The idea of "The Rapture" - the return of Christ to snatch born-again Christians off the earth - is an extremely popular interpretation of the Book of Revelation in the Bible and a jumping-off point for the best-selling Left Behind series of books. However, most Christian churches and biblical scholars condemn rapture theology as a distortion of Christian faith with little biblical basis. Yet this interpretation, based on a psychology of fear and destruction, guides the daily acts of thousands if not millions of North Americans and people worldwide.In The Rapture Exposed , professor of theology and ordained minister Barbara Rossing argues that the Left Behind novels' script for the world's future distorts the Bible, is disingenuous, and flat out wrong. There is neither "rapture" of Christians off the earth, nor does Revelation predict a seven-year tribulation culminating in war in Israel and the Middle East. Rather, Rossing argues, Revelation offers a vision of God's healing love for the world - a love that will not be left behind. The Rapture Exposed makes the case for reclaiming Christianity from fundamentalists' destructive reading of the biblical story and back into God's beloved community.
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Barbara R. Rossing teaches New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She holds a doctorate from Harvard University Divinity School and a Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School. An ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she lives in Chicago.From Publishers Weekly:
Ordained minister Rossing is ready to do battle with evangelicals both within and outside of her Lutheran Church camp. Rossing, who teaches New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, begins her sparring by taking on the widely popular Left Behind series and all it presumes to communicate about the future of the world. Claiming that the Left Behind authors' interpretation of prophetic biblical verses is "fiction," Rossing firmly asserts that the Book of Revelation has a completely different purpose than to predict upcoming world uprisings and the eventual end of the earth. Instead, Rossing believes that this biblical vision is meant to inspire humanity to seek out "repentance and justice." Rossing also maintains, somewhat unfairly, that rapture enthusiasts extol a careless, abusive attitude toward God's created world, since rapture theology declares that the followers of Christ are soon to be removed from it. More significant is Rossing's belief that Revelation does not offer a prophetic look at Jerusalem as the inevitable battleground between good and evil, but rather extends the promise of a New Jerusalem that will open its arms to all nations in peace. While Rossing's scholarly work is well organized and obviously carefully thought out, evangelicals may take issue with the blanket statement that "most Christian churches and biblical scholars condemn Rapture theology as a distortion of Christian faith with little biblical basis." This book will likely upset Christian conservatives while appealing to many in mainline denominations.
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