Josh Howard of Eschatology Matters: Does it matter what you believe about the End Times? DMW#213


This week Greg sat down with Josh Howard. Josh is a Pastor of Grace Community Church, author of "Stories About The End Of Things", and host of the @eschatology_matters Podcast. We discussed the different views of end times theology, the differences, what the early church fathers believed, and how eschatology can effect your salvation and sanctification. Josh also stuck around for a "Fresh 10" segment towards the end of the show. Enjoy! Buy "Stories About The End Of Things here: K&K Furnishings: Providing quality furnishings for business, education, worship, and hospitality for the Glory of God! Jacob's Supply: Quality building materials at wholesale prices! Facebook: Dead Men Walking Podcast Youtube: Dead Men Walking Podcast Instagram: @DeadMenWalkingPodcast Twitter X: @RealDMWPodcast Exclusive Content: PubTV App Support the show and check out our merch:


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Cool. Now that we've got the business handled, yeah, it's been a great week for me, guys.
You know, a lot of stuff going on here in Michigan. We are getting into springtime, so I'm happy about that.
55, 60 degrees yesterday. Got to play a little basketball with the sun out in the driveway. I'm ready for it. The older I get,
I'm not a winter guy, but you guys know that if you've listened to the podcast for any amount of time, so I'm in a good mood today.
Woke up, it's going to be 55, 60 degrees. You know, you guys down south listening to this are in Florida going, what the heck?
That's freezing. That's a sweater weather. Up here in Michigan, man, it hits 55. I see people in tank tops, shorts.
We got our Crocs on. We are ready to get to the lake and we're going to bring you some live shows from the lake, like we did last year, too.
Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, when we go there, I'll set up the camera, do a Bible study. We'll do a little episode, so look forward to that.
But I don't want to talk too long because we have a special guest. Actually heard about this guest,
I want to tell you something before I introduce him. It was funny because I went down to the Why Calvinism conference a few weeks ago.
I jump in the car. We're going down to Tullahoma, Tennessee. It's an eight and a half, nine hour drive, which that was funny.
I thought I got there early and then I realized I just went through a time change. I was like, wow, I made it down here in eight hours. It was nine hours.
There was a one hour time change, but right as I got to Toledo, which I'm about three miles north of Toledo, I said, you know,
I'm going to brush up on my eschatology and I typed in eschatology amillennialism because I knew
I was going to be around some amillennialists. I'm an amillennialist, which most people find strange.
I'm part of the Fight, Laugh, Feast Network. I'm a reformed Presbyterian. They go, you're not pre -mill? I go, I don't know. I just can't get there. I'm optimistic amill, which they would say, well, you're pretty much us.
We're just arguing over, you know, the millennium at that point. But I said, I'm going to brush up on that and the very first thing that came up on my
YouTube channel, I didn't go to my podcast, YouTube, was Eschatology Matters with Sam Waldron talking for an hour and a half on amillennialism.
So I put it on and the hour and a half flew by and it was a great episode. Then I got down to the conference and he was one of the speakers, which
I was the MC and I didn't even look over. I was like, I'll get down there. I'll look at the host. I'll get all the bios.
So he was there and I told him that. I said, I just brushed up on amillennialism with you for an hour and a half on the way down here with a podcast called
Eschatology Matters. Well, the reason I tell you that story is because we have Josh Howard on from Eschatology Matters.
Josh, how are you, brother? I'm good, man. It's great to be on here with you, Greg. And also,
I've heard so many good things. I know we have mutual friend in like Keith Foskey and some other guys and everyone I've talked to says, you got to have
Josh on, you got to talk about Eschatology or something like that. He's just a good dude, a good brother in the
Lord. So it's nice. We're actually talking outside of just texting back and forth on socials and things like that for the first time.
So it's good to meet you. I know the name, I know the podcast, but I wanted to have you on because I think what you're doing is important and you put out quality content all the time on these matters.
So give the listeners a little background about you outside of host of Eschatology Matters.
Yeah, no, thanks, man. So yeah, I'm a fellow Michigander with Greg. So I was cracking up when you were giving that little rundown of the weather change.
We had our Wednesday night service and I think it hit like 60 and people were in here in shorts and flip flops just living their best life.
So the South cannot understand the sort of joy that we have at 60 degrees. But yeah, no,
I'm a pastor. So I pastor in southeastern Michigan, so a couple hours away from Greg, if I'm remembering correctly.
Yeah, just pastor and do the podcast on the side. But I do a little bit of teaching here and there. I've taught in some seminaries and colleges and try to keep my teaching chops up.
I write a little bit, so publish here and there and have some books and articles under my belt.
But yeah, beyond that, father of four, married to my high school sweetheart. You can probably hear a little bit of the twang.
If I get upset about something, a little bit of twang comes through. So I've spent about half of my life in the South, sort of that Mid -South area,
Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and all of that. So yeah, that's about the gist of it. So wait a minute, you're currently in Michigan or you're currently in the
South? I'm currently in Michigan. We're in Battle Creek, Cereal City. So yeah,
I misunderstood you when we talked. I thought you used to be in Michigan and now you're South. You're the other way.
Battle Creek. Yeah, my father in law, we were talking before. I said my father in law is coming down today for a brisket.
He lives in Bellevue, so he's not very far from there. There you go. Yeah, we've got church members in Bellevue. How about that?
There you go. And I'm in Battle Creek probably once or twice a year up there. So I'll have to swing by or maybe if we're in there on a
Sunday, I might have to take in a service. So, OK, very cool. So, yeah, two Michiganders just hanging out here talking, talking
God. So that's cool. I should have led with that. I'm sorry for that. And that's one of my weaknesses.
I get like, you know, as as a kind of an extrovert that also loves new projects and the excitement of it,
I'll have 10 things going. And then I get my wires crossing. I mean, who was that? I was at that. You've got bracket season going on right now, too.
So you're busy, man. Well, this is going to drop in a few days. So we might have a winner by the time this drops.
Right now we're in the sweet finishing up the sweet 16. Then, you know, obviously elite eight. But we have a reform bracket going.
Yes. And it's and people seem to like it. So it's going to grow each year. But I'll probably do a live video on that to the to the channel when we announce the winner.
And probably by the time you're listening to this, it'll be a day or two after we've announced the champion, because we're moving right along with brackets every single day on Twitter.
But let's get into it. Why eschatology matters. Why did you pick a podcast that really focuses on something kind of pinpoints on something?
You know, I kind of made a podcast that just says theology and doctrine and everything in between, because it's a little selfish.
I get to go off. I want to have a Christian comedian on or a musician. I can squeeze it in there. It seems like you talk about more than eschatology on your podcast.
But why did you seem to focus on that? Why does it matter? Yeah, yeah.
So the eschatology focus, you know, the whole conference kind of spun. And we've talked about this, you know, on our podcast before.
But everybody assumes that I'm the one that started it. And I wholesale did not start eschatology matters. But I helped
Brandon started. So Brandon Wood is kind of our producer. If anybody's talked to the channel, they've talked to Brandon. So I'm kind of like the face of a lot of the interviews and stuff.
But Brandon, I started this together. It was from a conference Brandon did. So so Brandon has this this strange knack of pulling people together and he wanted to learn more about eschatology.
So most of us would, you know, pick up a book or watch a YouTube channel or something like that. Brandon decided to host a conference on eschatology.
Then, you know, bring in all these speakers and then just kind of, you know, for his own benefit to just kind of hear him through. And I thought it was brilliant.
I thought the conference went so well. So, you know, he and I started talking at the conference. I said, hey, let's let's look at this a little bit more.
And one of the things, you know, you mentioned like kind of kind of a narrow focus. And I think that's true, because most of the time when people think of eschatology, they think of, you know, really millennialism or millenarianism.
And they're thinking specifically of that that millennial discussion, Revelation 20 and the thousand years and those sort of things.
And that's important. And we talk a lot about those sort of things. But but in my in my perspective, I think eschatology entails a lot more.
So one of the ways that we kind of talk about eschatology on our channel, I think I think we have a tagline that says something about like Genesis to Revelation or whole
Bible eschatology, those sort of things. But it's really about teleology, just to kind of use the precise term.
It's about like the the flow of the story and the direction in which it's going. That's eschatology. And I think most people get the conception of that once they start to grapple with eschatology, because you realize really quickly, like, man, this is a lot more than just how do
I interpret, you know, kill you in Revelation or something like that. This is a huge, a huge thing.
And you have to start through the whole Bible, the whole warp and woof of the story. So that's why I think we're able to get into a lot of discussions that don't seem like eschatology, but but they're definitely part of that story.
You're talking about issues of kingdom, issues of issues of biblical narrative, issues of covenant, all those kind of flow into that that eschatological conception.
But yeah, kind of the whole show, the whole aim of the show, and maybe it's kind of why we have a different tenor than some shows, a little bit of a different tone, is that we like very intentionally want to have guests on that disagree with me.
So I'm not the only contributor to eschatology matters. We've got several guys. We've got a pretty large team, honestly, for a channel like ours that contribute.
And we don't all agree on things. In fact, some of us have some pretty pointed disagreements on things, but they're not primary issues, right?
We're all we're all confessing those primary core doctrinal issues. And so from our conception, it's these things are important enough that we want to argue about them as men and as brothers.
And we also want to make the issues clear. And I think that's been one of one of our big focuses is it gets very confusing what you're even arguing about sometimes.
What are those dividing lines? Where do we have fellowship? And we want to make those things as clear as possible.
So if I do have disagreement with you on something, I at least want to understand where you're coming from as a
Christian to another Christian and make those issues clear for whoever watches the channel. So that's been kind of the aim of the podcast.
Yeah, that answer was exactly what I was hoping for. And I thought it was because it does encompass a lot.
A lot of people, when they hear eschatology, even Christians that really don't know that. Okay, so back up here,
I was a pan millennialist for so many years because I went, it'll just all pan out. It doesn't matter. You know, in that thought, that theology was hindering my walk in all kinds of evangelism, right?
Because I think eschatology affects your evangelism, how you preach the gospel, all those things. And then when
I really started to dig into it, I just realized, oh, I just had a lack of knowledge. I mean, I grew up in my later years in a more
Pentecostal church to where, yeah, pre -millennial rapture hatch, left behind series.
That's what was taught. And I just thought, oh, the church has always believed that. That's what it is. And that's what
I believe, right? But I had all kinds of questions with it going, well, what about this and that? And Jesus uses that hand and, you know, this generation won't pass.
And you got, you know, the beast, but then, you know, the antichrist is really only mentioned in John and not really in Revelation, right?
All the, you got the mark of the beast, but then right after that, the mark of the lamb. So what's the mark of the lamb look like? And I didn't know there was thousands of years of, you know, study in my twenties of going, oh, there's guys who've been talking about this for years and years.
And it's much more intricate and deep and beautiful than just this kind of one stream of thought.
So I totally agree with you. I think there's a lot of importance to, you know, exploring and explaining those things.
And when I said kind of a narrow focus, I was kind of being facetious and set you up so you could explain that because we both understand that eschatology touches every tentacle of our walk, every tentacle of our sanctification and our regeneration and all those things.
So I think what you're doing is very, very important. I wanted to touch on something you said. You said, oh, we have some secondary disagreements.
Could you kind of just explore on your team of the podcast? Do you guys have differing views on eschatology?
Do you hold to different things? And what would those be? Yeah, so we have, we essentially, usually we say that we're kind of coming from a broadly reformed perspective and what we mean by that.
And we try to explain it a little bit as kind of covenantal eschatology. So we don't platform dispensationalism.
We have interacted with dispensational scholars, especially. We've had at least two professors that are dispensational on here because we do want to interact and we do want to talk about it.
But that's just not a view we platform. It's a very different way of approaching scripture. You know this, right? Like the whole conception and framework is so different.
It makes it difficult. But on our channel, we have a lot of different viewpoints. We have post -millennials of varying stripes, whether they're more of a kind of B .B.
Warfield post -millennial or whether they're more of a Doug Wilson kind of approach to post -millennialism. We have optimistic amils.
I don't know that we have anybody that would probably fit the label of kind of, I don't know, I don't want to say pessimistic amil, but like not the optimistic kind of amil.
But we certainly have several amillennial guys. We have had historic premill contributors and will continue to as well because a historic premill,
I think, fits in pretty well with that framework. But yeah, some of the secondary issues, I think, beyond just those, which, you know, that's kind of the millennial strains.
But you've also got different conceptions of covenantalism, how the covenants fit together, progressive covenantalism, full covenant theology guys.
You've got different conceptions of the application of the law, which the law definitely plays into the whole eschatology discussion.
We've engaged with like two kingdom theology and maybe radical or, you know, however you want to frame that, but radical two kingdom theology or more balanced approaches.
We've been, you know, various issues like that, that kind of play into that eschatology, but aren't necessarily like millennial perspectives.
Yeah. So, you know, I didn't discuss this with you beforehand, so I'm going to throw you a hot potato, and then maybe you can just handle it off the cuff as a pastor and as someone who has talked a lot about eschatology.
Could you give us kind of the kind of four kind of buckets of end times belief being premillennialism, postmillennialism, amillennialism, and then maybe get into like partial and full preterism.
Can you just give us like a little elevator pitch of each of those for a listener that might be listening and going, yeah,
I just, I just jumped on to dead men walking and I don't know half these names that they're talking about.
I kind of understand what he's saying, but could you give us like those four buckets and just maybe sum that up for people listening?
Yeah. Yeah. I like the bucket approach too, because yeah, we we've had, we've had a couple of conversations with guys on this channel and we'll start using the terms and real quickly people are like, can you, what are you talking about?
Yeah. So the elevator pitch. I'm going to mess this up for anybody that holds one of these views and they'll get mad about it. But again, it's elevator.
Every single bucket you're going to mess up because someone's going to go, that's not what I, you know, there's a little, that ain't me. Yeah. Okay. So that's okay.
I'll miss it. Generally speaking here, we're saying. Yeah. Yeah. So you've got, in general, you've got two premillennial views, which are dispensational and historic premillennialism.
And then you generally have two postmillennial views, which are postmillennialism and amillennialism.
So to go to the first premillennial views, believe that Christ will return pre -millennium before the earthly kingdom or, you know, thousand year reign, however you want to frame that, before the millennial period that Revelation speaks of in Revelation 20.
So in that you've got historic premillennials, which share sort of a covenantal framework. They're still, they're still seeing things a little bit more like the premill and amill when it comes to the overall structure of scripture.
Dispensational premillennialism sees a radical distinction between Israel and the church among many other things.
But that would kind of be the primary flagpole that most people would say differentiates them. So dispensational premillennialism says
Israel and the church, very separate and distinct. Historic premillennialism would say, no, there's one consistent people of God, and then you suss out all the details.
But both of them are looking for Christ to return pre the millennium. Flip over to the other side, you've got postmillennialism, which is made up of, confusingly, postmillennialism and amillennialism.
We've got to come up with better terms, but it's hard to change these things, you know, after the fact. So both of those views, though, believe that Christ returns after post the millennium.
So both of those would confess that the millennium is either currently in effect or at some point in the future, but both agree that it's before Christ returns.
What generally distinguishes those two viewpoints from one another, you know, you brought up preterism, but both postmillennialism and amillennialism confess
Christ returns, you know, post the millennium. But amillennialism typically will say that the reign of Christ, the kingdom of God, if I can be specific, is a primarily spiritual event.
Postmillennialism would say it is primarily both a heavenly and earthly reality. And that then informs a lot of the pessimism versus optimism.
Postmillennialism, because they believe it's a heavenly and earthly reality, will typically look for that triumphant kingdom to have effects in this world.
And people will use the term optimistic. Amillennialism will typically say, no, it's more of a spiritual kingdom. So many amillennials will not look for earthly, you know, tangible fruit of the kingdom of God in the way we would think of it.
But they would say, nonetheless, Christ is victorious and the kingdom is advancing. Yeah. My only pushback there to people that say that is, you know,
I've joked with my premill or my postmill buds and say, I'm totally fine at being amill and God using postmills to move us into a better place, you know, in the world and in the kingdom.
But at the same time, yeah, I would make that distinction that you can be optimistic about the future just because of what the gospel says.
The gospel is being preached to the ends of the earth, whether I'm amill or postmill. And I've had this discussion with my postmill brothers and say,
I'm optimistic about it just because God's word doesn't go void. Now, I don't think the millennium looks like this.
I think it, you know, looks like this. We have ups and downs. And I think the biggest disservice some Christians have is they just look at their little 50 years or 40 years or 70 years that they've kind of been alive and seen stuff.
They don't measure it against the backdrop of history. And they say, oh, sin has never been more prevalent.
Oh, I go, well, the spirit of murder has been alive since the fall. We can just go back 500 years to the
Middle Ages. We can go back 1000 or 1500 years, I'm sorry, 2000 years to Rome. In the times we were chopping off heads and sewing bear skins onto Asian people and fighting them.
It's like, no, that spirit has always been alive. Now, whether it's more prevalent because you see it more in social media and it's out in the open, but God doesn't matter if you're sinning in secret or sinning in public.
It's, you know what I mean? It's that spirit is still there. Hey, Greg, can I add something on that? Sure, go ahead. Yeah, because what you're hitting on, this is one of my pet peeves or this is something
I think is dangerous is, well, and before that, let me preface it. Number one, what you're saying about the optimism, I think is on point.
So Covenant Bible, no, Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, they just had a conference on optimistic eschatology.
And it was primarily an amillennial conference. So if you're optimistic amill or you're whatever stripe of post mill, we're all in the same camp, we're all on the same team.
We've got some good disagreements to have, but we're all fighting for the same thing. What really is dangerous within eschatology is the newspaper eschatology approach, which is what kind of what you were describing, right?
Like I look out here, I see things are dark. Therefore, scripture must mean X. You know, I have such little patience for that because number one, you're doing a severe disservice to scripture.
The truth of things, the true truth of things is what Christ says is actually occurring in this world. So if Christ says he's defeated
Satan or Christ says that he is victorious and his kingdom will have no end. We believe that and we confess that precisely because Christ knows more than we do.
So we don't do the newspaper eschatology, but it also does, like you said, such a disservice to the
Christians throughout history. I mean, we get in church and read from the book of Acts and we say, look at this victory and look at this triumphant church.
There's 30 of them running around and they're getting persecuted. There's people trying to kill them. That doesn't look victorious in the moment.
But yet they looked out and said, man, we have a commission. Christ is victorious. He's told us to go do this thing. So yeah, the newspaper eschatology
I think is so debilitating to Christians. It robs you. Number one, it robs you of hope that Christ gives you. But number two, it kneecaps you in the way that you were interpreting scripture as opposed to just believing what
God says is true. Now, that's a really good point. So let me ask you this because this is kind of what brought me to amillennialism.
And I'm gonna try to make this about my beliefs, but I also went, if I zoom back, you know, and I'm also conservative in my politics.
I don't even know if you can use that word anymore because conservatism has been, you know, just destroyed, you know, but also going, let's look at the whole.
So when I look at trends of is the world getting better in the sense of lifestyle or worse,
I go look at since the beginning of time per capita, murders are down, rapes are down, sex is down. Everyone's richer.
Wealth is up. We live longer. Medical is better. You know, I'm starting to sound like a futurist or something. But I'm just saying, if I look against that backdrop,
I go, we are trending up in closer to probably what, what, what
Christ would want for us overall in, in health and comfort. And I'm not looking, I'm not a prosperity preacher.
It sounds like I'm going Kenneth Copeland on you right now. I'm not saying it's health and wealth and all that. I'm saying when people come to me, go, oh, it's never been worse.
Look at, yes, we have some dark times right now. I think in 50 years, in 30 years, 20 years, maybe we will look back on this country and go,
I cannot believe we were sacrificing children in the millions on, you know, in the altar of abortion.
It's a dark time in our, in our country. Yes. That's going on. These type of things, you know, him, her,
Zs, all that stuff. I think stupidity isn't a, isn't a good game plan. We will eventually look back on that and go, what were we doing?
Okay. I give you that. But what I'm saying is we're, we're trending towards, you know, we have these dips, but we're trending up.
We're trending towards, and I think that's because of the gospel. I think that's because of the death, resurrection, ascension of Christ.
That's where we see a turning point where the gospel goes out and we have scientific discovery and we have the renaissance of all these things.
And, you know, don't get me started, but I hate when, you know, atheists use science and I go, everything you've learned came from believers, every major scientific discovery.
They went, oh, this dissertation is because I'm doing it for God, because I believe in creation, right? And we can go back and see that.
So that's kind of where, and look, I don't want my experiences or, or secular events to, to form my eschatology, but that's where it makes sense for me when
I read the Bible. And that's where I land on that. Where do you land personally? I'm just curious. Where do you, where you land on your eschatology?
Oh, as far as what bucket? Yeah. Kind of. What bucket are you in? Yeah. So typically I'll just say I'm in the kind of broadly post -mill bucket.
Um, but, um, but if, if I had to like place myself, it'd be the post -millennialism of, of BB Warfield, um,
Jay Marcellus kick kind of that, that strand. So, um, one of the things, one of the things you kind of, and we've spent a great deal of time, uh, especially behind the scenes, kind of working through AML post -mill differences and, um, and, you know, shared commonalities.
Um, but one of the things that, that I probably share more with AML guys is sort of that overall two age structure of things.
Okay. So if, if you read, you know, Gearhartus Voss, um, even Greg Beal, some of those guys, and they're seeing the, the two age structure,
I resonate a lot with that. Um, but when it comes to a lot of the conclusions, I'm right,
I'm right. Lockstep with guys like BB Warfield and kick and others. And then very quickly, before we move on that fourth bucket of partial and full preterism, did you want to touch on that really quick?
I don't think we did just so people, this is a hot topic subject. It's like full preterism is kind of in a resurgence right now.
Uh, so there's a lot of people standing up and going, hold on a second. This is a 40 year old theology, basically that's we believe is heretical.
Um, but it's weird because it's connected to a word of partial preterism where is, is accepted kind of is orthodoxy.
So can you explain those two very quickly? Yeah. Yeah. And it's, it, cause
I agree with you. It's, it's hard to understand, like, you know, internet's not real life. Right. So like we, we, we get on like Twitter or something like that and it's hard to really gauge like how, how prevalent is full preterism.
I know it's there. We've talked to guys, uh, Jeremiah Nortier, he's, you know, shared friend. Um, you know, they, they've done a lot of work with, um, full preterist churches in their area and stuff like that.
But anyway, yeah. So preterism in general, um, it refers to something that has passed. So it's, it's a look at prophecy, specifically biblical prophecy.
That's saying something has already been concluded or fulfilled. Um, it makes it a little difficult sometimes because typically when people talk about preterism, they're talking about the book of revelation.
Uh, but it doesn't just encapsulate that. So you could talk about preterism in other regards. Um, you could look at the Olivet discourse,
Matthew 24 and, um, have a preterist interpretation of that. Um, it's been, it's been my experience.
I think most Christians have a partial preterism to a certain extent, at least. Um, looking at specifically new
Testament prophetic passages and saying these things have already been fulfilled. Um, most of us would point out some of those full preterism would say essentially all has been fulfilled and that's where it gets really dicey because, because people look at this,
I think, I think a lot of times people will look at this as like a slippery slope. Like if you take a little bit of preterism, it's going to shove you down, down the slope.
I don't think that's the case. Um, I have a partial preterist, a pretty strongly partial preterist approach to the
Olivet discourse. And I don't think that's going to keep on sliding in any regard because you're doing textual work there.
But, um, full preterism would be the denial of the future things. So typically it comes down, especially to some physical events that we're looking for in the future, like Christ bodily returning in the flesh, um, the saints being raised bodily from the grave, uh, the, the final judgment of all flesh bodily before the throne.
Um, all those being future events, full preterism would say, no, we're not actually looking to those. Those have been fulfilled in, in whatever fashion, uh, beforehand.
So it's made a, it's made a big stink. If you want to get a conception of full preterism, look in any one of our videos where we mentioned full preterism and just read the comment section.
And, you know, people will post, you know, a 30 page long reply to whatever, whatever post with tons of links that you can find out a lot about full preterism on there.
So, yeah. Are you on, uh, are you on let's dot church yet? I'm sorry.
Are your videos on let's let's church? It's a let's dot church. Oh, okay. I'm going to call up the owner of that site because what he's done is just a side note.
And I'm going to respond to what you just said, but, uh, it's very helpful because he uploads all of your content to his site.
Let's start church. He's done it for me and James white and Keith Foskey and Andrew rap or some other guys.
And he's growing, but he does everything through AI. So you can just go to your page, type in the word preterism.
It'll tra it transcribes every single episode. And then it highlights in the video or the audio.
It'll take you to where you said the word preterism. So it's a very, so for like James white, you know, he's got 30 years of content uploaded to there.
You can just type in John four, you know, whatever chapter four, and it'll take you to the 82 videos where he's mentioned
John four or whatever. Uh, and it's helpful for me because people have said, Hey, you remember when you were talking about X and I go, that was two years ago on an episode.
I don't know where that was. I can go there, type it in. Not only is it generating a transcript, which I can copy and paste if I want to, but it takes me right to that point in the video or audio.
He's done a very, uh, a fabulous job. And, uh, I just want to give him a shout out. So everyone go to let's not church.
We got to get eschatology matters on there. I'll message him after the show, because that would be so helpful when you're talking about these very specific things multiple times.
And you're going, well, wait, what episode is that? What video was that? And I find it very helpful that it transcribes it and finds it and takes me right to it.
So that's a little side note and a little plug for let's not church. Go check it out guys. But, um, yeah, uh,
I, you know, I had Sam Frost on and he kind of gave the same thing. He came out of full preterism and he was like, you can't even look at partial preterism.
You'll slide. And I go, I'm a partial preterist and I have absolutely no desire to go full preterism.
I see the difference in that full heretical. And just for the listeners, full preterism, like you said, everything fulfilled, no bodily resurrection.
Christ has already returned. We go, Hey, that's heretical. That no, that, that isn't what Orthodox Christianity believes.
Partial preterism looks at things like maybe like Matthew 24 and goes, okay, some of those things might've been fulfilled in 70
AD. The, you know, the, the, the temple being destroyed and things like that. That's what Christ was talking about. But we still believe in a, you know, bodily resurrection, return of Christ, all that.
So, um, yeah, I, I, I'm tracking with you to where he came out of full preterism. So I think he's a little, you know what
I mean? It's like the guy who struggled with alcohol and is an alcoholic and then goes legalistic It was great juice in those vats that Jesus turned it from water.
You know, it's like, well, okay, you had an issue with it. So now you're very protective of that. I understand that. Don't agree with that.
So sometimes I think that can happen with our eschatology too. If we come out of a dark place, go, oh, we have to guard against that.
I would say, I know many, many partial preterists that are brothers that are, that aren't sliding down the slope of full preterism.
Right. And, and, and to speak to Sam Frost, cause you know, we're familiar with him. We've, we've chatted, but yeah, I appreciate his pushback just because I think even if I disagree with him about a slippery slope or something like that,
I do appreciate his pushback because you have seen some who have gone down a slippery slope, right. Or I wouldn't, maybe not a slip or something.
We have seen some people that go from partial preterism to full preterism. It's a good warning, at least I think, you know, to be cautious of over application.
Yeah. And I think you're right too. And we'll move on to the next question here, but I think you're right in saying how prevalent really is it?
It's kind of like that left woke minority that 20 people on Twitter get upset. It gets picked up by one major news media.
And then it's like, oh, the whole world thinks this. No, it's like 30 people somewhere. So not that I'm comparing full preterism to wokeism, but it's like, okay.
So there's 20 guys out there that are going, Hey, I'm a full preterist. And we go, Oh no, it's a resurgence. I don't know. I don't know if I'm really seeing that in real life, maybe more on the internet, like you said.
So yeah, I agree with that. So as we get into the bottom third here of the episode, what did the early church fathers believe?
And what did most of church history believe? You've talked to all these guys, these scholars, these theologians, you're a pastor.
When you look at church history for the listener, what were they believing? Did they believe in a rapture? Did they believe in post mill pre mill?
What were they thinking? Yeah. And that's a big question. And this is, yeah.
Yeah. Let me, let me give the, the, the 30 ,000 foot, I guess, summary. Well, it's interesting.
So, so a lot of my, a lot of my research I kind of looked at eschatology and my doctoral research.
So a couple of years of research and writing and all that sort of stuff. And a lot of what you have to do is go to the primary sources on these things.
So one of the dangers with one of the dangers with, with, with any sort of, with any sort of Christian endeavor is not reading the primary sources, but hearing what, what secondary sources summarize.
And one of the kind of drum beats within, within especially evangelicalism has been the, the de facto assumption that the early church fathers were, you know, completely pre -millennial.
Um, typically they'll say historic pre -millennial. You don't see, you don't see a lot of indications of dispensational pre -millennialism at all.
Um, you know, which would usually be indicated with some sort of secret rapture, um, that, you know, the, the left behind sort of thing.
Um, you don't, it's not left behind. I don't want to say that as a smear to dispensational pre -millennials, but you get what I'm saying, right? Like the, the clothes left behind and the, that theology is 150 years old.
So yeah, you can, you know, that's the left behind kind of theology. I don't think that was around in the early church, but go on.
Yeah. I read a lot of church fathers. I didn't find anything about Nicolae Carpathia. So he might not be a, that's left behind by the way.
If, if anybody's unfamiliar, I'm, I'm old. So just bear with me on that one. But, um, no, so early church fathers that one of the, one of the most interesting studies
I've read was, um, guy named Charles Hill, um, wrote a book called Regnum Calorum. And it's not an, it's not like an easy popular level read, but he was, he was surveying early church fathers and really questioning this narrative of where the historic pre -mill, um, the book and its research took off because once you look at the writings, um, the best you can say is that there was at least a sizable group that seemed to have been historic pre -mill.
Um, they, the term that they would have used would have been Kiliast looking for, looking for the, um, future earthly thousand year reign of Christ.
Um, but, but the best you can say is there was a, there are a sizable group that was non -Kiliast. There was a sizable group that was, uh, sort of non -defined can't really exactly say if they were
Kiliast or not. And then there was also a sizable group that seems to be Kiliast. But certainly not, not some sort of dominating view by the early church.
Um, one of the things that I think makes it really difficult when you work through church history is that people, people are not systematic theologians just by default.
Um, and we're also products of our time. So if you were to look at any given scholar, unless he's doing an eschatology matters channel, like if you want to learn what
I think you can, you can figure that out pretty well. I've said a lot of things I've, and specifically in this area, right. Um, but most people aren't sitting there writing treatises on eschatology, certainly not in systematic form.
So when you go to the early church, they're, they're primarily fighting battles of soteriology and ecclesiology.
And like, there, there's a lot of battles of the time that they're sorting through. Eschatology is not really at the front burner of systematized thought.
So when you go back to them and you say, who fits this bucket, you know, using your earlier analogy, like who fits the historic pre -mill bucket, who fits the amillennial bucket, it gets pretty difficult.
Um, you, you also are, like I said, a product of your time. So there were certain battles they were fighting. If you go to, you know, in any given place in church history and try to figure out what they're thinking at the time, um,
Martin Luther's a great example. He's, he's responding to certain things. It's, it's, it's almost hard to read Martin Luther without looking at the battles that he's fighting in his life.
Like, why is he, why is he ranting so much about this thing in this time? Well, there was, you know, social and church issues that he's responding to at the time.
Um, so like, that's all the qualification I want to lay out is like, it's not as neat and tidy as we would like for it to be.
You don't have guys just putting their name tag on and saying, yes, I'm a historic pre -mill or I'm an amillennial. Um, but all that being said,
I think you can see with the early church, especially, you can see a mixture of thought. You certainly see, see a pre -millennial and a post -millennial again, those two broad buckets.
You can see those, those patterns of thought. Um, but you can see the post -millennial bucket, which in that I'm including post -mill and amill again, going back to that conception of a bucket.
Um, you can see that really start to be a dominant view, you know, 400s, 500s, 600s.
Um, and that really holds sway up until the time of the reformation, uh, the predominant view throughout church history would have been in a broadly post -millennial, uh, perspective.
Um, now a lot of people push back on that and say that that has to do with, you know, Roman Catholicism is sort of the ecclesiocracy of the church and all those sorts of things.
And there there's, there's hay to be made there. Um, but that's, that's really one of the dominant views. It's strange for,
I think a lot of evangelicals, especially in the West, because the kind of de facto, uh, eschatology of many, at least from our generation probably is just kind of growing up in a, in a very non -scholarly, non -studied vaguely dispensational pre -millennial thought.
We have this general conception of Israel being somehow different than the church. We have a general conception of Christ returning in the future, um, and a rapture event, but I say it's unstudied, not, not discharitably, but that's just kind of the water in which many of us swam as kids.
Although we may not have had, you know, a whole lot of, you couldn't like really point anything to say about that other than this is just the kind of the general conception from the pulpit.
So for a lot of Christians today, that's been, especially through our channel has been a challenge just to understand, like if you do church reading, and I think every
Christian of any stripe should at least try to engage with historical Christian voices throughout the centuries.
Um, you start to realize pretty quickly, like that has not been the dominant conception of the Christian church. It's mainly been a
Christ returning post -millennial type of conception. Yeah. Wow. I love, I love how knowledgeable you are on this and I love your podcast as well too.
Um, as we wrap this up here, I just have to give you a compliment and say, I love that you are open to discussing all types of eschatology and you, and you give a chance for that.
It's not, it's not like I'm coming to your channel because I have this view and I want to hear that echo chamber of that.
Now, obviously your worldview is from that foundation, but like I said, you're not a non -millennialist and I listened to almost two hours with Sam Walden and you asked some great questions.
He's giving great answers. And I went, oh wow, these guys are kind of exploring that whole thing and everything in between.
And I just think you do a really great job and I love what you do. I think it's important for the kingdom as well.
Tell everyone where they can find you, maybe even on social media or where they can listen to the podcast at. Yeah. Yeah.
So you can, you can find the channel. It's just Eschatology Matters. You can find us on YouTube as the primary source.
We were through podcasts or anywhere you find podcasts. We have a website, eschatologymatters .org, and that's kind of a central hub where we try to amalgamate everything.
We're also on the Fight, Laugh, Feast network now with you, Greg. So you can find us through, yeah, you can find us through Fight, Laugh, Feast.
And if you guys will be there in the fall, we'll be there. Well, I say fall. Yeah. It's fall, October. We'll be there at the, at the conference as well.
But yeah, you can, you can follow me. I'm on Facebook. I'm on Twitter, JPHowardSR, JPHowardSr on Twitter.
But yeah. When you go live on Fight, Laugh, Feast, do you know when you're going to be set up to start throwing stuff out to pub
TV and all that good stuff? Yeah. We just started doing all the technical details, so it should be soon, but we're working it through right now.
Yeah. Welcome to the family. So as we end this, do you want to stick around for an episode of Fresh 10?
It's where we throw you 10 rapid fire, fresh questions. You don't know what they are, and it's just to get to get the listeners to get to know you a little bit more.
You down? You want to try it? I'm down, man. All right. Let's do some Fresh 10. All right.
Fresh 10 with Josh Howard. Here we go. Question number one. What city and state did you grow up in and how did that affect your childhood?
Woo. Uh, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, moved to Cleveland, Ohio when I was six weeks old.
And I credit that with me being a drifter all throughout life. We've lived all over the continental U S and it's because I've got like no home, but a lot of homes.
So yeah, I'm just glad you said, and then, you know, Little Rock, Arkansas became a Bill Clinton fan. So I'm glad you didn't say that.
Question number two. What's your favorite funny story to tell people? What's something where you might be in a social situation or you meet someone new and you or even if you know him for a while and you go,
Oh, I got a funny story or a funny joke, something like that. Oof. Yeah. Funny story.
My goodness. Well, if it's, if it's person to person, it's probably a story about my kids. You know, having, having four kids and being a family dad, man, we've, we've always got some funny story.
My, my sons, especially we have theological conversations. They're, uh, they're nine and 11 and man, my 11 year old will ask me some zingers that would make any podcast, like come to a grinding halt.
It's like, Whoa, where'd that come from? So usually it's those stories, but, but I don't do them from the pulpit cause
I'm not that faster, but yeah. All right. Question number three, go back in time. Okay. We, uh, the flux capacitor is fluxing.
We're getting up to 88 miles an hour. Are we going back in time to visit our, your great, great, great grandfather?
Are you going forward to visit your great, great, great grandkids? Oh man, I'm a history buff.
So I'd really like to go back. I think I'd be a backward one. Whoa, wait, you're the first post mill to say he'd go back in time.
Almost all my post millers want to go forward and see what they've accomplished. It's a big, it's a big story.
God's drawing my friend. I want, I want to look at it all. That's great. All right. Question number four, moving right along.
What's something people would be surprised to know about you? They go home. I didn't know that.
So, so you'll appreciate this, Greg. I'm an avid deer hunter and I don't usually say a lot about that, but, but I, I've grown up with, you know, well,
I don't want to say too much on here. I've grown up with like kind of marksmanship, let's say like I've always been in those circles.
And so, yeah, avid, avid hunter, just live and breathe, live and breathe deer hunting these days.
Oh, I love it. There's nothing better than fall time in Michigan, getting up there with my brother at deer camp.
You know, we do some Bible study, sit around the fire, hopefully put some meat in the freezer. Awesome. Question number five, that's it.
Top three bands or music albums that have influenced your life the most. And if you can't name three, that's fine, but I'll give you up to three.
What's a band or a music album that you went? Yeah, I liked that. That had some impact on me. Yeah. So I've never been a huge music buff.
I would say this, the, the formative album, especially as a, as a teenager that really formed my worldview.
It formed my theology. It's made an impact on my family, was DC talks new thing.
I'm being, I'm being totally tongue in cheek on this, Greg. But I was a huge DC talk fan and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I went to their concerts. I thought DC talk and it's been tragic to see some of them over the years. But yeah, anyway, DC talk was kind of like my jam when, in the early nineties.
Yeah, we're, yeah, we're probably close to the same age. And I remember when, uh, yeah, new thing was before Jesus freak, right?
New thing was one of their first ones. And then when Jesus freak hit, it was like, oh, it's over.
That was the album. But yeah. Yeah. Number six, favorite thing to do when you just want to relax.
Are we reading, watching something, hanging out by ourselves, uh, gardening? What are we doing to relax?
What, what's your default? Yeah, no, that's, that's, that's an interesting one. So like we, uh, I'm a big reader, obviously.
So like I read a lot. Um, not, not quite as much as I used to, but I enjoy reading. Usually it's stuff we do with our family.
So we'll read as a family or, um, we, we watch movies, like we're just kind of big movie buffs. So we'll watch movies around the house a lot with our kids and stuff like that.
Um, hot tub. I know that kind of sounds kind of sounds silly, but like, we like hanging out in the hot tub again with our, with our kids and chatting, you know, on, on evenings.
So yeah, that's kind of the relaxing time. I would say. Nothing wrong with the hot tub. That's what I'm talking about. Number seven. What, what do people misunderstand about you the most?
What's something where they assume something about you and you go, well, that's not true. You know, like I'm pretty direct and forward.
So people go, man, that guy's a jerk. And then after they get to know me for a while, they're like, yeah, you're still a jerk, but not that big of a jerk.
You kind of, you're, you're okay. So what do they misunderstand about you? Misunderstand.
Um, that's a good one. I think, I think sometimes, and maybe this has, has to do with the channel.
Um, I think sometimes people can assume you're, you're a bit rigid or stuffy just because you care about the things of the
Lord. Um, and, and anybody, I hope anybody that, that has hung out with me for very, very long understands, like, you know,
I hold these things pretty charitably and we, you know, I, I love to argue and then, and then celebrate afterward, you know, the whole fight, laugh, feast, you know, motif.
Right. Um, but I think sometimes when you present things as a Christian, um, it can come across as rigid or unyielding.
And that's just, that's just usually not the case I've found. Okay. So you're pretty laid back guy. Uh, question number eight, if you could sit down with a cup of coffee with any historical figure outside of the
Bible. So it's not a historical figure inside the Bible, outside of the Bible, who would it be? BB Warfield mentioned, mentioned him earlier.
And there's a lot of questions that I have and a lot of explanations on things that he just didn't write down and didn't say that I would,
I would just love an afternoon with him. Yeah. I saw every completed work of BB Warfield leather bound, uh, online and it was gorgeous.
It was like $550. And I told my wife, I said, look at this, look how beautiful this is.
Wouldn't you want this? She goes, yeah, I also would like to eat though too. So let's not spend $550 and it's like, all right, man, it's always the, yeah, no.
Uh, so I, I get it. I see the theme. All right. Two, two last questions here. We'll run through them. Uh, what's a movie now?
Okay. Here I've changed this question because I've said, what's your favorite movie? And people go, oh, I have so many favorites.
I can't. I said, what's a movie you've watched multiple times all the way through that tells me you like the movie.
So what's a movie you go, man, I've seen, I can sit down and watch that for the seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th time. Napoleon dynamite.
That wasn't, that was good. When that came out, that blew my mind. I was like, what? There's this type of comedy and you can, you can edit it on a laptop.
And yeah, that was a great movie. Awesome. Yeah. I like kids. My kids crack up with that one.
I like how quick you pulled that out too. You're just like, yeah. Okay.
Question number 10, here we go. Last question on the fresh 10 with Josh Howard. What is a book outside of the Bible that everyone should read?
If you, if you could give them one and I know we're book guys, so this is hard. This is like picking your favorite child, but what's a book that you should go.
Everyone should just take a look at it. So it's more general. Like everyone could benefit from reading it.
He's a little good behind him, man. This is a tough one. Oh, goodness gracious.
I'm going to, you know, one, one of the ones, well, one of the ones that I've recommended a lot is, is cost of discipleship by Bonhoeffer.
And I know a lot of people have issues, especially it seems like on Twitter lately with Bonhoeffer. But, but I've found a lot of,
I've found a lot of help from a, from cost of discipleship. It was reedited. They did an academic version, which is called just discipleship, which kind of reflects the original.
So that's been one that I've recommended to a lot of people just because sometimes God, and I think this is why a lot of us love books.
Sometimes God uses certain books in your life to just really at a specific time. You know what I mean?
And that was one for me that, that God really blessed my spiritual walk through just reading that and dwelling on scripture outside of that.
So, yeah, that's been one that I've recommended over the years. Yeah, that's, that's so good. I'm going to be on that.
Like Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis, you know, get, get deep into Lewis, those sorts of things. But yeah. Yeah. Token.
Hey, I'm going to zoom out here because I want to show you something here. Turn your chair a little bit. Turn your chair.
Oh, look at, look at, we got. All right. Are we matching? There you go. I knew
I would like you. All right. I see it right there. Okay. For those listening to the
Babnick series behind us on, on both of us. I just happened to notice that when you turned, my wife got me those years ago for Christmas and I'm still only about halfway through.
It's like, you got to just bite off a little bit, chew it and then come back to it. You know? Okay, cool. That was fresh 10 guys.
Cool brother. So you got a final word for us as we get out of here, we'll put bookends on this and call it a day. Yeah. Um, well,
I mean, since we've been chatting eschatology, I would just remind, remind everybody that, you know, if, if people ask, why do you study eschatology?
My usual answer is because it's there it's in the scripture, but also eschatology is about Christ. The details are important.
The structure is important. The authors, the theologians over the centuries, those are important, but eschatology is supposed to make us dwell and celebrate a victory that Christ has won and is winning and will finally conclusively consummatively win.
So I would just encourage people when you engage eschatology, um, let it, let it confront you, let it confuse you at times, let it challenge you, all of those things.
But it should lead to doxology. Eschatology leads you to worshiping a victorious Christ. So bask in that.
If you don't have it all together, that's fine. Neither do any of us, but dwell in Christ and celebrate what he has done. Oh, wow.
Well said Josh. Thanks so much for being here. Another episode of Dead Man Walking Podcast. Really appreciate it. Thanks, brother.
Appreciate you too. All right. Hey guys, listen, we're going to link up everything that he just said earlier too on his socials. Make sure you go check him out, support the show.
He's now also on the Fight Left Feast Network. You can go check that out, Pub TV. There's some exclusive content from us there, but obviously either one of these podcasts, including
Josh's Eschatology Matters, you can find it everywhere. Go take a listen. It has really benefited me and blessed me.
It's one of the reasons why I wanted to have him on so he can explain a little bit about what he's doing. We support that brother in the
Lord. So we'll link everything up. It's at the bottom of this episode. Guys, thanks so much for listening to another episode of Dead Man Walking Podcast.
We appreciate you. Keep the comments coming. Keep the criticism coming. Constructive criticism. We like that.
We've actually taken some comments from you guys and kind of tweaked the show and done some stuff. Love that. Share it.
Tell a friend. As always, remember the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
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