Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Welcome to Christforums the Protestant Community. You'll need to register in order to post your comments on your favorite topics and subjects. You'll also enjoy sharing media across multiple platforms. We hope you enjoy your fellowship here! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Christforums

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible- believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non- Nicene, non- Biblical heresy. God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now
Sign in to follow this  
William

The History of Dispensationalism in America

Recommended Posts

Ernest Reisinger

 

 

 

In our last study we considered the vital relationship of Dispensationalism to the Lordship controversy. Dispensationalism is the theological mother of non-Lordship teaching.

 

In this study I wish to give a very brief history of dispensationalism in the U.S.A. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study. It is just a little parenthesis in our studies on the Lordship controversy.

 

I am taking this little diversion because many, if no, most, of those carrying Scofield Bibles, who sit under Dispensational teachers, know very little about the system and its history. They do not know how the Dispensational theological system differs from the Reformational, historical theology in general, and covenant, Reformed Theology in particular. This is true not only of those in the pews but also, in many instances, the preachers themselves have never seriously compared Dispensationalism with covenant theology as it is most clearly expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the theology of the Heidelberg Catechism. Covenant Theology is the archrival of Dispensationalism.

 

It is my conviction that many who are presently disposed toward Dispensationalism would not be victims of the system if they were better acquainted and informed about the system and its history-its theological roots and the doctrinal errors it has spawned.

 

Dispensationalism has its roots in the Plymouth Brethren movement which began in the United Kingdom. Writers do not all agree as to the time and place of the Brethren’s origin. The first “breaking of bread service” that I can find a record of was in 1827 in Dublin. The preponderance of the information would show that John Nelson Darby was in a real sense a key person and early teacher of the Brethren movement. Other names are very early identified with the movement; such as A.N. Groves; B.W. Newton; W.H. Dorman; E. Cronin; and J.G. Bullett. All of these men were early leaders in places like Dublin, Plymouth and Bristol. It would be generally agreed that John Nelson Darby was the energizing and guiding spirit in its beginning. These men had many differences and divisions among themselves in the early days and ever after. This is not a critique of the Plymouth Brethren movement in the U.K. I mention it to show approximately when and where the Dispensational roots first appeared in history.

 

There are some Dispensationalists who do not agree with this assessment of their historical beginning. Their arguments, however, will not survive historical examination. Dispensationalism is a development of the Plymouth Brethren movement.

 

Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century. Before that time it was not known as a theological system. The first record of Dispensationalism in the USA is 1864-65, when J.N. Darby twice visited the country. Through these two visits the 16th and Walnut Avenue Presbyterian Church in St. Louis (then pastored by Dr. James H. Brookes) became the principal center of Dispensationalism in America. How could it be!?! This is like trying to mix oil with water! A Presbyterian Church promoting Dispensationalism? Dr. Brookes became Darby’s most prominent supporter and has been call the father of Dispensationalism in the U.S.

 

Dr. Brookes, the most influential exponent of Dispensationalism, propagated it by his own Bible studies with young men. His best known student was C.I. Scofield. Dr. Brookes also published many books and pamphlets (this should teach us the power of literature) as well as editing a magazine called The Truth. The chronology follows this order: Darby to Scofield; Scofield to Chafer; Chafer to Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

Before proceeding from Dr. Brookes it may be wise and helpful to call attention to conditions in the mainline denominations in the U.S. during this time. In the early twentieth century liberalism was beginning to rear its ugly head in these denominations. The sad condition of the churches had a profound effect of the success and inroads of Dispensationalism.

 

I will not mention the history in each denomination, but rather, use the Presbyterian Church which was more influenced by Dispensationalism than any other denomination.

 

Princeton Seminary, which was once the great stronghold of Biblical Christianity, was one of the first places where liberalism was exposed. One of the first open signs of this liberalism appeared in 1914 when J. Ross Stevenson became president of the Seminary. Dr. Stevenson was more interested in ecumenical goals than in the theology of the Westminster Standards.

 

In the General Assembly in 1923 the brewing storm came to a head. After this meeting a group of spiritual and theological giants followed J. Gresham Machen to found a new seminary. On September 25, 1929 Westminster Seminary, with fifty students and a choice faculty, was opened. There has never been a faculty like it since.

 

The faculty consisted of articulate, Reformed theologians and they were fighting for the fundamentals of the faith; namely, the inspiration of the Scriptures; the virgin birth of Christ; the bodily resurrection of Christ; the miracle of Christ; and the substitutionary atonement. Their fight was against liberalism, and this same battle was being fought in most, if not all, the mainline denominations. Those who rejected liberalism and held to the five fundamentals just mentioned were labeled “Fundamentalists.” This fundamentalism must not be confused with the present day Dispensational fundamentalism.

 

Let me explain precisely what I mean. The five fundamentals mentioned are beliefs which are essential to historic Christianity. In this sense, every true Christian who holds these truths is a fundamentalist. The present day Dispensational fundamentalists, though they hold to the five essential truths, often attack many other important fundamental of the faith which Reformed people have always cherished and have shed their blood to maintain.

 

Scofield Dispensationalism brought a new kind of fundamentalism into many churches. This new dispensationalism in its unscriptural, unreformed, and uncalvinistic teaching came on the religious scene to fill a vacuum-a vacuum which existed because of liberalism. The churches had drifted away from the doctrinal roots expressed in the old confessions and creeds. Many of the best schools and seminaries had been taken over by liberals and modernists-beginning in the colleges and seminaries and spreading to the pulpits and the pews. Bible-believing Christians turned to those churches where the bible was believed and taught.

 

This vacuum which Liberalism created in the churches provided a prime opportunity for the establishment and spread of the new Dispensational teaching.

 

This resulted in the independent church movement, the independent Bible conference movement and the Bible school movement. Those who participated in them were almost all carrying Scofield Bibles and their leaders were predominantly Dispensational in their views.

 

The major training center for evangelical and Bible-believing churches became Dallas Theological Seminary, founded in 1924. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer was the first president. Keep in mind these were days when the crucial battle between modernism and historic Christianity was in progress.

 

In that desperate hour sincere, Bible-believing people turned to Dallas Seminary, the mecca of Dispensationalism, for teaching on God’s Word.

 

Many Dispensational Bible schools and colleges were born during this period, and they all were brought forth unreformed.

 

The late Robert King Churchill, a respected Presbyterian minister, wrote a little paperback entitled, Lest We Forget. It consists of his reflections on his fifty year history in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mr. Churchill confirms what I have said about Dispensationalism getting into the Presbyterian Church. He tells of his personal experience in two specific churches: First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, Washington, where he was converted, baptized and called to the ministry, and another located in Seattle, Washington. He tells how, in these two great churches, the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible became more and more prominent in the preaching. Churchill said, “These notes and the interpretation of Scripture upon which they were based, were contrary to our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage.”

 

He tells of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer delivering a series of lectures on the subject of “Grace” (the same material now appears in Chafer’s book by the same title). Hear Mr. Churchill’s own words:

 

But Chafer’s treatment of the subject of grace never arrives at the right view of the law of God. According to Dr. Chafer, the law was a condition of salvation placed upon the people of God in the Old Testament during a special and limited time period-the Dispensation of Law. This condition, Chafer contended, no longer has application to the New Testament believer since we relate to God under a new dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace. Since, as he put it, “we are no longer under law, but under grace,” Chafer argued that there is no necessary relationship between law and grace. Here is law without grace, and grace without law. Always and in every sense, law and grace are opposed to each other.

 

This teaching appears to be scriptural, but in reality it was the ancient error of Antinomianism (anti-law) which denies that the law has application to the Christian. Chafer defended this view by means of a radical reinterpretation of the Scriptures (p. 31).

 

Dispensationalism is also a frontal attack on Covenantal Theology and the doctrine of the unity of the covenant of grace, which have been held since the time of the Reformation.

 

How could Dispensationalism be welcomed and embraced in strong Presbyterian churches whose confession teaches Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology? Though there is not a simple answer one thing is certain: the churches which were infected with Dispensationalism were those which had ceased teaching in any vital way the doctrinal distinctives of their own confession.

 

All honest Dispensationalists would agree that the Dispensational system of theology has a different view of the grace of God, the law of God, the church of God, the interpretation of the Word of God and the salvation of God. That is, its teaching are different from tested, respected historic creeds and confessions.

 

Dispensationalism has a different view of living the Christian life-of sanctification and, more specifically, how justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together in the application of God’s salvation.

 

This is a Southern Baptist journal, therefore, I must say something about Dispensationalism in Southern Baptist churches. Historically, the Southern Baptist churches were not Dispensational in theology. None of our leading seminaries or colleges ever taught Dispensationalism and to the present day they do not teach Dispensationalism.

 

I believe I am safe in saying that Dr. Wally Amos Criswell has been the most influential and articulate Southern Baptist Dispensationalists. Dr. Criswell is one of the great, esteemed and respected leaders of our denomination and every Southern Baptist is deeply indebted to him as a defender of the Bible and conservative Christianity. Where and how this great leader got his Dispensationalism I do not know. I do know that he did not get it at Baylor in his college days. He did not get it at Southern in his seminary days, and he did not get it from his great predecessor, George W. Truett, who pastored the First Baptist Church in Dallas, for 47 years before Dr. Criswell. George W. Truett was a postmillennialist.

 

There are other good men in the Southern Baptist Convention who have Dispensational views, but they did not get these views in our schools or seminaries. They did not get them from our Baptist fathers or from our Baptist historical roots.

 

We cannot overlook the accomplishments of Dispensationalism. It has given rise to Bible colleges and independent churches all over the land. It has spawned numerous independent missions, independent preachers and missionaries.

 

If we apply the pragmatic test and ask the question, “Does it work?” The answer is, “yes.”

 

If we apply the same test and ask the same question to:

Jehovah’s Witnesses, the answer would be yes.

The Mormons, the answer would be yes, it works.

The Roman Catholic Church-yes, it works.

The Charismatic movement-yes, it works.

 

They all have many converts and followers. They build schools, churches and have missionaries and great accomplishments-but, there is another, more important question that needs to be asked. Is it true, is it Biblical? This question will bring a different answer.

 

The issue before us is not a few minor differences or disagreements between those who hold basically the same position. It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner’s assurance that he is living according to God’s plan for history.

 

There are many being rescued from the errors of Dispensationalism and I pray that God will use these studies to awaken many more to ask the right question.

 

In our next study we will return to the Lordship controversy.Recommended Books on Dispensationalism Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth, by John Gerstner (Wolgemuth & Hyatt)

Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Guinn, III (Footstool Publications)

Understanding Dispensationalism, by Vern S. Poythress (Zondervan Publishing House)

Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, by Clarence B. Bass (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company)

 

Hope for the Present Age

 

Surely we shall not wish to measure the saving work of God by what has already been accomplished in these unripe days in which our lot is cast. The sands of time have not yet run out. And before us stretch, not merely the reaches of the ages, but the infinitely resourceful reaches of the promise of God. Are not the saints to inherit the earth? Is not the re-created earth theirs? Are not the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdom of God? Is not the knowledge of the glory of God to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Shall not the day dawn when no man need say to his neighbour, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest? Oh, raise your eyes, raise your eyes, I beseech you, to the far horizon: let them rest nowhere short of the extreme limit of the divine purpose of grace. And tell me what you see there. Is it not the supreme, the glorious, issue of that love of God which loved, not one here and there only in the world, but the world in its organic completeness; and gave His Son, not to judge the world, but that the world through Him should be saved? -B.B. Warfield

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This new dispensationalism in its unscriptural, unreformed, and uncalvinistic teaching came on the religious scene to fill a vacuum-a vacuum which existed because of liberalism.

Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century.

Well, with the above quotes, I reckon we can believe this expose of dispensationalism by Ernest Reisinger be an unbiased report, don't you think?

 

Reading his definitions I have no idea what his point is other than being a Reformed Baptist, he doesn't accept it.

 

I read the following written by the Apostle Paul. Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

What is this? Is Paul attempting to tell Peter some even refer to as a rock of not knowing all there is to know?

 

Later in 2 Pet 3:16 Peter says Paul speaks of things which are some things hard to be understood. Maybe Ernest Reisinger still did not understand them.

Did Adam & Eve know the fulfilled gospel? If not, how were they to satisfy it? With this next scripture, seemingly all previous ages and generations were ignorant of this fulfilled gospel.

 

No dear saints, none before Paul knew what was coming in this new dispensation. Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: Was it different even to including inclusions none heard of prior to this? You can bet on it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for distinguishing between the author and I, Larry. I share a lot of articles of interest on this site, some that I do not agree with and others which I do.

 

Well, with the above quotes, I reckon we can believe this expose of dispensationalism by Ernest Reisinger be an unbiased report, don't you think?

 

Of course nobody that sides with the truth is unbiased. After all they stand opposed to falsehood.

 

Reading his definitions I have no idea what his point is other than being a Reformed Baptist, he doesn't accept it.

 

I have no idea as to why dispensationalist believe that any verse which has "dispensation" supports dispensational theology.

 

How many times is dispensation used in Scripture?

 

Is that the basis of your theology?

 

As for the OP, back when I was researching this topic I found it of interest that Dispensationalism first took root in the Presbyterian academic institution - Princeton. This little tidbit was actually the only reason why I shared it.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I found it of interest that Dispensationalism first took root in the Presbyterian academic institution - Princeton.

That too was a surprise to me.. I had no idea the substance of their doctrine, and if it is subject to assumption or analyzing scripture.

 

I've always been impressed with types, and judgments such as Adam and Eve found in need, judged and dispelled, and absolved in the covering they received. That was not repeated in their lives, and I have no problem with the thought of it being the test of mankind in innocence. Should we have a problem believing that during Jesus' reign will be different than any time prior to that time?

 

Do you have actual thoughts on the subject with the study you've invested in it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always been impressed with types, and judgments such as Adam and Eve found in need, judged and dispelled, and absolved in the covering they received. That was not repeated in their lives, and I have no problem with the thought of it being the test of mankind in innocence. Should we have a problem believing that during Jesus' reign will be different than any time prior to that time?

 

Do you have actual thoughts on the subject with the study you've invested in it?

 

I think Adam was upright, he was not only created in a state of innocence, but in a state of "positive righteousness", that is, he had all the natural and moral abilities to fulfill the commission entrusted to him. By positive righteousness, I mean that after God's creation, God pronounced everything very good, and applied to man, means moral goodness (the Imago Dei of God is holy and righteous).

 

So I am not convinced that I understand the (dispensational) description of innocence unless dispensationalist merely mean not guilty of a crime or offense. To clarify, do you believe Adam and Eve were not capable of fulfilling their commission Genesis 2:15? That is, the commission given to Adam and Eve above all else was to “work” and “keep” the sanctuary entrusted them.

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think Adam was upright, he was not only created in a state of innocence

Was there ever one beside Adam & Eve in a state of Innocence? To me, God in His first test of man found Adam wanting.

To clarify, do you believe Adam and Eve were not capable of fulfilling their commission Genesis 2:15?

Created good, I believe they could do all that God instructed them to do, but when judged as Adam as having also eaten of the the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God pronounced the ground cursed, and there was no way of fulfilling their commission.

 

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

 

Gen 1:27 Man was made in the image of God . .

Gen 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Man had no sin, he was innocent, and he didn’t even know what sin was.

 

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

They had partook of a forbidden fruit which I believe to be the type of the law showing good and evil, and all mankind was affected with its knowledge of what they were from that point.

Thus, the type of Christ in the first blood shed to make a covering for them was sacrificed.

Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

 

And Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

The law kills, and God did not want mankind living in death. Mankind now has a new nature of knowing sin, and in fact that nature was pronounced upon all men. No more innocence: Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

Brother @William, do you see a distinction here from Adam’s original state? Are we now in a new commission from that of Adam & Eve at their inception? Why? Were they judged as no longer innocent? :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ernest Reisinger

 

 

 

In our last study we considered the vital relationship of Dispensationalism to the Lordship controversy. Dispensationalism is the theological mother of non-Lordship teaching.

 

In this study I wish to give a very brief history of dispensationalism in the U.S.A. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study. It is just a little parenthesis in our studies on the Lordship controversy.

 

I am taking this little diversion because many, if no, most, of those carrying Scofield Bibles, who sit under Dispensational teachers, know very little about the system and its history. They do not know how the Dispensational theological system differs from the Reformational, historical theology in general, and covenant, Reformed Theology in particular. This is true not only of those in the pews but also, in many instances, the preachers themselves have never seriously compared Dispensationalism with covenant theology as it is most clearly expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the theology of the Heidelberg Catechism. Covenant Theology is the archrival of Dispensationalism.

 

It is my conviction that many who are presently disposed toward Dispensationalism would not be victims of the system if they were better acquainted and informed about the system and its history-its theological roots and the doctrinal errors it has spawned.

 

Dispensationalism has its roots in the Plymouth Brethren movement which began in the United Kingdom. Writers do not all agree as to the time and place of the Brethren’s origin. The first “breaking of bread service” that I can find a record of was in 1827 in Dublin. The preponderance of the information would show that John Nelson Darby was in a real sense a key person and early teacher of the Brethren movement. Other names are very early identified with the movement; such as A.N. Groves; B.W. Newton; W.H. Dorman; E. Cronin; and J.G. Bullett. All of these men were early leaders in places like Dublin, Plymouth and Bristol. It would be generally agreed that John Nelson Darby was the energizing and guiding spirit in its beginning. These men had many differences and divisions among themselves in the early days and ever after. This is not a critique of the Plymouth Brethren movement in the U.K. I mention it to show approximately when and where the Dispensational roots first appeared in history.

 

There are some Dispensationalists who do not agree with this assessment of their historical beginning. Their arguments, however, will not survive historical examination. Dispensationalism is a development of the Plymouth Brethren movement.

 

Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century. Before that time it was not known as a theological system. The first record of Dispensationalism in the USA is 1864-65, when J.N. Darby twice visited the country. Through these two visits the 16th and Walnut Avenue Presbyterian Church in St. Louis (then pastored by Dr. James H. Brookes) became the principal center of Dispensationalism in America. How could it be!?! This is like trying to mix oil with water! A Presbyterian Church promoting Dispensationalism? Dr. Brookes became Darby’s most prominent supporter and has been call the father of Dispensationalism in the U.S.

 

Dr. Brookes, the most influential exponent of Dispensationalism, propagated it by his own Bible studies with young men. His best known student was C.I. Scofield. Dr. Brookes also published many books and pamphlets (this should teach us the power of literature) as well as editing a magazine called The Truth. The chronology follows this order: Darby to Scofield; Scofield to Chafer; Chafer to Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

Before proceeding from Dr. Brookes it may be wise and helpful to call attention to conditions in the mainline denominations in the U.S. during this time. In the early twentieth century liberalism was beginning to rear its ugly head in these denominations. The sad condition of the churches had a profound effect of the success and inroads of Dispensationalism.

 

I will not mention the history in each denomination, but rather, use the Presbyterian Church which was more influenced by Dispensationalism than any other denomination.

 

Princeton Seminary, which was once the great stronghold of Biblical Christianity, was one of the first places where liberalism was exposed. One of the first open signs of this liberalism appeared in 1914 when J. Ross Stevenson became president of the Seminary. Dr. Stevenson was more interested in ecumenical goals than in the theology of the Westminster Standards.

 

In the General Assembly in 1923 the brewing storm came to a head. After this meeting a group of spiritual and theological giants followed J. Gresham Machen to found a new seminary. On September 25, 1929 Westminster Seminary, with fifty students and a choice faculty, was opened. There has never been a faculty like it since.

 

The faculty consisted of articulate, Reformed theologians and they were fighting for the fundamentals of the faith; namely, the inspiration of the Scriptures; the virgin birth of Christ; the bodily resurrection of Christ; the miracle of Christ; and the substitutionary atonement. Their fight was against liberalism, and this same battle was being fought in most, if not all, the mainline denominations. Those who rejected liberalism and held to the five fundamentals just mentioned were labeled “Fundamentalists.” This fundamentalism must not be confused with the present day Dispensational fundamentalism.

 

Let me explain precisely what I mean. The five fundamentals mentioned are beliefs which are essential to historic Christianity. In this sense, every true Christian who holds these truths is a fundamentalist. The present day Dispensational fundamentalists, though they hold to the five essential truths, often attack many other important fundamental of the faith which Reformed people have always cherished and have shed their blood to maintain.

 

Scofield Dispensationalism brought a new kind of fundamentalism into many churches. This new dispensationalism in its unscriptural, unreformed, and uncalvinistic teaching came on the religious scene to fill a vacuum-a vacuum which existed because of liberalism. The churches had drifted away from the doctrinal roots expressed in the old confessions and creeds. Many of the best schools and seminaries had been taken over by liberals and modernists-beginning in the colleges and seminaries and spreading to the pulpits and the pews. Bible-believing Christians turned to those churches where the bible was believed and taught.

 

This vacuum which Liberalism created in the churches provided a prime opportunity for the establishment and spread of the new Dispensational teaching.

 

This resulted in the independent church movement, the independent Bible conference movement and the Bible school movement. Those who participated in them were almost all carrying Scofield Bibles and their leaders were predominantly Dispensational in their views.

 

The major training center for evangelical and Bible-believing churches became Dallas Theological Seminary, founded in 1924. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer was the first president. Keep in mind these were days when the crucial battle between modernism and historic Christianity was in progress.

 

In that desperate hour sincere, Bible-believing people turned to Dallas Seminary, the mecca of Dispensationalism, for teaching on God’s Word.

 

Many Dispensational Bible schools and colleges were born during this period, and they all were brought forth unreformed.

 

The late Robert King Churchill, a respected Presbyterian minister, wrote a little paperback entitled, Lest We Forget. It consists of his reflections on his fifty year history in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mr. Churchill confirms what I have said about Dispensationalism getting into the Presbyterian Church. He tells of his personal experience in two specific churches: First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, Washington, where he was converted, baptized and called to the ministry, and another located in Seattle, Washington. He tells how, in these two great churches, the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible became more and more prominent in the preaching. Churchill said, “These notes and the interpretation of Scripture upon which they were based, were contrary to our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage.”

 

He tells of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer delivering a series of lectures on the subject of “Grace” (the same material now appears in Chafer’s book by the same title). Hear Mr. Churchill’s own words:

 

But Chafer’s treatment of the subject of grace never arrives at the right view of the law of God. According to Dr. Chafer, the law was a condition of salvation placed upon the people of God in the Old Testament during a special and limited time period-the Dispensation of Law. This condition, Chafer contended, no longer has application to the New Testament believer since we relate to God under a new dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace. Since, as he put it, “we are no longer under law, but under grace,” Chafer argued that there is no necessary relationship between law and grace. Here is law without grace, and grace without law. Always and in every sense, law and grace are opposed to each other.

 

This teaching appears to be scriptural, but in reality it was the ancient error of Antinomianism (anti-law) which denies that the law has application to the Christian. Chafer defended this view by means of a radical reinterpretation of the Scriptures (p. 31).

 

Dispensationalism is also a frontal attack on Covenantal Theology and the doctrine of the unity of the covenant of grace, which have been held since the time of the Reformation.

 

How could Dispensationalism be welcomed and embraced in strong Presbyterian churches whose confession teaches Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology? Though there is not a simple answer one thing is certain: the churches which were infected with Dispensationalism were those which had ceased teaching in any vital way the doctrinal distinctives of their own confession.

 

All honest Dispensationalists would agree that the Dispensational system of theology has a different view of the grace of God, the law of God, the church of God, the interpretation of the Word of God and the salvation of God. That is, its teaching are different from tested, respected historic creeds and confessions.

 

Dispensationalism has a different view of living the Christian life-of sanctification and, more specifically, how justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together in the application of God’s salvation.

 

This is a Southern Baptist journal, therefore, I must say something about Dispensationalism in Southern Baptist churches. Historically, the Southern Baptist churches were not Dispensational in theology. None of our leading seminaries or colleges ever taught Dispensationalism and to the present day they do not teach Dispensationalism.

 

I believe I am safe in saying that Dr. Wally Amos Criswell has been the most influential and articulate Southern Baptist Dispensationalists. Dr. Criswell is one of the great, esteemed and respected leaders of our denomination and every Southern Baptist is deeply indebted to him as a defender of the Bible and conservative Christianity. Where and how this great leader got his Dispensationalism I do not know. I do know that he did not get it at Baylor in his college days. He did not get it at Southern in his seminary days, and he did not get it from his great predecessor, George W. Truett, who pastored the First Baptist Church in Dallas, for 47 years before Dr. Criswell. George W. Truett was a postmillennialist.

 

There are other good men in the Southern Baptist Convention who have Dispensational views, but they did not get these views in our schools or seminaries. They did not get them from our Baptist fathers or from our Baptist historical roots.

 

We cannot overlook the accomplishments of Dispensationalism. It has given rise to Bible colleges and independent churches all over the land. It has spawned numerous independent missions, independent preachers and missionaries.

 

If we apply the pragmatic test and ask the question, “Does it work?” The answer is, “yes.”

 

If we apply the same test and ask the same question to:

Jehovah’s Witnesses, the answer would be yes.

The Mormons, the answer would be yes, it works.

The Roman Catholic Church-yes, it works.

The Charismatic movement-yes, it works.

 

They all have many converts and followers. They build schools, churches and have missionaries and great accomplishments-but, there is another, more important question that needs to be asked. Is it true, is it Biblical? This question will bring a different answer.

 

The issue before us is not a few minor differences or disagreements between those who hold basically the same position. It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner’s assurance that he is living according to God’s plan for history.

 

There are many being rescued from the errors of Dispensationalism and I pray that God will use these studies to awaken many more to ask the right question.

 

In our next study we will return to the Lordship controversy.Recommended Books on Dispensationalism Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth, by John Gerstner (Wolgemuth & Hyatt)

Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Guinn, III (Footstool Publications)

Understanding Dispensationalism, by Vern S. Poythress (Zondervan Publishing House)

Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, by Clarence B. Bass (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company)

 

Hope for the Present Age

 

Surely we shall not wish to measure the saving work of God by what has already been accomplished in these unripe days in which our lot is cast. The sands of time have not yet run out. And before us stretch, not merely the reaches of the ages, but the infinitely resourceful reaches of the promise of God. Are not the saints to inherit the earth? Is not the re-created earth theirs? Are not the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdom of God? Is not the knowledge of the glory of God to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Shall not the day dawn when no man need say to his neighbour, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest? Oh, raise your eyes, raise your eyes, I beseech you, to the far horizon: let them rest nowhere short of the extreme limit of the divine purpose of grace. And tell me what you see there. Is it not the supreme, the glorious, issue of that love of God which loved, not one here and there only in the world, but the world in its organic completeness; and gave His Son, not to judge the world, but that the world through Him should be saved? -B.B. Warfield

 

Well not wishing to besmirch Mr. Reisinger too much and risk being banished again- He may have points of History right, but his opinions of Dispensationalism are just plain wrong!

 

Mormons, Jw's and Catholics lean far more heavily to a warped covenant type theology than dispensationalism. Augustine was the founder of covenant theology.

 

there are good and bad points in each of covenant and dispensational theology. Neither is the commanded bible view. But without going into long details, I believe that dispensational theology- best interprets the word through a literal/historical/ grammatical hermeneutic. It accepts typology and apocalyptic language, but it also believes that Scripture itself defines symbols so we need not rely on any extra biblical means to understand symbology.

 

As for Lordship theology. I would like to know what you mean by that. Fior the definitions I have heard to date- I stand biblically opposed to it!

 

Reformed theology was born from the protestant reformation. I deeply love the lights of the reformation. Men like Calvin, Luther, Hus, Tyndale et. al. But many of them were still shackled by old Catholic beliefs. All the confessions you mentioned are awesome- but they are still confessions made by men.

 

I am a member of an independent local Baptist church (not IBBF) and we have our own confession. It mirrors many of the traditional confessions in most areas.

 

The greatest areas where dispensationalists disagree on today are eschatology and the present and future dealings of god with the people and land of Israel.. A normal natural reading of the word of God shows God is not through with His covenanted people and still has His plan which was unconditional (except the Mosaic covenant)

 

Each and every dispensation written of today coincides with a specific covenant God made with people. As a dispensation is a stewardship or economy of how God deals with people in a time frame- it shows how God ruled men differently at different times in History. Soteriology has always been the same- but the object or act of faith differed at differing times. Ex. In the Noahic covenant and the dispensation of conscience- God ruled over man via their conscience. Man failed and the flood ended that dispensation. How did one get saved in that dispensation (Eph. 2 as always) but the trust in God was demonstrated by getting on the ark!

 

I have been a believer for over 40 years and have done much deep study on the differences between dispensational; reformed, covenant theologies. I came to the conclusion that a dispensational hermeneutic provides the least harm to scripture and requires less allegorizing and redefining SCripture to support its conclusions As I said earlier--no insult at all to Mr. Reisinger.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Well being a strong dispensationalist and teaching dispensational theology in Bible College I can most assuredly inform you that your concepts of dispensationalism are woefully lacking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@larry2

 

There's really not much that I see in your posts that I disagree with yet. I am just curious about your choice of wording. At least I do not find anything worth debating about.

 

Created good, I believe they could do all that God instructed them to do, but when judged as Adam as having also eaten of the the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God pronounced the ground cursed, and there was no way of fulfilling their commission.

 

Failing to fulfill God's commission was Adam's first sin. Adam failed to "keep" the garden free from false witness. Instead of crushing the head of the serpent Adam and Eve entertained the false witness. And I am inclined to suggest that Adam's commission was partially replaced by Cherubs. Anyways, that would be a point which would derail.

 

And Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

The law kills, and God did not want mankind living in death. Mankind now has a new nature of knowing sin, and in fact that nature was pronounced upon all men. No more innocence: Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

Before the fall Adam had the knowledge of God, ability to reason, an immortal soul, righteousness, holiness etc.

 

I point this out because I have never had anyone try to teach me that Adam had a "new nature". Generally, most people convey the image of God was corrupted whereas righteousness and true holiness was lost at the fall, and that we are only renewed into the image of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Though I am not going to argue semantics, you're pointing to Romans 3:23 having said there's no more innocence. I'm just curious as to how innocence is being used here.

 

Were they judged as no longer innocent? :)

 

Me asking you to define innocence is brought on because you said you believe Adam had the ability to fulfill his commission therefore I am inclined to think that you too agree that Adam was "upright" or positively righteous before the fall? If not, that is what I am asking you to clarify. What differences are you emphasizing? As a dispensationalist, which I suppose you are, I am asking why describe Adam and Eve as innocent? Are you pointing to them or the time period before the fall or both?

 

God bless,

William

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Disp. Theology: 1. May be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.

Covenant Theology: 1.Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.

 

Be an interesting thread to explore the reasoning behind this. I do not want to derail this thread or make it about Disp vs Covenant Theology, however, when I first began migrating from Calvinism I noticed very strong coherency from Calvinist soteriology to Covenant theology. Even moreso was the transition from Covenant Theology to Amillennialism.

 

Anyways, perhaps someone in the future may inquire in a different thread as to why Covenant Theologians are consistently 5 Point Calvinist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am asking why describe Adam and Eve as innocent? Are you pointing to them or the time period before the fall or both?

Yes, they were innocent before they became aware of what sin was. Even the shed blood for their sin was not provided in coverings of skins until they became responsible. It was at that time they hid from God in Gen 3:8. Here I'm not attempting to show all aspects of a dispensational age different from all other ages, but merely the consequence attributed to Adam & Eve for not obeying God. God knew beforehand what they would do, He knew before creation that Jesus was coming to die for mankind, and the seven recognized ages to come proved that man needed the only means of salvation, and that was by grace, through faith. God proved mankind utterly without hope beginning in innocence, conscience, human government, promises, law, grace, and the millennial or kingdom age. Would mankind partake of even the Holy Spirit, see the miracles, hear the word preached, and still turn back? Yes, but they are without excuse; God has proved them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

@William ... you noticed the same point that struck me ... that the "dispensationalists are "Armenian or modified Calvinist". Being a dispensational Calvinist I am disappointed that dispensationalists are not 5-pointers. I have to give the Covenant side 1 virtual point for that. (smile)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ernest Reisinger

 

 

 

In our last study we considered the vital relationship of Dispensationalism to the Lordship controversy. Dispensationalism is the theological mother of non-Lordship teaching.

 

In this study I wish to give a very brief history of dispensationalism in the U.S.A. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study. It is just a little parenthesis in our studies on the Lordship controversy.

 

I am taking this little diversion because many, if no, most, of those carrying Scofield Bibles, who sit under Dispensational teachers, know very little about the system and its history. They do not know how the Dispensational theological system differs from the Reformational, historical theology in general, and covenant, Reformed Theology in particular. This is true not only of those in the pews but also, in many instances, the preachers themselves have never seriously compared Dispensationalism with covenant theology as it is most clearly expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the theology of the Heidelberg Catechism. Covenant Theology is the archrival of Dispensationalism.

 

It is my conviction that many who are presently disposed toward Dispensationalism would not be victims of the system if they were better acquainted and informed about the system and its history-its theological roots and the doctrinal errors it has spawned.

 

Dispensationalism has its roots in the Plymouth Brethren movement which began in the United Kingdom. Writers do not all agree as to the time and place of the Brethren’s origin. The first “breaking of bread service” that I can find a record of was in 1827 in Dublin. The preponderance of the information would show that John Nelson Darby was in a real sense a key person and early teacher of the Brethren movement. Other names are very early identified with the movement; such as A.N. Groves; B.W. Newton; W.H. Dorman; E. Cronin; and J.G. Bullett. All of these men were early leaders in places like Dublin, Plymouth and Bristol. It would be generally agreed that John Nelson Darby was the energizing and guiding spirit in its beginning. These men had many differences and divisions among themselves in the early days and ever after. This is not a critique of the Plymouth Brethren movement in the U.K. I mention it to show approximately when and where the Dispensational roots first appeared in history.

 

There are some Dispensationalists who do not agree with this assessment of their historical beginning. Their arguments, however, will not survive historical examination. Dispensationalism is a development of the Plymouth Brethren movement.

 

Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century. Before that time it was not known as a theological system. The first record of Dispensationalism in the USA is 1864-65, when J.N. Darby twice visited the country. Through these two visits the 16th and Walnut Avenue Presbyterian Church in St. Louis (then pastored by Dr. James H. Brookes) became the principal center of Dispensationalism in America. How could it be!?! This is like trying to mix oil with water! A Presbyterian Church promoting Dispensationalism? Dr. Brookes became Darby’s most prominent supporter and has been call the father of Dispensationalism in the U.S.

 

Dr. Brookes, the most influential exponent of Dispensationalism, propagated it by his own Bible studies with young men. His best known student was C.I. Scofield. Dr. Brookes also published many books and pamphlets (this should teach us the power of literature) as well as editing a magazine called The Truth. The chronology follows this order: Darby to Scofield; Scofield to Chafer; Chafer to Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

Before proceeding from Dr. Brookes it may be wise and helpful to call attention to conditions in the mainline denominations in the U.S. during this time. In the early twentieth century liberalism was beginning to rear its ugly head in these denominations. The sad condition of the churches had a profound effect of the success and inroads of Dispensationalism.

 

I will not mention the history in each denomination, but rather, use the Presbyterian Church which was more influenced by Dispensationalism than any other denomination.

 

Princeton Seminary, which was once the great stronghold of Biblical Christianity, was one of the first places where liberalism was exposed. One of the first open signs of this liberalism appeared in 1914 when J. Ross Stevenson became president of the Seminary. Dr. Stevenson was more interested in ecumenical goals than in the theology of the Westminster Standards.

 

In the General Assembly in 1923 the brewing storm came to a head. After this meeting a group of spiritual and theological giants followed J. Gresham Machen to found a new seminary. On September 25, 1929 Westminster Seminary, with fifty students and a choice faculty, was opened. There has never been a faculty like it since.

 

The faculty consisted of articulate, Reformed theologians and they were fighting for the fundamentals of the faith; namely, the inspiration of the Scriptures; the virgin birth of Christ; the bodily resurrection of Christ; the miracle of Christ; and the substitutionary atonement. Their fight was against liberalism, and this same battle was being fought in most, if not all, the mainline denominations. Those who rejected liberalism and held to the five fundamentals just mentioned were labeled “Fundamentalists.” This fundamentalism must not be confused with the present day Dispensational fundamentalism.

 

Let me explain precisely what I mean. The five fundamentals mentioned are beliefs which are essential to historic Christianity. In this sense, every true Christian who holds these truths is a fundamentalist. The present day Dispensational fundamentalists, though they hold to the five essential truths, often attack many other important fundamental of the faith which Reformed people have always cherished and have shed their blood to maintain.

 

Scofield Dispensationalism brought a new kind of fundamentalism into many churches. This new dispensationalism in its unscriptural, unreformed, and uncalvinistic teaching came on the religious scene to fill a vacuum-a vacuum which existed because of liberalism. The churches had drifted away from the doctrinal roots expressed in the old confessions and creeds. Many of the best schools and seminaries had been taken over by liberals and modernists-beginning in the colleges and seminaries and spreading to the pulpits and the pews. Bible-believing Christians turned to those churches where the bible was believed and taught.

 

This vacuum which Liberalism created in the churches provided a prime opportunity for the establishment and spread of the new Dispensational teaching.

 

This resulted in the independent church movement, the independent Bible conference movement and the Bible school movement. Those who participated in them were almost all carrying Scofield Bibles and their leaders were predominantly Dispensational in their views.

 

The major training center for evangelical and Bible-believing churches became Dallas Theological Seminary, founded in 1924. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer was the first president. Keep in mind these were days when the crucial battle between modernism and historic Christianity was in progress.

 

In that desperate hour sincere, Bible-believing people turned to Dallas Seminary, the mecca of Dispensationalism, for teaching on God’s Word.

 

Many Dispensational Bible schools and colleges were born during this period, and they all were brought forth unreformed.

 

The late Robert King Churchill, a respected Presbyterian minister, wrote a little paperback entitled, Lest We Forget. It consists of his reflections on his fifty year history in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mr. Churchill confirms what I have said about Dispensationalism getting into the Presbyterian Church. He tells of his personal experience in two specific churches: First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, Washington, where he was converted, baptized and called to the ministry, and another located in Seattle, Washington. He tells how, in these two great churches, the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible became more and more prominent in the preaching. Churchill said, “These notes and the interpretation of Scripture upon which they were based, were contrary to our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage.”

 

He tells of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer delivering a series of lectures on the subject of “Grace” (the same material now appears in Chafer’s book by the same title). Hear Mr. Churchill’s own words:

 

But Chafer’s treatment of the subject of grace never arrives at the right view of the law of God. According to Dr. Chafer, the law was a condition of salvation placed upon the people of God in the Old Testament during a special and limited time period-the Dispensation of Law. This condition, Chafer contended, no longer has application to the New Testament believer since we relate to God under a new dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace. Since, as he put it, “we are no longer under law, but under grace,” Chafer argued that there is no necessary relationship between law and grace. Here is law without grace, and grace without law. Always and in every sense, law and grace are opposed to each other.

 

This teaching appears to be scriptural, but in reality it was the ancient error of Antinomianism (anti-law) which denies that the law has application to the Christian. Chafer defended this view by means of a radical reinterpretation of the Scriptures (p. 31).

 

Dispensationalism is also a frontal attack on Covenantal Theology and the doctrine of the unity of the covenant of grace, which have been held since the time of the Reformation.

 

How could Dispensationalism be welcomed and embraced in strong Presbyterian churches whose confession teaches Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology? Though there is not a simple answer one thing is certain: the churches which were infected with Dispensationalism were those which had ceased teaching in any vital way the doctrinal distinctives of their own confession.

 

All honest Dispensationalists would agree that the Dispensational system of theology has a different view of the grace of God, the law of God, the church of God, the interpretation of the Word of God and the salvation of God. That is, its teaching are different from tested, respected historic creeds and confessions.

 

Dispensationalism has a different view of living the Christian life-of sanctification and, more specifically, how justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together in the application of God’s salvation.

 

This is a Southern Baptist journal, therefore, I must say something about Dispensationalism in Southern Baptist churches. Historically, the Southern Baptist churches were not Dispensational in theology. None of our leading seminaries or colleges ever taught Dispensationalism and to the present day they do not teach Dispensationalism.

 

I believe I am safe in saying that Dr. Wally Amos Criswell has been the most influential and articulate Southern Baptist Dispensationalists. Dr. Criswell is one of the great, esteemed and respected leaders of our denomination and every Southern Baptist is deeply indebted to him as a defender of the Bible and conservative Christianity. Where and how this great leader got his Dispensationalism I do not know. I do know that he did not get it at Baylor in his college days. He did not get it at Southern in his seminary days, and he did not get it from his great predecessor, George W. Truett, who pastored the First Baptist Church in Dallas, for 47 years before Dr. Criswell. George W. Truett was a postmillennialist.

 

There are other good men in the Southern Baptist Convention who have Dispensational views, but they did not get these views in our schools or seminaries. They did not get them from our Baptist fathers or from our Baptist historical roots.

 

We cannot overlook the accomplishments of Dispensationalism. It has given rise to Bible colleges and independent churches all over the land. It has spawned numerous independent missions, independent preachers and missionaries.

 

If we apply the pragmatic test and ask the question, “Does it work?” The answer is, “yes.”

 

If we apply the same test and ask the same question to:

Jehovah’s Witnesses, the answer would be yes.

The Mormons, the answer would be yes, it works.

The Roman Catholic Church-yes, it works.

The Charismatic movement-yes, it works.

 

They all have many converts and followers. They build schools, churches and have missionaries and great accomplishments-but, there is another, more important question that needs to be asked. Is it true, is it Biblical? This question will bring a different answer.

 

The issue before us is not a few minor differences or disagreements between those who hold basically the same position. It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner’s assurance that he is living according to God’s plan for history.

 

There are many being rescued from the errors of Dispensationalism and I pray that God will use these studies to awaken many more to ask the right question.

 

In our next study we will return to the Lordship controversy.Recommended Books on Dispensationalism Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth, by John Gerstner (Wolgemuth & Hyatt)

Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Guinn, III (Footstool Publications)

Understanding Dispensationalism, by Vern S. Poythress (Zondervan Publishing House)

Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, by Clarence B. Bass (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company)

 

Hope for the Present Age

 

Surely we shall not wish to measure the saving work of God by what has already been accomplished in these unripe days in which our lot is cast. The sands of time have not yet run out. And before us stretch, not merely the reaches of the ages, but the infinitely resourceful reaches of the promise of God. Are not the saints to inherit the earth? Is not the re-created earth theirs? Are not the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdom of God? Is not the knowledge of the glory of God to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Shall not the day dawn when no man need say to his neighbour, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest? Oh, raise your eyes, raise your eyes, I beseech you, to the far horizon: let them rest nowhere short of the extreme limit of the divine purpose of grace. And tell me what you see there. Is it not the supreme, the glorious, issue of that love of God which loved, not one here and there only in the world, but the world in its organic completeness; and gave His Son, not to judge the world, but that the world through Him should be saved? -B.B. Warfield

 

Well not wishing to besmirch Mr. Reisinger too much and risk being banished again- He may have points of History right, but his opinions of Dispensationalism are just plain wrong!

 

Mormons, Jw's and Catholics lean far more heavily to a warped covenant type theology than dispensationalism. Augustine was the founder of covenant theology.

 

there are good and bad points in each of covenant and dispensational theology. Neither is the commanded bible view. But without going into long details, I believe that dispensational theology- best interprets the word through a literal/historical/ grammatical hermeneutic. It accepts typology and apocalyptic language, but it also believes that Scripture itself defines symbols so we need not rely on any extra biblical means to understand symbology.

 

As for Lordship theology. I would like to know what you mean by that. Fior the definitions I have heard to date- I stand biblically opposed to it!

 

Reformed theology was born from the protestant reformation. I deeply love the lights of the reformation. Men like Calvin, Luther, Hus, Tyndale et. al. But many of them were still shackled by old Catholic beliefs. All the confessions you mentioned are awesome- but they are still confessions made by men.

 

I am a member of an independent local Baptist church (not IBBF) and we have our own confession. It mirrors many of the traditional confessions in most areas.

 

The greatest areas where dispensationalists disagree on today are eschatology and the present and future dealings of god with the people and land of Israel.. A normal natural reading of the word of God shows God is not through with His covenanted people and still has His plan which was unconditional (except the Mosaic covenant)

 

Each and every dispensation written of today coincides with a specific covenant God made with people. As a dispensation is a stewardship or economy of how God deals with people in a time frame- it shows how God ruled men differently at different times in History. Soteriology has always been the same- but the object or act of faith differed at differing times. Ex. In the Noahic covenant and the dispensation of conscience- God ruled over man via their conscience. Man failed and the flood ended that dispensation. How did one get saved in that dispensation (Eph. 2 as always) but the trust in God was demonstrated by getting on the ark!

 

I have been a believer for over 40 years and have done much deep study on the differences between dispensational; reformed, covenant theologies. I came to the conclusion that a dispensational hermeneutic provides the least harm to scripture and requires less allegorizing and redefining SCripture to support its conclusions As I said earlier--no insult at all to Mr. Reisinger.

Welcome back from you 'banishment' Nolidad. (said with a jovial demeanor).

I pass the proverbial dispensational baton to you and shout out the words of encouragement made universal by movie viewers ... "Run Forest, run". (also said with a jovial demeanor).

 

Seriously, welcome back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always been impressed with types, and judgments such as Adam and Eve found in need, judged and dispelled, and absolved in the covering they received. That was not repeated in their lives, and I have no problem with the thought of it being the test of mankind in innocence. Should we have a problem believing that during Jesus' reign will be different than any time prior to that time?

 

Do you have actual thoughts on the subject with the study you've invested in it?

 

I think Adam was upright, he was not only created in a state of innocence, but in a state of "positive righteousness", that is, he had all the natural and moral abilities to fulfill the commission entrusted to him. By positive righteousness, I mean that after God's creation, God pronounced everything very good, and applied to man, means moral goodness (the Imago Dei of God is holy and righteous).

 

So I am not convinced that I understand the (dispensational) description of innocence unless dispensationalist merely mean not guilty of a crime or offense. To clarify, do you believe Adam and Eve were not capable of fulfilling their commission Genesis 2:15? That is, the commission given to Adam and Eve above all else was to “work” and “keep” the sanctuary entrusted them.

 

God bless,

William

The dispensational account of the dispensation of innocence is fairly simple. Adam and Eve were created perfect- butr a perfection through being innocent of anything. Their perfection had not yet been tested as the angels perfection was. when Adam and Eve were confronted with the test they failed. A fancy term was that they possessed unconfirmed creaturely holiness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've always been impressed with types, and judgments such as Adam and Eve found in need, judged and dispelled, and absolved in the covering they received. That was not repeated in their lives, and I have no problem with the thought of it being the test of mankind in innocence. Should we have a problem believing that during Jesus' reign will be different than any time prior to that time?

 

Do you have actual thoughts on the subject with the study you've invested in it?

 

I think Adam was upright, he was not only created in a state of innocence, but in a state of "positive righteousness", that is, he had all the natural and moral abilities to fulfill the commission entrusted to him. By positive righteousness, I mean that after God's creation, God pronounced everything very good, and applied to man, means moral goodness (the Imago Dei of God is holy and righteous).

 

So I am not convinced that I understand the (dispensational) description of innocence unless dispensationalist merely mean not guilty of a crime or offense. To clarify, do you believe Adam and Eve were not capable of fulfilling their commission Genesis 2:15? That is, the commission given to Adam and Eve above all else was to “work” and “keep” the sanctuary entrusted them.

 

God bless,

William

Also part of their commission was to fill the earth with Godly offspring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Fast Fredy I cannot speak to anything outside of baptists. I am a staunch dispensationalist and a 5 point Calvinist. MOst dispensationalists are in reality 4 pointers that lean to 5 points. They long to hold on to free will. but realize that man needs gods intercession to choose. I know of no large movements within dispensationalist theology that would be 3 or 2 pointers. If you do I would be interested to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ernest Reisinger

 

 

 

In our last study we considered the vital relationship of Dispensationalism to the Lordship controversy. Dispensationalism is the theological mother of non-Lordship teaching.

 

In this study I wish to give a very brief history of dispensationalism in the U.S.A. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study. It is just a little parenthesis in our studies on the Lordship controversy.

 

I am taking this little diversion because many, if no, most, of those carrying Scofield Bibles, who sit under Dispensational teachers, know very little about the system and its history. They do not know how the Dispensational theological system differs from the Reformational, historical theology in general, and covenant, Reformed Theology in particular. This is true not only of those in the pews but also, in many instances, the preachers themselves have never seriously compared Dispensationalism with covenant theology as it is most clearly expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the theology of the Heidelberg Catechism. Covenant Theology is the archrival of Dispensationalism.

 

It is my conviction that many who are presently disposed toward Dispensationalism would not be victims of the system if they were better acquainted and informed about the system and its history-its theological roots and the doctrinal errors it has spawned.

 

Dispensationalism has its roots in the Plymouth Brethren movement which began in the United Kingdom. Writers do not all agree as to the time and place of the Brethren’s origin. The first “breaking of bread service” that I can find a record of was in 1827 in Dublin. The preponderance of the information would show that John Nelson Darby was in a real sense a key person and early teacher of the Brethren movement. Other names are very early identified with the movement; such as A.N. Groves; B.W. Newton; W.H. Dorman; E. Cronin; and J.G. Bullett. All of these men were early leaders in places like Dublin, Plymouth and Bristol. It would be generally agreed that John Nelson Darby was the energizing and guiding spirit in its beginning. These men had many differences and divisions among themselves in the early days and ever after. This is not a critique of the Plymouth Brethren movement in the U.K. I mention it to show approximately when and where the Dispensational roots first appeared in history.

 

There are some Dispensationalists who do not agree with this assessment of their historical beginning. Their arguments, however, will not survive historical examination. Dispensationalism is a development of the Plymouth Brethren movement.

 

Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century. Before that time it was not known as a theological system. The first record of Dispensationalism in the USA is 1864-65, when J.N. Darby twice visited the country. Through these two visits the 16th and Walnut Avenue Presbyterian Church in St. Louis (then pastored by Dr. James H. Brookes) became the principal center of Dispensationalism in America. How could it be!?! This is like trying to mix oil with water! A Presbyterian Church promoting Dispensationalism? Dr. Brookes became Darby’s most prominent supporter and has been call the father of Dispensationalism in the U.S.

 

Dr. Brookes, the most influential exponent of Dispensationalism, propagated it by his own Bible studies with young men. His best known student was C.I. Scofield. Dr. Brookes also published many books and pamphlets (this should teach us the power of literature) as well as editing a magazine called The Truth. The chronology follows this order: Darby to Scofield; Scofield to Chafer; Chafer to Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

Before proceeding from Dr. Brookes it may be wise and helpful to call attention to conditions in the mainline denominations in the U.S. during this time. In the early twentieth century liberalism was beginning to rear its ugly head in these denominations. The sad condition of the churches had a profound effect of the success and inroads of Dispensationalism.

 

I will not mention the history in each denomination, but rather, use the Presbyterian Church which was more influenced by Dispensationalism than any other denomination.

 

Princeton Seminary, which was once the great stronghold of Biblical Christianity, was one of the first places where liberalism was exposed. One of the first open signs of this liberalism appeared in 1914 when J. Ross Stevenson became president of the Seminary. Dr. Stevenson was more interested in ecumenical goals than in the theology of the Westminster Standards.

 

In the General Assembly in 1923 the brewing storm came to a head. After this meeting a group of spiritual and theological giants followed J. Gresham Machen to found a new seminary. On September 25, 1929 Westminster Seminary, with fifty students and a choice faculty, was opened. There has never been a faculty like it since.

 

The faculty consisted of articulate, Reformed theologians and they were fighting for the fundamentals of the faith; namely, the inspiration of the Scriptures; the virgin birth of Christ; the bodily resurrection of Christ; the miracle of Christ; and the substitutionary atonement. Their fight was against liberalism, and this same battle was being fought in most, if not all, the mainline denominations. Those who rejected liberalism and held to the five fundamentals just mentioned were labeled “Fundamentalists.” This fundamentalism must not be confused with the present day Dispensational fundamentalism.

 

Let me explain precisely what I mean. The five fundamentals mentioned are beliefs which are essential to historic Christianity. In this sense, every true Christian who holds these truths is a fundamentalist. The present day Dispensational fundamentalists, though they hold to the five essential truths, often attack many other important fundamental of the faith which Reformed people have always cherished and have shed their blood to maintain.

 

Scofield Dispensationalism brought a new kind of fundamentalism into many churches. This new dispensationalism in its unscriptural, unreformed, and uncalvinistic teaching came on the religious scene to fill a vacuum-a vacuum which existed because of liberalism. The churches had drifted away from the doctrinal roots expressed in the old confessions and creeds. Many of the best schools and seminaries had been taken over by liberals and modernists-beginning in the colleges and seminaries and spreading to the pulpits and the pews. Bible-believing Christians turned to those churches where the bible was believed and taught.

 

This vacuum which Liberalism created in the churches provided a prime opportunity for the establishment and spread of the new Dispensational teaching.

 

This resulted in the independent church movement, the independent Bible conference movement and the Bible school movement. Those who participated in them were almost all carrying Scofield Bibles and their leaders were predominantly Dispensational in their views.

 

The major training center for evangelical and Bible-believing churches became Dallas Theological Seminary, founded in 1924. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer was the first president. Keep in mind these were days when the crucial battle between modernism and historic Christianity was in progress.

 

In that desperate hour sincere, Bible-believing people turned to Dallas Seminary, the mecca of Dispensationalism, for teaching on God’s Word.

 

Many Dispensational Bible schools and colleges were born during this period, and they all were brought forth unreformed.

 

The late Robert King Churchill, a respected Presbyterian minister, wrote a little paperback entitled, Lest We Forget. It consists of his reflections on his fifty year history in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mr. Churchill confirms what I have said about Dispensationalism getting into the Presbyterian Church. He tells of his personal experience in two specific churches: First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, Washington, where he was converted, baptized and called to the ministry, and another located in Seattle, Washington. He tells how, in these two great churches, the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible became more and more prominent in the preaching. Churchill said, “These notes and the interpretation of Scripture upon which they were based, were contrary to our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage.”

 

He tells of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer delivering a series of lectures on the subject of “Grace” (the same material now appears in Chafer’s book by the same title). Hear Mr. Churchill’s own words:

 

But Chafer’s treatment of the subject of grace never arrives at the right view of the law of God. According to Dr. Chafer, the law was a condition of salvation placed upon the people of God in the Old Testament during a special and limited time period-the Dispensation of Law. This condition, Chafer contended, no longer has application to the New Testament believer since we relate to God under a new dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace. Since, as he put it, “we are no longer under law, but under grace,” Chafer argued that there is no necessary relationship between law and grace. Here is law without grace, and grace without law. Always and in every sense, law and grace are opposed to each other.

 

This teaching appears to be scriptural, but in reality it was the ancient error of Antinomianism (anti-law) which denies that the law has application to the Christian. Chafer defended this view by means of a radical reinterpretation of the Scriptures (p. 31).

 

Dispensationalism is also a frontal attack on Covenantal Theology and the doctrine of the unity of the covenant of grace, which have been held since the time of the Reformation.

 

How could Dispensationalism be welcomed and embraced in strong Presbyterian churches whose confession teaches Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology? Though there is not a simple answer one thing is certain: the churches which were infected with Dispensationalism were those which had ceased teaching in any vital way the doctrinal distinctives of their own confession.

 

All honest Dispensationalists would agree that the Dispensational system of theology has a different view of the grace of God, the law of God, the church of God, the interpretation of the Word of God and the salvation of God. That is, its teaching are different from tested, respected historic creeds and confessions.

 

Dispensationalism has a different view of living the Christian life-of sanctification and, more specifically, how justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together in the application of God’s salvation.

 

This is a Southern Baptist journal, therefore, I must say something about Dispensationalism in Southern Baptist churches. Historically, the Southern Baptist churches were not Dispensational in theology. None of our leading seminaries or colleges ever taught Dispensationalism and to the present day they do not teach Dispensationalism.

 

I believe I am safe in saying that Dr. Wally Amos Criswell has been the most influential and articulate Southern Baptist Dispensationalists. Dr. Criswell is one of the great, esteemed and respected leaders of our denomination and every Southern Baptist is deeply indebted to him as a defender of the Bible and conservative Christianity. Where and how this great leader got his Dispensationalism I do not know. I do know that he did not get it at Baylor in his college days. He did not get it at Southern in his seminary days, and he did not get it from his great predecessor, George W. Truett, who pastored the First Baptist Church in Dallas, for 47 years before Dr. Criswell. George W. Truett was a postmillennialist.

 

There are other good men in the Southern Baptist Convention who have Dispensational views, but they did not get these views in our schools or seminaries. They did not get them from our Baptist fathers or from our Baptist historical roots.

 

We cannot overlook the accomplishments of Dispensationalism. It has given rise to Bible colleges and independent churches all over the land. It has spawned numerous independent missions, independent preachers and missionaries.

 

If we apply the pragmatic test and ask the question, “Does it work?” The answer is, “yes.”

 

If we apply the same test and ask the same question to:

Jehovah’s Witnesses, the answer would be yes.

The Mormons, the answer would be yes, it works.

The Roman Catholic Church-yes, it works.

The Charismatic movement-yes, it works.

 

They all have many converts and followers. They build schools, churches and have missionaries and great accomplishments-but, there is another, more important question that needs to be asked. Is it true, is it Biblical? This question will bring a different answer.

 

The issue before us is not a few minor differences or disagreements between those who hold basically the same position. It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner’s assurance that he is living according to God’s plan for history.

 

There are many being rescued from the errors of Dispensationalism and I pray that God will use these studies to awaken many more to ask the right question.

 

In our next study we will return to the Lordship controversy.Recommended Books on Dispensationalism Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth, by John Gerstner (Wolgemuth & Hyatt)

Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Guinn, III (Footstool Publications)

Understanding Dispensationalism, by Vern S. Poythress (Zondervan Publishing House)

Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, by Clarence B. Bass (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company)

 

Hope for the Present Age

 

Surely we shall not wish to measure the saving work of God by what has already been accomplished in these unripe days in which our lot is cast. The sands of time have not yet run out. And before us stretch, not merely the reaches of the ages, but the infinitely resourceful reaches of the promise of God. Are not the saints to inherit the earth? Is not the re-created earth theirs? Are not the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdom of God? Is not the knowledge of the glory of God to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Shall not the day dawn when no man need say to his neighbour, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest? Oh, raise your eyes, raise your eyes, I beseech you, to the far horizon: let them rest nowhere short of the extreme limit of the divine purpose of grace. And tell me what you see there. Is it not the supreme, the glorious, issue of that love of God which loved, not one here and there only in the world, but the world in its organic completeness; and gave His Son, not to judge the world, but that the world through Him should be saved? -B.B. Warfield

 

Well not wishing to besmirch Mr. Reisinger too much and risk being banished again- He may have points of History right, but his opinions of Dispensationalism are just plain wrong!

 

Mormons, Jw's and Catholics lean far more heavily to a warped covenant type theology than dispensationalism. Augustine was the founder of covenant theology.

 

there are good and bad points in each of covenant and dispensational theology. Neither is the commanded bible view. But without going into long details, I believe that dispensational theology- best interprets the word through a literal/historical/ grammatical hermeneutic. It accepts typology and apocalyptic language, but it also believes that Scripture itself defines symbols so we need not rely on any extra biblical means to understand symbology.

 

As for Lordship theology. I would like to know what you mean by that. Fior the definitions I have heard to date- I stand biblically opposed to it!

 

Reformed theology was born from the protestant reformation. I deeply love the lights of the reformation. Men like Calvin, Luther, Hus, Tyndale et. al. But many of them were still shackled by old Catholic beliefs. All the confessions you mentioned are awesome- but they are still confessions made by men.

 

I am a member of an independent local Baptist church (not IBBF) and we have our own confession. It mirrors many of the traditional confessions in most areas.

 

The greatest areas where dispensationalists disagree on today are eschatology and the present and future dealings of god with the people and land of Israel.. A normal natural reading of the word of God shows God is not through with His covenanted people and still has His plan which was unconditional (except the Mosaic covenant)

 

Each and every dispensation written of today coincides with a specific covenant God made with people. As a dispensation is a stewardship or economy of how God deals with people in a time frame- it shows how God ruled men differently at different times in History. Soteriology has always been the same- but the object or act of faith differed at differing times. Ex. In the Noahic covenant and the dispensation of conscience- God ruled over man via their conscience. Man failed and the flood ended that dispensation. How did one get saved in that dispensation (Eph. 2 as always) but the trust in God was demonstrated by getting on the ark!

 

I have been a believer for over 40 years and have done much deep study on the differences between dispensational; reformed, covenant theologies. I came to the conclusion that a dispensational hermeneutic provides the least harm to scripture and requires less allegorizing and redefining SCripture to support its conclusions As I said earlier--no insult at all to Mr. Reisinger.

Glad to be back!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@larry2

 

There's really not much that I see in your posts that I disagree with yet. I am just curious about your choice of wording. At least I do not find anything worth debating about.

 

Created good, I believe they could do all that God instructed them to do, but when judged as Adam as having also eaten of the the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God pronounced the ground cursed, and there was no way of fulfilling their commission.

 

Failing to fulfill God's commission was Adam's first sin. Adam failed to "keep" the garden free from false witness. Instead of crushing the head of the serpent Adam and Eve entertained the false witness. And I am inclined to suggest that Adam's commission was partially replaced by Cherubs. Anyways, that would be a point which would derail.

 

And Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

The law kills, and God did not want mankind living in death. Mankind now has a new nature of knowing sin, and in fact that nature was pronounced upon all men. No more innocence: Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

Before the fall Adam had the knowledge of God, ability to reason, an immortal soul, righteousness, holiness etc.

 

I point this out because I have never had anyone try to teach me that Adam had a "new nature". Generally, most people convey the image of God was corrupted whereas righteousness and true holiness was lost at the fall, and that we are only renewed into the image of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Though I am not going to argue semantics, you're pointing to Romans 3:23 having said there's no more innocence. I'm just curious as to how innocence is being used here.

 

Were they judged as no longer innocent? :)

 

Me asking you to define innocence is brought on because you said you believe Adam had the ability to fulfill his commission therefore I am inclined to think that you too agree that Adam was "upright" or positively righteous before the fall? If not, that is what I am asking you to clarify. What differences are you emphasizing? As a dispensationalist, which I suppose you are, I am asking why describe Adam and Eve as innocent? Are you pointing to them or the time period before the fall or both?

 

God bless,

William

Where is the command to keep the garden free of false witness found as part of the commission?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@larry2

 

There's really not much that I see in your posts that I disagree with yet. I am just curious about your choice of wording. At least I do not find anything worth debating about.

 

Created good, I believe they could do all that God instructed them to do, but when judged as Adam as having also eaten of the the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God pronounced the ground cursed, and there was no way of fulfilling their commission.

 

Failing to fulfill God's commission was Adam's first sin. Adam failed to "keep" the garden free from false witness. Instead of crushing the head of the serpent Adam and Eve entertained the false witness. And I am inclined to suggest that Adam's commission was partially replaced by Cherubs. Anyways, that would be a point which would derail.

 

And Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

The law kills, and God did not want mankind living in death. Mankind now has a new nature of knowing sin, and in fact that nature was pronounced upon all men. No more innocence: Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

Before the fall Adam had the knowledge of God, ability to reason, an immortal soul, righteousness, holiness etc.

 

I point this out because I have never had anyone try to teach me that Adam had a "new nature". Generally, most people convey the image of God was corrupted whereas righteousness and true holiness was lost at the fall, and that we are only renewed into the image of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Though I am not going to argue semantics, you're pointing to Romans 3:23 having said there's no more innocence. I'm just curious as to how innocence is being used here.

 

Were they judged as no longer innocent? :)

 

Me asking you to define innocence is brought on because you said you believe Adam had the ability to fulfill his commission therefore I am inclined to think that you too agree that Adam was "upright" or positively righteous before the fall? If not, that is what I am asking you to clarify. What differences are you emphasizing? As a dispensationalist, which I suppose you are, I am asking why describe Adam and Eve as innocent? Are you pointing to them or the time period before the fall or both?

 

God bless,

William

The image was not corrupted but destroyed! Genesis 5:3 confirms this -3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:

 

Before the fall man was trichotomous, but after the fall mankind was dichotomous- for his spirit was dead and no longer able to naturally fellowship with God as they did before the fall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

@nolidad .... no wonder I like you, you have the same crazy theology as I do.

 

I really don't have a handle on where dispensationalists stand in regards to being 0 thru 5 pointers. I know my pastor is a 4 1/2 pointer.

 

Curious ... how do you know most dispensationalists tend to be 4 pointers? (just anecdotal observation? Hard to measure ... most Christians don't even know what the terms mean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

@Fastfredy0 - Here's my observation, 4 point Calvinism 99.9% of the time are rejecting the "L" in the TULIP for Limited Atonement. I think this is because Dispensationalist generally disagree with TRUE (consistent in theology) Calvinism on who Israel is "then and now" which is more coherently transitioned into Covenant Theology than Dispensationalism.

 

As for 4 Point Calvinist, I think anyone less than 5 Points has been misidentified as a Calvinist and should be deemed a confused Arminian.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Hi Fastfredy: I know mostly through books written and fellowship. No most christians do not know what Calvinism v. Arminianism is.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[TABLE=align: center, border: 1, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0]

[TR]

[TD]DISPENSATIONALISM[/TD]

[TD]COVENANT THEOLOGY[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]1. Originally Calvinist; now it may be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.[/TD]

[TD]1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]2. Stresses “literal” interpretation of the Bible. Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception. There are over 400 prophecies of which, perhaps, seven could arguably be fulfilled allegorically.[/TD]

[TD]2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

Note: ALL prophecy that has been fulfilled has done so in a natural, literal and grammatical sense without exception.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]3. Usually does not accept the idea of the “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[TD]3. Almost always accepts the idea of The “Analogy of Faith.” (the interpretation of each passage in conformity with the whole tenor of revealed truth)[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]4. “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. (see Israel and the Church Compared)[/TD]

[TD]4. “Israel” may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone.[/TD]

[TD]5. “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 means the spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29, Romans 9:6; Philippians 3:3.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]6. God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).[/TD]

[TD]6. God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. (see note at bottom)

The dispensationalist argues:

  • Why the direct and unconditional demand of a new birth upon one with the Judaist character that Nicodemus represented?
  • Why the emphasized account of the salvation of Saul of Tarsus who had lived in all good conscience before the law (Judaism)
  • Why the salvation of the apostles and 3,000 Jews on the Day of Pentecost and many obedient priests.Would not one of these be saved through Judaism?

[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]7. The Church was born at Pentecost at the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2[/TD]

[TD]7. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N. T. (This contradicts Matthew 16:18 in which Jesus say “I will (future tense) build my church”[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]8. There are many O. T. prophecies of the N. T. Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church.'[/TD]

[TD]9. Some O. T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.[/TD]

[TD]10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages and was initiated and will end in the current dispensation.[/TD]

[TD]11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel. (Christians are Abrahams spiritual seed (Galatians 3:29) because when one believes, he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ, who is the seed of Abraham.[/TD]

[TD]12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant and was Christ and spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.[/TD]

[TD]13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.[/TD]

[TD]14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.[/TD]

[TD]15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. Not found in scripture.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[TD]16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mt. Sinai.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31- 34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. Characteristics of this covenant have been applied by God on believers.[/TD]

[TD]17. The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Heb. 8.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.[/TD]

[TD]18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]19. Some dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. "There are two widely different, standardized, divine provisions, whereby man, who is utterly fallen may come into the favor of God ... To such a degree as the soteriology of Judaism and the soteriology of Christianity differ, to the same degree do their eschatology’s differ.[/TD]

[TD]19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace. Salvation is through Christ alone.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.[/TD]

[TD]20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.[/TD]

[TD]21. O. T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.[/TD]

[TD]22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.[/TD]

[TD]23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]24. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[TD]24. Believers in all ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]25. The Law has been abolished. Dispensationalists maintain that if one is required to keep the moral aspect of the Law, he is required to keep all the civil and ceremonial regulations as well.[/TD]

[TD]25. The Law has 3 uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in Godliness. The ceremonial Laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws (10 commandments) continue.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.[/TD]

[TD]26. O. T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of heaven. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[TD]27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.[/TD]

[TD]28. The O. T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.[/TD]

[TD]29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenanters believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.[/TD]

[TD]30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are NOT that same. The first is earthly, the second is spiritual.[/TD]

[TD]31. “Kingdom of heaven” and “Kingdom of God” are that same.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]32. The theme of the Bible is the glory of God through the demonstration that He alone is sovereign. Dispensationalists believe the salvation of man is an important part of God’s purpose, but that God has many other programs contributing something to the ultimate purpose of history. Thus, the ultimate purpose of history has to be large enough to incorporate all of God’s programs, not just one of them; that God alone is sovereign is the only purpose of doing that.[/TD]

[TD]32. The theme of the bible is the glory of God by the salvation of man[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]33. Saints are differentiated. There are Old Testament, Church, Tribulation and Millennial saints.[/TD]

[TD]33. Saints are the same in all time periods[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – Christ became what in Himself He had not been before, the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings and these the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament[/TD]

[TD]34. The Resurrection – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session - Exercise of Universal authority, Head over all thing to the Church, Bestower of Gifts, Intercessor, Advocate, Builder[/TD]

[TD]35. The Ascension and Session – His necessary return from the sphere of death back to the place which He occupied before; thus of little doctrinal significance. Why should any emphasis be placed on the limitless achievements of Christ’s present ministry when, according to C.T., saints of former ages were equally blessed with the saints of this age? This would bring disorder and confusion to this man-made theory.[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

Hi William: Well in all my circles, they do hold to limited atonement in that they believe as SCriptures teach- that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind, thus making all men savable- but only those who believe actually are atoned. The teaching of doctrine has become a dying art in far too many believing churches. But even Langolier ministries has taken the L and changed it to particular redemption.

 

As for Israel- dispensational theology simply teaches that the nation is still blinded by the veil as Paul said in Cor.. But that teh Israel of God in Gal. are the saved Jews! We recognize that Scripture never calls the church Israel nor Israel (the nation) the church,

 

We also recognize as Paul said in Eph. That in the church (which was born at Pentecost) there is no distinction between Jew and gentile as for favor like in the OT economy of the law.

 

We also recognize that God intends to fulfill all His prophecies concerning physical Israel and give them a literal full kingdom on earth, ruled by the Apostles and over ruled by Christ and the church during the millenial kingdom.

 

As a matter of fact, the only thing revelation does to further describe the kingdom on earth is to declare how long it will last--1,000 years.

 

As for your opinion of four pointers- you are entitled to any opinion you wish. I prefer to call myself a biblicist and not a Calvinist. When I first got saved- I spent 2 years with just a bible! I read 4-12 hours daily! I was called a five point Calvinist before I even knew who Calvin was!

 

I was called a dispensationalist before I knew what a dispensation was.!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ernest Reisinger

 

 

 

In our last study we considered the vital relationship of Dispensationalism to the Lordship controversy. Dispensationalism is the theological mother of non-Lordship teaching.

 

In this study I wish to give a very brief history of dispensationalism in the U.S.A. This is not meant to be an exhaustive study. It is just a little parenthesis in our studies on the Lordship controversy.

 

I am taking this little diversion because many, if no, most, of those carrying Scofield Bibles, who sit under Dispensational teachers, know very little about the system and its history. They do not know how the Dispensational theological system differs from the Reformational, historical theology in general, and covenant, Reformed Theology in particular. This is true not only of those in the pews but also, in many instances, the preachers themselves have never seriously compared Dispensationalism with covenant theology as it is most clearly expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the theology of the Heidelberg Catechism. Covenant Theology is the archrival of Dispensationalism.

 

It is my conviction that many who are presently disposed toward Dispensationalism would not be victims of the system if they were better acquainted and informed about the system and its history-its theological roots and the doctrinal errors it has spawned.

 

Dispensationalism has its roots in the Plymouth Brethren movement which began in the United Kingdom. Writers do not all agree as to the time and place of the Brethren’s origin. The first “breaking of bread service” that I can find a record of was in 1827 in Dublin. The preponderance of the information would show that John Nelson Darby was in a real sense a key person and early teacher of the Brethren movement. Other names are very early identified with the movement; such as A.N. Groves; B.W. Newton; W.H. Dorman; E. Cronin; and J.G. Bullett. All of these men were early leaders in places like Dublin, Plymouth and Bristol. It would be generally agreed that John Nelson Darby was the energizing and guiding spirit in its beginning. These men had many differences and divisions among themselves in the early days and ever after. This is not a critique of the Plymouth Brethren movement in the U.K. I mention it to show approximately when and where the Dispensational roots first appeared in history.

 

There are some Dispensationalists who do not agree with this assessment of their historical beginning. Their arguments, however, will not survive historical examination. Dispensationalism is a development of the Plymouth Brethren movement.

 

Dispensationalism is a theological system which developed from a twisted, theological interpretation of Scripture that dates from the late nineteenth century. Before that time it was not known as a theological system. The first record of Dispensationalism in the USA is 1864-65, when J.N. Darby twice visited the country. Through these two visits the 16th and Walnut Avenue Presbyterian Church in St. Louis (then pastored by Dr. James H. Brookes) became the principal center of Dispensationalism in America. How could it be!?! This is like trying to mix oil with water! A Presbyterian Church promoting Dispensationalism? Dr. Brookes became Darby’s most prominent supporter and has been call the father of Dispensationalism in the U.S.

 

Dr. Brookes, the most influential exponent of Dispensationalism, propagated it by his own Bible studies with young men. His best known student was C.I. Scofield. Dr. Brookes also published many books and pamphlets (this should teach us the power of literature) as well as editing a magazine called The Truth. The chronology follows this order: Darby to Scofield; Scofield to Chafer; Chafer to Dallas Theological Seminary.

 

Before proceeding from Dr. Brookes it may be wise and helpful to call attention to conditions in the mainline denominations in the U.S. during this time. In the early twentieth century liberalism was beginning to rear its ugly head in these denominations. The sad condition of the churches had a profound effect of the success and inroads of Dispensationalism.

 

I will not mention the history in each denomination, but rather, use the Presbyterian Church which was more influenced by Dispensationalism than any other denomination.

 

Princeton Seminary, which was once the great stronghold of Biblical Christianity, was one of the first places where liberalism was exposed. One of the first open signs of this liberalism appeared in 1914 when J. Ross Stevenson became president of the Seminary. Dr. Stevenson was more interested in ecumenical goals than in the theology of the Westminster Standards.

 

In the General Assembly in 1923 the brewing storm came to a head. After this meeting a group of spiritual and theological giants followed J. Gresham Machen to found a new seminary. On September 25, 1929 Westminster Seminary, with fifty students and a choice faculty, was opened. There has never been a faculty like it since.

 

The faculty consisted of articulate, Reformed theologians and they were fighting for the fundamentals of the faith; namely, the inspiration of the Scriptures; the virgin birth of Christ; the bodily resurrection of Christ; the miracle of Christ; and the substitutionary atonement. Their fight was against liberalism, and this same battle was being fought in most, if not all, the mainline denominations. Those who rejected liberalism and held to the five fundamentals just mentioned were labeled “Fundamentalists.” This fundamentalism must not be confused with the present day Dispensational fundamentalism.

 

Let me explain precisely what I mean. The five fundamentals mentioned are beliefs which are essential to historic Christianity. In this sense, every true Christian who holds these truths is a fundamentalist. The present day Dispensational fundamentalists, though they hold to the five essential truths, often attack many other important fundamental of the faith which Reformed people have always cherished and have shed their blood to maintain.

 

Scofield Dispensationalism brought a new kind of fundamentalism into many churches. This new dispensationalism in its unscriptural, unreformed, and uncalvinistic teaching came on the religious scene to fill a vacuum-a vacuum which existed because of liberalism. The churches had drifted away from the doctrinal roots expressed in the old confessions and creeds. Many of the best schools and seminaries had been taken over by liberals and modernists-beginning in the colleges and seminaries and spreading to the pulpits and the pews. Bible-believing Christians turned to those churches where the bible was believed and taught.

 

This vacuum which Liberalism created in the churches provided a prime opportunity for the establishment and spread of the new Dispensational teaching.

 

This resulted in the independent church movement, the independent Bible conference movement and the Bible school movement. Those who participated in them were almost all carrying Scofield Bibles and their leaders were predominantly Dispensational in their views.

 

The major training center for evangelical and Bible-believing churches became Dallas Theological Seminary, founded in 1924. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer was the first president. Keep in mind these were days when the crucial battle between modernism and historic Christianity was in progress.

 

In that desperate hour sincere, Bible-believing people turned to Dallas Seminary, the mecca of Dispensationalism, for teaching on God’s Word.

 

Many Dispensational Bible schools and colleges were born during this period, and they all were brought forth unreformed.

 

The late Robert King Churchill, a respected Presbyterian minister, wrote a little paperback entitled, Lest We Forget. It consists of his reflections on his fifty year history in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Mr. Churchill confirms what I have said about Dispensationalism getting into the Presbyterian Church. He tells of his personal experience in two specific churches: First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, Washington, where he was converted, baptized and called to the ministry, and another located in Seattle, Washington. He tells how, in these two great churches, the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible became more and more prominent in the preaching. Churchill said, “These notes and the interpretation of Scripture upon which they were based, were contrary to our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage.”

 

He tells of Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer delivering a series of lectures on the subject of “Grace” (the same material now appears in Chafer’s book by the same title). Hear Mr. Churchill’s own words:

 

But Chafer’s treatment of the subject of grace never arrives at the right view of the law of God. According to Dr. Chafer, the law was a condition of salvation placed upon the people of God in the Old Testament during a special and limited time period-the Dispensation of Law. This condition, Chafer contended, no longer has application to the New Testament believer since we relate to God under a new dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace. Since, as he put it, “we are no longer under law, but under grace,” Chafer argued that there is no necessary relationship between law and grace. Here is law without grace, and grace without law. Always and in every sense, law and grace are opposed to each other.

 

This teaching appears to be scriptural, but in reality it was the ancient error of Antinomianism (anti-law) which denies that the law has application to the Christian. Chafer defended this view by means of a radical reinterpretation of the Scriptures (p. 31).

 

Dispensationalism is also a frontal attack on Covenantal Theology and the doctrine of the unity of the covenant of grace, which have been held since the time of the Reformation.

 

How could Dispensationalism be welcomed and embraced in strong Presbyterian churches whose confession teaches Reformed, Calvinistic, Covenant Theology? Though there is not a simple answer one thing is certain: the churches which were infected with Dispensationalism were those which had ceased teaching in any vital way the doctrinal distinctives of their own confession.

 

All honest Dispensationalists would agree that the Dispensational system of theology has a different view of the grace of God, the law of God, the church of God, the interpretation of the Word of God and the salvation of God. That is, its teaching are different from tested, respected historic creeds and confessions.

 

Dispensationalism has a different view of living the Christian life-of sanctification and, more specifically, how justification and sanctification are inseparably joined together in the application of God’s salvation.

 

This is a Southern Baptist journal, therefore, I must say something about Dispensationalism in Southern Baptist churches. Historically, the Southern Baptist churches were not Dispensational in theology. None of our leading seminaries or colleges ever taught Dispensationalism and to the present day they do not teach Dispensationalism.

 

I believe I am safe in saying that Dr. Wally Amos Criswell has been the most influential and articulate Southern Baptist Dispensationalists. Dr. Criswell is one of the great, esteemed and respected leaders of our denomination and every Southern Baptist is deeply indebted to him as a defender of the Bible and conservative Christianity. Where and how this great leader got his Dispensationalism I do not know. I do know that he did not get it at Baylor in his college days. He did not get it at Southern in his seminary days, and he did not get it from his great predecessor, George W. Truett, who pastored the First Baptist Church in Dallas, for 47 years before Dr. Criswell. George W. Truett was a postmillennialist.

 

There are other good men in the Southern Baptist Convention who have Dispensational views, but they did not get these views in our schools or seminaries. They did not get them from our Baptist fathers or from our Baptist historical roots.

 

We cannot overlook the accomplishments of Dispensationalism. It has given rise to Bible colleges and independent churches all over the land. It has spawned numerous independent missions, independent preachers and missionaries.

 

If we apply the pragmatic test and ask the question, “Does it work?” The answer is, “yes.”

 

If we apply the same test and ask the same question to:

Jehovah’s Witnesses, the answer would be yes.

The Mormons, the answer would be yes, it works.

The Roman Catholic Church-yes, it works.

The Charismatic movement-yes, it works.

 

They all have many converts and followers. They build schools, churches and have missionaries and great accomplishments-but, there is another, more important question that needs to be asked. Is it true, is it Biblical? This question will bring a different answer.

 

The issue before us is not a few minor differences or disagreements between those who hold basically the same position. It is not just a difference in eschatology. It is the whole system of theology that touches every major doctrine of Christianity. What is at stake is the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and the sinner’s assurance that he is living according to God’s plan for history.

 

There are many being rescued from the errors of Dispensationalism and I pray that God will use these studies to awaken many more to ask the right question.

 

In our next study we will return to the Lordship controversy.Recommended Books on Dispensationalism Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth, by John Gerstner (Wolgemuth & Hyatt)

Dispensationalism: Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow, by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Guinn, III (Footstool Publications)

Understanding Dispensationalism, by Vern S. Poythress (Zondervan Publishing House)

Backgrounds to Dispensationalism, by Clarence B. Bass (Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company)

 

Hope for the Present Age

 

Surely we shall not wish to measure the saving work of God by what has already been accomplished in these unripe days in which our lot is cast. The sands of time have not yet run out. And before us stretch, not merely the reaches of the ages, but the infinitely resourceful reaches of the promise of God. Are not the saints to inherit the earth? Is not the re-created earth theirs? Are not the kingdoms of the world to become the kingdom of God? Is not the knowledge of the glory of God to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea? Shall not the day dawn when no man need say to his neighbour, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest? Oh, raise your eyes, raise your eyes, I beseech you, to the far horizon: let them rest nowhere short of the extreme limit of the divine purpose of grace. And tell me what you see there. Is it not the supreme, the glorious, issue of that love of God which loved, not one here and there only in the world, but the world in its organic completeness; and gave His Son, not to judge the world, but that the world through Him should be saved? -B.B. Warfield

 

Well not wishing to besmirch Mr. Reisinger too much and risk being banished again- He may have points of History right, but his opinions of Dispensationalism are just plain wrong!

 

Mormons, Jw's and Catholics lean far more heavily to a warped covenant type theology than dispensationalism. Augustine was the founder of covenant theology.

 

there are good and bad points in each of covenant and dispensational theology. Neither is the commanded bible view. But without going into long details, I believe that dispensational theology- best interprets the word through a literal/historical/ grammatical hermeneutic. It accepts typology and apocalyptic language, but it also believes that Scripture itself defines symbols so we need not rely on any extra biblical means to understand symbology.

 

As for Lordship theology. I would like to know what you mean by that. Fior the definitions I have heard to date- I stand biblically opposed to it!

 

Reformed theology was born from the protestant reformation. I deeply love the lights of the reformation. Men like Calvin, Luther, Hus, Tyndale et. al. But many of them were still shackled by old Catholic beliefs. All the confessions you mentioned are awesome- but they are still confessions made by men.

 

I am a member of an independent local Baptist church (not IBBF) and we have our own confession. It mirrors many of the traditional confessions in most areas.

 

The greatest areas where dispensationalists disagree on today are eschatology and the present and future dealings of god with the people and land of Israel.. A normal natural reading of the word of God shows God is not through with His covenanted people and still has His plan which was unconditional (except the Mosaic covenant)

 

Each and every dispensation written of today coincides with a specific covenant God made with people. As a dispensation is a stewardship or economy of how God deals with people in a time frame- it shows how God ruled men differently at different times in History. Soteriology has always been the same- but the object or act of faith differed at differing times. Ex. In the Noahic covenant and the dispensation of conscience- God ruled over man via their conscience. Man failed and the flood ended that dispensation. How did one get saved in that dispensation (Eph. 2 as always) but the trust in God was demonstrated by getting on the ark!

 

I have been a believer for over 40 years and have done much deep study on the differences between dispensational; reformed, covenant theologies. I came to the conclusion that a dispensational hermeneutic provides the least harm to scripture and requires less allegorizing and redefining SCripture to support its conclusions As I said earlier--no insult at all to Mr. Reisinger.

Well not wishing to besmirch Mr. Reisinger too much and risk being banished again

*softly giggles*

William ... Don't banish this guy. He is refreshing (admittedly, he doesn't always agree with you)

 

*said in respectful manner and in recognition of the great amount of knowledge each of you present. * end of butt kissing * (Hope I can say 'butt')

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×