A Review of “Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis” by Crawford Gribben – Chapter 7 – “Eschatology and Evangelical Renewal”

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Now, I suppose when you promise to review a book every Saturday until you are finished you should probably do that! Now, considering it has been almost 5 months since I started reviewing my friend Crawford’s book, Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis, I should probably get to finishing it! So, without further ado, here is chapter 7! Next week, I will try to review the final part of the book, the Appendix and give my summary conclusions.

Gribben starts off with a discussion about the generally pessimistic outlook of Rapture Fiction. He notes that instead of just thinking that this time between the two comings of Christ we have very real positive requirements of the church. “Our duties as we wait for the Lord from heaven, include the constant pursuit of the reformation of the church, its doctrine and practice, and the constant pursuit of increasing purity in the Christan life” (p. 112). He is right. For far too long have we of the dispensational premillennial persuasion just simply stuck our heads in the sand as we wait for the Rapture instead of actively following the Lord’s commands for us now between Christ’s comings!

He notes a blessing of the eschatological framework of the Rapture Fiction is that of the “now” and “not yet” in that we look toward the Blessed Hope of the Lord’s return. While we have wonderful blessings now, we must still look forward to and yearn for the culmination of God’s redemptive plan. We have communion with the saints in heaven as we look forward to enjoying what they enjoy now.

This fellowship of the saints should influence how we live together as believers here in the “now.” Everything we do in the life of the church should reflect the wonderful “now” blessings but should look forward to the even better “not yet” things to come. Therefore things like the Lord’s Supper should reflect that wonderful time of Christ’s return.

But, we live in a fallen world where we are in a constant battle as believers. We cannot live in the future “not yet” when we are not there yet. We must live in the “now” as we deal with a sin cursed world and try to achieve holiness. “So the fallen world will one day be renewed. In the meantime, Christians should be busy, for the fallen word is the sphere of our activity” (p. 114).

All believers are going home even though things here on earth seem grim. There is a wonderful future awaiting for us should we reach death or the Lord’s return. We must constantly think and reflect on the blessed hope to come. This is the strength of Gribben’s book. It is not necessarily the eschatological position of the Rapture Fiction which is wrong, it is an incorrect emphasis on it to the neglect of the here and now. While we live for the future, we live in the now. Any eschatological position that reminds us to live here and now as we pursue holiness yet keep our minds on the blessed hope of the Lord’s return is good. While Evangelicalism is in a theological crisis, it is not the doctrine of eschatology that is the cause. In light of the Lord’s return though, we should be focusing on continued reform in the church as we seek to honour God in the life of the church.

This is perhaps Gribben’s strongest chapter. I would recommend the book (and it is well worth the price) for this simple chapter alone. We all, no matter what eschatological position, must remember that we live in the hear and now not in the future, but we should not neglect the future either. It gives us hope and causes us to persevere in the here and now.

Next week, I will review Gribben’s appendix where he actually deals with issues of differing eschatological framework’s. So far, a hearty endorsement for this book. It should remind us all about the theological anemia in the church today and why continued theological reformation is needed.

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One Response to A Review of “Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis” by Crawford Gribben – Chapter 7 – “Eschatology and Evangelical Renewal”

  1. […] Working out Salvation with Fear and Trembling wrote an interesting post today on A Review of âRapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisisâ by Crawford Gribben – Chapter 7 – âEschatology and Evangelical RenewalâHere’s a quick excerptA Review of “Rapture Fiction and the Evangelical Crisis” by Crawford Gribben – Chapter 7 – … Now, I suppose when you promise to review a book every Saturday until you are finished you should probably … it! So, without further ado, here is chapter 7! Next week, I will try to review the final part of the book […]

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