Call me Jaded, but yes there is not much a Preterist can produce that we can call "solid academia" which means they can be right at times, but this is one case where Don goes tragically wrong in his logic and ability to actually argue with consistency. The first thing to note is the book is self-published. Don has his own publishing company so produces whatever he wishes with endorsements from other fellow Preterists and is never confronted with actual opposing views. In this book he is totally missing a table of Context and makes it hard to navigate around. While Don engages many scholars from differing positions the most blatant dishonest thing he does is quote from Sam Frost, a former preterist, and his old works with his current position. He cites from his old works in his preterist days as in agreement. Then later sites his non-Preterist works and almost accuses him of being double minded in his positions. Sam Frost has thoroughly denounced his former work and has asked Don Preston to quit using his work to support his positions and Don has refused to do so. The second thing to point out is Don's debate is with a Partial Preterist Joel McDurmon. Since both preterist and partial preterists are fraught with sever inconsistencies the debate between the two of them shows each their own problems that neither one can rectify for the other. Both are wrong from the get go. Don becomes so consumed with proving their position wrong and inconsistent he fails to make a strong case for his own position and takes it for granted the reader has a clear understanding of the preterists position.
Now with all this in mind in the Parable of the seven brothers, the thing to note is that all seven brothers died, then the woman. These people all died and went to Hades according to Preterist theology. In the Resurrection as Preterist claim happened in A.D. 70 these souls were raised out of Hades and went to heaven. Since when are people in heaven married or having children?
Preston conflates the idea that in the
Resurrection age, which arrived in A.D. 70 those people who were
living, were no longer being married under the Mosaic law,
therefore the giving in marriage that ends is the marriage done
under the Old Covenant Law of Moses. See the problem is his
answer is about the “living” people on earth. The Seven brother
and the wife are in heaven, not living on earth. They are not
married in any sense, Mosaic or under a New covenant
understanding. People are not married in heaven having children.
The argument then presented by the Sadducees was about the resurrection, in which they define the resurrection on the last day as, Life after death, where the dead bodies come out of their graves (Isa 26:19) and walking again, so if these seven dead plus one, are now alive and walking on earth which one does she belong to as a wife? Don never catches the idea these people are dead and in heaven, not walking around on earth again as the Pharisees believed and the Sadducees denied, and Don implies. The whole implication of the people experiencing resurrection means they come back to life, it is the body that always is referred to about coming back to life, never the spirit as the spirit never “died” as it awaits in Hades (or if it is in heaven).
The whole argument about which “age” becomes moot point.
In Don’s “primer” argument in which again he is addressing McDurmon mistakes, he states;
The goal of all eschatology, the goal of the resurrection and “the age to come” is the restoration of the pre-sin, pre-Curse Edenic world. In the pre-sin, pre-Curse Edenic world of Eden, Adam and Eve were married, and had the mandate to procreate– “have lots of babies” (Genesis 1-2 / Joel McDurmon). This is explicit from the Genesis account. Therefore, the goal of all eschatology is the restoration of the Edenic world in which it is mandated that man and woman are married and, “have lots of babies.”
Don in this quote is formulating a conundrum, if the goal of the restoration of all things is a return to the Adamic state of the garden, before the fall, then this would include a return to the mandate of having children, yet if this is the goal of the “new Creation” as Joel puts forth, then there is not suppose to be any marriage or having children according to Jesu statements in the parable of the Seven Brothers.
Here is Dons problem and I will use an analogy:
If I build a house and its spotless, that is its state, or condition. If I put people in it and tell them to keep the house clean and they can watch TV that does not change the condition or the state of the house, it does not make the house dirty or ugly. What they do in the house, does not change the condition UNLESS they do something wrong to the house. In Adam’s and Eve case the did nothing wrong to the house. When they disobey God, the people are driven from the house and God pronounces a consequence that ends up hurting the house and everything around it, then promises to restore the condition of the house in a future time, this does not mean when he restores it they are being told again to go back to the house and watch TV.
Meaning: The state or condition of creation has nothing to do with what we do while in it. If God is restoring the state of creation back to its original order, without the curse of sin, it does not mean that people are going back also and having to continue to procreate as part of the mandate or condition for living in the house. God is restoring the condition of the house in which we live in it and what we do has nothing to do with the state of its restoration. The state of Edenic world had nothing to do with what they do in it. The goal of Eschatology in the restoration is to make it like new so that we who have been made new, can live in the new creation, just as God had intended from the beginning.
The mandate for marriage and procreation was to fill the earth and to populate it. If that has been done and carried out there is no mandate to do it again just because the house has been restored in which we lived in. Adam and Eve get to return to their house along with all their children and live in the purposes of God from the beginning. The opposite then is also true. If Adam and Eve had never sinned and ate of the tree of life they would still have populated the earth and lived forever. All these children then would not have cursed the house but would have been a blessing upon it.