A couple of weeks ago we had my good friend Dr. Tommy Ice present “The History of the Doctrine of the Rapture” in the Barndollar Lectures at BBS.  Some of the things I appreciated about Tommy’s presentation are the following:

1.  He did not try to force the pre-trib rapture into the early church fathers when it was not there.

2.  He helped us to understand that some people in history like Bede who are taken to hold to a pre-trib rapture by some hold to a conflagration view, not a pre-trib rapture view.

3.  He helped us to know with hard historical facts that the pre-trib rapture doctrine predates Darby.

4.  He helped me especially to put some things together that I had not seen.  From my dissertation research on Arno C. Gaebelein I had run across Emile Guers, a pastor in Geneva, who had been influenced partly by Darby in 1837ff.  Guers later wrote a book in the 1850s entitled The Future of Israel.  This book teaches a 3 1/2 year tribulation not a 7 year tribulation, but it has a rapture before the trib.   Dr. Ice pointed out that Darby held to only a 3 1/2 year tribulation until the middle 1840s.  It was later that Daniel’s 70 weeks are brought into the discussions that were then going on relative to the tribulation.  So now I feel like I understand the early dispensational thinking of the 1830s a little better.