Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Noted “Anti-Pretribulation Rapture” author Dave MacPherson has been battling the skewed logic of Premillennial Dispensationalists for over 35 years, since writing his first book way back in 1973, (The unbelievable pre-trib origin: The recent discovery of a well-known theory's beginning, and its incredible cover-up).
Not a day goes by where we don’t see MacPherson being quoted by both believers and non-believers of the Pre-Trib Rapture mythology. Many folks (both eschatology students and new babes in Christ) faithfully watch the debate (primarily on the Internet) to see what new evidence he supplies to the on-going embroglio, especially where Dr. Tommy Ice is concerned. Ice is the Executive Director of the Pre-Trib Research Center in Wash. D.C. The Research Center was founded a few years ago by Tim LaHaye and Mr. Ice to research, teach, proclaim, and defend pretribulationism.
We are excited to, once again, host and offer “guest writer” status to Mr. MacPherson on The End Times Passover blog by sharing his latest volley in this contorted conjectural conundrum.
Pre-Trib Expert John Walvoord Melts Ice!
By Dave MacPherson
Thomas Ice - Protector of the shrinking Principality of Pretribulatia - believes that his "texas receptus" interpretation of II Thess. 2:3 is much better than that of his mentor, the late Dr. John Walvoord!
Ice impudently states (in his widely noticed web article "The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3") that "I believe that there is a strong possibility that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is speaking of the rapture," adding that "The fact that APOSTASIA [caps mine] most likely has the meaning of physical departure is a clear support for pretribulationism."
In his book "The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation" (p. 125) Walvoord writes:
"E. Schuyler English and others have suggested that the word [apostasia] means literally 'departure' and refers to the rapture itself. Gundry argues at length against this interpretation, which would explicitly place the rapture before the day of the Lord, and his evidence is quite convincing. English is joined by the Greek scholar Kenneth S. Wuest but their view has not met with general acceptance by either pretribulationists or posttribulationists. A number of pretribulationists have interpreted the apostasy in this way as the departure of the church, but the evidence against this translation is impressive. In that case Gundry, seconded by Ladd, is probably right: the word refers to doctrinal defection of the special character that will be revealed in the day of the Lord [which "day" Walvoord views as "the great tribulation"]."
Dr. Tommy Ice
So even though Dr. Robert Gundry's evidence "is quite convincing" and Ice's "has not met with general acceptance" and evidence against Ice's assertion "is impressive" and Gundry and Ladd are "probably right," Thomas Ice keeps beating his desperate dispensational drum in the ears of the Walvoord who was the No. 1 pretrib authority for many decades!
Gundry's uber-great book "The Church and the Tribulation" (pp. 114-118) dismantles, piece by piece, the doctrinal defectors of II Thess. 2:3. For example, Gundry says that "it is from this least important source [classical Greek - in which "simple departure by no means predominates"] that English draws his argument."
After English (followed by Ice) seeks support from Reformation-era Bible translations, Gundry points out that "the appeal to early English translations unwittingly reveals weakness, because in the era of those versions lexical studies in NT Greek were almost nonexistent and continued to be so for many years. The papyri had not yet been discovered, and the study of the LXX had hardly begun."
Gundry adds: "In 2:1 Paul mentions 'our gathering' second in order to the Parousia. In light of the immediately preceding description of the posttribulational advent [II Thess. 1:7-10], it seems natural to regard the Parousia as a reference to that event rather than a sudden switch to a pretribulational Parousia unmentioned in the first chapter and unsupported in I Thessalonians. Several verses later (2:8) the Parousia again refers to the posttribulational advent of Christ."
If the "falling away" (2:3) is the same (pretrib) rapture Ice sees in "gathering" (2:1), why did Paul use totally different Greek words ("episunagoges" and "apostasia") if he was discussing the very same event?
A Google article ("Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts") reveals that pretrib rapturism historically has had more than two stages. Stage 1: In 1830 the "rapture" aspect of the Second Advent was stretched forward and became a separate coming. Stage 2: In the early 1900s various teachers stretched forward the "day of the Lord" (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do!). Stage 3: In recent times the "fact" involving "apostasia" has created "the-rapture-must-happen-before-the-rapture" fantasy which Ice etc. can hang on to with at least their eyelids!
For more info about Ice, Google "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "America's Pretrib Rapture Traffickers," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" - the latter seen in a colorful version on the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site. For 300 pages of recently uncovered and highly endorsed documentation on pretrib history, see my book "The Rapture Plot" which is available at Armageddon Books etc.
BTW, my recent article "Edward Irving is Unnerving" was posted initially on Nov. 12 on the "Our Daily Bread" blog hosted by Joe Ortiz, author of two books that outright refute the Left Behind notions being propagated by Premillenial Dispensationalist, The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation, which I emphatically endorse for those who want to peruse (accurate and highly academic) Bible data that lay to rest the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and Left Behind notions that are seducing Christendom into believing and adopting false hopes in a secret escape to Heaven.
Remember: Ice-colored statements can be as dangerous as ice-covered pavements!
For more information concerning this blog, visit The End Times Passover web site by clicking on Joe Ortiz
Posted by Joe Ortiz at 6:09 PM