Dispensationalism?

How do you define it?

What are the competing doctrines and how do they differ?

Do you agree with dispensationalism and why?

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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33 Responses to Dispensationalism?

  1. Lance,

    Rather than launch into my own dispensational positions, let me recommed a friend of mine’s blog (he actually has several). Perhaps you already know Bobby Grow around the blogs?
    http://dispensatio.wordpress.com/

    • Lance,

      I would however note, that though the Church age began in Acts 2, it does not fully (though acknowledging Acts 10:34-48) include the Gentile Church (fully) until after the Book of Acts and St. Paul’s Prison Epistle’s or Letters, since Acts and the Synoptic Gospels teach the Mosaic Law of God still, (note Acts 28:25-29). Some would call this Ultra-Dispensationalism, I would prefer to call it, what the Scripture seems to teach, that the Mosaic Law only gradually faded with the missionary work of St. Paul, and his work as the Apostle of the Gentiles, and thus his Prison Epistle’s/Letters. We can see this too with the Jewish-Christian Epistles or Letters of God: Hebrews, James, First and Second Peter, and Jude. Certainly NT Letters, but Letters that were written in this time of certain change, but will have an affect on the Jewish Remnant too, during the time of the Antichrist, and False Prophet, just before Christ comes visibly again to the whole world! However of course the whole Bible is given to the Christian!

      • Okay, I can’t resist, I will give a few of my thoughts here. A ‘dispensation’ biblically, would be a disposition or arrangement given by God on distinct principles, for God’s will and purpose, with distinct groups or peoples, at a certain time and age. We can easily note the Old and New Covenants, but both of these are not always clearly seen in the Gospels or Book of Acts certainly. We really only start to see these “dispensations” and certain economy in the ministry and writings of St. Paul, who as the Apostle to the Gentiles fulfills his work from God. (Eph. 3:1-7, etc.) During this ‘dispensation of grace’ (The Church Age..the Secret or Hidden “Mystery” Age of the Dispensation of Grace), which is really early a gradual transition from Law to Grace and during the Acts period, culminating in the rejection of Israel in Acts 28: 24-28. And then come the Prison Epistles and Letters: these are the great doctrine and instruction for the Church.. the Body of Christ, the very top stone of the great revelation & mystery of God! And here we have of course the Letter of the Ephesians. Only here do we see doctrine of this Dispensation of Grace, that individual sinners among Jews and Gentiles are being “called-out” and formed into the church which is His body, in which there is neither Jew or Gentile. Indeed sometimes we take this great doctrine for granted, and press it into other places in the Bible. Which was not really so or seen even in the Book of Acts, and even the early NT Letters. We simply must see the revelation of God as a progressive work, and certainly, in this sense Pauline!

        Btw, I now this goes hard against much of the so-called modern and certainly and Covenant Theology!

  2. Lance Ponder says:

    Fr Robert… I’m sorry for taking so long to respond. Things have been very hectic lately. We are having VBS at church this week and I’ve not had time over lunch and, well, excuses excuses. Anyway, I look forward to reading through your comments in great detail again and responding more appropriately. Until then, be blessed!

    • Lance,

      That is fine, I hope you have perhaps looked at Bobby Grows blog: Dispensatio? He has been able to devote much time and study to this subject. I have also, at least personally, but my past strict theological education was not in this genre. And yet I was early exposed to it as a Teen, etc. And now, with much help from many “dispensational” thinkers and Christians (past & present), I have turned here. As I have shared with Bobby I am pretty much done with modern and post-modern theology, and I am seeking a much more Biblical Theology, which is certainly Dispensationally inclined. Again, there is no perfection here, but God’s revelation and view of “Dispensations”, as His program for man’s or humanity’s responsibility, appears to be quite simply His way! 🙂 And it is a late hour for the Church, and certainly the end or “eschatological” apostasy is abounding! (2 Thess. 2: 3;7 / 2 Tim.4: 3-4, etc.)

  3. Eclipse Now says:

    Seriously Lance,
    if you want to know about Dispensationalism it would be WELL worth your while doing a ‘compare and contrast’ by listening to the crash course in Covenant theology and eschatology which Dr Kim Riddlebarger supplies for free. These are truly excellent. Do you have a daily walk? I highly recommend getting an ipod and listening to Kim’s top 20 podcasts on this topic as it touches on some of the nutty eschatologies that are out there.

    Check it out: all 20 or so podcasts are worth it. Even if you don’t agree, it is worth doing a “Compare and contrast” from this perspective which will help highlight the ENORMOUS differences between biblical Covenant theology and the nuttier Dispensational Zionist “Left Behind” eschatologies that are sidetracking people from the gospel and getting them counting days and years between various completely unrelated, insignificant, irrelevant political developments.

    http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/

  4. Eclipse Now says:

    Also Lance, please be aware that no early church fathers were Dispensationalist. Dispy’s pluck and pull and strain at various verses to make them read Dispy, but the church fathers cannot be read that way!

    While some of the early church fathers may have been Premil, they were NOT Dispensationalist. They really sound like Covenant theologians.

    EG: Justyn Martyr believed we are the true spiritual descendants of Abraham. The WHOLE bible is a unified purpose as from the beginning to the end it all focusses on Jesus Christ.

    Irenaeus:

    “But in Christ every blessing [is summed up], and therefore the latter people has snatched away the blessings of the former from the Father, just as Jacob took away the blessings of Esau. For which cause his brother suffered the plots and persecutions of a brother, just as the Church suffers this self-same thing from the Jews.”

    Ambrosiaster:

    “Thus whoever believes that Christ Jesus was promised to Abraham is a child of Abraham and a brother of Isaac. Abraham was told that all the nations would be blessed in his offspring. This happened not in Isaac, but in him who was promised to Abraham in Isaac, that is, Christ, in whom all the nations are blessed when they believe.

  5. Lance Ponder says:

    Eclipse – Do you suppose I’m a dispensationalist and that’s why I raised the question? I am not, but I also have problems with covenant theology, too.

    • Lance,

      That’s the whole point, people are looking for all the answers in “Theology”, note the cock- sure attitude of many Classic Covenant Theology people. And sure some of the Dispensationalists too, but the point is were not going to find “all” the answers, at least in some kind of full-blown theological way. But we must also choose which position comes the closest to the “Bible”, and for me anyway, it is the Dispensational! Note I have been a Covenant guy, but it just doesn’t seek to answer the tough eschatological issues, note too I did not just say “questions”, the Bible is not given to answer, quote all our..questions! The big loss to my mind with C.T. is the Salvation History of God, and the real “Covenant/covenants” of God!

      And we must not “fiddle while Rome burns”, the Church is in serious free-fall and some real apostasy! Myself, I would place St. Paul’s Letter to Second Timothy right before the Church today! Wake up Christian people!

  6. Eclipse Now says:

    Then you’re out in the never-never, because I cannot think of a 3rd category of approach to this one question: what do you do with the Old Testament? But I’m not assuming anything about your position, just sharing the other side of the story for balance and for the benefit of lurkers reading over our shoulders, as it were. The Kim Riddlebarger material is excellent and quotes extensively from Dispy theology. He was a dispensationalist for many years, and so knows their shtick.

  7. Lance Ponder says:

    Well, here’s my thought. It seems to me both CT and DT (it is too long to write it out ever time) put God in a box. As for how I view the OT in light of the NT, it is pretty simple. There is no difference. in who God is, the nature of sin and the human condition, the nature of salvation, mercy, grace, or God’s love. The difference, imho, is between prophecy given and prophecy fulfilled.

    Here’s a chart I found that attempts to describe the distinctions between DT and CT: http://www.goehringenterprises.com/Books/Dispensationalism%20Covenant%20Theology%20Chart.htm

    I’m not certain how accurate the two lists are, but frankly I find problems on both sides. The DT list stresses that God’s plan for Israel is for literal Israel while CT points toward Christ (see point 5). I go with CT on that one. On the other hand, the chart says DT may be Calvinist or Arminian while CT is almost always fully Calvinist (point 1). I gotta go DT on that one. Then in point 25, DT says the law is abolished whereas CT says the law serves specific purposes. I disagree completely with DT on that, but find the CT definition completely inadequate for me.

    Overall, if I had to use the chart linked above, I would have to put myself mostly in the CT camp even though there are some things on that list that do not match my personal beliefs nor, I think, good exegesis.

    • Lance,

      This is a profound subject! And sadly few now (it appears) are really willing to go where the Bible goes! Dispensationalism has been hammered by the CT people really. But note btw, where John MacArthur lands…Dispensational! (Yeah I like Johnny Mac! A pastor’s pastor! Would that we all had simply his guts!) Since I have been in the CT camp, (past), I know all too well this whole battle royal! But each Christian, especially the pastor-teacher must do his “Biblical” homework, and not just read and follow theology books on either side! As you can note (my blog-roll), I like E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible! His work has somewhat simply changed my whole biblical & so-called “theological” construct! (Not that I follow him in whole or blindly, not by a long shot, but his basic approach of “biblicism”, I do follow now.) As I have said, to others, I am done with so-called “modern” and “postmodern” theology! And sadly this is the path of most theology today! Note, again, I have two earned doctorates (D.Phil., Th.D.)…and certainly done mostly when I was a CT. Though neither one really gets into strict hermeneutical aspects. My D.Phil. was on Luther’s Ontology of the Cross, and my Th.D. was on Roman Studies, mostly Romans 7, etc. And I still stand behind what I wrote there, in the main.

      My point to all this, and my personal reference, is that we must be willing to follow the Bible, and again let it take us where it goes! And sometimes, and even oftentimes.. this means changing our positions, and admiting our mistakes. Not long ago I was drawn torward the E.O., but sadly really for all the wrong reasons! i.e. the breakdown of Anglicanism, should I become a priest there, or go even back to Rome? During that time, I had to realize I was only seeking to “theologize” myself, rather than seek the Biblical Text and the Bible alone. And thankfully, the Bible…and ‘Spirit & Truth’ won out! And now, “Dispensationalism” wins today also. At least for me! I would recommend many of Thomas Ice’s works, etc. And as I have said before, Charles Ryrie’s revised & expanded book: Dispensationalism. As his Study Bible also. But, too as I have stated, I was exposed to Dispensationalism as a young boy and Teen, in both Ireland and England, with the so-called: Brethren (Or PB’s…Plymouth Brethren). So in some sense I am returning to some of that biblical exposure. > Thanks be to God for Christian grandmothers, and great-grandmothers! (2 Tim.1:5)

      Finally, I need to note, that I was lead providentially during this time (with all the End of the Word stuff), to look again hard a the Eschatological reality of the Bible, and it is here that I was lead back once again to see that modern Israel plays a big part in the latter days, etc. And if one cannot see the changing tides of both culture and church there, then they are indeed spiritually dull, at very best, if not blind? The Lord is moving and shaking the very biblical & geographical ground, as HE prepares for His ‘sure & certain’ and “soon” Coming! (Heb. 12:25-29..I quote this for spiritual application!)

      Semper Fi! 🙂

      Fr. Robert

      • Lance Ponder says:

        I like Mac, too. Based on some of his books I’d be hard put to lump him entirely into the DT camp tho. Anyway… To me the DT/CT thing only comes into play in certain discussions and they are not usually of the sort that are salvation sensitive, at least not to you and me who are alive today.

  8. Lance,

    You have never heard Mac preach on Israel perhaps? I also have his Study Bible, he is most certainly dispensational in eschatology, and both pre-mill and pre-trib. Btw, we are just beginning to see the tip of the iceburg with the lies of Israel as the Apartheid State. If you have a chance check out David Horowitz’s video, even this day. In fact this is the Anti-Israel Apartheid Week on American College and University campus’s! No, the loss of Modern Israel today, in both the biblcal and hermeneutical sense, is simply huge. Not to mention, the whole End Time reality. I have come to see that if you don’t come to Scripture first with the basic literal biblical hermeneutic, you won’t get the complete Salvation History and the right understanding of the Covenant/covenants of God! Indeed the Bible has its own presuppositions. If one misses the proper biblical administration and stewardship/economy, as to the correct “dispensations”.. he misses the right interpretation of that economy. We can see this simply with Law and Gospel or Grace. (Note we had the gospel in the OT in some sense, but not the economy of grace – John 7:37-39). The Book of Acts really shows us this unfolding the one dispensation to another! Note, the Greek words “chronos”, “kairos” and “oikonomia”, in their different contexts. But especially the ministry of St. Paul, Eph. 3.

  9. Eclipse Now says:

    The big loss to my mind with C.T. is the Salvation History of God, and the real “Covenant/covenants” of God!

    Riddlebarger addresses this in his many podcasts. Quite frankly with Romans and Hebrews and Galations (and even Revelation) explaining all the OT promises to Abraham in terms of “God’s people living God’s way in God’s land and blessing the whole world through this” — and how ALL promises and types are fulfilled in Jesus, I can’t help but see Dispensationalism as an attack on the gospel.

    Once one starts to pull on the thread of OT Covenants and apply them to the Jews today, the whole jumper of the gospel comes undone.

    There is no difference. in who God is, the nature of sin and the human condition, the nature of salvation, mercy, grace, or God’s love.

    Great explanation of Covenant theology.

    The difference, imho, is between prophecy given and prophecy fulfilled.

    I gotta go DT on that one.

    Really? Because of Calvinism? Wow. Why? Calvin’s great! He’s my litmus test for whether or not someone has a good grasp of things. Although, I guess I am hearing that many Sydney Anglican theologians I respect are starting to drop the L from TULIP.

    Then in point 25, DT says the law is abolished whereas CT says the law serves specific purposes. I disagree completely with DT on that, but find the CT definition completely inadequate for me.

    Excellent news! The CT definition may not be written clearly enough — try Riddlebarger’s lectures. These are not sermons, but university level lectures with grace and humour and intellect.

    Dispensationalism has been hammered by the CT people really.

    Fr Robert — if you listen to Riddlebarger you’d know that DT’s call CT’s anti-semitic, teaching the doctrine of demons, Satanic, unwilling to engage with ‘serious’ end-times prophecies (as if “Left Behind” were some standard of prophetic genius! 😉 and a billion other accusations. CT people are even getting death threats.

    Passion is often inversely proportional to subconscious doubt. I think Dispy’s are becoming more and more aware that their theology sprung from an era where many End Times cults started, and keeps generating new and interesting ‘flavours’ of End Times prophecy. Harold Camping anyone?

    My point to all this, and my personal reference, is that we must be willing to follow the Bible, and again let it take us where it goes!

    Of course — so again I take Romans and Galations and Hebrews seriously. I don’t just brush aside some of these books and verses the way Dispy’s must in order to maintain that the older Covenants to Israel are still intact at a geopolitical, people group level.

    The Kingdom of God is now all about Jesus, and any suggestion to the contrary splits the gospel asunder.

  10. Eclipse Now says:

    I have come to see that if you don’t come to Scripture first with the basic literal biblical hermeneutic,

    Is that literal or literalistic? Many parts of the bible have complicated picture language and so reading must involve the *science* of reading, the disciplines of using context and hermeneutics and history and local ancient knowledge to understand the text. For example, when engineers read Genesis 1 as a construction plan, they fail to grasp what is happening. They have not done the work. They have not seen the ancient world buttons that this passage is pushing. One has to read the Enuma Elish and know that this 7 tablet creation narrative was read out once a year in Babylon. It was both ceremonial and celebratory, Anzac Day** and Christmas day all rolled into one.

    In a similar way, all the big OT themes must be understood in their historical context and the picture language read with the ancient world imagery in mind. The BEST book I have seen do this is William J Dumbrell’s “The Search for Order”. Warning, it is not for dummies! Every sentence is packed with information. I actually find it a little difficult to read at times. So anyway, Dumbrell tackles the use of ‘perfected’ temple imagery in the prophets. The temple is pictured as heavenly, as vaster and more perfect than anything that could possibly be built. The heavenly mountain of Zion is split, and fresh waters fill the earth! This imagery precludes any literal reading of the modern *political* Zionist cause! It is heavenly language! And Jesus takes it up when he tells his disciples, “If you had faith you would say to THIS mountain fall into the sea….” or when he says “I will tear down THIS temple and build a new one in 3 days”. He is taking up that imagery, and applying it to himself.

    BUT, the Dispy screams, no *actual* temple has been built in Jerusalem yet! To which I say, “Precisely!” So do not read texts literalistically that were meant to be read figuratively, that had metaphor and symbolism and grander themes in mind than any silly limiting literal reading in mind! So I really recommend Dumbrell.

    ************

    **(Anzac Day in Australia is a little like 4th of July, except we commemorate a dreadful battle we *lost* at Gallipoli and so use that occasion to commemorate the dead and celebrate our armed forces. Some say it should become our national day instead of Australia day when Captain Cook landed. The aboriginals call Australia Day Invasion Day!)

  11. E,

    We are not going to agree here, I am not some kind of loon or nut-cake.. I am a Anglican presbyter, and like Darby – btw my last name is Darby also! For real, but no connection, save being Irish born. I believe in the promises of God for the Jewish people, (Rom.11: 28-29). And there this is talking about the fulfillment and promise to the remnant of Israel! The Text can only mean Jewish people here, simple!

    And btw, Camping is a “supersessionalist” like you, and believes there is nothing for national Israel. So you cannot place Camping in the so-called ‘Dispy” scene!

    But, to each his own mate! It’s what we call “freedom”, and I think I know something about that also!

    Peace of Christ!

  12. Eclipse Now says:

    “And btw, Camping is a “supersessionalist” like you, and believes there is nothing for national Israel. So you cannot place Camping in the so-called ‘Dispy” scene!”
    Is that true? If so, I take it back. That was my Australian bias coming out there. Instead of “Can anything good come out of Galilee?” I have a bit of a “Can anything good come out of American Dispensationalism”. Sure, there are plenty of CT nutters as well.

    But Dispensationalism really gets under my skin when American foreign policy is dictated to by domestic pressure from an out of control church favouring Israel above human rights. How ironic that the land of the first Bill of human rights ends up having their Christians demand they turn a blind eye to the largest concentration camp on the earth!

    So while Dispy’s and CT’s are both Christians, I see Dispy’s as having huge potential distractions from the gospel work as they argue and debate their end times predictions, huge potential faith-crisis as those predictions fail to mature, and huge potential impacts on the credibility of the gospel as American Christians shun any discussion of the very real humanitarian crisis in Israel’s occupied territories. And PLEASE DON’T come back at me with Israel’s right to security in a hostile region of the world — I agree, but that is not what we are discussing!

    • E,

      Don’t forget I am not an American, though my little brother is..he’s 49, and was a one time American Marine. And yeah, I like America, but many Americans are a pain in the can for sure! Especially some of the Christians! 😉

      Remember I lived in Israel in the late 90’s, so I have my real opinions too. They have their liberals also. But yeah, I’m politically with Israel hands down, every day..any day! There is really more freedom there than anywhere in the Middle East! And something many don’t know, but there are many Messianic Jews in Israel now also.

      Remember, the Lord’s Coming is gonna be right smack down in the middle of Jerusalem and Israel, at the Mount of Olives! (Zech. 14:4 / Acts 1: 11-12)…pretty literal to me! 😉

  13. Eclipse Now says:

    There is really more freedom there than anywhere in the Middle East!

    Maybe you weren’t stationed there as a Missionary? Missionaries I know say it is a million times easier to be a Christian Pastor in Palestine than in Israel.

    But again, freedom within Israel is not the point either. It’s freedom for the Palestinian concentration camps that the documentary above discusses.

    • I taught philosophy and some theology in Israel, but I was also a Royal Marine in the area right after Gulf War 1. We trained with the Israeli Commando’s…I made a parachute jump with some of them. I was a military minded man, and still think that way. So ya are talking to the wrong guy here!

      • Eclipse Now says:

        I taught philosophy and some theology in Israel, but I was also a Royal Marine in the area right after Gulf War 1. We trained with the Israeli Commando’s…I made a parachute jump with some of them. I was a military minded man, and still think that way. So ya are talking to the wrong guy here!

        Yes, it seems I am talking to the wrong guy here. It seems the Alpha Males you’ve done time with are making up your mind for you, not the bible. I could let 1 or 2 references to your army time go, as I’ve done my own army time, but this constant reference to your army experience betrays a little too much pride in it. You seem to expect I’m going to just to dump years of theology reading and snap to salute in full obedience to the Dispensationalist Military Way!

        I’m sorry Sunny-Jim, but that’s not going to happen. The Scholarship I read has convinced me on how to read Romans 11. Even if that passage *could* be read either way (either Dispy or CT), then other parts of the bible are clearer, and would be completely contradicted by Dispy theology.

        This is about the text, not about your parachute jumping, and it’s about the text, the whole text, and nothing but the text so help me God. And from the text I learn God has ONE kingdom, ONE holy priesthood, ONE people belonging to God — all those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. To assert anything else is heresy and confuses the gospel itself, let alone all the awful side effects like blindness to the systematic abuse of the Palestinian people by an unfair regime, Israel.

        • Eclipse Now says:

          Woah, I don’t know what happened to the formatting above. If it helps, here is the same post with better formatting.

          I taught philosophy and some theology in Israel, but I was also a Royal Marine in the area right after Gulf War 1. We trained with the Israeli Commando’s…I made a parachute jump with some of them. I was a military minded man, and still think that way. So ya are talking to the wrong guy here!

          Yes, it seems I am talking to the wrong guy here. It seems the Alpha Males you’ve done time with are making up your mind for you, not the bible. I could let 1 or 2 references to your army time go, as I’ve done my own army time, but this constant reference to your army experience betrays a little too much pride in it. You seem to expect I’m going to just to dump years of theology reading and snap to salute in full obedience to the Dispensationalist Military Way!

          I’m sorry Sunny-Jim, but that’s not going to happen. The Scholarship I read has convinced me on how to read Romans 11. Even if that passage *could* be read either way (either Dispy or CT), then other parts of the bible are clearer, and would be completely contradicted by Dispy theology.

          This is about the text, not about your parachute jumping, and it’s about the text, the whole text, and nothing but the text so help me God. And from the text I learn God has ONE kingdom, ONE holy priesthood, ONE people belonging to God — all those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. To assert anything else is heresy and confuses the gospel itself, let alone all the awful side effects like blindness to the systematic abuse of the Palestinian people by an unfair regime, Israel.

        • E,

          Yeah, I’m proud of my RMC time, over ten years active, plus reserve time (broken up of course). And I was what they call a mustang…enlisted to officer. And just for you..I served attached to the American 3rd Force Recon, in the Nam, in 1968. So yeah again Marines are always so-called “Alpha” people. Just ask some American Marines! 🙂 And that includes WM’s too..women Marines with the Americans. Nothing but respect from me, do these men and women get! Semper Fi!

          You appear to just want to argue? If you are a CT guy fine, I have been there and done that! 😉 But now, I am seeing the Dispensational lines. So go with it, and I will go with my conscience aand convictions over the Biblical Text!

          • Eclipse Now says:

            The problem for me is that you never defined which promises still apply to Israel and how that affects what we see in the NT?

            For example, if the land applies to them, how do commands to us to make sure we enter that rest? (Hebrews). If the temple will be rebuilt, does Jesus sacrifice still count for us? If they still have High Priests, does our HIGH PRIEST amount to nothing?

            Are there 2 ways to God, or only one name under heaven by which men can be saved?

            You accuse me of just wanting to argue, but I was merely picking at your constant references to army time as some kind of defensive mechanism. (OK, bad pun). I didn’t want personal preferences clouding your biblical reading.

            Dispensationalism seems to be an attack on the gospel itself, on the completeness of Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s that serious! And when Romans 11 is complemented by many other verses in the NT that confirm it’s Jesus way or no way, that all promises are Yes in Jesus, that there is only one kingdom of God — Jesus kingdom — then I am blown away by Dispy wrangling of Romans 11. (And church history and how the early fathers read all this, but we’ve already been there and done that and that didn’t affect your Alpha Male reading of the passages either).

            I’ve put it to you before and I’ll say it again, Dispensationalism is just another 19th Century aberration.

          • E,

            You are simply igonorant to the depth of Dispensational doctrine, you also just go off on to ad hoc ideas, at best. I wonder again if you have ever read a classic book on Dispensationalism? It sadly appears not? Again, you should read Ryrie’s revised & expanded version of his book: Dispensationalism. But I can see that your mind is closed, however.

            And as to the CT, I have found that it is just too general in the eschatological, and places almost everything over into the eternal place, and this overt spiritualizng just does not seem to really fulfill the reality of the Salvation History of God, and the Covenant/covenants, from the O.T. to the New. This is the way I see it at least.

            Now, please respect my positions and conscience, and I will try to do the same for you! There are all kinds of bloggers that want to bash each other out there, have at it mate, but you can leave me out. True theology and search, must involve honest dialogue, especially when it is within the Christian house. You forget I could perhaps teach you the CT, at least in my past. But I have moved on, to a fuller and different hermeneutical approach. If you disagree, fine, but you must simply allow me my positions here. Okay? okay!

            You have your “aberration” and I have mine, but Christ Jesus is Lord! 🙂

          • Eclipse Now says:

            Yes, my mind is *pretty* closed to new doctrines that we can’t find a trace of until the 19th Century! It would take a lot of careful data and textual analysis to convince me that the church had missed important doctrines for 1800 years of church history. The brief historical material I have read from the church fathers convinces me that they were “CT” way back then, even if they were Pre-Mil. Funny mix, but there you have it. That seems to be the history of church thought. But the ‘depth’ of Dispy thought hasn’t really addressed the overall shape of biblical theology and claims the rest of the NT makes about the exclusive nature of God’s kingdom under Jesus. You can’t get around the exclusive nature of these claims, and neither can Ryrie or Darby or your other heroes. So while you claim I’m ignorant of the ‘depth’ of Dispensation thought, I have never had the basic questions I just asked you answered.

            And if you interpret all this as me ‘bashing’ you or ‘picking on you’ — I’m not. I thought we blogged to have a conversation and learn off each other, as iron sharpens iron? If you don’t like being challenged on certain claims, then … don’t blog? I thought that’s why we blogged, that’s all.

          • E,

            Your not “theological” enough to pick on me. I just don’t want to engage with you, simple. I kinda have to like someone to have a dialogue with them. I’m old school in that way, its called being friendly. And we just don’t have that. I’m an Anglo-Irish ya know, and stuffy! 😉

  14. Eclipse Now says:

    Remember, the Lord’s Coming is gonna be right smack down in the middle of Jerusalem and Israel, at the Mount of Olives! (Zech. 14:4 / Acts 1: 11-12)…pretty literal to me! 😉

    He has been there and done that, as I showed above, as William J Dumbrell brilliantly analyses. The next time Jesus visits is the end, the judgement day, the last day, the universal judgement of all, the beginning of a new heavens and new earth. It is the one event. Separating out any little bits and pieces of it leads to the political blindness you are suffering in the sake of fulfilling verses that have already been fulfilled. Otherwise, what did Jesus mean when he stated that if anyone believed they would see THIS mountain tossed into the sea? The disciples believed, and they saw it happen — past tense. They saw the symbolic language of the OT fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus. And yet in some senses the Zech verses are not yet fulfilled. In some senses it is like the earthquake that triggers a tidal wave. The ground shakes (Jesus death and resurrection) but the final result of the Tsunami (Jesus returning!) can take an hour or so to arrive.

    Consider the following eschatological reference from John 14.

    17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

    21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

    23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

    24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    Hey, what? I thought the “Last Day” was at the end of history, was Judgement Day, was the New Heavens and New Earth? Well, yes and no. Now and not yet. Jesus was saying that he, standing there 2000 years ago, was the present Last Day. So while the bible is clear that there is still another Last Day still to happen, Jesus was the Last Day already visiting them. He IS the resurrection! The New World has already broken out into this world, the New Kingdom is already here, the great forgiveness we all receive is a present reality while also being a future hope of all our sin being removed from daily experience. We already have the eternal life we desire. We already are part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God! We already have Jesus our great high priest serving in the REAL temple, the heavenly temple of Zech and other prophets, writ large across the heavenly language of the book of Hebrews.

    Saying Zech 14 is not fulfilled is both wrong and right. It is fulfilled, but not yet. It is now fulfilled, and has been for 2000 years because the Lord DID visit there and DID ‘cast the mountain into the sea’, did arrange for the life-giving water of the Holy Spirit to pour out into all nations.
    (I notice you refer to the temple but what about the OT references to the rivers watering the earth? Huh? Don’t think they have to be fulfilled literally? Why NOT! Are you going to be consistent or aren’t you?)

    So just as the rivers watering the nations is spiritualised and translated by Jesus saying “I will give you water you will never thirst again”, so too are the temple images, and images of the Mt of Olives or Jerusalem being split asunder or cast into the sea. The authorities of that old covenant have been overthrown and translated into the new Kingdom of God. So there remains ONE kingdom of God, including Jews and Gentiles that believe, and ripping OT prophecies out of the context of everything the NT says does violence to the bible as God’s word and starts to immediately raise questions about the gospel itself. For if they are still God’s people living God’s way in God’s land, are we?

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