Monday, October 26, 2020

The Dispensationalism Moniker....

In the book "Forsaking Israel" Dr. Larry Pettegrew spends a little time on the term "Dispensationalism." He notes that, "Dispensationalists have always been aware of dispensations in Scripture, but so have other theological systems." See page 203. 
He further cites Todd Magnum who believes that, "1936 was the first time that dispensationalists accepted the label 'dispensationalism' for themselves." It is further suggested that this label was accepted "only reluctantly", and in response to criticism written against them by Northern Presbyterians. According to Pettegrew, because of the baggage this term carries, 
Some have proposed that we call this system "futuristic premillennialism," and others have suggested "restorationism," i.e., the system that believes in the restoration of a redeemed Israel to the center of God's plan. Another possible good name is "biblical covenantalism" because this system is not built on the foundation of dispensations, but on the major biblical covenants... (page 204)
In a brief footnote Dr Pettegrew acknowledges that the term was coined by Dr Paul Henebury and notes Paul's blog, Dr Reluctant. I wish he had said more here. But Dr Pettegrew has to move on as this is a tangential point (perhaps) and he must cover a lot more territory. By the way, the term Futuristic Premillennialism is what is suggested in MacArthur and Mayhue's Systematic Theology "Biblical Doctrine."
Further reading:


Paul said...

I have always appreciated your support Alf. It's a real shame the book does not go into detail about just how the covenants undergird the Bible! The key question is this: "Why does God make covenants?" It all flows from that; the hermeneutic, the outline, the messianic connection to the NC, etc.

Alf Cengia said...

I've appreciated and learned a lot from your work, Paul. Perhaps in the future dispensationalists will look more into this.

One clarification is likely in order; when I said "tangential point" I meant for the book. I understand that this is far from tangential in the grand scheme of things.