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Fascinating blog! Lately on the web I've run across some other articles covering the history of the same pretrib rapture theory including (seen on Google) "Famous Rapture Watchers - Addendum," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," and (even more shocking) "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." Many seem to be jumping the pretrib rapture ship these days and opting for midtrib or prewrath or posttrib. So - thanks for your scholarly and readable comments on the Great American Rapture Debate!

I should mention that the character of the Antichrist's desolation is sheer violence, which is brilliantly studied by Rene Girard in the latest issue of First Things.

I must say that I am surprised that a neocon journal like First Things would publish Girard, especially this particular article. In some of the the online comments, Editor Jody Bottum reveals some of the magazine's squeamishness.

Thanks, Fr. Greg, for your note here. It seems that the Apocalypse is all about the destructive effacement of nature -- human and the earth.

I too was raised with dispensationalist/Christian Zionist lunacy, brought to us by the likes of Darby, Scofield, and especially, Hal Lindsey. In that millieu at that time, the pre-tribulational Rapture was dogma on par with Christ's redemptive death as subsitutionary and penal, satisfying the wrath of an angry Father.

I of course read the Apocalypse of St. John the Theologian quite differently today than I did then (and bearing in mind its tertiocanonical status), but, beyond its basic message that God, and therefore, humanity, wins in the end, I am also struck now by its depiction of both environmental and economic catastrophe brought on by humanity's refusal to repent.

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