Thursday, April 19, 2012

Was Renald Showers Wrong?

It’s understandable that people get frustrated when their eschatological view is misrepresented. One leading prewrath proponent has complained that Renald Showers and Jimmy DeYoung misrepresented the prewrath position. He writes:

First, DeYoung kept confusing prewrath with midtrib, which just goes to show you that DeYoung is ignorant with “prophecy today.”...But DeYoung was not the only ignorant one, for Showers spoke of the prewrath as the position that believes that the rapture will occur about “3/4″ into the 7 year period, which is not true.

Ironically, a link was originally provided to a chart which depicted the prewrath rapture at about ¾ of the way through the 7 years. The chart was subsequently removed and the link now points to “Page Not Found!” Official laminated prewrath charts can presently be purchased HERE. Or you can just go online and check some out HERE or HERE. Scroll down to the section “The Timing of the Rapture” HERE for a clarification of the prewrath position.

Dr Showers has a reputation for being meticulous so I was keen to listen to the interview. Note that he wrote an in-depth critique of the system (The pre-Wrath Rapture View) and has interacted extensively with it. You hear him immediately responding to DeYoung’s question regarding “midtrib, prewrath”. What Dr Showers actually said was that the prewrath view is the rapture won’t occur until “maybe three fourths to two thirds through the 7 year tribulation period.” And I think that that is a fair summation of the view. He was merely distinguishing its approximate timing as distinct to the midtrib view, rather than going into detail.

A lengthier and more detailed summary can be found on page 7 of his prewrath book where he states that it occurs, “sometime between the middle and the end of the seventieth week.”

What exacerbates misunderstanding is that just about all prewrath charts (see above) have depicted the rapture point at about ¾ into the 70th week. Elbert Charpie is, perhaps, unique in that he thinks it might occur very early in the last half. However, one would think that a reasonable amount of time needs to elapse for Satan’s wrath (the Great Tribulation) to be administered. It’s also true that an article at the Pre-Trib Research Centre calls it The Three Quarters Rapture Theory which may aggravate those sensitive to that generic description. And to be fair to prewrath proponents, Dr Ice should have been a little more specific.

My limited experience has been that the system has sometimes been misrepresented but I doubt these instances have always been intentional. I remember having niggling questions after reading Marvin Rosenthal’s book. Several prewrath proponents I consulted seemed also somewhat confused over key issues such as the shortening of the Great Tribulation, the location of Christ in relationship to the church after the rapture and the resurrection of beheaded tribulation saints in Rev 20:4 etc. This may be one reason why PRI has offered special courses on the prewrath view for the benefit of its proponents.

As an aside, an exception was taken over Showers’ views of imminency and his comparison of the 4th seal of Revelation to the Ezekiel 14:21 “four severe judgments”. Dr Showers details compelling arguments in favor of imminency and God’s wrath (regardless of Hebrew or Greek expressions) at the 4th seal in “Maranatha, Our Lord Come!” and his abovementioned prewrath critique.

I can well appreciate the motivation for a non-pretribber to restrict the contents of the 4th seal to God’s disciplinary measures inaugurated to somehow “refine believers”. Yet, despite the elaborate attempt at expositing that position, one only has to read Ezekiel 5 to see that God’s anger and wrath (judgment) are associated with “plague, sword, famine and wild beasts.”

So it will be a reproach, a reviling, a warning and an object of horror to the nations who surround you, when I execute judgments against you in anger, wrath, and raging rebukes. I, the LORD, have spoken. When I send against them the deadly arrows of famine which were for the destruction of those whom I shall send to destroy you, then I shall also intensify the famine upon you, and break the staff of bread. Moreover, I will send on you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you of children; plague and bloodshed also will pass through you, and I will bring the sword on you. I, the LORD, have spoken. Eze 5:15-17

Why would it be any different at the 4th seal when Death and Hades are empowered to kill a fourth of the earth’s population using the same means? Renald Showers is right on the money. His two books speak for themselves.

Further reading:

Zechariah's Horses


Lew Miller said...

Thanks for your thoughts I wish more people would comment so that you knew they were reading.

mac said...

Thanks for dropping by, Lew. And thanks for saying so. Given the nature of the blog, it's probably better that I don't get too many comments, especially of the wrong kind. Lynda O and Mike (who I link to) have superb blogs yet they don't get many comments either, so I can't complain too much.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

I think, that you commit an error.

mac said...

It wouldn't be the first or last one, anony. But perhaps you can be more specific.