Ask Mr. Religion wrote:
You are correct in your observations, GT. Seems to me that once one starts down the road of dispensational "right dividing" just about anything goes, no matter how odd the belief. Attempts to pin down ultra-dispensatinal Mid-Acts folks is about as bad as getting the Roman Catholic to be clear about what they believe.
From what I have been able to gather from reading many MAD discussions the following seem to be close to what they believe:
!. Dispensational Theology distinguishes between Israel and the Church
2. Unaware that Jesus will be crucified, the 12 preached the gospel of the kingdom
3. Isaiah chapter 53 a key focus area
4. Rightly dividing the word: A scriptural necessity
5. The new covenant did NOT begin with the birth of Christ
6. Circumcision: The TOKEN of the Abrahamic Covenant
7. The children of Israel were to SEPARATE themselves from the Gentiles
8. God promised to BLESS those who blessed Abraham's "seed", the nation of Israel
9. Gentiles were excluded from Christ's earthly ministry
10. In Acts 10, Cornelius does not portray today's salvation of Uncircumcised Gentiles
11. Even in Acts 3, Israel was STILL the "seed" through whom the nations were blessed
12. The "Great Commission", being prophetic, was interrupted
13. The "dispensation of grace": Prophecy interrupted; an unprophesied mystery begins
14. Grecians, in Acts chapters 6 and 11, were Greek-speaking JEWS, not Gentiles
15. The book of James was not written to Gentiles
16. The Apostle Paul - 14 passages which state that he is the Lord's Spokesman to the Gentiles
The talking points above sort of reminds me of the blind men and the elephant thinking there are actually parts and not one whole.
The dispensationalist's Zionism is constructed upon a novel hermeneutic in which all Scripture is generally interpreted in an ultra-literal sense; the prophetic parts of Scripture are seen as pre-written history; and eschatologically are believed to find their fulfillment in the interpreter’s generation. Despite claims by dispensationalists that their system has ancient historical precedent, the plain fact is the origin of this literalist hermeneutic can be traced to the early 19th Century and in particular to the writings of Hatley Frere, George Faber, Lewis Way, Edward Irving and those who attended the Albury conferences from 1826. [See: D. W. Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain, A History from the 1730’s to the 1980’s
, (London, Unwin Hyman, 1989), p 88; Edward Miller, The History and Doctrines of Irvingism
, volume 1 (London, Kegan Paul, 1878), p 36; Lewis Way, The Latter Rain
, 2nd edition (London, 1821).]
John Nelson Darby, who subsequently pioneered this hermeneutic in a more explicitly futurist and dispensational form, summed it up in one sentence when he admitted, ‘I prefer quoting many passages than enlarging upon them
.’ [See: Darby, Collected Writings
, edited by William Kelly (Kingston on Thames, Stow Hill Bible and Trust Depot, 1962) 11, p 363.]
Based on his commitment to literalism, Darby formulated the doctrine of Dispensationalism and the rigid distinction between Israel and the Church which forms the basis of much contemporary Christian Zionism. Following Darby closely, it was Cyrus Scofield who first distilled and codified this literalist hermeneutic.
In my opinion, Dr. John H. Gerstner's book, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth
, is one of the best treatments of the whole system of dispensationalism and why it is seriously wrong.
Another good read is Poythress' Understanding Dispensationalists
, also available online at: https://frame-poythress.org/ebooks/unde ... tionalists
. Note that Poythress has found found two texts to be of particular usefulness, Heb 12:22-24, and, subordinately, 1 Cor 15:51-53, when trying to persude dispensationalists for non-dispensationalism. He spends a great deal of time explaining how such a dialog would proceed. Getting the dispensationalist to actually think about how their hermeutics function is key to unraveling them from their views. The path out of dispensationalism is usually a lengthy process, for example: https://davidwesterfield.net/2015/06/a- ... terianism/