Eschatology and the PCA

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by LadyFlynt, Dec 7, 2006.

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  1. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    1) Is the Rapture always associated with dispensationalism?

    2) Has anyone ever heard of a dispensational PCA or a PCA that believes in the Rapture?
  2. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    When the PCA merged with the RPCES (which as I understand it, held an historic pre-mil eschatology) a number of pre-millennial congregations and ministers joined the PCA.

    Through the years I've been told that there are a of dispensational pre-millennialists in southern congregations in the PCA. I don't have any direct knowledge of any however.


  3. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

    Most of the time the pre-trib rapture is associated with dispenstionalism. I have heard one Presbyerian preacher subscribe to it, however, I am told that he later recanted. That was D.G. Barnhouse. Someone told me that Carl Mccintire held the view as well but I can't confirm it. I do not believe that either of these men were PCA.
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I know of some in TN valley who are dispensational. Certainly no TE's but a few RE's that I know. As far as the membership in my expirience there are a fair number but probably still a minority.
  5. R. Scott Clark

    R. Scott Clark Puritan Board Senior

    CM had his own denomination, the Bible Presbyterians.

    I think Barnhouse was deceased in 1961. The PCA was formed in 1973.


  6. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    My wifes uncle was a Bible Pres missionary to Palestine. He described himself as "5 point calvinist & 7 (point) dispensationalist".
  7. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    oh. This is just shocking to me. It was a PCA minister that explained that the PCA was covenantal not dispensational.
  8. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I've asked this before, but I've never seen an answer. Why the assumption that belief in the rapture equates to dispensationalism or premillenialism?

    The Vulgate version of 1 Th. 4:17 uses the "rapeimur" for "caught up" or "violently taken away". It seems like a fairly decent translation of the άρΠαγη (harpage) found in the Greek:

    deinde nos qui vivimus qui relinquimur simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Domino in aera et sic semper cum Domino erimus.

    The older meaning of rapture meant something like "involuntarily seized". Why should this be something that Reformed people reject? In other words, do we accept 1 Th. 4:17 for its plain meaning, or is there some other interpretation?
  9. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    This has been mentioned in past threads as well, but to reiterate, it's not so much the word's technical definition as much as what it has come to typically mean and be strongly associated with today.

    It's sort of similar to what has, to a lesser but still real extent, happened with the word "evangelical" in our day. Likewise, if I were to tell a group of people that I am "Catholic" without qualifying that I mean it in the Apostles' Creed sense, they would no doubt mentally associated it with Roman Catholicism, even though that was not the word's original connotation, and even currently is not its sole technical meaning.
  10. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I was told that Dispensationalists cannot hold office (even the diaconate) in a PCA church.
  11. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks Chris. Setting aside the timing issue and the loaded term issue, I'm still wondering how the dispensationalist's view of the actual event differs from the Reformed. I'm talking about suddenly being taken up. Do some spiritualize this?

    I'm wondering because I have mostly a post-mil view and yet I take the passage literally.

  12. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Dispensationalists believe in a "secrete" rapture.
  13. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Do you have BCO citation for that?

    I know several elders and deacons in my former pres who were dispensational. I am not defending it--I just know that it happens.
  14. Formerly At Enmity

    Formerly At Enmity Puritan Board Freshman

    I think this is the key....As a southerner, I know of no pre-mil pastors in the area that I am in (Memphis).....:2cents:
  15. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    No, I don't have a BCO citation. I was told this by a diaconate candidate.
  16. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    I was under the impression that there were only two doctrines that an exception could not be made denomination-wide. Those are infant baptism and limited atonement. I thought that other than these it was up to the Session of the local church whether or not to allow particular exceptions.
  17. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    I have a question...

    Does it matter?

    I mean if Christ takes the Church before or after the tribulation does it matter?
  18. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    The understanding of Dispensational Theology vs Covenantal Theology...yes, does matter.
  19. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor


    I guess I'm not understanding why it matters..

    I mean if there is a rapture before/after the tribulation (or even not at all) and if they be Jew or Gentile that comes to Christ during that would either theology fall?

    I mean if any be called by they Jew or Gentile they would still be called by God..would they not? Would it some how take away or even add to their calling by God? If they are called they are called..and they will answer the call..

    God knows what it will take each one of His Children going through to bring us to HIM, correct? So if it be for some to go through the tribulation to actually get to the point of bowing their knee to God...what it is to US who do not need to go through such extreme circumstances to bring us to Him? Either way, ALL would still need to acknowledge Christ as their Messiah.

    So again, I don't see why it matters.

  20. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    The issue isn't the Rapture...that is why I asked the first question. The theology is what matters.
  21. wsw201

    wsw201 Puritan Board Senior

    As Chris has noted, the way the term is used today, it is strongly associated with dispensational theology. Since dispensationalism is counter to the Standards, there should be no officer in the PCA who holds to this system of theology. In addition, I can't think of one reason why any session or presbytery would allow an exception in this area. In the NTP, they would grill any candidate who had come out of DTS in Dallas to make sure they had abandoned their dispensational theology and had fully embraced the covenant theology of the Standards.
  22. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    Rightly dividing the Word of God always matters.
  23. puritan lad

    puritan lad Puritan Board Freshman

    Dispensationalists, for the most part, believe in a "Pre-Trib" Rapture, ie. the Left Behind Novels. Postmillennialists also take 1 Thess. 4 literally, but there is nothing in the passage about a pre-trib Rapture. In fact, verse 16 mentions a resurrection, which causes huge problems for the pre-tribber with passages such as John 5:28-29, John 6:39-44, and Rev. 20:4-5, none which can support a pre-trib resurrection. See Does the Bible teach a Pre-trib Rapture?
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2007
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