We’re a generation removed from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960′s and the Rapture still hasn’t happened despite astonishing certainty about when we could expect it on the part of some of the most influential voices of the era. Hal Lindsey had the timetable of the Lord’s return all figured out in his influential 1970 book,The Late Great Planet Earth and Earnest Angley’s 1950 tome, Raptured, was the Left Behind of the day. Angley’s book, which a friend and I took to calling “Raptured, raptured, raptured, raptured” because of the groovy lettering on the early 1970′s cover, was even more terrifying to me than Lindsey’s book when I was a teen. Christian rocker Larry Norman’s rapture-ready classic I Wish We’d All Been Ready was the only logical response to terrors of the kind of AntiChrist-ruled world Angley described.
The Rapture, the teaching that God will suddenly call all true believers to leave this decaying planet in the twinkling of an eye and join him in heaven, certainly wasn’t a new idea at that time, thanks to the theological stylings of John Nelson Darby and his disciple, C.I. Scofield, who codified Darby’s ideas about the end times into a very popular Bible version that shaped the theological understanding of generations of fundamentalist and conservative Evangelical Christians. [Read more]