So I don't really like to get into deep theological debates especially when I don't gain anything out of the debate, so the intentions of this thread is for information to enlighten my ignorance.
I talked with a Pastor who seems very intelligent when it comes to the bible and what not has fancy pants degrees but still is open minded to different lines of thinking. He is similar to me in this aspect that I don't ever intend to ram my belief at you but rather seek to understand why you believe a certian way. I find this to be helpful that way less people are killed and slain by harshness and theological debate.
He said he leans more towards a dispensational point of view, this got me thinking that I know very little about dispenstation. I searched the topics thing here and what I found only seemed to confuse me so is there anyone that could in a Unbiased way explain to me dispensationalism vs Covenant System?
And is there any danger to this line of thinking or fellowshiping with one that holds to this line of thinking?
All responses are greatly appreciated.
| 2010/7/18 1:53||Profile|
| 2010/7/18 5:25||Profile|
| Re: |
some historic glossary defenition
Dispensationalism - Dispensationalism is a complete system of theology that was first popularized by John Nelson Darby, 19th century British evangelist and forerunner of modern Christian fundamentalism. It divides the entirety of history into seven dispensations, or epochs beginning with the age of innocence, or Adam. According to the doctrine, we are now in the sixth dispensation, the age of the Church (the Church being those saved from the day of Pentecost until the Rapture), and are preparing to enter the seventh time period, or the Millennial reign of Christ on earth. A vast majority of dispensationalists hold to a pretribulation rapture of the Church. Additionally, they assert that Israel and the church are different groups who receive a different set of promises. Dispensationalists hold that God provided the nation of Israel with specific promises that will be fulfilled at a future time in the Jews. Accordingly, the Church has received a different set of promises than that of Israel.
The KJV uses the english word dispensation 3 times: ["dispensation of the gospel" (1 Cor 9:17), "dispensation of the fulness of times" (Eph 1:10), and "dispensation of the grace of God" (Eph 3:2)]
| 2010/7/18 5:28||Profile|
| Re: |
i first came to odds with dispensationalism when finding several things in scripture in direct contradiction of the concept. More than 30 years ago i used a Scofield (sp) Study Bible exclusively, and finally, it found it's way into the trash.
If i recall the details correctly...
IE Scofield some time during his tenure as president of Moody Bible Institute began working on this Bible, and was heavily influenced by John Darby. The Study notes in it are dispensational to the core: "God no longer does this anymore due to the fact that it's a different dispensation, and now he does this instead."
Darby was an Irish evangelist out of the Plymouth Bretheren, and many forgotten scriptural truths were brought out during this movement, who some say was greater than any known reformation, at that point in time.
Somewhere close to the midpoint of that century, he invented the concept of the rapture to help fill in his misunderstandings through the dispensational outlook, out of which Christian Zionism was re-established.
Taking part in the Covenant of blood friendship says, " all that I am and all that i have is yours, even as all that you are and have is mine. I will die for you."
Arabs have a saying that "blood is thicker than milk" which denotes the solmn gravity of cutting covenant. You may share the same breast with your siblings, but when it comes right down to it, dying for blood-covenant kindred enforces covenant that much more. Genetic family ties, on the other hand, are severed in death.
Basic covenant doctrine says God always works through Covenant, and man being unable to fulfill his end of friendship by blood-sacrafice relationship has to rely on God through Jesus Christ to fulfill both man and God's cutting of Covenant. Every Covenant God has made with man finds it's final and eventually total fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Form the onset of time in this kosmos, God's Covenant is not several, but one thing even as God is One, and each successive compact never made the earlier Covenant agreements invalid (because God is not a man that he should lie). Rather each one re-affirms the former and establishes them in greater fullness. God will ultimately brings everything on earth to completion in Jesus Christ's headship when He returns and rules the earth. When this one Everlasting Covenant is brought to full light, it will no longer be pointed to through what He already established in Covenant...though these former covenants will still be in force.
Covenant is emphasized constantly in the Bible, and everything that is written is ultimately in relation to this one way God deals with man through the man, our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who forever remains the same today, yesterday, and forever.
| 2010/7/18 9:55|
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I once gave a short 30-minute lecture in Bible college that gave a survey to dispensational theology. You might find it helpful:
I don't recall everything I said about it back then, so, I'm sure I missed it on a few points. I personally disagree with dispensationalism, and while it has many wonderful points, I would agree with those who call it a "conservative heresy" within fundamentalism/evangelicalism.
Moody Bible college and Dallas Theological Seminary are the official proponents of this system today, though interestingly enough, D.L. Moody had a very dramatic debate with Darby over the issue, in which Darby left the stage in very dramatic fashion because of their disagreement.
Basically, dispensationalism has fostered anti-nomianism, cheap grace, and gave birth to the theological system that has given us the pre-tribulational rapture theory. Interestingly enough, a lot of folks who are pre-tribulational would not ascribe to the dispensational system, but, have embraced the end result of that system, though without embracing the system itself. It's almost a "left-over" theology in that regard.
At any rate, I hope my lecture helps you understand in a clear and concise manner dispensationalism.
| 2010/7/18 11:41||Profile|
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CI Scofield and DL Moody had a long association which ultimately ended in disagreement but before that their alliance on dispensationalism resulted in the little rhyme...
my hope is built on nothing less
than Scofield Notes and Moody Press.
| 2010/7/18 15:12||Profile|
| Re: Dispensationalism|
Each of the times that the term dispensation is used scripturally it is the greek oikonomia which does not mean a division or special period of time in which God deals one way or another, but rather speaks of stewardship or administration of a particular thing that God has entrusted one with. The word appears in scripture ten total times with the other six being steward or stewardship. These scriptures, to me, seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with what we might call dispensationalism.
From what I have been able to learn it appears that Covenant theology or New Covenant theology serves as the foundation for, and is often interchangeable with Replacement Theology which I see as a gross distortion of scripture.
I am not meaning to sound trite toward those who study theology, but to me one can simply study the Word of God in prayer and take it for what it simply says without the philosophical constructs that various theological points of view bring to the table. It is meant to be a life giving word. I think theologians often turn it into a dead academic study. So in the literal interpretation aspect I probably fall more in the dispensational camp.
| 2010/7/18 15:46||Profile|
| Re: Philologos|
Most of the time I would never comment on a thread like this, but because you asked so kindly, and just wanted to understand, I will offer my obviously jaded opinion. For me dispensationalism is personal because it was how I was discipled and it was how I was kept in sin. (So my opinion is obviously coming from that point of view. And I now cannot stand the idea, I am just being honest.)
For years my hope too was built on nothing less than Scofield notes...as a result, the gospels never made a lick of sense to me and I lived in sin...grace was cheap and almost meaningless. All I ever did was explain away passages of scripture to fit into his system. I wonder if men that come up with systematic theologies ever consider the consequences of doing so?
Funny rhyme Ron, do you know who authored it?
On the outset Matthew, Dispensationalism seems harmless enough, as was stated earlier, it is a division of time into epochs where God operates in a different way in each one of them.
The area that finally got me to think that it was all rejectamenta was when Scofield basically indicated that the era of Law continued until the time of the Cross, which at some nebulous point after the cross the era of grace began. This forced me to always think that Jesus words and doctrines were spoken in the era of Law thus nullifying Jesus words and teachings for the church. I do not know if this was exactly his intention, but for me it was the result. For years I never took Jesus words seriously because they were only "spoken to Jews" in order to continue to bring them into condemnation so they would accept the gospel.
Here also is a little side tip, Scofield has a massive amount of notes in the book of Matthew...and far less in other books. The reason being is that when someone has to place an inordinate amount of commentary on any passage of scripture you can be confident that they are explaining it away. (Not always but I suspect that to be true in a lot of cases.)
Lemme give an example of the bad reasoning. The following is an excerpt from Scofields notes found around the sermon on the mount. (page 999-1000 of the scofield version I have on my bookshelf)
"Having announced the kingdom of heaven as 'at hand,' the King, in Mt 5-7, declares the principles of the kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount has a twofold application: (1) Literally to the kingdom. In this sense it gives the divine constitution for the righteous government of the earth. Whenever the kingdom of heaven is established on earth it will be according to that constitution, which may be regarded as an explanation of the word 'righteousness' as used by the prophets in describing the kingdom (e.g. Isa. 11:4, 5; 32:1; Dan. 9:24). In this sense the Sermon on the mount is pure law, and transfers the offense from the overt act to the motive (Mt. 5:21, 22, 27, 28). Here lies the deeper reason why Jews rejected the kingdom. They had reduced 'righteousness' to mere ceremonialism, and the Old Testament idea of the kingdom to a mere affair of outward splendor and power. They were never rebuked for expecting a visible and powerful kingdom, but the words of the prophets should have prepared them to expect also that only the poor in spirit and the meek could share in it (e.g. Isa 11:4). The seventy-second Psalm, which was universally received by them as a description of the Kingdom, was full of this. For these reasons the Sermon on the Mount in its primary application gives neither the privilege nor the duty of the Church. These are found in the Epistles. Under the law of the kingdom, for example, no one may hope for forgiveness who has not first forgiven (MT. 6:12, 14, 15). Under grace the Christian is exhorted to forgive because he is already forgiven (Eph. 4:30-32)
To keep from having too long of a post I will respond to this quoted text in my next post.
| 2010/7/18 16:39||Profile|
| Re: Areadymind|
1) "In this sense the sermon on the mount is pure law..."
Scofield does not (seem) to be able to stomach the thought that the Sermon on the Mount is applicable to his life. So he comes up with a theological system that explains away conduct that is expected of him. He goes on to say that the Epistles are where the "Church" gets their 'privilege and duty' from.
In that case let us turn to the Epistles and find a privilege and duty to which we are accountable shall we? "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." 1 Timothy 6:3-5
Far be it from me to attribute the negative aspects of this warning to Scofield, I don't know anything about the man other than the notes in my Scofield Bible, however I do know that the warning seems to fit the bill most articulately in that Scofield almost always explains away submission to the words of the Lord for the church.
He is right that often the Jews rejected Christ because his standard was so high about the motive of the heart, but Jesus did not just call motives into question, Jesus clearly expects that the call to follow him will result in the rightness and correcting of the wrong motive. The "New Covenant" is a better one than the old, thus Jesus sermon is an teaching of bitter truth mixed with glorious hope.
2.) What exactly do you believe Dr.? "They were never rebuked for expecting a visible and powerful kingdom, but the words of the prophets should have prepared them to expect also that 'only' the poor in spirit and the meek could share in it." In one section of this paragraph Dr. Scofield explains away the portion of the Sermon on the Mount that, I am personally speculating, he is uncomfortable with as "Pure Law," calculated to condemn "outward righteousness." Then in the next breath, he condemns the Jews for failing to recognize that the Kingdom was for the Poor in Spirit, which was a statement made by Christ in the exact same sermon He just devalued...
3.) Are you really sure you want to go there? "For these reasons the Sermon on the Mount in its primary application gives neither the privilege nor the duty of the church." I wonder if I even need to comment on the sheer boldness of such a statement. James 3:1 comes to mind as well as Matthew 18:26.
4.) The Dr. States that Jesus was teaching that in order to gain forgiveness one must forgive first. I can see why he states that, but I do not think that is what Jesus was really getting at. It is a statement of absoluteness. The emphasis here is not on a chicken or egg thing it is a pure doctrinal statement. Ephesians 4:30-32 do not negate this principle. Not only that, proof texting the passage in Ephesians is a total dodge as Paul is saying pretty much the same thing. Being offered a "reason" to forgive others, which is a real good one, does not mean that now we have the "Grace," in this "Age of Grace," to not forgive, which is the end result of so much dispensational thinking. The fullness of what grace is able to accomplish in our lives is boiled down to a tasteless boot soup.
Do you see what he is doing here? He is de-valuing the teachings of Christ! The issue here is not either or, it is both and. Pure and simple, both teachings are of value, but if you take a, "apostolic priority" view, then the Sermon on the Mount is devalued. Whether you have been forgiven or not, the principle of unforgiveness is still true. If you are not able to forgive others, then there is an indication there that you have not been forgiven of your own sins, you have not yet received the revelation of the love of Christ in your own life, you have only made a shallow and vain confession.
This little play by play I have written out is fairly typical of the type of reasoning used in the dispensational hermeneutic. You can apply this kind of reasoning to most verses and you will not be far off from what Scofield promoted.
| 2010/7/18 17:28||Profile|
| Re: Areadymind Personal Lesson|
When I applied Scofields hermenutic to my scripture study when I was younger, I became a fool. Within my hands and mind I carried a self-constructed key to interpreting the scripture that made me my own little pope. Rather than wearing a dagon-fish hat, and carrying a crooked cross, I carried a hermenutic that over-rode an attitude of humility.
When this view came into question, my response was always one of pride, ironically being religiously prideful was one of the exact things that Christ was arguing against in his sermon that was only meant for Jews (sarcasm heavy sorry). When I compartmentalized scripture, I then, like the Pope, was comfortable with always choosing the things I believed to be true or not from Scripture.
It is then no irony, that I never experienced any of the victory Christ had in store for me. It is no irony that I was living in complete defeat, and the only way I could be free from rebellious sin in my life was typically when I was under situations of hyper-accountability.
Now, Scofield is not responsible for me. I am responsible entirely to Jesus for my lack of faith. However...the fruit seems to me to speak multitudes.
| 2010/7/18 17:43||Profile|