By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.
Obviously, if you have not read Part 1, stop now. Okay, so we saw in Part 1 one of the main texts used for demonstrating what we will now cover: the Chalcedon Creed. In Philippians, we have “father, “God”, “human nature”, “son” “man”. How do you square this? How can Jesus be affirmed as a man, and as God in the same breath? Two things: 1. The statements that are used to describe this cannot contradict themselves. 2. The statements from which the description is derived, the Bible, cannot be contradicted. “Jesus is Lord” – that is a statement from the Bible. “If Jesus is Lord, then that must mean he was risen from the grave and is alive, for he must be alive in order to be the present Lord” – that is a statement derived from the Bible. It is just as true, even though it is not “found” in the Bible. The second statement, my own, is a man-made deduction, a man-made proposition. If, then, a statement is derived, deduced from the Bible, it is just as true as the Bible. My statement, my man-made statement, does not contradict the Bible. We all want to proclaim, “what the Bible says.”
Well, the intention was the same in Chalcedon. Great, devotional care was taken over each word and their order. Does it contradict the Scriptures? Does it contradict itself? Can we square, in logical, ordered derived statements what the Bible gives to us in answering, Who is Jesus? And, once this has been done, with great pains, will those who believe in this Jesus accept it? Is this a statement that can be presented to the Church so that it may bring unity where there is great division, even among our own? That’s Chalcedon, 451 AD. The Church did accept it. And from then on it has become the bulwark of the Faith in defending the matter. There is no contradiction in the Bible, nor is there any contradiction in a defense of the presentation that Jesus is man, and Jesus is God at the same time, forever.
The Statement reads as follows: “We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.”
That’s a lot, I know. And, I will not go down the whole explanation. “Following the holy fathers” means that Chalcedon grew out of the prior centuries of the Faith. It was not “created” in 451. It came from another Statement, the Nicene (325 AD) and the Apostles’ (possibly coming into its own form as early as 180 AD). Chalcedon is a development. Many were saying this about Jesus, and that. The problem these views had was that, although they sounded plausible, they contradicted a text in the Bible. That’s a strike. Can’t be true. For example, a guy who was a Christian named Apollinaris (361 AD), an important figure, a Bishop even, had a hard time understanding the whole Jesus and God thing. He argued that the Logos himself, the Second Person of the Godhead, the Son, Eternal, was the actual “soul” of the man, Jesus. This meant, of course, that Jesus was not a real, human being, soul and body. It also had great implications for the Logos Himself, where “he emptied himself” was taken to mean that the Second Person Himself ceased, for a time, being God Almighty. The absurdities the caused, not to mention the contradictions, abounded. It was roundly condemned in 381 AD (Second Council at Constantinople). Never really heard from since. The Jesus in the Bible is not God in the flesh. He is a man in union (one) with God – in the flesh (incarnation).
“All with one consent” is the idea of unity on this matter. And, this Statement has unified all the churches that profess their faith in the Scriptures – Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Churches with its myriad of denominations are in unity over this matter. We can’t agree on baptism…but we can and do agree on this! We fight over what might seem to be the most trifling of things, but on this we agree. That’s something to keep in mind. When such a Statement like this actually produces the unity it sought for and now has been judged to have stood the test of time as it has – and it has been and is still subjected to great scrutiny, then one pays attention to the collective voice of the Body of Christ, the Church (as Paul called it, metaphorically speaking). The Spirit resides in the Church, in all her “members” wherever they are found, and with the Spirit, the Father and the Son. In spite of continued divisions between West and East, and between Protestants and Catholics, this Statement still unifies to this day. When a view, or a teaching comes along and attempts to charge it with being wrong, that is not something to “throw off” lightly. This is more than a mere “statement” from a scholar that can be quoted from a commentary or some systematic theology. Even the great Luther, who championed the individual reading of the Bible, did not dare begin to question this Statement. He did question other statements here and there, and brought about the Reformation. Other councils, other statements, even those held by a great deal of theologians, were questioned and rejected, but not this one. If this one was knocked down, the Faith ceases to exist, rendering any questions of any matters pointless because there is no reason to discuss pointless articles of the Faith when the very core has been demolished, and that is what this Statement has come to be known as. It does not give us a matter of how to be saved. It does not even tell us why we must be saved. But it does tell us WHO does the saving: Jesus Christ, “Very God, Very Man.” It states in the end, “as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.” This Statement claims that it is the direct teaching of the Lord who presides over the Church, His People in the Scriptures, and handed down til then (451 AD). This is no mere “creed” or “statement of faith” by some corner church of the Billy Bob Evangelist Heart of the Bleeding Miracle.
I have written a bit on this first matter to establish this point. It may appear to those who have a renegade spirit to simply ignore it as a piece of paper. Big deal. Bunch of old men in the 5th Century got together and rattled off some words and a lot people accepted them because they were smarter than they were and had more power and wealth to use this creed as an effective fear-mongering tool to corral in the idiots. Be my guest. Feel free to believe that. But don’t call yourself a Christian in the historical sense of the word. You may call yourself a follower of Jesus that has no creed, and that’s fine. But, when I ask you, “Who is this Jesus you follow?” and your answer is, “well, my Bible says he is a spirit, like, you know, everywhere. He doesn’t have a body anymore, you know, or maybe he does, but who cares? See, this Jesus is not in heaven any more. He is not a man anymore, either, or like, I don’t know, maybe he is in some sense or something, I don’t know, don’t care. I just love me some Jesus cause he makes me feel good, you know? I don’t really speculate on this stuff you know, cause Jesus, see, Jesus lives in my heart, man, you know?” No. I don’t. You have not said anything. “Well, you know, just pray about it, man. He will come into your heart, you know? He’s all apart of us, you know, so we have to love each other, man, you know, and not argue over this stuff, man. Jesus is real, brother, and you just want to talk about theology and doctrines and man made words, man.” So, what you are saying is that you have no real definition or clue – any words that have any sort of precision to them – at all? “I don’t need words, man. I got Jesus!” Have a nice day.
Well, I wish the above exchange were not true. But, it has happened. The “I don’t need no creeds, just my Bible” routine is one of the more silly notions that cults all around the world have used to “keep one” from seeing what “others” have said on this matter. And here we find a great cloud of witnesses from the most opposite of people in agreement on what the “Bible says”. Don’t they count, too? Are they not brothers and sisters in the Lord? Does he not know them as well? Is your faith more impassioned for Christ than them? Such a great unity of the Faith, where in the world unity is damn hard to come by, should be rigorously studied first before throwing off such a great force. That would be the responsible thing to do.
This, then, is my second part of this series. Part three is coming in a couple of days, and should complete it.
Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.D.
Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader. Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s. While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree. It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology. Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969). It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University). Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington (The Ministry of Reconciliation, Baker Books, 1980), who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners.
Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy). Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree. He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS, designed and graded exams for their Hebrew Languages course.
Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition. Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him. Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units. While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ. The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism. Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker, Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe. To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133). It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position.
Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40). Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004). Adams wrote of Misplaced Hope as a "useful, scholarly work" (p.6 - though he disagreed with the overall thesis). Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.). There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011).
Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry. That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation. Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869). By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations. Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity. Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness. Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members. Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston. CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles. Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences. The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature).
During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010). Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers. However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him. In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, now Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida . Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole.
The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry. Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly ran through its first run. The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019; though still available in Kindle form from American Vision). Dr. Gentry also gave mention to Frost in his book, Have We Missed the Second Coming: A Critique of Hyper Preterism (Victorious Hope Publishing, 2016), noting him as "one of the most prominent" teachers within Full Preterism (135). Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well. Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (McGahan Publishing House, 2021); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017). He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse), and worked directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc., for a year. Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works with Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana, and Bethel Presbyterian Church, Knightstown, Indiana, where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon. Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church, Lewisville, Indiana.
Samuel also works part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for several years. He has a solid, family reputation in the community, and has performed local marriages and funerals. He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle. Recently, he has completed his two year quest for a Th.D from Christian Life School of Theology Global, Georgia.
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