Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is John Bray a PINO (Posttrib In Name Only)? by Dave MacPherson

 Florida evangelist John Bray has long called himself a posttrib. But is he a PINO (a posttrib in name only)? I know of no "posttrib" who has done more in recent decades (unwittingly or deliberately) to aid pretrib promoters like Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice who constantly quote Bray against non-pretribs everywhere!
     I first tangled with Bray after he came out in 1982 with a small booklet entitled "The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching." In it he claimed that an 18th century Jesuit priest named Manuel Lacunza, whose book came out in 1812, was the real pretrib rapture originator and stated that Margaret Macdonald's 1830 account actually taught a posttrib rapture and not a pretrib one! His groundless claim forced me to respond with "The Real Manuel Lacunza" and additional pro-Macdonald support which are still on Google etc.
     After many (including even LaHaye) publicly pooh-poohed his Lacunza thesis, Bray then came back later on with a new "discovery" that a Rev. Morgan Edwards was the real originator in 1788. I replied with a piece titled "Morgan Edwards' Rapture View."
     Well, I was recently shocked to find that Bray is still being taken seriously on the net.
     Concerning Margaret MacDonald, if persons type in her name on Google, they can find Wikipedia and be directed to a piece titled "Margaret McDonald (visionary)." Here are two sentences in it that are blatantly false:
     "Also Darby had already written out his pretribulation rapture views in January 1827, 3 years prior to the 1830 events and any MacDonald utterance. When MacDonald's utterance is read closely, her statements show her to hold a posttribulationist position ("being the fiery trial which is to try us..."). The source for both sentences is: "Bray, John L. (1992) [sic - should be 1982]. The origin of the pre-tribulation rapture teaching."
     Since you're aware of my recent piece titled "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart," which ran on one of Joe Ortiz' blogs, allow me to quote a bit of my book "The Rapture Plot" which discussed Bray's 1982 "pretrib origin" booklet:
     "On page three he admitted that his short work was the result of only two days of research on his part at England's Oxford University. [!]
     "I soon noted his flagrant misspelling: Robert Cameron's last name became 'Aameron.' Charles Erdman's last name was spelled 'Eerdman.' Seven times on page 25 the last name of H. A. Ironside appeared incorrectly as 'Ironsides' [like the TV show!]. If readers aren't aware that Bray has misspelled Cameron, Erdman, and Ironside in the same way in more than one of his booklets, an innocent printer can easily be blamed.
     "In his booklet's 34-page discussion of the pretrib origin, I tallied a total of 69 copying errors, as follows: five when quoting Darby, five when quoting Irving, ten when quoting Margaret, 37 when quoting Lacunza (on whom he majored)...he omitted 23 words from two Lacunza quotes, while on page 16 he omitted 15 words from an Irving quote.
     "Huebner (1973, p. 69), in order to assert that Margaret was a posttrib, isolated five phrases beginning in lines 37, 64, 72, 81, and 91 in her major revelation and then quoted them, in this order, in one paragraph. The same Bray booklet, in order to assert that Margaret was a posttrib (and with no reference to this Huebner work), used the same five phrases in two paragraphs on pages 20 and 21 - but in exactly reverse order! [Just one example of Bray's plagiarism!]
     "For quite some time after his booklet was published, and while I was working on my "Hoax" book, Bray regularly swamped me with individual sheets containing his lengthy, typed after-thoughts, each with an instruction as to where in his booklet it should be inserted. At times I was receiving several a week. It was apparent that he had more time to think about his work after its completion than before its completion!
     "John Bray's 1985 booklet 'The Second Coming of Christ and Related Events' included 12 pages focusing on Lacunza and Margaret. He had 17 errors while copying Lacunza including three errors consisting of nine omitted words. In one Lacunza quote he had seven missing words; his 1982 booklet had featured the same quote with the same omitted words. While copying Margaret's key revelation Bray made 11 errors including four word changes."
     As you know, Thomas Ice (who somehow left out a total of 49 words when he reproduced Margaret's short 1830 account - see "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" on Google) and other pretrib desperados have long quoted Bray's false statements about Margaret, Darby etc. when trying to distort and destroy the real facts about their own 184-year-old pretrib history. And Bray doesn't seem to mind working with and giving aid to his pretrib "enemies." Speaking of labels, you might be tempted to say that Bray has finally deserted his POST!

Author Dave MacPherson

What They Are Saying About ... THE RAPTURE PLOT! 

Gary DeMar (President American Vision): "A majority of prophecy writers and speakers teach that the church will be raptured before a future tribulational period. But did you know that prior to about 1830 no such doctrine existed. No one in all of church history ever taught pretribulational rapture. Dave MacPherson does the work of a journalistic private investigator to uncover the truth....The Rapture Plot is the never-before-told true story of the plot - how plagiarism and subtle document changes created the 'mother of all revisionisms.' A fascinating piece of detective work." 

Robert H. Gundry (Professor Westmont College): "As usual MacPherson out hustles his opponents in research on primary sources. 

C. S. Lovett (President Personal Christianity): You don't read very much of Dave MacPherson's work before you realize he is a dedicated researcher. Because his work has been so honest and open his latest work The Rapture Plot has produced many red faces among some of the most recognized rapture writers of our time. When their work is compared to his it is embarrassing for them to see how shallow their research is." 

R. J. Rushdoony (President Chalcedon): "Dave MacPherson has been responsible for major change in the eschatology of evangelical churches by his devastating studies of some of the central aspects thereof. In The Rapture Plot MacPherson tells us of the strange tale of 'rapture' writings, revisions, cover-ups, alterations and confusions. No one has equaled MacPherson in his research on the 'pretrib rapture.' Attempts to discredit his work have failed...." 

About the Author: Born 1932 of Scotch/English descent Dave MacPherson is a natural for British historical research. His calling was journalism. Receiving a BA in English in 1955 he spent 26 years as a newsman reporting and filming many notable events persons presidents and dignitaries.


  1. Wow, Joe Ortiz, you really and truly are on the cutting edge of up-to-the-minute events! You are a rare combination of investigative journalist and deep, scholarly theologian! His blessings on you and yours, Irv

  2. Give credit to Dave MacPherson! He wrote the article. We are proud and privileged he has chosen our venue to publish his works!