Steve Quayle just posted the following link to an article by Morgan Lee, Christian Post Reporter:
I have read the article. I also looked at 11 pages of Google search results on William Craig, the prominent Christian philosopher.
I learned he also has a Doctor’s degree in theology, but he is best known for his philosophy.
On the subject of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, William Craig is mistaken in his theology and needs to go back and do his homework using the methods of Bible study which I here call Real Bible Study, following the Rules of Interpretation I’ve posted in the October, 2010 Archives to the right.
The article in part states:
Several months before “Left Behind” opens in theaters, a prominent Christian philosopher is reminding the American church that the movie’s claims about the rapture are false.
“This doctrine is not really found in the book of Revelation. If you read the book of Revelation, you won’t find any mention of the rapture there,” said William Craig, a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University.
This is an example of the logical fallacy known as “the straw man argument.” It is a fallacy, because those who may believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church have not made the claim that the Book of Revelation mentions the Rapture in support of their case.
Dr. William Craig ought to know better. He has been an experienced debater since his high school years. I have also been an experienced debater since my high school years, and like him, won major recognition while in high school.
When you know your subject of debate, you certainly do not engage in using the straw man argument.
The article next states:
Instead, Craig says, the idea of the rapture comes from a “misinterpretation of 1 and 2 Thessalonians where Paul is describing the coming of the Lord and resurrection of the dead, which will occur at His coming.”
On this Real Bible Study website I have set forth what the correct interpretation of the relevant passages in 1 and 2 Thessalonians is in more detail than you are likely to find anywhere else, on line or in print. I have thoroughly done my homework. Dr. William Craig has not, to judge by the falsity of his claims.
What is next said is the heart of the issue:
“If you compare what Paul says there to what Jesus says about the End Times, Paul uses the same vocabulary, the same phraseology. I think it’s very plausible that Paul is talking about the same event that Jesus predicted, namely the visible coming of the Son of Man at the end of human history to usher in his kingdom,” said Craig. “But proponents of the rapture view, say that Paul is not at all talking about the second coming of the Christ there. What he’s really talking about is this invisible preliminary secret return of Christ to snatch believers out of the world before the great tribulation occurs. I think there’s no textual warrant for that at all.”
I believe I have answered that argument Dr. Craig uses in my notes for 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 (please read and study carefully!):
2 Thessalonians 2:1. we beseech. See on +*Ro 12:1. 1 Cor 1:10. *He 10:25. by the coming. Gr. parousia, +Mt 24:3. This is the coming at the Pretribulation Rapture. There are no Resurrection/Rapture passages which speak of the Great Tribulation (in terms of the Rapture occurring during the Great Tribulation period), and no Great Tribulation passages which speak of a COMBINED resurrection of the dead in Christ AND rapture and translation of living believers. ver. 2 Th 2:8 Jn 14:3. See on +1 Th 2:19. +**1 Th 4:14-16n. 1 Tim 6:14. +*2 Tim 4:1n. He 9:28n. and by. +*Ge 49:10. Mt 24:31. 25:32. Mk 13:27. +*Ep 1:10. +*1 Th 3:13. +**1 Th 4:17n. +*2 Tim 4:1n. our gathering. +*Ps 50:5. **Ps 102:21, 22. Is 58:8mg. +*Ezk 17:23. Ac 20:7n. +**1 Th 4:17n. together. Paul makes reference to the “gathering” taught in 1 Th 4:17 (“caught up together with them”) which takes place at the Pre-tribulation Rapture. This gathering does not follow the apostasy and the coming of the Antichrist. Rather, those two events must follow the Pretribulation Rapture, the “gathering” Paul speaks of here. 1 Th 4:17. He 10:25g. unto him. +*Ge 49:10. Ps 50:5. **Ps 102:22. Is 11:10. Mt 18:20. Jn 12:32. 14:3. 2 Cor 5:15. Ep 3:21. He 13:13.
2 Thessalonians 2:2. soon. or, quickly. Gr. tacheōs (S#5030g, Lk 14:21). **Ga 1:6. shaken. Gr. saleuō (S#4531g, Mt 11:7). Is 7:2. 8:12, 13. 26:3. Mt 24:6. Mk 13:7. Lk 21:9, 19. Jn 14:1, 27. Ac 2:25g. 17:13g. 20:23, 24. Ep 5:6. 1 Th 3:3. troubled. Gr. throeomai (S#2360g). Mt 24:6g. Mk 13:7g. +*Ep 4:14. *He 13:9. neither. FS129, +Ezk 34:4. by spirit. or, spirit-communication. Gr. pneuma, +Mt 8:16. FS121A4, +Ezk 37:1. By Metonymy for those who claimed to be depositories of spiritual gifts. All such claims were to be closely scrutinized (Hogg & Vine, p. 244). Supposed messages and revelations that were untrue. Dt 13:1-5. +**Je 23:25-28n. Mic 2:11. *Mt 24:4, 5, 24. Ac 11:12. +*1 Cor 14:29. 1 Th 5:19, 21. *2 P 2:1-3. **1 J 4:1, 2. Re 19:20. by word. A pretended verbal message from the missionaries (see Hogg & Vine, p. 244). ver. 2 Th 2:15. 1 Cor 12:8. 14:26, 29. 1 Th 5:2. nor by letter. This counterfeit letter was not from Paul, but claimed to be. +2 S 11:15. +*Ga 1:7, 8n. 1 Th 4:15. 2 P 3:4-8. as from us. Thus counterfeit, containing false and deceptive teaching that they were already in the Day of the Lord. Perhaps after this Paul authenticated his letters with his own signature (2 Th 3:17. 1 Cor 16:21. Col 4:18). Jn 5:31. 8:17. Ro 16:26. **Ga 1:6-9. Ep 3:8. day of Christ. or, day of the Lord. “Of Christ” has very little support from MSS., and none from ancient versions (F. W. Grant). Virtually all modern editors of the Greek text read “day of the Lord” here (Is 13:6. +*Am 5:18. Zp 1:14. +**1 Th 5:2. +*2 P 3:10). Paul firmly denies that the Thessalonians were in “the Day of the Lord.” +*Is 2:12. +Ezk 30:3. Lk 17:24. Ac 3:20. +*Ac 17:31. Ro 2:5. *+1 Cor 1:8. +*1 Cor 3:13. 5:5. 2 Cor 1:14. +*Ep 4:30. Phil 1:6, 10. 2:16. +*1 Th 5:2. is at hand. or, is now present. Gr. enistēmi (S#1764g, Ro 8:38). Ro 8:38. %+*Ro 13:12. 1 Cor 3:22g. 7:26g. Ga 1:4g. Phil 4:5. 2 Tim 2:18. 3:1g. He 9:9g. %+*1 P 4:7. Such a belief on the part of the Thessalonians necessarily implies that they correctly understood the Rapture and its associated resurrection of the righteous dead in Christ to be an event which will be secret and unobserved by the world (Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, pp. 316, 317), otherwise they could not have thought these events already took place, the error Paul is correcting. Mt 24:3-6, 14. +**Mt 25:19, 31-34, 41. +*Lk 19:11. Ac 17:31. 1 Cor 11:26. 15:24. He 2:8. 2 P 3:13. *Re 11:15-18. 22:10.
Morgan Lee writes further,
According to Craig, the rapture became a popular theory about the End Times due to the influence of the Scofield Reference Bible, which was published in the early 20th century and promulgated John Darby’s mid-18th century’s views on the rapture. Later, Christian institutions, among them Dallas Theological Seminary, and churches began teaching the validity of the rapture.
In logic, this kind of argument is an ad hominem argument, an argument that attempts to subtly attack a doctrine by appealing to its supposed or alleged source, rather than actually answering the Biblical evidence behind the argument. Do that, and you have lost the debate, should the opposing team or the debate judge catch or call you on it.
Lastly, Dr. William Craig is represented as saying:
“A good many Bible-believing Christians absorbed this view as their mother’s milk as it were and have never thought to question its Biblical credentials,” said Craig.
It looks to me that Dr. William Craig himself has not thought to carefully examine its Biblical credentials, such as I have briefly presented here.
In particular, please note that the Thessalonians who had been taught by the Apostle Paul himself were misled into believing that they had missed the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the Resurrection of the dead in Christ.
Now, how could they have supposed they missed such an event, believing it had taken place already in their own day, and they had not noticed, unless in some measure they believed, and therefore Paul himself taught, that the Rapture would not be observed by the world at large? Thus there is a Biblical basis for the often scorned doctrine of the “secret Rapture.”
Think otherwise? Agree or disagree? Feel free to leave a comment. I promise, I won’t chop off your head! But I will make a sincere effort to answer any Bible questions you may have.
If proven wrong, I always change my mind. Do you?