scripture, j preston eby, the concordant literal new testament

Dear Spiritualizer
Literal meaning is as spiritual as can be

Hi, Martin

Well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. I read the article in the Zenderature section of your website called "The Crime of Spiritualizing Scripture," and I could, in turn, pull out my arsenal of scriptures and teaching to disprove it to my satisfaction, but probably never to yours, because once someone’s mind is made up on a certain thing, that’s usually it.

I would like to make it clear that I am NOT one of those who dispense with scripture. To the contrary, I love the Bible and the study of it. But I do not believe in literalizing everything in it. And I do not believe that much intellectual understanding necessarily equals spiritual understanding. (Just look at all those seminary graduates who memorize entire chapters and have doctorates, and are experts on church history and theology, and are still promoting the church system.)

Sometimes God does use those things that are base, and the foolish things as well, to confound the wise. I also do not believe that seeing the spiritual meaning of something is misinterpreting "metaphors," etc. I have many writings by men that I consider to be true scholars of God’s Word, who love His Word and revere it, that could refute much of your opinion on this, all based on scripture. That’s the thing about scriptures and doctrine—everyone can prove their own, all with scripture, and we all think we’re right! 

It’s a matter of having a mind and heart open to receive truth, even when it goes against your intellectualizing and rationalizing of things, that is, having made it all "make sense." I’ve had my mind changed more than once, even about things I had been taught all my life, and sometimes it hurts and it can be difficult to let go of erroneous beliefs taught by well-meaning men and women of God. But forgetting those things which are behind, I press on toward the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I do believe in many of the things of the Bible having both literal and spiritual fulfillments, and I can’t do away with all the literal, as you shouldn’t do away with all the spiritual. I know, however, that there are dimensions in God’s word, just as there were three dimensions in the Tabernacle of Moses, three dimensions of God Himself, and three dimensions of man: body, soul and spirit. You can stop at any dimension and refuse to go further. You can stop at 30, 60 or 100-fold.  I prefer to remain open to hear what the Spirit says - "to those who have ears to hear."  I pray always for those ears to hear, and a heart to understand and receive truth, whatever the cost to me personally in the way of having to change or let go of things. And of course, it all has to agree and match up with God’s word—that’s the plumb line with which it is all measured. 

Anyway, suffice it to say that we are in different camps on this issue - thanks for your kind communication.  And remember,  "The Kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU!"

Blessings to you. 

No problem agreeing to disagree. I used to read lots of J. Preston Eby, Paul Mueller, George Hawtin, and Ray Prinzing, and that whole "spiritualization" group. I did not realize until reading Concordant Publishing literature how "touchy-feely" these "spiritualization" preachers were, and, really, how un-intellectual. I learned from Ray Prinzing that "natural" was bad; this was due to Ray using the King James Version and buying into their mistranslation of the Greek adjective psuchikon. I finally got the right reading in the CLNT, that it was not the natural man who was not receiving the things of God, but the soulish man. It always amazed me that Prinzing and Eby, et. al., continued to use the King James Version. For all the good they did (I learned a lot from Ray Prinzing), they occasionally went astray with the KJV.

I’m afraid that I have moved so far away from "touchy-feely" leftover Pentecostalism
that I cannot go back. My faith now is founded on scriptural fact, not supposition.
Everybody has a different allegory, but there is only one fact, upon which the spirit moves as it will. I see some of Ray Prinzing’s writings now, and they sound just like his writings of twenty years ago. I don’t know if this is true with Eby, but I suspect so.

J. Preston Eby’s problem is that he bases so much of his teaching on a bad version of scripture. I say: Let’s all find out what God has said, then discuss it. Let’s not try to discuss it until we know what God has said. The problem with Eby and Prinzing is that they didn’t work hard enough, scholarship-wise, to find out what exactly God said. It is much easier to soliloquize over what one thinks God has said.

One of the best studies I ever did was on figures of speech. When you get your Concordant Literal New Testament, go to Appendix A on page 349. Here you will learn a lesson on figures of speech. What a valuable lesson it is!

Of note: the opposite of "literal" is "figurative," not "spiritual;" literal can be spiritual as heck, and often is. This is my main contention with "spiritualizers:" they don’t think literal is spiritual.

I wish you well.

The Kingdom of the Heavens is within you—and it will also be in Jerusalem.

Yours Truly,