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Popular Christian Slang Terminology: Pan-Trib and Pan-Mill

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A popular slang term among Christians of recent years is “pan-” plus something, as in “I don’t understand all this, and don’t need to understand it, but it’ll all pan out.”  Two of these “pan-” terms refer to views on eschatology:  pan-trib and pan-mill.  I first heard the term “pan-millennial” from Christians in Reformed circles, whose only consideration of eschatology had been the presentations of equally confused (regarding the subject) Reformed preachers.  Like so many others, they remain content in that area of “pious agnosticism,” and now they even have a label to attach to their belief — a name that means they don’t know what they believe.

I first heard the term “pan-trib” used with a very specific meaning:  someone who is undecided concerning the timing of the rapture.  This came from an audio sermon a year or so back; the preacher and that church affirm futurist premillennialism.  The preacher explained the different rapture views (pre-, mid- and post) and the different strengths and weaknesses, from scripture, of each view, before finally admitting that he was “pan-trib” in that he could not decide from scripture the precise timing of the rapture.

Since then, however, I have heard the term “pan-trib” used by laypeople, to apparently mean the same thing as “pan-mill.”  (Actually, I have not personally known anyone to use that term, but have seen it mentioned by others at online blogs and message boards.)  Evidently these are individuals who are not even aware of the different millennial views, but have heard terms such as “rapture” and “tribulation” and so express their pious agnosticism in the simpler wording “pan-trib.”  A brief googling of the two terms on the Internet shows more references to the term “pan-millennial,” though a few message-board type sites list references to “pan-trib.”

Though both terms (as broadly defined) are excuses for a lazy approach to scripture, I would hold to the distinction in terminology and agree with the “pan-trib” definition used by the premillennial pastor uncertain of the rapture timing.  As with everything, of course, when someone throws out a term such as this, we need to clarify and ask them what they mean by that particular term.

As I have mentioned many times before, it really does matter what you believe, and God gave us all 66 books of the Bible to tell us these things.  The very book name, Revelation, suggests this is something God has revealed to us, and yet strangely too many Christians turn it into the great Concealment instead.

Church Bulletin Quotes: Thoughts concerning Corrie Ten Boom– versus J.C. Ryle

May 14, 2010 1 comment

The local, Reformed Sovereign Grace church does not correctly understand eschatology or ecclesiology.  Often the quotes put in the church bulletin reflect that poor understanding, such as quotes from Christian people who were not scholars or Bible teachers themselves — such as C.S. Lewis or Corrie Ten Boom.  Often the quotes from C.S. Lewis are harmless enough as they don’t speak to points at which C.S. Lewis erred.  Yet such quotes are more common than quotes from the great quotable preachers such as C.H. Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, the Puritans, and many others.   (Certainly we can learn from the Christian witness and experiences of laypeople, but here I am talking about quoting famous laypeople who may have been true Christian believers, but — like many non-famous believers — were confused and did not really understand some biblical doctrines.)

A recent quote from Corrie Ten Boom especially was not needed, as it is one that reflects Corrie Ten Boom’s lack of understanding regarding the future great tribulation — the same error as the local pastor.  The quote can easily be googled, and is part of Corrie Ten Boom’s anti-pre-trib rapture view.  It includes the statement that sixty percent of the world has already entered the tribulation.  She confused general persecution and tribulation with the specific issue of the future Great Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th week, and thus denied the fact of The Great Tribulation associated with our Lord’s Second Advent.

For a contrast, here is a good, biblically accurate answer concerning overall tribulation as well as the future great tribulation, from J.C. Ryle (who was not pre-trib rapture, either, but who clearly articulated a correct view of tribulation and the great tribulation):

From his exposition of Luke chapter 21:

The words of this prophecy were doubtless intended to apply to every age of the Church of Christ. They began to be fulfilled in the days of the apostles. The book of Acts supplies us with many an instance of their fulfillment. They have been repeatedly fulfilled during the last eighteen hundred years. Wherever there have been disciples of Christ, there has always been more or less persecution. They will yet receive a more full accomplishment before the end comes. The last tribulation will probably be marked by special violence and bitterness. It will be a “great tribulation.” (Rev. 7:14.)