Why Dispys and CT's can't understand each other

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pete Richert, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    I am about 3/4 of the way through a book written by the coventant theologian Vern Sheridan Poythress called "Understanding Dispensationalists". The boook is short (about 120 pages, $8) and doesn't defend CT agaist Dispensationlism but instead tries to reason out why people from these two sides have such a hard time understanding each other. Namely, he shows where and how are presupossitions are so different that we can be pointing to the same texts and read different things. He discusses things like the use of "literal" and "plain" interpretation by the Dispys and how this term can be loaded.

    Anyway, finding myself somewhere torn in between, I found this book very helpful in understanding some of the discrepencies between the two views and how they come about. I think everyone should read it, both the Dispys and CTs, so that we can all understand each other better. Vern's main goal is to open up a more productive dialog between the two sides so as to hopefully one day come to agreement.

    P.S. I know this should probably be in the book section but since this is the forum that this is usually discussed, I wanted to get as wide an audience as possible.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    A PhD I know who did his dissertation on the connections between the millennial views said this book by Poythress would be better title "Misunderstanding Dispensationalism." I have read only a very little bit of it. I was rather unimpressed though Poythress is certainly better than many authors who try to tackle the subject.
     
  3. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    Well, I'm both glad and disapointed to hear that from you. I am glad because I want a solid Dispensational to set me straight if I am being led to misunderstand them. I am disapointed because I thought this book was doing well to bring the two sides into dialogue.

    Can I ask you (a solid and Godly Dispensational) a question (that is answered in this book) but I want to hear your opinion. How do you reconcile Peter's statement in Act's chapter 2 that this is the times being prophesized (sp) about in the book of Joel. I have read Ryrie's Study Bible on the subject, and it seems to match close to what Polythress says Ryrie and Scofield might say but I want to hear your opinion. It has been a real hold up for me in dispensational thinking.

    thanks
     
  4. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    While we are on the subject, actually, could you just give a point or two on where you think Poythress misunderstands dispensationalists. That would be most helpful.

    Thanks
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    In Acts 2, I would argue (as would a number of others) that "This is that" refers to similarity, not identity. Acts 2 cannot be Joel because there are differences. So I would understand Peter using that as an OT point of reference for the type of thing that was happening at Pentecost. The context of Joel leaves too many open holes for that to be its full fulfillment.

    As for examples from Poythress, I will look through some notes that I have (hopefully today). It has been a while since I read it (probably 3 or 4 years) and so my mind has forgotten some of those things. I will try to answer this for you.
     
  6. Daniel David

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    I am reading through a journal from Grace Theological Seminary right now on his book. Two dispies (Saucy and one that I cannot remember) each wrote responses to his work.

    He does not accurately present.

    As far as Acts 2 goes, I have a different take than Pastor Larry.

    Peter is saying that Joel's prophecy does in fact fulfill what was happening on Pentecost.

    The prophecy is that:
    1. The Holy Spirit would come in power in a certain way
    2. Signs from heaven would appear.

    Peter's point is that during this time, from beginning to end, the Holy Spirit is at work in a unique way. At the beginning of this age, He used sign gifts. At the end of the age, you will see signs in the heavens.

    So, the prophecy is two part and not all fulfilled at once.

    I hope this makes sense.
     
  7. Pastor Chet

    Pastor Chet
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    One of the best books comparing Covenant versus Dispensational theology is "There Really is a Difference" by Renald Showers.In studying the two ,beware of New Covenant Theology which is becoming extremely popular. It is not exegetically defensible. NCT tries to steer middle ground between Disp. and Cov. Theology. For a good book critique of NTC I recommend "In Defense of the Decalogue by Richard Barcellos. Both I think are available through Amazon
    chet
     
  8. Daniel David

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    I think alot of dispensationalists are New Covenant Theologians who are pretrib/premill in their eschatology.

    Personally, I don't see the problem. Could you explain?
     
  9. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    Thanks Pastor Larry, I hope you find those notes.

    Preach, since your reading the article right now, could you jot down a couple of notes where Saucy shows how Poythress dosn't accuretly represent dispensationalism. Or better yet, is this article online, I would love to read it.

    thanks.
     
  10. Pastor Chet

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    Read In Defense of the Decalogue and you will see the problem .Barcellos ,the author, does an excellent job.
     
  11. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    Pastor Chet,

    Can you give us just a quick summary. My "to read" list has grown to about six books at the moment.

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  12. russell55

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    I was wondering if I was the only one who thought this.....I can't see much else for a difference.
     
  13. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert
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    Do NCT have a strict seperation of Isreal and the Church like Dispensationalism.
     
  14. Daniel David

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    Pete, not as far as I can tell. The purpose of N.C.T. is soteriological (salvation). In my estimation, N.C.T. removes alot of the major problems with Covenant theology.

    Once you delve into subjects like Israel/church, millenium, church government, baptist, etc., you would probably find a lot of major differences between them. I just don't think they address it.

    Pastor Chet, I for one disagree that the 10 commandments has authority over the Christian. It was part of the law. The law has been done away with.

    If I wasn't dispensational, I would be a N.C.T. who is pretrib/premill.
     
  15. russell55

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    There is continuity between the church and Israel and discontinuity, too.
     
  16. Tim

    Tim
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    I believe New Covenant Theology is a better understanding of the covenants than either covenant theology or dispensationalism (though it's much closer to dispensationalism in this area). I honestly don't see anything to "beware" of.

    If the concern is that NCT teaches the New Covenant is better than the Ten Commandments were--I think we're on pretty solid biblical ground (see 2 Cor. 3:6-11, Heb. 8:6-13, Heb. 10:9 for starters).

    A believer in the better covenant,

    Tim
     

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