Skip to comments.A Dispensational View of Theological Order: Why It Offends Covenant Theologians
Posted on 10/29/2010 9:25:35 AM PDT by dartuser
Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary prof David Turner discussed the literal hermeneutic issue that traditionally is seen as a defining difference between covenant theology and dispensationalism. He noted, however, that its actual use in specific textual situations was determined by the presuppositions of the exegete, not by an arbitrarily chosen hermeneutical system.
So we see an emerging awareness that dispensational and covenant theologies differ because of deep rooted presuppositions. The trick is to define where they are and what they are. In the following sections I will attempt to contrast the "classical" forms of each system to discover their different senses of theological order.
(Excerpt) Read more at pre-trib.org ...
This article further clarifies the distinctions between dispensational and non-dispensational (covenant) theology in the area of theological method.
I actually think this is my first post on FR ...
Wow....It is your first thread! :)
Don't you mean your first thread? Are you the author of the article posted?
BEST first-time post I’ve ever seen here, dartuser.
Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Here and there, some will see the light.
No, I am not. Yeah, I guess this IS my first thread ...
I am not fully a 'replacement ' believer.. I do see the replacement of spiritual israel with the church, the bride of Christ .. Jews along with with gentiles form the church..it is not exclusive to non Jews
However God has protected and preserved national Israel and cultural Israel and the land of Israel in faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham..
The nation/people of Israel will not have a separate means of salvation, it will have to repent and accept Jesus as the Messiah or they will be lost just as all those that refuse to come will be.. Once they do that, they are then a part of the church..
Which is certainly a major point of contention between dispensational and non-dispensational systems.
The nation/people of Israel will not have a separate means of salvation, it will have to repent and accept Jesus as the Messiah
Agree totally ... but a dispensationalist makes a distinction between individuals (I think you use the term "people" of Israel) and the nation of Israel. While individual Jews can receive Christ and become members of the church ... the OT talks about the entire nation of Israel coming to Christ. A dispensationalist sees this event, the conversion of the entire nation of Israel, occuring at the 2nd coming of Christ. Only then can we say the OT prophecies of the repentance of Israel and the restoration of the kingdom have been fulfilled.
The importance of consistent literalism to the dispensationalist cannot be overstated. Dispensationalists like to argue that consistent literalism is their first principle and that the dichotomy and parenthesis theories logically follow from the application of this first principle to the study of Scripture. I believe that the reality is the reverse: dispensational interpretation uses the degree of literalism necessary to interpret prophecy in terms of the dispensational dichotomy and parenthesis assumptions. Beyond this, differing degrees of figurativeness and literality can be found in dispensational interpretations.
Dispensationalism: Consistent Literalism by Grover Gunn
Literalism is considered by many a test of orthodoxy--the only hermeneutic by which one may correctly interpret and understand the Bible. Dispensational premillennialists who reject other eschatological views in the belief that they tend toward "spiritualization" and "allegorizing" claim the distinction of being consistent literalists. One author who holds that literalism is a superior method of interpretation writes, "I am a dispensationalist because dispensationalism generally understands and applies Scripture--particularly prophetic Scripture--in a way that is more consistent with the normal, literal approach I believe is God's design for interpreting Scripture."
These inconsistencies have caused many to distance themselves from dispensational literalism. Various "progressive dispensationalists" have rejected "as inadequate the strict literalist hermeneutic of earlier thinkers [and] no longer adhere to the sharp distinction between Israel and the church, but place both under the one program of God for the world. . . ." Others have rejected as "too simplistic" the literalism of their predecessors. This confusion over literalism has dispensationalists debating among themselves, searching for definition, and questioning the essentials of their system.
The Myth of "Consistent Literalism" by Jack Van Deventer
Now ... how is it ... that after 40 days of teaching from Christ about the kingdom; the apostles asked the STUPID question "Are you going to restore the kingdom?" WHAT KINGDOM ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT? Some kingdom in the heart? The only possible answer is the kingdom spoken of by Daniel, the kingdom that was suppose to be restored after the return from the Babylonian exile ... which ... btw ... never happened ... even in Jesus day.
The OT concept of kingdom rarely made distinction between the king and the kingdom. Recall "You oh king ... are that head of gold ... and after you ... will come another kingdom.
The preterist has no explanation for the apostles question in Acts 1 (at least rational one, some have argued they didnt have the HS so they were stupid until Pentecost) for this ... nor can they defend an early date for Revelation; which is absolutely essential for the position ... and quite frankly, makes preterism trivial to dispense with as an unbiblical teaching.
The OT prophets that talk about the days when Israel will return to God and their land are specific to say that it is a remnant of Israel that will return to the LORD in faith in their Messiah, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior. When it says, “all of Israel” will be saved, it means all of those who believe will be saved—a remnant—not the whole nation of Israel.
Zechariah 12 talks about 2 parts being cut off and perishing, but a third being left in the land (of Israel). It seems that at the end 2/3 of the people of Isael will perish and 1/3 will be the remnant. The timing is when you speak of, during the events preceding and encompassing the time when the Messiah returns to set up His kingdom.
I am speaking from a view point of studying God’s Word from OT to NT, and taking it literally, that is, in a plain, normal sense, allowing for figurative language when it is obvious, not from a presupposed dispensational or covenant theology view point.
Until the times of the end, as Romans 1:16 says, the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentile).
Some reasons why I don’t think that Israel will be incorporated into “the church” at the end is because of God’s promises to Abraham, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah’s references to the end events, and Romans 9, 10, and 11, that all show that Israel will return to God and will come back to the land and to Jerusalem when The Branch (Jesus) comes to rule and reign there. Nations will come up to Jerusalem to be taught by God’s people, the believing Jewish remnant.
Jeremiah, for one, talks about how the nations, if they really learn the ways of His people...will be built up in the midst of His people—His people being literally Israel (Jer. 12:14ff). So, I believe the Bible teaches that the church and Israel are separate now and at the end, and that the remnant of Israel will come to the same Lord in the same way, by faith. Meanwhile, any person, Jew or Gentile is as Romans 1:16 states, saved by believing the gospel and a member of the body of Christ, the Church.
Because they were at times, well, dense. Jesus was clearly needing to teach them right up until the time He ascended to the Father and took His seat on the throne of David.
And so, how did Jesus respond to them. He basically said, Hey, look, it not about Israel. Its about taking my gospel into the whole world, beginning in Judea and spreading out from there. He made it plain before, as He started His ministry, the kingdom of God is within you. Some folks dont get it, even today. The kingdom for them is far away. They still look for an external, geopolitical kingdom with earthly Israel at the center.
Earthly Jerusalem is a center of bondage. It was then and it still is today. But the heavenly Jerusalem is populated by those who make up the new Israel, and is like the freewoman, but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. (cf. Galatians 4).
Have you cast out the bondwoman, or is that your dispensational longing?
>>His people being literally Israel (Jer. 12:14ff). So, I believe the Bible teaches that the church and Israel are separate now and at the end, and that the remnant of Israel will come to the same Lord in the same way, by faith. Meanwhile, any person, Jew or Gentile is as Romans 1:16 states, saved by believing the gospel and a member of the body of Christ, the Church.<<
Thats exactly right. The last seven years of the 490 years promised to Israel will start at the beginning of the Tribulation during which they will revert to old Temple worship with animal sacrifice etc. They will realize that Jesus was indeed the true Messiah during the battle of Armageddon.
Why would you NOT think the Old and New Testaments are a complete set of scripture-tying back and forth? The New Testament writers didn't have any problems in pointing back to Old Testament scripture to prove their points.
To be honest, and I realize this is your first thread so I don't wish to offend, but I found this author's writing rather confusing. My eyes glazed over in reading the S sub-O thru the S sub-T. And I read it twice. Nothing that he writes about points to any scriptural evidence. And his conclusion is that for 1900 years the church has just not had the right information seems to be a dangerous position. While people can come to "enlighten" conclusions, the general rule of thumb is to believe you may be holding a heretical position.
I make no claim to be a covenant theologian or a dispensationalist. And, frankly, I don't give two hoots on which view you hold. However, the Bible is very clear on ONE thing that dispensationalists like to talk about-"replacement theology"-that somehow the church fathers were simply a bunch of bigots and we are so enlightened today.
Well, contrary to this stupid and knuckleheaded belief, God does make a distinction between believers and non-believers. The term "replacement theology" is a bogus term meant to under mind this position. It seeks to under mind the special relationship a believer has with his Creator. Instead, it replaces this relationship that God saves men according to His divine providence with the idea men are equal before the Lord and free to choose. One has to wonder WHO has the "replacement" theology.
Well, all men don't have the same status before God. Never has the scripture nor the church taught otherwise. God chose Moses. God chose Abraham. God chose Jacob. God chose Samson. God chose Peter, and James, and John. God chose Paul. And, yes, God even chose Judas. Shall I go on?
Believers enjoy the love and comfort of God's Holy Spirit, although they face righteous chastisement from our loving Father when we stray. Those who are disobedient to the truth of the gospel are looked at as wicked and sons of the devil. That's just the way it is. It was this way in the Old Testament when God compared the Philistine or Canaanites to Israel. It still remains the same in the New when our Lord compared his disciples to the Pharisees. Nothing has changed.
Our Lord called us sons of Abraham and of the Father, Paul called us the new Israel, and Peter called us a royal priesthood. These, and many other titles, are given to those who believe in the Lord Jesus. We are Israel-regardless of how much people try to spin this. To think otherwise borders on blasphemy in my opinion.
A very unsatisfying answer.
until the time He ascended to the Father and took His seat on the throne of David.
So "seated at the right hand of the Father" = "Davids throne" ... theres an error you don't see every day.
And so, how did Jesus respond to them. He basically said, Hey, look, it not about Israel.
You have avoided the very point of what Jesus said to his apostles ... I think on purpose. What he said was "NOW is not the time ... but" ... Do you not understand the words that were spoken there? Did you just skip over that part, because it sure seems like you just skip over that part; mostly because its devistating to your case.
And you cannot claim that the term kingdom in Matthew and the gospels means "kingdom within you." ... it ignores historical, grammatical, and exegetical context. Even the passage you cite in Luke 17 has wide symantic range in the Greek. That is why some translation say "within your midst ... or among you." The kingdom of heaven is within your midst because I AM THE KING!
To be honest, and I realize this is your first thread so I don't wish to offend, but I found this author's writing rather confusing.
It is a very technical article ... having read it several times myself; IMHO here is the main point money-line
"Of course, we have come to what others have concluded about covenant theology: it suffers from a reductionism. It tries to look at all history, including Old Testament history, from the fleeting moment of New Testament history. It has to ignore the possibility that there could be Old Testament themes prior to SNT (all revelation up to and including NT) that have their fulfillment in the futurefulfillments lying within the horizon of ST (terminal state in Rev. 21-22) but not even within the scope of the SNT."
I will be posting a more readable paper this weekend that discusses the differences between dispensational and nondispensational theology in the area of theological method. I wish to read and review it again before starting that thread.
You said, “Our Lord called us sons of Abraham and of the Father, Paul called us the new Israel, and Peter called us a royal priesthood. These, and many other titles, are given to those who believe in the Lord Jesus. We are Israel-regardless of how much people try to spin this. To think otherwise borders on blasphemy in my opinion.”
Yes, we are sons of Abraham by faith.
Yes, we Gentiles who believe are described as a wild olive, grafted in to the olive tree, Israel (Romans 11). But to say that the church = Israel is not quite the whole truth.