Last night I finally got around to watching the beginning of the debate between Mr. Holger Neubauer and Mr. Howard Denham. These two men are preachers in the Church of Christ denomination, and a bit of background had previously been provided by Dr. Don K. Preston. You can read those details at the following link:
About two years ago, I received a call from Holger Neubauer, and enjoyed a conversation with him in regards to Full Preterism (aka., Fulfilled Covenant Eschatology, Fulfilled Eschatology, Fulfillment, etc.). Surely seems like a great brother and asset to the Kingdom. Watching him detail the “time statements” and the infamous “timing determines the nature” argument gave me great joy, as I imagine it did our Lord. Glory to God when a man walks worthy of 2 Timothy 2:15 and preaches with excitement the fruit of his labor.
I must be honest however, I was already disgusted with the debate and felt it had been forfeited by Mr. Denham before Mr. Neubauer began his statements. Mr. Denham’s blatant ignorance regarding the AD 70 “coming of the Lord” and his cognitive dissonance in regards to what he actually read from the pages (ie, Acts chapter 1, verses 9-11) astounded me – and was clear to the brother (Andy) I was sitting with as well. Glory to God we used it as a discipleship moment, wherein we paused the debate and went to the Scriptures.
I then made the following remark on Social Media:
“So Howard Denham lost the debate with Holger Neubauer about 24 minutes into his affirmative. I was able to utilize the moment to clearly detailing Acts chapter 1 to Andy Diaz as a fulfilled reality thus demonstrating the faithfulness of God. I appreciated Holger’s use of the “Time determines nature” argument which served as the negative that Denham required.”
Now watch the response this warranted from Mr. Howard Denham:
“ You evidently do not understand plain English. LOL “THE SAME WAY…” AD 70 was not any where near to be “the same way.” Something so simple,and yet so profound that Neubauer could not touch it for 4 nights, and neither have you.”
“ BTW what kind of Hyper-Preterist are you? (1) One who denies that Gentiles can be saved today. (2) One who denies that anyone is saved today. (3) One who affirms that everyone has been saved since AD 70. (4) One who affirms that all who are in Christ are saved, regardless of how much sinning they may do. (5) One who affirms that the church, baptism, the worship described in the NT (including especially the Lord’s Supper) have ceased. (6) One who believes that only hose who are linear descendants of Abraham are saved. (7) One who believes that Genesis 1-2 is just myth. (8) One who believes that Genesis 1-2 has nothing to do with the creation of the material Universe. (9) One who believes that the Lord was errant when He taught that Adam and Eve were the first human pair. (10) Or any modification or combination of these. Just so Holger Neubauer can see who he’s now depending on for his support and fellowship.”
“Also, the speeches were only 20 minutes each, which means you cannot even tell time today. Ciao!”
Let’s look at those responses in terms of Paragraph 1, Paragragh 2, & Paragraph 3.
My response to Paragraph 1 would be that I do understand plain English, actually it is because of the plain English that I have my understanding of Fulfillment in Acts 1:9-11. Go read the text slowly to yourself and then answer
In what manner did Christ “go into heaven” in which Acts chapter 1 not only records but prophesies of?
“….and a cloud received Him out of their sight” and where did the cloud take Him? . Mr. Denham seems to lack an understanding of how clouds were used in the Law and the Prophets, how Jesus Christ said many times (using the prophetic imagery and context) that the coming of the Lord would be with clouds, and how that would have applied to the audience.
Thank God that we have historical record about what would be Biblically classified as a “coming of the Lord” in that generation, in AD 70, while some of the original disciples were alive, in direct fulfillment of what Jesus prophesied.
“And not many days after the feast, on the twenty-first of the month Artemisium, a certain marvelous vision was seen which passes belief. The prodigy might seem fabulous were it not related by those who saw it, and were not the calamities which followed deserving of such signs. For before the setting of the sun chariots and armed troops were seen throughout the whole region in mid-air, wheeling through the clouds and encircling the cities. And at the feast which is called Pentecost, when the priests entered the temple at night, as was their custom, to perform the services, they said that at first they perceived a movement and a noise, and afterward a voice as of a great multitude, saying, ‘Let us go hence.’ “ – Eusebius, 4th century Church Historian quoting Josephus, 1st century Jewish Historian
“Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the Gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure.” – Tacitus, 1st century Roman Historian
You can read more at the following link:
I believe that response suffices against Mr. Denham’s seemingly angry response in Paragraph 1.
Now on to Paragraph 2. “Hyperpreterism” is a term that most Full Preterists have asked not to be associated with, since the denotation of “hyper” implies going to far with something. Hyperpreterists would be seen as those who say there is no lasting effect or work of Fulfillment for us today, 2000 years past the fulfillment of the Age to Come.
I am sure that the reasoning behind Mr. Denham’s statement in Paragraph 2 is to instigate further division and to foist more claims of “heresy” upon these men in regards to their Church of Christ affiliation. Well, to be clear, I imagine some of my views might put me outside the “Church of Christ” denomination, which is fine with me. However, I hold to the Scriptures, I cling to 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17, as well as follow what I see to be an eternal principle of gathering with Believer’s to “rightly divide God’s word” and encourage one another to good work. Therefore, I don’t care to go through Mr. Denham’s silly little list. Holger, you have the support of God and His Word, don’t let the confusion within the “preterist camp” or the pointing it out by anyone discourage you from standing firmly upon your instruction – 1 Timothy 1:5.
And finally, to the trite statement we dare called Paragraph 3. Mr. Denham’s arrogance is wild. This man is a preacher? A man I am called to look up to? I surely can tell time, sure enough can read, write, and speak plain English, and even further- I can understand that in reading a historic book how important humility in regards to “audience relevance” truly is – something Mr. Denham seemingly lacks. I meant 24 minutes into the the entire presentation I was watching – Go see for yourself how everyone should have simply closed up shop and went home at 24 minutes in, because Mr. Denham is ignoring what his Bible says!
In Service to Him & His Truth,
Pastor Michael Miano
Blue Point Bible Church