandering off the orthodox range. Though I find much of it intriguing, it is difficult to accept that the church hasn’t seen what they’ve seen in 2000 years.

      1. Here’s a link to the podcast

        I do agree with what they’re saying about Romans 11 and all Israel being saved. If you look at the OT passages Paul is drawing from when he says “in this way all Israel will be saved”

        It seems he’s drawing from Isaiah 59:20 which Kim mentions. I also believe Paul is drawing from Isaiah 27:9 which they didn’t mention. I believe this is the way all godliness is banned from Jacob and their sins are taken away. The destruction of the temple was a removal of the ungodly leadership in Israel.

        Also if you look at Genesis 48:19 Jacob blesses Ephraim and says he shall become a multitude (fullness in Hebrew) of nations. In Hosea and especially Ezekiel 37 Israel is referred to as Ephraim and God joins them together.

        That’s what I think the fullness of the Gentiles is in Romans 11. The nations were being gathered. I don’t think it means what most reformed teachers say about a mass conversion of ethnic Jews in the future.

  5. I am listening to it on Apple podcasts. “ Covenant Hermeneutics and Biblical Eschatology” They just released episode 11 today.

  6. Also, perhaps you are aware of the letter sent to Gary in private from Gentry, White, Sandlin, Wilson, Durbin, and a few others, which was made public asking him 3 eschatological questions ? Gary has posted 2 podcasts on the Gary DeMar podcast responding to the letter with more to follow. I’d be interested to hear your opinion on his response.


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