Development[ edit ] While elements of progressive dispensational views were present in earlier dispensational writers, including Scofield and Eric Sauer, the view itself coalesced around specific issues and questions raised in the s. Numerous dispensational scholars came to a rough consensus and in the early s produced three main books articulating progressive dispensationalist views. Blaising , Darrell L. Bock , and Robert L. Saucy — are considered the primary spokespersons for progressive dispensationalism.
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Many know Craig Blaising from his work within Progressive Dispensationalism. I must say that Blaising presents a better case for the pretrib view than I have ever read.
If, when I was studying the scriptures in search of the pretrib rapture, I had come across this presentation, I may have been persuaded that the view was at least plausible. Instead, the pretribbers I talked to and notes that I read simply did not make a good case. Blaising realizes, like most scholars now, that the battle is being fought over the nature and timing of the Day of the LORD.
Already you can see that Blaising is not inserting a false dichotomy in the chronology of the passage. He asserts that the entire seven year period is the Day of the LORD which includes the great tribulation. Generally, it is the time of the end, the time of wrath , 19; , 40; , 9.
Blaising will build on this foundation as he turns to the Olivet Discourse and the Thessalonians epistles. He makes a point to highlight Matthew and Mark which most pretribbers do. Since no man knows the day of the hour, this means that this seven year complex event known as the Day of the LORD will begin sometime in the future. The conclusion is that the rapture will begin that seven year period. Instead of dividing the Thessalonian epistles from the Olivet Discourse, Blaising embraces the idea that they are talking about the same coming of Christ.
This is new territory for pretribbers, as far as I know. Blaising carries over the idea of a complex event to the Thessalonian epistles, still holding that the rapture is what begins this entire period. He addresses the chronology of II Thessalonians 2, specifically the language which states that the coming and gathering will not occur until the man of sin is revealed.
He points to a questionable interpretation of the passage, and suggests that Paul is really pointing back to an earlier oral tradition or the first letter. In this case, Blaising is assuming that they already knew about a pretrib rapture. After all, he has just explained it from Daniel and the Olivet Discourse. In moving to the book of Revelation, Blaising starts with the seals noting their similarity to the birth pangs as described in the Olivet Discourse. So the Day of the LORD is not portended at the sixth seal, but is acknowledged as what has come to be.
The conclusion is that the rapture must have occurred before any of these events since it occurs before the Day of the LORD. He does explain how these issues give pretrib credence and an overall coherence.
I will give high marks to how he interacts with preterism as he delves into the Olivet Discourse. I feel he did a better job than the other two presenters in that aspect. I was curious as to why he was making an issue out of how to dissect the passages that speak of events that were fulfilled in 70AD. Summing up, I will say that this has been the most credible presentation of the pretrib position that I have ever read.
However, as the critiques will show, there is much to be desired as it stacks up against other views. I will post the critiques in another post. Kudos to Blaising for presenting pretrib in such a way that it could be debated on a level playing field with Prewrath and Posttrib.
Have fun and stay busy — Luke -The Orange Mailman.
Craig A. Blaising
Many know Craig Blaising from his work within Progressive Dispensationalism. I must say that Blaising presents a better case for the pretrib view than I have ever read. If, when I was studying the scriptures in search of the pretrib rapture, I had come across this presentation, I may have been persuaded that the view was at least plausible. Instead, the pretribbers I talked to and notes that I read simply did not make a good case.