Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sorry, 'Left Behind'.....

In case you haven't seen it. This article appeared in Christianity Today: Sorry, 'Left Behind': Only One-Third of Pastors Share Your End Times Theology. Read it HERE

Lots of interesting stats. This caught my eye:
Education and age also play a role in how pastors view the rapture. Pastors with a master’s degree (33%) or a doctorate (29%) are more likely to say the rapture isn’t literal than those with no degree (6%) or a bachelor’s (16%).
Mind you I think this is more an indication of the state of seminary education than what some readers may assume. For example, how do these pastors view the rest of Scripture?

Other interesting statistics are that the midtrib and prewrath views are locked together at 4% . Posttribulationism is at 18% and pretribulationism commands 36%.

Of course statistics don't represent biblical truth. Rapture timing isn't explicit in Scripture.

However I found it interesting that the midtrib (or mid-seventieth week) view compared so closely to prewrath. I was quite taken with the zealousness of the prewrath camp when I first came across it years ago. So much so that I devoted some time studying it. The feeling then was that this view would quickly become dominant as it allegedly exposed the flaws of pretribulationism.

I believe this didn't happen for two reasons:

1) It's proponents concentrated on criticizing pretribulationism. Take the test - go to any major prewrath website and note the ratio of critical content compared to content which presents defense of the prewrath view.

2) As this view became more popular (or well-known), more and more people became exposed to its teaching. And also to its weaknesses. In contrast - out there in the world of prophecy forums - midtrib proponents have done a better job at defending their view. (I suspect midtrib is experiencing a resurgence)

My advice to prewrath apologists is to rethink the offensive strategy. Focus on answering the arguments filed against your view. You haven't done that very well. Prewrath needs to stand on its own legs. Even if your arguments against pretribulationism had any merit, how does your view stack up against midtrib and posttrib?

Having said that I believe prewrath is the hardest rapture timing view to defend. If one can demonstrate that the church is present during the 2nd half of the 70th week, then it must be there for its duration.


Anonymous said...

I thought you made a very good point when you said "For example, how do these pastors view the rest of Scripture?" I think if the survey reveals a correlation of a low view of Scripture along with the likelihood of rejecting the rapture, it wouldn't be as powerful of point as the studies seems to suggest.

Alf Cengia said...

Agree. Also, what percentage of the church is premillennial? I suspect most churches today are amil-postmil. Most churches today would also be supersessionist. I think this is a contributing factor.