I'm curious about the relationship between those who adhere to young-earth creationism, and those who adhere to Rapture theology (as expressed in the Left Behind series, for example, and similar related belief systems most commonly associated with fundamentalism and dispensationalism). Are these, generally, the same people? Or is there a large divergence between these two groups?

I know a good many Christians who believe in both. I know a few who reject both. I don't know specifically of anyone who accepts one view, but rejects the other, although they may exist and I just don't know because the discussion topic hasn't come up.

And at least superficially, they both appear to have their roots in fundamentalism. But I wonder how substantial this similarity is.

To be a bit more specific,

  1. Are there any theological foundations on which both views are built? Or does one view depend in any way on the other? (Does Rapture theology depend on an literal Adam, for instance.)

  2. What is the cultural relationship between the two theologies? If we were to, for example, draw a Venn diagram of these two theologies, what would it look like?

Have any polls or studies been done on this topic?

  • 4
    Other than both tend towards a literal view of scripture it is difficult to think of a pervading doctrine that would of necessity include both.
    – timf
    Sep 30, 2015 at 20:21
  • @timf: My further research (since asking this question) shows that for at least some YECs, there is a strong, sometimes believed "inseparable" link between the two. See here, and here, for example, for some commentary on this.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 6, 2015 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


I am unfamiliar with any polls or studies on this topic but I do think the two are related though not necessarily by theological foundations. The link appears to be an extremely literal interpretation of the Bible biased toward recent history.

For example, young earth creationism interprets the Genesis account of creation strictly literally despite being fairly unfounded although I'm sure some would disagree. For example,

  • There is no clear consensus either way by modern science.
  • Obvious problems with literal interpretations like days before the sun and moon and God's speaking despite speech requiring a mouth, a spoken language, and a medium to transmit it
  • Jewish tradition treats Genesis 1 as a poem [1] (also see the torah and commentary).

Similarly, the belief in the rapture was 'discovered' relatively recently and results from an extremely literal interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17:

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

NT Wright in Surprised by Hope says this was a figurative expression which would have been easily understood by the readers of the letter as referring to a real event. When Caesar would pass through the city, it was customary to ride out to meet him in order to escort him with celebration back into the city.

Instead of suggesting being whisked away into some ethereal heavenly realm, it alludes to the return of Christ in the manner in which he left and our escorting our Ruler to his Kingdom with celebration.

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