Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sharper Iron - CT & Dispensationalism

I'm thankful to friend Joel for providing a link to a Sharper Iron Forum discussion between proponents of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.

I'm not going to comment in detail. But I think the opening address and subsequent comments by the CT camp highlights the misconceptions CTs have re dispensationalism on several issues. I see the same old canards re Darby, Lacunza, Irving and Scofield, the rapture etc being raised. For example:
Do you think Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, Luther, Calvin, all the Puritans, Bunyan, etc. also misread their Bible concerning end times? If so, is it just because you think you are right or because you have actually worked through their understanding of Scripture? Would you put Darby, "Dr." Scofield (Scofield gave himself his own doctorate by simply calling himself "doctor"), and Edward Irving, the principle founders of dispensational thought, on the same level of theological, spiritual, and devotional depth as the Reformers, the Puritans, and the preachers of the Great Awakening?
Yes, I do think these gentlemen, as fine as they were regarding the gospel, were sometimes wrong regarding the end times and Israel's status. In fact there was disagreement among them. Even Andrew Bonar noted the mocking overtones towards premillennial prophecy in his day.

I know some dispensationalists rightfully take some blame and admit to faults in approach etc. I take a slightly more mercenary view. As limited as I am in experience, time and time again I see Covenant Theology proponents (amil and postmil) artfully dodge problematic passages to their system. What did God clearly state about national ethnic Israel's future? They need to clearly and consistently address how the OT patriarchs were saved sans knowledge of the cross. And they need to address God's clear word regarding national Israel's future redemption and occupation of the land.

CT proponents also need to get past the Two-Gospel, multiple-ways-of-salvation ruse against dispensationalism. It has been responded to ad nauseum. So, while I appreciate the dispie self-reflection, I'm convinced that no amount of clarification will daunt those determined to defend their traditional theology.

I strongly recommend Paul Henebury's materials, some of which I collated HERE.


I thought Alan Kurschner did a pretty good job summing things up (though I disagree with his references to "Antichrist's great tribulation" etc):
This is why most CT are amillennial. Amillennialism views the return of Christ as some mere simple event. Jesus returns and in the blink of an eye you have the eternal state. They do not preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. They miss articulating Christ’s glory that will unfold at his future return: the deliverance of the church from the grip of the Antichrist’s great tribulation, the complex trumpet and bowl judgments, the final battle (We are told this is all merely a “picture.” Sure.). Then we have the glory of Christ in bringing Israel to spiritual and national restoration, fulfilling his ancient unconditional promises to Israel. Then there is the coalescing of heaven with earth, the earth’s restoration, and on and on...keep reading

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