Old Doxoblogy

Monday, May 15, 2006

But It Is New...

Dan Phillips (a great guy who I am coming to admire more and more every day, whom having not seen, I love, and with whom I also agree in his major premise in this post) wrote this today at Pyromaniacs;
"Dispensationalism. (Please read carefully what follows.) A constant criticism is that it is new. Some reject it for that reason alone.

This has always struck me as ironic, coming from Calvinists. Our forefathers met with exactly the same criticism from Romanists, in their day. They responded by citing church fathers who stated or accorded with the same truths, but mostly they responded that Scripture isn't new, so their (Scriptural) view also is not new.

Reject Dispensationalism if you believe it does not accord with the Bible. Put forth your better, more Biblical view. But don't reject it solely because you think it is new."
I think it is new. What do you the rest of you Dispensationalists think and why?

13 comments:

BugBlaster said...

I think the awareness of dispensationalism is new.

DJP said...

I dunno. How old is grammatico-historical exegesis?

(And BTW, how old is the acronym TULIP? How old was it when it became true?)

(c;

Jeremy Weaver said...

I dunno. When did it manifest itself as Dispensationalism?

The acronym TULIP has definite beginnings. But the doctrines expressed in the acronym are present in the writings of Clement, Augustine, the Council of Orange, etc. You don't need a lesson in Calvinism. Nice try on the bait and switch though!

DJP said...

Well, I wish you wouldn't dodge my point, which was no bait and switch.

Can you demonstrate "L" from any of Calvin's direct statements? Or the Fathers'? I've never seen it done. Calvin certainly knew nothing of the acronym, right?

But we believe it because we believe it is Biblical, and it doesn't hurt that we see it developing teachings inherent in Calvin's thought. But most of us don't follow Calvin in other areas of his ecclesiology, etc.

I think it's been shown that the main distinguishing elements of Dispensationalism arise from grammatico-historical exegesis, which I'd argue is as old as the Garden of Eden. In itself, that it wasn't formulated until the 17th-18th centuries shouldn't bother anyone any more than it bothers Covenant Theologians that their system is only a century or two older.

The doctrine of the Trinity was true before it was formulated. The doctrine of the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture was true before it was formulated. Newness is sufficient reason for close examination; not rejection.

BugBlaster said...

Dan, I think there is a crying need to expound on what dispensationalism (whatever flavour) is.

You're the guy, dude.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I agree with your premise that we shouldn't dismiss Dispensationalism purely on grounds of novelty, but why can't you just admit that Dispensationalism is a relatively new way of understanding Scripture?
It wouldn't hurt your argument to say that. And besides that, it's true.
Was there Scripture to interpret in the Garden?
I have demonstrated somewhat concisely that Calvin would hae accepted L had it been an issue in his day. You'll have to look through the archives for it because I don't have time now. It's titled, 'Was Calvin a Calvinist?'

Letham points out in his book on the Trinity that it is very probable that the average Christian believed in the Trintarian nature of God before any of the formal formulations were made. So the formualation wasn't new, it just wasn't formal.

I'll have to respond to the rest of your comment later. Sorry.

DJP said...

Mr. Bug -- well, in the essay I linked to above, I really did lay down what the essentials are.

I also develop the basis and form of it -- though not in a polemic tone -- here. There I develop it exactly as I see it: as an outgrowth of a canons-of-normal-communication (i.e. grammatico-historical) approach to Scripture. And that's my stance. It isn't a school I'm wed to and defend, like some guys do Calvinism. I'm wed to and defend Scripture, and I think it teaches certain things, among them (with varying degrees of certitude) the Trinity, Biblical inerrancy, TULIP, dispensationalism.

BugBlaster said...

Mr. DJP,
I will read the stuff!

see ya

DJP said...

My Bro Jeremy --

...why can't you just admit that Dispensationalism is a relatively new way of understanding Scripture?

When have I denied it? The approach to Scripture that produces Dispensationalism is as old as the Bible; the formulation is relatively recent. I feel like you're asking essay questions, but demanding multiple-choice answers, and accusing me of being evasive when I don't give them, Jeremy.

Was there Scripture to interpret in the Garden?

Sure was, only it hadn't been written yet. God said "Don't eat that tree," and Adam took "don't" to mean "don't," and "eat" to mean "put into your mouth, chew, and swallow" (not "spiritually meditate on until it becomes part of your Weltanschauung"), and "tree" to mean "tree" and not "mystical and nonmaterial source of life." Normal. Canons. Of. Interpretation.

I have demonstrated somewhat concisely that Calvin would hae accepted L had it been an issue in his day. You'll have to look through the archives for it because I don't have time now. It's titled, 'Was Calvin a Calvinist?'

Yes, I understand you're a very busy man. Thank you for sacrificing this part of your day for me. It must be a terrible inconvenience. (c;

I'll have to respond to the rest of your comment later. Sorry.

You mean I have to wander in vanity and pride until then?

Darn! I hate when that happens!

Jeremy Weaver said...

Dan,
I'm just asking questions. Now write a three page response on a., b., or c.

Seriously, the reason I'm asking these questions is very simple. It seems like Dispensationalists think they have cornered the market on the grammatical-historical-literal-exegetical-plain sense reading of Scripture.
The fact of the matter is, as you have said, that grammatico-historical exegesis has been around awhile. It is only recently that it has manifested itself in any formal system, of which Dispensationalism is one. Dispensationalism is not the latest or newest manifestation of literal interpretation, but neither is it the only literal interpretation.

DJP said...

c.

DJP said...

(...or, more fully....)

...but it is the best!

(c;

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Dispensationalism is new. Good thing too.

I love the modern world.