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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Implications of dispensationalism

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InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
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Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

I know that there were some who taught "covenant" theology shortly after the Reformation. I believe they taught something like an evolution of the Abrahamic covenant in greater degrees of "light" until the New Covenant. This sounds similar to Dispensationalism. I'm wondering how covenant theology fits in with dispensationalism. Is Dispensationalism considered a branch of covenant theology or are they considered as two completely different camps?

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/2/22 8:56Profile
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 Re: Moody Bible Institute

Thanks for the info on Ironside. I had that question rumbling in the back of my mind for years - and suddenly now - here's the answer.

I think someone mentioned about Moody being dispensational. I recall several years ago reading a harsh critique against MBI because they were "straying". I just found another article and am posting it here. I didn't read it all because it is just too much - going into egalitarian issues, etc. It seems like this is a mammoth package.
[url=http://www.ldolphin.org/progressdisp.html]Progressive Dispensationalism[/url]

It seems like so much is centered on one modern day nation: Israel. To me this is idolatrous. God's kingdom is not of this world, and is within us, who are his followers. But dispensational adherants almost deify an ungodly nation and a wartorn city that three major religions are fighing over.
What a tragedy.
Diane


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Diane

 2006/2/22 9:07Profile
InTheLight
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 Re:

Quote:
Jude 1:3 comes to mind.



I'm sure you guys know this but just as a reminder, we are right to cite Jude 3 as justification for earnestly contending for our faith but if we forget 1 Corinthians 13 we are no more free from error than those we expose.

I'm not saying that is what's happenening in this thread but I'm just hoping we can avoid the urge to take enjoyment in discovering "feet of clay" in others. I know that I have to check my own motives constantly when exposing error.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/2/22 9:23Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I'm just hoping we can avoid the urge to take enjoyment in discovering "feet of clay" in others.


this is an interesting turn of phrase in the light of our topic. :-) Dan. 2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
Dan. 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Dan. 2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
Dan. 2:42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
As regards Jude 1:3 and 'contending for the faith', I think that is a much more narrow focus and one in which we are enjoined to 'contend FOR the faith' rather than 'contending AGAINST the saints'. 'the faith' in this context would be the 'deposit' 1Tim. 6:20 O Timothy, keep [u]that which is committed[/u] to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
2Tim. 1:14 That good thing which [u]was committed[/u] unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/2/22 10:47Profile
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 Re: my concerns about dispensationalism

Quote:
'contend FOR the faith' rather than 'contending AGAINST the saints'.

There is a vast difference in motives here, but it is hard to discern where we may cross the boundary. After all a person's beliefs are very closely knit with his sense of identity, belonging, righteousness, etc.

I noticed that the Bible Colleges required students to abide by their doctrines or they would not be allowed to graduate. Frankly, under those conditions, you just comply if you want to graduate. This is hardly contending for the faith. But to question any doctrine would be viewed as "contending against the saints"

That's how faulty doctines get perpetuated.

In my past, I must admit that dispensationalists, for the most part were very nice Christians. They were important in my life, and I'm glad I never questioned their doctrine - at that time. It would have threatened my security and much-needed relationships.

But years later, faulty doctrine catches up with us. The Bible had been presented in a way that was very confusing, and so I thought that I needed to trust in the experts to decode it. They told me that they were teaching God's truths and that they believed every word literally.

The split between the age of law and the age of grace seemed more like an illusion . We were told we lived in the age of grace, but frankly, church operated on an Old Covenant foundation - really we were living by law. I saw very little evidence of life according to the Spirit. In fact, any indication of Spirit activity was quickly squelched.
I was assured that becasue I was saved I had the Spirit in me, but I was never told what that should "look" like, or that I could seek guidance directly from the Spirit.

In actual fact, I did not have the Spirit, and was not born from above.

The more seious concern with dispensational adherance is what is actually NOT taught - the important truths of scripture that never get dealt with, in favor of this end-times stuff.
So we are left with spriitual pigmies. And the fallout may take years to be revealed.
Diane


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Diane

 2006/2/23 8:27Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
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."



I think we are all dispensationalists to some degree. You can't study the Bible without realizing that God hasn't always dealt with man in the same way. I doubt that any of you bring a sheep or a goat to church for sacrifice these days because you understand that those things are no longer required. This marks a clear difference and makes us dispensationalists in some degree.

As Ron pointed out the word "dispensation" is in the Bible and it comes from the Greek word [i]oikonomia[/i]. Literally, it means "the law of the house"---[i]oikos[/i] is house and [i]nomus[/i] is law. It has to do with administration of a household.

But, could it be that the harm in dispensationalism comes when we link dispensations to [i]time[/i] instead of a level of understanding God's truth by His chosen method of revelatiion?

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/2/23 9:23Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
But, could it be that the harm in dispensationalism comes when we link dispensations to time instead of a level of understanding God's truth by His chosen method of revelatiion?

Now there's an interesting idea. I think one of the dangers of what is commonly called 'dispensationalism' is that it puts things into water-tight compartments but to me the most obvious danger is that it has been used as a hermeneutic to predict the future. WIth some groups this has led to the prediction of a race of 'super-Christians' of the 'manifested sons of God' which has been part of the underlying eschatology of many groups.

Whenever I hear something which sounds like 'God is doing a new thing in our generation' my antennae start twitching.

To other groups it has become the framework for their understanding of the future of Israel etc and the whole visible evangelical movement has become either Pre-Trib, Post-Trib, Mid-Trib, Partial Rapture, Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial, A-Millennial. The aggression with which these different view-points pursue their case is a worry to me.

I am a dispensationalist in that I believe the New Covenant is different to the Old Covenant and I see from Galatians that the Old Covenant was a temporary addition. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was [u]added[/u] because of transgressions, [u]till[/u] the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” (Gal 3:19 KJVS) To me the words 'added' and 'until' mark of the period of the Law very clearly.

In some ways the Law was like the husk of a corn of wheat. It was a very necessary part and protector of the purposes of God in the lives of his saints, but when the 'seed' (I know this is Christ, but I am using it as an illustration) is ripened and freed from the husk what is the purpose of the husk?

On the line of your quoted thought above, I often marvel at the lives of saints as Abraham and David; I am amazed and challenged. David is a key case. He was born 'under the law' and yet the tabernacle/temple infrastructure of the Law was in chaos; the ark being separated from the bronze altar making eg the Day of Atonement impossible to fulfil. It is from David we get such gems as... Psa. 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Psa. 51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. How CAN he say such things positioned as he was in the period of the Law and its absolute ritual requirements? The answer must be that is some sense he was seeing beyong his 'dispensation' and enjoying the fruits of his vision. I do think that some saints do the opposite, ie they are really part of the New Covenant but their whole expectation is 'Old Covenant' and this must have an impact upon their experience.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/2/23 10:37Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
The aggression with which these different view-points pursue their case is a worry to me.



I find this to be a worry also. The dogmatic approach to prophecy in these camps is akin to the dogmatic positions that the unbelieving Jews took towards the first coming of our Lord. They knew the 'when' but not the 'what' (as I often say). When the 'what' didn't jibe with their own dogmatic positions they missed the Messiah and crucified Him! In my camp pre-trib is taught as if it were as true as the Trinity (no kidding). It is not up for debate.

Quote:
The answer must be that is some sense he was seeing beyong his 'dispensation' and enjoying the fruits of his vision. I do think that some saints do the opposite, ie they are really part of the New Covenant but their whole expectation is 'Old Covenant' and this must have an impact upon their experience.



Certainly I find this also. I think it is why we don't hear more teaching on walking in the Spirit and so much on 'laws' and such. I am guilty myself. It is almost as if in the minds of some (to use your analogy of the husk), they just can't quite shed the 'shell'.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/2/23 11:04Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
When the 'what' didn't jibe with their own dogmatic positions they missed the Messiah and crucified Him! In my camp pre-trib is taught as if it were as true as the Trinity (no kidding). It is not up for debate.


Sobering... they created a building plan which was so perfect that when the Cornerstone arrived they had no room for it and so rejected Him.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/2/23 11:37Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
How CAN he say such things positioned as he was in the period of the Law and its absolute ritual requirements? The answer must be that is some sense he was seeing beyong his 'dispensation' and enjoying the fruits of his vision. I do think that some saints do the opposite, ie they are really part of the New Covenant but their whole expectation is 'Old Covenant' and this must have an impact upon their experience.



Great point! In Psalm 51 David knew that his only hope was the mercy and grace of God because there was no sacrifice in the law for "bloodguiltiness"(verse 14) which he was guilty of because of his dealings with Uriah. How can we then-as some dispensationalists like to do-draw a [i]time[/i] line between and "age of law" and an "age of grace"? Man has always been under God's grace, whether it was this repentant plea that David made, or the promise of a covering of sin by the sacrifice of animals, or the blood of Christ which removes sin, it's always been an "age of grace"!

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/2/23 12:17Profile





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