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Dr. Desmond Ford a Preterist?

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I came across the following which makes a very strong case that Dr. Desmond Ford is basically teaching the Preterist view of biblical prophecy while maintaining he holds the Historicists view. Take a look:

Dr. Ford would probably answer that the historicist is the most accurate, according to the sentiments expressed in his commentary Daniel, which is designed for an audience which is historicist. However, when it comes to his recent Glacier View manuscript, the sentiments expressed are those of the preterist school of interpretation.

 The preterist flavor of the manuscript becomes evident when one closely compares one interpretation against another, one fulfillment versus another. That interpretation which is given the greatest support is the one which is an index to the true sentiments in the mind of the interpreter. Numerous passages show that Dr. Ford's views of prophecy can be divided into just two types of fulfillments: 1) those in which the details are fulfilled, and 2) those in which only the essence is fulfilled. When comparing the two types of fulfillment, we can suggest that the first one is the more accurate and the more complete one than the second, as long as all the details match the historical events. Thus the first view can be used as a window to determine the true stance of any prophetic interpreter. Is he a preterist? a historicist? a futurist? or an idealist? The answer to that question can be found by noting which school of interpretation is followed in assigning the most detailed fulfillment of prophecy, or in other words, by discovering into which camp the fulfillments of category 1 will fall.

 For Dr. Ford the detailed fulfillment of Daniel's prophecies fall within the preterist camp. We must point out that there are two types of preterists-the short-range and medium-range. The short-range preterists state that all biblical prophecies must find their fulfillment in events immediately surrounding the time of writing of the prophetic book, and the medium-range preterists state that while most prophecies find their fulfillment in immediate events, some prophecies may extend from the prophet's age into the medium-range future. No prophecies are of a long-range nature with any of the preterists, neither can any prophecy extend beyond the close of the 1st century. Dr. Ford makes allowance for the medium-range view in his definition of preterism: "This system views the apocalyptic prophecies as having a contemporary or near-contemporary fulfillment." (Daniel, p. 65). In the Glacier View manuscript Dr. Ford applies the 70 weeks' prophecy of Daniel 9 from the period of Daniel's time down to the first century. This would be a medium-range preterist view. The short-range preterist would see Daniel 9's fulfillment in the events of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt.

One of the most crucial issues of the book of Daniel is the identity of the "little horn," because our interpretation of Daniel's other prophecies will be influenced by the manner in which we identify it. Dr. Ford's interpretation of the "little horn" is essentially preterist. Notice this salient quote:

 We wish to stress that which elsewhere in this paper has been affirmed-that the prophecy, while originally fulfilled in Antiochus, and only in him as regards its details, also applies in broad outline to later manifestations of Antichrist including pagan and papal Rome.(Glacier View ms, p. 391, italics Dr. Ford's).

 None of the details of the little horn prophecy are applied either to pagan Rome, which invaded the temple of Jerusalem and destroyed it in A.D. 70, or to papal Rome, which "takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God" (II Thess 2:4), or to the future coming of Antichrist. The futurist applies the details of Daniel 7:25 to a future 3 1/2-year reign of Antichrist from a restored temple in Jerusalem. Dr. Ford rejects both the figurative 1260-day period of dominance for papal Rome and a literal 1260-day reign of Antichrist as being applicable, thus he rejects the details of the historicist and futurist view, while holding on to only the details of the preterist view. He leans somewhat toward the idealist view, although he is not in their camp, because the idealist does not look for any specific fulfillment of prophecy in historical events, but simply seeks out only the central theme or idea of the prophecy.
 In the same way that he interprets chapter 7 of Daniel he interprets chapters 8 and 11.

 Rome does not apply as the primary fulfillment of the little horn, but in both its phases and at more extensive levels it meets the chief thrust of the prophecy, though not its details-both in chapters eight and eleven. In other words, the apotelesmatic principle here applies....(Pp. 392, 393, italics Dr. Ford's)

 In regards to chapter 11 Dr. Ford has asserted: "Only Antiochus fully fits the specifications of verses 19-35" (p. 383). And again, "The details of these verses (11:21ff.) fit only one person in all time-Antiochus Epiphanes" (p. 394). Then notice how the preterist emphasis of Daniel 8:14 is borne out in the following quotes:

1. "The close relationship between the prophecy of Daniel 8 and the history of God's people between 171-165 B.C. demonstrates that, in this instance also, prophecy has its first significance for the people to whom it was originally given" (p. 394).

2. "Today, it is a primary datum of hermeneutics that every part of the Bible had meaning for the people who first received it" (p. 392).

3. "Are we now detracting from what was earlier quoted from non-Adventist modern exegetes concerning Daniel 8? By no means. We are saying that Antiochus did fulfill the little horn prophecy, but he did not fill it full" (p. 392, italics Dr. Ford's). In red shows his contradiction!

4. "Certain of the prophecies of Daniel, like many other prophecies of the Old Testament, apply in principle to later eras than the one first addressed. The main idea, rather than precise details (such as 2300 evening-mornings) is what has a recurring fulfillment. Daniel 8 gives God's ideal plan for Israel after the restoration" (p. 485, italics Dr. Ford's).

 Thus, in the mind of Dr. Ford the first fulfillment is the only one in which all the details of the prophecy are applicable. This is dyed-in-the-wool preterism!

..the evidence cited above confirms the conclusion that Dr. Ford is basically a preterist who wears the hat of a historicist, and the cloak of a futurist. Only if one looks beneath the trimmings of a hat and cloak does it become apparent that his true nature is preterism.

...a little background to pretorist view of prophecy. In 1520 A.D. at the greatest height of the Protestant Reformation, the Reformers in all different parts of Europe unitedly recognized in the Papacy the man of sin and the biblical anti-Christ. To counter the protestant Reformers, the Roman Catholic Church set up a Counter-reformation teaching by the Jesuit priestcraft called 'preatorism' and 'futurism' re-directing the last day prophecies regarding anti-Christ far away from Rome and the Pope into the distant past to Nero and the distant future all at the same time.

When Des Ford arrived back here in Australia, it became apparent that what he learned at Manchester with Professor FF Bruce is pure Roman Catholicism. Ford went on record .. saying that it was the book "The Great Controversy" between Christ and Satan by Ellen G. White.. that brought him to Christ. Now Ford denies sanctification and has gone back onto the milk of the Word [ Hebrews 5:13-6:2] fooling himself and his followers that this can save them. But the Bible tells us otherwise. While Ford say he blows it regularly, Jesus says that He saves us not in but from sin [Matthew 1:21].Following Jesus Christ the Saviour from sin is giving us victory over sin while following Desmond Ford means defeated by sin.

Here is the proof of the pudding:


 The following is an outline of the theological steps which Dr. Ford has taken, as well as the main reasons for his taking those steps, although not necessarily in the order in which he has taken them... The footnoted references to Ford's three major works appear at the close.

 Dr. Ford. The Doctrine of the "Investigative Judgment"[1] Has No Scriptural Support.[2]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. We are judged individually as we accept or reject Christ.
 2. Only the wicked are judged, not the righteous.
 3. Judgment for the righteous is equated with justification by faith. Christ bears our judgment for us.

 Comment: This is Dr. Ford's starting premise, his major thrust, and the ultimate goal which he hopes to establish. All comments in his manuscript are geared toward establishing this one point. Ford contradicts 1.Peter 4:17,18 "judgment must begin at the house of God."

 Dr. Ford. Daniel 8:14 Must Be Viewed on the Basis of Its Inspired Interpretation Found in Mark 13.[3]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. Christ's reference to the "desolating sacrilege" in Mark 13:14 (cf. Matt 24:15) points to the fulfillment of the "transgression that makes desolate" in Daniel 8:13 and the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14.
 2. This fulfillment took place, according to Dr. Ford, in A.D. 70 when the Roman general Titus invaded and destroyed the Temple.
 3. The time aspect of Daniel 8:14 would be confined to the first century exactly how the Roman church teaches it.

Comment: Note how points C and D logically follow point B.

 Dr. Ford. Mark 13 Limits All Prophetic Interpretation to the First Century A.D.[4]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. Christ says, "This generation will not pass away before all these things take place," which refers to the generation of the apostles.
 2. The whole New Testament pictures Christ's advent as being imminent and urgently close.
 3. The New Testament does not present a 2000-year gap between the advents.

Comment: 4. Christ fully intended to return in the first century, thus no OT or NT prophecy could extend beyond the 1st century.
Does Ford call Jesus a false prophet here for not turning up in time?

 Dr. Ford. The Prophecies of Daniel Must End by the First Century A.D.[5]

Dr. Ford Reason: It would be inconsistent to have the prophecies of Daniel extend to the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries if the prophecies of the New Testament (including those of Revelation) do not extend beyond the first century.

 Comment: It should be noted that Dr. Ford's interpretation of Mark and of Daniel 8:14 is essentially that of the preterist[6] school of interpretation in his line of thought here

Dr. Ford. The 1260 Days of Daniel 7:25 Find Their First Important Fulfillment Also in the Time of Antiochus Epiphanes Starting With the Destruction of the Temple in 168 B.C. and Ending with Its Restoration in 165 B.C.[11]

 Dr. Ford Reasons: According to the preterist school of interpretation, the "little horn" of Daniel 7 and 8 is Antiochus Epiphanes, a view substantiated by the books of I and II Maccabees.

 Comment: Because Dr. Ford does not view the year-day principle as having any biblical support, he cannot apply 1260 literal days to the papacy or Roman Catholicism. The papacy's period of dominance is obviously much longer than a literal 3 1/2 years. The 2300 days do not need to be converted into years because the "Day of Atonement" took place only once per year and therefore 2300 days are years automatically just like birthdays.

Dr. Ford. The Judgment Described in Daniel 7:9-14 is Not the Investigative Judgment as SDA's Have Traditionally Interpreted It as Being, but the Judgment of the "Little Horn," Antiochus Epiphanes.[12]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. There is a very close link between Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 7.
 2. If Daniel 8:14 denotes a work of "vindicating" or "judging," then it refers back to the judgment of the "little horn" in chapter 7 and the vindicating of God's people, the Jews, in the 2nd century B.C.
 3. It is unbiblical and theologically unsound to view the judgment of Daniel 7 as applying to the sins of the saints in any sense.

 Comment: The main support for point A is found under this very point-Ford's exclusion of Daniel 7 as applicable to a judgment of the saints. Ford here contradicts the Bible which says that the little horn power is seen to continue until the judgment [Daniel 7:11,21,22.]

Dr. Ford. Major Fulfillment of Daniel 8:14 is That of the Antitypical Day of Atonement Beginning at the Cross According to Daniel 9:24-27.[13]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. Daniel 9:24-27 is seen as an exact parallel of Daniel 8:14 and provides the inspired interpretation of Daniel 8:14.
 2. Daniel 9:24 is packed with Day of Atonement language, using five Hebrew words are also found in Leviticus 16.
 3. Daniel 8:14 likewise must refer to the antitypical Day of Atonement and thus finds fulfillment in 1st century A.D.

 Comment: The time aspect of 2300-day prophecy has no fulfillment in the life of Christ on earth; therefore, only the cleansing of the sanctuary finds fulfillment then.

Dr. Ford. The Book of Hebrews Teaches That the Antitypical Day of Atonement Was Fulfilled at the Cross.[14]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. Hebrews portrays Christ as being in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary in the 1st century A.D.
 2. Hebrews does not explicitly mention the heavenly sanctuary as having two apartments; therefore, there cannot be two phases to Christ's work as our high priest in heaven.

 Comment: The book of Hebrews abounds with Day of Atonement language and imagery, and thus describes the fulfillment of the antitypical Day of Atonement. Jesus Christ is seen in heaven to continue making reconciliation for sins in Hebrews 2:17 contrary to Ford.

Dr. Ford. The Book of Revelation Supports a 1st Century Fulfillment for the Day of Atonement.[15]

Dr. Ford Reasons:
 1. The opening verse of Revelation states that this book is a revelation (literally, "unveiling") of "what must soon take place." The word "soon" denotes the 1st century A.D.
 2. Revelation has several prophecies which utilize Day of Atonement imagery; therefore, the antitypical Day of Atonement was fulfilled in the 1st century.

 Comment: The book of Revelation would then have to be interpreted from the standpoint of the preterist school of interpretation.

The whole thrust of the Glacier View manuscript on Daniel 8:14 is to dispel what Dr. Ford feels is the myth of the investigative judgment. For him the investigative judgment has no basis in history, in theology, in the Bible, or in the re-interpreted writings of Ellen White. For him the investigative judgment is an enemy to the Seventh-day Adventist, because it robs him of the peace introduced into the heart through the message of justification by faith. If we are justified, then we need not face the judgment, according to Dr. Ford's thinking. The quickest way to dispense of the idea of a pre-advent judgment commencing in 1844 is to usher in the preterist approach to prophetic interpretation. In my analysis Dr. Ford is a preterist wearing the hat of a historicist and the cloak of a futurist. The hat and cloak are mere "trimmings" and can be laid aside or taken up at will or in a moment's whim.

Dr. Ford's doctoral dissertation, The Abomination of Desolation in Biblical Eschatology, which he wrote while at Manchester University in 1971-2, reveals the truly preterist position of his theology and especially his eschatology.


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