I’ve been reading The Rapture Exposed By Barbara Rossing and here are some things I’ve taken from it and have been thinking about.
-Rapture theology, more specifically, Dispensationalist theology is only about 200 years old at the most (starting with John Darby in 1830) and yet it remains the most popular western conception for Biblical apocalypse.
-It is extremely dangerous when we look at terrible thing happening in the world and instead of aspiring to change it we say “oh boy, this is fulfillment of prophesy, Jesus is coming back to take us away.”
-Apocalypse is not primarily a description of a future end of the world; rather it is simply a “pulling back of the curtain.” It reveals what is actually happening in the world around us. It is a call to stay faithful through whatever truth is being fulfilled.
-Biblical Prophesy is not prediction of the future rather it is a “timely warning” of what may happen if Gods’ people do not repent. It is a call to repentance.
-The book of Revelation reveals what is really happening behind the “theology of victory” of the Roman Empire. In revealing this truth John also reveals the truth of its defeat through Christ’s death on the cross.
-It is through a slain Lamb that the Beast (Rome) is defeated not through some future bloody Battle of Armageddon that will culminate in Israel. And it is not through the shedding of the blood of God’s enemies that He has found this ultimate victory it is through His own blood on the cross.
-Revelation promotes a non-violent victory of God not the bloody victory sought by the beast.
-The book of Revelation is about God being with His people through tribulation rather than pulling them out of it while the world destroys itself.
-We are shown two contrasting sorts of life. There is the one of the violent Beast which results in bloodshed and, as we’re shown in revelation, it is driven by death. Then there is the one of the Lamb, a life driven by love and justice and peace.
-There is a river that flows throughout the pages of scripture and it finds its glorious end in the book of Revelation. It is a River of life.
That’s what I’ve gotten so far. Rossing’s book is a refreshing perspective contrasting the dispensationalist perspective found in the Left Behind series and other works which promote similar interpretations of scripture. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the book of Revelation. If you are a dispensationalist (or if you agree Tim Lahaye, Hal Lindsey, and others like them on their interpretation of Revelation) it will challenge you. If you’re not a dispensationalist you’ll probably love this book.
I love this Book. Of course I'm a little biased because She's Lutheran but she makes a lot of excellent points which you mentioned. The big question to ask does Dispensationalism keeps the focus on Christ or end times speculation? Examples like Who's the antichrist? When is Christ coming back, etc? instead of Christ and his work and the effects it is having on my life today and the future.
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