Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 134:533 (Jan 1977)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation. By John F. Walvoord. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976. 167 pp. Paper, $3.95.

This volume is without doubt the most polemical of any the author has written. The book deals mostly with the blessed hope as viewed by posttribulationists and has only a short chapter on “Pretribulationism as the Alternative to Posttribulationism.” Four different kinds of posttribulationism are critiqued: “(1) classic posttribulationism; (2) semiclassic posttribulationism; (3) futuristic posttribulationism; (4) dispensational posttribulationism” (p. 21).

Doubtless, critics of pretribulationism will fault Dallas Seminary’s president for being frontal in his treatment of those who do not share his views of eschatology. However, those who hold to the pretribulational position and who have been disturbed by recent and increased opposition to their view will delight in the scholarly answers herein set forth and the defense of the pretribulational position. By far the posttribulationism of Robert Gundry set forth in his book, The Church and the Tribulation, is given the most attention (pp. 60-143), though the writings of others such as J. Barton Payne, George Ladd, Alexander Reese, and David MacPherson are also considered.

With decisiveness Walvoord presents answers to the criticisms Gundry offers of pretribulationism. The study demonstrates keen discernment of the issues related to the Rapture question and the author’s careful analysis of related problems. The most common criticisms of Gundry are that he often begs the question, presents arguments which do not prove what he is attempting to prove, and fails to include in his discussion anything which would contradict his preconceived views. Interestingly, Gundry accuses pretribulationists of basing their views on insufficient exegetical grounds and on faulty exegesis (p. 61) and Walvoord faults Gundry for the very same thing (p. 82).

The book is well outlined. No stone is left unturned and all the pertinent Scriptures related to the question of the Rapture are treated. The study represents an impressive and thought-provoking refutation of all four expressions of posttribulationism but especially of Gundry’s new dispensational variety. Nowhere is there ever so much as a hint that the opponents are less than Christian. They are accused though of using “illogical procedure” (p. 81), “nonsensical” (p. 90) and “irrelevant” (p. 86) arguments, “fanciful exegesis” (p. 92), “pure dogmatism” (p. 128), and of arguing from a “false premise” (p. 128).

Perhaps a glossary of terms would have made the work of even more value to more people. Lay...

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