Old Doxoblogy

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dispensationalism And The Bible

Let me say first off that this is not about all Dispensationalists. If you are a MacArthur type Dispensationalist who actually leaves Scripture in it's place and does not try to force it into different dispensations, then kudos to you. Keep up the good work.

For the rest of you, I am weary of reading that this verse or that verse is not for this dispensation, therefore any theology that comes from it to support what I believe and discount what you believe is bunk. Let me respond by saying, "That is bunk." Stop dividing Scripture. That is not what Paul told Timothy to do.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15) NKJV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15) ESV
Both of these verses say the same thing. The NKJV renders the phrase 'rightly dividing the word of truth', while the ESV renders the phrase, 'rightly handling the word of truth'. Both phrases mean the same thing. They mean to state the truth of Scripture. They do not mean to divide verses, chapters, or books into separate categories of 'for today', 'for yesterday', or 'for the future'.

We are to do this by studying Scripture and then rightly applying Scripture to whatever age, epoch, or dispensation we live in. All of Scripture is for all Christians. The only divisions that should ever be made are divisions that are stated in Scripture. Take, for instance, the law. The law was given to Moses for the children of Israel. It wasn't divided up into sections of moral, ceremonial, and so forth. However it is clearly marked out by Paul in Galatians to have specific limitations. Those limitations are till Christ comes and till faith is revealed.

Where is a clear division like that in the book of Matthew? Where is it in Revelation? It doesn't exist. Therefore, the books of Matthew and Revelation are for New Covenant believers. All of them. Jew and Gentile.

So...STOP IT!!!

25 comments:

bluecollar said...

Excellent!!!

Beautiful!!!

Right-on!!!

Great stuff!!!

I agree!!!

Yessss!!!

Rose~ said...

Stop trying to see if what was said was being spoken to people in our current situation? Why would I want to be so confused? :~)

All Scripture is for us, but all Scripture is not to us.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Rose,
Strictly speaking none of Scripture is to us. IT was written to Israel, the Galatians, the Romans, Philemon, and other people long since dead.

But we do believe that all of Scripture is to us and for us because all of Scripture is to God's people.

Rose~ said...

Are we allowed to consider who wrote a particular book of the Bible, why the person was writing it, and how much of God's plan had been revealed at that point? Are we allowed to consider the context into which the people are speaking? Are we allowed to consider what had happened prior to the events and words reported in a particular book, what had been fulfilled of God's plan and where it falls on the timeline of that revealed plan of God?

:~) I think that is all dispensationalism attempts to do, brother. :~)

Jeremy Weaver said...

Rose,
Did you read the disclaimer at the beginning of the post?
Why are you fighting me over something that I did not say?
If you don't think this post applies to you tell me why not. But don't put words in my mouth.

Rose~ said...

Not trying to fight you, just playing off the last line of your post:

So...STOP IT!!!

I was going on and on asking what we were allowed to do since you forbid something. You probably couldn't tell, but I had a smile on my face when I typed that. These blogs are so limited that way. Here: :~) :~) :~)

ThirstyDavid said...

I'm still trying to determine if this blog is applicable to this dispensation.

BugBlaster said...

thirstydavid,
You are the second-best deliverer of one-liners. Libbie is a little better than you.

Rose and Jeremy,
You are both very nice people. You both would have kept a lot of The Law. Not quite enough, but quite a bit.

ThirstyDavid said...

Yeah, I know, Libbie's sharp, and a whole lot cuter than me, too.

DJP said...

So, Jeremy, let's see if I have this right:

In a post where you fault some Bible students for saying that some of the Bible does not apply to everyone...

...you reprove Rose for not understanding that your post does not apply to everyone?

Jeremy Weaver said...

Dan,
Very funny!

But this is a good example of what I am saying here...I have clearly marked out a specific set of people who are to be offended at this post. Where does God clearly mark out a place where He says, "This part is not for you," other than the law?

J. Wendell said...

I have clearly marked out a specific set of people who are to be offended at this post.

Hmmm... (rubbing my formerly bearded chin thoughtfully, ... yet confused).

DJP said...

...other than the law?

Other than ~2/3 of the Bible?

Not offhand.

(c;

Jeremy Weaver said...

Dan,
So you equate the Law with the entire Old Testament?

Rose~ said...

Jesus: ""But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." (Luke 22:36)

Is this to me? Should I sell my coat and buy a sword? :~) :~) :~)

BugBlaster said...

The Law is for Christians here and now. I don't mean we are under The Law. The Law is good for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

I didn't plagiarize that last phrase, I cut and pasted it. Not the same thing at all.

By the same token, Matt 24, the weird parts of Daniel, Revelation 4-22, etc. are also good for all Christians here and now.

You guys should consider becoming leaky dispies. We get to have it all.

ThirstyDavid said...

Yes. I leak, and have it all.

Rose- Context! (you should buy a Ruger P90)

Rose~ said...

What is a Ruger P90?
Context - this is what I call "dispensationalism" - putting the Bible into context. It is not that it is not all for "teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness", but it is not all "to me."

Now, when a book begins "...to the church in ..." then I know whithout a doubt that it is to me - because I am part of the church. Then again, I am not a Pharisee - so when Jesus says "You brood of vipers!" I know this is not "to me." Also - when He is speaking to a group of Jews who want His company only for the food that He is offering them, and are really not sincere about Him, we can surmise that He is not trying to state simple truths, but is accomplishing a greater purpose, like when he says "if you don't eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part in me." I think this may make sense to someone besides myself?

Jeremy Weaver said...

Context - this is what I call "dispensationalism" - putting the Bible into context.

Putting the Bible into context? I thought it was already in context. IMO, 'Dispensationalism' wrests the Bible from its rightful context and places it into a 'foreign context', i.e. 'Dispensationalism'.

The Bible is one book made up of 66 books. Beginning with creation, God reveals Himself progressively through various events, covenants, people, and writings. Eventually this 'self-revelation' reaches its climax in Jesus Christ. What Dispensationalism would have me do is drop the progression of revelation and the climax found in the Gospels in order to focus on the Church as a 'new' thing.
I agree...the Church is new, but it is also old. So old that the Church (a unified body of worshippers for Himself) is the goal of all of God's self-revelation found in Scripture.
However, to find the glory of the Church one must keep it in the context of God's self-revelation and purpose, that is to say, we do NOT believe that God was doing one thing at one time, then He dropped doing that thing in order to do something else.
God is not schizophrenic. He has always had one purpose in creation. That one purpose is a redeemed humanity that worships and enjoys Him forever. He calls them the Church.

I have a question for all you 'dispensationalists' reading this;
"Do you believe the Old Testament saints were justified by faith alone without the law, or faith plus the works of the law, or plus circumcision?"

DJP said...

I have a question for all you 'dispensationalists' reading this;
"Do you believe the Old Testament saints were justified by faith alone without the law, or faith plus the works of the law, or plus circumcision?"


Here's what this question, and all your remarks thus far in this thread say to me:

"I don't really understand Dispensationalism, but all the really cool guys hate it and diss it -- so by golly, I will too!"

Read this, for starters.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Dan,
That's a good article...but could you please answer my first question I posed to you? Do you equate the entire Old Testament with the law? I don't. I don't really know of anyone who does. So why would you imply that I disregard 2/3 of the Bible?
I, just like you, see a fundamental discontinuity between the law and Gospel. And I, just like you, understand the purpose of the law in the soteriological scheme of Scripture.
Finally, believe me when I say that I do understand Dispensationalism.
I grew up from age 4 to 21 under Dispensational preaching. I am called Dispensational at times by the Covenantals, and Covenantal by the Classical Dispies. I understand the issues. I was turned from Dispensationalism in part by the book, 'Things To Come' by Dwight Pentecost. It's probably on your shelf. You know that it is a pro-Dispensational book. But it just didn't square with Scripture for me. Since that time I have read and studied the various viewpoints of Dispensationlism, Progressive Dispensationalism, Covenantalism, and New Covenantalism. I know the issues, granted, probably not as well as you, but I do have a fundamental grasp on the issues, so if you would please let this question stand for a while and see if anyone bites.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Oh yeah...I don't care about the cool guys. You're the only 'cool guy' to give me the time of day. The rest of us are nerds.
If you continue to read this blog (that's a big IF) you'll find that everyone hates me at sometime or another(except for Bluecollar and Joe Scoggin). I don't know if it's because of the way I look, or the way I say things, but I just pretend it's because I'm always right.

Rose~ said...

I never hate you Jeremy. :~)

DJP said...

Jeremy, sometimes in Scripture "law" can mean generally "Scripture," and not our canonical division (Pentateuch). Psalms 1, 19 and 119 would be pretty clear examples of that usage.

And so that was my point: you asked "Where does God clearly mark out a place where He says, 'This part is not for you," other than the law?'" What even is "the law"?

But to answer that question, one has to do the sort of interpretive work with which you sounded to me to be impatient. Maybe I misread you; but at one moment you seem to say "STOP IT!" to folks who say about ANY portion of the Bible, "That's not for me." It's not as simple as saying, "It's all profitable, it's all Scripture, so it's all for me."

(Run-on-sentence alert in 3... 2... 1...)

If it is too simplistic simply to look at the Table of Contents, and if a verse comes before Acts 2 to say, "Not for the church!" -- and it is -- then it is equally too simplistic to look at a verse, and say, if it's in the Bible, "That's for me!"

That, or see you at the Temple in Jerusalem next Saturday. Bring a lamb for me too. And put down that ham sandwich. In fact, put down ALL meat (Adam).

ALL CHRISTIANS ARE DISPENSATIONALISTS, in that all Christians recognize phases in the outworking of God's plan for the ages, and understand that while all portions of Scripture are profitable, not all portions are equally applicable.

Disclaimer: this is in no way an edorsement of Biblically-nonsensical positions like the impotent-grace school ("grace" means never having to say "Yes, Lord"), or the "Don't you dare quote a verse before Acts 2:48 to me!" school

PS -- thanks for saying I'm cool. Tell my kids. (c;

Jeremy Weaver said...

Dan,
Here is my rationale for saying that the law is not for the Church as I stated in the text of this post:
The law was given to Moses for the children of Israel. It wasn't divided up into sections of moral, ceremonial, and so forth. However it is clearly marked out by Paul in Galatians to have specific limitations. Those limitations are till Christ comes and till faith is revealed.
The point n Galatians is that the law is not even for Israel anymore, so why then should it be for the Church?
However, as I have pointed out in other posts on Galatians, the law does have a gracious intent. It is not opposed to the promise, but works in harmony with it, consigning all under sin so that all may be saved by faith in Christ who alone fulfills the law.
(I got slammed by other 'dispensational' bloggers because of that [imputation of the active obedience of Christ], too.)

The point I want to make is that Scripture clearly says that the law is not for the Christian. It had a specific purpose( because of transgression), a specific audience(Israel), and a specific limit (till Christ, or till faith was revealed). There is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount that marks it out in this way. Nothing in Genesis that marks it out in this way. Nothing anywhere in the Bible that marks any other part of the Bible out as for such specific purposes as with the law. Sot hat the prophets, the writings,t he Psalms, the Gospels, the letters, etc. are all given to the Church. I even believe the law was given to the Church in a sense, not a theonomic sense as with some, but in a sense that it shows us the character of God. So the law is profitable for the Church, but not for our identity, as with Israel.