John Nelson Darby and Pre-trib-dispensationalism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by OldRegular, Nov 21, 2015.

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  1. OldRegular

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    Many have questioned the role of John Nelson Darby in the beginning of pre-trib-dispensationalism. Dr. Thomas Ice {http://www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/ttcol.html} is a current dispensational scholar who has much to say about Darby.


    JOHN NELSON DARBY AND THE RAPTURE {http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/Ice-JohnNelsonDarbyandth.pdf}

    by Thomas Ice

    Supporters of pretribulationism generally believe that John Nelson Darby (1800– 1882) revived this lost New Testament teaching through intense Bible study during convalescence from a riding accident in December 1827 and January 1828. Evangelical opponents of pretribulationism often put forth theories that cast Darby in a bad light. For example, some say Darby got it from Edward Irving (1792–1834), while others say it originated from the prophetic utterance of a fifteen-year old Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald (1815–1840). Both sources are understood to be tainted since Irving was considered exocentric and heretical and Macdonald’s prophetic utterance is thought to be demonic. What is the evidence that Darby developed his view from his own personal study?

    //snip//

    A PROVIDENTIAL ACCIDENT

    At this time, Darby was experiencing a disappointment from a failed spiritual and physical austerity phase in his life, the reality of an Erastian31 church that he believed was in ruins and differed little from the unbelieving world, and his search for an assurance of salvation in his conscience. “Darby’s Christian understanding and experience were about to change radically,” notes Brethren historian Tim Grass. As one who began his ministry as a high churchman, Darby was on the verge of becoming an evangelical dissenter when he experienced a riding accident. Darby describes it as follows:

    [​IMG]
    "As soon as I was ordained, I went amongst the poor Irish mountaineers, in a wild and uncultivated district, where I remained two years and three months, working as best I could. I felt, however, that the style of work was not in agreement with what I read in the Bible concerning the church and Christianity; nor did it correspond with the effects of the action of the Spirit of God. These considerations pressed upon me from a scriptural and practical point of view; while seeking assiduously to fulfil the duties of the ministry confided to me, working day and night amongst the people, who were almost as wild as the mountains they inhabited. An accident happened which laid me aside for a time; my horse was frightened and had thrown me against a door-post."

    This period of Darby’s life is known among Darby scholars as “The Convalescence” during which he experienced “The Deliverance.” After the accident, Darby was taken to the home of Susannah Pennefather (1785–1862), his older sister, in Dublin in order to recover. Darby’s convalescence was a time when “the questions in his mind began to resolve themselves.” He wrote: “I was troubled in the same way when a clergyman, but never had the smallest shadow of it since.” He declared: “I judge it as Satan: but going from cabin to cabin to speak of Christ, and with souls, these thoughts sprang up, and if I sought to quote a text to myself it seemed a shadow and not real. I ought never to have been there, but do not think that this was the cause, but simply that I was not set free according to Romans viii. As I have said, I have never had it at all since.”

    The three or more months Darby spent recuperating from his accident were undoubtedly the most formative period in his life and remarked upon it. In one account he states:

    I am daily more struck with the connection of the great principles on which my mind was exercised by and with God, when I found salvation and peace, and the questions agitated and agitating the world at the present day: the absolute, divine authority and certainty of the Word, as a divine link between us and God, if everything (church and world) went; personal assurance of salvation in a new condition by being in Christ; the church as His body; Christ coming to receive us to Himself; and collaterally with that, the setting up of a new earthly dispensation, from Isaiah xxxii. (more particularly the end); all this was when laid aside at E. P.'s in 1827; the house character of the assembly on earth (not the fact of the presence of the Spirit) was subsequently. It was a vague fact which received form in my mind long after, that there must be a wholly new order of things, if God was to have His way, and the craving of the heart after it I had felt long before; but the church and redemption I did not know till the time I have spoken of; but eight years before, universal sorrow and sin pressed upon my spirit. I did not think to say so much of myself; but it is all well. The truth remains the truth, and it is on that we have to go; but the Lord's dealings with the soul, connected with the use of truth, have to be noted.

    Further identification of the date and what Darby believed happened to him spiritually during that time is seen in another statement by Darby in a letter in which he wrote, “I believe at my deliverance from bondage in 1827–8, God opened up certain truths needed for the church.”38 What did Darby claim he realized during his convalescence during December 1827 and January 1828? He enumerates five things.

    First, Darby says that he realized “the absolute, divine authority and certainty of the Word, as a divine link between us and God,”39 which caused “the scriptures to gain complete ascendancy over me.”40 Darby confirms an evangelical view of the inspiration and authority of Scripture.

    Second, he states: “I came to understand that I was united to Christ in heaven, and that consequently, my place before God was represented by His own.” Again he wrote, “personal assurance of salvation in a new condition by being in Christ; the church as His body.”

    Third, Darby understood more fully his present standing with Christ in heaven. Such a heavenly standing becomes the basis for much of Darby’s theology that sees the believer already positioned with Christ in heaven. “I was in Christ, accepted in the Beloved, and sitting in heavenly places in Him. This led me directly to the apprehension of what the true church of God was, those that were united to Christ in heaven.”43

    Fourth, he says that he realized that he should daily expect the Lord’s return. “At the same time, I saw that the Christian, having his place in Christ in heaven, has nothing to wait for save the coming of the Saviour, in order to be set, in fact, in the glory which is already his portion ‘in Christ.’” Further he says, “I saw in that word the coming of Christ to take the church to Himself in glory.” Darby speaks of “being in Christ; the church as His body; Christ coming to receive us to Himself; . . . all this was when laid aside at E. P.'s in 1827.” Again Darby says of his convalescence discovery: “The coming of he Lord was the other truth which was brought to my mind from the word, as that which, if sitting in heavenly places in Christ, was alone to be waited for, that I might sit in heavenly places with Him.”
    Such a cluster of beliefs that were formulated at this time provides the rationale for a pretribulational rapture. Darby had seen the importance of an imminent return of Christ for His bride.

    Fifth, Darby saw a change in dispensation. This could mean that it was at this time that shifted in his eschatology from postmillennialism to premillennialism. “Christ coming to receive us to Himself; and collaterally with that, the setting up of a new earthly dispensation, from Isaiah xxxii. (more particularly the end); all this was when laid aside at E. P.'s in 1827.” He writes of his studies in Isaiah: “Isaiah xxxii. brought me to the earthly consequences of the same truth, though other passages might seem perhaps more striking to me now; but I saw an evident change of dispensation in that chapter, when the Spirit would be poured out on the Jewish nation, and a king reign in righteousness.”
     
  2. agedman

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    [QUOTE="OldRegular, post: 2186127, member: 3326"

    Supporters of pretribulationism generally believe that John Nelson Darby (1800– 1882) revived this lost New Testament teaching through intense Bible study during convalescence from a riding accident in December 1827 and January 1828. [/QUOTE]

    So, you are stating from the first that he didn't invent, "father" or some other term to show it didn't exist prior to the early 1800's?

    That it is NOT some Papist plot, and certainly not some view that is heretical, but actually a New Testament teaching?

    OR, are you considering embracing Dispensational Pre-Millennialism?

    :)
     
  3. Internet Theologian

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  4. OldRegular

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    So, you are stating from the first that he didn't invent, "father" or some other term to show it didn't exist prior to the early 1800's?

    That it is NOT some Papist plot, and certainly not some view that is heretical, but actually a New Testament teaching?

    OR, are you considering embracing Dispensational Pre-Millennialism?

    :)[/QUOTE]

    Only in my worst nightmare!
     
  5. OldRegular

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  6. Jordan Kurecki

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    You are a liar and a deceiver.
    Stop your lies.
    God hates lying lips, they are an abomination to him.
     
  7. Rippon

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    Jordon, what has you all riled up? Do you object to Darby's own words quoted by Thomas Ice?

    You better be careful with those accusations of yours. Will you be man enough, and more importantly, Christian enough, to admit you are wrong and apologize for your intemperate words?
     
  8. DHK

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    Perhaps Jordan gets upset about OR's deliberate misrepresentation.
    What he said is not true.

    I doubt if Jordan believes the following statement; I know I don't.

    Supporters of pretribulationism generally believe

    I support pretribulationism, not OR's version of it. The lie that most us believe that that is the way it happened is uncalled for. That is not what most supporters "generally believe." Has he asked them?
     
  9. beameup

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    Prior to the Zionist Movement (Jews returning to the Holy Land), it was "unthinkable" that the Nation of Israel could ever exist again. Now, especially after 1948, it is simply "denial" that God is not performing a work in the Holy Land in preparation of the Second Coming and establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. Of course if you embraced the heresy of the Catholic Church perpetrated by Augustine, then it is a matter of "pride" to cling to your "Replacement Theology".
     
  10. agedman

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    I've been looking over one of the links that OR posted.

    Usually folks post links to support their own view, but showing balance and willing to present both sides, OR posted the link that seems very fact based arguments against his own view. The link gives documented history, Scriptures, rational, ... and will take a great deal of time to work through all the information.

    I came across this interesting tidbit that showed Darby wasn't the first, "dispensational" thinker, and (although I won't post it all) wasn't by far the originator of pre-tribulationism. It can be found in the link OR posted, and in this section of that link: HERE

    Further down in the writing he uses Ryrie as a reference and shows two theologians:



    It would seem "Darby" isn't that much of a "father of dispensation", nor of the one who developed a view of a church age.
     
  11. blessedwife318

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    Viewing different eras of history does not a dispensationalist make. That would be like saying that viewing different covenant in history makes one a covenant theologians. There are distinctives between the two camps that dispensationalist seem determined to keep under wraps.
     
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  12. Internet Theologian

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    All you have here is a dispensationalist attempting to make others before him dispensationalists. Simply because others recognized the validity of 'dispensations of time' does not make them forefathers of the system of Dispensationalism. This is the (speaking of Ryrie) method used by those within this type of system; weak, readily dismantled arguments.
     
    #12 Internet Theologian, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
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  13. agedman

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    So, perhaps you would like to "uncover" the distinctions?

    I quoted two pre-Darby theologians in the post above - was there something being covered up by these men that I missed when I copied what was reported as their work?
     
  14. kyredneck

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    There's any number of us non-dispies that had we'd said this to a dispy would get an infraction from you, but you smooth this over for him.
     
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  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Gotta be something else between these two very flawed man made belief systems.......until then, I accept neither. Don't even concentrate on them. Christ will return, this we know......and then we will all be reconstituted with pure spiritual bodies.

    We will also not know the time & place of His return......He will come like a thief in the night. So why worry? :D
     
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  16. Earth Wind and Fire

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    o_O Ohhhh.........and why do you think that is?!? Biggrin
     
  17. blessedwife318

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    Sure not a problem; I will let Charles Ryrie tell us all what makes a dispensationalist a dispensationalist.

    Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism 1995 pages 38-40
    Italics in original
    bold mine

    So I say again viewing different ages does not a dispensationalist make.
    To say it does is dishonest and one could just as easily argue that to believe in Covenants makes one a Covenant theologian.
    It all comes down to how one views Israel and the church.

    As far as I'm concerned if you claim to be a dispensationalist, Darby and Schofield are fair game to quote, just like if someone claims to be a Calvinist, then John Calvin is fair game.
     
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  18. blessedwife318

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    Which is really Ironic because when push comes to shove even Ryrie has to admit that seeing dispensations of times doesn't make one a dispensationalist, as I quoted in my last post. When I was rereading his book Dispensationalism I noticed him trying to show a longer history of Dispensationalism by trying to connect it to others that have divided the Bible, but then on page 38 he has to admit that viewing different ages does not make one a Dispensationalist and that it really all comes down to your view on Israel and the Church.
     
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  19. Internet Theologian

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    Exactly. It just shows that Ryrie wasn't being exactly honest in claiming those in the past as proponents of dispensationalism.
     
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  20. agedman

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    1). You haven't addressed what is covered up.
    2). Now you also need to explain what is so different between the views of Isreal, because they both exclude Isreal and replace it with the church.
    3). I've got no problems with quotes as long as they can be verified as accurate.
     
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