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Response to Dr. Larry Spargimino

From: Ken Davies
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2001 1:24 PM
Subject: Article by Dr. Larry Spargimino

Dear Friends in the Lord,

Thought you might find this of interest. This email to Dr. Noah Hutchings is one I wrote in response to an article that was forwarded to me, alleging to be an “answer” to the Preterist view. It may be found on the website of the Southwest Radio Church, of which Dr. Hutchings is the head.

Dear Dr. Hutchings,

I read the article, “Was All Bible Prophecy Fulfilled By A.D. 70?” by Dr. Larry Spargimino. I must say, it was a very disappointing “answer” to the Preterist view. Dr. Spargimino gives only one positive reason why he finds it lacking, and one easily refuted from Scripture. He says the Old Covenant passed away at the cross, and tries to use the book of Hebrews to “prove” it! Amazing! I wonder what he does with Heb. 8:13?

By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Dr. Spargimino says, “The temple and priesthood could have continued for another thousand years and it would not have delayed the new era one second,” but what does the Word of God say?

The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing [Heb. 9:8].

If Jesus has not yet returned, as He promised, within the time frame He set for this event, we do not even have salvation! Note:

so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him [Heb. 9:28].

Dr. Spargimino says, “Christians need to be aware of those teachings that would turn ‘the blessed hope’ into ‘the blasted hope.’” The Bible, on the other hand, says,

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life [Prov. 13:12].

The “blessed hope” of the New Testament is that Christ would return within the lifetime of at least SOME of those to whom Jesus spoke (Matt. 16:27-28; 24:34, etc.). Dr. Spargimino should deal with the verses cited in the article, “An Air of Expectancy,” by Terry Siverd. If that hope was delayed or never occurred (as critics of Christianity, such as the atheist Bertrand Russell allege), then Jesus and His apostles either lied or were mistaken, and Christians truly do have a “blasted hope”!

To say, as some do, “If Jesus has already returned, we have no hope!” is akin to the child who says, “I was hoping for a bicycle for Christmas, and now that I got one, I have no more hope!” I’m sure you can see how utterly ridiculous this statement is.

I love Dr. Spargimino’s statement, “The following is a list of those Scriptures, with my comments indicating what they really say:” Then he proceeds to simply state what they DON’T say (in his opinion). This kind of “refutation” is typical. It depends more on logical fallacies (e.g., begging the question) and mockery than on exegesis. He assumes the futurist view is true, then makes fun of the Preterist view on that basis (e.g., “No microchip technology here!”). Of course, that never answers or proves anything!

Dr. Spargimino also says, “Preterism is tied in with a postmillennial view of last things.” However, postmillennialism is a FUTURIST view, as is premillennialism. Kenneth Gentry is NOT a Preterist! The definition of a Preterist, according to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, is “a theologian who believes that the prophecies of the Apocalypse have already been fulfilled.” Both you and Dr. Gentry are, by definition, futurists! I would encourage Dr. Spargimino (and every futurist) to look into these things more carefully, using the rules of Biblical hermeneutics to come to his conclusions, rather than simply dismissing them out of hand on the basis of his futurist system of interpretation.

Preterists did not come to the view lightly or easily. It is a view that seeks to take seriously the clear time statements of Scripture and to handle them honestly and accurately.

In Christ,

Ken Davies


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