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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Implications of dispensationalism

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KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

It seems from my reading on the subject that there are two synonymous understandings; a convenant or stewardship of responsibilty dispensed from God to man, and an age or period of time for the world.



This would be the correct understanding of the term "dispensation." A dispensation is essentially a period of time under which one is a manager/steward/governor of something under different rules. In a sense, it's like a regime change in Iraq. The Iraqi today is living in the same land he's always lived in, but there are now different terms upon which he lives his life out in that land.


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Jimmy H

 2006/2/21 12:40Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

In respect to salvation, dispensationalism pretty much is the system where the doctrine of "once saved always saved" came from. It comes from a modified Calvinism. Remember, Calvinism teaches a limited atonement for the elect only, and that those who are elect will peservere in this salvation until the end of their lives by a lifetime of faith.

The plan of salvation that dispensationalists chart out is essentially a modified corruption of Calvins doctrine. Dispensationalism doesn't teach a limited atonement, but rather teaches that Christ died for all, and teaches that those that are saved will remain saved.

The differences ultimately are in election and perserverance. The difference between Calvinism and Dispensationalism is that in matters of election, dispensationalism doesn't teach limited atonement. It is crucial to note though that in Calvins system, that Calvin taught that those that are geniunely the elect WILL live a faithful life of holiness. To Calvin, if you did not live a life of holiness, you were never really saved to begin with. To the Dispensationalist, holiness is essentially optional, and you can get saved and then go out and do whatever you want to.

In Calvins system, the saint is not only promised to have eternal security, but a life of holiness. In the Dispensational system, the saint is only promised eternal security, where holiness is nice, but not required.

Coming from the Wesleyan/Arminian/Pentecostal tradition of thought that I do, I don't practically speaking have a problem with Calvins doctrine. Where I would insist that you must be holy and live right, Calvin would simply say you WILL be holy and live right. Ultimately, the end result is the same, holy saints of God.

Dispensationalism on the other hand, I have serious problems with, and so would Calvin. For Dispensationalism holiness and right living are entirely optional, as you are going to heaven rather you live holy or not. Thus, a tendency towards anti-nomianism amongst Dispensationalists.


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Jimmy H

 2006/2/21 12:59Profile
jimbob
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Joined: 2005/9/25
Posts: 131


 Re:

According to Charles Ryrie dispensationalism is defined by the following;

1. literal interpretation of scripture

2. the unifying theme of God's pursuit of His glory

3. a sharp distinction between Israel and the church.

#2 I don't have an issue with. #1 I could shoot holes into all day long. #3 Actually teaches two ways of salvation.

KingJimmy, I used to have a Ryrie Study Bible and you are right on the mark with your assessment of modern dispensationalism and antinomianism.

I think this comes from the tendency to compartmentalize scriptures as applying to either the Church or Israel but not to both as one. They take "grace" scriptures (and using this compartmentalized thinking) they apply them only to the "Church".Then they see "works" scriptures and apply them only to "Israel".

The result is in my opinion, a heterodox mess, resulting in a confused plan of salvation.

Then there is their eschatology...

 2006/2/21 14:58Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Yes, the word 'dispensation appears some four times in the NT as in 1Cor. 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
Eph. 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph. 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Col. 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; There are four other occasions of use of the Greek word as in Luke 16:2 (KJVS) And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy [u]stewardship[/u]; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Luke 16:3 (KJVS) Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the [u]stewardship[/u]: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
Luke 16:4 (KJVS) I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the [u]stewardship[/u], they may receive me into their houses.
1Tim. 1:4 (KJVS) Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly [u]edifying[/u] which is in faith: so do. The underlying word is 'oikonomia' which is the word we get both 'economics' and 'ecumenical' from. 'oikos' is a house and 'oikonomia' was the responsibility of the 'oikonomos' or 'steward who was responsible for the administration of the household and its needs. You Americans sometimes refer to your current government of 'the current administration' and whenever I hear it I think it is a useful illustration of what the word really means. The US (and UK) government moves on from year to year in smooth transitions but at any one time the business of 'government' is the responsibility of a particular 'administration'.

This is the underlying concept of 'dispensationalism' ie there is only one God who is working out his purposes to a single end but at different periods of time 'the administration' has taken different lines and emphases. The extreme of this view was taken by people like E W Bullinger whose biblical knowledge was quite phenomenal but who 'sliced' the Bible up into 'administrations' in which God's 'dealings with men' were different. His final result was a different church at each end of the Acts of the Apostles! The failed Petrine church having been replaced by the Pauline church. But even this was not the end as he 'discerned' a 'gap' between 1 and 2 Timothy. In 1 Timothy we have elders who will have been apostolic-ally placed, but he noted that by the time of 2 Timothy all this had failed and individual commissions are being given. This is much the same as J N Darby's 'ruined church'. This is the kind of 'dispensationalism' which most dispensationalists reject.

This is a 'thorny' subject but I do trust we can discuss it in gentle and honest fellowship.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/2/21 15:11Profile
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Joined: 2004/2/12
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 Re:

Hi Ron,

Since the word 'oikonomia' is translated also as 'stewardship' I thought to replace the word 'dispensation' in the four passage with the word 'stewardship' to see if they still makes sense:

1Cor. 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a [u]stewardship[/u] of the gospel is committed unto me.

Eph. 1:10 That in the [u]stewardship[/u] of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph. 3:2 If ye have heard of the [u]stewardship[/u] of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Col. 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the [u]stewardship[/u] of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

I Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 3:2, and Colossians 1:25 seem to make more sense to me when 'stewardship' is used. I am trying to understand how the word 'dispensation' came to take on a meaning as far reaching as we know it today when all it really means is 'administration'.

When I think of dispensing I am thinking of the action of 'distributing' or 'supplying' something. This is how I understand 'stewardship'. Today stewardship in my circles means a nack for being frugal with the Lord's money. A 'good steward' would not spend money on certain things, etc. Yet the word 'dispensation' has come to mean the way in which God deals with certain people at certain times.

I suppose what I am saying, is that, if ever there were a time to cast off humpty-dumptyism and be pedantic it would be in our discussion of these words. An entire doctrine has been built out of this word; does scripture justify such a far reaching doctrine based on what appear to be shakey uses of the words?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/2/21 16:51Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
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 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:
I suppose what I am saying, is that, if ever there were a time to cast off humpty-dumptyism and be pedantic it would be in our discussion of these words. An entire doctrine has been built out of this word; does scripture justify such a far reaching doctrine based on what appear to be shakey uses of the words?



Jude 1:3 comes to mind.


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Aaron Ireland

 2006/2/21 16:59Profile
roadsign
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 Re: origiins of dispensationalism

This subject is of great interest to me, as I have been very influenced by this teaching. Later I would like to share how I believe the doctrine has been harmful to me personally.

But for now, I insert an article that deals with its origins. This writer sounds far too certain that he is right, and seems a bit condescending. I'm not convinced of all he says. But I add it here because I would like to know if his explanation of the origins of dispensationalism are authentic:

[url=http://www.fixedearth.com/dandmotf.html]Dispensationalism & Millennialism: Their Origin and Their Future[/url]

Many fine Christians embraced it when it became popular. Ironside, who in my mind was a mighty saint and Bible scholar, embraced dispensationalism and zealously promoted it. Someone said that he recanted later in his life. Is that true?
Diane


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Diane

 2006/2/21 17:25Profile
Compton
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Joined: 2005/2/24
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 Re:

Thanks KingJimmy for answering my question.

Robert commented,

Quote:
When I think of dispensing I am thinking of the action of 'distributing' or 'supplying' something. This is how I understand 'stewardship'.



I have also regarded stewardship as being faithful when entrusted with resources or responsibility. For instance, if I own rental properties, I might hirer a general manager to take care of my interests for me. He would also be considered a steward. I wonder if this applies to receiving the Gospel...are we being good stewards of God's grace? (Not only in how we dispense it to others, but also in how we respond in faithful obedience ourselves.) Do these verses convey stewardship in this sense?

""And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. "

Quote:
An entire doctrine has been built out of this word; does scripture justify such a far reaching doctrine based on what appear to be shakey uses of the words?



I'm not sure if this is the case. I wonder if dispensationalism had it's starting point and was derived from verses like these?...

"... which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus."

Now where it's ended up is another story, but I do wonder if verses like the above were not the spark for the idea.

Quote:
This is a 'thorny' subject but I do trust we can discuss it in gentle and honest fellowship.



This sounds good to me. (We can work together to rightly divide the Word and not the body of Christ ;-) ) It's worthwhile to at least understand the intentions of an idea, even if the idea ends with a conclusion we don't agree with. I've enjoyed the postings thus far.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2006/2/21 22:22Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Quote:
Many fine Christians embraced it when it became popular. Ironside, who in my mind was a mighty saint and Bible scholar, embraced dispensationalism and zealously promoted it. Someone said that he recanted later in his life. Is that true?

I think it is. My old Bible college principal used to discourage his students from getting into print too soon and used Ironside as his example, saying "you don't want to follow Ironside who spent the latter part of his life trying to undo the teachings of the former part."

I found this Harry Ironside, one of dispensationalism's stalwarts, states -

Having had most intimate acquaintance with Bullingerism as taught by many for the last forty years, I have no hesitancy in saying that its fruits are evil. It has produced a tremendous crop of heresies throughout the length and breadth of this and other lands; it has divided Christians and wrecked churches and assemblies without number; it has lifted up its votaries in intellectual and spiritual pride to an appalling extent, so that they look with supreme contempt upon Christians who do not accept their peculiar views; and in most instances where it has been long tolerated, it has absolutely throttled Gospel effort at home and sown discord on missionary fields abroad. So true are these things of this system that I have no hesitancy in saying it is an absolutely Satanic perversion of the truth. [url=http://users.frii.com/gosplow/disp2.html]here.[/url]

EDIT: ah, better still, you can read Ironside's own words here
[url=http://www.cnonline.net/%7Erkmiller/ultradispensationalism-ironside.htm]Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth.[/url]


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Ron Bailey

 2006/2/22 5:42Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
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Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re: Ironside

Quote:

philologos wrote:
I think it is. My old Bible college principal used to discourage his students from getting into print too soon and used Ironside as his example, saying "you don't want to follow Ironside who spent the latter part of his life trying to undo the teachings of the former part."



Art Katz is another good example of going on the record to soon. Early in his ministry he was quoted as having a "studied disinterest in prophecy", refering to end time doctrines that promote an "escapist mentality" in the church. Later writing Apostolic Foundations, he dedicated a chapter on Eternity, which emphasised the importance of having a mindest that is squared on the consideration of eschatology. Go figure.

I think the lesson to learn is more one of avoiding concreting our allegiences to opinions, unless absolutely necessary. An then having the courage to retract when we fail at the above.

Regarding Harry Ironside, I found this [url="http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=10279"]article[/url] titled [url="http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=10279"]What is Ultra-Dispensationalism?[/url].


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Aaron Ireland

 2006/2/22 8:31Profile





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