A Critique Of The Prewrath Interpretation Of The Day Of The Lord In Joel 2–3 -- By: Alan D. Cole

Journal: Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal
Volume: DBSJ 09:1 (Fall 2004)
Article: A Critique Of The Prewrath Interpretation Of The Day Of The Lord In Joel 2–3
Author: Alan D. Cole


A Critique Of The Prewrath
Interpretation Of The Day
Of The Lord In Joel 2–3

Alan D. Cole1

Many men teach; some men educate; few men inspire. Dr. Rolland D. McCune does all three. When I first started seminary, I viewed theology as a cold and dry subject that one had to endure in order to graduate. While sitting under the instruction of Dr. McCune, I not only learned theology; I came to love theology. His life of dedication to knowing the Word of God and the God of the Word have been a constant example and inspiration to me. I consider it a great honor to be able to contribute to his festschrift.

The Day of the Lord is a subject that fascinates many theologians. The nature of the topic and the variety of individuals who study it produce a host of opinions regarding its interpretative issues. In fact, almost every aspect of the Day of the Lord seems to be debated.2 One area of debate is the relationship of the Day of the Lord to the seventieth week of Daniel and the Millennium. Gerald B. Stanton states, “There has been a great deal of confusion over the location of the Day of the Lord. Some writers have placed it at the time of the Rapture, others at the time of the revelation, and still others as a bridge which spans the two.”3

The terminus a quo of the Day of the Lord is a significant question

because it is a major factor in determining the Rapture’s timing. Paul states in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”4 In this text, Paul promises church saints that they will be exempted from wrath. If the wrath is the same judgment that is associated with the Day of the Lord, then one’s location of that wrath in Daniel’s week provides support for his understanding of the Rapture’s timing.5 Charles C. Ryrie recognizes this significance when he comments, “The question of the Day of the Lord is a watershed between pre- and posttribulationism.”6

Even within pretribulationism there is not a consensus as to what the Day of the Lord includes. There are those who believe that it begins with the seventieth week of Daniel.7 At least one pretribulationist, Paul D. Feinberg, believes that the Day of the Lord begins at the mid-point of the seventieth week. He thi...

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