An “Expose” of Michael Miano’s – “Replacing” the Resurrection (Considering the Confusion & Finding Clarity in Scripture)

ABSTRACT: This paper seeks to exhibit the lacking scholarship found within Full Preterism. By examining the logic and argument of Michael Miano presents in his paper it will be shown that he presents a case for rejecting Early Church Fathers as a source of scholarship due to their confusion, yet at the same time comes from a foundation of complete redefining of terms that creates confusion. His presentation becomes an example where Full (Hyper) Preterism is not considered a viable paradigm for Eschatology and riddled with uneducated opinions not supported by any true academia or scholarship.

 

The purpose of this paper is to expose the lacking scholarship found with in Preterist movement, despite its insistent drive to claim a spot with in academia based on the deficiency in actual theologians or scholars with discernable post graduate theological degrees. This will be done by examining the logic and claims in a recent paper submitted by Michael Miano, a self-proclaimed leader who seeks to reform Christianity Eschatology perspective to one of the fulfilled perspective and believes his efforts are empowered by God. This is also to give an answer in the claims he presented as a response to a debate between Michael and this author concerning the second coming. The third part involves noting his lack of understanding of the Early Church Fathers as they wrote from a Pre-millennial perspective (not a dispensational one)

 

Scholarship

After a first cursory reading, what is missing is collaboration of sources. Miano provides no sources to check for the reliability of his quotes which lends to the credibility of his work. His formatting of the work s rudimentary and reflects no post-graduate vocabulary, structure, or logical progression of thought and often makes claims that are unsupported by any source.

Michael claims no formal post education degree and some undergraduate work but no degree in Theology. This becomes a reflection of the movement as a whole as there is no credible or credited college of University that supports or teaches the Full Preterists paradigm as a viable or consistent Eschatology. Denis Swanson formerly of the Master’s Seminary[1] has taken it as a personal endeavor to counter the claims presented by preterist. He stated,

Anecdotally, this writer has recently served as interim pastor in two premillennial churches in which those advocating HP[2] doctrine had to be disciplined. The growth of the HP position and claims of the IPA[3] and related groups necessitate an examination what many have called the resurgence of the error of “Hymenaeus and Philetus” (2 Tim 2:18).[4]

Among the other leaders it is noted that Dr. Don Preston[5] was awarded an honorary degree based on his numerous books on preterism which calls into question the theological aptitude of Vision International University, of Romana, California. Preston is the most notable and prolific purveyor of the Full Preterist paradigm, with hundred of videos and websites flourishing among the churches of Christ as a main source of reference.

He produces a radio BlogSpot with his partner in crime, William Bell, who has Master’s Degree of Theology from Christian Bible College & Seminary. The College is deemed to be Liberal as they hold to no prescribed statement of Faith and admits “We are not in conflict with any truly Christian faith”.[6] Yet is also considered a “Degree mill” as students pay for the degree and not the classes. It has no recognized national Christian accreditation.

Dr. John Noe, who also has written numerous books and has received “scathing” reviews from Swanson.  John Noe (pronounced “No-ee”) is president of the Prophecy Reformation Institute, a conservative, evangelical scholar, and a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. He holds an earned Ph.D. in Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary and the University of Liverpool (“With Distinction”). Yet has separated from Preston and Bell with his extreme views even for Preterists. His dissertation focused on the idea that Christ never left, and then came many times proving that there is no second appearing based on the idea that his coming is all of to be a spiritual nature.

JL Vaughn has written several books and is consider hyper-hyper Preterists with his covenant creation views on Genesis in which he believes the Genesis story (analogy) is of the creation of the Covenant with men, and not the creation of the world. Jeff Vaughn, with Tim Martin, is the coauthor of Beyond Creation Science and one of the developers of Covenant Creation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Math, a minor in Physics, and a Master of Arts in Applied Math. He also holds a Ph.D. in Nonlinear Adaptive Signal Processing.[7]  He has no degree or seminary credits in Theology.

The web site noted here documents the previous list and also includes other contributors to Preterism doctrine. Not all on the list are currently still preterists or considered full preterist. It notes that most do not have post graduate degrees and those that do, not all are Theological in nature. Very few, as the ones noted above are currently active in social media and engaging people in debate and conversation promoting the preterists view point.

It can and should be noted that a degree does not automatically demand theological consistency, as many abandoned the historical Christian Faith by denouncing the Nicea Creed and other core doctrines of Christianity; The future visible return of Christ, the bodily resurrection of the saints, and that Christ exist still in Bodily form. By seeking to prove all things were fulfilled, they redefine many words, hermeneutics, and recast many doctrines. The end result is that many doctrines are restructured to fit their understanding, words are redefined, and error has led to more error and the shipwreck of faith by claiming everything is accomplished and there is nothing more prophesied or concerns our future. We are left with out a future hope of the restoration of all things literally at His coming and appearing.

 

Foundational: Redefining of Terms

In responding to Michael’s paper, it fist must be established how he redefines words and phrase and puts a different meaning into what the church has traditionally understood and taught. The first thought is redefining what futurist and scholars have taught about resurrection of the dead, he states,

What the Scriptures actually teach in regards to the “resurrection of the dead” –  (when understood in context seems to be a corporate resurrection of the dead ones into judgement and then eternal realities – in Christ (or) eternal damnation) – The “resurrection of the dead” had to do with the “dead ones” of Old Covenant Israel who had to have a part in the work of Jesus Christ

There are two prevailing views among preterists concerning the “Resurrection of the dead”. The first view is a regurgitation of transmigration of the soul from one body to another recreated body. The saints in Hades were raised out of hades and taken straight into heaven where they received their new bodies. This is known as the IBV – Individual body view which Miano rejects. Yet quotes from Epiphanius of Salamis (310-403),

as he says, “as for those who profess to be Christians . . . and who confess the resurrection of the dead, of our body and of the body of the Lord . . . but who at the same time say that the same flesh does not rise, but other flesh is given in its place by God, are we not to say that this opinion exceeds all others in impiety”

A view that was discussed and rejected by the early church fathers and yet here resurrected again by Ed Stevens and those who support IBV. Miano rejects this view.

The only reason we have so many captivated by an individual hope of resurrection that is not promised in the Bible is the prevalent selfishness that takes corporate promises and turns them into ‘what’s in it for”.

Here Michael denies that the individual person experiences a personal resurrection either from the dead, out of the grave or a bodily change where both are caught up to be the Lord literally. Miano’s view is this, the CBV –  Collective Body View, which states that at the Resurrection when Christ returned was of the corporate body of Christ was raised as one group and placed into the body of Christ.

When understood in context seems to be a corporate resurrection of the dead ones into -judgement and then eternal realities) in Christ (or eternal damnation).

The resurrection was one of spiritual in which those who were alive and dead were resurrected to judgment in abstention. The righteous were made immortal and incorruptible spiritually. This includes all living who was and did live was to be judged. Therefore, those who were alive after A.D. 70 have already been judged.  So his claim that Clement was confused, “I could see how Clement would have missed the significance that he was indeed in the fulfilled “resurrection hope” is simple error because Clement teaches a literal resurrection of the dead. He quotes Gentry who is summarizing Clements views.

“Clement of Rome lived through A. D. 70 and had no idea he was resurrected! He continued to look for a physical resurrection (Clement 50:3). Jude’s (supposed) grandsons still sought a physical resurrection (cf. Eusebius, EH 3:24:4). Whoever these men were, they came right out of the first generation and in the land of Israel — with absolutely no inkling of an A. D. 70 resurrection or a past second Advent.

Miano assert there was much confusion of what resurrection was hence there was much written about the Resurrection which was the Hope of Israel. Miano fails to realize the Greeks rejected bodily Resurrection of the dead as in what Christ did, so his teaching focused on that hope for a Christian of being raised, among the gentiles. His whole case is built on the idea that the ECF were confused on that point yet Clements comments betray any confusion as the same is taught by many over hundreds of years.

Rather we should ask…. Can the modern Bible student who is familiar with the areas of confusion in the church fathers and church history, actually read their Bible and learn doctrine when allowing the details to be formed by the Hebraic context from which they come to use, or do we have to check with the “church Fathers”, and if they are in disagreement then our conclusions are wrong. When we begin to talk about the “hope of  Israel” ) in other words the &resurrection of the dead as is prophesied about and hoped for all throughout the Old Testament ) we find all sorts confusion in the church (in times past and today.

Miano assertion is that the Hebraic mindset did not understand a resurrection of the dead, as in a body coming out of the grave. Isaiah 26:19 dispels this myth. Even Paul confessed that was the hope of Israel, and Martha even declared it. It was the argument of the Pharisees a physical resurrection that Sadducees rejected. He goes on to say,

but for the instructional abilities of the apostles no one in church history knew the major issues of which they spoke.

This statement becomes ridiculous in the light of his own quoting of ECF. He establishes the common thread that the ECF believed in a resurrection of the flesh, yet Miano sees the language as confusing from one to another as if they are saying different things, instead of saying the same thing in different ways. This is where a lack of education betrays the persons aptitude.

These are the same ones who began with the Apostles creed in which one voice they affirmed three things; The future coming of Christ, The bodily Resurrection, and the Bodily existence of Christ in heaven. Compound this with their work in combatting heresy they formulated the doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and assembled the very 66 books from which Miano reads from.
His assertion that Clement was confused reveals two points: He redefines what it means from I Corinthians 15 to be made immortal and imperishable, by assigning this change is to the spirit and not the body. Which betrays the fact Paul said and taught that in regeneration the persons “spirit” is regenerated and made to come alive. It cannot come alive again in A.D. 70 second coming if it has already happened.

His other point of claiming these ECF were confused denies that Clement would have one recognized the second coming as happening, and that he had been changed. Which again is asserting the second coming is a secret invisible display of Gods power and glory in which no one sees it.

What Miano has demonstrated is a severe lack of understanding of church fathers and what they did understand and in the end his claim of silliness demonstrates his lack of education on many points.
Stephen Whitsett M.Div.

All quotes are from https://www.academia.edu/23671162/_Replacing_the_Resurrection_Considering_the_Confusion_and_Finding_Clarity_in_Scripture_

[1] Dennis Swanson was appointed as the Library Dean of the Mary Livermore Library at the University of North Carolina Pembroke beginning June 20.

[2] Hp – Hyper Preterism

[3] IPA – International Preterists Association

[4] Swanson, Dennis M. “International Preterist Association: reformation or regression?.” The Master’s Seminary Journal 15, no. 1 (Spr 2004): 39-58

[5] http://planetpreterist.com/content/don-k-preston-receives-honorary-doctorate

[6] http://cbcs-degree.site/index.php/about/

[7] http://www.bibleprophecy.com/events-2/annual-ppw/all-speakers/