Posttribulationism Today Part III: Semiclassic Posttribulational Interpretation -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 132:527 (Jul 1975)
Article: Posttribulationism Today Part III: Semiclassic Posttribulational Interpretation
Author: John F. Walvoord


Posttribulationism Today
Part III:
Semiclassic Posttribulational Interpretation

John F. Walvoord

[John F. Walvoord, President and Professor of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary, Editor, Bibliotheca Sacra.]

The Majority Posttribulational View

If the eschatology of liberal scholarship is excluded, probably the majority view of posttribulationism can be classified as semiclassic. Because of the great diversity of viewpoints among the posttribulationists themselves, it is difficult to establish broad categories such as this in the study of posttribulationism today. However, in contrast to the purely classical view of J. Barton Payne, described in the previous article, and the purely futuristic views of George E. Ladd and Robert H. Gundry, most contemporary posttribulationists can be designated as following a semiclassic view.

Within this broad category several subdivisions can be noted. First, some posttribulationists emphasize the contemporary character of the tribulation, and while not insisting that all predicted events prior to the second coming have been fulfilled, they assert as their major point that the church is already in the great tribulation. Hence, they argue it is folly to debate whether the church will be raptured before the tribulation. Second, some POSttTibulationists in this school of thought who are contending that the church is already in tribulation find certain aspects of the tribulation still future. These unfulfilled aspects may be limited to certain major events which are yet to be fulfilled or major persons who are yet to be revealed. They assume, in contrast to the classic position, that the second coming could not occur any day. Third, some, like Alexander Reese, find a specific seven-year period still future, as anticipated in Daniel 9:27, but tend to find some of the predictions of the Book of Revelation

as contemporary or past and, accordingly, are not, strictly speaking, futurists like George E. Ladd. When posttribulationists charge pretribulationists with not always agreeing among themselves on some details, they do not seem to realize the extent of diversity of opinion in their own ranks, even when subdivided into broad categories. In the analysis of semiclassic posttribulationism which follows, the main trends will be traced even though there may be those in this classification who hold views different from the broad trend.

The Semiclassic Claim To Be The Historical Interpretation

A major emphasis in most posttribulational presentations is the argument that they represent the historical view of the church and that pretribulationism ar...

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