CLEARANCE: The Rapture Exposed (Book) by Barbara R. Rossing
CLEARANCE: The Rapture Exposed (Book) by Barbara R. Rossing
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Hollywood has spent billions of dollars to visualize global destruction through natural and man-made disasters.  Religious filmmakers have spent millions trying to visualize the rapture and the apocalypse.  Conrad Ostwalt distinguishes between the two as secular and sacred apocalypses in an interesting chapter of his book, Secular Steeples.  In preparing for a lecture on blockbuster films and the apocalyptic sub-genre, a colleague recommended Barbara R. Rossing's The Rapture Exposed:  The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation.  Rossing's work is at the same time an expose of a theological lie and a renewal of hope in a troubled world.Rossing comes out swinging in the first line of the first chapter:  "THE RAPTURE IS A RACKET" (1).  She continues in her book to uncover its creation, less than two centuries ago and the damage that it has wrought in politics, ethics, and theology, particularly in the United States.  Rossing points to its creation based on the vision of a fifteen-year-old Scottish girl, Margaret MacDonald, which was then amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.  Darby shared his ideas about the rapture on numerous mission trips to America between 18590 and 1877.  The strength, one of many, of Rossing's text is that she takes what has become known as premillenial dispensationalism and surgically dismantles it due to its lack of any significant scriptural foundation.  Rossing takes a longer view of Scripture than rapture proponents…that is, she seems to be looking at how God has worked throughout Scripture rather than simply piecing together a handful of verses, many out of context, to create a much-anticipated time-line of rapture, destruction, and death.  Along the way, she highlights criticisms of this theological worldview form all camps, liberal and conservative, evangelical and mainline, Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, and the list of opponents goes on and on.



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