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CHART OF THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

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Chart of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture View

Definition: Christ will come for His saints.; afterward He will come with His saints. The first stage of Christ’s coming is called Rapture; the second stage is called Revelation.

Proponents: John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, Erwin Lutzer, David Jeremiah, Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, Ron Rhodes, Darell Bock, Robert Saucy, Warren Wiersbe, Charles Stanley, Adrian Rogers, Joel Rosenberg, Tim LaHaye, Mark Hitchcock, Michael Vlach, Michael Rydelnik, Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Billy Graham, J. Dwight Pentecost.

Arguments For Pre-Tribulationilism Arguments Against Pre-Tribulation
The Bible says that Christians (the church) are exempt from divine wrath (1 Th. 1:10, “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come). This exemption does not mean that the church does not experience trials, persecution or suffering. Christians are exempt from God’s wrath (orge), but the majority of passages dealing with the tribulation (thlipsis) refer to the tribulation that believers suffer. Exemption from wrath does not mean exemption from the wrath of the Tribulation, those who believe during the Tribulation would need to be raptured at conversion.
Believers are also exempt from the time of wrath recorded in Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” This is supported by the Greek preposition ek used in this passage. Normative meaning of ek is “out from the midst of” and does not require a snatching from trial. It can mean being kept from tribulation without being taken from trial. The normal preposition for “keeping away from” is apo.
All the positions on the Tribulation Rapture predict a Millennial kingdom. The pre-tribulation position calls for living, non-glorified believers to enter the kingdom, thus to repopulate the kingdom Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Romans 11:26). The 144,000 of Revelation can populate the earth during the time of the Millennium.
A clear distinction is made between the Rapture and the Revelation, an interval of time. This is consistent with the various Scriptures that discuss both of these events. The Rapture: John 14:1-14; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Th. 4:13-18; The Revelation, or the Second Coming of Christ: Zech. 14; Mat. 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-27; Revelation 19. The “blessed hope” and “glorious appearing” are the same events (Rapture and Revelation). The NT speaks of one Second Coming, not two comings or a coming in two stages. The distinction may be in the nature of events, not in the time differences.
Christ’s return is imminent. Since Christ may return at any time, believers have an attitude of expectancy (Titus 2:13, “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”). There are no preparatory warnings of an impending tribulation for the church-age believers (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1-3). Imminency for the apostles and the early church revolved around the second coming of Christ. Thus, the Rapture and the Revelation are coterminous, not separate (Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; James 5:7-8; 1 John 2:28). Also, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 may list events to be expected before the Rapture.
A literal Tribulation is given in Revelation 6-19. There is no mention of the church (argument from silence) in Revelation 4-18. Much language in Revelation 6-19 is figurative; the Tribulation may be as well. Argument from silence is inherently weak reasoning.
The Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 is the Holy Spirit indwelling in the church. He must remove her (the church) before the Tribulation begins. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling ministry is not equivalent to his restraining work. Also, this passage does not clearly equate the Restrainer with the Holy Spirit, or the removal of the restraint with the rapture of the church.
RAPTURE/TRANSLATION 2ND COMING/KINGDOM ESTABLISHED
Translation of all believers No translation at all
Translated saints go to heaven Translated saints go to earth
Earth not judged Earth judged and righteousness established
Not in the Old Testament Predicted often in the Old Testament
Believers only Affects all people
Before the day of wrath Concluding the day of wrath
No reference to Satan Satan is bound
Christ comes for His own Christ comes with His own
Christ comes in the air Christ comes to the earth
Christ claims His bride Christ comes with His bride
Only those who are saved see Christ Every eye sees Christ
Tribulation begins Millennial Kingdom begins
Imminent, any-moment, signless Follows definite signs like the tribulation

*Charts adapted from: Charts of Bible Prophecy by H. Wayne House and Randall Price. Grand Rapids, MI.: Zondervan, 2003 & The Truth About Christ’s Second Coming by Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy. Eugene, OR.: Harvest House, 1998.

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CHART OF TITLES FOR JESUS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

TITLE REFERENCE SIGNIFICANCE
Alpha and Omega Revelation 21:6 The Beginning and Ending of all things
Bread of Life John 6:35 The one essential food
Chief Cornerstone Ephesians 2:20 A sure Foundation of life
Chief Shepherd 1 Peter 5:4 Gives guidance and protection
Christ Matthew 16:16 The Anointed One of God seen in the OT prophets
Firstborn from the Dead Colossians 1:18 Leads us into resurrection
Good Shepherd John 10:11 Gives guidance and protection
High Priest Hebrews 3:1 The Perfect Mediator
Holy One of God Mark 1:24 Perfect and Sinless
Immanuel Matthew 1:23 God with us
Jesus Matthew 1:21 His personal name meaning Yahweh saves
King of Kings, Lord of Lords Revelation 19:16 The Sovereign Almighty
Lamb of God John 1:29 Offered His life as a sacrifice for sins
Light of the World John 9:5 One who brings hope and gives guidance
Lord Romans 10:9 Sovereign Creator and Redeemer
Lord of Glory 1 Corinthians 2:8 The power of the living God
Mediator 1 Timothy 2:5 Redeemer who brings forgiven sinners into the presence of God
Prophet Luke 13:33 One who speaks for God
Rabbi/Teacher John 3:2 A title of respect for one who taught the Scriptures
Savior John 4:42 One who delivers from sin
Son of David Matthew 9:27 One who brings in the Kingdom
Son of God John 20:31 A title of Deity signifying Jesus’ unique and special intimacy with the Father
Son of Man Matthew 20:28 A divine title of suffering and exaltation
Word John 1:1 Eternal God who ultimately reveals God
 

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Book Review of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.”

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“Insightful Thoughts From a Beautiful Follower of Jesus”

Book Review By Dr. David P. Craig

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (what a beautiful name) has written a delightful book highlighting her conversion to Christ and instruction on many topics that are thought provoking and insightful. Among the variety of topics covered in this book are evangelism; hospitality; education; homosexuality; church planting; male and female roles in complementarity; hermeneutics; dating; marriage; parenting; foster care; adoption; and worship.

The author writes in an entertaining way, and yet shares insights with tremendous depth and cogent logic. My wife and I have both enjoyed discussing the variety of topics brought forth by Butterfield and are grateful for her wisdom and biblical insight. Though we don’t agree with all of Butterfield’s conclusions we especially appreciated her honesty; critique of Christian legalism; and insights into reaching out to those who identify themselves in any way other than “Christian.”

As a pastor in a very secular community I was given many illustrations that will help me become better at reaching out to those who are “outsiders” of our church community. I am grateful that Rosaria has shared her “secret thoughts” publicly. As a result I think that my wife and I have been equipped to be “salt and light” in our community and will be more effective in our outreach to those who desperately need Christ (as do we) in our community.

Rosaria is to be commended for her service to our Lord as a Christian wife, mother, educator, evangelist, and disciple maker. Any follower of Christ would be encouraged in their pursuit of Christlikeness and better reflect His inner and outer beauty as a result of reading and practicing the wisdom articulated in this delightful book.

 

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Book Review on Stu Weber’s “Four Pillars Of A Man’s Heart”

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“Required Reading For Every Man”

Book Review By Dr. David P. Craig

I’m one of those guys who is always about ten to twenty years behind on the latest books, television shows and movies. Stu Weber’s book came out many years ago (In the 1990’s) but as I prepared for a men’s retreat I’ll be leading in a few weeks I think this book stood out more than all the others I read as a book I would whole-heartedly recommend to any man. I missed it when it first came out, but I’m sure glad I read it. I would argue that this book is more relevant today than when Weber first penned it.

Many Christian men are clueless today about what it means to be a man. If men take their cues from our culture they are in serious trouble. However, if they look to the Scriptures for guidance they will find exactly what they need to know about biblical manhood. Stu Weber provides an essential guide to biblical manhood in this book. He identifies what he calls the “Four Pillars of Biblical Manhood.” These pillars when functioning in balance make for a man who is strong and balanced in the way that God designed him to be.

The four pillars (all found in Genesis 2:15-18) in a man’s heart are that he is to be a provider (King); protector (Warrior); teacher (Mentor); and a connector (Friend). If he is out of balance in any of these areas it will lead to chaos. However, if he is balanced in these areas of his life with his relationships; work; and ministry it will result in a tremendous impact on his marriage; family; church; and community/nation.

Weber has written a book that is biblical; full of illustrations and applications; and that is theologically sound. He defines, identifies, and explains clearly God’s design for men in a way that is logical and practical. This is a book that any man of any age will find encouragement, hope, and motivation to be all that he was designed to be for the purposes of God as a man in his brief time on earth.

 

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Book Review Of Stu Weber’s “Tender Warrior”

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“God’s Design For Biblical Manhood”

Book Review by Dr. David P. Craig

I can hardly believe the speed with which God’s design for biblical manhood and womanhood has been decaying in American culture. I am so grateful for the legacy that my own parents have left behind for their four children, and multiple grand, and great grand children. My parents weren’t perfect by any means, but they were godly and strove to be biblical in every aspect of life which nowadays is saying a ton. In a culture where idolatry, selfishness, and any semblance of character and integrity are woefully lacking – this book offers much needed help for men who take God, marriage, parenting,, and friendship seriously.

Using personal examples, biblical examples, and principles based on God’s design for biblical manhood exemplified in Jesus, Stu Weber has written a very good biblical manual for men to help them think and act in accordance with God’s design for manhood. In a day where confusion reigns in regard to God’s purpose for men and women this book gives clarity and practical teaching on the purpose, calling, meaning, and design for manhood. I highly recommend Weber’s book as a helpful guide for men of any age.

 

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Book Review on Cabal’s and Rasor’s “Controversy Of The Ages”

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A Good Example of Civil Discussion on A Controversial Topic

Book Review by Dr. David P. Craig

As a pastor who tries to keep current with the latest discoveries and teachings in science and how they mesh with the Bible I found this book immensely helpful from a Christian perspective. The author’s do several things really well in this book:

(1) They give a good overview of the history of the interplay between science and biblical interpretation with a very interesting analysis of The Copernican Conflict; The Advent of Darwinian Evolution;  The Scopes Trial and its results; and the more recent controversy over the age of the earth.

(2) They present a consistent hermeneutic learned from Galileo that assumes biblical inerrancy, not inerrant interpretation and the objective truth that nature and and biblical revelation cannot be in conflict/disagree. There must be a striving for both theologians and scientists to pursue truth in special (biblical revelation) and nature (general revelation).

(3) They give a very interesting discussion of evolution and how it was received by both scientists and theologians within a short time following his completing his Origin of the Species. They discuss some of the main issues of conflict brought on by the acceptance of Darwin’s theory from its inauguration until modern times between theologians and scientists of note.

(4) They demonstrate that the resulting world view of Darwinian Evolution has resulted in many liberal theologians and scientists buying into “metaphysical naturalism, that everything interesting about the world reveals there is no God;” as well as how, “human experience rather than the Bible has become the ground of Christian knowledge.”

(5) Throughout the book the author’s give a helpful analysis of the three main views among Theologians and Scientists today as exemplified by Young Earth Creationists (as propounded by Henry Morris, Ken Ham, and Andrew Snelling) and their largest organization: Answers In Genesis; by Old Earth Creationists (as propounded in particular by Hugh Ross and those in his ilk), and its primary organization; Reasons To Believe; and lastly, the most recent organization that sings the praises of Evolution: BioLogos – with its influential proponents like C. Francis Collins.

(6) There is a fascinating discussion of flood theories, fossils, and dating mechanisms in dating the earth – pro and con for both old and young.

(7) One of the most helpful aspects of this book is its discussion of first, second, and third level doctrines that are essential to Christianity. The author’s refer to Albert Mohler’s “Theological Triage of three levels to ascertain theological urgencies.” For example, first level or essential doctrines to Christianity would include “doctrines such as the Trinity, the full deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, justification by faith, and the authority of Scripture.” Second order or level doctrines would include issues that often separate congregations and denominations like the mode and method of baptism and whether women can serve as pastors. Third level doctrines would include the eschatological unfolding of the plan of God (e.g. pre-millennialism, post-millennialism, a-millennialism) and issues like the one the authors are addressing. The authors apply the principle of theological triage to the three main views today with reference to science and theology. It is a very interesting and enlightening discussion of the relative unimportance of “age” with reference to the essentials related to the gospel and what makes one a Christian.

Cabal and Rasor have written a very civil book on the interplay of the various issues and views in regard to scientific and biblical interpretation. I think they have written a book that helps lay people like me understand the complexity of the issues and yet puts the “cookies on the shelf” so that one can see that though these issues are important – they are not essential to the gospel, but are nevertheless important and demand that extremists be balanced and listen to one another as everyone seeks to interpret all of God’s revelation (the written Word and the natural world) in a gracious manner that is always and ever in pursuit of God’s truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review on Donald S. Whitney’s Praying The Bible

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A Simple Guide To Learning How To Pray The Scriptures

Reviewed By Dr. David P. Craig

I have completed several books by Donald Whitney over the years and always appreciate the fact that he is doctrinally sound and extremely practical. This little book is no exception. Whitney’s goal in this book is to help the reader overcome the “boring routine of saying the same old things about the same old things” by teaching the reader the variety, freshness, and excitement of praying through the Bible.

Perhaps the most helpful chapter in the book is the section on “Praying the Psalms.” He quotes Ben Patterson, “By praying the Psalms back to God, we learn to pray in tune with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” In learning to pray through the Psalms it helps the one praying to be (a) Balanced in prayer – as the Psalms convey every doctrine in the Bible; (b) Emotionally healthy – as the Psalms deal with every human emotion: joy, anger, fear, anxiety, discouragement, loneliness, etc.; (c) God centered – usually we have a tendency to be self-absorbed – the Psalms get our focus back on God; (d) Accurate – Whitney writes, “God gave the Psalms to us so that we would give the Psalms back to God. No other book of the Bible was inspired for this express purpose.”

Whitney, also has a helpful guide to praying through the 150 Psalms in the back of the book. Praying through this plan insures direction and guidance for prayer as well as momentum for prayer. The author gives great examples of how to pray other Scriptures and various genres and even tackles some thorny questions related to prayer. I have been tremendously helped in my own prayer life by this terrific book and I’m convinced that it will help anyone grow in their excitement and communication with the Lord in prayer.

 

 

 

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