Presentation on theme: "The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 4: The Fire and Sword of Dispensationalism B – Dispensationalism Spreads Rapidly (1876-1924) Part."— Presentation transcript:
The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 4: The Fire and Sword of Dispensationalism B – Dispensationalism Spreads Rapidly ( ) Part 2 New Covenant Presbyterian Church Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace to a World of Need 128 St. Mary’s Church Rd. Abingdon, MD
Master Timeline United StatesEurope 1620 – Mayflower lands 1730s-1743 – 1 st Great Awakening – American Rev – 2 nd Great Awakening 1830 – Book of Mormon – 3 rd Great Awakening – American Civil War 1870 – Scottish Common Sense 1889 – Moody Bible Institute 1891 – Briggs’ address 1909 – Scofield Reference Bible 1910 – Pres. G.A.: 5 Fundamentals – World War I 1922 – “Shall Fund.s Win?” 1923 – The Auburn Affirmation 1925 – The Scopes Trial 1929 – Westminster Theo. Seminary 1936 – Orthodox Presbyterian Ch – John Mackay, Princeton Sem – Westminster Confession of Faith – Age of European Enlightenment & of Scottish Common Sense Philosophy 1770s-1900 – Rise of German Higher Criticism – French Revolution 1827 – Plymouth Brethren begin meeting 1833 – Slavery Abolition Act of England Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – Darby travels to the United States 1919 – Rise of Neo-Orthodoxy United States (cont.) 1937 – Death of J. Gresham Machen - Bible Presbyterian Ch. (McIntyre) 1966 – RTS, Jackson, MI 1967 – Confession of ‘67, Book of Confessions 1973 – PCA 1983 – Union of UPCUSA & PCUS
1.A sharp distinction between law and grace. 2.The sharp vertical distinction between “earthly” and “heavenly” peoples of God, Israel and the church. 3.A principle of “literal” interpretation of prophecy tying fulfillment up with the earthly level, the Jews. John Nelson Darby ( ) called these his “rediscovered truths”
Numbers 12:6-8 And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the L ORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the L ORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
Jesus’ Parable of the Sower Mt. 13:10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
1.A sharp distinction between law and grace. 2.The sharp vertical distinction between “earthly” and “heavenly” peoples of God, Israel and the church. 3.A principle of “literal” interpretation of prophecy tying fulfillment up with the earthly level, the Jews. 4.A consequent strong premillennial emphasis looking forward to the time of this fulfillment. 5.A negative, separatist evaluation of the existing institutional church. John Nelson Darby ( ) called these his “rediscovered truths”
Daniel 2 – The Vision of Nebuchadnezzar 31 “You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. 32 The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Daniel 2 – The Interpretation of Daniel 37 You, O king, the king of kings, … —you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. … 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, …
“The establishing of this kingdom therefore in some way runs parallel to the rise and fall of the kingdoms of the world. The fifth kingdom, the kingdom of God, the stone that becomes a mountain and fills the whole earth, must appear in stages and develop through history. it must have been present when Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome all fell. it must be present now. It must be present in the future.” Daniel S. Ferguson, p. 65
Daniel 2 37 You, O king, the king of kings, … —you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. … 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, …
Comparing traditional Premillennialism to Dispensational Premillennialism [In Dispensational Premillennialism] Christ’s kingdom, far from being realized in this age or in the natural development of humanity, lay wholly in the future, was totally supernatural in origin, and discontinuous with the history of this era. … For the dispensationalists the prophecies concerning the kingdom referred wholly to the future. This present era, the ‘church age,’ therefore could not be dignified as a time of the advance of God’s kingdom. (Marsden, p. 51)
Daniel 9 1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the L ORD to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. Vs – Daniel prays confessing the past sins of his people. Vs – Daniel petitions God for mercy upon the city of Jerusalem and the desolation of the Temple. Vs – The angel, Gabriel, appears to Daniel to give him insight and understanding.
Daniel 9 24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty- two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
Daniel lived in the 7 th c. BC: These verses have been traditionally interpreted: 1.to refer to the period of Antiochus Epiphanes ( BC) who sacked Jerusalem and violated the Temple. 2.as referring to the coming of Christ, the completion of His sacrificial work, and the destruction of Jerusalem that followed His rejection.
Daniel is being told of the time of Christ: “If this is the correct interpretation, it is not too difficult to see what it was that heaven was so anxious to communicate to Daniel, its rep- resentative on earth. … God’s ultimate purpose was not a temple made with hands and a holy place entered but once each year. His Son was the place in which men were to approach God; His sacrifice was the one which would bring forgiveness.” S. Ferguson
Daniel is being told of the time of Christ: The Consensus Reformed View Dispensational View Vs. 24 – This covers the entire period; Vs. 25 – This divides the first sixty-nine sevens; Vs. 26 – This describes the final seven in indefinite terms; Vs. 27 – This describes the final seven in more detail. Vs. 24 – This covers the entire period; Vs. 25 – This divides the first sixty-nine sevens; Vs. 26 – This describes an interval of indefinite time. Vs. 27 – This describes the 70 th week.
The Key to understanding the Dispensationalist interpretation of prophecy – Daniel 9 & the 70 Weeks. 70 weeks = 490 years 1 st 483 years = period between the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Ezra, Nehemiah) and the time of Christ. The “Church Age” is a gap between the 1 st 69 weeks and the final 70 th week. During this gap: anti-Christ, return of the Jews, the rapture of the church, the great tribulation, return of Christ with saints to defeat Gentile powers, the Beast, Armageddon. The millennial reign of Christ. (Marsden, p. 52)
Competing Emphases in Bible Conference Theology Holiness Movement SpiritualityDispensational Evangelism Present age of the Holy Spirit: ▫we are free from the age of the law ▫we are led by the power of the HS Methodist Holiness => Christian “Perfectionism” Oberlin Theology moves away from Calvinism “Second blessing” Romantic/sentimental hymns of surrender and consecration (Crosby, Havergal, etc.) Keswick theology: ▫the “carnal” and “spiritual” Christian ▫the “victorious” Christian life 1. Jesus’ return is imminent. a. The urgency of conversion is upon us. Growth of unbelief in the world is to be expected. b. The Rapture of Christians could occur at any time. 2. The Scriptures are literally true and to be whole-heartedly believed. a. Prophecy is a straight-forward roadmap of the coming days. b. This world is reserved for the Jews, heaven is reserved for Christians. 3. The Jews are to be saved by repentance & obedience to law; the Gentiles are to be saved by faith. 4. Jewish ethics were based in law. Christian ethics is based in love.
The Bible Conference Movement Niagara Bible Conference ( ) American Bible and Prophetic Conferences ( ) International Prophetic Conference (1878, 1886) Northfield Conference ( ) The Bible Institute Movement Nyack Bible Institute (1882) Boston Missionary Training School (1889) The Moody Bible Institute (1889)
Dwight L. Moody Began evangelistic work in the YMCA Began a Mission Sunday School program 1 st Pastorate, 1864 Ministered to the military during the Civil War Toured U.S. & Europe with Evangelistic Campaigns Chicago Evangelization Society, 1866 later the Moody Bible Institute
Dwight L. Moody “[A] major element in the [Fundamentalist] movement, well developed in nineteenth-century revivalism, was the subordination of all other concerns – including concern or all but the simplest ideas – to soul-saving and practical Christianity. Dwight L. Moody stood in this camp.” (Marsden, p. 43)
Dwight L. Moody “After about 1870 Moody actively taught a new version of holiness doctrine which emphasized ‘victory’ over sin. He also taught premillennialism. Influential new forms of each of these teachings were also promoted through closely related movements organized in America by some of Moody’s closest friends and younger lieutenants, including Reuben Torrey, James M. Gray, C.I. Scofield, William J. Erdman, George Needham, A.C. Dixon, and A.J. Gordon. These movements and these men … had a great deal to do with shaping fundamentalism. (Marsden, p. 37)
Dwight L. Moody “Moody’s Institute in Chicago, although not the first of such schools, became the prototype; and since Moody had imbibed a fair dose of dispensationalism (sic) in a rather typical unstructured form, and his colleague and successor R.A. Torrey in a more systematic way, it was natural that the burgeoning Bible school movement, with a few exceptions, should follow this line of thought. And as the Bible schools unintentionally became training centers for evangelical ministers as many of the theological seminaries opted for divergent views, Darby’s prophetic teaching became more widely accepted than ever.” (Rennie, p. 57)
The Bible Conference Movement Niagara Bible Conference ( ) American Bible and Prophetic Conferences ( ) International Prophetic Conference (1878, 1886) Northfield Conference ( ) The Waning of the Conference Era Dispensational division re: the Rapture. A stricter Pentecostal requirement: “tongues”. Formation of separate Pentecostal denominations: Assemblies of God, 1914 Four Square Gospel, 1927
New Covenant Presbyterian Church Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace to a World of Need 128 St. Mary’s Church Rd., Abingdon, MD