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Dispensationalism Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Dispensationalism Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dispensationalism Copyright by Norman L. Geisler 2008

2 Outline I. The Nature of a Dispensation II. The Names of Dispensations III. The Number of Dispensations IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism V. The Defense of Dispensationalism I. The Nature of a Dispensation II. The Names of Dispensations III. The Number of Dispensations IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism V. The Defense of Dispensationalism

3 I. The Nature of A Dispensation A.Definition: Lt: an economy, house-order, or administration. It is God’s way of administration on earth during a certain period of time which is characterized by several factors: 1. Condition of Man (e.g., innocence, conscience, government, law, grace, etc.) 2. Command of God (to obey God) 3. Choice of Man (to disobey God) 4. Condemnation of God (God’s judgment) 5. Continuance of the plan (God grace) B. Biblical Use: “…in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ…” (Eph. 1:10). A.Definition: Lt: an economy, house-order, or administration. It is God’s way of administration on earth during a certain period of time which is characterized by several factors: 1. Condition of Man (e.g., innocence, conscience, government, law, grace, etc.) 2. Command of God (to obey God) 3. Choice of Man (to disobey God) 4. Condemnation of God (God’s judgment) 5. Continuance of the plan (God grace) B. Biblical Use: “…in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ…” (Eph. 1:10).

4 II. The Names of Dispensations A. The Times— From the Creation to the New Creation (New Heaven and Earth) B. The Titles 1. Probation* (Creation to Fall) 2. Conscience (Fall to Flood) 3. Human Government (Flood to Abraham) 4. Promise (Abraham to Moses) 5. Law (Moses to the Cross) 6. Grace** (the Cross to Second Coming) 7. Kingdom*** (Second Coming to the Great White Throne) *Also called “Innocence”—emphasis on condition **Also called “Church Age”—stresses time, not test ***Also called “Millennium”—highlights time A. The Times— From the Creation to the New Creation (New Heaven and Earth) B. The Titles 1. Probation* (Creation to Fall) 2. Conscience (Fall to Flood) 3. Human Government (Flood to Abraham) 4. Promise (Abraham to Moses) 5. Law (Moses to the Cross) 6. Grace** (the Cross to Second Coming) 7. Kingdom*** (Second Coming to the Great White Throne) *Also called “Innocence”—emphasis on condition **Also called “Church Age”—stresses time, not test ***Also called “Millennium”—highlights time

5 III. The Number of Dispensations A.Minimum Number—Two 1. Old Testament 2. New Testament B. Common—Three (OT, NT, Millennium) C. Others—Four (with the Garden of Eden) D. Maximum--Seven (above) E. Hyper—Eight (early Jewish Church in Acts (1-13 [or 28] before Gentile Church). Note: Everyone is a dispensationalist-- the only question is how many dispensations they hold. A.Minimum Number—Two 1. Old Testament 2. New Testament B. Common—Three (OT, NT, Millennium) C. Others—Four (with the Garden of Eden) D. Maximum--Seven (above) E. Hyper—Eight (early Jewish Church in Acts (1-13 [or 28] before Gentile Church). Note: Everyone is a dispensationalist-- the only question is how many dispensations they hold.

6 Outline I. The Nature of A Dispensation II. The Names of Dispensations III. The Number of Dispensations IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism I. The Nature of A Dispensation II. The Names of Dispensations III. The Number of Dispensations IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism

7 IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism (Covenant Theology) A.Definition: God has two covenants or agreements with Man— 1. One of works with Adam that lead to death. 2. One of grace since then leading to life. (3. Some [Berkoff] speak of a covenant of redempt- ion from all eternity). Origin: Johannes Cocceius (coke-cius)—A.D B. Distinctives 1. One principle--Grace 2. One people of God ( Israel replaces the Church) 3. Two Covenants a. Covenant of Works—demand’s man’s doing b. Covenant of Grace—demands God’s doing 4. Two hermeneutics—one mostly literal; the other allegorical on prophecy to Israel. 5. Five Points (T, U, L, I, P) A.Definition: God has two covenants or agreements with Man— 1. One of works with Adam that lead to death. 2. One of grace since then leading to life. (3. Some [Berkoff] speak of a covenant of redempt- ion from all eternity). Origin: Johannes Cocceius (coke-cius)—A.D B. Distinctives 1. One principle--Grace 2. One people of God ( Israel replaces the Church) 3. Two Covenants a. Covenant of Works—demand’s man’s doing b. Covenant of Grace—demands God’s doing 4. Two hermeneutics—one mostly literal; the other allegorical on prophecy to Israel. 5. Five Points (T, U, L, I, P)

8 IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism A. Definition B. Distinctives C. Differences A. Definition B. Distinctives C. Differences

9 Covenant Theol. vs Dispensationalism Basic Unit A Covenant A Dispensation People One People Two People: Israel of God and the Church Israel’s None as National Future Future a nation Church Began in OT Began in NT Revelation Explanatory Expansive (and Progressive) Goal of In eternity In Time (Millennium) History Hermen- Partly Allegory Consistently Literal eutic Eschatolgy Amillennial Premillennial (Postmillennial) Basic Unit A Covenant A Dispensation People One People Two People: Israel of God and the Church Israel’s None as National Future Future a nation Church Began in OT Began in NT Revelation Explanatory Expansive (and Progressive) Goal of In eternity In Time (Millennium) History Hermen- Partly Allegory Consistently Literal eutic Eschatolgy Amillennial Premillennial (Postmillennial)

10 Outline I. The Nature of A Dispensation II. The Names of Dispensations III. The Number of Dispensations IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism V. The Defense of Dispensationalism I. The Nature of A Dispensation II. The Names of Dispensations III. The Number of Dispensations IV. The Nemesis of Dispensationalism V. The Defense of Dispensationalism

11 A. Arguments for Dispensationalism It is based on a literal hermeneutic which is inconsistent self-refuting to deny. There is a difference between Israel and the Church (1 Cor. 10:32; Acts 1:6; 3:12f.; Rom 9:3-4; 10:1;11;1, 26). The Church began at Pentecost (Mt. 16:16-18; Acts 1:5 cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 9:4 cf. Gal. 1:13). The Abrahamic land covenant with Israel is unconditional and yet future (Gen. 12:15; 15:7, 17-19; 17:8). The Davidic throne covenant is unconditional and yet future (2 Sam. 7:16; Psa.89:24-37; Rom. 11). Literal interpretation of Revelation 20 on the millennial reign of Christ (cf. Mt. 19:28) supports the dispensational premill view. Literal interpretations of the two resurrections (Rev. 20:1-6 cf. Jn. 5:28-29) supports the premill view. Only a premill view has climax and victory in history. A. Arguments for Dispensationalism It is based on a literal hermeneutic which is inconsistent self-refuting to deny. There is a difference between Israel and the Church (1 Cor. 10:32; Acts 1:6; 3:12f.; Rom 9:3-4; 10:1;11;1, 26). The Church began at Pentecost (Mt. 16:16-18; Acts 1:5 cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 9:4 cf. Gal. 1:13). The Abrahamic land covenant with Israel is unconditional and yet future (Gen. 12:15; 15:7, 17-19; 17:8). The Davidic throne covenant is unconditional and yet future (2 Sam. 7:16; Psa.89:24-37; Rom. 11). Literal interpretation of Revelation 20 on the millennial reign of Christ (cf. Mt. 19:28) supports the dispensational premill view. Literal interpretations of the two resurrections (Rev. 20:1-6 cf. Jn. 5:28-29) supports the premill view. Only a premill view has climax and victory in history.

12 V. The Defense of Dispensationalism A. Arguments for Dispensationalism B. Answering Arguments Against Dispensationalism 1. It is a late view: a) So is Covenant Theology. b) There is progress of doctrine--eschatology is later. c) It is the Fallacy of Chronological Snobbery. 2. It has two Gospels: a) False, there is only one Gospel (Gal. 1:8: 3:8). b) There is progressive revelation regarding the content of the Gospel. 3. It fails to see continuity in plan of redemption. a) Not true. b) There is one Savior and one plan of salvation. c) Like a good story, there are different stages, ages, and people in this one plan. 4. It has two new covenants (Jer. 31). a) Almost no one hold this. b) There is only one new covenant made with Israel (Jer. 31) but also applied to NT believers (Heb. 8) since Jesus died for everyone. 5. It is a theology of discontinuity. a) It recognizes both. b) Covenant theology neglects differences. c) We should not join what God has separated. A. Arguments for Dispensationalism B. Answering Arguments Against Dispensationalism 1. It is a late view: a) So is Covenant Theology. b) There is progress of doctrine--eschatology is later. c) It is the Fallacy of Chronological Snobbery. 2. It has two Gospels: a) False, there is only one Gospel (Gal. 1:8: 3:8). b) There is progressive revelation regarding the content of the Gospel. 3. It fails to see continuity in plan of redemption. a) Not true. b) There is one Savior and one plan of salvation. c) Like a good story, there are different stages, ages, and people in this one plan. 4. It has two new covenants (Jer. 31). a) Almost no one hold this. b) There is only one new covenant made with Israel (Jer. 31) but also applied to NT believers (Heb. 8) since Jesus died for everyone. 5. It is a theology of discontinuity. a) It recognizes both. b) Covenant theology neglects differences. c) We should not join what God has separated.


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