The Second Coming

The Blessed Hope, by George Eldon Ladd. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1956. $3.00.

Dr. Ladd of Fuller Seminary has followed up his earlier book, Crucial Questions about the Kingdom of God, by dealing directly with a vital part of the believer’s faith: Just what is the Blessed Hope? “The central thesis of this book,” he says, “is that the Blessed Hope is the second coming of Jesus Christ and not a pretribulation rapture” (p. 11). He continues: “The Blessed Hope is not deliverance from the Tribulation; it is union with the Lord at His coming” (p. 12). He shows that this was the historic view of premillennialists until about 125 years ago when J. N. Darby and others introduced a belief in a pretribulation rapture. Chapter 2, “The Rise and Spread of Pretribulationism,” traces this belief in England and America down to the Scofield Bible but also notes that important premillennialists up to the present day have rejected it. There follows a biblical study of the passages dealing with the Blessed Hope, the Tribulation, the Rapture, the Resurrection, and there is found “no support for the idea that the return of Christ will be divided into two aspects—one before and one after the Tribulation” (p. 89), but rather that the Blessed Hope is that reunion with Christ which “occurs at the Revelation of Christ in glory” (p. 100).

With this aspect of the book not all will agree, but we think Dr. Ladd has proved his point. Perhaps he might have made it even stronger by showing that a correct exegesis of Daniel 9:27 declares Christ, not the Antichrist, to bring sacrifices to end in the midst of the 70th week, thus leaving no foundation for a supposed three and a half-year tribulation under the Antichrist or a supposed seven-year ...

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