In our first two articles #1 #2” href=”http://donkpreston.com/a-fatally-flawed-hermeneutic-2/” target=”_blank”>#2 on this issue we have noted how futurists argue with one another and seek to condemn each other by appealing to a fatal hermeneutic. A brief refresher.
The Dispensationalists claim that since the word “church” is not found in Revelation 4-22 that these chapters must be dealing with Israel and not the church. The church is supposedly raptured off the earth, at some point, perhaps the beginning of chapter 4, and thus, the absence of the singular word “church” is, for the Zionists, definitive proof that the church is not the object of discussion.
Dominionists (ostensibly) condemn this. Gentry and DeMar both castigate this hermeneutic in their writings, claiming it is untenable and specious. However, Gentry, DeMar, McDurmon, Mathison, et. Al, then turn around and employ that very hermeneutic in seeking to justify their futurist eschatology. For a more extensive discussion of the Dominionist inconsistent hermeneutic, see my We Shall Meet Him In the Air, the Wedding of the King of kings.
DeMar, in his newest book, attacks the Dispensational doctrine of the antiChrist (Gary DeMar, Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers, Powder Springs, GA., American Vision, 2012, p. 63). What is his approach, at least partly? Well, he utilizes the hermeneutic of a missing word that the Dispensationalists do to exclude the church from their interpretation of Revelation. He says, “The word ‘antichrist’ does not appear anywhere in Revelation.”
So, the Dispensationalists are wrong to build a doctrine on the absence of the word “church”, but, DeMar then condemns them because of the absence of the word “antiChrist.” DeMar turns their own hermeneutic against them, rightly so. However, what DeMar and other Dominionists do not tell their reading audiences is that they are just as guilty of employing that flawed hermeneutic when seeking to defend their futurism.
I have noted that Gentry delineates between the Lord’s coming in 2 Thessalonians 1 and that of 2 Thessalonians 2, because of the absence of a given word, the use of a different word, and the mention of certain elements in one text that are absent from the other, i.e. 2 Thessalonians 1 mentions Christ’s coming with the angels, but chapter 2 does not. I have shown that DeMar incorporates this same principle, and Joel McDurmon, in our formal debate of July 2012, argued that fact that the word “final” is not found in Isaiah 25, 1 Corinthians 15, etc. proves that thee texts do not speak of the “final resurrection.”
So, once again, it is clear that both Dispensationalists and Dominionists are guilty of using the hermeneutic that they condemn in the other school. To say this is inconsistent is an understatement.
What I want to do now is to demonstrate the utter fallacy and the inconsistency of this approach. The material below is taken from a chart that I presented in my debate with Joel McDurmon, when he argued that the absence of a given word mitigates application to the final consummation. When I presented the chart, McDurmon said not one word in response. It was as if I had not mentioned the glaring fallacy in his hermeneutic. However, many in the audience saw the total inconsistency of his paradigm and commented to me about it.
So, Dominionists, Amillennialists, and Premillennialists all say that the absence of a given word, the use of different words, supposedly indicates that different events or doctrines are in view by the respective authors. Let’s see how this works when we compare some of the key eschatological texts in the New Testament.
Consider the Following…
Acts 1 Does not mention the time of the end, the trumpet, the shout of the Arch Angel, the resurrection, the 1000 year reign of Christ, the Great White Throne, and, the word “parousia” is not used at all. However, 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20 mention these things (collectively). All Dominionists I am aware of claim that Acts 1 speaks of the same event as Thessalonians, Corinthians and Revelation 20. And of course, not one of the three texts mentions “the final coming.” So, per Joel McDurmon’s affirmed hermeneutic, none of these texts actually predicts the “final” coming of the Lord at all!
1 Corinthians 15 does not mention the 1000 yrs, coming with the angels, the Shout of the Arch Angel, the opening of the Books and the Book of Life of Revelation 20. Yet, DeMar, Gentry, McDurmon, Mathison all apply 1 Corinthians 15 to the same even as 1 Thessalonians 4 and Revelation 20. But, look at all the words that are absent from one text to the other, and look at all the different words that are used from text to text! Oh, and the word “final” is nowhere to be found in either one of these texts!
1 Thessalonians 4 says not one word about the passing of earth and heaven, the New Creation, the opening of the Books, the Great White Throne, or the 1000 years of Revelation 20!
2 Peter 3 does not mention coming with the angels, the Trumpet, coming on the clouds, the arch-angel, the shout, the resurrection, the 1000 year reign of Christ, the Books being opened, etc.– like Thessalonians and Revelation 20 does, but, Gentry for instance certainly applies 2 Peter 3 to the end of the millennium “final” coming of the Lord. It should be noted that DeMar, in the aforementioned book, has now taken the view that 2 Peter 3 foretold the AD 70 coming of Christ, and not the dissolution of the “elements” of the material creation. This is in stark contrast to Gentry who insists that Peter foretold the end of human history, the end of time!
Revelation 20:10-12 does not use the word parousia, does not mention the coming with the angels, the trumpet, the shout, the end of time!
Now, make no mistake, the Dominionists undeniably claim– with the exceptions noted above– that each of these texts refer to the same event, i.e. the “final” coming of the Lord at the end of human history. And just for fun, we would, employing McDurmon’s “final hermeneutic” take note that the terms “end of human history”, “end of time”, “final end”, “final coming” or “final resurrection” do not appear anywhere in the Bible, and yet, he- and they- argue for this very thing!
Do you see the problem? It is glaring and huge! It is clearly, undeniably inconsistent for the Dominionists to condemn the Dispensationalists for their interpretations of Revelation based on the absence of given words, or the use of different words, and then, turn around and employ that identical hermeneutic to maintain their futurist eschatology.
Now, of course, there is another huge, glaring inconsistency in the Dominionist hermeneutic. This total inconsistency is being noted by an increasing number of studious students. Our next article will focus on this major, self-destructive inconsistency, so be sure to watch for that article.