how it ends

Here is a book review of A Case for Historic Premillennialism which I just finished for Calvin Seminary’s journal.  My review won’t be published until November or next April, so it looks like new media triumphs once again.  I teach at a premillennial, pretribulational seminary (we’re mostly progressive dispensationalists) and I wrote this review on non-dispensational premillennialism for an amillennial journal.  This would be a minefield, except that one’s view of the millennium these days seems to matter as much as a CIA briefing to Nancy Pelosi.  Thankfully we are past the time when a certain view of the end was identified with the literal, only way to read Scripture.  I’m reminded of my mentor, Joe Crawford, who said that each view of the end had problems, and that the easiest way to get someone to agree with your view was to teach them the others.

Here’s the review:

Most of the chapters in this book are papers presented by the faculty of Denver Seminary at their 2007 biblical studies conference.  As the title suggests, their purpose is to combat the popularity of dispensational premillennialism by making the case for the original form of premillennialism which is often “left behind” in the evangelical mind.  Unlike classical dispensationalism, which began with John Nelson Darby in the nineteenth century, separates Israel from the church, and argues for a pretribulational rapture; historic premillennialism traces its origins to Irenaeus in the second century, does not divide Israel and the church, and believes that the church will endure whatever tribulation is coming with the rest of the world (although they do not go into detail, the authors distinguish classical dispensationalism from progressive dispensationalism, which they call a “very close cousin” to historic premillennialism [xix]). 

The other major difference, and the reason for this book, is that dispensational premillennialism is far more popular than the historic kind.  Dispensational premillennialism has benefited from popular books, such as Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth and Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ Left Behind series; popular schools, such as Liberty University and Dallas Seminary; and popular preachers and Christian leaders, such as John MacArthur, Charles Swindoll, and Jerry Falwell.  In comparison, the last significant champion of historic premillennialism was George Eldon Ladd, the Fuller Seminary professor who died in 1982 (or 1983, depending if one accepts the date given on xvi or 67).  Ladd’s works are widely read by other scholars, but they are unknown by the millions of evangelicals who have learned from dispensational premillennialism to read signs of an impending rapture in each new development in the Middle East.  Ladd himself had much in common with amillennialism.  He “liked to say in class that he could have been an amillennialist if it were not for Revelation 20” (67).

As with any work of multiple contributors, the chapters in this volume are uneven.  Most interesting to the Reformed readers of this journal are Timothy Weber’s clear description of the rise of classical dispensationalism and its impact on the evangelical world; Craig Blomberg’s use of the New Testament to refute the pretribulational rapture; and Donald Fairbairn’s measured argument that the earliest Christians were premillennial.  Sung Wook Chung’s chapter on a Reformed case for premillennialism sounds intriguing, but it fails to persuade because it commits a mistake which was repeated by enough of the other contributors that it became a significant weakness of this volume.

Dispensationalists claim that a millennium is needed for God to fulfill the covenant promises he made to Israel as a nation.  But if historic premillennialists believe that the church has replaced Israel, then what theological rationale is left for the millennium?  The authors in this book agree that the millennium is needed for God to redeem this world in this history.  On this score they claim to be in a better position than their Reformed counterparts, whose amillennialism allegedly suffers from Gnostic tendencies.  Sung Wook Chung explains:  “on account of its overemphasis on the soteriological dimension of the covenant of grace throughout the Bible, Reformed covenant theology has not paid deserved attention to the kingdom dimension of God’s work within history” (134) and so they deny “the fulfillment of the physical millennial rule on the earth” (135).  The Reformed “understanding of God’s blessings is distorted by their unwitting gnostic tendencies, which disregard and ignore the importance and value of the physical in God’s eyes” (144). 

Because “the Edenic covenants of blessing and the law were given in the context of this earth,” Sung Wook Chung argues that “they must be fulfilled on this earth before its entrance into the eternal and transformed state of the new heavens and earth” (143).  The “new heavens and earth are eternal in character,” and so any promises kept there are not promises that were kept in this world and in this history (143).  “The millennial kingdom will signify the completion of the Lord’s redemptive program on this earth.  After that, we will have the new heavens and new earth, which will last eternally” (145, his emphasis).  This view is repeated on the final page of the book, where Chung and his co-editor Blomberg claim that “historic premillenialism would appear to still be ‘one up’ on amillennialism by insisting that God will fully vindicate his purposes for this universe, even before the eternal state” (172, their emphasis).

What are we to make of this claim?  While it is true that premillennialism has historically provided a healthy correction to those who claimed that this world is unimportant, from the first Gnostics who opposed Irenaeus (112) to past amillennialists who held a spiritual vision of the eternal state, this is no longer necessary today.  Many of today’s amillennialists, especially in the Dutch Reformed tradition, claim that God will redeem this creation when he returns to inaugurate the new heavens and the new earth.  And since this restoration will occur in our time and space, it occurs in this history as well (e.g., see Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible and the Future, 274-87).  These amillennialists believe in the redemption of this world in this history as much as any historic premillennialist.  Thus, the authors of this volume commit the fallacy of the straw man when they claim a comparative advantage over amillennialism.  This may have been true in the past, but no longer.

Ironically, it may be historic premillennialism itself, as presented in these pages, which is more susceptible to charges of Gnosticism.  Craig Blomberg suggests that the new heavens and earth represent “a time after history, in which the present creation will have disappeared” (87).  If our final salvation occurs in some other place and some other time, what does that imply about the ontological goodness of our present place and history?  Is the millennium merely God putting a period on this world so that the really good stuff can begin?  More telling is the fact that this volume is dedicated to Bruce Demarest, a distinguished theologian at Denver Seminary and defender of historic premillennialism.  In his book, The Cross and Salvation (Crossway, 1997), Demarest explains that after God consummates his plan for this world during the millennium then he will usher his saints into their “eternal home in heaven,” where they “will be thoroughly transformed into a qualitatively different kind of body suited for existence in the heavenly world” (471-78).  It is this expression of historic premillennialism rather than amillennialism that is in danger of falling into the Gnostic temptation of denigrating our present time and place.

Despite this reservation, this book reminds Reformed leaders to distinguish between historic and dispensational premillennialism and to monitor the eschatological understanding of their congregation.  Many Reformed laypeople have been influenced more by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins than by Scripture, and until a Reformed writer produces a popular amillennial eschatology, say Left Behind: For a Reason, it is likely to remain that way.

32 Comments

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  1. Hey Dr. Wittmer,
    I too read this book (the one you reviewed) after I had read ‘Surprised by Hope’ by Wright , ‘Heaven’ by Randy Alcorn, and finally ‘The Blessed Hope’ by George Ladd. I have to agree with you that the book was hit and miss. I appreciated the historical background as to why classic dispensationalism caused a pre-trib view to gain wide popularity. I also like much of Blomberg’s chapter on why we can “leave ‘Left Behind’ behind” (even though there are some flaws which you rightly cite). I still find George Ladd’s work, “The Blessed Hope” the best case for why the Church could go through the tribulation and how it effects our view of persecution and suffering throughout Church history. I wish his book would be brought back into print (I was told by the guys at Baker Bookstore that it went out of print.) As you may know too, I have also tried to add my own contributions for a case for Historic Premillenialism which can be read here (ironically, I wrote this before reading Ladd’s work and I coincidentally titled my paper the same as his book):
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dm33jgr_9hcbckshr
    Do you know of any ways we can ask that Ladd’s work would be brought back into print in a new addition. Ladd I think brings some criticism to amillienialism as well, but the amils that he was encountering may have had a more gnostic view at the time. Maybe you can ask to write the introduction for a new addition of that book and you can make note of the changes in many amils views??? Just a thought. I think Ladd’s strongest argument he makes in his book is that by presuming a pretrib rapture we may be giving many in the church a false hope. If I remember right, I think he also gives a good response to the immenency issue (which may be the only reason why many even hold a pretrib view)… thoughts???

  2. Mike G.
    Are you talking about this title from Ladd?

  3. Yeah!!! I think I once found this on Amazon. But, I was confused because the guy at Baker told me it was out of print. But, I guess he was wrong. I checked an older version of it out of the library. Anyway, I thought it was a very good book.

    Mike

  4. “Thankfully we are past the time when a certain view of the end was identified with the literal, only way to read Scripture.”

    Have you read Ryrie’s “Dispensationalism”, which was revised and expanded in 2007? It still makes this basic claim. It is unfortunate. He even uses the same language when attacking progressive dispensationalism. Every time I come across this kind of statement in my studies, I want to throw what I am reading in the garbage!

  5. Dr. Mike or well-read others: This post reminds me to ask whether there’s a book or two out there that would give a basic, intelligible yet not oversimplified explanation of the differences among covenant theology and dispensationalism in, apparently, its multiple forms. I would especially love to see the biblical support each side has for its position.
    I think I may have hamstrung myself by fulfilling my Calvin theology requirement with a Cornerstone class all (!) those years ago. It buttressed my Baptist heritage but has left me at a slight disadvantage in discussions with family who weren’t raised in “independentfundamental” (always pronounced run together, if you’ve ever been in a church that ID’d itself this way) church traditions. And this post makes me wonder what on earth (this earth? the next? etc.) to teach my boys. Thanks for any ideas!

  6. Crawford also told about being upset with how leaky his pre-trib roof was. Things got bad enough that he made a decision to move into a post-trib house. But, at the last minute he decided to rent before buying. He said that he was glad that he didn’t buy because while renting he found so many leaks in the post-trib roof.

    I love the guy. I wish I could talk with him right now.

    Soon enough we’ll see him, within one eschatological framework or another.

  7. As per Tim Farley’s comment, this militant literalism, more than in the literature, is still dominating many within the pews today. I have encountered it a number of times within the church I am a part of now.

    How should pastors and ministry leaders address this thinking? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to convince a die hard dispensational premillennialist, regardless of whatever view you subscribe to, that the other views do have merit and are indeed also seeking to be faithful to scripture?

  8. Justin:

    I have heard it from a few lay people, but I see and hear this mindset more often in fellow pastors. I am not sure what the solution is. It seems to be primarily older pastors, so maybe it will just fade away over time?

    If anyone does have any suggestions about how to address this situation with fellow pastors and/or congregants, I would be very appreciative. I have found attempts at showing the validity of the “other side” to be ineffective. You would think I was denying the Trinity when I suggest there is validity to other views.

  9. Tim and Justin:

    There probably isn’t an easy answer. All we can do is educate and patiently love them. I would emphasize that I basically agree with their position but that it’s not a test of Christian fellowship. Maybe also point out that the classical dispy view is only 200 years old, which means that if they equate their view with a literal, only way to read Scripture, then no one did until the 19th century. Good luck, this is why I’m in seminary and not a church!🙂

    Hillary:

    There may be better books that I’m not aware of, but two books that consciously distinguish their views from both covenant and classical dispy extremes are:

    Blaising, Craig A. and Darrell L. Bock, ed. Progressive Dispensationalism. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1993.

    Saucy, Robert L. The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.

    I also appreciated Moore, Russell D. The Kingdom of Christ. Wheaton: Crossway, 2004. He finds common ground between covenant and dispies.

  10. First of all, I think we might make an amillenial of you yet. Second, I suppose that Zach could try his hand at your suggested popular level amillenial book. Though, if I’m not mistaken, Kim Riddlebarger’s “A Case for Amillenialism” already did that. But then, maybe people need it dumbed down for them.

  11. E.

    Amill is attractive and makes a lot of sense, but I can’t get past its Platonic interpretation of Rev. 20 (a spiritual resurrection, really?). I agree with Ladd’s comment, that it would be pretty easy to be amill if it weren’t for Rev. 20. Just like it would be easier to be premill/pretrib if it weren’t for Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, etc.

  12. Zach would do a good job at that, so long as he isn’t too mean with the other side! I can imagine him leaving the pretribbers sobbing in their non-alcoholic beverages. Which would be ironic. After Zach’s dressing down, the one beverage you need is the only one you’re not allowed to have!

  13. Amill is attractive and makes a lot of sense,

    ’bout time you admit it.😀

    but I can’t get past its Platonic interpretation of Rev. 20 (a spiritual resurrection, really?).

    Does Jesus’ reference to a “spiritual resurrection” (which I would argue is the same thing we see in Rev 20) bother you as well? What’s the difference?

    I agree with Ladd’s comment, that it would be pretty easy to be amill if it weren’t for Rev. 20. Just like it would be easier to be premill/pretrib if it weren’t for Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, etc.

    CLASSIC!

  14. For the record, I think Ladd (and particularly “The Last Things”) is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. The common ground between historic premill and amill is much greater than the common ground between historic premill and disp. premill. That can be seen by the sheer number of times Hoekema cites Ladd in The Bible and the Future.

  15. Z.

    Where does Jesus say that the resurrection is spiritual, i.e., non-physical? As a theologian who has dedicated most of my adult life to fighting Platonism, I cannot accept that one of the resurrections of Rev. 20 is non-physical (which is the typical amill interpretation).

  16. I have a question….
    Someone mentioned one verse that got me a little confused about the resurrection. What’s with the verse that says, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven…”? I can see how someone would take this platonically, but that’s not what the verse is probably saying. Is this verse saying that our new physical bodies will be made up of some other typses of substances that we cannot fully comprehend yet? What is so “evil” about flesh and blood?

    I agree with Zach’s comment that amill has more in common with historic premil. I still find Ladd’s arguments the must helpful, especially when he raises concerns about the Church’s trend of shying away from persecution by concocting an escapist rapture view.

  17. Mike,

    Jesus speaks of a spiritual resurrection in John 5:24.

  18. Zach:

    Why do you think that he is referring to a non-bodily resurrection here? Are you reading the Bible allegorically again?🙂

    Mike G:

    Good question about 1 Cor. 15:50. I take it that Paul is referring to the consummation, when our good but mortal bodies (perishable flesh and blood) will be transformed into immortal, though still physical, bodies.

  19. Zach:
    Why do you think that he is referring to a non-bodily resurrection here? Are you reading the Bible allegorically again?🙂

    Mike, it’s clear that he is speaking allegorically from context.😐

    Seriously, the second death cannot touch me because I’ve passed from death to life. This is Calvinism, right? I was dead (not literally, but spiritually), and now I live because Christ resurrected me. There’s nothing Platonic about this biblical notion!

    I fear that–much like the Neil Anderson crowd is looking for a demon under every sin, habit, and thunderstorm–you may be hyper-sensitive to any emphasis on an ontological spirit world. But there is one; it just doesn’t comprise a good/evil dichotomy (or real/illusion dichotomy) with the physical world.

    Can you put together an interpretation of John 5:24 in which Jesus is talking about a PHYSICAL RESURRECTION that has already taken place in those who have placed their faith in him, and which gives them everlasting life and keeps them from final condemnation?

  20. Zach:

    I hope you’re not implying that there isn’t a demon behind every thunderstorm.

    Jesus does say here that we have passed from death to life, but notice that he doesn’t use the term “resurrection.” I think the more appropriate term for what he is speaking of here is “regeneration.” Thus, our spiritual regeneration will lead to our physical resurrection. Thus, if passing from death to life must mean resurrection, then you are right. But why in the name of John Calvin should we think that this is so? My point is that every time the term resurrection appears in Scripture, it is always bodily, and that should impact how we read Rev. 20:5-6.

  21. I’m afraid your above argument begs the question (i.e. premise=conclusion). After all, in Rev 20:5-6 the word “resurrection” refers to a spiritual, not physical, reality. Therefore, your statement that “every time the term resurrection appears in Scripture, it is always bodily” is not true.😛

    Beyond that pseudo-clever arguement, though, I’d challenge you to work from the Greek, rather than English translations on this one, because with a word like ἀνίστημι , the translations must, by necessity, be a little more interpretive than usual. At its most basic, the word means “to stand up/rise up” and is used (along with its nominal form) 100+ times in the NT, most of which refer to the simple act of standing (e.g. Matt 9:9, Acts 14:10, 1 Cor 10:7), or people rising to prominence (Acts 20:30, Heb 7:15). Others refer to rising from the dead, and others to a spiritual rising. If we allow for one figurative use, why not another (if context seems to indicate)?

    Along the same lines, the Greek ἀνάστασις (“resurrection” in Rev 20) has a similarly wide semantic domain. It refers to the “rising” of nations (“rising and falling of many”) in Simeon’s blessing, and is a self-designation used by Christ when talking to Martha (“I am the resurrection”–I think you’d agree that this is at least a somewhat different meaning.).

    In Romans 6:5, we’re said to be united with Christ in His death and His resurrection. Is this talking about the same spiritual resurrection from John 5:24? I think so. If not, if it must be our physical resurrection, then when did our physical death with Christ take place? Surely not the death that is coming for us as a result of the fall…that can’t be our sharing with Christ in his death; that was coming anyway.

    The proclamation, “We are resurrection people” strikes me as all the more powerful because it doesn’t just refer to my future resurrection, but to my present resurrection… bringing it all back to the already/not yet tension.

    I’m an already-but-not-yet resurrected man.

    Surely you’re going to use 2 Tim 2:18 against me now…😀

  22. As if I didn’t already spill enough digital ink, here’s BAGD’s list of NT definitions for ἀνίστημι:

    to cause to stand
    to raise up by bringing back to life
    to cause to be born
    to cause to appear for a role or function
    to erect a structure
    to come back from the dead
    to show oneself eager to help
    to come/appear to carry out a function
    to intitiate an action.

    Not quite as simple as “always means physical raising from the dead.”

    And here are the definitions for ἀνάστασις:

    a change for the better in status
    resurection from the dead

    Hmmmm…. I wonder if definition 1 applies in Rev 20 and the first resurrection?

  23. Zach:

    Wow. This is impressive exegetical work, but entirely unnecessarily. You had me at “Plato.”

    Sincerely,

    Rick Warren

  24. Zach:

    I apologize for Rick’s comment. I am impressed by your study, but would point out, as your exegetical work illustrates, that ἀνίστημι means many other things than resurrection. So the question is whether the term in Rev. 20:5-6 means resurrection (which by definition is always bodily) or something else (say a spiritual rising). You make a good case for the latter, though I need to study it further before I’m willing to get in bed with Plato (I’m trying to make your view sound as creepy as possible!).

  25. I don’t think this is a simple matter of “Is it a literal resurrection from the dead or does the word mean something else entirely in this case?” To frame it in those terms makes it sound as though I am pushing for some variant reading of Rev 20 that requires an alternate translation (a translation which we find nowhere.)

    But consider this…
    * In John 3:7, when Jesus says, “You must be born again,” is the choice between thre reader undestanding that A. Jesus is talking about literal, physical birth (as Nicodemus seems to think) or B. τίκτω here refers to something else entirely (necessitating a translation other than “born”)

    * When Jesus said, “I am the bread of heaven,” is the reader met with a choice of A. accepting transubstantiation or B. assuming that ἄρτος refers to something other than bread (“sustenance,” perhaps?) and trying to make a case for translating the text thus?

    * When Jesus said, “I am a door,” is it a choice between A. believing that Jesus is made of wood and has hinges and a knob or B. determining that θύρα is being used in some other way to signify something other than a door?

    Of course, in all three cases, we reject both of the extremes and instead go for a third biblical way (I could draw you a chart with a pendulum if it would help :D) We reject the extremes (literalistic and exegetically absurd) because we realize that, while the words in question really mean “born,” “bread,” and “door,” Jesus (in characteristic fashion) is using those terms to teach spiritual concepts (which does not make him a Platonist).

    Why then should we be closed from the outset to the notion that what was true for “born” might also be true for “raised?”

  26. Zach:

    Good point, as always. Of course, it is possible that John is using resurrection in this way in Rev. 20. But don’t forget that John’s number one opponent was a Gnostic named Cerinthus, and it’s unlikely that the same fellow who adamantly claimed against Gnosticism that the Word became flesh would introduce a new, spiritual twist on the resurrection which Gnostics would be comfortable with.

    I would also add that, per your examples, “door,” “bread,” and “born again” are physical things that are given new and enhanced spiritual meanings. But the spiritual meaning of the resurrection is that it is bodily. The physical here is the spiritual point.

  27. Clear the bath house! The enemy of truth is inside!!

    I would concur that, were John just dreaming up the visions that make up Revelation on his own, he probably wouldn’t have chosen to include a spiritual resurrection. However, John was just a passive observer and recorder (as well as a questioner and measurer)–he had zero control over the glorious visions and their meaning.

    I thoroughly agree with your statment that “the physical meaning [of the resurrection] is the spiritual point.” I’m not pushing for a resurrection that leaves the body in the grave (neither is Hoekema, Riddlebarger, et. al)… My spiritual resurrection (a perfect picture and description of regeneration) is rooted in Christ’s bodily resurrection and will be completed and fulfilled in my own bodily resurrection.

    The amill interpretation of Rev 20 obviously makes more sense within the framework of amill eschatology on the whole (Satan already defeated, already/not yet tension, the saints reigning with Christ now, etc.) than when examined all by itself by someone with a premill pretrib grid.

    I believe we are at an impasse.
    Your blog; have the last word.

    Funny thing is, you created this Calvinist monster (including Calvinist eschatology); when I first sat under your teaching in 2000, I was still trying to make the “Cal-minian” thing work.

  28. …although I had recognized how unbiblical the “Left Behind” eschatology was in about 1995, just from trying to find it in Scripture and realizing it wasn’t th

  29. I dare everyone to read “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” on the “Powered by Christ Ministries” site. It was written by one of those rare birds who believes in doing original research instead of doing the usual (and lazy) thing of deviously rewriting others and making up a new headline. You will find, for example, that Darby wasn’t original on ANY crucial aspect of dispensationalism including the pretribulation rapture – and that he didn’t clearly teach a pretrib rapture before his 1839 paper on Revelation! Can you guess which British journal was clearly teaching pretrib as early as Sep. of 1830? If you can’t, you need to do some research. Start by reading the above article. Malcolm

  30. John MacArthur & Pretrib Rapture

    Who knows, maybe John (Reformedispy) MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google “Famous Rapture Watchers”), who uniformly said that Rev. 3:10 means PRESERVATION THROUGH, were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers. On the other hand, if John has a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if he wants to have “security” for his retirement years and hopes that the big California quake won’t louse up his plans, he has a decided conflict of interest. Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters – who knows? One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don’t dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don’t you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you’re mulling all this over, Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 180-year-old fantasy.

    [recently viewed the above on the web – – – Shelly]

  31. (Hi Mike, I found this on the fascinating net. Any reaction? Irv)

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?

  32. “Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?”
    I’m not putting any money on you!🙂

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