Question: What happens when an elephant meets a mouse?
Answer: The same thing when an eminent Christian scholar meets "Left Behind" confidence man Tim LaHaye.
The elephant, Dr. William Lane Craig (leading Christian apologist and Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology), caused a tribulational tsunami last fall when he declared that LaHaye's "Left Behind" theology (which rests on a pretrib rapture) is "not biblical"!
Craig (pictured above) stated this in an August 5th Charisma News" article titled "Despite Popular Theology, Apologist Says Rapture Movies Are Not Biblical."
He wrote: "The rapture was made up by someone in the 1800s, and the story caught on among some groups who still believe it today. The simple truth is that it is not biblical, nor was it ever the historic position of the Christian church."
Craig added that "Many people have never known any other view than the rapture...[and have] never thought to examine or question its biblical credentials."
Building his case against pretrib theology, Craig said that pretrib has succeeded not because of evidence in the Bible but because it's been promoted by the Scofield Reference Bible and schools like Dallas Seminary - and of course by "Left Behind" books and films and even by a recently launched HBO program.
Well, after the Talbot research professor shot his cannonball across LaHaye's bow, you can imagine how quickly LaHaye stirred up from his rapture repose at his swanky Rancho Mirage home in the Southern California desert.
Six days later "Charisma News" ran LaHaye's response in a piece titled " 'Left Behind' Author Tim LaHaye Fires Back at Anti-Rapture Apologist."
LaHaye (pictured above) ignored Craig's thrust and regurgitated the usual pretrib arguments. He then maliciously and dangerously (see Matt. 5:22) tried to repeat the pretrib non-argument which asserts that those rejecting pretrib may not even be saved!!
LaHaye stated: "The good news for even a-Millennialists like Craig is if they believe in and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior from sin, they will go up in the rapture with the rest of us."
At the end of his below-the-belt riposte, LaHaye twisted the knife even more when he audaciously added: "I certainly hope those who chose to disbelieve in the rapture will meet Jesus' qualifications for salvation, that way during the rapture we can discuss it in more detail."
When LaHaye's 1992 book "No Fear of the Storm" (which has a chapter entitled "MacPherson's Vendetta") reproduced Margaret Macdonald's 1830 pretrib revelation account, he carelessly left behind a total of 49 words, the same 49 words that would-be scholar Thomas Ice had left out in the same places in her account when he had reproduced it three years earlier!
(It was apparent that LaHaye had merely copied Ice's errors-filled reproduction instead of researching original sources. If Dr. Craig, an apologist who has debated famous antagonists including the late Christopher Hitchens, had left behind even one word when reproducing Macdonald's short handwritten account of her "discovery," I'm sure he would have been greatly embarrassed!)
What's really fascinating is that Prof. Craig is associated with a school that is part of Biola and that back in 1953 I was kicked out of Biola (when it was in downtown Los Angeles) for giving copies of my father's 1944 posttrib book "Triumph Through Tribulation" to some students and profs on that campus.
How times have changed!
Meanwhile LaHaye is still making LaHay while LaSun shines in Rancho Mirage - a name that fits in with a rapture that's truly a mirage in the real world the rest of us live in!