Curtis Cates, director of the Memphis School of Preaching, has authored a book The A.D. 70 Theology a hyper-critical and caustic review of realized eschatology.
3 What is his
slant on the betrothal/marriage issue?
Commenting on Romans 7 he
says that Christ, "could not have been 'married' to another people (His spiritual household, the church/kingdom), had the old law not been nailed to the cross--such would have constituted spiritual adultery and/or polygamy (Romans 7:1-6).
, defender of Truth and orthodoxy, says that to say Christ was not/is not married to the church is an "egregious error.
We suggest that these men get together and talk about their differences before they attack Realized Eschatology!
Dobbs' position is more correct in one regard, that the marriage between Christ and the church (see below for the proper context of the wedding), would occur at the parousia.
has simply misplaced that event chronologically by 2000 years, and placed it at a supposed end of time instead of at the end of the Old Covenant World!
on the other hand totally ignores the Biblical evidence as to when the wedding was to occur, at the coming of the bridegroom.
Look at the evidence.
1.) Matthew 22--This parable very plainly presents the wedding as taking place after the invited guests refused to come and the Master then destroys them and their city.
The parallelism between Matthew 22 and Revelation is too clear for the serious Bible student to ignore.
2.) Matthew 25--Cates applies Matthew 25:1-13 to the final, end of time coming of Christ.
5 But this text places the wedding at the time of the Bridegroom's coming!
Thus, if Christ was married to the church at Pentecost, then since this text teaches about the wedding then Cates
must apply this text to Pentecost!
The wedding had not yet taken place, they were betrothed. (And, please take note that Romans does not say that the Law had died, as Cates
would call such an idea "false doctrine!"
If the church existed before Pentecost, and clothed herself with righteousness, before Pentecost, just exactly how was that possible?
Isn't righteousness only through the New Covenant and faith in Christ?
Wasn't righteousness unobtainable prior to the giving of the New Covenant and the faith (Galatians 3:20f)?
is right to affirm that the church and Christ were fully married on Pentecost, then undoubtedly, the church did exist prior to Pentecost, and obtained righteousness through some other means than through Christ!
Question: would Dobbs and Cates
ignore the emphatic time statements of imminence if they were made about the kingdom?
The problem, the reality, of the nearness of the wedding, after Pentecost, is a huge problem for Cates
Furthermore, as the director of the Memphis School of Preaching
has held mock debates, against Covenant Eschatology
at the school.
However, when William Bell held a formal public debate with Stephen Wiggins in Memphis, a short drive from the Memphis School of Preaching
and the faculty informed the students that they were not to attend the debate!
And as a final note, Cates
spoke at the Denton Lectureship, Denton, Tx., (1995), and introduced his
During one of his
is reported to have said that he
wished that there was a representative of the "A.D. 70 Theory" present so that they could defend themselves.
Lamentably, I was unable to be there due to a kidney stone problem.
However, since then, Cates
has let it be known that he
has no interest whatsoever in debating any representative of Covenant Eschatology
, demonstrating that his
statement was nothing but empty braggadocia.
If Cates seriously wants to engage an advocate of Covenant Eschatology, I will happily oblige him.
I suggest a formal debate on the campus of the Memphis School of Preaching
 It has been my experience that a man's meanness is directly proportionate to his
The more they feel threatened and unable to meet the challenge the meaner their spirit becomes.
If this is true then Cates
' book is proof positive that Covenant Eschatology
is making serious inroads and Cates and co. feel helpless to stop it.
 Curtis Cates, The A.D. 70 Theology, (Cates Publications 9194 Lakeside Dr. Olive Branch, Ms. 38654, 1995)68-69.