Ed Stevens’ – “Resurrection No Longer Applies” – Today Means – No Salvation Today, OR, Universalism! #2
Be sure to read the first installment of this series in which I examine the amazing claim by (supposed) full preterist Edward Stevens.
I posted the first installment of this series on FaceBook, on 8-13-2020. As I fully expected and even predicted, Ed Stevens responded claiming that my article was full of misrepresentations, red herring arguments, and obfuscation.
Here is part of his “response”:
“Preston has constructed another strawman here which blatantly misrepresents the IBV resurrection view. He does not bother to quote my words where I define what the resurrection of the dead was.”
Notice first of all, that in part #1, I copied and pasted a lengthy VERBATIM quote from Ed Stevens about his view of the resurrection! And yet, even though I quoted him, VERBATIM, in which he lays out his view of resurrection, he claims that I did not “bother to quote my words.” This is a blatant falsehood as anyone can see?
What is so equally amazing is that even though I quoted verbatim from his own keyboard, he then brings up a different text from that which I cited, and says “Preston did not bother to quote me” on this! Well, I did quote from what Stevens said about Hades and resurrection– again– VERBATIM! Is he trying to tell us that his position set forth in the lengthy quote that I did give, presents a different position on Hades and resurrection from that in Revelation?? No, this is nothing but diversion and misdirection on Stevens’ part.
What is Stevens attempting to do? He wants to deflect attention away from his utter refusal and failure to address my critique of his position. My article is about Ed Stevens’ view of “Resurrection No Longer Applies.” Instead of addressing my arguments, Stevens says, that the real issue is that Preston must answer his questions about Revelation 22. He is saying, “Hey, look everyone, I am gonna ask Preston a question now, and if he won’t answer then that will prove that he is wrong and I don’t even have to address his article!” No, the real issues are those raised in my critique of his claims and his doctrine. Why did the focus shift to what he asks me, and away from the article that I posted? Stevens wants to change the discussion because he knows his views will not stand up to the kind of scrutiny I am bringing. He is guilty of obfuscation, total evasion.
In response to Stevens’ claim that I misrepresented his position I posted the following on 8-14-2020. (And by the way, he never even came close to explaining how, in what way, I had misrepresented him. He just made the claim! But, a claim without proof is no proof at all).
Ed, This discussion is about YOUR view of “no resurrection today.” It is my critique of your claims, but you are clearly telling everyone, “Don’t look at me, don’t look at me! Look at Don Preston!” This is diversion, evasion and obfuscation on a massive scale.
I have not misrepresented you– in any way. And it is more than revealing that all you have done is make the accusation, but given no proof!
I have not misrepresented your view that the Death of Adam included physical death– have I?
I have not misrepresented your view that we only die physically because we first die spiritually– have I?
I have not misrepresented your view that we all die physically “because we are all sinners”– have I?
I have not misrepresented your view that the only resurrection in AD 70 was from Hades– in fact– you doubled down on that view- right?
I have presented your views based on your own emphatic and specific words. No twisting, no distortions– and you know it.
I have proven that resurrection from Hades IS NOT all that was entailed in the resurrection of AD 70– and I have shown, from your own words– that of logical necessity, PHYSICAL DEATH HAD TO BE OVERCOME BY PHYSICAL RESURRECTION AT THAT TIME SINCE YOU CLAIM THAT PHYSICAL DEATH WAS AN INTEGRAL ELEMENT OF ADAMIC DEATH! And you have done nothing but ignore this, over and over and over again.
But, let’s be clear
Adamic Death included physical death– says Edward E. Stevens
Adamic Death was to be overcome at the parousia of Christ– 1 Corinthians 15.
Therefore, physical death (Adamic Death) was to be overcome at the parousia (ostensibly AD 70- per you).
But of course, you know that physical death was not abolished in AD 70– and so this means that YOU ARE NOT A PRETERIST. YOU ARE A FUTURIST!
Ed, you do not overcome / abolish / conquer physical death by having to die physically!
This is NOT a red herring argument and you know it. It strikes at the very foundation of your claim that Adamic Death included physical death. You cannot interject physical death into the Adamic Death without thereby demanding physical resurrection.
As the reader can see, Stevens is undeniably desperate. He has refused and failed, for three debate presentations- and in the FaceBook exchange – to say even one word about my arguments. Now, however, on FaceBook, he says that in his final negative he will answer! How convenient! When I will have no opportunity to respond, he says he will (finally) answer the arguments I have presented repeatedly and challenged him repeatedly to answer, but he refused to do so.
With all of this before us, let me continue now with my critique of Stevens’ Adamic Death, No Resurrection Today, claims.
If Hades no longer exists, due to the resurrection in AD 70 as affirmed by Stevens, then sin – and spiritual death – has been conquered– see our comments on Hebrews 9 that will follow. But, in Stevens’ view, SIN- DEATH HAS UNDENIABLY NOT BEEN CONQUERED since he says that we today die spiritually as a result of sin, and that it is only because we first die spiritually that we then die physically. Per Stevens, the wages of sin is still very much physical death – even for the most faithful Christian.
So, for Paul, if Hadean Resurrection took place in AD 70, this of necessity demands that Sin Death was conquered. But, if Sin Death was conquered, then since in Stevens’ paradigm physical death is a direct result of Sin Death, THAT DEMANDS THAT PHYSICAL DEATH WAS CONQUERED IN AD 70! Thus, if Stevens’ denies that Sin Death was abolished, he must deny that Hadean resurrection occurred in AD 70. But again – DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THIS!– Stevens cannot affirm the conquering of sin-death WITHOUT AFFIRMING THE END OF PHYSICAL DEATH since he says that physical death only comes as a result of our spiritual death! Hadean Death could not take place unless and until sin death- spiritual death – was abolished through resurrection!
The bond between sin death, physical death and Hadean Death is unbreakable. You must– absolutely MUST- realize that in Stevens’ view, there is an unbreakable chain of events THAT BEGINS WITH SIN which brings –> spiritual death, which brings –> physical death, which (he tells us, led to) –> Hadean death. (Technically, I am confident that Stevens would affirm that it was unforgiven sin that brought about the necessity for Hades, but, that once again raises the situation that says, if the Christian is forgiven, they will not die physically, due to Stevens’ view that we only die physically because we first die spiritually. No sin means no death).
Thus, to reiterate, the abolishing of Hadean Death demands the end of sin death for the Christian, WHICH IN TURNS DEMANDS THE END OF PHYSICAL DEATH. But, if physical death and spiritual death were not abolished even for the Christian (as Stevens believes), then Hadean Death was not abolished and Stevens cannot be a full preterist. By demanding that physical death isa fundamental part of the Death of Adam, Stevens destroys his supposed belief in full preterism. He has clearly not fully shared his views on all of this with his followers, lest they realize the dangers here.
So, back to our point. If there is no resurrection today, there is no death and THERE IS NO SIN, since only sin brings death (Romans 6:23 / Romans 5-7 / James 1:15).
By affirming that resurrection “no longer applies,” Stevens denies the reality of sin & the wages of sin- AND DEATH ITSELF! By logical necessity, Ed’s doctrine demands UNIVERSALISM.
If resurrection does not apply today, THERE IS NO DEATH TODAY. But, Stevens says we all die physically “because we are all sinners.” And keep in mind the unbreakable bond between sin death and Hadean Death.
If no one is dead they have NO SIN for which, “the wages of sin is death.” Yet, Ed says we are all sinners and receive the wages of sin– spiritual death and physical death.
If there is no sin, thus, no death from which to be raised, there is no need to obey the Gospel, obtaining forgiveness of sin. This is universalism.
Of logical necessity, Stevens must say that the Hadean Death was the quintessential death of Adam. It was the real Adamic Death that was to be overcome at the parousia. But to say this is a categoric rejection of his own “Two Adamic Deaths” article. And don’t forget that in our debate he has argued that spiritual death and physical death were the focus and definition of Adamic Death. He has barely mentioned his ideas about Hadean resurrection and most assuredly has not made it an issue. Little wonder!
Keep this in mind: Stevens claims that Adam was truly forgiven the day he sinned Yet, he believes that Adam went to Hades when he died. But, why would he have to go to Hades if he was objectively forgiven? The reason is simple: he was not truly forgiven because, as we shall see, there was no objective forgiveness prior to the work of Christ. (Stevens now says Adam was only provisionally forgiven, not objectively – since animal blood could not take away sin! Yet, he is on record as saying that the blood of that original animal sacrifice STILL GIVES US BENEFIT TODAY! That is some kind of powerful provisional – ineffective– bloody sacrifice)! I suspect that Stevens’ followers did not realize that he believes that the original bloody animal sacrifice is still being applied, and is effective today!
Finally, let me say this here, and I will repeat it later: Stevens’ claim of a “comprehensive death” becomes the death of Stevens’ eschatology. He defines Adamic Death as “comprehensive death,” which, remember, includes spiritual death, physical death and Hadean death. BUT HE DOES NOT TEACH A “COMPREHENSIVE RESURRECTION”!
To the contrary,
1. He says sin-death still exists–
2. He says (and knows) that physical death still exists
Thus, he teaches a very limited, very restricted resurrection from only one of the three proposed Adamic Deaths. Two out of the three Adamic Death Curses remain in force, and this is supposed to be the “victory in Jesus”?