Exposing Barbara R. Rossing’s The Rapture Exposed and A Problem or Two with Ben Witherington’s The Problem with Evangelical Theology -- By: Kevin D. Zuber

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 10:31 (Dec 2006)
Article: Exposing Barbara R. Rossing’s The Rapture Exposed and A Problem or Two with Ben Witherington’s The Problem with Evangelical Theology
Author: Kevin D. Zuber


Exposing Barbara R. Rossing’s The Rapture Exposed and A Problem or Two with Ben Witherington’s The Problem with Evangelical Theology

Dr. Kevin D. Zuber

Professor of Theology, Moody Bible Institute

Introduction

Polemical attacks on Dispensational Theology are not new. Arguably the most vitriolic (purportedly scholarly but seriously defective) work of recent memory is John H. Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism1 ; a work ably reviewed and answered by Richard L. Mayhue2 , of The Master’s Seminary and David L. Turner, in Grace Theological Journal.3 Before Gerstner of course, there were the works of men such as Clarence B. Bass4 and O.T. Allis5 ; and the list could be expanded many-fold by citing anti-dispensationalist journal articles published over the last sixty years; and the list could reach nearly incalculable proportions by citing anti-dispensationalist web-sites and web-blogs that attack dispensational theology daily. Generally speaking these attacks came (and come) either from former dispensationalists, who through the avenues (it is alleged) of more serious biblical scholarship (as they would define serious scholarship) came to “see the light” of covenant theology and/or the (supposed) errors of dispensationalism,6 ; or they came (and come) from the advocates of covenant theology, the arch evangelical rival of dispensationalism.

With the publication of Barbara R. Rossing’s book The Rapture Exposed7 (hereafter cited as Exposed) dispensational theology is faced with a polemical attack from a new challenger. Rossing is a Lutheran and teaches New

Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. The dust jacket of her book notes “She holds a doctorate from Harvard University Divinity School and Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School. [She is an] ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” In short, Rossing is not an evangelical.8 Or one might observe that, at the least, she is not a covenant theologian in the tradition of the Westminster Confession of Faith, nor is she a former dispensationalist who has come to a (purported) realization of the errors of t...

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