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Preston-Brown Debate – All Israel Shall Be Saved Rom. 11:25-27

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On yesterday afternoon, Dr. Don K Preston, Preterist engaged Dr. Michael Brown, Classical Premillennialist in a 2 hour debate on Israel and Eschatology. The primary focus of the debate centered on Romans 11:25-27. Specific issues were “who is Israel” and does God have a future national plan for the salvation of Israel. Is 1948 significant in the development of Bible prophecy?

The remaining argumentation of Dr. Brown listed a plethora of texts in machine gun fashion all pointing to one time and event, namely the return of Christ to which his often-repeated proof was, “if words mean anything, that has not happened yet”. He offered no Biblical proof for his statements, but assumed what he was there to prove.

Dr. Brown led the discussion with an exegesis of Roman’s eleven demonstrating from the text that “ethnic” Israel (the natural seed of Abraham) were the subjects of the text. Don agreed and Dr. Brown considered his argument a “slam-dunk” and proved his point.

The remaining argumentation of Dr. Brown listed a plethora of texts in machine gun fashion all pointing to one time and event, namely the return of Christ to which his often-repeated proof was, “if words mean anything, that has not happened yet”. He offered no Biblical proof for his statements, but assumed what he was there to prove.

Dr. Preston perhaps caught Dr. Brown by surprise when he agreed that Romans 11 had a lot to say about the natural seed of Abraham, contrary to most debaters Dr. Brown has faced who deny it and suggest all Israel is the church. Don established both from the historical context with the mixed multitudes who came out of Egypt and with the Gentiles who were a part of Israels olive tree, that they constituted the all Israel whom God had not cast away. However, he pointed out that God was not saving them in unbelief but by faith, that Paul, a seed of Abraham and of the tribe of Benjamin was proof that the natural seed was being saved “in Christ”.

From that point, Preston’s argumentation overwhelmed Dr. Brown with citations from Isaiah 59, Jer. 31, Deut. 32, Hos 1 and 3, Isa 24-27, Ezk. 36, and 1 Pet. His arguments on the imminent time statements went unaddressed. One of the most telling arguments was the response to Dr. Brown’s claims on the persecution of the Thessalonians. Don pointed out the persecution was first century and so was the relief.

Both men were very cordial and respectful. The moderator did an excellent job of allowing the debaters to be center stage and this debate will do much good for the cause. We are proud of Don’s scholarship and work and we are grateful to Dr. Brown for granting the opportunity for this exchange.

Comments from Facebook and other sites are very positive. We encourage you to watch the entirety of the debate more than once to get the full impact of how signal a defeat it was for the case of Classical Premillennialism. Posted by William Bell

2 thoughts on “Preston-Brown Debate – All Israel Shall Be Saved Rom. 11:25-27

  1. I found the debate very interesting but I was disappointed that Dr. Preston probably needed at least twice as much time to fully develop his position. Dr Brown seemed to be able to succinctly and more directly give answer to the goal of the debate. I would have to admit that he won the debate handily. Having said that, I would also declare that winning the debate is not important. A debate is hardly sufficient to properly present a position and a position does not rise and fall upon a debater’s relative skill. What is far more important is the fact that Don has piqued my interest and appears to have some important points to bring to the table. I am far closer to Dr. Brown’s position and more dispensational but I have modified my position in a few ways that would certainly be considered unorthodox among dispensationalists. Anyway Don, do you have materials available that present your position which are not limited by the restrictions of a debate format? Or might you develop a post-debate expansion of your position, not to try and win the debate after the fact, but to make your position clear and cogent and presented the way you would like to given a requisite and appropriate amount of time and space?

    1. Ross, first of all, thank you for watching the debate. You are certainly right about the time constraints. There is never enough time! One thing that Dr.Brown did, which is bothersome, is to simply cite a large number of texts, and then simply say “That has not happened yet.’ Of course, that is not proof of anything. It assumes that the good Dr’s view of that text is the correct one, without any attempt at actual exegesis. And, to compound the problem, he was arguing from the “traditional” perspective, which is fundamentally the more widely accepted view. This means that most people, hearing him throw out all of those citations, will just naturally assume that he is correct, without taking note of the fact that he did not exegete those texts. He would not have had the time to properly exegete the texts, had he attempted to, so just citing them is all that he did.

      I must tell you that the response to the debate has been fantastic! Several folks from “his side of the aisle” have contacted me personally and privately telling me that I had challenged their beliefs to such an extent that they are now open to a study of preterism. Like you, their interest has been piqued, and for that, we are thankful.

      I have written some 21 books on the preteterist view of eschatology. Most of them are listed here on this site, so I encourage you to check them out. I think you will find the book on The Last Days Identified, particularly helpful, as well as Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory. My book, We Shall Meet Him In The Air, The Wedding of the King of kings, is, to my knowledge, the first and only preterist commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:13f ever produced.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me privately if you wish. I will be more than happy to correspond as time allows.

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