Scripturally speaking, the Rapture seems, in regard to its timing, to be more closely linked to the Tribulation than to any other event. Since it will occur at the parousia of Christ (second coming), the question really becomes whether Christ will come back before, during, or after the Tribulation. It is with this in mind that the authors of Three Views on the Rapture joined together to offer their explanations for the three major timeframes for the Rapture, as it is related to the Tribulation. All three authors are members of the Evangelical Free Church of America, and all three teach at the denomination's seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. As they state in the preface, "All three of us are wholeheartedly devoted to upholding the clear truths of Scripture but we do not believe that the relative time of the Rapture is one of these 'clear truths'." Thus, the radically divergent views offered in this book.
The format of this book is very fair, and quite open. Each author states their respective position, and the others are given opportunity to respond. Thus, the reader is presented with a much broader picture of each position than a simple statement of the position might give. All three authors are premillennialists (they believe that the parousia of Christ will inaugurate the millennium), but the divergence in their views shows, in a good way, that premillennialists are not all homogenous in their beliefs.
Richard Reiter begins the book with a short history of the development of each position regarding the timing of the Rapture. Paul D. Feinberg then offers his arguments for a pretribulation rapture. Gleason L. Archer presents us with the arguments for a midtribulation rapture (often called mid-week, in reference to the seventy weeks spoken of in the book of Daniel), and Douglas J. Moo gives us the arguments for a posttribulation rapture. Each is able to show respect for the others' arguments without comprimising their own. And if that was all Three Views on the Rapture offered (a true spirit of respectful ecumenism), it would be worth purchasing. But it offers so much more, because the combination of three voices on each position gives a much clearer, and more cogent view, which aids greatly in understanding. This book belongs in any theological library.
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