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.

Optimistic but Dead Yankee Generals & The Distinction Between Optimism and Realism

Yankee General John Sedgwick was an Optimist of the first order. At the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House Gen. Sedgwick moved up to where the battle was running hot. When Gen. Sedgwick’s men warned him to take cover, Sedgwick responded by joking, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at that distance.” Just as those words fell from his mouth, a Confederate sharpshooter’s bullet crashed into his skull, right below his left eye, killing him instantly.

This story was repeated with Union General Philip Kearny:

In a violent storm with lightning and pouring rain, Kearny decided to investigate a gap in the Union line. Responding to warnings of a subordinate, he said, “The Rebel bullet that can kill me has not yet been molded.” Encountering Confederate troops, Kearny ignored a demand to surrender and, while he tried to escape on horseback, a “half dozen muskets fired” and he was shot with a Minié ball that entered his hip and came out his shoulder, killing him instantly.

The moral of the story?

An Optimist is a fool who doesn’t understand the nature and terrain of his circumstances. It’s one thing to be positive. It is an entirely different thing to ignore reality.

This applies to eschatology. Postmillennialists have always been known as and indeed are optimists. They know that Christ reigns and so because of that are optimistic regarding history. However, there is a subset of postmillenalists I call “Pollyanna’s” who have the optimism of Generals Kearney and Sedgwick. They have moved beyond optimism and have entered into the territory of reality ignoring.

As a Postmillenialist I am supremely optimistic but I refuse to allow my eschatological optimism to trump my realism. When for example, I see the World Economic Forum putting all the planks in place to set up their New World Order I remain optimistic that in the long run such plans cannot succeed. However, I embrace realism to realize that in the short term it is very likely that they are going to be successful.

Admittedly, it is difficult at times to identify the line between optimism and realism. I am routinely told by friends and acquaintances that “you are the most pessimistic optimist I’ve ever met.” Actually, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve seen up close and personal the disaster that has been the consequence of foolish Pollyanna Postmillennialism. Pollyanna Postmillennialists are forever trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Better to identify a situation for what it is rather than lie to yourself and everybody else and so breed massive discouragement once the reality is unavoidable and inescapable.

This is not to be taken as being in support of the Gloomy Gus’s of the world whose motif seems to be always and all the time; “We’re all gonna die.” It’s merely a plea to look at situations with the steely eye of realism while at the same time retaining the confidence that with God all things are possible.

The Necessity for Postmillennialism

A great deal that is wrong with the contemporary church in the West can be traced to its abysmal eschatology. If one expects that God’s word teaches that the Church will be defeated in space and time then it is counter-intuitive to work for victory. Further, if one expects that the “Kingdom of God” is exactly only synonymous with the Church then any talk of the advance of the Kingdom reserves the belief that the Kingdom of Grendel can grow at the same time God’s Kingdom grows. R2K, as organized anti-postmillennialism in the Reformed Church, has raised up a coterie of clergy who absolutely are fornicating with pessimism every night before they go to sleep and then bringing the children of that union into Church pulpits.

Below are some quotes from what earlier Reformed men believed regarding eschatology before the time we are in now where the clergy are defined as effeminate at best and spiritual Trannies at worst.

Charles Hodge famously remarked that “we have reason to believe … that the number of the finally lost in comparison with the whole number of the saved will be very inconsiderable.” Warfield held that “nothing less than the world will be saved” by Christ, the world as an organic whole. Indeed, “the number of the saved shall in the end not be small but large,” and will far outnumber the lost.

In a sermon “God’s Immeasurable Love,” Warfield strongly opposed the idea that the elect is a small remnant of the world, since they are the world. In this light, he wrote:

Through all the years one increasing purpose runs, one increasing purpose: the kingdoms of the earth become ever more and more the kingdom of our God and his Christ. The process may be slow; the progress may appear to our impatient eyes to lag. But it is God who is building: and under his hands, the structure rises as steadily as it does slowly, and in due time the capstone shall be set into its place, and to our astonished eyes shall be revealed nothing less than a saved world.

In “The Prophecies of St. Paul,” he describes the time from the advent to the parousia as “a period of advancing conquest,” Christ “progressively overcoming evil, throughout this period.” Furthermore, Romans 11 “promises the universal Christianization of the world,—at least the nominal conversion of all the Gentiles and the real salvation of all the Jews … the widest practicable extension of Christianity.” We should hope, pray, and work to that end.

Robert Letham

Systematic Theology (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 882–883.

Contradiction between Evolution and the Idea of Inevitability of Progress

Given Darwin’s mantra of “survival of the fittest,” it is clear that Darwinian evolution is a worldview that intrinsically requires a “conflict of interest.” In point of fact the whole notion of a “harmony of interests,” would be bad news in a climate that insisted that advance is only achieved by the survival of the fittest. When one combines this with the reality that there is no mind behind the unwinding of evolution one must add that the survival of the fittest is a survival that happens completely by chance in a random universe.

Further, because of the randomness necessary in a mindless universe all “facts,” are uninterpreted facts and therefore are brute meaningless facts with no stable meaning. These brute facts, like the survival of the fittest, are facts without relation to any other facts as they likewise struggle to exist. Facts can be wiped out just as species can be wiped out.

Conflict is thus inherent and is the substance of worldview Darwinian evolution. Whether the conflict for survival among the fittest or the conflict among various facticities conflict of interest is the mother’s milk of Darwinian evolution.

But here we come face to face with another key doctrine of humanism and that is the idea of the inevitability of progress. If “conflict of interest” is characteristic of worldview Darwinism then how can progress be inevitable? Indeed, in a mindless world governed by time + chance + circumstance how can progress even be measured or determined? In a mindless world where fact itself is in a contest of survival, how can humanists even be sure that the inevitability of progress is a warranted good to be desired?

If evolution is mindless and governed only by time + chance + circumstance then any notion of progress is itself subject to evolution. Progress at one point of the march of evolution might be Stalin’s Holodomor while progress at another point of the march of evolution might be Huxley’s “Brave New World.” Because of this to speak of the inevitability of progress is an automatic non-sequitur in Evolution’s own world and life view.

Only Christianity posits a sovereign creator God who orders all things to the end and purpose of a harmony of interest found in glorifying God in all things (Romans 11:33-36). Only Christianity holds to all of the creation longing to glorify God (Romans 8:19f). Only Christianity envisions all things enjoying the service of the interests of God anticipating that day when Christ so reigns so that all things are put under His feet so that all things serve His interests. This is the inevitability of progress that Christianity presupposes.

So, advance by the conflict of interests is contrary to Christianity except as that advance is characterized by defeating those interests which are in conflict with God’s harmony of interests. Since those things that make for conflict of interests in God’s cosmos are doomed for failure we can anticipate the one-day dawning of the postmillennial vision where the harmony of interests that is a metaphysical reality by nature of God’s rule will overcome the conflict of interests introduced into God’s reality by man’s ethical attempt to overthrow Christ’s Kingship. This is the Christian reason for embracing the inevitability of progress.

A Postmillennial Thought

27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

With the arrival of Christ, the Kingdom of God has come. This is the truth that is the cornerstone of Postmillennialism. Christ brought the Kingdom. Now that Kingdom has not yet been consummated but it has been inaugurated and so it is now present among us and the anticipation is that the intensity of the present Kingdom goes from break out to break out so that it is seen that we are getting closer and closer to the not yet but coming consummation of that already present Kingdom. The strong man has been bound. He has been and is being plundered of his goods. The yeast of victory is working itself through the whole cosmos. The Kingdom is present.

We must not make the error of the Amillennialist who admit there is a nowness to the Kingdom but who for all practical purposes live as if the Kingdom is now and always will be completely not yet since they have reduced the reality of the Kingdom to a “spiritual” reality. The Amillennialist has no swagger … no moxie since they don’t really believe on a practical everyday level that the Kingdom has come and is now in more than a spiritual manner.

The Postmillennialist on the other hand is confident in the presence of the Kingdom and he lives and walks in terms of the anticipation of the ever-expanding reality of the Kingdom. As such he carries himself with a humble swagger and he knows the moxie of being on the side that is victorious.

We need a return to this kind of Postmillennialism because the terminal expectations of pessimillennialism yields up the defeat that pessimillennialist’s eschatology expect.