Our Main Ministry Activities:
Every day we thank God for all of you who support this ministry and pray for us. We can not continue without you. Apostle Paul said it this way:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers (1Thess 1:2). Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; so that you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God” (2Cor 9:10-11).
When I wonder if our ministry is really making a difference, soon afterwards I get an email or call from someone who has been edified by our work. That is extremely encouraging to me, as it is also to those of you who support this ministry. You share in all the good fruit that comes from our efforts. Here are a few examples of those encouraging letters that I frequently receive:
“Thanks for the all the great material you sent! I admit that when I first came across full preterism and read your work about a rapture, I was skeptical. However, after reviewing your material and listening to the podcasts, I became convinced that a rapture was the only way to explain the silence about the Second Coming. Your articles and podcasts helped preserve my belief in the inerrancy of Scripture.” — B.E., Elwood IN
“I’m listening to the podcasts and it helps so much! What a blessing those podcasts are to the Full Preterist community! Such glory given to Christ in all of them. Check them out and feed your soul! It’s very logical and scriptural to hold to the rapture. Had I not come across this explanation of the rapture, I would have gone back to futurism. The views of some Full Preterists have left my head in a mess. These podcasts have given me back my sanity. God bless you, sir.” — Lilo S.R. on FaceBook
“In one of your podcasts you stated a challenge for future generations of preterists to carry the torch, and that they need to search for answers about why and how the early church fathers got off-track. I hope to be one of those next generation preterists to carry the torch. I am especially thankful for your teachings on the rapture, canonization, history, and cosmology. I am committed and on fire for the truth, and I really want to help spread the preterist message. Your work is bearing fruit. You are in my prayers.” — D.W., Colville, WA
Below is a brief list of our main ministry activities right now, as well as our plans (Lord willing) for the coming year:
Recent Ministry Activities:
* Publication of the new book: Final Decade Before the End
* Work on the Masters Thesis
* Wrote articles for our regular column in Fulfilled magazine
* Set up our annual exhibit booth at the ETS conference
* Held two different preterist fellowship meetings here in the area
* Developmental work on the website
* Research for next series of podcasts: First Generation After the End
* Production of many more articles in PDF format on various preterist topics
* Answered hundreds of emails and sent attached PDF articles to them
Plans (Lord Willing) for the Coming Year:
* Finish the Masters Thesis first (top priority)
* After the thesis we will restart the Podcasts: First Generation After the End
* Write articles for Fulfilled magazine
* Exhibit booth at ETS in November
* Reprint the booklet: What Happened in AD 70?
* Publish some of Martha McElwain’s books on preterism
* Convert more of our print books into eBooks
* More preterist fellowship meetings here in our area
* Speak at some preterist conferences around the country
* Further development of the website and add new resources to it
Trip to Israel
As a student of Early Christianity, I always wanted to go to Israel to research the remaining artifacts of first century Christians, both before AD 70 and right afterwards. Several months ago, one of our dear preterist friends asked if I had ever been to Israel. When I said that I had not, he offered to pay for our travel expenses. That was an offer I could not refuse, and we could never have taken such a trip without God’s gracious provision through ministry partners like this. However, only the airfare, lodging, car rental, guide fees, and food expenses were covered. Other tour fees, site entrance fees, research books and maps, artifacts, etc., were covered by us. Those expenses were significant, so we trust God to provide those things through your support.
When I shared this travel opportunity with my Masters Thesis supervisor and the Dean of the Graduate School, they both strongly encouraged me to go, and gave me a year extension of time to work on the thesis after I return. That sealed the deal!
So Beth and I just returned from our trip to the Mideast (Sept 18–Oct 6, 2016). Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We had a safe, healthy, and productive trip. We visited a lot of the sites related to the Jewish war, as well as any sites where evidence of first century Christians has been found. We took lots of pictures and video footage to share with you. The results of this research will be presented in a new series of podcasts entitled, “First Generation AFTER the End”. Those of you who support this ministry will be the first ones to get the details about our trip, as well as first access to all the video and audio resources that are produced from it in the coming months.
Exhibit Booth at ETS:
In November 2016, a group of us preterists descend upon San Antonio to work in our exhibit booth at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) conference. This is our 18th consecutive year to do this. Our exhibit booth is in a prime location with high traffic, and on the same isle with Eerdmans, Baker, Kregel, and Answers In Genesis. Two new helpers join us this year, David and Jacki Miller (British Columbia). This means we will have four people from Canada, including John and Barb Johnston (Ottawa). Returning veterans Edmund Lee (New Orleans), Mathew Dryden (San Francisco), Parker Voll (Rochester NY) and David Webster (Maine) will complete our crew. This is a huge opportunity to share the preterist message with thousands of conservative evangelical theologians, seminary students, and ministry leaders (over 2500 in attendance). But it comes at a high price. Our expenses for this event take a huge bite out of our budget, and we are extremely grateful to all of you who financially support it and pray for our efforts there.
I used to think that our most important opportunities for sharing the preterist view would occur at the exhibit booth. But we are seeing just as much impact from our interactions outside the booth. The excellent efforts of Edmund Lee and Matt Dryden have proven that. They are our elite “outside sales reps”! They spend their whole time outside the booth, attending lectures and interacting with the speakers and attendees, and planting lots of preterist seed wherever they go. That strategy has had excellent results. Many of the people with whom they interact end up coming to the booth for more information. It takes both inside and outside work to maximize the impact, so I deeply appreciate all of you dear brethren who worked with me at ETS.
Every year at ETS there are around 2500 in attendance. We try to locate our exhibit booth in a high traffic area, on the same isle close to some of the major evangelical Christian publishers (like Eerdmans, Baker Books, IVP, Kregel, Crossway, and Zondervan). Literally thousands of attendees walk right by our booth and see our sign (see below). What an opportunity!
Many of them stop to look at our books and learn more about the preterist view. We give each of them a free book and got their contact info so that we can keep in touch. Each of those books that we give to them are like little missionaries for the preterist view, and God has promised that His Truth will not return to Him devoid of fruit.
Every year some of the contacts we made in previous years come by the booth to ask more questions and get more info. As their understanding of preterism deepens, their resistance decreases, and their receptivity grows. It is this kind of repeated exposure year after year which makes a difference. I hope I live to see a bunch of conservative evangelical scholars move on into the Full Preterist view, and then take it to the world and to all future generations.
There is no better place to get the preterist message into the eyes and ears of the conservative evangelical leaders than ETS. Preterism thrives in an environment like that where there are strong conservative bible believers. Liberals will never accept preterism, nor do anything with it even if they do accept it (because of its conservative implications). But evangelicals will take it to the stars once they see the powerful apologetic that it provides against the liberal-skeptical attack on the Bible. This is why I am so focused on spreading the preterist message there at ETS. It is our hope for the future of preterism. And those of you who support this ministry have a share in all the good fruit that comes from our work there.
The Masters Thesis:
Redating the Epistle of Barnabas
If you are new to this ministry, you are probably wondering what this Masters Thesis is all about, and why I am asking for your support while I work on it. Several Reformed scholars over a decade ago produced a multi-authored book critiquing the preterist view. One of the authors, Dr. Charles Hill at Reformed Theological Seminary, launched some very serious historical arguments against us. He made the point that not a single one of the post-70 Apostolic Father writers ever claimed that the Parousia occurred in AD 70, nor even showed any awareness that it happened. Instead, they all taught that the Parousia was still future. That would indeed be a very powerful historical argument against preterism, if it can hold up under critical scrutiny. So it deserves a serious and substantial scholarly response, and my masters thesis aims to provide it.
One of the ways I am countering this historical challenge is by showing that the Apostolic Father writings were all written before AD 70, at a time when the Parousia was still future. That eliminates most of the force of Dr. Hill’s argument. My thesis focuses on only one of the Apostolic Fathers, the Epistle of Barnabas. This is the one which every patristic scholar dates AFTER 70. Therefore, if Barnabas can be dated BEFORE 70, then the rest of the Apostolic Fathers are probably pre-70 also, since they all share the same historical perspective as Barnabas.
The title of my thesis is, “Redating the Epistle of Barnabas.” If you want to know more about Dr. Hill’s specific arguments and why they need this kind of in-depth response, simply email me and request my free PDF article entitled, Historical Problem.
Two years ago I finished all the coursework for the Masters degree program, maintaining an overall 98 average. The only thing left to complete is this thesis. We have made huge progress on it. A year ago I was still working on the overall framework, and deciding how best to present my case. That outline is now in place, and I am filling in the argumentation with all of its proper documentation. If you would like to see the outline, simply click here where you can download it and save it to your computer.
There are several more months of work left to be done on the thesis. Summer house repairs, our trip to ETS, and the holidays took a huge bite out of my time. But the break was necessary and helpful. It allowed me to step back and look at the big picture, and refine my flow of thought. And during this down-time, I found several more books and journal articles that further substantiate my case. So now I am ready to launch my final attack on it.
After the Masters Thesis is finished, Lord willing, we will resume the podcasts. The next series will deal with the First Generation of Christian History right after AD 70. As many of you know, that was a very silent and obscure period for true Christianity, but a very active time for the Gnostics, Judaizers, and other heretics. Over the past two years I have accumulated a lot of books which explore this period and the apocryphal writings which were produced during that time. Knowing what happened during that first generation after AD 70 will greatly help us understand why the second century church was so confused ecclesiastically, Christologically, theologically, and eschatologically. I am anxious to share all of that interesting historical information with you as soon as the thesis is finished.
We Need Your Prayers and Support
I am absolutely thrilled with the positive impact that our ETS exhibit booth, magazine articles, podcasts, and email replies are having in the lives of truth-seekers around the world. Every week I am exchanging emails with fellow preterists in several foreign countries (England, Austria, Ethiopia, India, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, etc.). So your support of this work is bearing fruit for the Kingdom all over the world.
Finishing the thesis is my highest priority right now. Keep that in your prayers! And keep us in your budget. This teaching and publishing ministry can not survive without your prayers and support. If you have not already done so, please prayerfully consider making a donation or setting up monthly support. You can do that by clicking here, or by calling us on the phone (814-368-6578).
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