• Culture,  Theology

    Do Dispensationalists Cause Cultural Decay?

    Postmillenialists will often claim that dispensationalists do not engage the culture and have no interest in seeing the culture flourish. Furthermore, it is often stated that wherever dispensationalism flourishes, the culture decays. Thus, it is dispensationalism which is dangerous and causes cultural decay. Although I have written before that many incorrectly argue that dispensationalism hurts the church, today I want address the subject again, focusing on whether dispensationalists promote an escapist worldview which causes cultural decay. It is my goal that the argument that dispensationalists don’t care about culture should be be retired from use, since it is neither true nor the real issue. Read More

  • Church,  Culture,  Theology

    Does Dispensationalism Hurt the Church?

    Not too long ago while I was on social media I stumbled across a quote by a Christian cultural apologist who said, “Wherever dispensationalism has gained ground, Christian culture has lost ground.” Although the claim that dispensationalism has hurt the church is not new, it was interesting to see how much agreement the post garnered in the comments. Some commenters labeled dispensationalism as the worst heresy the church has seen. Others said dispensationalism is a damnable heresy which has single-handedly lost the American culture war. In this post I would like to analyze the argument that dispensationalism itself is dangerous and responsible for the cultural loss we see in Western…

  • Review,  Theology

    Book Review: Discontinuity to Continuity: A Survey of Dispensational & Covenantal Theologies

    Typically, when there is a multiple-views book, it is a multiple-author attempt to persuade the reader to a certain theological position. These books have a needed place in the church, but it is certainly not the only way to compare different theological viewpoints. Most recently, I read a refreshing book on the multiple-views theme by a single author, Ben Merkle. I want to highlight this book as a valuable resource in the field of understanding eschatological systems because of its unique approach. Read More

  • Church,  Hermeneutics,  Theology

    7 Beliefs that Don’t Define Dispensationalism

    Readers of this blog may be curious as to what makes someone a dispensationalist. Simply put, dispensationalism is a set of doctrinal beliefs that deal with hermeneutics (how to read Scripture), ecclesiology (how the church operates), and eschatology (what the end times look like). Hence, a dispensationalist holds a distinctive set of beliefs about understanding Scripture, the role and function of the church, and about the end times. Read More

  • Hermeneutics,  Theology

    How do You Define Dispensationalism?

    I have written previously on the beliefs that are often linked with a dispensationalism, yet should not be associated with the theological system itself. Those beliefs are not inherent to the system of dispensationalism, and therefore are not essential to a dispensationalist. Today we turn the page and look at which beliefs define dispensationalism. We can define dispensationalism as a set of doctrinal beliefs that deal with hermeneutics, ecclesiology, and eschatology. This means that within those three spheres, a dispensationalist must hold to a specific set of beliefs concerning how one understands Scripture, the role and function of the church, and the end times. Thus, what follows are the four…

  • Review

    Book Review: Forsaking Israel

    One of the main reasons I came to Shepherds Theological Seminary was because of Dr. Larry Pettegrew. He had an impeccable reputation as a humble scholar who loved the Lord and his family. The most recent effort which validates his well-deserved reputation is the book, Forsaking Israel: How it Happened and Why it Matters (Kress, 2020). Forsaking Israel contains years and years of research and study on behalf of Pettegrew and some other distinguished colleagues at Shepherds Theological Seminary. The book is divided into two main sections. The main thrust of the first section is church history, and a discussion of the Church Fathers and why Israel began to be…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    Following the Principle of the Law

    We have looked previously at the clear testimony of Scripture that the believer’s relationship to the Mosaic Law has drastically changed. In fact, because the Mosaic Law was tied to the Mosaic Covenant, when the Mosaic Covenant passed away, the believer was no longer under the Law (cf. Gal 5:18). But, yet we see Paul and the other Apostles constantly being influenced by and appealing to the Law. How can this be?   Read More

  • Christian Living,  Law,  Old Testament

    Does the Old Testament Law Apply Today?

    How does a Christian apply the Old Testament Law today? This is a bit of a complicated question. Given the fact that the Law reflects creation principles, we should not be surprised that it remains relevant. Indeed, Scripture unequivocally teaches the positive role of the Mosaic Law in the life of the Christian. “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Rom 3:31)“the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom 7:12) On the other hand, there are also clear Scripture passages which indicate the believer’s relationship to the Mosaic Law has drastically changed.…

  • Law,  Old Testament

    The Purpose of the Old Testament Law

    In a prior post, I mentioned that the Law needs to be read in its narrative context. In addition to being sensitive to the narrative context, we also need to evaluate the purpose of the Old Testament Law as it is portrayed in the Old Testament itself. This is an important first step in helping understand the differences that we see between the Old and New Testaments. The Law was never a means of salvation First, we need to adimently reaffirm that the Law is not portrayed as a standard for salvation. It is common for people to accuse dispensationalists of believing the Law was the means of salvation for…

  • New Testament

    Preterism and “This Generation” in Matt 24:34

    Preterism views the label “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 as one of the most important factors in determining one’s eschatological viewpoint. Does “this generation” refer to the disciples to whom Jesus is talking, or a future generation? Matthew 24:34 and the mention of “this generation” occurs in the midst of the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25). The Olivet Discourse was prompted by the disciples’ question about when the destruction of Jerusalem would be, and what sign would signify Christ’s return (Matt 24:3). Read More