Every now and then, on a Friday, I’ll step into the deep waters of Philosophy, ramble on about some idea and maybe even interact with something I might be reading. Most of the time, a real philosopher could probably read my drivel and speak into it offering a corrective—but for now I’ll speak from ignorance. After all, it is Friday; what better way to have fun than with philosophy. In this post I’ll deal with some philosophical issues surrounding the rapture (or lack thereof come May 21st) in under 700 words.
Folk have been setting dates on the Rapture for a long time. If you check the inerrant internet repository of all knowledge, you’ll find dates set for March 21, 1844, 1914, 1981, 1988, 1994 (Harold Camping’s first date), 2011 (Harold Camping’s second date), and even 2060 (Isaac Newton).
But this is only recent history. Before the Bible was even finished we had people saying that Christ would return—in fact, the second letter of 2 Thessalonians was because there was a teaching that the Day of the Lord had already occurred (2 Thes 2:1-2); Paul actually kicked some folk out of church for teaching that sort of thing (2 Tim 2:16-18). Some sites online have even tried to record the history of date-setting, though it’s definitely not comprehensive.
If you’ve driven down certain roads, you’ve might have seen signs that said “The Rapture is on X” where X can be any date: specifically, this Saturday, May 21st 2011. A certain Christian by the name of Harold Camping has put his pen to paper once again to set another date for this event and, once again, Christians have been convinced by the time table.
But I don’t want to talk so much about Camping and his crowd. I want to address a few presuppositions and misconceptions that have been flying about by writing a few posts. This first post will go about defining what the rapture is.