Is the pre-trib rapture a form of gnosticism?

Michael Jensen wrote a interesting article on Gnosticism.

In this article he writes and concludes;

Is there a contemporary form of Gnosticism? The actual Gnostic teachings have had a romantic attraction to a kind of new age Christianity since the discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents. But much more widespread – and far more dangerous – are the ongoing tendencies within mainstream Christianity to cast faith as a higher form of knowledge and to think of the world in dualistic terms.

Though Paul prays for the believers to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will (Col 1:9; see Phil 1:9), there is no sense in which this is secret or higher knowledge into which believers are initiated. Faith is not a matter of inside knowledge. It is a spiritual perception (certainly) of what has been publically declared in the gospel. Yet sometimes we so emphasis learning and knowledge as the path to spiritual growth that we can certainly sound more like Valentinus than Paul.

Likewise – we still have a tendency to see salvation as salvation from the physical world and not salvation with it. The Gnostics denied the resurrection of the body – it was loathsome to them. We may not explicitly, but practically do the same. The Fathers remind us that the God of Jesus Christ, the redeemer is the same as the God who created all things – and not his opponent.

I like what he says, salvation doesn’t take us from the world. Rather we are saved within the world and therefore are to bring about redemption throughout the world.


About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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4 Responses to Is the pre-trib rapture a form of gnosticism?

  1. not sure if it is gnosticism (though a really interesting proposition) but could be escapism….

    • Craig Benno says:

      That is a good thought Brian.
      I sometimes think out loud when I post.

      I am thinking of some future study / research and one of those areas could be in how our eschatology effects the way we minister today and think about the future.

  2. Craig, it’s interesting to think of pre trib rapture thinking as possibly gnostic primarily because of the problem of the gnostic thinking of the separation of matter and spirit in which all matter is evil and spirit is good – so we desire to be rid of our supposedly evil bodies (matter) and raptured out of the supposedly evil world (matter) to live in spiritual heaven (spirit), and so on, which is also wrapped up in escapist notions and all that. So that is why it can be a bit intriguing to think of pre trib rapture think as possibly gnostic at it’s roots.

    • Craig Benno says:

      You make some good points there Brian.
      In thinking through this; I think the father of pre-trib dispensation John Darby could have had some gnostic traits in the way he developed the closed Brethren, shutting them off from both the world and fellowship with the greater church.

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