You may have heard that the folks in Moscow, Idaho—Canon Press, Fight, Laugh, Feast (FLF), and Christ Church and the CREC denomination—have deplatformed Gary DeMar’s books on Bible prophecy that have been in print since 1988! (See the letter sent to me below)
We suspect that Gary’s prophecy books are now considered an eschatological “gateway drug” to full preterism unlike those of Ken Gentry and Douglas Wilson who write some terrific preterist prophecy articles and books that have led people to full preterism.
I know many of the FLF guys who love David Chilton’s The Days of Vengeance and Paradise Restored even though David came out as a self-declared full preterist before he died. This didn’t stop FLF from running a chapter-by-chapter study of Paradise Restored withGary right before they canceled us.
Canon Press publishes Peter J. Leithart’s The Promise of His Appearing: An Exposition of Second Peter that runs counter to much of Gentry’s interpretation of 2 Peter 3. I wonder if it’s an eschatological gateway drug to full preterism. What about Doug Wilson’s “Biblical Pictures of the New Cosmos,” a study of New Heavens and New Earth language found in Scripture that appears in Canon Press’s 1993 book And It Came to Pass, a Symposium on Preterism with a Foreword by R.C. Sproul? Then there’s Doug’s When the Man Comes Around: A Commentary on the Book of Revelation.
These are all OK because the creeds and confessions are affirmed by the authors. Of course, that’s not the way it works in the real world where many Christians want biblical answers to specific texts and not fallback positions on creeds and confessions. The good folks in Moscow and elsewhere are bound by these historical documents. I understand the position they’ve taken. In one sense, they had to.
American Vision will continue to support the work of Douglas Wilson and Christ Church, Fight Laugh Feast, and Canon Press.
While Gary DeMar’s prophecy books have been “Banned in Moscow,” you can still purchase them at American Vision. In fact, there are more titles on the way. Here’s a good place to start beginning with basics to specific studies:
God and Government. This is the book that forced Gary DeMar to study eschatology. Why does anything matter if the rapture is right around the corner?
A Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Bible Prophecy
Here’s a link to a discounted three-pack bundle of Is Jesus Coming Soon?, Wars and Rumors of Wars, and Last Days Madness: https://store.americanvision.org/a/bundles/bible-prophecy-three-pack-67fi
The Gog and Magog End-Time Alliance
Left Behind: Separating Fact from Fiction (expanded edition)
10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered
The Rapture and the Fig Tree Generation
Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers
The Early Church and the End of the World (With Francis X. Gumerlock)
Debunking a Debunker of Preterism
Doomsday Déjà Vu (free)
When Creeds and Confessions Don’t Say Enough and Commentators Don’t Agree (free)
Paradise Restored by David Chilton
The Days of Vengeance by David Chilton
Matthew 23-25: A Literary, Historical, and Theological Commentary by James B. Jordan
The Handwriting on the Wall: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel by James B. Jordan
Matthew 24 Fulfilled by John Bray
Revelation in the First Century by Francis X. Gumerlock
The Day and the Hour by Francis X. Gumerlock
Jesus v. Jerusalem by Joel McDurmon
When the Man Comes Around: A Commentary on the Book of Revelation by Douglas Wilson
House Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensationalism by Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth Gentry
The Beast of Revelation by J.D. King
Recommendation Concerning Gary DeMar
April 25, 2023
In response to the controversy following the public letter to Gary DeMar, asking him to affirm his commitment to three basic Christian doctrines, the session of Christ Church was asked for counsel. The request came from Fight Laugh Feast and Canon Press, both of which are institutions within our Christian community, and both of which platform some of Gary DeMar’s material on eschatology.
In order to do this right, we attempted to set-up an in-person roundtable discussion, which we were unable to do. The next attempt was to conduct the roundtable on Zoom, and to record it, which Gary ultimately determined not to do, deciding instead to submit a letter to us that addressed the three questions posed by the public letter. We have consequently considered his position as outlined in that letter, which we summarize below, and this is the basis of our recommendation to Canon and FLF.
The three questions were whether Gary affirmed the future bodily return of Christ, whether he affirmed a future physical resurrection, and whether he affirmed a future final judgment, and an end to evil. Our reading of his position is that he does not deny the first two, but neither can he affirm them, and that he does affirm the third.
We would give our recommendation first, and then make a statement about where this ranks when it comes to charges of heresy.
We recommend that FLF and Canon no longer platform Gary’s material on eschatology. We believe that the confessional commitments of Christ Church (and the CREC) would exclude someone with Gary’s views from representing those commitments. This would include the areas where Gary is agnostic. The justification for this would be simple—you can’t work for MacDonalds and sell Wendy’s burgers. Someone who teaches on eschatology in our sphere of influence ought to have settled eschatological convictions, and those convictions should line up with our confessional obligations. The short form is that Gary’s teaching does not fit that description.
Now to the second question. With Internet controversy, things sometimes get heated, and then overheated. We draw a distinction between teachings that are heterodox, heresies, or damnable heresies. We also make a distinction between “cannot affirm” and “stoutly deny.” In addition to that, we also make a distinction between personal heresy and failure to recognize heresy in others. All of this is worrisome, and so we would refer questions about Gary’s status to his home church. For our part, unless his church determines differently, we consider Gary a friend and a brother, but one who should not be teaching on eschatology, unless or until he is able to affirm these three questions.
In his letter to us, Gary raised many reasonable exegetical questions, along with the differences between commentators, which demonstrate the breadth of his reading and scholarship on these questions. Our recommendation in this situation should in no way be taken as an attempt to justify shying away from the need to answer such questions. They should be addressed, but by Christian ministers and theologians who can answer all three questions with a strong affirmation.
Finally, we know that some have accused Canon Press and/or FLF of being slow to act or using double standards with Gary, as compared for example with our community’s stout rejection of Kinism. However, when Thomas Achord was recently accused of running an anonymous Twitter account espousing Kinist ideas, and he initially denied that it was his, we insisted on due process. Likewise, in this situation, Gary has insisted that he is not a hyper-preterist, and so we have followed the same standards of justice.
This letter has been sent to Canon Press and Fight Laugh Feast, as they are the entities that made the request for counsel, and we have also cc’d Gary DeMar, Midway Presbyterian Church, where Gary is a member, and the CREC list serve for ministers.
On behalf of the Christ Church session,
Douglas Wilson [Christ Church], Toby Sumpter [Fight, Laugh, Feast], and Jared Longshore [Canon Press]