Dissing Dispensationalism

Our good friend, Dan Phillips, of Pyromaniacs and Biblical Christianity fame, has posted Twenty-Five Stupid Reasons For Dissing Dispensationalism, or, for a more accurate title, Twenty-Five Stupid Disses On Anyone Who Doesn’t Happen To Be A Dispensationalist (You’re welcome).

I agree with Dan, for the most part. He does list some pretty stupid reasons for dissing Dispensationalism. Except for numbers 7, 11, and 23 (I’m trying to be generous in my criticism).

It appears to me that Dan has built a magnificent straw man, with a shirt, a hat, and only the very finest straw. He even drew a smiley face on the straw man. But guess what? It’s still a straw man.
Now, I don’t think he spent his time trying to create a straw man. Like the kid in science lab who wasn’t trying to make a chemical reaction that would engulf the school in flames. But guess what? (I love that question). That kid can now tell you what will happen when you mix those chemicals together!
No, I think Dan actually thinks that those are the arguments against Dispensationalism. He thinks those are the arguments because he was listening to Things To Come on tape when the actual arguments against Dispensationalism were being spoken.

As for the three that he actually came close to getting right, (7, 11, and 23. You will have to follow the link to read Dan’s comments about each of these points, since I will just copy the headings), I will try to defend those very briefly, since, as a non-Dispensationalist, I am only entitled to a few words.

7. But the Reverend Doctor Professor _____ wrote a 600-page book destroying dispensationalism!

Sorry! It looks like I won’t be able to rely on anyone else who is most certainly smarter than me on this one. That’s because people who write books with more than ten pages are obviously trying to obscure the meaning of Scripture. Somebody give me a break! By the way, Dan, I first learned about the day-age theory in my Scofield Bible. I rejected it as a Dispensationalist then and reject it as a non-Dispensationalist today. (I also appreciated John MacArthur’s defence of Genesis 1-3 in The Battle for the Beginning.)
As far as the, “It means what it says”, issue, I give you a hearty, “Amen!” But sooner or later we’re going to actually have to say what it says. Nehemiah 8:8

11. We should interpret the Old by the New.

I’m trying to see your point. I really can’t. And I don’t think you can either, you just know that you disagree with someone like me, therefore, there must be a reason, but you still haven’t figured it out. Let me help. I believe that Christ was speaking literally in those verses you cited. You don’t. You don’t really believe that Christ is the focus of, for example, the book of Job. I do.
I’m also not sure what Matthew 16:1-3 has to do with this. As for John 5:36-47, well, to quote a really smart guy (please forgive me), “It means what it says.”

23. “Hey, I’m a CT/amill/postmill/preterist whatever, and I use grammatico-historical exegesis on everything!

I think your problem here is that you see the redemptive-historical and grammatical-historical interpretative methods as contradictory, whereas the rest of the world sees them as complementary. God inspired the words to reveal Himself to us. The ‘grammatical’ emphasis actually enhances the ‘redemptive’ qualities of the text.

I know there’s nothing ‘earth-shattering’ that has been written here. I don’t have that skill. But there is one thing I would like to point out.
You will never hear me say, “Israel is the Church”. Well, except for just then. But never again!!! The Church hasn’t replaced Israel. As far as I can tell, there is still the smattering of a national identity of Israel. And I interpret Scripture so literally that I actually believe, like, Paul and James, God will save all of Israel, (if by ‘all’ we are speaking of a national conversion and not every single Israeli alive at the return of Christ). There have been others who disagree with this interpretation. They’re wrong.
I do, however, believe that Christ is the ‘True Israel’. I believe that in Him all the promises given to Abraham have been, are being, or will be fulfilled. Galatians 3:16 I also believe that all who are in Christ are the heirs of the promises made to Abraham and Christ. Galatians 3:29 Israel as a nation can only find their inheritance by coming to Christ and sharing with the all other believers the inheritance that Christ receives. Christ is the rightful heir of the promises and ultimately, He Himself is the fulfillment of those promises. The Church is not the new Israel, but Christ is the ‘True Israel’.
Galatians 3 and 4
are magnificent chapters for understanding God’s purpose in both the Law and the selection of Israel.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Dissing Dispensationalism

  1. Garry Weaver

    Uhh…..I agree with Dan. Whoosh run, run.

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks, Jeremy

    I read Dan’s reasons and just sighed. I don’t think I have time or energy this week, so I’ll just wait for other people to respond and link to them.

    You’re first!

  3. Jeremy Weaver

    Dad,
    What is it you agree with about Dan’s post? There is nothing about Dispensationalism that is stated positively in it. It’s only an attack on 99% of the Christians who have ever lived.

    Terry,
    Thanks! Dan just has a way of saying things that send me over the edge sometimes. But I guess that’s just the ‘Plato’ in me.

  4. bluecollar

    “I do, however, believe that Christ is the ‘True Israel’. I believe that in Him all the promises given to Abraham have been, are being, or will be fulfilled. Galatians 3:16 I also believe that all who are in Christ are the heirs of the promises made to Abraham and Christ. Galatians 3:29 Israel as a nation can only find their inheritance by coming to Christ and sharing with the all other believers the inheritance that Christ receives. Christ is the rightful heir of the promises and ultimately, He Himself is the fulfillment of those promises. The Church is not the new Israel, but Christ is the ‘True Israel’.”

    Amen!!! Jeremy, well stated.

  5. pilgrim

    That post doesn’t address any reasons why I am not a Dispensationalist.

    In fact it was a tract by a dispensationalist on why covenant theology and amillenialism was wrong that started me down the path to believe in those views.

    The arguments and verses they used to defend dispensationalism and disprove amill actually supported amill–so I looked into it more–first in the Bible.

  6. Jeremy Weaver

    Sorry Pilgrim, I can’t respond to that. I’m young, underexperienced, and overconfident.
    Maybe when I’m old, overexperienced, and unsure I will be qualified to speak about Dispensationalism.

  7. Peter D. Nelson

    I was going to stay out of this particular fray seeing as I’d already posted on my now defunct blog about why I left the dispie world. But now I can hold back no longer.

    Jeremy don’t make me quote 1Tim 4:12 at you, young pheh!

    Well seeing that I am old expeienced and jaded let me add that I haven’t seen anything that DJP has stated that is what is being used by valid critics of dispensationalism. Now granted I have only three books criticizing it and I will say that there is one (Gerstners) that isn’t as good as the other two. But none of them are 600 page efforts, good thing too I’d still be reading them.

    But real critics of the system don’t use those reasons and there are plenty of good ones that Dan just glosses over. And while I am ranting I would like for DJP to tell me which particular flavor of dispensationalism he is promoting seeing as how there are more than I can shake a stick at right now.

    Okay I have to go take a blood pressure pill now. Carry on.

  8. Jeremy Weaver

    Peter,
    If you have those posts handy, you might want to put them up over here.

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