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A Response to Joel McDurmon’s Charge of Misrepresentation – #1

In numerous formal debates, both public and written, I have provided the audience with direct quotes and references from my opponents in regard to their self-contradictions. In response, when confronted with the indisputable fact of their own self contradictions, and worse, of how their own words contradict scripture, my opponents have resorted to claiming that I misrepresented them. They have claimed that I “mis-quoted” them, and that the references I have provided do not in fact say what I have given.

Thomas Ice especially, was one of the worst at this. In  2003, John Anderson and I debated him and Mark Hitchcock. That debate is available from me here. I presented several charts with direct quotes from Ice’s books. The quotes were devastating, and had a visible impact on Ice and Hitchcock. So, Ice responded that I had not represented his views correctly and had misquoted. (I had extensive quotes on the charts, often providing a paragraph before and after).

During one break, Ice made the charge to my face. I responded with a challenge. I told him to prove that I had misquoted him, or that I had in any way taken his words out of context. I offered to publicly correct the misquotes or misrepresentations and to openly apologize. I challenged him repeatedly on this. He never offered one word.

In July, 2012, at the Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, I had a formal debate with Joel McDurmon of American Vision, I focused on the Biblical doctrine of Zion. In the OT prophecies of the resurrection and Day of the Lord (cf. Isaiah 25:6-9; 46:13, etc.) that salvation event is invariably posited as occurring on “Zion.” (DVDs of the debate, as well as a book, are available)

During the debate, I produced a chart with a quote from McDurmon as he responded to a minister who claims those Zion promises are unfulfilled. We are waiting on the restoration and establishment of an earthly, literal, physical Zion. To refute that author McDurmon made the following observations. The quote is taken directly from the chart that I offered:

“When the argument of faith and pilgrimage in Hebrews 11 finally does turn to “us” it notes a complete change of status. While all of those Old Testament pilgrims died and “did not receive what was promised,” New Testament believers are different: “God had provided something better for us” (Heb. 11:40). So, we are categorically not like them. We are in a better position than they. The promised Kingdom has indeed come, it is given to us. We are not exiles waiting to receive the promise. Indeed, the author tells the first-century believing Jews in the very next chapter, as a continuation of the argument in Hebrews 11, “you have come to Mount Zion” (Heb. 12:22). They were no longer exiles; they had arrived! This arrival verse is very important. Horton refers to the Christians a pilgrims. He denies we have arrived, or downplays it in any meaningful sense. He constantly refers to Zion as a future destination: the “path to Zion,” “this journey to Zion,” “Marching to Zion.” But Hebrews makes it absolutely clear that New Testament believers “have come to Zion.” This is in the past tense.”  ( My emphasis, DKP).

In addition to the quote from the American Vision website, I produced the following quote from Joel’s book Jesus V Jerusalem, as he discusses the modern claims about a supposed future restoration of literal Jerusalem: “Zion has been “spiritualized,’ if you will, and revealed to be fulfilled in the person of the ascended Christ: ‘But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the innumerable angels in festal gathering…” (Jesus V Jerusalem, 178. Verbatim quote).

Take a look at this (direct) quote again: “Those Old Testament pilgrims died and ‘did not receive what was promised.’ New Testament believers are different: ‘God had provided something better for us’ (Heb. 11:40). So, we are categorically not like them. We are in a better position than they. The promised Kingdom has indeed come, it is given to us.”

Ask yourself: Would anyone, reading these quotes objectively, discern that in truth and in fact, McDurmon actually believes in a future, earthly kingdom / Zion? Would you in anyway whatsoever, understand  that McDurmon believes Old Covenant Zion foreshadowed the spiritual Zion, but now, the spiritual Zion typifies and points to a future literal Zion? Of course you would not! From these articles one can conclude only one thing: The OT prophecies concerning Zion are fulfilled, and Christian saints today dwell in that wonderful city. Yet, that is not the totality of what McDurmon argued in our debate! And we will share those thoughts and our responses in the next installment. You don’t want to miss this.

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