Monday, May 31, 2010 - Five Myths About the Rapture

From Carl E Olson writing at Inside Catholic.

About ten years ago, I mentioned to a Catholic friend that I was starting to work on a book critiquing the Left Behind novels. I explained that it would thoroughly examine premillennial dispensationalism, the unique apocalyptic belief system presented, in fictional format, within those books. Premillennial dispensationalism teaches that the "Rapture" and the Second Coming are two events separated by a time of tribulation and that there will be a future millennial reign of Christ on earth. "Why?" she asked, obviously bewildered. "No one really takes that stuff seriously."
That revealing remark merely reinforced my desire to write Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"? (Ignatius, 2003). Other conversations brought home the same point. Far too many people -- including a significant number of Catholics -- don’t recognize the attraction and power of this Fundamentalist phenomenon. Nor do they appear to appreciate how much curiosity exists about the "end times," the book of Revelation, and the "pretribulation Rapture" -- the belief that Christians will be taken up from earth prior to a time of tribulation and the Second Coming.
In the course of writing articles, giving talks, and writing the book, I’ve encountered a number of questions and comments -- almost all from Catholics -- that indicate how much confusion exists about matters of eschatology (theology of the end times), not to mention ecclesiology, historical theology, and the interpretation of Scripture. The five myths I present here summarize many of those questions.
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