Guest Article: William Bell on Joel McDurmon’s Latest Diatribe

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My friend William Bell ( has submitted an excellent comment on the recent postings by Joel McDurmon, who I debated in July, 2012. DVDs and Mp3s of that debate are available here.

William’s assessment and comments are worth reading and considering, so, take a read!


We continue to hear from some that Covenant Eschatology, Full Preterism, or Fulfilled Bible prophecy is marginal, only exists in cyberspace requiring a rocket ship to reach it. Apparently, it is worthwhile that some are donning their space suits, manning their Star-Trek Enterprises and headed for “outer” cyberspace. Could this be a loosely styled type of “war in heaven”?

It appears that those who are wedded to the earth or land-based fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise must travel into cyberspace to reach their Full Preterist targets.

How is it that an insignificant group of motley messengers of fulfilled Bible prophecy can occupy so much time of those who make the charge? Isn’t that a bit inconsistent? Why, if no one else is concerned about fulfilled eschatology, is one “large organization” so concerned about how it is affecting them? Aren’t we just a gnat on an elephant’s back? Dare say the elephant would mind such a minimal annoyance?

And A War Broke Out in Cyberspace

To the contrary, the reason more paper, and cyberspace lasers and taser guns are hurled our way (they are in the blogosphere and cyberspace also) is not because of size or lack of numbers in the Full Preterist movement, but because of the effectiveness of the truths it espouses and proclaims. The days of leaving Covenant Eschatology alone are gone. That strategy was implemented over 30 years ago. Too many seeds have been planted. The momentum grows daily. That is their fear. How better expressed than in the following words:

“The side benefit to this, however, is that a few people read the partial preterism taught by American Vision, but then, in an effort to learn as much about preterism as possible, eventually find the full preterists…Whether in the name of “consistency” or whatever, a few of our readers don’t know when to stop.” Joel McDurmon (emp. added)

This is what we’ve said all along. Partial Preterism leads others to Full Preterism! McDurmon adds:

“This phenomenon occurs very infrequently. But it’s happened enough that there is some public knowledge of it, and this creates a problem. Critics on both sides of American Vision’s eschatology (full preterists on one and dispensationalists on the other) point to it in order to woo converts to themselves. Dispensationalists say, “Don’t go down that partial preterist route! It only leads to heretical full preterism!” Full preterists say, “Partial preterists just aren’t being consistent! You need to continue on and become full preterists.” Either argument is, of course, a classic slippery slope fallacy, but they bother enough readers into asking us questions from both sides.” Ibid, (emp. added)

Dispensationalism and Partial Preterism – A Forked Road to Full Preterism

First, we have no clue who AV’s intelligent readers are, at least I don’t. So, we are not directly in contact with any of them to my knowledge. Apparently, they are wise enough to discern right from wrong and are coming to their own conclusions. McDurmon  also confirms that Dispensationalists are experiencing the same problems as partial preterists who are exposed to full preterism.

Further, his statements reveal that partial preterism is summarily dismissed by Dispensationlists. As Thomas Ice stated to Gary Demar during their debate, if he would be consistent, he would be a full preterist. Now that’s something upon which both full preterists and Dispensationalists agree. Why is it not that AV’s readers are seeing their inconsistency and deciding it is a fallacious paradigm?

McDurmon further confirms that Dispensationalism is moving toward full preterism as a direct result of partial preterist teachings from Kenneth Gentry: He says as a result of Gentry’s “Before Jerusalem Fell” there has been an exodus (which I take to mean not a few) who left the ranks for Full Preterism.

“Students are now asking Southern Baptist professors tough questions about eschatology. They are adopting preterism, and the SBC old guard doesn’t like it.”  See “Is Criswell College Poisoning the Well of Preterism?”

Here is what I suspect. When a large organization like AV begins to start worrying about a few misfits posting on Facebook there is a very strong chance that money is involved somewhere. Everyone get’s a bit concerned when the purse strings tighten a bit. I’m just saying.

McDurmon Rails Against Criswell Staff

In an attempt to exonerate himself of any public propaganda against Don Preston since the debate, McDurmon posts a catalogue of quotes as proof that Full Preterists have gone on a tirade to discredit his arguments and demeanor in the debate. In the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established.” He has therefore logged plenty of witnesses who testified against him so what’s the problem? In spite of the witnesses, he plead total innocence of such behavior.

However, it is Joel McDurmon who went on record with a letter to Criswell Bible College officially denouncing Don Preston as a:

  • heretic
  • poisoning the well
  • outside of orthodoxy
  • celebrating”Jackie Robinson moment” (not exclusive to Don, but certainly including him…is this a racial slur?)
  • attempting to mislead the audience
  • misrepresenting the larger body of preterists
  • fringe, extreme, quasi-cult

Criswell Staff Incompetent?

McDurmon casts aspersions on the school administration and the scholars claiming the latter are either “incompetent,” [simple minded?] “bought off” [greedy of filthy lucre?], or have “an [secret?] agenda”?

Was it not McDurmon who said that debating Full Preterism was not a good use of his stewardship, but after he was offered money stated it was the only reason he took the debate so he could be true to his word? Which word, the one where it would be an unwise use of his stewardship or the one where he would only take the debate for an admittedly excessively generous fee?

Large Armies Need Not Apply

Some of the most vocal Partial Preterists objectors are fond of citing their large numbers as proof of their scriptural correctness. Anyone who reads the Bible should be wary of the large crowd. Divine approval is not in their favor, (Ex. 23:2; Matt. 7:13-14; 2 Peter 2:5-6). After all, there was a “great falling” away that signaled the end time!

Gideon only needed three hundred men to destroy the Midianites. David needed one smooth stone to take out Goliath and the entire Philistine army. When did numbers prove orthodoxy?

Additional note by Don K. Preston: McDurmon wrote a book on Biblical Logic. On page 288 he cites several authorities who rightly say that the number of people / believers espousing a given view is totally irrelevant, and has no bearing on whether a given doctrine or movement is true. Yet, as William has noted, in his diatribe posted on the American Vision site, Joel appeals at least twice, to what he claims is the pitifully small number of preterists. It would seem that Joel McDurmon would do well to read his own book on the proper use of logic.