Covt or Disp...How Much Does it Matter?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Bugman, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Bugman

    Bugman
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    I understand the importance of being as Biblicaly accurate in all doctrine and theology as possible, but in a practical sense how big of a difference does it make in your theology/doctrine if you hold to Covenant Theology or Dispensational Theology?

    I've come to my beliefs on Baptism, Lordship Salvation and Calvinism all without holding to one or another, and now as I look into each one the only area where it would seem to be of great effect is on end times theology. Is there a greater impact I'm missing here? Should I be concerned about setting down my views on the issue of which seems more biblical as soon as possible?

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  2. KenH

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    The only point of eschatology that matters is belief in the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection from the dead. Christians will agree on few of the details past those two points.
     
  3. Tim

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    It didn't matter that much until the modern zealots for dispensationalism made it an issue of major importance.

    Tim
     
  4. Gunther

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    Tim, you didn't have to go there. I could just as easily blame radical reconstructionists for their heavy involvement in politics trying to reclaim government for God.

    Anyway, prophecy is of major importance. 25% of the Bible is prophetic and 3 N.T. books were devoted to it (not to mention it is heavily addressed in other books).
     
  5. Bugman

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    But leaving phrophacy behidn for a moment, does what view you take on Dispensationalsm or Covenant Theology affect any other area of theology?

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  6. Gunther

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    It would be extremely rare to find liberalism associated with dispensationalism. Covenant theology has tried to copyright it though since the catholics invented it.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    It matters in some areas. Covenant theologians will always have a faulty view of the church. That is not to say that they cannot be a true church. They just have a faulty view of it. They will always miscommunicate about the nature of progressive revelation because they fail to recognize its significance. Their faulty view of eschatology will not have great consequences in this age since we will all be gone before it comes to pass.

    Overall, I have some good friends who are covenantalists. I would not have them to preach in my church simply because their presuppositions are so vastly different than mine are. However, I do not question their love for God or their zeal for ministry.
     
  8. Bugman

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    Gunther you mentioned more libeals being Covenant. Aren't most Charasmatic dispensationalist however?

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  9. Bugman

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    Pastor Larry Said: " I would not have them to preach in my church simply because their presuppositions are so vastly different than mine are."

    Isn't kinda a bit much? Wouldn't that mean John Gill, Spurgeon and Pink wouldn't be allowed to preach at your church?

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    A bit much??? Not really ... If these men were to preach at my church, we have bigger problems that covenant theology. Perhaps you are not aware that all these men are dead ... :D

    Seriously, who would be able to preach or not preach is of no concern to me. I would listen to these men were it possible (as I do now with many covenant theologians). I would read them and quote them and on some occasions encourage others to read them. But I would not give them my pulpit because of the obvious danger involved. I doubt any covenantalist would give me their pulpit either.
     
  11. Pete Richert

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    Since no one here is really speaking in abstract terms, and everyone is argueing the differences assuming their side is right, I will be up front to say that I think both classic dispensationalist and Covenant theologians are wrong. I find myself much more inline with progressive despensationalist or New Convenant Theologians. I think both Classic Dispensationalist and Covenant theologians have faulty views of the church. But hey, so many very Godly people have fallen on both sides here so I'm not going to make it too central.

    I think the difference between Dispensational and Convenant theology does make a difference in churches. How they view the law is vastly different. Convenant theology tends to lead more towards Calvinism though Dr. Bob and this thread's own Pastor Larry demonstrate that Dispensationalism also has its Calvinists. End times does make a difference because it affects whether you believe Jews today are a seperate entity or whether you believe BELIVEIVING JEWS as part of the church today in the same way you are. Convenant theology tends to lead towards Sabbarains (I don't know if I spelled that right, people who view Sunday as the new Sabbath and KEEP it as such) though ultra dispensational fundlemenalits tend to view it similar ("We belong in the Church when the doors are open" , or "I have missed a Sunday in . . . years"). Convenant Theology has a long history and has sprouted many churches that have evolved over time, so it is natural to see that liberalism will have snuck in. Dispensationalism seems to be the sole Biblical Framework of Pentelcostal chuches and charasmatics in general though charasmatics have now started poping up in other denominations (even the RC). Dispensationals usually seem more ferbent (sp) to evangelize, CTs seem more ferbent (sp) to discover and respect 2000 years of Christian history (both are needed I think, and these two sides have something to teach each other). Both sides treat the other sides name like a curse word. Both sides assume they can "blow the other side out of the water" with scripture. Both sides have completly different intrepretations (fueled by different presuppositions) about what a text means. (I direct you to a discussion Pastor Larry and I had concerning 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and how I finally realized are enormous misunderstanding about how the other person could see his side so was due to what we though "Day of the Lord" meant.) They use the OT differently.

    Now, as to Spurgeon. If Spurgeon came to my door I would let him preach in a picosecond! (1000 times faster then a nanosecond). Now I am not a pastor and so I don't have the weight on my shoulders as our boy Larry, but I assume if I was a pastor I would let this man preachs as often as he was willing. The best way to sheperd my people would be to let them be bathed by the seasoned words this godly man imparted, as they have so often strenghed,encouraged, excited and edifyed me. Same for Pink. I don't know much about Gill so I will reserve judgement. I would let dispensationals (such as my father-in-law, or Pastor Larry) preach and I would led non-dispys, like Poythress, or Walke, or Kaiser preach. Most of the Bibles meaning is not dependent on these presups and even when they are, I would want my congegration to hear and think about other points of view instead of just assuming the other side is not godly, spiritually educated or mature, and/or "honest". The only ones I would not let preach or those who do not believe the gospel as I do, namely that we are saved through trusting in Jesus Christ, in other words, anyone who adheres to othorodox Christianity.
     
  12. Tim

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    As far as I'm concerned, throw stones at both sides! Like Pete (apparently), I am neither a dispensationalist nor a covenant theologian. New Covenant Theology is neither! So both dispies and CT's throw stones at me.

    I've been in both kinds of churches and seen how the errors of either system can cause a church to drift off course.

    O.K. I'll take cover,

    Tim
     
  13. Bugman

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    Ok, my next question would be is if there is a good site that lists all 4 major views (Covenant, New Covenant, Dispensationalist and progressive dispensationalist), and gives the proofs for each without taking sides?

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  14. Tim

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    Why look for one site that claims not to take sides? Everybody takes sides! Just look up sites favorable to each one.

    My opinion is that the basic difference between those four camps is based upon their view of the two testaments:

    1. Covenant theology draws few distinctions between the way God dealt with men under the Old Covenant and under the New--in fact they would say the two are actually one covenant, just administered differently. Therefore they teach an obligation to obey the "moral" Law of Moses. Ultimately among the overzealous, it may lead to suffocating legalism (i.e. Reconstructionism and even some circles of Reformed Baptists).

    2. Dispensationalism generally separates the two testaments as different ages, with Law and Grace as the two primary ones. This is basically a good biblical division, but it's the next age where things get messy. Then God supposedly returns to His primary task--"dealing with Israel". And many O.T. regulations supposedly are reinstated for that coming age. The church's purpose is thus minimized, and the modern state of Israel is magnified in importance. Basically, this can become a rabbit-trail for believers who become obsessed with what's going to happen next. Among the most overzealous, it may be accompanied with an unscriptural alliance with unbelieving Judiasm (and legalism) in preparation for the coming age.

    3. Progressive Dispensationalism tends to moderate the sharp divisions between ages that Dispensationalists traditionally have held to. It also tends to give greater emphasis to the present aspect of the Kingdom in the Church age. And it tends to avoid an overconcentration upon modern Israel. Some would question whether P.D. is even dispensationalism at all because it is so far afield from it's predecessor.

    4. New Covenant theology recognizes a radical division between the Old Mosaic Covenant with Israel and the New Covenant in Christ (initiated with believing Israel which became the church). Eschatology is not an emphasis in these circles, but rather practical Christian living under the terms of the New Covenant (the Law of Christ working through the Spirit). However the major endtimes views here are classical premillenialism or ammilenialism.

    Hope this all doesn't sound too opinionated for you!

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  15. Pete Richert

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    Tim did a good job though a WHOLE lot more could be said of course. Here is a link (from a small church I once visited) that compares the systems. Not all of this material is original as I have seen some of it somewhere else (though can't remember where).

    click here

    I agree with Tim that all comparisons are biased but this one is not TOO bad.
     

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