On Don K Preston's Refusal to Respond to his own Challenge for a Formal, Written Debate on his Article

It seems Mr. Preston has conceded defeat to our written debate. When given ample time to respond to my article, the most he has done is tell Joel Sexton, an ex-full preterist friend of mine (who is also waiting on a response to Don on an article he's written about the ramifications and implications of full preterism in regards to justification) that he basically will not be responding to the written debate. One should note that Preston was the one who challenged me to this written debate and I accepted under the supposition that Preston would attempt to refute me point by point as I did so in my article. As of yet, his only response has been to label me a Calvinist in his 3rd installment of "The Fullness of the Gentiles post #3 where he says:

Note: Lance Conley- who is not IO – did write a lengthy article attempting to answer, but his entire article can be summed up like this: Preston is wrong because he rejects the Calvinistic view of “election. Preston is wrong because he rejects the idea of literal creation being restored. Preston is wrong because he is a full preterist! That about sums up the entire thrust of his lengthy article).

  1. I have been involved and in Eastern Orthodox circles for a good 3 years now. My doctrine knowledge of election reflects an Eastern Orthodox understanding of it. Preston has known this for quite some time so I have to admit that he is lying here and being dishonest and should correct this lie he has made for I am not a Calvinist and reject Calvinism.
  2. He is wrong that the entire article can be summed up as he has stated. Again, I am not Calvinist. I reject the Calvinist view of election because I hold to and affirm the Eastern Orthodox position on election. 
  3. I did mention the idea of literal creation being restored. However, Preston was free in what was supposed to be a point by point written debate, to go and try and refute this if he so pleased, and he did not. 
  4. Yes, I affirm Preston is wrong and in a state of heresy because he is in fact, a full preterist. This is without question. However, in this debate, the heresy charge does not matter. That can be brushed to the side as this is Mr. Preston and Lance Conley in written debate, debating the article Mr. Preston wrote. Either one being orthodox and correct or heterodox is irrelevant to the debate.


It seems Preston has resorted to a myriad of fallacies and just straight up lies.

Having had some time this month and quite a good amount of people to have read my article, some do wish for a response and have asked Mr. Preston if he would ever answer the article in written form. His responses as of today, have been sparse and very few, some drive-by comments so far on Facebook and no written or formal writing, as was intended originally to be the case since this was agreed upon to be a written debate.

When questioned by a person, Preston responded with:

"Why anyone would abandon the truth of Covenant Eschatology based on Lance Conley's post is beyond me! It is built totally on false presuppositions. Not only that, he acts like an immature, spoiled child, boasting that because I did not respond on a time frame of his own imagining, that it must prove that I know that I am wrong. Such immaturity and childishness, not to mention his boorish behavior and verbiage, is totally inappropriate. He assumes, with no proof, that the Omniscience of God somehow counters the linguistic and contextual material and arguments that I give in my articles. No, God's omniscience is what inspired that contextual discussion. He assumes from a distortion of Romans 8:18f that material creation must be restored, simply making unfounded and unproven assertions. He assumes a doctrine of the elect that -- while he vehemently denies being a Calvinist-- is nothing short of Calvinism. He overlooks the fact that it was Israel that was "foreknown and elect"-- it is no where said that all mankind are predestinated to either salvation or damnation. It no where says that the elect is a fixed number that could never be changed. It needs to be known that I have asked Mr. Conley, if the number of the elect is fixed and cannot be changed, how it is that -- taking his insistence that "numbers" are demanded in Romans 11, that Paul could say that Israel-- who was predestinated and elect-- could be "diminished." Funny that while he has boasted repeatedly that I have not answered him, he has been totally silent on this. Not a keystroke. Citing some of his beloved patristics, he posits a yet future salvation of Jews because of God's covenant with them. But, he confuses the covenant. The "covenant" that Paul cites, that promised the salvation of Israel, was the covenant promise of Isaiah 59:20. God would save Israel at the coming of the Lord out of Zion. Conley posits this as the second coming at the imaginary end of time. But, the text is clear that the coming of the Lord for the salvation of Israel, would be the Lord's coming in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (59:3f). Three times in the text the Lord accused Israel of shedding innocent blood and as a result He would come in judgment. Yet, He would save the remnant at that coming. Unless Mr. Conley wants to posit a yet future coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, and unless he wants to deny the words of Jesus about the time of the vindication of all the blood of the martyrs (Matthew 23) then Mr. Conley's view on Romans 11 falls to the ground. Because of this delimiting factor, which agrees perfectly with Isaiah 27, the other prophecy of Israel's salvation that Paul cites-- we have to see the salvation of all Israel-- and thus the delimited time for the fullness of the Gentiles, at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. That is the prophetic source and context for Romans 11:25-27, about which Mr. Conley typed not a key in consideration-- literally not a word! You cannot totally ignore the prophetic context-- the very context that Paul is citing in his proclamation of the coming salvation of Israel-- and claim to have done a proper job of exegesis. BTW, this analysis of the prophecies underlying v. 25-27 is supported by the fact that Paul also quotes directly from Deuteronomy 32-- a prophecy of Old Covenant Israel's last days. Psalms 69 a prophecy of the destruction of Israel for her blindness, the very blindness that Paul said was present in his day. All of this prophetic background must be honored, yet, Conley either totally ignores it (Isaiah 27 & 59) or he simply mentions Psalms 69 with no development whatsoever. Let me express my argument succinctly in light of Isaiah 27 and 59: The salvation of all Israel in Romans 11 would be in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 27 & 59. Isaiah 27 & 59 are prophecies of the salvation of Israel at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (and other sins). Therefore, the salvation of all Israel in Romans 11 was to take place at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (and other sins). Basically, Mr. Conley says that I am wrong because he is a futurist. His entire article is based on that assumption, his false assumptions.
My response to this is to ignore his ad hominems and lies and just say that if I have been found guilty of stupid and immature behavior that Don K Preston seems to be guilty of this as well in being unprofessional and immature. I assume that if the one who challenges another to debate is found to be acting unprofessional and immature and found plainly lying about the one he challenged that all bets are off and that I, the challenged, do not have to act professional back, though I highly recommend obviously acting professional even if another is acting immature, childish, and making unproffesional, classless, lies and what not.

"He assumes, with no proof, that the Omniscience of God somehow counters the linguistic and contextual material and arguments that I give in my articles. No, God's omniscience is what inspired that contextual discussion."
Well if Preston had done his part to the written debate he could respond better but I affirm that yes in fact, the omniscience of God does counter Don K Preston. The number is numeric because despite the basket being filled to the brim and the human being being unaware of how many things are in the basket filled to the brim, the basket is clearly filled and full, and God knows ALL. Therefore, being omniscient, God knows the exact number of things inside of this basket filled to the brim. This means that He knows the exact number of people who will choose Him or not when He ends His call aka ekloge aka eklektos. Since it is tied to salvation as well, it either ends in AD70 or it doesn't. You choose Mr. Preston!

"He assumes from a distortion of Romans 8:18f that material creation must be restored, simply making unfounded and unproven assertions."
He was free to respond to this as I said earlier but he as of yet, a month later, has not done a formal written response. My response would be though to this that Romans 8:18 and 1 Cor 15 and multiple more scriptures point to Creation (kritis in the Greek which also means the creature, which means from creation as a creature is a created being of creation literally) actually being literally restored and renewed to be conformed and transformed into the Image of Christ as all in Adam are being made into, but I digress.

"He assumes a doctrine of the elect that -- while he vehemently denies being a Calvinist-- is nothing short of Calvinism."
Again, Preston accuses me of being a Calvinist and lies.

A self proclaimed scholar like Mr. Preston should obviously know (and he does know, let us not kid ourselves here) that Calvinist are not the only ones who believe in predestination and election.

St. John Chrysostom and St. John Damascus and plenty more saints and theologians have at length discussed predestination and election before Jean John Calvin and before Calvinism was ever a thing. Again, to reiterate, I am Eastern Orthodox. I am not a Calvinist. Preston's assertion that I am one is a lie and is an attempt to run from the real issues.

[Off note: if you do wish to understand the Orthodox understanding of election and predestination I would highly recommend reading the Council of Dosethius and reading St. John Chrysostom's Commentary on Romans and reading St. John Damascus' Exact Exposition on the Orthodox Faith which I believe is in Book 2].

"He overlooks the fact that it was Israel that was "foreknown and elect"-- it is no where said that all mankind are predestinated to either salvation or damnation. It no where says that the elect is a fixed number that could never be changed."
The Scripture literally says in Romans that ALL of Israel will be saved in Romans 11. The True Israel of God are those in Christ. The ELECT. AKA The EKLEKTOS. Those who will choose Him are known to God for He is omniscient and nothing is secret to the Creator. Not a single thing is unknown to God. If Preston doesn't believe God is omniscient and know all then he has some serious explaining to do or needs to give what seems to be a redefinition of what God's omniscience is and means.

"It needs to be known that I have asked Mr. Conley, if the number of the elect is fixed and cannot be changed, how it is that -- taking his insistence that "numbers" are demanded in Romans 11, that Paul could say that Israel-- who was predestinated and elect-- could be "diminished." Funny that while he has boasted repeatedly that I have not answered him, he has been totally silent on this. Not a keystroke."
Here is the one time Preston may have a point. Perhaps in my article I did not cover extensively the word hettema as I did with plemora. Having never responded to the article in a formal written fashion however, Preston perhaps can be dismissed or I could have covered it more in response if he had given a written formal response to our formal written debate. However, he did not and refuses it seems to do so. But I did however, not leave this mention of Romans 11:12 blank. I did in fact cover it. The reader can read my article to see what I wrote on it and find if it is well supported or not. Preston was free to critique this in a formal written debate format but has refused to do so.

As for the answer though I still would show that since hetemma and plemora are unknown to us humans but the number is exactly know to God, I would assert that though Paul may not know the number of the elected Gentiles it takes to reach fullness, that God does know for He is omniscient. Everyone in the eklektos and call to salvation has free will. (Hint for Preston: This is why I'm clearly not a Calvinist but I digress)

Paul is watching the plan unfold (the predestination: since predestination is about God's plan, not so much about the man, though God gladly wants us to get on His plan of salvation obviously) and some, who God knows, may fall away and break away from their calling that God has called us ALL to be one of His children. Some don't accept this. God knows who will and won't accept. This is again too easy. God is omniscient. It's obviously numeric in God's perspective because He is God. Even if Paul doesn't know exact numbers God does.

"Citing some of his beloved patristics, he posits a yet future salvation of Jews because of God's covenant with them. But, he confuses the covenant. The "covenant" that Paul cites, that promised the salvation of Israel, was the covenant promise of Isaiah 59:20. God would save Israel at the coming of the Lord out of Zion."
Beloved is for sure. I do love quoting and citing the patristics. However, this is irrelevant and just Preston blowing smoke. There is nothing wrong with citing patristics. Preston quotes many people in the many books he writes. Is this wrong of Preston to do? Apparently, by his own logic, it is wrong of him to quote people if it is wrong for me to do so.

"Conley posits this as the second coming at the imaginary end of time."
I would assert there is an end of time prophesied but again, Preston could have brought this up in a written formal debate format and has not..
"But, the text is clear that the coming of the Lord for the salvation of Israel, would be the Lord's coming in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (59:3f). Three times in the text the Lord accused Israel of shedding innocent blood and as a result He would come in judgment. Yet, He would save the remnant at that coming."
Yes there is a 1st Coming (His Incarnation) and His 2nd Coming. Christ promised to save a faithful remnant of believers.
"Unless Mr. Conley wants to posit a yet future coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood, and unless he wants to deny the words of Jesus about the time of the vindication of all the blood of the martyrs (Matthew 23) then Mr. Conley's view on Romans 11 falls to the ground."
This absurd charge Preston makes is mostly nonsensical but my response would be to read Hebrews 9:27. Christ came once and will come one more time when the 2nd Coming happens. Romans 11 doesn't fall to the ground at all since the 2nd Coming hasn't happened yet. However, if all is fulfilled as Preston asserts, I would say without a doubt that if the 2nd Coming has occurred then the election is over and Preston cannot claim himself as a part of the elect because the election has ended and the basket for the Gentiles has been filled and all of Israel has already been saved. This seems simple to me that if all is fulfilled this would be the case but again, Preston is free to give a response or not.

"Because of this delimiting factor, which agrees perfectly with Isaiah 27, the other prophecy of Israel's salvation that Paul cites-- we have to see the salvation of all Israel-- and thus the delimited time for the fullness of the Gentiles, at the time of the judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood. That is the prophetic source and context for Romans 11:25-27, about which Mr. Conley typed not a key in consideration-- literally not a word!"
Isa 27. All I can say really is that this is what happens when one crams every single thing into one day in AD70. Isa 24-27 by virtually all scholars all are about much more than some local judgement in AD70. This chapter is actually about Christ's 2nd Coming and the Last Judgement. The prophecy in Isa 23:17, 18 was fulfilled in full when the Church was established in Tyre (Acts 21:3-5) and in Isa 24 the prophecy of Isaiah will find a fullness of completion at the end of this present age. At the Last Judgment. (mt 20:16; Rom 8:18-22). I assert this to be the case.

"You cannot totally ignore the prophetic context-- the very context that Paul is citing in his proclamation of the coming salvation of Israel-- and claim to have done a proper job of exegesis. BTW, this analysis of the prophecies underlying v. 25-27 is supported by the fact that Paul also quotes directly from "
I agree that you can't ignore the prophetic context. You also can't and should not cram things together to fit your AD70 doctrine either I'd charge but alas, here we are.

"Deuteronomy 32-- a prophecy of Old Covenant Israel's last days.Psalms 69 a prophecy of the destruction of Israel for her blindness, the very blindness that Paul said was present in his day."
Preston is talking about Deut 32:21 I suppose. This is a prophecy concerning the Gentiles who would become God's children through faith in Christ, thus provoking Jews to jealousy (Rom 10:19). The Speaker here is the Word Christ. Deut 32:43 is quoted in Romans 15:20 and Heb 6:2 to show both men and angels are to worship God Incarnate for He's their maker.

"All of this prophetic background must be honored, yet, Conley either totally ignores it (Isaiah 27 & 59) or he simply mentions Psalms 69 with no development whatsoever."
I would agree that it should be honored. Hence why I would suggest Preston should stop dishonoring it by trying to cram everything into his AD70 doctrine perhaps? Ps 66-67 LXX are about Christ's Resurrection and His ascension into heaven. We see in it the blessings of the Church through it in these verses. Christ tramples death and crushes the satanic hordes of fallen angels in Ps 67:21-22 LXX. Simple.

Ps 68 LXX prophesies the Passion of the Lord and the changes it would bring. Goes on a whole thing of how things are changed: 1) Church would become a house for all peoples (John 2:19; Mt 21:13; Mk 11:17; Lk. 19:46); 2) The cross would bear our reproaches against God (Rom 15:3); 3) The cross would destroy death (Mt 27:34, 48; Mk 15:23, 36; Jn 19:28-30); and 4) The Jews would be rejected for their unbelief and the believing Gentiles would be brought to salvation (Rom 9:9-11).

Ps 69 LXX is a prayer of the Christ. Ps. 70 LXX is about deliverance from captivity to the devil and his angels. We're delivered by Christ

"Let me express my argument succinctly in light of Isaiah 27 and 59: The salvation of all Israel in Romans 11 would be in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 27 & 59."
That's false that it happened all in AD70 but if it was, Preston has a serious problem thanks to the implications of what he is saying on his hands, it is something that I continually stress and bring up but Preston has left un-addressed for years now because he knows that this is a deathblow to his viewpoint and kicks himself out of being saved and one of the elect... THE EKLEKTOS! The number known to God and God alone!

"Isaiah 27 & 59 are prophecies of the salvation of Israel at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (and other sins). Therefore, the salvation of all Israel in Romans 11 was to take place at the coming of the Lord in judgment of Israel for shedding innocent blood (and other sins). Basically, Mr. Conley says that I am wrong because he is a futurist. His entire article is based on that assumption, his false assumptions"
I've already covered Isa 27 but as far as Isa 59 and well onto the rest of Isaiah one can clearly see we live in the promises today. So some of the words of Isaiah are happening right now because we have Christ today and the words will find compelte fulfillment when this present age is complete and Christ returns in His 2nd Coming. All simple if you're not trying to butcher everything like Preston does. The already, not yet principle that virtually all scholars teach is in full effect and has been since Christ ushered in the New Covenant as the High Priest when He made the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross and died, was buried, and resurrected and made and rendered the Old Covenant obsolete and void.

Don is clearly not just wrong because he isn't a futurist. He's wrong for way more reasons than just that.

He consistently and constantly redefines things, is largely inconsistent, and constantly can't get past the fact that if the election happened in Matthew 24:31 then the election ended.

What it appears Preston is doing with this article and his lying and etc with Romans 11 is that, with the Greek, hetemma and plemora, he is trying desperately to make a point that there is no elephant in the room, yet the whole time has failed to prove that the elephant making noises clearly in the room and even physically doing things is still there.

Preston has still despite his attempts, failed to produce any reason why Christ doesn't know who will choose Him or not since He knows all and why this number is not numeric, as it is numeric. God again knows the EXACT number.

Furthermore, one has to logically conclude, that if all is fulfilled (which it's not), that the time for the Gentiles has passed and ended in or by AD70. So no more Gentiles for sure if all is fulfilled. Their election ended in AD70 if one logically assumes that all is fulfilled.

In the end... I wish to stress this to any full preterist reading this. Christ has not returned. There is no evidence or support for this view. Preston has tried desperately to make this all work but I surmise sees the train has finally come off the rails and will be a massive trainwreck. He is going have to do about 2 big things that I see here to try and become more logical and coherent but in doing so it will make him look unscholarly and insane to anyone who is not ignorant.


  1. Preston will have to redefine the eklektos, which is impossible and all of Greece throughout history would laugh at him for. Fun fact, if you told a Greek from Ancient Greece and a modern Greek today the word eklektos they both would know what you are saying and both understand it the same exact way. It has been one word that has not ever changed in the Greek language.
  2. Preston will have to, and this is more dangerous, redefine God's omniscience, which if he would try, all I can say is good luck and may God have mercy on your soul if you do. 

Bottom line. If all is fulfilled, ALL of Israel was either saved in AD70 OR it wasn't. The election either ended or not Don K. Preston. You can keep running, hiding, making false accusations, lying, and what not but eventually it is all starting and will catch up to you. Despite all your ranting on about plemora and hettenna, it will get you nowhere since God is omniscient and knows ALL which includes WHO will be His EKLEKTOS! If all is fulfilled, that is not you nor anyone else post AD70.

Finally, to end this article, Don has constantly argued that I agreed to challenge him to debate the dating of Revelation. I have done no such thing and said I do not wish to debate the dating on Revelation because it is actually irrelevant. Yes, if Revelation was proven without a doubt to be written in the reign of Domitian, which I do believe it was, full preterism would be dead in the water. If definitively proven to have been written in the reign of Nero, it proves nothing about full preterism and actually brings up more questions than answers which I assume Preston would refuse to answer too. But I digress. I never agreed to a debate on that topic and as Preston has the right to refuse debates, I do too.

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