Monday, August 04, 2014

A Little Eschatology

Eschatology, or the study/doctrine of the End Times, is not a subject about which I post very often. It's not that I don't have a viewpoint about it—I do. But in general, I have never considered it one of my strong points and it has never been a central ministry focus for me.

When I say that, I don't mean to imply that it isn't important. It is. Within Christianity, to be fully orthodox requires a belief in the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. All "small-o" orthodox Christians indeed hold this belief in common, and as I have focused on apologetics for much of my public ministry, I've tried to focus on core doctrine. While the Second Coming is core doctrine, one's position on when the Rapture takes place is not. Christians of true faith differ on exactly how end-time events play out, and the debate can get pretty intense.

Where am I on it? I am premillennial, not amillennial or postmillennial. And as these views are easily found and defined online, I am not going to define them here. Look it up.

Where I have not been able to take a really firm position is on the timing of the Rapture, or the coming of Jesus for His church. Premillennialism teaches that the coming of the Lord for His church is a separate and distinct event from the Second Coming, where the Lord physically returns to Earth and sets His feet on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Within premillennialism, views on the Rapture include Pre-Tribulational, Mid-Tribulational, and Post-Tribulational. I know . . . it can set your mind whirring.

Today comes this article put up at the Christian Post by Robin Schumacher. Robin defends the idea of the pre-trib Rapture in the wake of a previous article by noted apologist William Lane Craig attacking it. Robin deals with Craig's arguments respectfully, and I have to say, thus far it's one of the best, user-friendly pieces I've seen on the pre-trib doctrine. It's certainly not exhaustive, but it's a start.

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