As Sam Frost’s unofficial nemesis I thought it fitting to address the major change going on in his theological world. As many readers may know, Frost is a dynamic “theologian” that had been a major leader within the Full or Hyper Preterist movement. I say “had been” because in 2011 Frost has recanted hyperpreterism.First, we should define what we mean by “hyperpreterism”.HYPERPRETERISM DEFINEDAlthough hyperpreterism is difficult to define because it is constantly in fluctuation, there are 4 main beliefs that are common to the various types of hyperpreterism:
- Jesus came back once and for all in the 1st-century.
- The collective resurrection of believers happened in the 1st-century.
- The Judgment of the wicked and righteous happened in the 1st-century.
- There will be no end of sin and no culmination to God’s plan for humanity.Frost, like many hyperpreterists claims he studied himself into the movement rather than following any specific teacher into it. Frost had been a hyperpreterist at least since the mid to the late 1990s and bust onto the scene by speaking at almost every hyperpreterist conference held. Frost has always engaged people no matter their status, even if he himself would often boast of his education. So, while hyperpreterists like Don Preston may be more extensively published and engaged in more public debates; Frost has been the approachable “leader” within the movement.My own experience with Frost (and his protege, Jason Bradfield), has always been rocky. While I was still a hyperpreterist and writing articles for the premiere hyperpreterist website at the time; PlanetPreterist Frost came to the website boasting of pastoral position. This made me think about how the entire ecclesiastical structure is impacted by hyperpreterism. After all, hyperpreterism’s motto has been “radical paradigm shift”. We should expect that if hyperpreterism is true, it would effect more than just eschatology. This didn’t sit well with Frost at first and we had some back and forth on this issue. (ref#1). Interestingly, later on Frost both privately told me he was about to accept my interpretation of how hyperpreterism impacts the Church structure and wrote an article called “Observations” which stated:“Even the Elders in that time [pre-AD70] had authority to ‘teach the oracles of God.’ But, I do not believe, because I am a [hyper] preterist, that such ‘inspired’ authority exists today. I do not believe that God has set up yet another ‘nation’ in the new covenant that commands uniformity and punishment if uniformity is not met.” — Sam Frost acknowledging how hyperpreterism impacts the Church structure (original article no longer available)So, the point is the issue that started the conflict between Frost and I had been resolved by Frost accepting the position I put forth. However our relationship remained strained throughout the years due to many factors including the fact that I left the movement many years before Frost.SAMUEL FROST 2011Let us fast forward to 2011 where we read these kind of statements from Frost:“I have stepped outside of my own defenses of FP and have seen my own defenses as simply weak. I was defending something passionately and any thing that came up against it, I quickly dismissed. I am not doing that any more. I have expanded my thoughts. I don’t like where “consistent” preterism leads, for I believe that it leads to where a great deal of it is right now: confused and all over the place. I said, too, “just give it time”. Well, I gave it sixteen years. I gave it my all. Much sacrifice from family and friends. And, for what? More inconsistencies? More “redefinitions”? How far am I going to go to continue to defend this? How many lines will I cross? How many distinctions will I blur? How many arguments from obsfucation will I distort in order to go full steam ahead?” – (ref#3)Frost, like all hyperpreterists that leave the movement, or actually like any person that had been part of a heresy or a cult at first wants to think they can part ways peacefully. He said to his fellow hyperpreterists:“I won’t belittle you as “hyper-preterists” or “heretics” or any of those things. I know that doesn’t work. It just inflames passions. Pointless, actually. You are made in God’s image, and on that basis alone, worthy of respect. I will try my hardest. I consider you friends and brothers (and sisters). I will continue to support where I can…” — (ref#4)I think Frost is finding he cannot leave the movement UNLESS he leaves quietly. He cannot “support” is former heretic friends in their heresy…if he really cares for them. He WILL have to confront them and their views at some point. As a matter of fact, it seems contradictory for Frost to have recently stated:“Basically, the Full Preterist hermeneutic tears the guts out of Reformed Theology. They cannot be reconciled (thank God).” I would add, Christianity itself. Full Preterism and Christianity are incompatible.” – (ref#5)Now, I know many of these newer people leaving the movement think to themselves, “I’m not going to be like Roderick Edwards who goes around and says ‘full preterists’ aren’t Christians. I’m going to be nice and loving”. Well, I ask if Frost REALLY believes ‘full preterism’ and Christianity can’t be reconciled and are incompatible then why even give any “support” to ‘full preterism’? Would he support Mormonism after he left it? I’m not saying Frost should viciously attack his former movement-mates, but only that he CAN’T keep calling them “brothers and sisters” in Christ while they continue to advocate something even Frost has acknowledged is incompatible with Christianity. How is that phrase by Frost different than the mantra I have been saying for years; “Whatever Hyperpreterism is, it is something OTHER-THAN-CHRISTIANITY”. I’d say my comment is even less harsh.The Sam Frost story is like many former hyperpreterist stories. Frost claimed he was “blind” not to see the ramifications and conclusions of hyperpreterism — even though Frost has been throughly seminary educated. I submit this “blindness” starts with a wrong understanding of the concept of Sola Scriptura. It does NOT mean to each person their own private interpretation. Even Martin Luther to whom this concept is often attributed, advocated that we should heed along with Scripture, the idea of the “ancient faith” (ref#6). Christianity was never meant to be a bunch of disconnected radical individualists interpreting the Bible however they’d like. It is collective, formed by Jesus Christ Himself, given to the apostles to be its foundation and the Holy Spirit guidance, and God’s Sovereign sustaining. If we are to believe the hyperpreterist premise, God Jesus, the hand-picked apostles, and the Holy Spirit have been poor and ineffective conveyers of basic truth and not until the hyperpreterists came along did people figure out the real eschatological plan of God. The extreme arrogance it takes to REMAIN a hyperpreterist once this premise comes to bear, is an arrogance unmatched by the most arrogant of despotic leaders in history.I am thankful to God for what appears to be leading Frost out of this “blindness”. Whether we ever amicably cross paths in the future is probably not likely but it doesn’t change that I can and do give glory to God for removing Frost from the blindness of the hyperpreterist movement.