Saturday, December 10, 2011

False Prophet Follow-Up

On the same day I wrote about the incident where my friend was accused of being a false prophet because he taught pretribulationism, I came across another interesting interaction in another forum. A budding apologist provided a link to an article on his website where he took Patrick Heron to task for arguing that the apostasia in 2 Thess referred to the rapture.

To be fair to Heron; Ken Wuest and Thomas Ice agree with him on that point. However, most pretribulational scholars do not.

The problem was that this article linked anti-pretrib items, two of which were produced by proponents of the view the apologist actually leaned to. While admitting that all rapture views had major issues, this individual was overtly anti-pretrib. Somewhere in the ensuing discussion his view was challenged, yet while asserting that he was aware of all the arguments, the little interaction he offered suggested otherwise. Personally, I think he underestimated the level of competence on that pretrib site.

In response, he threw out his seminary qualifications employing the word exegesis in his narrative. Where have I seen this approach before? He implied that if others had the benefit of his experience, they wouldn’t be so adamant about debating the rapture. But didn’t he just initiate that debate? He didn’t seem to recognize his own anti-pretrib bias or that proponents of his view are adamant they are right.

Later on he posted another link to an article by better-known apologist Greg Koukl. In that article, Koukl, who obviously isn’t pretrib, took a scattergun approach to pop-beliefs in the church including the prosperity industry. Right there in the mix was the seven year tribulation and the pretrib rapture. Koukl should stick to apologetics because he’s very good at it - eschatology, not so much.

That same week someone provided a link to “Believer’s Journey” where blogger Sarah notes that the pretrib rapture was unknown before 1840. How tiresome this canard is! She then mentions Margaret MacDonald:

“Whether true or untrue the story goes that a young teenage Plymouth Brethren girl (this is in Great Britain) is reported to have either had a dream of given a prophetic word or had a vision. It was then interpreted. This interpretation was circulated and Pastor John Darby then relayed it to C. I. Scofield who bought into it as revealed truth. Scofield placed this pre-tribulation rapture notion as a footnote in his popular Bible, hence this teaching became very widespread.”

Had Sarah actually read the link she provided after her article – or even done some simple research – she would have realized that “Irvingite” MacDonald had a vision of the church under persecution by the Antichrist, hence she was most likely posttribulational. Moreover, Sarah’s adopted rapture view only became widespread after Van Kampen formulated and promoted it via Rosenthal in the nineties.

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