Dispensationalism

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ascund, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. ascund

    ascund
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    Greetings

    To be valid, an exposition must have the following elements:
    _1. It must contain an ultimate purpose for history and the end to which all history moves.
    _2. It must recognize distinctions.
    _3. It must have a proper concept of the progress of revelation.
    _4. It must have a unifying principle which ties the distinctions and progressive stages and directs them toward the fulfillment of the purpose of history.
    _5. It must give a valid explanation of why things have happened, the way they are, and the why things happen.

    It is my supposition that only dispensationalism can provide the necessary view.
    Lloyd
     
  2. ascund

    ascund
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    Greetings

    Covenant Theology (CT) is the major alternative to biblical Dispensational Theology (DT). CT is not necessarily wrong - but it cannot handle the 5 elements given in the first post.

    CT is to be commended as it:
    _1. emphasizes God’s grace, Christ’s redemptive work, and salvation by grace through faith.
    _2. recognizes Jesus as the central figure of world history.
    _3. makes an honest attempt to be faithful to the Scriptures.

    CT has certain problems.
    _1. It is too limited in focusing only on God’s redemption of the elect,
    _2. It denies or weakens some key distinctions:
    ___ Abrahamic vrs Mosaic Covenants
    ___ Mosaic vrs New Covenants
    ___ Israel and the Church,
    _3. CT is mistaken when it teaches that each of the biblical covenants is a continuation and newer phase of the Covenant of Grace,
    _4. CT unifying principle is too limited or narrow. CT holds that the Covenant of Grace unifies history. But this covenant only deals with the elect. It does not deal with God’s other programs or prefall history.
    _5. CT employs a double hermeneutic.
    While it recognizes and uses the historical-grammatical method of interpreting most of the Bible, it uses the symbolic allegorical method when dealing with Israel and the future Kingdom of God.

    Lloyd
     
  3. 4His_glory

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  4. ascund

    ascund
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    Greetings

    DT did not exist as a developed system in the early Church. Some early theologians did recognize some of the biblical principles.
    _ Clement of Alexandria recognized four dispensations.
    _ Augustine noted that god employed several distinct ways of working in the world as He executes His plan for history.
    _ The first person on record to develop a genuine system was Pierre Poiret (1687).
    _ In the 19th century, John Darby was a significant developer of dispensational theology.
    _ In the 20th century, the Scofield Reference Bible contains intensive references to dispensational theology.
    _ Charles Ryrie is a significant recent promoter of dispensational theology.

    BTW, most of this stuff is from: Renald Showers, There Really Is A Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990).

    The word "dispensation" comes from the Greek word oikonomia which is translated stewardship or dispensation in six NT uses referring to a responsible office. It is translated dispensation, fellowship, or edifying referring to God's administrative rule over the world.

    Thus, a dispensation is:
    The word "dispensation" is used in the Bible and the theological concept is easily derived from historical theology.

    Lloyd
     
  5. Matt Black

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    THe word can also be translated 'economy' or 'administration'; one tends to have a slightly different theological take depending on one's Bible translation in my experience!
     
  6. ascund

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    Hey Brit

    (Hopes that's not an insult. If so, public apology will be forthcoming.)

    I've heard that only 1-2% of England goes to church. Is that true? Sadly, USA is headed that direction.

    Is there any other nation on earth that has legalised the murder of their unborn?

    Is there any other nation that has sanctioned the union of perverts?

    Is there grounds for God's blessing on the USA? If so, what?

    Lloyd
     
  7. Monergist

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    In the midst of a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, this one jumps out as the most patently false. So forgive me if I ignore the rest of this smoke and mirrors and focus in on this glaring error.

    There is a vast difference between employing a "symbolic allegorical method" and merely allowing scripture to interpret scripture. Scripture itself is its own best interpreter, not some artificial "literal" grid through which scripture must be squeezed.

    This is a classic example of the pot prouncing that the kettle is black. While claiming to hold to a literal interpretation of scripture, many dispensationalists have no problem "allegorizing" certain texts when it suits their artificial system. The prophecy found in Ezekiel 38-39 is a prime example. It seems that Dispensationalists are very selective in what is to be taken literally; and quite often forced to take figuretively what is historical.


    I believe in dispensations. I do not believe in Dispensationalism. And as long as Dispensationalists keep putting forth arguments like this, I expect that I never will be convinced.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The issue there, Monergist, is the consistent use of it. Allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture would never lead to covenantalism, apart from teh presupposition of covenantalism. "Literal grammatical historical interpretation" means you treat langauge normally, as the author intended. There are certainly symbolic, or figurative passages of Scripture. DT recognizes this. What DT avoids is assigning a symbolic or figurative interpretation to a passage that is clearly not to be taken that way. And that is where CT so often fails ... They take plainly literal passages and make them figurative in order to fit it into their system.
     
  9. ascund

    ascund
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    Hey Monergist

    In the midst of a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, this one jumps out as the most patently false. So forgive me if I ignore the rest of this smoke and mirrors and focus in on this glaring error.</font>[/QUOTE]So how do you view Israel? Has the Church replaced Israel wrt God's promises or not?


    Context rules! That it refers to national Israel is without question. But does it refer to any historic period of Israel's history? If not, it must either be future or transferred to the Church. Which do you hold?

    Rather than vainly ranting about the negatives, step up to the plate and provide your "correct" historical-grammatical interpretation - if you can.

    How would you interpret Eze 38-39?
    Lloyd
     
  10. Monergist

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    This is where I see CT's and Dispensationalist talking past each other. You say "Allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture would never lead to covenantalism, apart from teh presupposition of covenantalism" and someone holding to CT could also say "Allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture would never lead to Dispensationalism, apart from the presupposition of Dispensationalism. Quite honestly, I started out studying Dispensationalism far more thoroughly than CT, and I never could get it. And I can't see why these 'truths,' if they come from the simple study of scripture itself, remained hidden for 1800 years.

    I don't hate Dispensationalism. Some of its teachers I have great respect for. And I've seen enough of your posts in the past here to know that you have high regard for scripture. I respect that in anyone, even when I disagree.

    But what I do hate are muddled arguments that confuse the issues. Which arguments of this type do.
     
  11. Monergist

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    Suffice it to say that I don't see Russia, nor do I see jet planes, missiles and atomic bombs, as per Lahaye.

    It refers to national Israel; probably to a battle fought long ago.
     
  12. Chemnitz

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    Dispensationalism has many flaws, here are just a few.

    1. Dispensationalism teaches that the Messiah and His kingdom
    promised in the Old Testament are essentially political in nature. In this respect it
    takes a position which resembles the Messianic expectation of first-century
    Judaism. Christ's atoning work on the cross is not central in God's plan according
    to this view. Rather, He is wrongly perceived as , coming to set up a this-worldly
    kingdom, and when rejected, as postponing it.

    2. The view regards the Messianic age as only a future reality. It tends to
    exchange the "now" for a "not yet," thereby depriving people of the comforting
    promises of the Gospel in the present. In truth, Christ inaugurated the kingdom of
    heaven at His first advent, a kingdom which is now ours by faith even while it is
    yet hidden under the cross until its consummation at Christ's second advent.

    3. Dispensational premillennialism tends to regard the glory of God as the center
    of theology, rather than the mercy of God revealed, and yet hidden, in the
    suffering and death of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the world. The visible
    manifestations of God's power at the end of history and obedience to the will of
    God become the primary foci, instead of the grace of God revealed in the cross
    of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2:2)--which by faith the Christian regards and accepts as
    the place of God's definitive triumph over sin and every evil (in Lutheran
    theology, the "theology of the cross" as opposed to a "theology of glory").

    4. Dispensational premillennialism underestimates, and even ignores, the
    significance of Biblical typology. All prophecy points to Jesus Christ as the
    fulfillment. He is the antitype of the Old Testament types. When the reality to
    which the Old Testament points does come, one cannot revert back to the
    "shadows," such as the Old Testament temple (Col. 2:16-17; Heb. 10:1).

    5. The compartmentalization of Scripture into distinct dispensations seriously
    overlooks the Law/Gospel unity of the Old and New Testaments. For example, it
    makes a radical distinction between the Mosaic "law" period and the church age
    of "grace." The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is that of
    promise and fulfillment, not one of distinct dispensations.

    6. Ultimately, the eschatology of dispensationalism offers a dangerously false
    hope. The views of a pre-tribulation or mid- tribulation rapture offer the Christian
    the false hope of exemption from the intensified persecution toward the end.
    Moreover, they offer a second chance of conversion for those who are left after
    the rapture. The focus of the Scripture's hope is not an earthly kingdom lasting
    1000 years but eternity with Christ.

    7. The dispensationalist view of a radical break between Israel and the church
    contradicts the Scriptural teaching that the cross of Christ has eliminated forever
    the distinction between Jew and Gentile (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:11-22; Rom. 2:25-29).

    8. The dispensational hermeneutic of consistent literalism is contrary to the
    Scripturally --derived principles of interpretation (cf. section one above).
    9. Dispensationalism's multiple resurrections and judgments are contrary to the
    clear Scriptural teaching on eschatology (cf. section two above).

    10. The assurance and hope of salvation tend to be grounded on an
    interpretation of the signs of the times rather than on the sure Word of promise
    imparted in the means of grace.
    -CTCR "End Times"
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    I think we would agree that, in the main, only one can be right. I have yet to see a CT argument that really deals with Scripture. But that's my experience. To me, the main CT arguments require more than Scripture says, and can't fully deal with all of Scripture.

    I agree ... and dispute your asssertion that it remained hidden for 1800 yeras. The tenets of dispensationalism go way back. In fact, I think the NT use of hte OT is a major argument for dispensationalism. (I know some dispute that.) But even in church history, the tenets are there. What happened in 1800, give or take, was the systematization of it ... putting all the pieces together.

    I hate bad arguments as well. I am not convinced that the particular argument you picked on is a bad one, though perhaps overgeneralized. It seems to me that your side admits to spiritualized interpretation, or allegorical interpretation, particularly when dealing with the kingdom of God and the future of Israel. I don't think that is a big secret. It is pretty widely admitted by your side that certain prophecies, particularly concerning the land and the Messiah's reign on earth, are spiritualized. We disagree on that, obviously.

    I cringe at the arguments that some dispenstionalists make. I hate to be associated with them.
     
  14. Monergist

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    I don't like to say that the promises have been 'replaced.' They were fulfilled in Christ. We inherit those promises through our union with Christ.
     
  15. ascund

    ascund
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    Hey Chemnitz


    A lot of error in that one post. Let me try your "stuff" in small segments.
    While national Israel will be a future political entity in Messiah Jesus' kingdom rule, the mere fact that Jesus will sit enthroned on David's throne guarantees that it will be spiritual as well.

    Where did you get the idea that Christ's atoning work on the cross is not central in God's plan according? This is some wierd strawman not supported by DT.

    Christ's Cross is the basis of the New Covenant given in Jer 31, 50:4-5; Ezek 34, 37.
    to this view.


    God promised national Israel six things:

    _1. He promised regeneration. This involves the new heart and a new nature (Jer 31:33; 32:39-40; Ezek 36:26).
    _2. He promised the forgiveness of sins (Jer 31:34; Ezek 36:25).
    _3. He promised the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ezek 36:27).
    _4. He promised a universal knowledge of Jehovah among the people of Israel (Jer 31:34).
    _5. He promised that Israel would obey Him and have a right attitude (Jer 32:39-40; Ezek 36:27, 37:23-24).
    _6. He promised many national blessings to Israel.
    . . His Spirit would never depart from them (Is 59:21)
    . . Israel would have a great reputation because of God’s special blessing (Isa 61:8-9).
    . . Israel would have a unique relationship with Him (Jer 31:33; Ezek 36:28)
    . . God would do them good (Jer 32:40-42).
    . . Wild beasts would be eliminated from their land (Ezek 34:25, 28)
    . . Israel would not be threatened or insulted (Ezek 34:28-29)
    . . An abundance of food (Ezek 34:27, 29; 36:29-30)
    . . Israel’s land would be like the Garden of Eden (Ezek 34:29)
    . . Rainfall would be controlled perfectly (Ezek 34:26)
    . . Israel’s cities would be rebuilt and inhabited (Ezek 36:33)
    . . Israel would experience a population explosion (Ezek 36:37-38; 37:26)
    . . Israel would be unified (Ezek 37:21-22)
    . . God would have His sanctuary in Israel and would dwell amidst them (Ezek 37:26-28).
    . . God would never turn away from Israel again (Jer 32:40)

    How could any of these possible be fulfilled by the CT perversion? Here is where CT pulls out its allegorical-twist at will hermeneutic.


    Your first bullet is revealed to be nothing but a vain strawman devoid of biblical support.
    Lloyd
     
  16. ascund

    ascund
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    Hey Chemnitz


    A lot of error in that one post. Let me try your "stuff" in small segments.

    This is yet another despicable strawman. Where is your support for this exaggeration? The “now” aspect of DT comfortably embraces the Gospel promises. We Gentiles have been grafted into the root stock. Jesus Himself gave the parable of how His Kingdom is likened unto a man who left for a faraway country to receive His kingship. He is returning. Until He arrives, His kingship (while genuine) remains yet to be fully inaugurated.

    Another pitiful strawman demolished.
    Lloyd
     
  17. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Not "essentially" political, but it does have a political aspect. There are actually six aspects of the kingdom given in the OT. The fact that the first century Jews looked for this is good evidence that it is what the OT taught.

    False.

    Partially true; partially false. The Messianic age as described in the OT and NT is future. It has to be, if words mean anything. But that does not deprive people of the comforting promises of hte gospel in this age.

    You would have a very hard time showing any Scripture where Christ inaugurated the kingdom. But even at that, the fullness of it clearly has an earthly aspect, a "period of the restoration of all things" as PEter described it in Acts 3:19ff. It cannot come until the Jews repent and accept the Messiah (Zech 10; Rev 1).

    And rightly so. The goal of human history is God's glory. The "mercy of God revealed, and yet hidden, in the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the world" is a way in which God shows that glory, as Eph 1 tells us.

    No, not at all. It just refuses to add to that typology.

    Not entirely. There were many prophecies of the restoration of the nation of Israel to the land which deal with Christ, but of which Christ is not the fulfillment.

    Dispensationalism does not suggest we should revert back. BTW, I think "revert back" is a redundancy. When you "revert" you "go back," don't you??

    No, not exactly. There are clearly "compartments" to use your word, as the Bible indicates.

    The Law and Grace were distinguished by Christ in John 1 and by Paul in numerous passages.

    The "exemption" is not a false hope. 1 Thess 5 makes it a settled promise. But even at that, this is a bad argument. Salvation brings "exemption from intensified suffering," yet you do not reject that teaching.

    Most, to my knowledge, do not offer a second chance after the Rapture. Sounds like you have been getting your knowledge of dispensationalism from LaHaye and Jenkins. I don't know what all they say, but what I have heard is very bad dispenstionalism and bears little resemblance to what we believe.

    No it doesn't. The passages you refer to are about the church, in which there is no Jew or Gentile. All are one. BUt that does not "annul the promise" as Paul says in Galatians 3. You are conflating things. The promises made to national Israel are still good promises. They must be fulfilled or God is a liar. Jew and Gentile are one in the church. That has no bearing on end time Israel.

    SEction 1? Not sure what you are referring to here, but the principles of interpretation derived from Scripture are the same as any other ... You treat language normally. That is the hermeneutic of dispenationalism.

    I didn't see anything about resurrections above, but the fact of more than one resurrection is explicit in SCripture. Rev 20 clearly describes at least two. There is nothing contrary to Scripture in affirming what Scripture teaches.

    I am not aware of any "assurance and hope of salvation ... grounded on an interpretation of the sings of the times rather than on the sure Word of promise."

    Simply put, these are bad arguments. Every single one of them is filled with problems. I could address at length the problems with each one, but wont' take the time to do so here.

    Bad arguments are found on both sides. This post is certainly full of them.
    -CTCR "End Times"
     
  18. ascund

    ascund
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    Hey Chemnitz


    A lot of error in that one post. Let me try your "stuff" in small segments.

    Nonsense! DT clearly shows the first Gen 3:15 promise extended to the world. The dispensations do not cloud justification by faith. They are merely stages in God’s administrative rule over earth.

    Why would you end your strawman with a critique of God’s power at the end of history? This also is what Calvinists hold to. CT is hereby shown to limit theology to the Cross and omit God’s plan for the unsaved and a valid explanation for pre-fallen humanity.

    By your own words you tuck yourself into a corner!
    Lloyd
     
  19. Chemnitz

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    "_1. He promised regeneration. This involves the new heart and a new nature (Jer 31:33; 32:39-40; Ezek 36:26).
    _2. He promised the forgiveness of sins (Jer 31:34; Ezek 36:25).
    _3. He promised the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ezek 36:27).
    _4. He promised a universal knowledge of Jehovah among the people of Israel (Jer 31:34).
    _5. He promised that Israel would obey Him and have a right attitude (Jer 32:39-40; Ezek 36:27, 37:23-24).
    _6. He promised many national blessings to Israel.
    . . His Spirit would never depart from them (Is 59:21)
    . . Israel would have a great reputation because of God’s special blessing (Isa 61:8-9).
    . . Israel would have a unique relationship with Him (Jer 31:33; Ezek 36:28)
    . . God would do them good (Jer 32:40-42).
    . . Wild beasts would be eliminated from their land (Ezek 34:25, 28)
    . . Israel would not be threatened or insulted (Ezek 34:28-29)
    . . An abundance of food (Ezek 34:27, 29; 36:29-30)
    . . Israel’s land would be like the Garden of Eden (Ezek 34:29)
    . . Rainfall would be controlled perfectly (Ezek 34:26)
    . . Israel’s cities would be rebuilt and inhabited (Ezek 36:33)
    . . Israel would experience a population explosion (Ezek 36:37-38; 37:26)
    . . Israel would be unified (Ezek 37:21-22)
    . . God would have His sanctuary in Israel and would dwell amidst them (Ezek 37:26-28).
    . . God would never turn away from Israel again (Jer 32:40)"
    Yet none of these applies to a political entity, they apply solely to the Church. Romans 11 makes it clear that the Church is Israel, that Israel is not a political/ethnic nation.
     
  20. ascund

    ascund
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    Hey Chemnitz


    A lot of error in that one post. Let me try your "stuff" in small segments.

    More nonsense! The OT perfectly pictures all the ministries of Jesus. Which temple do you think matches Ezekiel’s 10 chapter description? You probably haven’t read it or you wouldn’t make such wayward statements.

    Memorials don’t hold the same significance as the actual act. In the same way that there is NOTHING salvific about the Lord’s Supper, so also will there be NOTHING salvific about the future temple.

    When you restrict yourself by such ridiculous strawmen, it is difficult to see the truth.
    Wake up!
    Lloyd
     

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