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My Journey Out of Dispensationalism
Sola Deo Gloria ^ | July 29, 2009 | PJ Miller

Posted on 10/20/2009 8:00:19 AM PDT by Gamecock

My friends have often heard me say, “The more I read my Bible the less dispensational I become.”

This statement comes from someone who was spiritually nurtured in churches with dispensational theology, who graduated from a Christian university steeped in dispensational theology, who received his first graduate degree from a dispensational seminary, and who—for twelve years—preached sermons that reflected dispensational theology. For the first sixteen years of my Christian life, I rarely questioned the fundamental distinctions of dispensational theology. What are those distinctions? In his discussion of what he called the “sine qua non of dispensationalism,”

Ryrie asserted:

“A dispensationalist keeps Israel and the Church distinct … . This is probably the most basic theological test of whether or not a man is a dispensationalist, and it is undoubtedly the most practical and conclusive”  (Ryrie 44-45).

Later he concluded:

“the essence of dispensationalism, then, is the distinction between Israel and the Church” (Ryrie 47).

As a dispensationalist I studied my Bible with the understanding that God had dual and separate plans for Israel and the church. I understood this “church age” to be somewhat parenthetical until God resumed His plan with the nation of Israel. I believed that the Abrahamic covenant and all the other Old Testament covenants were essentially for national Israel, and that only the soteriological benefits of the covenants belonged to the church.

As I continued to pastor and preach, I realized that my training in the Old Testament was weak. I decided to pursue a Master of Theology in Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary. My dispensational comrades in ministry assured me that Westminster would ruin my theology. I suppose many of them believe that has happened. Nevertheless, I was drawn to Westminster primarily because Bruce Waltke was teaching there. I had read books and articles by Dr. Waltke and had profited immensely from them.

While at Westminster I had the privilege of learning from Vern Poythress, Tremper Longman, and Raymond Dillard, along with Bruce Waltke. At first I listened as an antagonist, but I was soon won over by their personal graciousness and their commitment to Scripture. I began to experience discomfort as I realized that my commitment to dispensationalism was often unyielding, even when contradicted by the results of exegesis. These words from the introduction to my Th.M thesis summarize my response at that time:

Exegesis often eviscerates one’s theological presuppositions. When a theological bulwark withstands the penetration of biblical exegesis, its tenets remain secure. However, if its walls crumble beneath the weight of incisive and precise exegesis, then one must abandon the fortress and construct a better one (Davis, 1990, 1).

During the course of my study at Westminster, Bruce Waltke was my faculty advisor. I was privileged to have a number of personal discussions with him regarding the uneasiness I felt in questioning dispensationalism. As I considered what to research for my Th.M thesis, he suggested a topic that would be beneficial to me on my journey and helpful to others. I wrote “A Critical Evaluation of the Use of the Abrahamic Covenant in Dispensationalism.” The writing of that thesis opened a door and gave me a gentle push toward my eventual departure from dispensationalism.

As I worked through the exegesis of the Abrahamic Covenant and the hermeneutical issues surrounding it, I came to this conclusion:

Through an inductive study, this paper has arrived at a position that approximates covenant theology, namely, that that covenants confirm and explicate the program by which God redeems a people for Himself. It has been established that Israel and the church need to be perceived as sub-categories of a larger concept, i.e. the people of God. The Abrahamic covenant is not the beginning of the people of God, but rather God’s redemptive means, after the rebellion at Babel and the dispersion, to reclaim a fallen world to Himself. The Abrahamic covenant needs to be viewed in its relation to God’s purposes for the entire world, not simply His purposes for a nation. The Abrahamic covenant needs to viewed in light of the inauguration of eschatological times with the first advent of Jesus Christ, as well as the consummation of eschatology at the second advent (Davis 109).

Since those years at Westminster, I have continued to think about these issues and have become more and more convinced that exegesis and biblical theology do not support the sine qua non of dispensationalism (i.e., the distinction between Israel and the church). Since Christ is the final and fullest revelation of God, I now see that the Old Testament anticipated Christ and finds its interpretation and fulfillment in Christ.

In the New Testament—apart from well-debated text in Romans 11:25-27—there is not even a hint of a future restoration of the nation of Israel to the land.

Of the seventy four references to Abraham in the New Testament, not one clearly focuses on the “earthly” elements of the covenant. Even the acceptance of a mass conversion of Israelites at some future time does not demand a return to a former order of things.

Take, for example, the Apostle Paul’s discussion of the relationship of the law to saving faith, in Galatians 3.

He introduces Abraham as a paradigm of saving faith and of inclusion in the promises of God. In the course of his discussion, the apostle makes interpretive statements based on his understanding of the Genesis passages. These reflect on the Abrahamic covenant. These statements are as follows:

1) – “Those who believe are children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7).

2) -“The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ’All nations will be blessed through you’” (Gal. 3:8).

3) - “Those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham” (Gal. 3:9).

4) – “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ” (Gal. 3:14).

5) – “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

6) - “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe” (Gal. 3:22).

Paramount in these verses is the redemptive significance of the Abrahamic covenant as it finds its consummation in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ, as the quintessential seed of Abraham, is both the guarantor and inheritor of the promises of the covenant.

Relationship with Christ, established by emulating the faith of Abraham, guarantees one’s participation in the promises of the covenant. It is not the keeping of the law or physical descent from Abraham that constitutes one as a child of Abraham, but rather faith in Jesus Christ.

These verses sanction the redemptive nature of the Abrahamic covenant. They confirm that covenant as the unifying factor between Jews and Gentiles, and they substantiate the view that there is one people of God of all ages that share the covenants of Scripture which find their consummation in Christ.

Strikingly, Paul perceives redemption in Christ to be the dominant, though not exclusive, feature of the Abrahamic covenant. He finds the consummation of the covenant in Christ and participation in the covenant to be predicated on relationship to Christ. Though, admittedly,  I argue from silence here, the “material” nature of the promises to Abraham appears to be somewhat idealized in Christ. Though not necessarily removing those “material” elements of the Abrahamic covenant, Paul’s treatment certainly places them in a new light.

Consequently, due to the advent of Christ as the seed of Abraham, the New Testament sees a semi-realized fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant in New Testament believers and the church and an ultimate eternal fulfillment in the New Heavens and Earth for all those who are “seed” of Abraham by faith.

In Christ we have our “landedness” as we are “blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ,” (Eph. 1:3) and are assured that we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade kept in heaven” (1 Pet. 1:3).

The New Testament texts that consider the question, “Who are the legitimate heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant?” unequivocally answer, “All of those who are in Christ Jesus.”

In reference to the unity of believing Jews and Gentiles, George N. H. Peters cogently concludes:

Both elect are the seed, the children of Abraham; both sets of branches are on the same stock, on the same root, on the same olive tree; both constitute the same Israel of God, the members of the same body, fellow-citizens of the same commonwealth; both are Jews “inwardly” (Romans 2:29), and of the true “circumcision” (Phil. 3:3), forming the same “peculiar people,” “holy nation,” and “royal priesthood”; both are interested in the same promises, covenants, and kingdom; both inherit and realize the same blessings at the same time (Peters 404).

In conclusion, may we all continue to “do theology” rooted in humility, exegesis, biblical theology, and community. Though I do not agree with many of Clark Pinnock’s theological conclusions, I do appreciate his delightful approach to the theological enterprise. He said,

I approach theology in a spirit of adventure, being always curious about what I may find. For me theology is like a rich feast, with many dishes to enjoy and delicacies to taste. It is like a centuries-old conversation that I am privileged to take part in, a conversation replete with innumerable voices to listen to…. More like a pilgrim than a settler, I tread the path of discovery and do my theology en route (quoted in Grenz 134).

Works Cited

Davis, John P. “A Critical Examination of the Use of the Abrahamic Covenant in Dispensationalism.” Master of Theology Thesis, Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990.
Grenz, Stanley J. Renewing the Center. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2000.
Peters, George N. H. The Theocratic Kingdom. Vol. 1. Grand Rapids, Kregel Publications, 1952.
Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. Dispensationalism Today. Chicago: Moody Press, 1965.


TOPICS: Apologetics; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: dispensationalism
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1 posted on 10/20/2009 8:00:20 AM PDT by Gamecock
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To: topcat54

If you find this ping-worthy.....


2 posted on 10/20/2009 8:02:37 AM PDT by Gamecock ("...Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles" and both to Americans.)
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To: Gamecock

Interesting post! Our son is praying about what his master’s thesis title will be...as it will determine his studies the next 1 &1/2 yrs.


3 posted on 10/20/2009 8:10:18 AM PDT by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: Gamecock

Dispensationalism is fading because new generations of Christians find no novelty in the existence of Israel as a nation.

It’s no longer “news” to them.

Sad.


4 posted on 10/20/2009 8:13:51 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Gamecock

“I approach theology in a spirit of adventure, being always curious about what I may find. For me theology is like a rich feast, with many dishes to enjoy and delicacies to taste.” (quoted in Grenz 134).

Isn’t it amazing that there are still so many dishes and delicacies to enjoy in God’s word? I disagree with Solomon that there is nothing new under the sun. I think this “book” which has been around for quite a while still contains so many treasures still undiscovered.

Still, a bit of clarification might be derived from looking at the true meaning of the word commonly translated as “church,” or “the church.” I submit a more proper rendering would be “the outcalled” of God, not the church. Is this distinction important? Absolutely!

Furthermore, I am always amazed at how people make such a big deal about labeling something or someone a “dispensationalist.” Isn’t a dispensation simply a method of dealing with? An adminstration, as it were. Doesn’t God have different ways of dealing with people, especially at different times?


5 posted on 10/20/2009 8:28:41 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: Gamecock
As I continued to pastor and preach, I realized that my training in the Old Testament was weak. I decided to pursue a Master of Theology in Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Not sure what he expected to happen by persuing this course of action. A Covenant theologian doesn't develop his OT theology based on the OT text ... he bases it on his New Testament understanding of the OT text.

I will grant that Poythres is the only non-dispensationalist that seems to make a serious effort to dialog and understand dispensationalism. I speak as one who went the opposite direction ... from being brought up in the Reformed camp and eventually embracing the Baptist tradition.

6 posted on 10/20/2009 9:15:18 AM PDT by dartuser ("If you torture the data long enough, it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit")
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To: fishtank

Your comment that “new generations of Christians find no novelty in the existence of Israel as a nation” is very interesting to me, and unfortunately it is quite accurate.

Does the present day nation of Israel, as mandated by the corrupt, man-made United Nations, constitute the Israel of God? Or, is God going to do the establishing? Just wondering what you think.


7 posted on 10/20/2009 9:48:20 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: Gamecock

Good post. Thanks.


8 posted on 10/20/2009 9:49:49 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: Overwatcher

oikonomia = administration = dispensation

Very Biblical words..............


9 posted on 10/20/2009 9:49:58 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Overwatcher

The prophet Jeremiah says the re-gathering will be first in unbelief, then God will change them (the Jews) to belief in Him.


10 posted on 10/20/2009 9:50:50 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: dartuser; raynearhood
A Covenant theologian doesn't develop his OT theology based on the OT text ... he bases it on his New Testament understanding of the OT text.

Or rather, “based on the OT text alone . Covenant theology properly understood rightly identifies the relationship between the testaments.

It is the dispensationalist who gets much of their theology, esp. their views on prophecy, from the OT text taken in isolation from the NT.

from being brought up in the Reformed camp and eventually embracing the Baptist tradition.

That’s an odd connection since most of the Baptists I know are reformed and covenantal and utterly reject dispensationalism. The historic Baptist position certainly was non-dispensational, although many have clearly fallen from those earlier days.

11 posted on 10/20/2009 9:58:17 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: fishtank; Overwatcher; Gamecock; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; raynearhood; Dr. Eckleburg
oikonomia = administration = dispensation Very Biblical words..............

Indeed, when properly understood. I.e.,:

5. This covenant [of grace] was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law, it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come; which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the old testament.

6. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the new testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 7

The designation "dispensation" had to do with how the one covenant of grace was administered before Christ vs. after Christ. Before Christ it was administered via temporary promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, etc. After Christ, who is the substance of the covenant, the shadows gave way to the reality. We look back on the broken body and shed blood, and remember Christ’s work in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

According the WCF, I can say that I’m a dispensationalist without having to acknowledge all the modern day, futurist nonsense that term has come to mean. Unfortunately, it would cause confusion among the biblically and theologically illiterate. It’s much like using the entirely appropriate designation “catholic”. The knee-jerk reaction from the know-nothings would be immediate.

12 posted on 10/20/2009 10:09:33 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: Gamecock; BibChr; P-Marlowe

The premise of this article misapplis Ryrie. Ryrie clearly believed in remnant Israel ALSO being within the Church. In the same way as Israel included the “remnant” is Elijah’s day and both were “Israel”, so will that distinction hold toward the end.

However, Israel “will not see Him again until (they) say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” And then, “all Israel shall be saved.” as Paul says.


13 posted on 10/20/2009 10:10:31 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: fishtank

Yes, He will plead with them (as an attorney pleads his case) in the wilderness (or place of separation) where He can deal with them directly, and without interruptions.


14 posted on 10/20/2009 10:12:00 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: xzins; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; raynearhood; Dr. Eckleburg
The premise of this article misapplis Ryrie. Ryrie clearly believed in remnant Israel ALSO being within the Church. In the same way as Israel included the “remnant” is Elijah’s day and both were “Israel”, so will that distinction hold toward the end.

Where does Ryrie use that sort of language?

However, Israel “will not see Him again until (they) say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” And then, “all Israel shall be saved.” as Paul says.

Which points out how untenable the classic dispensationalist view is. If your claim about Ryrie is accurate, they would apparently equivocate on the term “Israel” and then chastise non-dispensationalists who do the same thing (at least in their mind).

Tell us all plainly, what does the phrase, “And so all Israel shall be saved” mean in actuality?

15 posted on 10/20/2009 10:22:14 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: fishtank; Overwatcher
The prophet Jeremiah says the re-gathering will be first in unbelief, then God will change them (the Jews) to belief in Him.

C&V, s’il vous plait.

16 posted on 10/20/2009 10:24:42 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: ItsOurTimeNow; HarleyD; suzyjaruki; nobdysfool; jkl1122; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Dr. Eckleburg; ...
Reformed Eschatology Ping List (REPL)
Biblically Optimistic and Gospel-Based

"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)

17 posted on 10/20/2009 10:25:43 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: topcat54; Gamecock

It means the remnant shall be saved.

You didn’t ping Gamey, and he’s the one who started the thread.

You haven’t read Ryrie have you?


18 posted on 10/20/2009 10:28:06 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: topcat54

Did you know that the Greek word for 'pearl' is "margarita"?

19 posted on 10/20/2009 10:28:55 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: topcat54

oikonomia = administration = dispensation Very Biblical words..............

Yes,and they all have the same meaning.

Help me to understand. If I am dealing with you in a certain manner (administration, dispensation, etc.) then I should be consistent and act in accordance with the established set of ground rules. It seems to me that grace and the law are mutually exclusive, that is, I can’t deal with you in grace (undeserved favor) and also be dealing with you in the law in the same set of circumstances.

So, I can’t see how a covenant of grace can be administered in the time of law (by law, I understand to mean “rendering judgment,” which I understand is the purpose of the law).


20 posted on 10/20/2009 10:37:09 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: Gamecock

Yep.


21 posted on 10/20/2009 10:38:49 AM PDT by mikeus_maximus (African scam artists are now not only in my inbox-- they're running our country!)
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To: Overwatcher; fishtank; xzins; BibChr
Does the present day nation of Israel, as mandated by the corrupt, man-made United Nations, constitute the Israel of God? Or, is God going to do the establishing? Just wondering what you think.

Are you suggesting that a nation of Jewish refugees called Israel could rise from the ashes of history and it would not be in conformance with God's will or his divine plan?

Is God not in control?

22 posted on 10/20/2009 10:39:29 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe

I am saying that the re-gathering and restoration of the Nation of Israel is something that God is going to do in the future.

God is certainly in control, but He is not governing right now - there’s a difference, in my opinion.


23 posted on 10/20/2009 10:42:51 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: xzins; Gamecock; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; raynearhood; Dr. Eckleburg
It means the remnant shall be saved.

OK, so when a non-dispensationalist makes that claim, saying the remnant of Israel is that part which identifies with Christ and His Church, the problem is what exactly?

You didn’t ping Gamey, and he’s the one who started the thread.

Oversight.

You haven’t read Ryrie have you?

I have a few of his books including Dispensationalism Today, I just do not recall that particular language and his argument for the distinction you claim he’s making.

24 posted on 10/20/2009 10:45:16 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: Overwatcher
God is certainly in control, but He is not governing right now - there’s a difference, in my opinion.

Is he on a coffee break from the Throne?

Who exactly is in charge, anyway? Obama?

25 posted on 10/20/2009 10:49:35 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: topcat54; P-Marlowe
The study bible on Romans 11:

"The olive tree is the place of privilege that was first occupied by the natural branches (the Jews). The wild branches are Gentiles who, because of the unbelief of Israel, now occupy the place of privilege. The root of the tree is the Abrahamic covenant that promised blessing to both Jew and Gentile through Christ."

Do you suggest that any biblical Christian would suggest that "On this rock I will build my Church" did not include the Jewish Apostles themselves?

26 posted on 10/20/2009 10:51:37 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Overwatcher; xzins; Gamecock; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; raynearhood; Dr. Eckleburg
Yes,and they all have the same meaning.

Yes, and we determine that meaning from the Bible, not Scofield’s Notes.

It seems to me that grace and the law are mutually exclusive,

And you have pointed out the confusion rendered by the original version of Scofield’s Notes.

Salvation is entirely by grace. Thus the need for a covenant of grace. All men in all times have been saved by the gracious act of God in offering His Son for the sins of His people. That was true for Adam, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, … everyone who found favor in the sight of the Lord.

The law was given to demonstrate to man their need for this covenant of grace. It was a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. It could never save anyone, nor could anyone ever find favor in God’s sight simply by lawkeeping.

Dispensationalism is the confusing factor in the discussion. Some dispensationalists have tried to clean up their act. Scofield’s Notes were revised to undo the suggestion of salvation by lawkeeping in the original. Progressive dispensationalism goes even further in the direction of covenant theology. Progress is being made.

27 posted on 10/20/2009 10:54:17 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: Gamecock
I decided to pursue a Master of Theology in Old Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Not much of a shock that one would come out of WTS a anti-dispensationalist after that indoctrination.

About as much shock as a Dallas theological Seminary graduate leaving as a dispensationalist.

28 posted on 10/20/2009 10:55:00 AM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: P-Marlowe

I think He is presently letting man walk after his own ways - let the evidence speak for itself - mankind has been reaping what it has been sowing. If God were governing right now, there would be a whole lot of folks who would be turned into toast on the spot as a result of their actions. The fact that they are not toast speaks to me of a God presently acting in grace, that is, granting unmerited favor to the underserving. I believe a time is coming when He again will indeed act in judgment, but alas, I don’t think it is so today.


29 posted on 10/20/2009 10:56:45 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: Overwatcher; xzins; BibChr
Are you suggesting that by extending unconditional grace, that God is not in control of human events?

Could Israel have been re-established in 1947 if it were not for the hand of God guiding the events?

To suggest that God did not have a hand in the re-establishment of "a" Nation called Israel in 1947 is to suggest that God is NOT in control of anything?

Is God in control in your life? Could you even take another breath if it were not in the will and divine plan of God for you to do so?

30 posted on 10/20/2009 11:00:49 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: xzins; Gamecock; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; raynearhood; Dr. Eckleburg
The study bible on Romans 11:

Yes, we are familiar with Darby's theories. Quoting him does not really help.

The question is, how do you distinguish between the remnant in the Church and some other remnant without being entirely artificial? E.g., why the need to divide “all Israel” up into distinct chunks?

Do you suggest that any biblical Christian would suggest that "On this rock I will build my Church" did not include the Jewish Apostles themselves?

Absolutely not. It is my argument that every Jewish believer in Jesus Christ is the remnant of Israel (“all Israel” if you will) and is being saved during the time in which we live. They are the Church, along with their gentile brethren. Natural and wild grafted into one root, Jesus Christ.

In fact you are making the non-dispensational case very well.

31 posted on 10/20/2009 11:01:03 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: SeaHawkFan; Gamecock
About as much shock as a Dallas theological Seminary graduate leaving as a dispensationalist.

Not as many as you might think, with the overtaking of DTS by the progressive dispensationalists (aka covenant theology lite). I’m always amazed at the number of DTS grads in non-dispensational churches/positions. Many of the best and brightest.

32 posted on 10/20/2009 11:03:59 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: topcat54; P-Marlowe

It was a Ryrie Study Bible Quote...not Darby.

And I’m not including all of “modern Israel” as part of the remnant. The remnant are those in “that day” who will say “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”


33 posted on 10/20/2009 11:04:26 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: P-Marlowe; Overwatcher; xzins; BibChr

God in control of everything means also the presidency of Obama. And of my not voting for him.


34 posted on 10/20/2009 11:07:16 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: P-Marlowe

Do I believe that God could have used a corrupt, man-made organization such as the United Nations to accomplish His purpose? Of course! Do I believe that’s what happened in 1947-48? Not necessarily. Yes, a nation was created called Israel. Do I believe it was the Israel of God created back then? No. Will the Nation of Israel be created? Yes, and by God it will.

Did God decide what you were going to have for breakfast this morning? Don’t you think He has more important things with which to concern Himself?

God gives me the very breath of life. If He stopped that flow I would no longer be breathing.


35 posted on 10/20/2009 11:07:43 AM PDT by Overwatcher
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To: P-Marlowe; Overwatcher; xzins
Could Israel have been re-established in 1947 if it were not for the hand of God guiding the events?

If you are saying that God’s providence extends to the rise and fall of nations, absolutely not.

If by that you are contending that modern Israel is the fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies that can be proven, the answer is that such is not the teaching of the Bible.

“Re-establish” is really the wrong term. Modern Israel has little in common with biblical Israel. There is no direct connection.

Israel being constituted as a secular nation in 1947 is no different than the unification of Italy in the 19th century or the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. God orders the affairs of men according to His secret will and good pleasure.

36 posted on 10/20/2009 11:10:44 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: xzins; P-Marlowe
It was a Ryrie Study Bible Quote...not Darby.

Oops. Sorry. I found that quote listed on a very confusing page that seemed to attribute it to Darby.

And I’m not including all of “modern Israel” as part of the remnant. The remnant are those in “that day” who will say “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

I’m still missing the part where Ryrie says that the remnant of Israel is part of the Church and the remnant of Israel is some future group. I don’t see it in that quote.

37 posted on 10/20/2009 11:18:36 AM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: topcat54; P-Marlowe; Overwatcher
There is no direct connection.

Many Jewish sects believe there is. The same with many Christians.

How do you "prove" that a time of God is upon us or is around the corner? Aside from direct revelation, all we have is the possibility of certain scriptures aligning.

The Apostles weren't aware of the resurrection until after it had occurred, even though Jesus told them many times.

At the same time, I, too, would counsel caution. I would also counsel knowledge of other perspectives. I am a sola scriptura kind of guy.

The bottom line is this: if we don't appeal to scripture as authoritative then to what do we appeal?

38 posted on 10/20/2009 11:21:45 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: topcat54; P-Marlowe

He says that both are part of the olive tree through Christ.

Is there any doubt that salvation through Christ automatically makes one part of the Church? (Baptism being the sign of initiation.)


39 posted on 10/20/2009 11:26:21 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Overwatcher; xzins
Did God decide what you were going to have for breakfast this morning?

He foreknew and foreordained it. If it were God's will that I should have had something else, I would have.

Don’t you think He has more important things with which to concern Himself?

He knows how many hairs you have on your head.

What I have for breakfast will affect me in some way for the rest of my life. If I have bacon and eggs every morning then it is probably God's will that I die young.

40 posted on 10/20/2009 12:03:44 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: topcat54; xzins
God orders the affairs of men according to His secret will and good pleasure.

If it is his "secret will" then how can you state that the Nation of Israel is not a fulfillment of prophecy or part of the divine order planned by God from the foundation of the earth?

Has God revealed his "secret will" to you?

41 posted on 10/20/2009 12:06:27 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: P-Marlowe; Overwatcher
If I have bacon and eggs every morning then it is probably God's will that I die young.

Eat More Chikin

42 posted on 10/20/2009 12:17:03 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins; P-Marlowe
The olive tree is the place of privilege that was first occupied by the natural branches (the Jews). The wild branches are Gentiles who, because of the unbelief of Israel, now occupy the place of privilege. The root of the tree is the Abrahamic covenant that promised blessing to both Jew and Gentile through Christ. (Ryrie Study Bible)
Another odd thing about Ryrie’s quote. It seems to make no allowance for Jews today (and for the past 2000 years) who come to faith in Christ. Note the structure of his comment. Place of privilege WAS occupied by Jews, and NOW is occupied by gentiles. No hint of Jews and gentiles together today as one new man ala Ephesians 2. IOW, no mention of the Church!

Again, this is a problem with classic dispensationalism. The proponents are often reluctant to see the implications of their system.

43 posted on 10/20/2009 12:38:51 PM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: Gamecock
Hm. I guess the real question is: who cares? Does God care about this stuff? Or is it just regular folks who need to prove that they're right?

The Gospels certainly don't portray Jesus as being overly concerned about such distinctions -- though they do portray the Pharisees in that light.

All Jesus said was, "follow me."

44 posted on 10/20/2009 12:46:12 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: P-Marlowe; xzins
If it is his "secret will" then how can you state that the Nation of Israel is not a fulfillment of prophecy or part of the divine order planned by God from the foundation of the earth?

Secret will (aka decretive will) simply means something not specifically declared to us in the Bible. E.g., the Bible does not tell us that Ronald Reagan was to be the 40th president of the US, although we know now that it certainly was.

This is over and against His prescriptive will, that which is plainly given to us in the Bible. An example of that would be that the Christ should be born of a virgin, or that He would be born in Bethlehem, or that the temple would be destroyed and OT sacrifices ended once for all time.

The existence of modern Israel is not part of God’s prescriptive will since nothing in the Bible can be positively and definitely linked to modern Israel.

Has God revealed his "secret will" to you?

No, but that is irrelevant to the subject at hand as I have demonstrated.

45 posted on 10/20/2009 12:59:48 PM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: topcat54; P-Marlowe
Another odd thing about Ryrie’s quote. It seems to make no allowance for Jews today (and for the past 2000 years) who come to faith in Christ.

I know now that I should expect every aspect of your theology to be covered in any 3 sentences you utter from henceforth.

Obviously, covered elsewhere, TC. Can you honestly say with a straight face that you think Ryrie did not consider the Apostle John, a Jew, to be part of the Church?

46 posted on 10/20/2009 1:11:34 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: topcat54; P-Marlowe
OT sacrifices ended once for all time.

Actually, you added the "all time" part to the scripture. Isn't it funny how our interpretations can impose themselves onto scripture until we begin to think they are scripture. Even though they aren't.

As you say about Chuck Smith, I guess this now puts you in that same class of "false prophet"....ehh?...someone who gets carried away with his interpretation.

47 posted on 10/20/2009 1:16:01 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: xzins; P-Marlowe; Gamecock; Lee N. Field; Alex Murphy; raynearhood; Dr. Eckleburg
He says that both are part of the olive tree through Christ.

But unfortunately he ends up with a three-headed monster. He has the Church with two heads (Jews and gentiles) and then he has this other thingy of post-rapture Jews. The remnant has to live in two different heads. It’s an unnatural beast.

The way Paul describes it in Romans 11 maps directly into the (non-dispensational) view of God’s people encompassed entirely in one people of God, the Church (Eph. 2:15).

But, because Ryrie has this silly idea of a pre-trib rapture, he needs to adorn the imagery in Romans 11 with speculative nonsense.

And I’m still hard-pressed to believe that Ryrie ever describes the Jews who make up the Church as the “remnant of Israel”. That idea is so non-dispensational.

Is there any doubt that salvation through Christ automatically makes one part of the Church? (Baptism being the sign of initiation.)

None whatsoever. And the Church is the one and only continuation of the people of God in Scripture. There is no corporate entity beyond the Church in God’s plan of salvation.

48 posted on 10/20/2009 1:22:50 PM PDT by topcat54 ("Don't whine to me. It's all Darby's fault.")
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To: xzins
you added the "all time" part to the scripture.

"Obsolete, ready to pass away." Are you telling us they're coming back?

49 posted on 10/20/2009 1:29:38 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (An armed society is a polite society. So keep your rambling soi-disant "prophets" off my lawn.)
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To: topcat54; xzins
This is over and against His prescriptive will, that which is plainly given to us in the Bible. An example of that would be that the Christ should be born of a virgin, or that He would be born in Bethlehem, or that the temple would be destroyed and OT sacrifices ended once for all time.

TC, I don't think you realize this but nearly all Old Testament prophecies about Christ were veiled and not plain. They were hidden in references to other people, to shepherds to prophets or to nations or to animals or even crops. If the references were so clear, why is it that nearly all of the biblical scholars of the time (you know, the ones with the advanced degrees) missed it?

The references to Christ's first coming were veiled as are the references to his second coming.

The existence of modern Israel is not part of God’s prescriptive will since nothing in the Bible can be positively and definitely linked to modern Israel.

Well God gathered the descendants of Abraham from every corner of the planet to meet in the same real estate he promised them he would hold in trust forever. That much is pretty clear in the Bible.

50 posted on 10/20/2009 1:32:33 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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