This book is subtitled, “How End Times Theology Gets it Wrong,” but it’s about much more than comparative theology. It’s the story of one person’s faith, how it evolved over time, and how the things we believe affect the things that we do.
As a teenager, Zack Hunt became wrapped up (no pun intended) in the rapture. His idol was Jack Van Impe and his prized possession the Jack Van Impe Prophecy Bible complete with a color coded guide to the apocalypse. Understanding the “secret” Bible code that predicted the end times made Zack feel intelligent, superior and most of all safe — safe, since his salvation depended upon knowing and believing all the right things.
In college, Zack is dismayed to find that many professors of religion do not adhere to his beliefs. Through study he comes to realize that the proof texts for the rapture are taken out of context, and that the book of Revelation has a spiritual rather than literal interpretation. Even more, he sees that a fixation on the end times can prevent Christians from taking action in the here and now. Why bother to try and fix what Jesus intends to destroy and remake anyway? For Zack, at least, preoccupation with the end times led to a focus on his own personal salvation and future in heaven, and a lack of concern for the welfare of others in the present. This is not Christlike.
Unraptured is an interesting and easy read. You’ll get an overview and history of apocalyptic theology (something Lutherans rarely talk about) along with the story of another Christian’s journey of faith.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, because I did not agree with some of the author’s political and theological conclusions and his writing style was a bit too informal for my taste. Overall, still worthwhile reading.