[quote=The Barrister]“Left behind” is not a biblical concept. It is a novelist’s interpretation of the second coming of the Lord. It makes for fascinating fiction but it is not theologically sound.
And I do mean “novelist.”
That’s ok as long as you only use the term “novelist” in it’s most clinical sense.
But in reality, the Left Behind gang and others like them are thought to be reputable bible scholars by many (if not most) of their readers. It’s easy to dismiss them as fiction, but they are a bit more dangerous than that. The Da Vinci Code is fiction as well, but there are a lot of people who are believing the foundation on which it’s based. Same with Left Behind…it perpetuates and solidifies false belief. Technically it is fiction, but to toss it on the heap with Tom Clancy or Dean Koontz and assume that all readers are doing the same is unwise.
I tend to agree with the apologist mentioned in the original post about them having it backwards. It seems to me that whenever God has cast down some judgement, it was the righteous who were “left behind.” However, pointing that out to someone who believes in the rapture isn’t likely to convince them otherwise.
The rapture, like a lot of ideas that are born of sola scriptura and personal interpretation, is a presupposition that is held as a matter of faith. For those who believe in that false doctrine, it is a central tenet of their faith. Rapturists will therefore tend to interpret scripture in a way that fits that presupposition. The rapture doctrine is born of dispensationalism which has many presuppositions which automatically put it at odds with the Catholic faith and most historical interpretations of scripture. I’ve found that debating scripture interpretations with dispensationalists is like trying to have a telephone conversation with someone with whom you don’t share a common language. :banghead:
I tend to think that any apologetics in this specific area ought to be framed in historical arguments. There are several books which demonstrate very well that the doctrine did not really appear until sometime in the 19th century.