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Dispensationalism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Bible Answer Kid, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. exscentric

    exscentric Well-Known Member
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    I had a prof. that used to say if you don't bring sheep to church to be offered you are some sort of dispensationalist :)
     
  2. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    Or you understand the book of Hebrews and realize that the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross has rendered the sacrificial system of the OT temple period obsolete!
     
  3. exscentric

    exscentric Well-Known Member
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    "Or you understand the book of Hebrews and realize that the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross has rendered the sacrificial system of the OT temple period obsolete!"

    Point made I guess. Difference in how God relates to man :)
     
  4. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    God has always related to fallen man on the basis of "promise."

    Genesis 3:15 begins the promise to mankind. The Bible is a recording of God's fulfillment of that promise. So instead of looking for dispensations, we ought to be looking for fulfillment of "promise" IMO.

    Genesis 12:1-3
    2 Samuel 7
    Jeremiah 33
    Passover in the gospels
    Romans 9-11
    Galatians 2-3
    Eph. 2
    etc.

    The promises given to Abraham and fulfilled to Israel in the new covenant includes gentile believers. The extreme Israel/church dichotomy of dispensationalism just isn't in the Bible - that is, the church and Israel are distinct and separate and have nothing in common. Israel is the vehicle of blessing to the gentiles. Therefore there is continuity between Israel and the church. They aren't the same group, but there is overlap between true Israel and believing gentiles which make up the church.

    The promises given to Israel are fulfilled to "true Israel" and to gentile believers because they are grafted in!
     
  5. Optamill

    Optamill New Member

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    Well well. This is certainly a controversial topic, shockingly enough. ;)

    A few comments:

    1. Dispensationalists are not "usually" premillennial, they "always" are.

    2. In the past, all dispensationalists would have been pre-trib. Now there are some post-tribers claiming to be dispie.

    3. Progressive dispensationalism is the biggest controversy facing dispensationalism. These folks are accused by traditional dispies and non-dispies of moving toward Covenant theology.

    4. My own assessment is that dispensationalism depends on two things: a sharp distinction between Israel and the Church, and the pre-trib rapture. These two doctrines are interdependent and stand or fall together.
     
  6. exscentric

    exscentric Well-Known Member
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    "1. Dispensationalists are not "usually" premillennial, they "always" are."

    Thanks for that clarification, I used the lesser term because I have not spoken to every dispensationalist as yet.
     
  7. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    Optamill,

    You are correct.

    A sharp distinction between Israel and the Church requires a pre-trib rapture. So if the "a priori" assumption can be disproved, the rapture by necessity defaults to post-trib because that's what the Scriptures teach.

    Pre-trib is only adopted by dispensationalists because their "system" or "grid" requires it, not because the Scriptures "directly" teach a pre-trib rapture.

    If by dispensation one only means the difference between old covenant and new covenant, one can still use the term and call himself a "progressive dispensationalist." But I suspect that the only reason the term was coined was so that dispensationalists who were coming to a fuller understanding of the Bible that required a massive change in their understanding could stay in their circles of influence.

    When I abandoned dispensationalism, I called myself an historic premillenialist, but I didn't believe in replacement theology. Progressive dispensationalism, as I have recently discovered, describes my position almost to a T, especially the post-trib faction of progressive dispensationalism. But when I was in seminary, Walter Kaiser called it "promise theology."

    It seems that "progressive dispensationalism" as a term won out over Kaiser's term. Again, I think the reason for this was the need to still call oneself a "dispensationalist."
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    A couple of quick and easy points.

    1. Paul totally assumed his conclusion in his argument on 1 Thess 1:6. He assumes that the "tribulation" they are under is the "Great Tribulation." That is at the very least unproven. And when you read Scripture, such as Revelation, written some 30 years after that "tribulation" of 2 Thess 1, you see it is still future. Just because the same concept appears in two different passages doesn't mean it is the same thing.

    2. The distinction between Israel and the church is clear in Scripture. To avoid it requires a presupposition that it doesn't exist.

    3. Dispensationalism doesn't "over emphasize" progressive revelation. Progresssive revelation is a fact of history. Dispensationalism merely recognizes that and puts it to practice in their theology, where covenantalism doesn't so much.

    4. The kingdom of God is still future, based on teh OT revelation of what the kingdom is like. Dispensationalism prefer to believe that God told the truth in teh OT when he described. I was reading again this morning from Jer 31-40. I am yet again amazed at those who can distort the NC promises to somehow include the church directly and be some sort of spiritual kingdom. It just won't work, if you actually read the passage.

    The best thing is to read Scripture at face value and accept it.
     
  9. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    By face value, I hope you mean that we should read the bible the way it was written, taking into consideration the intent of the human and divine authors through looking at the literary, historical, cultural and personal contexts it was written in. Sometimes they intended it to be "literal", sometimes they didn't.

    The most coomon danger at interpreting the "plain" or "face value" meaning of scripture is to read scripture as if someone from our historical, cultural and personal context wrote it. A classic example of eisegesis.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    That's exactly what I mean. This is the key support for dispensationalism.
     
  11. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what I mean. This is the key support for dispensationalism. </font>[/QUOTE]The historical-grammatical hermeneutic is not a support for dispensationalism but is part of the biblical hermeneutic used by dispensationalism. It is also my primary biblical hermeneutic but I am strongly against the dispensational framework that dispensationalists use this hermeneutic within. Primarly because I see that framework as an eisegetical one.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    If you truly use the hermeneutic, you have no choice but the be a dispensationalist. You can't use the hermeneutic and then disagree with the results of the hermeneutic. The hermeneutic is not "used within a framework of dispensationalism." The hermeneutic is what drives the "framework of dispensationalism." It is not eisegetical, though there are certainly some who abuse it and see all kinds of nonsense in it. Dispensationalism is the most rigorously exegetical approach because it deals with what the text says before dealing with the presuppositions brought to the text.
     
  13. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly, there are many folks that use the historical-grammatical hermeneutic that aren't dispensationalist.

    I don't disagree with the results. I disagree with the results dispensationalists get because they use the hermeneutic in a dispensational framework that I disagree with and consider eisegetical.

    Dispensationalists like to believe this. It is not true.

    Except that the whole idea of the discreetness of the different economies proposed by Darby is a presupposition that all dispensational interpretations are based on.
     
  14. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    No I didn't. I'm under no such illusion. They are not in the Great Tribulation, and I didn't assume that. What the text teaches clearly is that the rapture doesn't occur quietly, just for the church. It happens visibly for all to see when Christ appears in blazing fire with his powerful angels. It is at that time that the church at Thessalonica is relieved from trials.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    I think that is reading more into it than is there, Paul. I have not been persuaded that the text requires that, and given the clear teaching in other passages such as 2 Thess 2:1ff. it seems better to not read that into it. But is people disagree with me on that, I am not bent out of shape about it.

    Gold Dragon, I know you claim a certain hermeneutic, but remember one of the sine qua non of dispensationalism is the consistent use of that hermeneutic, and I think that is where you fail in using it. Your side uses it when it is convenient for you, and will dispense with it when it is not. I am not comfortable doing that.

    I am not sure what you mean by "discreetness" of economies, but we should recognize that Paul (the apostle, not 33) recognized dispensations or economies in the outworking of God's plan, noting a time of promise, law, and grace. Remember too, that Darby didn't invent this. Darby was the one who systematized it. His name has gotten attached to it, much like Calvin's name has gotten attached to a certain view of soteriology.

    Lastly, I would say again taht dispensationalism is a framework that arises from the hermeneutic, not the other way around. COvenantalism (and the various mutations in between) are also frameworks that arise from a hermeneutic. The question is, Which is right? Which best deals with the text of Scripture? I am convinced that dispensationalism deals best with the Scriptures. That is not to say that there are no hard passages. There certainly are, for both sides (or all sides).
     
  16. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    Larry thinks he easily refuted points made against dispensationalism. He hasn't even started.

    2 Thess. 1:6-10 is post-trib when one applies the historical-grammatical hermeneutic.

    1. The letter was written to the church.
    2. Paul includes himself in the time frame of relief.
    3. Relief comes when Christ appears in blazing fire.


    Larry's abuse of the hermeneutic is also revealed in Matthew 24.

    1. Jesus is teaching his disciples, the founders of the church.
    2. He answers their first question about the temple (24:1-13).
    3. He answers their second question about the signs of his coming and the end of the age (14-31).
    A. Abomination that causes desolation (Daniel)
    B. Great distress - days cut short
    C. False Christs and False Prophets - many signs and miracles - elect deceived if that were possible
    D. After the distress of those days - signs in the sky (sun, moon, and stars)
    E. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear.
    E1. The nations will mourn (Zechariah 12:10)
    E2. They will see the Son of Man coming with power and glory
    E3. Loud trumpet call
    E4. Elect gathered

    Jesus is clearly teaching the founders of the church what will happen to the temple they are now looking at (destruction in 70 A.D.) and what will happen at the end of the age (tribulation and his coming for his elect). The historical-grammatical hermeneutic does not support dispensationalism or a pre-trib rapture of the church in this passage from Jesus.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Larry didn't really even address your point, except to say that you made some assumptions I don't make. You denied making those assumptions, and that is fine. I think your analysis falls on several points, which I simplyi mark out and not try to give a positive explanation for lack of time (and interest at the present [​IMG] ).

    1. You say that the Thessalonian church will be delivered when Christ returns with a flame of fire. Except the Thessalonian church disappeared long ago with no such deliverance. You say that Paul includes himself. Maybe ... maybe not. To say that "We fought a war against Naziism" doesn't mean that "you and I" did, but rather that people with whom we are associated did. When Paul "includes himself," he is referring generically to the church at large, not the particular Thessalonian church.

    On Matt 24, you fail to make some clear distinction about who Christ was talking to. He is talking about the "end of the age," the abomination of desolation, great distress, time of Jacob's trouble, signs of the sky. All of those things refer to the Great Tribulation. He refers none of that to the church. In fact, Paul explicitly says that the church will not be in teh DOL in 2 Thess 2.

    Matt 24 is a slightly more difficult passage for dispensationalists, but for all the problems you list, we could list as many more that deal with your position.

    In the end, dispensationalism is the position that best deals with all of Scripture, not just certain parts of it. In fact, apart from dispensationalism, we run into complete nonsense in many cases. For my part, I can't reconcile that. That doesn't mean I have all the answers the other way. I imagine you probably feel the same way. If someone disagrees with me on this, that is fine.
     
  18. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    Larry answered his own objection in the 2 Thess. 1:6-10 passage. The point is the letter was addressed to the church which includes "the church at large."

    Matthew 24 is addressed to the disciples, is it not? The same discipels who are to fulfill the Great Commandment by teaching everything the Lord has commanded them to those who are baptized! Obviously what Jesus taught and commanded them in Matthew 24 is to be taught to the church they founded.

    The tribulation period is not the Day of the Lord. Larry misapplies the day of the Lord to the tribulation period in violation of Zechariah 12-14, the text the disciples would have known and understood. The Day of the Lord is the return of Christ to earth (2 Thess. 1:6-10).

    2 Thess. 2:1-4 immediately and clearly refutes Larry's position. You're not in the day of the Lord! This day won't occur until the coming of Christ and your being gathered to him takes place! Also the lawless one must first be revealed. And then the coming of Christ will overthrow the lawless one - by the "splendor of his coming and the breath of his mouth."

    Again the two letters to the Thessalonica church taken in their historical-grammatical setting can in no way prove a pre-trib dispensation rapture of the church. Larry is grasping at thin air.

    Larry can't list any problems with my interpretation of Matthew 24 because I didn't bring any "a priori" presuppositions to the text. I simply referenced it! Exactly what a grammatical-historical hermeutic should do!

    Larry can't do that because the historical-grammatical hermeneutic doesn't support his eisegetic dispensationalism.
     
  19. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib New Member

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    Paul33 is right.

    I haven't make a post on doctrine for a long time. I have read this topic about 'Dispensationalism' lately.

    Day of the Lord is not relate with tribulation or persecution. It is talking about the coming of the Lord for to judge the world.

    2 Thess. 2:1-4 telling us very clear, that the day of Christ shall not come yet till we must see apostasy occurs first and then we shall see the revealed of Antichrist. It is very clearly speak of posttrib coming of Christ.

    Same with 2 Thess. 1:3-10 telling us, we shall not be rest from persecutions TILL Christ comes with his angels to punish people in the fire, who persecute against us. That is clearly posttrib coming of Christ. No way you can find 'seven years' in either passages of 2 Thess. 1:3-10 or 2 Thess. 2:1-4. Even, 'seven years' does not find mentioned in Matthew chapter 24.

    Myself not a dispensationalist.

    Dispensationalism is heavily connect with premillennialism. Because, dispensationalism oftens emphasis on the distinction between Israel and Church in God's program.

    Bible shows us very clear there are two parts divided - Old Testament and New Testament. Because of Calvary.

    Before calvary era, Gentiles were not invloved in God's program, but after calvary era, Gentiles are now grafted into the tree join with believing Jews together in the same boat because of the result of calvary.

    There is so difficult to see 'seven years' apart rapture from second advent in the Bible, it is flaw according what pretribulationism teaching.

    The reason dispensationalism teaches 'seven years' because of Daniel 9:24-27 says so.

    Daniel 9:24-27 does nothing with future tribulation period prior Christ's second advent. This passage talks about the predict of Christ's new covenant already fulfilled at calvary. Daniel, the prophet penned that passage while he was slave in Babylon about 490 years before Calvary.

    Dan. 9:26-27 predicted Christ made a new covenant with many -speak of Calvary. He was cut off in the midst of the week - crucified after his 3 1/2 years of his earth ministry in Israel.

    There is no reason why should we believe there is 'seven year of tribulation period', because it is not find in the Bible.

    Also, Revelation 13:7 tells us, Antichrist shall persecute against Church for only 42 months - 3 1/2 years, not 84 months or 7 years.

    The book of Revelation is not written into chronological order. It is retelling events, or write as cycles toward the second coming of Christ or end of the age.

    Paul33 is right. We rather follow historical grammatical hermenuetic than today's modern hermenuetic. Colossians 2:8 warns us, that we do not let any person to spoil us by follow after their own philosophy teaching. We rather follow what God's Word saying.

    Let's stick with God's Word, what it saying than what we listening to today's modern teachings.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  20. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious, how does Nineveh and Jonah fit into this framework?
     
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