Friday, January 22, 2010

Differing Views of the Rapture: Part 7 Arguments Against The Rapture

Arguments Against the Rapture

In discussing the Rapture, a lot of theological ground has been covered. However, it would be inappropriate to conclude a work of this nature without first giving some mention to views that oppose the idea of the Rapture occurring at all. As has been demonstrated, there is a great diversity of views on this doctrine among those who accept the Rapture as Scriptural. It is only right to give voice to some opposing views.

Postmillennialism and amillennialism do not acknowledge that the Rapture will take place. Both of these views approach the interpretation of Scripture by using allegory and symbolism. As such, both views look unfavorably on premillennialism, especially the doctrine of the Rapture. Paul Thigpen and David Currie, both former evangelicals who converted to Roman Catholicism, have authored books titled The Rapture Trap and Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind respectively. In these works, both rail against the Rapture in general and against the popular Left Behind series of Christian fiction books based on Pretribulation Premillennialism. While there are many Protestants who subscribe to the amillennial view of the Thigpen and Currie, they do so using the Bible. Thigpen clearly states in his introduction that the Roman Catholic Church is the God-given interpreter of Scripture.[1] Similar to other authors, he outlines his hermeneutical approach then set out to use this to argue against the Rapture. Using arguments familiar, he forcefully addresses the secret Rapture of pretribulationism[2] before attacking the hermeneutic that produces it.[3]

Currie’s work does mention the Left Behind series but only briefly instead preferring to systematically review the Scriptures used by the various Rapture proponents and offering a distinctly Catholic interpretation using a hermeneutic he calls Biblical Ground Rules.[4] For example, Currie interprets Rev. 12:1-6 to be the birth of Jesus Christ (12:2-5a) and his ascension to heaven (12:5b).[5] Most other interpretations made by Currie contradict the interpretations made by premillennialism. This is to be expected. The Roman Catholic Church has specifically stated that millenarianism is “intrinsically perverse”.[6]


[1] Thigpen, Paul. The Rapture Trap. (West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, LLC. 2001), 20-22.

[2] Ibid, 97-148. Thigpen devotes two chapters to the secrecy of the Rapture as taught by premillennialism.

[3] Ibid, 149-84.

[4] Currie, David B. Rapture: The End-Times Error That Leaves the Bible Behind. (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2003), 51-78.

[5] Ibid, 280-81.

[6] Catechism of the Catholic Church. October 11, 1962. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c2a7.htm (accessed December 17, 2009), 676.

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