Responding to the Critics| Howard Denham’s Abuse of Logic #3

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responding to the critics
Responding to the Critics| Howard Denham’s Abuse of Logic and Scripture

Responding to the Critics| Howard Denham’s Abuse of Logic #3

We are currently examining a list of syllogisms offered by acerbic Amillennialist Howard Denham, who claims that his arguments totally falsify Covenant Eschatology. Denham has taught logic for years. However, as we have shown in our first two articles, # 1   #2 Denham actually abuses logic in a horrific, self-defeating manner. His arguments are fundamentally flawed, with his premises being false and presuppositional.

In this installment, we will examine three more of Denham’s “arguments.” The reason we are examining three syllogisms is because #2 and #3 are built on Denham’s first one.

#1–
Major Premise: If it is the case that there is a prophecy in the New Testament that teaches that an action or state entailed in the fulfillment of the prophecy is an ongoing action or state, then it must be the case that the ongoing nature of the action or state is part of that prophecy and its fulfillment.
Minor Premise: It is the case that there is a prophecy in the New Testament that teaches that an action or state entailed in the fulfillment of the prophecy is an ongoing action or state.
Conclusion: It therefore must be the case that the ongoing nature of the action or state is part of that prophecy and its fulfillment.

#2
Major Premise: If it is the case that Revelation 21-22 prophesied of an ongoing state of things that is still in effect, then it must be the case that the prophecy in Revelation 21-22 was not completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem.
Minor Premise: It is the case that Revelation 21-22 prophesied of an ongoing state of things that is still in effect.
Conclusion: It therefore must be the case that the prophecy in Revelation 21-22 was not completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem.

#3
Major Premise: If it is the case that the prophecy in Revelation 21-22 was not completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem, then it must be the case that Full Preterism teaching that all prophecy was completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 is a false doctrine.
Minor Premise: It is the case that the prophecy in Revelation 21-22 was not completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem.
Conclusion: It therefore must be the case that Full Preterism teaching that all prophecy was completely fulfilled in A.D. 70 is a false doctrine.

I must say that I am appalled by Denham’s ignorance of Biblical eschatology– not to mention his abuse of logic. And that is to put it mildly!

Responding to the Critics| Discerning Between Fulfillment and the Result of Fulfillment

First of all, it is painfully evident that Denham either does not know or understand the difference between the difference between the fulfillment of prophecy, and the state of affairs resulting from the fulfillment of prophecy! Is Denham being “willfully ignorant” of this distinction so that he can try to “make a point”? Or, is he actually ignorant of the difference?

The Old Covenant foretold the coming of Christ- his Incarnation. Are we still waiting on Christ to come the first time, or, are all of the prophecies of his Incarnation fulfilled – totally fulfilled? Is there a “state of affairs” that resulted from the total fulfillment of his Incarnation? Of course! But, that does not mean that the prophecies of his Incarnation are still being fulfilled– or else he has not even come yet! Denham’s claim therefore: “It therefore must be the case that the ongoing nature of the action or state is part of that prophecy and its fulfillment” if true, demands the on-going, un-ending fulfillment of the prophecies of Jesus’ Incarnation! Who can believe such a convoluted doctrine?

Responding to the Critics| Jesus’ Definition of Fulfilled

Next, consider the simple, yet powerful and undeniable words of Jesus in Luke 21:22. In describing the events leading up to and consummating in the Lord’s coming in AD 70 (Denham would – if he takes the traditional c of C position – agree), Jesus said: “These be the days of vengeance in which all things that are written must be fulfilled.”

So, we have here a prediction of what Denham would agree was the coming of the Lord. That coming of the Lord, said Jesus, would constitute the fulfillment of all things that are written. As Alpheus Crosby queried long ago: ”Whether we suppose his predictions to have had two or twenty senses, whether he spoke of two comings or two hundred, did not the comprehensive words “all these things” include the whole?” (Alpheus Crosby, The Second Advent, (Boston, Phillips,. Sampson and Co., 1850)52-53.

What is the “state of affairs” that resulted from that coming of the Lord? Were there not – indeed, are there not – many realities that flowed directly from that parousia of Christ? Anyone denying that would be foolish indeed! Even Denham would, we assume, agree with that. Does that mean that the prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem and Christ’s coming at that time continues to be fulfilled? Not according to Jesus!

According to Jesus, in spite of Denham’s presumptuous and illogical claims, “all things written” would be “fulfilled” in AD 70. Consider the fact that according to Isaiah 65-66, the New Creation would flow from – in other words, be a state of affairs resulting from fulfillment – the destruction of Old Covenant Israel. Jesus naturally knew that prophecy, and a host of other prophecies that predicted a state of affairs that would flow from the end of the age. But, Jesus did not hold to Denham’s misguided thinking. Jesus said the prophecies of the end of the age, the resurrection, the passing of the Old Creation, the bringing in of the New Creation, (the “all things that are written”)– would be fulfilled in AD 70! This is patently and irrefutably fulfillment with resulting state of affairs, not on-going fulfillment.

Take a look:

The Old Testament (part of the “all things that are written” referred to by Jesus in Luke 21:22) foretold the end of the age, the resurrection and the arrival of the New Creation at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Israel (Isaiah 65-66 / Daniel 12).

A state of affairs (a condition) would result from the fulfillment of those prophecies of the end of the age, resurrection and the bringing in of the New Creation.

But, those prophecies of the end of the age, the resurrection and the New Creation would be “fulfilled” at the coming of the Lord in AD 70 (Luke 21:22).

Therefore, it must be true that the state of affairs that resulted from the fulfillment of those prophecies of the end of the age, the resurrection and the bringing in of the New Creation are not an on-going fulfillment of those prophecies of the end of the age, the resurrection and the bringing in of the New Creation.

Jesus’ words are a categoric, emphatic, and undeniable falsification of Denham’s abuse of logic and reason. Fulfillment would lead – result in – on-going realities, but the on-going realities are not the on-going fulfillment of the prophecies of the end of the age, the resurrection and the coming of the New Creation! But, there is even more!

Let us say, for purely argument sake, that Denham is correct, and that: “Revelation 21-22 prophesied of an ongoing state of things that is still in effect.” Do you see how Denham has impaled himself on his own argument? Do you see how this man who brags incessantly, about his prowess in logic and Bible knowledge, has negated his entire eschatology?

What is the state of affairs in Revelation 21-22? It is, simply stated, the unending, everlasting New Creation of Christ! It is the time in which the Father and the Son rule “forever and forever” age without end! In other words, if the state of affairs of Revelation 21-22 has come into existence, there can never be another end of the age. There can never be coming of the Lord in judgment! There can never be a Great White Throne Judgment! There can never be (another) end of the Millennium parousia!

But arguing as he has, Denham has stripped himself of any futurist eschatology. He says the state of affairs that arrived in AD 70 (per Covenant Eschatology) is still on-going– and thus- prophecy is being fulfilled. But, that “on-going fulfillment” as Denham wants to posit it, is the kingdom of God that will never be terminated by another coming of the Lord!

The state of affairs in Revelation 21-22 is the kingdom of God, that will never pass away, never end.

But, the state of affairs of Revelation 21-22 arrived with the coming of the Lord in AD 70.

Therefore, the state of affairs that arrived in AD 70 – the kingdom of God – will never pass away.

Now, Denham’s third syllogism above simply denies that Revelation 21-22 was fulfilled in AD 70. This is presuppositional, and he offers no proof for his assertion. In my book, Who Is This Babylon? I fully document that Revelation 21-22 was in fact fulfilled in AD 70.

Who is This Babylon- Responding to the Critics!
Responding to the Critics About When All Was Fulfilled!

 

Here are just a couple of bullet points.

The New Creation of Revelation 21-22 would arrive at the shaking (removal) of the Old Creation – at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:10f).

The Old Creation would be removed at the judgment of “Babylon” (Revelation 6:14 / 16:19-21).

Babylon was the city “where the Lord was slain” (I.e Old Covenant Jerusalem- Revelation 11:8).

Therefore, the New Creation of Revelation 21-22 arrived at the shaking (removal) of the Old Creation – at the end of the Millennium – in the judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem.

Take note of this:

The New Creation of Revelation 21-22 would arrive at the Day of the Lord and the removal of the Old Creation (Revelation 20).

The Day of the Lord and the removal of the Old Creation would take place at the time of the vindication of the martyrs of God (Revelation 6:9-17).

But, the vindication of the martyrs of God, when all the righteous blood shed on the earth, would be judged and avenged, was in the coming of Christ in judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem in AD 70 (Matthew 23:34-37).

Therefore, the New Creation of Revelation 21-22 arrived at the coming of Christ in judgment of Old Covenant Jerusalem in AD 70, the vindication of the martyrs of God (all the righteous blood shed on the earth).

A final argument:

The New Creation of Revelation 21-22 would arrive at the coming of Christ in judgment of every man.

But, the coming of Christ in judgment of every man was near, at hand, and coming shortly, when John wrote Revelation (Revelation 22:6-21).

Therefore, the New Creation of Revelation 21-22 was near, at hand, and coming shortly when John wrote Revelation.

So, here is what we have:
1. We have Denham denying Jesus’ statements concerning the fulfillment of all things written, since Jesus posited fulfillment (that would result in an on-going state of affairs) in AD 70. Denham denies this and says an on-going state of affairs is on-going fulfillment. Jesus denied that.

2. We have Denham falsifying his own eschatology, by arguing that if Revelation 21-22 was “fulfilled” then that on-going state of affairs equals on-going fulfillment. But, this “admission” means that if Revelation 21-22 are still being “fulfilled” there can never be another eschaton! There can never be another coming of Christ, resurrection or judgment, for we are in the un-ending, everlasting New Creation!

3. We have seen that Denham is wrong to deny the fulfillment of the Lord’s coming in AD 70 that resulted in the New Creation of Revelation 21-22. The arrival of the New Creation of Revelation 21-22 was the fulfillment of Isaiah 65-66 which is emphatically posited by those prophecies to arrive at the time of the destruction of Old Covenant Jerusalem.

As in the previous examinations of Denham’s arguments, his syllogisms are fundamentally flawed, presuppositional, specious and self-defeating. I must say that Denham makes our task of Responding to the Critics quite easy!

More to come.

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