With those two "notches" under my belt, so to speak, I wanted to focus my efforts on theology, as both of my other articles are more of a practical ministry slant. Without a PhD in theology, I may never get anywhere with my rapture article, but I have decided to really focus on the doctrine and discover what I really believe about it after my own careful research. In order to do that, I had to take into account my own presuppositions, as failing to deal with them could lead to fouling up the research.
To presuppose is to suppose beforehand, according to Miriam Webster. When it comes to the rapture and what it has always represented for me, I definitely had some beforehand supposing in my life. From the time I was a boy growing up on a farm in Kansas, I just assumed the rapture and dispensationalism was the only way to believe. I honestly didn’t even know there was any other way. I had never heard about reformed thought, Covenant theology, or ammelinialism. I didn’t know that people existed who thought that the rapture wouldn’t happen. I just assumed that everyone “knew” the truth.
No research can be conducted without understanding the researcher’s background, even though the researcher will uphold the strictest standards of academia. It is actually for this very reason that I chose to research the rapture. Finding a defensible position is paramount and if one does not exist, then the only real conclusion is to set the doctrine aside.
I don't want to get into too many specifics of my research at this time. I am finished with the third draft of the paper and just need to go back and format my sources before one last draft and then submission. As I said before, I may get nowhere with it publication-wise, but it has been an important journey for me as I seek to understand what I believe about the doctrine and whether my presuppositions can continue to direct my life.