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Posts Tagged ‘Presuppositions’

Is the Pretribulational Rapture Biblical?

June 23, 2014 1 comment

By Brian Schwertly

One of the most popular teachings today in Evangelical and Charismatic churches is the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture. The pretribulation rapture teaching is that there are two separate comings of Christ. The first coming is secret and occurs before the future seven year tribulation. At this coming Jesus comes for the saints (i.e., all genuine believers) both living and dead. These saints meet the Lord in the air and then are taken to heaven to escape the horrible judgments that take place during the seven year tribulation. At the end of the great tribulation Jesus returns to the earth with the saints. This coming is not secret but is observed by all. At this coming Christ crushes His opposition, judges mankind and sets up a one thousand year reign of saints upon the earth (the millennium). Some pretribulation advocates speak of two separate comings while others prefer to speak of one coming in two separate stages or phases (phase one is the secret rapture and phase two is the visible coming in judgment). Hal Lindsey likes to refer to the rapture as “the great snatch.” He writes: “The word for ‘caught up’ actually means to ‘snatch up,’ and that’s why I like to call this marvelous coming event ‘The Great Snatch’! It’s usually referred to as the ‘Rapture,’ from the Latin word rapere, which means to ‘take away’ or ‘snatch out.’”1

Although the pretribulation rapture doctrine is very popular and is even considered so crucial to Christianity that it is made a test of a person’s orthodoxy in some denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries, the exegetical and theological arguments used by its advocates are all classic cases of forcing one’s theological presuppositions onto particular texts (eisegesis). The purpose of this brief study is to show that the pretribulation rapture theory is not plainly taught or directly stated in any place in Scripture, cannot be deduced from biblical teaching, contradicts the general teaching of the Bible regarding Christ’s second coming and was never taught in any branch of the church prior to 1830.

 
Read the entire article here.

The Clash of Worldviews

February 10, 2014 3 comments

(This article came out Feb 5, 2014)

Albert Mohler wrote an article entitled “Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate” that discusses how the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham was basically the clash of two differing world views. As we approach the discussion of Origins and First Cause, our interpretation of the evidence will be the result of the presuppositions we hold to while examining these concepts.

Bill Nye certainly rejects any divine intervention when it comes to the question of where life and this world came from. Mohler quotes him as saying,

 

“[I]f you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

 

On the other hand, Ken Ham approaches the subject of Origins through the lens of scripture.

Albert Mohler writes:

 

“As the debate began, it was clear that Ham and Nye do not even agree on definitions. The most friction on definition came when Nye rejected Ham’s distinction between “historical science” and “observational science” out of hand. Nye maintained his argument that science is a unitary method, without any distinction between historical and observational modes. Ham pressed his case that science cannot begin without making certain assumptions about the past, which cannot be observed. Furthermore, Ham rightly insisted that observational science generally does not require any specific commitment to a model of historical science. In other words, both evolutionists and creationists do similar experimental science, and sometimes even side-by-side.

Nye’s main presentation contained a clear rejection of biblical Christianity. At several points in the debate, he dismissed the Bible’s account of Noah and the ark as unbelievable. Oddly, he even made this a major point in his most lengthy argument. As any informed observer would have anticipated, Nye based his argument on the modern consensus and went to the customary lines of evidence, from fossils to ice rods. Ham argued back with fossil and geological arguments of his own. Those portions of the debate did not advance the arguments much past where they were left in the late nineteenth century, with both sides attempting to keep score by rocks and fossils.”

 

If you would like to read the entire article, you can find it by clicking here.

Twisting of Scripture

The proper method of interpretation would be to exegete a scripture text. This means that a person would extract or draw out of a text of scripture the meaning of the text in its historical-grammatical setting. In other words exegesis is the critical interpretation of your text. The opposite of this view would be eisegesis. This method does not seek to extract from the text the meaning of the authors of the text, but this method seeks to read into the text a meaning that is foreign or does not exist in the text. This later method is erroneous and should never be used by those who interpret scripture.

Nevertheless when Charismatics come to a text of scripture they bring their preconceived biases with them and literally always read into the text something that the text never states. Today we are going to examine several texts of scripture and I will show how Charismatics usually interpret them and then give you a correct interpretation; one that is drawn out of the text itself instead of read into it.

Every time Charismatics see the terms ‘Spirit’ or ‘Power’ in the text it seems that all they can think of is spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, healing, miracles, and so forth. They never bother to try and interpret these terms in light of what the authors intended meanings were. This is because Charismatics are biased towards a certain view when they come to the text. Therefore they almost always read that bias into the text.

Let’s examine one scripture that is always misinterpreted by Charismatics concerning spiritual gifts.

 

Rom 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

 

Immediately when a Charismatic reads this text all they see is the term ‘spiritual gift’ and automatically think that Paul is speaking of giving the Romans some kind of supernatural gift that they can use. Yet if Paul is not telling the Romans this, then what is he saying? Let’s interpret the term ‘spiritual gift’ in light of the rest of the verse.

By using the words “For I long to see you” Paul says that he has a deep seated affection to see them in order to make them more confirmed in Christ. In other words he was desirous to see them in order that he might impart unto them a certain spiritual gift so that they might be rooted and established in the faith. This is not the spiritual gifts that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, as supposed by Charismatics. Gifts of miracles, healing and tongues do not establish us in the faith. This was Paul’s desire that he might establish them in the things of God.

The ‘spiritual gift’ of which Paul thus speaks then is the preaching of the gospel which he planned to do as soon as he came. We can see that his intent towards them was to come and preach to them the gospel of God which he was separated unto. As he is closing this letter he explains this to them.

 

Rom 15:29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

 

Paul even tells them in the very next verse of chapter 1 why he wants to come to them so “That I may be comforted together by the mutual faith, both of you and me.” From this it appears that he desired to be among them to exercise the office of the ministry, to establish them in the gospel and to confirm their hopes. He expected that the preaching of the gospel would be the means of confirming them in the faith; and he desired to be the means of doing it.

So you see when we rightly interpret this scripture we will not get the interpretation of a Charismatic. But before I close I want to examine one more scripture. Let’s read it:

 

2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

In this verse Charismatics are big on taking the words ‘denying the power thereof ‘ to mean that someone denies the gifts of the Spirit. Yet this is far from what the Apostle Paul’s intended meaning was. Let us examine the text in light of the surrounding text of scripture.

In this chapter we see the Apostle Paul describing how men will be in these last days since the coming of Christ. Men will be lovers of selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unholy, and so much more. Nevertheless men will still go around patting one another on the back commending themselves and thinking more highly of themselves than they ought. The scripture states that they will have a form of godliness or they appear outwardly religious, but inwardly they do not have any experience with the gospel or allow it to exert any influence on their lives.

So the power they deny is not speaking in tongues or miracles, but they deny the gospel’s power to save and influence them in their daily lives.

Again we see that the Charismatic interpretation of this verse has no validity. Charismatics just twist scripture to their own harm. They have no proper knowledge of the things of God because of their biases.

written by Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.