Sam Frost was once an advocate of Covenant Eschatology. However, he abandoned that view. A little over a year ago, Sam challenged me to debate him, insisting that there was a tremendous amount of interest in such a debate, and assuring me that he was ready to refute Covenant Eschatology. He even posted “An Open Letter To Don Preston” on FaceBook, and the response to his challenge was very positive. See my own original response to Sam’s Open Letter challenge here.
Sam told me repeatedly that he was “not just another Joel McDurmon,” or, “not just another Steve Gregg,” but, someone uniquely qualified to engage me. He essentially said that due to his former eminence in the preterist movement, that I owe the preterist and non-preterist world the opportunity to hear a debate between us.
I accepted Sam’s offer, and we began to negotiate. We agreed quickly on the wording for our propositions, and agreed to a tentative time (January 2014). All that was left was final negotiations on the logistics and protocol. Just last week (July of 2013) we had, ostensibly, reached final agreement on the rules. So, I assembled the various posts we had made in our negotiations, and submitted them to Sam for his final signature. I thought we were set. I was ready to begin an aggressive promotion of the debate. Sam had informed me that Dr. Stan Talbot had volunteered to host the debate under his name, and that of his seminary, adding, it was thought, even more credibility to the event.
Last night, (7-28-13) however, I got on the remote server and checked my emails. I found there an email from Sam stating that he was withdrawing from the debate. He refused to give any reasons for doing so, even stating that he did not have to give any reasons!
When I got to the office this morning (7-29-13) I read and re-read his post repeatedly, seeking to understand his sudden withdrawal. Still no answers. No explanation.
To say the least, this is an incredible development, although, I must admit that several people have told me repeatedly that they thought Sam would eventually withdraw. And, I must admit that I thought the same thing from time to time, in spite of Sam’s claims to be eager to engage me.
After a lot of thought, and prayer, I posted my email response to Sam Frost this morning. I am cutting and pasting that email here.
As I told Sam in the post below, there is simply no way to put a positive spin on his withdrawal. Interestingly, after Sam posted his initial challenge to me, I had failed to respond immediately, due to extreme amounts of other correspondence. Before I posted my acceptance of Sam’s challenge, Jason Bradfield posted on Sam’s website that my refusal (as he took it) to respond proved that I did not want to debate, and that, “Don Preston is a goat, who is also a chicken.”
So, according to Bradfield, and others, my slowness of response ostensibly proved my unwillingness to debate and outright cowardice! How will they now “spin” Sam’s unexplained, unjustified, dishonorable withdrawal and out-right refusal to honor his own challenge? Again, there is no way to spin this in a positive light for the “anti-preterist” camp. One can only imagine the response in Sam’s camp had I been the one to withdraw!!
The self proclaimed champion of the anti-preterists, who insists constantly that he has the answers to the true preterist paradigm, and that issued the challenge to debate, now withdraws. And he not only withdraws, he gives no reasons and says he does not have to give any reasons!
Here is the email that I sent Sam this morning.
<Well, this is more than a little stunning, although several people actually predicted it.
You challenged me to debate you.
You told me repeatedly, that many, many people had not only urged you to debate me, but expressed interest in the debate.
You told me repeatedly that you are “not just another Joel McDurmon, or Steve Gregg” but, a former insider that knows the weaknesses of true preterism.
You told me repeatedly that since you had been such a prominent preterist, and now having abandoned it, causing problems for the preterist movement, that I should jump at the chance to refute you.
You told me repeatedly that you were (are) ready to debate me, no preparation needed!
You told me repeatedly that you would have no problem defeating my arguments.
If all of this is true, and that you actually have the keys to refuting true preterism, then you should have been eager to follow through, and publicly expose it as you claim to be able to do. But now, with your withdrawal, your claims become moot and nothing but smoke and empty claims.
You told me repeatedly that you were looking forward to debating me.
And now, with no reasons given, you simply withdraw, claiming you don’t even have to give any reasons why.
You say that your book is out there and has rescued many would be preterists. Very clearly, you are now not willing to have your book, and your ever evolving theology, put under the bright light of the polemic platform. And believe me, I have a lot of stuff to demonstrate the utter fallacy of your claims.
Just for information sake, I will be producing a series of DVDs responding to and refuting your book.
Your withdrawal is dishonorable, Sam, and you know it. No amount of “spin” can put a good light on this.
Your withdrawal cannot be about financial concerns, as that was taken care of.
Your concern cannot be “credibility” since you constantly reminded me of your former eminent status.
Furthermore, Dr. Stan Talbot volunteered to host the event under his name and that of his seminary, for the express purpose of providing more credibility.
I think we both know why you are withdrawing.
But, so be it! It is over. There will be no debate between Sam Frost and Don K. Preston
For His Truth, and In His Grace,
Don K. Preston> (EOQ)
William Bell and I will have more to say about this on Two Guys and A Bible, Tuesday evening, on www.FulfilledRadio.com at 6 PM central time 7-30-13. Be sure to tune in for that discussion! If you can’t catch the program live, it will be archived for listening at your convenience.