Monday, June 4, 2007

On the Fringe?

One pastor told me in defense of his pretribulational view that, “Only those who are on the fringe hold to the posttrib view.” Lahaye, in his book, Rapture Under Attack, writes, “Dr. Walvoord, now in his eighties, has been a Bible scholar more than fifty years and personally knows most of the living scholars on this subject. He warns that, ‘It is not uncommon for scholars who defect from a pre-trib position in favor of the post-trib view to also defect in their doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture.’ ” [1] Is this true? No. If it is, show the proof. One could respond with a statement that those who hold to the pretrib view do not take the Bible seriously. These types of statements are absurd and uncalled for and therefore must be rebutted.

The following list is not used in my case as an “appeal to authority.” However, the argument tries to discredit the posttribulational view by stating that there are only a few fringe believers who hold to such a theory. This is simply not true. Below is a list of those that hold to a posttribulation view. One should notice that these men are not on the fringe. They are all committed to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith and have given their lives to minister in Jesus’ name (some have departed to be with the Lord).

Wayne Grudem , B.A., Harvard University; M.Div. Westminster Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Cambridge. He is presently Research Professor of Theology and Bible Phoenix Seminary. He taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for twenty years. He has written more than 60 articles for both popular and academic journals, and his books include: Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, and The First Epistle of Peter (TNTC). He has also coedited Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A response to Evangelical Feminism and edited Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?: Four Views.[3]

In Grudem’s Systematic Theology he argues more for the posttribulational view than any other view (see pp. 1131-1135).

Robert H. Gundry, PH.D. New Testament Studies Manchester University, 1961. He has been professor of New Testament and Greek, Westmont College, from 1962 to the present. He is also Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1993.

His works include: First the Antichrist, Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross, A Survey of the New Testament (used in many colleges and seminaries), Matthew: A Commentary on His Literary and Theological Art, The Church and the Tribulation. He has also authored numerous articles and book reviews on New Testament studies.[4]

George Eldon Ladd was an ordained Baptist minister. He is most widely remembered today as a respected theologian. His theological writings have continued to have a wide influence in Christendom. He was the Professor of New Testament exegesis and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary from 1950 onward. His earlier education was at Gordon College and Gordon Divinity School (B.D.). Ladd also earned the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, and did postdoctoral study at both Basel and Heidelberg Universities. In his capacity as a Baptist minister, Dr. Ladd served numerous churches of his denomination. At Gordon College from1942 to 1945 he was Professor of Greek, and from 1946 to 1950 was head of the department of New Testament at Gordon Divinity School.[5]

Ladd’s works include: Introduction To The Book Of Revelation, Questions about the Kingdom of God, The Blessed Hope, The Gospel of the Kingdom, Jesus Christ and History, Jesus and the Kingdom, The Pattern of New Testament Truth, A Commentary On The Revelation Of John, A Theology of the New Testament, I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, The Last Things (An Eschatology For Laymen), The Presence of the Future and The Eschatology of Biblical Realism.

Harold Lindsell
The following biography is from Billy Graham Center-Archives: Papers of Harold Lindsell.
Harold Lindsell was born in New York City on December 22, 1913, to Leonard Anthony and Ella Briggs (Harris) Lindsell. He received his grammar school and secondary education in the New York City public school system. His three earned degrees were all in history: B.S., Wheaton College (summa cum laude), 1938; A.M., University of California, Berkeley, 1939; and Ph.D., New York University, 1942. Some of his graduate work was taken at Harvard University. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1964.

Raised in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., Lindsell became a Christian in 1925. Through his own study, he concluded that his personal beliefs were more in keeping with the Baptist tradition, and he was ordained to the pastorate by the First Baptist Church (Southern Baptist Convention), Columbia, S.C., in 1944. While he never actively served as a pastor to any one congregation, he frequently preached at worship services of many denominations.
In 1942, Lindsell became a professor of church history and missions at Columbia Bible College, Columbia, S.C., where he also served as registrar. In 1944 he moved to Chicago to take a similar position at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. From 1947 to 1964, Lindsell taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he was a professor of missions, Dean of the Faculty, and Vice President. He left Fuller to become the Associate Editor of Christianity Today, a position he held from 1964 to 1967. He was a professor of Bible at Wheaton College, 1967-68, and returned to Christianity Today as Editor from 1968 until his retirement in 1978.
Lindsell served as director of the Baptist Faith and Message Fellowship, Inc., and was a member of several professional organizations, including the American Historical Association, American Society of Church History, American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, National Association of Evangelicals, and the Evangelical Theological Society. He was a trustee for Wheaton College, Westmont College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary, and Outreach, Inc. He was a friend and advisor of Billy Graham's from almost the start of the latter's ministry.
His first book, a novel, Abundantly Above, was published in 1944. The years that followed saw the publication of nearly twenty books which he either authored, co-authored or edited. Included, among others, were A Christian Philosophy of Missions (1949, revised 1970); Park Street Prophet, a biography of Harold John Ockenga (1951); Missionary Principles and Practice (1955); Harper Study Bible (1963); Christianity and the Cults (1963); The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1973); The Battle for the Bible (1976) and its sequel The Bible in the Balance (1979); The Gathering Storm, concerning the second coming of Christ (1981); the Lindsell Study Bible (1981); Free Enterprise: A Judeo-Christian Defense (1982); The Holy Spirit in the Later Days (1983); and The New Paganism (1987). His book The Battle for the Bible, in which he defended Scriptural inerrancy against evangelicals whom he claimed were turning from a literal interpretation of the Bible, sparked considerable controversy in the evangelical community, and it was partially from this controversy that the sequel was written. Lindsell also authored numerous magazine and journal articles.[6]

Lindsell’s candor is of the spirit that I am most comfortable with as he states, “I personally would like very much to hold to pretribulationism with dogmatic certainty. But the data, in my opinion, seems to lean more in the direction of the posttribulation position.”[7]

Lindsell believed in the inerrancy of Scripture and held to the posttribulational view because of the weight of the Biblical data.

Leon Morris taught at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia, for twenty-nine years, retiring as principal in 1979. He is a prolific writer, with more than twenty-five books to his credit. His works include The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross (1955), The Gospel According to John (The New International Commentary on the New Testament, 1971), and Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (1993). One only needs to read his comments on the following verses 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 1:6-10; and 2:3-12 in his commentary of 1 & 2 Thessalonians to see that he does not hold to the pretrib position.

Douglas J. Moo (St. Andrews Ph.D.) is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Chicago Society for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature.

He is the author of the following commentaries: The Epistle of James (Tyndale New Testament Commentary), Romans 1-8 (Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary), A Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (New International Commentary on the New Testament), 2 Peter, Jude (NIV Application Commentary), The Epistle of James (Pillar Commentary), Romans (NIV Application Commentary).[8]

Moo defends the posttribulation view in the book, Three Views of the Rapture: Pre; Mid; Or Post-Tribulation (co-author with R. Reiter, G. Archer, and P. Feinberg). Other scholars defend their own position in this book.

From the Publisher: Three Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professors present their premillennnialist views on when the rapture will occur - before, during, or after the tribulation. Paul D. Feinberg argues the pre-tribulation position. Gleason L. Archer presents the mid-tribulation position. Douglas J. Moo holds the post-tribulation view. Richard Reiter gives a historical overview.

John Piper[9] has been senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980. He holds degrees from Wheaton College (B. A.), Fuller Seminary (B. D.), and the University of Munich (Dr. Theol). He is a nationally recognized speaker and writer, and is author of over a dozen books, including Desiring God, Future Grace, The Pleasures of God, Let the Nations Be Glad!, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, The Dangerous Duty of Delight, A Godward Life, A Hunger for God, The Innkeeper, The Legacy of Sovereign Joy, The Hidden Smile of God, The Justification of God, The Supremacy of God in Preaching and was a contributor and co-editor of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
The following is an excerpt from John Piper’s sermon on 2 Thess. 2:1-12 that he preached August 30, l987.

Tonight I hope to take this issue up in more detail. But for now let me just show you one of several arguments from 2 Thessalonians why I cannot follow this interpretation as much as I love and respect those who do. Why am I a post-tribulationist, that is, why do I look forward with great anticipation not to a sudden departure from the world for seven years but to a great gathering to meet the Lord in the air as he comes with his mighty angels in flaming fire to establish his earthly kingdom, giving rest to his people and judgment to his enemies?[10]
Piper closes his sermon with these words, “My own conviction is that I would dishonor the word of God and do you a great disservice if I did not equip you as best I can from this text to recognize the man of lawlessness should he appear in your life-time.”[11]

[1] Lahaye, Rapture Under Attack, 12-13.
[3] Http://
[4]Gundry’s full biography is available at:
[5]From a tribute to Dr. George Eldon Ladd by Rev. Robert C. Gillette ( ) available: [used with permission].
[6]Billy Graham Center-Archives: Papers of Harold Lindsell [on-line] ; accessed April 2003; available from
[7] Harold Lindsell, The Gathering Storm: World Events & the Return of Christ (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1981 - 4th printing).
[8]Moo’s biography can be read online; accessed April 2003; available from
[9] A friend asked my wife if I held to the posttribulation rapture because it was John Piper’s view. Honestly I had no idea what view Piper held and thought maybe that he had never touched on the topic at all. I checked out Piper’s sermons from the search engine at and discovered that he was holding to the posttribulational view.
[10] Desiring God Ministries [on-line] ; accessed April 2003; available from