#10 Hyper-Preterism, An Eschatology of Infidelity

The following is a series of e-mail exchanges between Dean Flanders and Tim King, a Hyper-Preterist.

Dean to Tim King:

Dear Tim,

It seems to me that the premise of your dad’s book COULD be stated thus:

“My friends, we have a problem to solve. Jesus said that the generation of men that were present with Him would not pass away (die) till all the prophecies about the close of the age were fulfilled. Now, those men are all deceased. Now either all those prophecies WERE fulfilled within that generation or Jesus was WRONG. We also have to face the fact that the NT writers quite obviously expected the end of their world and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ within their own liftetimes. Those NT writers are all deceased. If we cannot find a way to see how all the prophecies in Matthew 24, the Revelation, and etc. were FULFILLED within the normal life-span of Jesus’s generation, then the NT is either full of errors or a patent fraud. If these predictions were not all fulfilled, your Bible is full of errors and your faith is altogether vain. If therefore, you disagree with me about the meaning of the word GENERATION, or if you take any other view of the imminency predictions than the one I espouse, you are in fact denying the verity of the Bible. Your choices therefore are only two: either agree with me and save your Bible from the rubbish heap, or disagree with me and become in fact a tacit infidel.

We, therefore, have decided to solve this knotty problem by allegorizing every scripture which appears to suggest that any major physical change in the world is necessary for the the end of the age to have come. We say that The End, THE ENTIRE END, THE ONLY END THERE EVER SHALL BE, has already come. There is nothing eschatological in human history for the individual to look forward to now except the grave and the judgement. There will never be another “Divine fiat” of any kind in the history of mankind or the universe. There is no Great Tribulation, nor any Millennial Kingdom, nor is there any Rapture, nor a new earth, nor any such thing on the horizon of human history. The last act has already been played, and new players will simply continue to bow for the finale forever. People just like you and Hitler will be born and die in the normal course of human affairs forever. There will be men just like you living in a world that is absolutely contiguous with your own world 100,000 years from now. They may well be living on other planets or even in other star systems, but they will be just like you. This creation; this earth, is just a perpetual soul factory – it will continue to spew out more and more souls to populate either heaven or hell forever.

Furthermore, I have something to say to those who express any dismay or disappointment at my assertion that ALL THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST THAT SHALL EVER COME HAS ALREADY COME…….You have diminished and demeaned the great work of Christ that He did for you on the cross. If you are dismayed at the prospect that your carnal expectations will never be fulfilled, you should take that as a cue to your lack of spiritual depth. Those who have spiritual eyes to see CAN SEE how the glory of the Kingdom of Christ is already upon us and around us. I see it (by faith, of course).

YES……death is already defeated, and neither is there any more crying or pain. You who are all concerned about these things are looking at the wrong world. Wake up, and realize the glory of the kingdom! The new heaven and the new earth are all already here – for those who have eyes to see.”

….have I got this about right?

Acts 1:11


Tim King to Dean:

Finish the book and we’ll correspond further. Your questions tell me you haven’t even begun to grasp what I believe — you’re only 1/7th of the way home.

Dean to Tim King:

 Mark 8:38 ov gar an epaiscunyh me kai touv emouv logouv en th genea tauth th moicalidi kai amartwlw kai o uiov tou anyrwpou epaiscunyhsetai auton otan elyh en th doxh tou patrov autou meta twn aggelwn twn agiwn
 Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Dear Tim,

I have reviewed the uses of the Greek word for “generation” in the Septuagint and in the TR. There are several (not many) places where this word is used to designate people of a certain class, or type: as being derived from the same source.

 Psalms 14:5 (13:5) ekei edeiliasan fobw ou ouk hn fobov oti o yeov en genea dikaia
Psalms 14:5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.

There are many places like this where the word “genea” does not mean only those people who were born at a particular time, but all those people who derive from the same source or are of the same character.

 Psalms 22:30 (21:31) kai to sperma mou douleusei autw anaggelhsetai tw kuriw genea h ercomenh
Psalms 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

No doubt but that most uses of the word genea refer to a group of people comprehended in a single life span, but the meaning is NOT restricted to this usage.

Psalms 24:6 (23:6) auth h genea zhtountwn auton zhtountwn to proswpon tou yeou iakwb diaqalma
Psalms 24:6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

The above is definitely speaking of a TYPE of person, not of a particular group of people who all live at the same time.

It seems to me that your case is entirely dependent on CONFINING the word “genea” to the idea of people joined by living at the same time. Rather than allow for the secondary (but legitimately possible) meaning, you would rather allegorize the rest of the Bible, even to making the PHYSICAL RETURN of Jesus (Acts 1:11) into a “symbol” of something else? You said you would get back to me on Acts 1:11……how is this explained by your understanding of eschatology?

(Acts 1:9 KJV) And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
 (Acts 1:10 KJV) And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
 (Acts 1:11 KJV) Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

ALSO….your book asserts that the Old Covenant was in effect until AD70 – but Jesus PLAINLY SAID:

(Luke 16:16 KJV) The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

This seems pretty plain to me.

Please do send me your explanation of Acts 1:9-11.

Psalm 35:27


Tim King to Dean:

I am not agreeing to any type of written debate. I am interested in answering your personal questions and helping you see exactly what it is we believe. I receive between 50 and 100 emails per day. I write, travel, and speak all over the world. I do not have time to repeat that which has already been written — so I AM limited. As per your taking our correspondence and plastering it all over the internet, I am not interested in that either — it would take far more of my time to respond.

Sorry, but that’s the way it has to be. If that does not suit you, let me know.

Dean to Tim King:

Alright Tim…you get to call ALL the shots……………….

At the end, I only ask that you answer ONE QUESTION: that is, your explanation for Acts 1:9-11?

How far along are you in THE GREAT DREAM?



Tim King to Dean:

I’ve outlined the book (which is to say more than just reading it) up to chapter 5. I’ve had to set it aside the last two weeks because I have a series of meetings in Dallas and then Houston beginning next Tuesday — as well, I’m editor of a journal that is due out, plus I’ve got a boat-load of practical church ministry to do.

I run support groups on grief, divorce and singles along with preaching 3 different messages each Sunday and teaching a Wed. night class. Somewhere in all of this I’m a father of 3 teens! As you can see, I don’t lack for things tugging at my schedule. This is why I can’t enter into debate with you but am happy to dialogue back and forth. I do value your input and desire to understand your side of the equation better.

As per Acts 1:11, this is not a big issue for me and I’m not ignoring it — I promised to send an article on it that has been written for over ten years! I just haven’t followed through as one day turns into another. And, I’m happy to answer many more than that “one” question.

I’ll look for your address and then send it along. It is part of an overview series that Jack Scott and I produced. Acts 1:11 is part of an Addendum section. I think you’ll benefit from my Addendum “A” which is the paper I produced for a seminar with R.C. Sproul and 10 other Ph.d’s of systematic theology back in 1993.

Thanks for your study — I’m keeping up mine as well.

God bless, Dean.


Editor’s Note: Tim King already had Dean’s mailing address, because Tim King sent his father’s book to Dean. Dean never received the article regarding Acts 1:11, and Tim King never wrote Dean again.