Fulfilled Theology - Preterist

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I've read the book, "Beyond Creation Science" by Tim Martin and Jeff Vaughn and I think they did a great job but I do not agree everything what they wrote. I have no problem with the flood of Noah was local but I do deny anything that spiritualize or symbolic language all those stories about creation. However I do think that the creation was a literal six days creation of the land, and the flood was local. They were literal people and events. I don't think the Bible is about YEC vs. OEC. Both of them are right and wrong. I do hold in OEC but as for the Genesis creation itself I would called this "Young Land Creation" rather than YEC. :-)

The Genesis creation is about the beginning of the Promised Land and God's people, not about the universe, the earth, and the whole mankind. Here's what someone (Rivers Of Eden) wrote from the Planet Preterist forum:
 
"The language in Genesis 1-2 simply describes the clearing of a desolate flood plain (i.e. the Promised Land) so that it could become inhabitable for Adam and his Israelite descendants to whom the Land would be given by God through Abraham (Genesis 17:1-6)

At "the beginning" (Genesis 1:1-2), the Land was flooded the same way that it became during the time of Noah, and then the waters receeded and everything got back to normal. The days of creation merely describe the clearing of the rain, clouds, and flood waters so that the Land became a place where vegetation, animals, and Adam could live and prosper:

Day One: The land and skies were dark because it was night and nothing was visible because deep flood water covered all the Land and dark rain clouds covered the skies. When "morning" came, the "light" (of the sun) became visible through the clouds.

Day Two: The light made the horizon visible so that one could see the difference between the flood waters and the rain clouds. This is how the "waters" were separated. Flood water covered the Land, and rain water fell from the skies.

Day Three: The flood waters begin to receed so that the Land became visible and vegetation began to grow out of the ground.

Day Four: The rain clouds receeded so that the sun, moon, and stars (i.e. the source of the light from Day One) became visible to provide light even during the night.

Day Five: The animals and birds returned to the Land and skies because the storm was over and there was now vegetation and insects for food.

Day Six: The first ancestor of the Israelites (i.e. Adam) was made out of the Land where he could now live and prosper with his family.

This is a simple explanation of the meaning of the creation story that does not require any "science" or manipulation of the plain sense of any of the Hebrew language. It also accounts for the limited geocentric scope of the language and knowledge of the ancient Hebrews, as well as the limitations of the Noahic flood language.

From a theological standpoint, it also explains the inseparable connection between the Promised Land and the Law of Moses that is developed throughout the rest of the Pentateuch, as well as the centrality of the Land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem at the consummation of all prophecy."

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Here is what I would interpret from the Genesis creation accounts:

Gen 1:1 A beginning of Elohim (the plural form to indicate that the angels/gods are involved in the creation along with Yahweh) created the sky (heavens) and the land (earth/land, within Abraham’s inheritance, Gen. 15:18; 2 Peter 3:4-6; Rev.22:16, not the universe, the planet earth, and the mankind/pre-Adamites/non-Adamites),

2 the land was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep, and the spirit (breath) of God was moving on the face of the waters.

3 And Elohim commanded, “Let there be dawn,” and there was the dawn.

4 And Elohim, observed the dawn, saw it was beautiful. And Elohim made a distinction between dawn and dusk.

5 Then Elohim made a proclamation, declaring the dawn to begin the day and dusk to begin the night, so there was sunset and sunrise, a single day.

6 And Elohim commanded, “Let there be a fog to lift up from upon the waters to form the clouds over the land.

7 And Elohim filled the sky over the land with the clouds.

8 And Elohim gave the name the “skies”, where the clouds floated overhead. And there was sunset and there was sunrise, another (second) day.

9 And Elohim commanded, “Let the waters (Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee, and Dead Sea) under the sky come together in one place, and let the dry area be seen.” And it was so.

10 And Elohim named the dry area the “land”, and the waters gathered in their place were named the “seas.”

11 And Elohim commanded, “Let grass come up on the earth, and plants producing seed, and fruit-trees giving fruit, in which is their seed, after their sort." And it was so.

12 And grass came up on the land, and every plant producing seed of its sort, and every tree producing fruit, in which is its seed, of its sort, and Elohim saw that it was beautiful.

13 And there was sunset and there was sunrise, another (third) day.

14 And Elohim commanded, “Let there be lights (sun and moon) in the heavenly bodies (sky), for a division between the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for marking the changes of the year, and for days and for years. (these were the calendar for the great feasts days when His people were to worship Him in the land).

15 And let them be for lights in the heavenly bodies to give light on the land”, and it was so.

16 And Elohim made the two great lights: the greater light (sun) to be the ruler of the day, and the smaller light (moon) to be the ruler of the night: and he made the stars.

17 And Elohim put them in the heavenly bodies, to give light on the land;

18 To have rule over the day and the night, and for a division between the light and the dark: and Elohim saw that it was beautiful.

19 And there was sunset and there was sunrise, another (fourth) day.

20 And Elohim commanded, “Let the waters be full of living things, and let birds be in flight over the land under the heavenly bodies.”

21 And Elohim made great sea-beasts, and every kind of living and moving thing with which the waters were full, and every kind of winged bird: and Elohim saw that it was beautiful.

22 And Elohim gave them his blessing, saying, “Be fertile and have increase, making all the waters of the seas full, and let the birds be increased in the land.”

23 And there was sunset and there was sunrise, another (fifth) day.

24 And Elohim commanded, “Let the land give birth to all kinds of living things, cattle and all things moving on the land, and beasts of the land after their kind”. And it was so.

25 And Elohim made the beasts of the land after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything moving on the face of the land after its kind. And Elohim saw that it was beautiful.

26 And Elohim commanded, “Let us (as we seen in verse one, angels were involved) make man (Adamite) in our image, like us (remember God is a spirit and no man can see Yahweh. The angels’ appearance is like the humans, I’ll explain a little bit later): and let him have rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the land (not planet earth) and over every living thing which goes flat on the land.”

27 And Elohim made man (Adamite) in his image, in the image of Elohim he made him: male (Adam) and female (Eve) he made them.

28 And Elohim gave them his blessing and said to them, “Be fertile and have increase, and make the land full and be masters of it; be rulers over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing moving on the land.”

29 And Elohim commanded, “See, I have given you every plant producing seed, on the face of all the land, and every tree which has fruit producing seed, they will be for your food.

30 And to every beast of the land and to every bird of the air and every living thing moving on the face of the land I have given every green plant for food”. And it was so.

31 And Elohim saw everything which he had made and it was very beautiful. And there was sunset and there was sunrise, another (sixth) day.

Gen. 2:1 And the sky (heavens) and the land (earth) and all things in them were complete.

2 And on the seventh day Elohim came to the end of all his work; and on the seventh day he took his rest from all the work which he had done.

3 And Elohim gave his blessing to the seventh day and made it holy (Sabbath): because on that day he took his rest from all the work which he had made and done.

4 These are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were made.

Here is where I see "Elohim" and "Yahweh" and "men" and "angels" all used to speak of the three who came to Abraham. The following verses all see to refer to the same incident. In Gen 18:1-2, it says that "the Lord (Yahweh) appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mare." Gen 18:13 also says that "the Lord (Yahweh)" asked "Why did Sarah laugh." The visitors are called "men" in 18:20-22. Then, in 19:1, they are called "angels" when they came to Sodom. And, then, in 19:12-13 the "angels" say that "Yahweh" sent them to destroy Sodom. Finally, in 19:29, it says that "elohim destroyed the cities of the plain."

Also, in Amos 4:11, it is "Yahweh" who says that "I have overthrown some of you (Israelites) just as elohim (angels) overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."

What do you think?

Donald,

I'm curious, why do so many people need to say they "do not agree everything what [Tim and I] wrote?" Before Tim and I started, no preterists were discussing Genesis. There were YECs and there were quiet people. No one was discussing the issues in Genesis. Why not just give us credit for starting the conversation and go on from there? Or just not make a statement about us at all?

Truly Donald, you said you disagree with us, then you listed a bunch of things where presumably, you believe we disagree. We mostly agree with those things. Where is the actual disagreement?

The Genesis creation is about the beginning of the Promised Land and God's people, not about the universe, the earth, and the whole mankind.

The Promised Land was Palestine. Genesis creation is placed in Mesopotamia, which is no where near Palestine. How is it "about the beginning of the Promised Land?"

I fully agree with the complete rest of that sentence.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Coauthor Beyond Creation Science
JL,

Aren’t you a little bit nitpicking? :-) I said you guys did a great job with the book but I do not agree everything even though we have a lot in common. What do you want me to say? I’ll give you a few things where I disagree:

1. Evangelism to all mankind (p. 177)
2. Salvation for all mankind today (p.205, 342)
3. View 3 (p. 210)
4. Spiritual death (p. 229)
5. Jesus is God (p. 286, 383)
6. Over spiritualizing from Genesis to Revelation.
7. “Gentiles” as non-Jews/Israelites (p. 331)
8. Those who believed in Christ called themselves “Israel of God” today (p. 341)

These are a few examples.

I do give you some credit for starting the conversation but you acknowledged your book need some revisions, right? ROE and I already hold the Genesis creation and the flood of Noah were local area in around 1998 when we were corresponding via email back then. I still have them in my website. We discussed about this in some Preterist forums but they kicked us out. Finally Planet Preterist let us stay there but right now they changed the format and all of our posts gone but they might bring them back. That’s why I just created my own forum so that we have a place to stay and anyone can read what we have to say. Aren't you going to give us some credit too? :-)
Donald,

Now we have a list I can disagree with. Though I still suspect we are not as far off on #6 as you imagine. From my point of view, I don't "spiritualize" anything.

Sorry to seem so nit-picky, but the list you followed with before implied that I disagreed with those things in that list. I see stuff like that 2 or 3 times a month. I also get comments from others who read those lists and think they now understand my views. Quite the contrary.

Bummer about the Discussion Forums on PP.

Blessings,
Jeff,

What do you mean when you wrote, "The new H&E is not physical? Neither is the Gen. 1 H&E. Both are of similar or concordant nature" especially in Gen. 1" in BCS thread? Are you saying that Gen. 1 is not physical? Do you agree with the first two articles in this page?
This was corresponding with Rivers of Eden via email today.

[Donald] What is your take on Psalm 102? (Heb. 1:10-12):

25 "Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 "Even they will perish, but You endure ; And all of them will wear out like a garment ; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
27 "But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end.
28 "The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You."

Some (i.e. Covenant Creation/BCS people) think this is referring to Genesis creation while most preterists believe it was the foundation of the Mosaic covenant at Mt. Sinai. I would say the latter because in Gen. 1-2 didn't "perished" and "wore out like a garment".

Same thing with 2 Peter 3:3-13. Would you agree that "present" heavens and earth was being destroyed by fire referring to the Mosaic covenant, not Gen. 1-2?

[Rivers Of Eden] Actually, I think it's both because the "heavens and earth" in Genesis 1:1 is really just referring to the Promised Land which was part of the Law of Moses too. So, when the Psalmist refers to "founding the earth of old" I think he has in mind that God intended Genesis 1:1 to be the creation of the Land that Israel was to inherit later.

[Donald] Hmm...ok I need to ask, what was the "first heavens and earth passed away" (Rev. 21:1)? Genesis Creation or Mosaic covenant or both?

[Rivers Of Eden] Again, I think that was a reference to both concepts because the Law of Moses was inseparable from the Land of Promise. Thus, the Land and the Law passed together. That is why the desolation of the Land and destruction of the Temple was understood as the "passing" of the former "heavens and earth."

I think we have to keep in mind that the Pentateuch deliberately tied the genealogy of Abraham back to Adam in order to show that Abraham was a kinsman of Adam who was first ordered by God to possess the Land. The Land was the "heavens and the earth" so that became the identification of the people of Israel because they were inseparable from the Land. In other words, they had a divine right to that physical creation that occurred in Genesis 1:1. All of that was destroyed by fire in AD 70 and thus both the Land and the Law passed away together.
Don,

No, I disagree with most of it.

"The language in Genesis 1-2 simply describes the clearing of a desolate flood plain (i.e. the Promised Land) so that it could become inhabitable for Adam and his Israelite descendants to whom the Land would be given by God through Abraham (Genesis 17:1-6)

My take? The physical scene is Lower Mesopotamia, a flood plain. It is not the land promised to Abraham. It was already perfectly habitable and likely already inhabited.

Sorry, I have not developed the sort of detail you have developed for Gen. 1.
Jeff,

I see that you haven't developed some details for Gen. 1.

Do you have any comment between ROE and I in post above?
Don,

Your view seems to require Palestine (the land promised to Abraham) to be the location of Gen. 1-3. Is this correct?

Yet everything in the text points to Lower Mesopotamia. Do you have an explanation for this discrepancy?

I've got other comments, but this is one of the most critical.
Jeff,

It seems to me that the Promised Land or Abraham’s inheritance (Gen. 15:18) encompassed an area east from Egypt’s western border to Old Babylonia eastern border, near east of the great river Euphrates. North and south, up in north near modern Turkey to the south near Ethiopia. This seems fitting with the measurement from John’s vision (Rev. 21:16). If you remember, Adam lived in a garden eastward in Eden (Gen. 2:8). Eastward from what point? Was it possible from the land of Palestine? Would it be possible that the garden of Eden was located within the Promised Land (Gen. 1-2)? Also was it possible that the flood of Noah occurred within the Promised Land as well?
JD,

I think it's also important to keep the interpetation of Genesis within the context of the limited knowledge of geogarphy that the Hebrews could acertain at that time in history. For all we know from scripture, they didn't travel any further sound than Egypt or any further north and east than Babylon.

Thus, using those rivers (Genesis 2:8-11; Genesis 15:18) to describe the extent of the Promised Land or the "heavens and earth" probably encompassed the whole known "world" as far as their limited knowledge was concerned. I don't think we should read any more into the text than what would have accomodated their ancient understanding.

I also think it's significant that things like the "Tree Of Life" were identifed with with places like "Jerusalem" later in prophecy (Revelation 22:2). Perhaps we find the Tree Of Life in "the middle of the street" in the "new jerusalem" because the biblical writers understood that the "garden" and Jerusalem were located in the same spot. The same kind of thing is found in Ezekiel 47 where there are allusions to "Eden" made in the description of the future temple.

Whether these things are literal or figurative, the association of the elements of the creation story with the place that was later know as "Jerusalem" could be significant. For example, if God promised us that he was going to rebuild the "World Trade Center" buildings, we would probably just assume that "New York" or "Manhattan Island" was the location since they originally were built there.
Don,

Deuteronomy 11:24
Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the western sea.

The promised land went to, but not beyond the Euphrates. Eden was east of the Euphrates, and therefore outside the promised land.

In the 2nd edition of BCS (2005), Tim had an argument against a local creation. Our critics like to repeat parts of it thinking a local creation and a covenantal creation are the same thing. When I get a chance this weekend, I'll try to reproduce the argument here and we can see if it applies.

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