Spurgeon: Dispensationalist or Covenant Theology?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Reformed

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    Interesting quote from Charles Spurgeon:

     
  2. Deacon

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    From the Morning and Evening Devotional

    I'm not certain where Spurgeon fits into a timeline of dispensationalist theology but I know there was no love lost between him and Darby. I don't believe dispensationalism had been fully articulated and publicized by Schofield yet.

    As a dispensationalist myself I find little about the statement that I wouldn't teach myself - perhaps a bit softer - certainly with less authority :tongue3:

    Rob
     
    #2 Deacon, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2015
  3. Reformed

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    That quote was from 1877. By then Scofield was 34 years old. He certainly was influenced by Darby's writings as well as by being taught dispensational theology by James Brookes, a Presbyterian from St. Louis. So, when Spurgeon wrote that quote he was well aware of Dispensationalism's existence and growing influence.

    Much guessing has been done as to what Spurgeon believed regarding systematic theology. These things we do know:

    1. He had a deep affection for the Puritans, and especially John Bunyan. The majority of Puritans subscribed to Covenant Theology.
    2. He was an unashamed Calvinist.
    3. The majority of Calvinists throughout post-Reformation history were not Dispensationalists (NOTE: I said "the majority", which means there have been Dispensational Calvinists, although they are in the minority). The majority of Christians post-Darby have not been in the Dispensationalist camp.
    4. Spurgeon has, on different occasions, written about God's covenant, which is commonly known in Reformed Theology as the Covenant of Grace or the Covenant of Redemption.

    Spurgeon's writings can be appreciated by Monergists and Synergists alike, as well as Dispensationalists and Covenant Theologians. I believe it is because Spurgeon held the preaching of the Gospel as his greatest priority.
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    Perhaps he was a Monergist dispensationalist (one who holds to Calvinist soteriology and Calvinist doctrines except on eschatology).
     
  5. OldRegular

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    He was not a pre-trib-dispensationalist!

    *************************************************************************************************
     
  6. Reformed

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    *thumbs up*

    What is important to note is that Spurgeon lived during the early years of Dispensationalism, or what is commonly referred to as Classical Dispensationalism. The separation of Old Covenant believers and New Covenant Believers was a bedrock teaching of Darby, Scofield, and Chafer. Progressive Dispensationalism has back peddled on that aspect of Dispensationalism but they find themselves at odds with the Dispensationalism they desperately try to hold onto.
     
  7. robustheologian

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    It is possible for one not to exclusively hold to covenant theology, dispensationalism, or new covenant theology.
     
  8. OldRegular

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    Interesting observation. I believe eventually most progressive dispensationalists will find that they are either covenant or historic premillennialists or possibly amillennialists!

    *****************************************
     
  9. Reformed

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    Or they will just return to classical Dispensationalism.
     
  10. John of Japan

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    This quote says nothing about covenant theology. All theologies (dispensationalism included) admit that there were covenants in the Bible, both conditional and unconditional. What covenant theology does is postulate two (sometimes three) covenants not mentioned specifically in the Bible: a covenant of works between God and Adam, and a covenant of grace between God and the sinner (or variously, within the trinity, or with God and the elect).

    So, Spurgeon was certainly not a covenant theologian by this quote.
     
    #10 John of Japan, Feb 23, 2015
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  11. Reformed

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    All I said was "interesting quote". I made a better inference as to Spurgeon's theology in post #3. You read that, right? Apparently not.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Yeah, but--personally I always try to make the first post explanatory of the OP. Just sayin'. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  13. Reformed

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    Sometimes thoughts flow after an OP. Just sayin'. :)
     
  14. John of Japan

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    Don't mind me. I just taught a course on this stuff and am now grading papers, so I'm full of it right now.

    Carry on.
     
  15. Reformed

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    No harm. No foul.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    He also seemed to have held to a pre mil viewpoint on the Second Coming....

    NOT saying a Rapture, but a definite second coming and then Jesus ushering in Kingdom Age her eon the earth, where both the OT/NT saved were to be part of...
     
  17. John of Japan

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    It is entirely possible for someone to be premil while being covenant in theology. I believe that is what Spurgeon was.
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    He was something, as it was hard to get him "pinned down" regarding theology, as though a strong calvinist, did hold to Kingdom Age in the future, and the real need to preach to both saved and lost with fervant zeal!
     
  19. Rippon

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    It is not hard to classify him regarding his theolgy at all. As you yourself just acknowledged, he was a strong Calvinist. But then you made an apparent contrast. You said he held to "the real need to preach to both saved and lost with fervant [sic] zeal." But, in reality, there is no adversive aspect at all here.
     
  20. Reformed

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    John, I am sure you know there is a difference between historical premillennialism and Dispensational premillennialism.
     

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