PRETERISM AND ORTHODOXY
Dr. Gary North
“I have spent about a million dollars to publish books against apocalypticism”
“He has now become self-damaged goods delivered on the doorstep of Max King.”
M.Div. PhD. – “the hottest ‘theological property’ in the West”
(North says of Chilton, “Epilogue,” Paradise Restored, p.334n7)
Afterword by Kevin Craig, X-mas Conspiracy
“There seems to be an unwritten rule that Reconstructionist relationships must never last more than 6 years.”
David Chilton, R.I.P.
By Dr. Gary North
11:30 AM 03/04/97
“David Chilton is indeed a heretic who has denied the Church’s historic creeds and confessions on the question of the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment.”
NOTE: Chilton died of a heart attack shortly after this anathema. Does Dr. North really believes he was damned?
“He has now become self-damaged goods delivered on the doorstep of Max King.”
As the publisher of Days of Vengeance and Paradise Restored, let me say, without hesitation, that the post-1994 David Chilton is indeed a heretic who has denied the Church’s historic creeds and confessions on the question of the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment.
It is always sad when a defender of the faith abandons orthodoxy on any point. When he abandons it on the very point on which he had made his intellectual reputation, it is double sad. In Chilton’s case, it is pathetic, for no matter what he writes on this topic from now on, his critics will be able to say, justifiably:
“His heart attack disrupted his ability to think clearly. It distorted his judgment.”
From his public outburst against Vern Crisler — for which he later repented, admitting that he cannot think straight these days — until this self-burial of his pre-1994 writings, David Chilton has gone off the deep end. He has now become self-damaged goods delivered on the doorstep of Max King.
ICE will continue to publish Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators and The Great Tribulation. Dominion Press will continue to publish Days of Vengeance and Paradise Restored. I am happy with the existing editions of all of these books. They will not be revised for as long as these two publishers continue to publish these four books. For as long as there is money to plow back into publishing them, they will appear just as they are today. It is sad when a publisher must defend fine books against their author, but such is the case. I bought orthodoxy. I will not relinquish it in order to turn it over to a man who has literally lost his mind — the mind of Christ.
I would suggest that we not encourage his heresy by interacting with him on this matter on this or any other forum. It is now a matter of Church discipline, assuming that he is under any.
I plan to hire Ken Gentry to write a refutation of heretical preterism. We should respond to these ideas, but not to Chilton personally. He is crippled now, and I do not think it is fair to beat him up in public. It is also unlikely to change what is left of his mind.
We can and should pray for the restoration of his mind, but to debate with him publicly will almost certainly drive him deeper into this heresy. He will feel compelled to defend himself in public. Let him go in peace. It is not our God-given task to confront him at this point. That is for his local church to do. It is not as though he were some unknown church member who has stumbled into this heresy unknowingly. He is self-conscious, to the extent of a victim of a massive, brain-affecting heart attack can be self-conscious. He is not the man we used to know, as he has admitted here. That man died in 1994, he says. I agree. So, let us say now,
David Chilton, RIP.
Vern Crisler adds…
Sadly, Chilton died shortly thereafter, not having provided us with any indication that he had converted back to orthodoxy.
Afterword by Kevin Craig of Vine and Fig Tree
I met David Chilton, author of The Days of Vengeance (a commentary on the Book of Revelation), The Great Tribulation, and Paradise Restored (an introduction to Preterist eschatology) in 1977 or 1978, while he was attending classes at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. We became very good friends, and I shared the pulpit with him at Reformation Bible Church in Anaheim, CA. As a Chalcedon Scholar, I joined David on occasion as a kind of substitute for R.J. Rushdoony at Rush’s weekly services in Westwood, CA. We worked together on the writing of books and newsletter articles. The 1st edition of his book Productive Christians In An Age Of Guilt Manipulators evidences our friendship in the Acknowledgments and in the text.
There seems to be an unwritten rule that Reconstructionist relationships must never last more than 6 years. Our relationship was no exception. David joined the “Tyler” Reconstructionists with their liturgical high-church doctrines, and I was moving toward my own Vine & Fig Tree ideas of decentralization.
Before he became a consistent preterist (or, as Gary North puts it, a “heretic”), David concluded that there were no verses in the Bible which taught a future (to us) coming of Christ, in which Christ would bodily return to this planet. Nevertheless, he continued to believe this, the “orthodox” doctrine of the “Second Coming,” because it had been taught for nearly 2000 years by “Holy Mother the Church” (Chilton’s words).
After his heart attack, he apparently abandoned the doctrine that the institutional church has priority over the Scriptures.
North’s analysis of Chilton is disturbing on a personal and a theological level. On a personal level, it indicates that Dr. North (and others who have criticized Chilton for his “outbursts” or other “irrational” behavior) never really knew David as a person. Reconstructionists treat each other as commodities (see North’s remark, “I bought orthodoxy,” or his characterization of Chilton as “the ‘hottest theological property’ in the West.” [“Publisher’s Epilogue,” Paradise Restored, ppbk ed., p.334n7]) Any non-economist who knew David Chilton knew that he was a person with transparent emotions. To those who kept their feelings under wraps, David appeared melodramatic and irrational. He was full of song and joy, or mourning and lamentation. His “outburst” against Vern Crisler was simply the typically zealous fire of Chiltonasius contra mundum (although it is true that as a result of his heart attack and coma, he momentarily forgot who Crisler was, and his zeal was misdirected). Chilton’s vigorous personality and open emotions are now being used to dismiss his paradigm-shifting theological conclusions. Those who argue in this way are likely either deceptive or ignorant of David’s life-long personality.
On a theological level, North is equally disturbing.
What is “Orthodoxy?”
Who is more orthodox, the person who clearly misinterprets 99 out of 100 passages but could possibly be right on one, or the person who possibly misinterprets only 1 out of 100, but unarguably gets the other 99 right? Let me be more specific. Let’s say that there are 100 total verses on prophecy which have been used throughout church history to support the doctrine of the Second Coming. Verses such as Matthew 24:30:
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Many Reconstructionists can remember the first time they read Rushdoony, who relied on the work of J. Marcellus Kik, who showed with clear and convincing passages of Scripture that Matthew 24:30 was talking about events in A.D.70, not a future Second Coming. It was a “paradigm shift.” Living in the vicinity of Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, I remember how this way of seeing put us at odds with most Bible-believing Christians in Orange County (and I think Chilton and I both relished the idea of being at odds with the reigning “orthodoxy”). What I didn’t realize then was that it also put us at odds with the Westminster Divines, who erred on this point. Their basic hermeneutical approach is erroneous. The Westminster Standards apparently lack even the most elementary understanding of preterism (the belief that Matthew 24 and other passages are already fulfilled). Whatever you believe about Matthew 24:36ff., you should know by now that Matthew 24:30 is talking about Jesus’ Coming in judgment against covenant-breaking Israel. All Reconstructionists and virtually all Reformed writers agree on this. This is now (in the late 20th century) Eschatology 101. The Westminster Standards — and thus “orthodoxy” itself — are in fundamental hermeneutical error on these points (see Larger Catechism, Q 56).
I submit that if there are 100 such verses, “orthodoxy” errs on 99 of them, because of this need for a “paradigm shift.” There is one verse (I am granting this for the sake of argument) which could possibly refer to a non-A.D.70 coming, but could also apply to the events in A.D.70. This verse is the last resort of modern (esp. Reconstructionist) “orthodoxy” in its defense of the “Second Coming.” Even though Chilton is right on 99% of those verses, and even though “orthodoxy” is wrong on 99%, because David Chilton disagrees with the “orthodox” interpretation of that one verse he is burned in Effigy (a quiet suburb outside Tyler).
We are facing a wonderful and dramatic opportunity to prune back dead branches of “orthodoxy” and revive the Church with the pure teachings of Scripture. In order to be successful, we cannot make the shift in only one area (e.g., eschatology), but must make the same shift in thought that David Chilton did. No longer can we say “I believe because Holy Mother the Church teaches.” No longer can we say “I act because Big Brother the State commands.” We must take our marching orders from Christ.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
1/4/3: Reformation or Retrogression? An Examination of the International Preterist Association’s Claims and Methodology – Dennis M. Swanson, The Master’s Seminary “David Chilton, “converted” to the HP position shortly before his death. However, Vern Crisler, his publisher and long time associate, noted that before this conversion he had suffered his first heart attack and his friends noted that, “the resulting neurological trauma probably affected his judgment more than he realized.” Crisler also predicted the “spin” of the IPA as he stated, ‘Chilton’s last minute conversion to heresy will be exploited by the remaining full-preterists, but they will only be exploiting a debilitated man’s eccentricities, not his healthy and mature judgments.’
What do YOU think ?
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Date:18 Jan 2002Time:12:10:45
I think Kevin’s comments here are quite impressive. I, too, remember the “shock” I got when I first started heading in the partial preterist direction. It took me months to recover from it.
Nowadays, I have a similar “ache” in my heart. Because of regular cover-to-cover Bible reading, I have become persuaded that “consistent preterism” (what Gary North calls “heresy”) is in fact what the Scriptures teach. But I have to admit: I am always looking for a “way out.” Why? One major reason is that I am a HUGE fan of the Puritans. Their piety was incredible. I hate being in opposition to them on Christ’s coming and the nature of the resurrection. It seriously pains my heart.
But when it comes down to it, I simply cannot go against what I see the Scriptures teaching. I love the Puritans. But, I love Scripture more. I can’t explain why such incredibly Godly men did not perceive the preterist nature of eschatology (as Kevin notes above, they didn’t even get _partial_ preterism which is today affirmed by practically all Reformed people).
So, here I stand. God help me. I cannot violate what I think the Bible teaches. It seems to me that Christ plainly taught that he would return before the generation of his contemporaries had passed away. This is _the_ coming of which the NT speaks. Not multiple comings, as far as I’m able to discern.
I continue to read my Bible cover-to-cover on a regular basis using a systematic schedule. I wish and pray to God that I’d see something in there to move me out of “full” or “consistent” preterism so I could “fall back in line” with other Christians. But so far, given the regular occurance of figurative imagery combined with literal time constraints, I have found nothing to move me from the position.
I applaud Mr. Chilton for having stood firm with the Scriptures. They alone are infallible.
Date:07 Mar 2002Time:09:58:33Remote User:
David Chilton was an impressive and godly Christian man who when faced with the truth chose to believe the Word of God instead of the doctrines of men dead these many centuries. The “Church reformed and always reforming” was once touted by a great reformed thinker who recognized that simply because the Westminster Confession has much wisdom in it did not make that confession infallible. Men like Mr. Chilton have kept infallibility for the Bible and not mere classic interpretations of the Word that have as much chance to be wrong in any aspect as any other commentary can be found. God Bless David Chilton. I had the pleasure of meeting with him and others for a time in small group Bible Study. He was a gracious son of the Living God through faith in the risen Christ. Faith in Christ and NOT in the Confessions of men. Yes, rest in peace dear friend.
Date:22 Mar 2002Time:12:07:49
I agree with Paul, “I have a desire to depart, death, and be with Christ”, …..thanks be to God that Bro. David Chilton has realized the full resurrection power of his faith….he is WITH CHRIST, which is far better than the babbling of fools in this life. Bob Pelham, N. c. firstname.lastname@example.org Korean Veteran, USMC, retired Baptist pastor
Date:22 Mar 2002Time:12:18:10
Every generation must learn Truth for itself. Some never abandon popular tradition, as Jesus’ Generation, and waste their lives in delusion or end in the shocking reality of death and destruction. Lazarus was blessed, the rich man shocked and Paul, the Apostle, died from a rented house with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God on his lips. If we have to condemn is it not an indication of our own insecurity and doubt? I have no condemnation for others whose condemnation is in their own system. Bro. Chilton, enjoy the presence of your Lord who accomplished EVERYTHING and EVERY WORD He said. Blessed are they who die IN THE LORD! Bob Pelham, N. C.
Date:25 Apr 2002Time:00:53:51Remote User:
Dr. Gary North did, indeed, “hire” Dr. Gentry, it seems, who has backtracked into a tight communion with dispensationalists, joyfully proclaiming them to be moving his direction. Dr. Gentry was such an outstanding teacher in print, too! I love his book “Before Jerusalem Fell”.Now, he seems to be North’s hired gun. David Chilton’s books blessed me enormously, in the mid-1980’s, for which I’ll always be grateful. I abhor today’s North/Gentry use of religious politics to make a fraudulent distinction between preterists! It is the kind of demonization that has been used in national political circles by neoconservatives to brand conservatives as “outside the mainstream”, so that their views are too controversial to be honestly and sincerely examined in a Berean manner. None of this in any way discourages me, though it saddens me, because truth has never been a weakling, and preterism continues to gain adherents, just because it is truthful and open, not because of any other reason. Paul Richard Strange, Sr. email@example.com
Date:27 Jun 2002Time:01:22:49
27 June 2002 I’ve only read David Chilton’s “Paradise Restored” and “Days of Vengeance,” but to a once-charismatic Armimian they were very inspirational and provided strong groundwork for my transformation to the Reformed worldview. I may be mistaken, but I didn’t think eschatology was an “essential” of Christian orthodoxy. With view ranging from Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHaye and others to the preterist view, there seems to be a veritable rainbow of “interpretations.” I hope others will carry on the epic works of men such as Dr. Rushdoony and David Chilton, but I hope we can remain humble enough to admit our own weaknesses and errors as our very finite minds continue to grapple with the infinitely greater issues of God’s truth revealed in His Word. Gary North’s words are most unfortunate. One would think now that Y2K has come and gone and his “Chicken Little” predictions of its consequences amounted to nothing, he might consider his own fallibility a little more circumspectly. I asked him about this by email some time ago, but he elected not to answer. I guess there were bigger “issues” on his mind. Thank you for this website. I wish I could have met David. One day I shall. Bill Conway Perth, Western Australia
Date:24 Nov 2002Time:06:45:21
What about Gary North’s Y2K fiasco?
Date:26 Nov 2002Time:16:15:35
While preterism is certainly a clear departure from church orthodoxy it does not provide those in disagreement the right to declare a brother an empty head, good for nothing or a fool (Matthew 5:22), which is exactly what Dr. North has done. While many may be having their hearts and heads turned to the acceptance of fulfilled prophesy, there remains many that have not. Therefore, the exhortation, I offer here is as applicable for the preterist as it is for the futurist. No where in scripture is it revealed that it is acceptable to murder a brother, which is meant here to mean, to take his life, his work, his ideas and declare them useless, of no effect and dead. May Dr. North be granted repentance while he yet breaths.
Date:23 Dec 2002Time:23:01:57
It is amazing to me that Preterists claim most of the events in Revelation took place in the pre AD70 time era yet they fail to acknowledge the specific prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation based upon their focus on a very small piece of the entire Book. There is NO question AD 70 was predicted in many passages in both the Old and New T. But just as they accuse traditionalists for not recognizing the importance of AD 70 they have gone to the extreme by ignoring very clear scripture that in no way can apply to that era. Recently I posed several problems to a person who holds this view and in the end all he could say is well I should just accept it because I am not omniscient like God. Here Christ took great care to show he had resurrected from the dead with MANY infallible proofs but Preterists cannot prove or show in ONE verse or history where Christ returned in that era. That Israel had been completely restored to God as a nation, that Christ had come to establish HIS eternal kingdom on earth and that the JUST dead had resurrected and received their reward. In fact. to hold as they do all this occurred in AD70 totally contradicts scores of scripture. How could Israel have been restored when Jerusalem had just been destroyed and Jews dispersed out of it? Yet Jesus came back at that time? To who and where did he return? When I posed several other questions concerning specific prophecy in Revelation I was told I cannot use history as a confirmation of prophetic fulfillment yet he wished to do so to show how AD70 fulfilled many propehcies. I will challenge ANY Preterist to conclusively PROVE with scripture that Christ returned to the earth to establish His eternal kingdom in the AD 70 era. I will also challenge ANY Preterist to show me where Rev 11 has happened as well. One fellow states Revelation had to have already happened because the temple is still standing based on Rev 11, however John fails to even mention the church in Jerusalem as one still in existence when the ENTIRE BOOK was written, yet he does 7 others in Asia? He claims that Rev 11.1 is proof however I see that as a prophecy where the temple is to be rebuilt. NO one need to have measured the temple if it as still standing but if it needed to rebuilt one would most definitely have to do so. The Preterists also have a hard time fitting verse 11.2 into their pet teaching as well. I will challenge ANY preterists to tell us when was Jerusalem given to the Gentiles for ONLY 3 1/2 years to tread under foot? It couldn’t have been in the AD 70 era for Rome had been in control and occupied Jerusalem for decades. Even Titus came up to Jerusalem the first time in 67AD and was called to battle by his father and did NOT return until 70AD when he beseiged the city and then ransacked it, temple included. So He could NOT have fulfilled that particular prophecy. In fact ANY Gentile nation implicated in Israel’s history had control of Jerusalem for much longer than that time frame. Hitler NEVER occupied it. So please enlighten us all when that happened according to your dogma? In fact the Jews themselves didn’t control their own city for hundreds of years. Babylon, Medes, Greeks. ALL occupied and tread it under foot for a much longer than that time frame. I might add that verse two states Gentiles plural as if it is a group of Gentiles not just ONE nation. It leaves NO other time frame than prior to Christs return to establish his kingdom. Since the Jews have controlled it since 1967, one would think that time period would be easy to place if it is yet to occur. In light of current events it is very easy for me to see where a GENTILE group of teroops will be forced to occupy Jerusalem to enforce the Internationalization of Jerusalem. It’s comning people. This is but two problems Preterists have with their dogma. I know, we are just supposed to accept it by faith since they have NO Bible to refute the Second Coming nor the events in Revelation as future and end time events.
Date:22 Jan 2003Time:22:16:43
I have several questions. Did not the Lord Jesus in the parable of the wheat and tares say that it would be HIS job to seperate the orthodox from the herotics (good & evil)? Second question what do you all mean by “Preterism” etc. Is it a condition for salvation and eternal life? David Chiltons writings affirmed what I read in the “scriptora solas”. In death he now has the ansewrs we all are asking in life. Don Thompson Sandusky, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org
Date:20 Feb 2003Time:04:27:05
I too am trying to recover from this momentous change in my frame of reference. I made the switch to “postmill” very quietly back in the late 70’s early 80’s. Having dated an “a-mill” back in High School who at the time I thought was heretical in his beliefs.. I have now nearly come full circle. eeek!!!! my my my how things can change. I grew up in a large Southern Baptist church and at the tender age of 12 went to the Adult Sunday school classes to hear my first Pre-Mil teaching. I went to Bible college where the principle teacher who used to travel with Smith Wigglesworth in England taught Pre-Millto the point that he tried to warn us who THE Antichrist was. But, when I read scripture my conscience would not let me rest…. It was that blasted “70 Weeks of Years” in Daniel… which I knew was fullfilled in 70 A.D…. at least my former teachers were honest about that… And I learned about the events of 70 A.D. but then projecting that last week of years into the future….. I just couldn’t in good conscience swallow that. I still ask one of my Pre-Mil Bible College professors with whom I still have contact, “don’t you have a problem with the projection of that 70th. weeks of years some where into the future?” He just says no that he sees no problem with it. Then I say “well I have a problem with it”. hehehe I came to know about David Chilton through a man named Mike Myers (Buffalo School of the Bible) who my pastor had brought to the Full Gospel church I attended to in order to empower his flock to hear some “other” Biblical stances on escatology. When I heard Mike’s presentation of his work “Brighter Till The Full Day” I thought…. EUREKA!!!!!!!! I found sommeone who has touched on what I believe the Holy Spirit has led me to believe… I have to admit though I have not researched the “preterist” point of view…yet… And I am not sure how I will reconcile my discoveries… I do know this… I am not about to ever judge sommeone as a heretic who has well rounded scriptural basis for their beliefs and for me my only criteria for “believability” is whether or not there is a strong scriptural basis for a view point. I think I am going to change my word for doctrine to “view point” hahaha because the Holy Spirit has changed my “view point” so many times over my life time that if He is not tweaking me about some long held opinion I wonder if I am hearing Him any more. hehehe. As you can imagine when I share about my thoughts I freak many people out as possibly many of you former Pre-Mills have. I am a member in good standing in a denomination where Pre-Mil is listed in the articles of faith. I made sure that my pastor and my board knows that I am not a Pre-Mil. And of course as probably many of you discovered that when most people want to argue with you Pre-Mil over Post-Mil…. they know so little about pre-Mil escatology that one can not even explain why they no longer ascribe to Pre-Mil. Something that is hard for me to tolerate….wanting to say “hey don’t tell me I am wrong if you know so little about what you believe that you don’t even know what you believe or where it comes from”. Well thanks yall for hearing me out… I am saddened that Brother David is no longer with us and I think that his questions now are most certainly answered. L.A. Sealy email@example.com
Date:11 Mar 2003Time:11:18:05
MY WIFE AND I CAME OUT OF A PENTECOSTAL (READ DISPENSATIONAL) BACKGROUND X 30 YEARS, AND REALIZED THAT A PRETERIST APPROACH TO SCRIPTURE OPENED MANY MORE DOORS OF BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING FOR US. I WILL USE THE TERM “PRETERIST” IN A GENERIC FORM, FOR IT SEEMS THAT NO MATTER HOW ONE WANTS TO DEFINE IT, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO VIEW IT AS HERESY, EVEN AMONG IT’S OWN PROPONENTS….THIS IS WHAT SADDENS ME MOST…THE PIRANHA MENTALITY THAT UNDOES ALL THE GOOD THAT BRINGS US (AT THE VERY LEAST!) INTO FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER THROUGH OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMMUNION AND IT’S COVENANTAL MEANING….WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE BRETHERN? I THOUGHT THE WORD OF GOD SAID TO “STUDY TO SHOW OURSELVES APPROVED TO GOD…..NOT TO ENGAGE IN SOME INFANTILE STRUGGLE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. WE HAVE DIFFERENCES, BUT THAT SHOULD NOT CAUSE US TO VIEW THE OTHER AS A HERETIC…AT PRESENT, BOTH MY FAMILY AND MY WIFES’ EMBRACE DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY, BUT WE BELIEVE THAT IN GOD’S TIME, POWER AND WISDOM, THEY WILL SEE WHAT COVENANT ADHERENCE IS DOING IN OUR LIFE…TO BOTH FULL AND PARTIAL PRETERISTS, MY LOVELY WIFE AND I EXTEND OUR LOVE AND APPRECIATION TO YOU…. BILL/GABE CANADA
Date:25 Jun 2003Time:13:06:42
I will be sending Gary North and other members of the Council for National Policy a reminder that the Anti-Christ must appear before Jesus, and he will rule most of the world out of the UN. As fate would have it, my kin, Denis de Rougemont fits the bill of the Anti-Christ, and so do I. For this reason, and so all things foretold may come to past, I am running for the office of the President of the United States as the Anti-Christ. I have formed the Anti-Christ Anti-Terrorist Party. I will be challenging all your claims. I will overcome all of you. Only then will Jesus come to defeat me – if he can! I doubt it! Stop your conjuring and get with the plan! Jon Presco
Date:24 Aug 2003Time:17:46:18
Dr. North’s way of putting things is controversial, and I disagree with some of his more pejorative statements (“I bought orthodoxy.”, and so forth) but we must remember that “consistent” preterism is heretical and it denies two central doctrines of Christianity– the Second Coming of Christ and the bodily resurrection of the believers in Christ. I do not know the state of David Chilton’s heart, and I read this with mourning, but he has departed from the historic Reformed, Christian Faith. We cannot forget that and sell our inheritance, like Dr. Chilton did, for a novel pot of lentiles (Genesis 25:34).
Date:10 Oct 2003Time:23:21:22
I find this all very painful to read and watch. I discovered the writings of R.J. Rushdoony after exhausting the rich trove of Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s writing and legacy and was looking for MORE specifics to the Biblical absolutes of which he wrote and spoke. “God’s Plan for Victory” and “Institutes of Biblical Law”, in my opinion, should be required reading for any Christian really interested in changing society via the good news of Christ Messiah. Dr. Rushdoony’s writing ultimately led me to Gary North’s writings and of other fine Reconstructionists such as David Chilton and many, many, many others. After a time I began to discover a disturbing trend in Reconstructionist writing – they were mean spirited. One author in particular, seemed to take delight in mocking and belittling those who disagreed with him on the smallest points. (I will lead it to the reader discernment to glean the personality of whom I refer) Another trend of this same author was to make incredible predictions of future events that never came to fruition. Yet this same author was relentless on his attacks of pre-trib, pre-mil folks who did this same thing. He called them “false prophets”. It was, therefore, ironic when this author/speaker’s predictions failed to materialize on a certain date – January 1, 2000. Indeed, by his own criteria was he not a false prophet too? I found this site because I was smarting from my first and only direct contact with this same individual early today via email. I disagree on a “get rich” email that he had sent to his readers and when I responded negatively to it I was surprised to recieve a harsh and direct “email slap” from this person. Unfortunately, this was not my first encounter with a Reconstructionist. My other encounters have been equally disappointing. Why is it that Reconstructionists are so mean? I do not understand. It is clear that they really love Jesus and are devoted to Him. However, they treat other Christians – even other Reconstructionist Christians – harshly. I was not surprised to hear that R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North were so at odds that they rarely spoke to each other. Further, I was not too surprised to read Gary North’s harsh, judgmental critique of David Chilton. To me, it is simply par for the course. Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them.” It seems to me that all too often the “fruit” of Reconstructionism is hate, judgment, and animosity (not to mention shelf upon shelf of books and newsletters) I find much of value in Reconstruction thought but I do not understand why the thinkers behind these great writings are so darn mean! I am genuinely “stinging” and confused by all this! Thank you for listening and may God richly bless you and your households. Coram Deo /fwa Fred Anson Southern California
Date:11 Oct 2003Time:14:52:39
I wish all Christians would be of a mind to believe Christ over what they have been taught. Some things are hard to misunderstand without Professional help. David was a professional indoctinated with the professional belief of the second comming but was still willing to examine his beliefs. He knew that truth will always win out over error and therefore was not affraid to test the spirits to see if they were true. This is a good thing and all should be willing to do this. David is an inspiation to me and I hold him in high regaurds even though I have never met him but at my appointed time, when I am able, I will seek him out.
Date:28 Oct 2003Time:23:07:16
I don’t understand why everyone is beating around the bush and trying to be diplomatic here! Someone must come right out and say it… Gary North is clearly an intellectual giant and a social/relational midget. Like so many brilliant Christian thinkers before him he is ever so willing to sacrifice agape on the altar of truth. If error were ever the issue then we would have be lost! While we all strive to represent God, God’s nature, and God’s Word accurately and purely we should be ever mindful of the hard reality of sin and the fall. In every Christian – Mr. North included – there will always be a mix of truth and error won’t there? Are we not considering ourselves better than Jesus and setting up a new idol – our own intellect and understanding of the truth – if we can’t accept and befriend with those who are in error (be they Christian or not)? If Christ loved us when we were yet His enemy how can we do less? Francis Schaeffer wrote that “The mark of the Christian is love.” From what I have seen and directly experienced, Gary North is missing the mark…. BADLY missing the mark. May God richly bless us one and all!
Date:06 Dec 2003Time:02:23:25
Accusing someone of heresy is one thing, even if you believe you have proof. The attitude/heart behind that accusation is another matter. With Dr. North it seems clear that there is (at least) an attitude of condescension that rears its head on occasion. I have the same problem at times, too (who DOESN’T want to be right?). Conviction from the Spirit should give us (both/all) pause to repent of this, the first sin (Remember Lucifer?). May we not be quick to condemn Chilton or North; rather, let OUR motive be love, mercy, and grace (just as God has shown us). Soli Deo Gloria! <“)))>< From NW Arkansas
Date:24 Dec 2003Time:01:19:30
wait till you have a heart attack smart asse,what color light will you see,are children afraid of you,of course they do not count either.
Date:31 Mar 2004Time:20:57:26
Date:01 Apr 2004Time:09:38:55
It isn’t just “Holy Mother church” that’s the problem in Christianity. It is ALL the denominations who have based their theology on the complete absurdity that the God of Israel — the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — had any other people in His Mind to bless than the Seed. The Seed came through Isaac and it was to the Seed that the Messiah corresponded. The Blessing on the Seed did not include anyone other than the children of Jacob.
Date:22 May 2004Time:05:46:07
David Chilton was a modern Thomas Aquanis. Just as Thomas suffered physically in his last days in such a way that Christ was pleased to grant him an experience of His Presence, so it was with David. He was a choice servant who was loved and admired by many of us who knew him only through his books. I fully expect to meet him in heaven.
Date:16 Dec 2005Time:10:57:52
Full Preterism sucks. Your all going to burn in hell.
Date:12 Mar 2007Time:06:49:27
I was very saddened to hear that Chilton became a full preterist. But neither I liked Gary North’s response to him. It sounded like “He’s crazy now, don’t listen to him”. I wish there would be more of the brotherly love here. Probably Mr. North forgaot, that just a few decades ago many of the partial preterist were in danger of being labelled as “heretics” as well. If you look at the promices given in the OT and the NT, there is no way they can be fulfilled with the full preterists. The idea that our bodies and souls shall be without sin in the glorified state can not successfully matched by full preterism. It may also seem, that with the full preterism, there is no history consummation point, which makes history a vector rather than a line. What do you think, is’t this destructable?