June 11, 2022

John Nelson Darby and The Rapture with James Tunney


An excerpt from, "Heretic of the week: John Nelson Darby" By Charles Coulombe, Catholic Herald, October 10, 2019:

Darby also originated a brand of eschatology call Dispensationalism, which holds that true Christians shall be raptured before the events leading up to the Second Coming and Last Judgment. He preached his Gospel throughout Britain, the United States, Canada, and even Australia and New Zealand.

While Darby’s views on ecclesiology gained few followers in America, his Dispensationalism has been a big hit among Evangelicals ever since, among other things injecting the whole idea of “the Rapture” into American pop culture and spawning the Left Behind series of novels and films. Alas, before he died the movement broke into two sections – one of which he chose and remained in until he died.
The Brethren claimed to be teaching "rediscovered truths." Darby is noted in the theological world as the father of " dispensationalism." He is said to have originated the "secret rapture" theory wherein Christ will snatch away his true believers from this world without warning. Some authors (e.g. Evangelicals and Israel: Theological Roots of a Political Alliance) claim that dispensationalism theory influenced the British government to issue the Balfour Declaration 1917. If this is true, Darby influenced current world events.

An excerpt from, "The Road to Balfour: The History of Christian Zionism" By Stephen Sizer, Balfour Project, November 24, 2012:

John Nelson Darby is regarded by many as the father of Dispensationalism and the most influential figure in the development of Christian Zionism.  He was a charismatic figure with a dominant personality. He was a persuasive speaker and zealous missionary for his dispensationalist beliefs. He personally founded Brethren churches as far away as Germany, Switzerland, France and the United States, and translated the entire Scriptures into English.  The churches Darby and his colleagues planted with the seeds of Premillennial Dispensationalism in turn sent missionaries to Africa, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and, ironically, to work among the Arabs of Palestine. From 1862 onwards his controlling influence over the Brethren in Britain waned due, in particular, to the split between Open and Exclusive Brethren in 1848.  Darby consequently spent more and more time in North America, making seven journeys in the next twenty years. During these visits, he came to have an increasing influence over evangelical leaders such as James H. Brookes, Dwight L. Moody, William Blackstone and C. I. Scofield.

Video Title: John Nelson Darby and The Rapture with James Tunney. Source: New Thinking Allowed with Jeffrey Mishlove. Date Published: Jun 9, 2022. Description:

Here James describes the important theological contributions of the Anglo-Irishman, James Nelson Darby (1800-1882), whose dispensation theology has formed the basis for popular films and novels concerning "the rapture." He cautions that this religious idea has been criticized as lacking a biblical foundation and, worse, as contributing to the degradation of the environment. He also argues that Darby's theology of the rapture is overly literal, scientistic in nature, and has become a tool of imperial expansion.