Dear Chicago Reader,
Your article on Barbara Rossing ["Let's Hear It for the Loving, Wimpy Jesus," July 1] was very informative. If, however, Ms. Rossing opened her eyes she would be aware that there has been for at least the last 40 years strong popular resistance to the doctrine of rapture from Kingdom Identity Ministries. Reverend Pete Peters of Scriptures for America, LaPorte, Colorado, has some amusing tapes on various churches conducting Thursday night "rapture practice" (true story).
Humor aside, the confusion is understandable, as the key scripture in Thessalonians has almost universally been poorly translated from the Greek. The correct translation is a restatement of the physical resurrection of Israel in Ezekiel 37 on a regenerated earth rather than a transition to some metaphysical state, as centuries of Christian tradition have taught.
The related texts indicate it is the tares, not the wheat, which are to be torn up.
As for useful suggestions in the meantime, enforcement of antiusury law in the Bible would go a long way toward eliminating unworkable, oppressive economic systems and the environmental damage they cause. Yes, this "racist, right-wing, Christian Identity fanatic" does advocate debt cancellation. Starting at home.
Again, many thanks to Barbara. I was raised in the ACLU and am in their debt for teaching me the importance of philology in studying ancient texts.