Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dissing Dispensationalism Review 4

Next up are three of the arguments from Dan’s post.

4. So many dispensationalists are goofs. Sure they are. I'll tell you another truth: so many Covenant Theology types are goofs. So many amills are goofs. So many Trinitarian inerrantist monergists are goofs. In fact, so many Christians are goofs. Better quit them all, right? Just become an amorphous nihilist? Oh, wait -- lots of amorphous nihilists are goofs, too. Guess I'll just have to exercise my priesthood, and think for myself, under God -- like He says I should (John 12:48; Hebrews 4:13). Next?

Don’t we all agree on this one? There are many goofs in all camps. As a matter of fact, this author can get goofy at times tooJ

5. Dispensationalist writers have made false predictions. First, let's be more accurate. Since another thing to love about dispensationalism is that its advocates also affirm the sufficiency of Scripture, they tend not to be Charismatic, and so they don't fake "prophecy." Therefore, they don't make faux-supernatural predictions, as if they were prophesying. But it's true: some have said "I think X Bible teaching means that Y will happen," and some have been wrong.

Now to this there is some truth here. Many well respected dispensationalists say what Phillips says that they say and use the words or phrases such as “think” or “possibly could be”. However, there are many of the popular, and I use that word in the sense of those who have a very loud voice via media, who clearly are loudly declaring certain things to actually come to pass, and I might add that all of them eventually lead us after a God we have not known through various other perspectives on the person and nature of God.

I could probably cite numerous folks like Hal Lindsey, the Lalondes, Van Impe, La Haye and others who have done this. Really, though Dan in all honesty, these men do become the voice of dispensationalism to the nation, whether you or I agree with that or not.

Second, this game is a cheater's delight. Since the decoder-ring set spiritualizes all unfulfilled prophecy (except the bare fact of Jesus' eventual return) into shapeless goo, they have no specific predictions. No specific predictions = no falsifiability. So when you don't say anything is going to happen in the real world, you'll never be wrong. That's a coward's victory.

And this is simply an uninformed comment from Phillips. If you go to the comments section and actually read questions that were offered to him concerning specific passages, he basically shrugs them off and then launches into sarcasm and that perspicuity issue, which is not an issue in this discussion. When Nathan or I asked questions regarding the enthronement of Christ from the Old Testament Scriptures, which the New Testament apostles said were fulfilled in Christ, then he would simply ignore what was actually said, or he would not deal with the whole of the prophecy. I must ask, is that literal? Absolutely not.

I give a lot more credit to the man who expects to see prophecy actually fulfilled in history, and makes a tentative but well-reasoned application that doesn't come to pass, than I do to the counsel-of-despair man who throws prophecy in a blender, reduces it to paste, and then mocks those who don't follow suit.

counsel of despair man?? What on earth is he talking about? This is simply filler for his response here. He knows better. Are we as those who see fulfillment in Christ and His church “counsel-of-despair men”? I certainly am not. I am very optimistic that Christ will not only conquer at the end, but actually conquered at the cross, in the grave, in the resurrection, at the ascension, at the destruction of the old system, and all throughout history has been conquering as His wonderful gospel is proclaimed and will continue to do so and His church will prevail until He comes again.

And no, that is not throwing prophecy in a blender. Obviously we see many different passages that speak of the same fulfillment, but don’t we also see that with many of the shadows and pictures of the Old Testament concerning Christ? Of course we do, but we would never fault a dispensationalist and say he was just throwing all those in a blender and voila! Baked a cake from it. That is just a bad argument.

They are like the modern Charismatic counterfeit of "prophecy," whose perps hide under generalizations so vague that it is impossible to prove them wrong. Zero points for credibility.

Now this one gets under my skin. He has yet to really interact with any arguments from non-dispensationalists that I’ve seen. He has tried to give different words so that those of the dispensationalists, “who expects to see prophecy actually fulfilled in history, and make a tentative but well-reasoned application that doesn't come to pass” don’t actually fall under false prophecies or false teaching. However, I think we can distinguish from the wackos in the dispensationalist camp and the more responsible men. Yet, as far as I know, they are all looking for a national restoration of the Old Testament Israel and by that they mean with ethnic Jews. Brothers, I don’t know how I can say this nicely: That is false. That is wholeheartedly false. It takes everything that Christ accomplished and turns back the clock. Notice when dispensationalists write that they have to go back to types and shadows. They erect temples, institute sacrifices and various other Old Testament symbols are resurrected in the presence of the Christ! They cannot see what they are doing when they do this. They even break up the people of God. They reverse what Christ did between Jew and Gentile. He made them one with no distinction. Ephesians 2:11 and following point out as much. But the dispensationalists have said and at their heart this is what the system is: divide the two the Church and Israel. Again, I must clarify that the Church is not a national, political, geological entity like national Israel, but Paul makes the point in Romans 9 that the true Israel of God was within the national Israel of the OT and in Romans 11 the Gentiles have been grafted into that Israel. With that said the Scriptures clearly refer to the church as a holy nation and a called out people (holy). The church is simply the fulfillment of those promises in Christ and no the Jews aren’t excluded, they along with Gentiles are incorporated into one man (Eph. 2:15). Dispensationalists see a future where that one man will be cut in half, thus going against clear NT teaching and the work of Christ stated in that very passage.

Isn't it ironic? Jesus faulted His generation for not looking for the fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew 16:1-3). These oh-so-sophisticateds fault those who do. Thus, they have deftly turned that vice into a virtue.

Yeah, and even more ironic was what they were looking for Dan. They were looking for fulfillment the same way you are, in a geo-political kingdom with all of their Old Testament types and shadows still intact. There’s irony. Again, those same people were chided constantly for that type of interpretation of Scritpure.

6. The best scholars hate dispensationalism. Depends on what you mean by "best," doesn't it? I keep hearing that the best scholars hate the Bible. The best scholars hate Calvinists. The best scholars hate Christ. If you've been around academia much, and surveyed its shifting sands, you'll know at least one truths: scholars are just as subject to peer pressure as anyone. Sometimes even more so. I'd say I've not seen too many Profiles in Courage in academia. So go back to #1.

Again, this is a bad argument against dispensationalism. Sticking to the text is the best argument when what we are dealing with is the text. By this I don’t mean that we can’t quote someone from the past or present when they say something much more clearly and concise than we can. We should do that. But to argue like that is just ridiculous. We wouldn’t want anyone to argue against our position like that.

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