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The Dispensationalist Understanding - December 1st, 2012, 11:00 AM

Hello.

It's been a while since I've been on this site. Greetings to those who know me.

I'm becoming a dispensationalist. In doing so, I'm re-evaluating everything that I have understood about the scriptures in my thirty-something years of study.

I know that dispensationalism is a broad topic, just as Protestantism is/can be.....and that I'm a complete rookie with attempting to understand the scriptures in this mindset.

I don't know what type of dispensationalist I will become, or even if that matters...but....anyway...I'll state why I think it's right to view dispensationism as the proper way to interpret the scriptures...and also ask for some recommended reading....and ask some specific questions from those who already embrace this view and try to get some understanding about specific issues.

Before I begin....I'd like to let everyone know that I did use the search engine this morning and found several threads (some good) regarding this issue.

There's a couple of problems for me with that. First, there's all kinds of ridiculous banter and personal insulting/spewing of garbage to sort through in those threads...

And also, I'm having a problem with my eyes somehow with reading online too much....probably monitor eye strain...

So, I'll be asking for some good recommended reading material as well..... anyway I'll be back with why I'm interested in dispensationalism as a view to proper Biblical understanding.





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December 1st, 2012, 11:04 AM

Why a dispensationalist view?

First of all, because I think that it's real clear to see that this is how God rolls.

Next, I believe covenant theology can be viewed within a dispensationalist view.

Further, without a dispensationalistic mindset...there are a lot of contradictions in the Bible that seem impossible to sort through...but in viewing these contradictory issues in light of a dispensationalistic way...then they get cleared up.

So, that's why I'm switching over. And next post I would like to ask a few questions and hope that some will respond.





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December 1st, 2012, 11:10 AM

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Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
Next, I believe covenant theology can be viewed within a dispensationalist view.
That is a pretty good starting place. I have been told that I am a dispensationalist but I think it can be important also to know what dispensationalism isn't. The ones who like to point fingers don't really understand both views.



   
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December 1st, 2012, 11:15 AM

My first question is for those who already understand some form of dispensationalism.

One criticism that I've heard centers around the very canon of scripture itself.

People contend that the "Bible" as we have it today is a result of the Catholic church and the influence of Constantine...etc. By making this accusation....they claim that what is considered the canon of scripture is really just a work of man, etc.

So, the point being that dispensationalism is just a method of "supporting" or "filling in gaps" left by the selection of "sacred" text by the Catholic Church.

The main support of this argument being that the King James Bible is really just Jerome's Latin version in English.

In other words, dispensationalism only seems to work because of gaps in the Bible as it is an incomplete record compiled by men.

How would you address this type of criticism?





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December 1st, 2012, 11:20 AM

My next question deals with baptism. That is water baptism.

Obviously, baptism is something that Jesus supports..and seems an essential part of believing the gospel.

From Mark 16

"And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned."

It is my understanding that many dispensationalists to not accept water baptism as an essential part of having believed the gospel.

Would some dispensationalists please explain their views on water baptism and how it relates to believing the gospel and being saved?





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December 1st, 2012, 11:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
My first question is for those who already understand some form of dispensationalism.

One criticism that I've heard centers around the very canon of scripture itself.

People contend that the "Bible" as we have it today is a result of the Catholic church and the influence of Constantine...etc. By making this accusation....they claim that what is considered the canon of scripture is really just a work of man, etc.

So, the point being that dispensationalism is just a method of "supporting" or "filling in gaps" left by the selection of "sacred" text by the Catholic Church.

The main support of this argument being that the King James Bible is really just Jerome's Latin version in English.

In other words, dispensationalism only seems to work because of gaps in the Bible as it is an incomplete record compiled by men.

How would you address this type of criticism?
You aren't going to go anywhere by arguing the validity of your source of truth. You would be better off not studying covenant theology or dispensational theology. As both need you to rely on the source of truth, the Holy Bible. 66 books. Until you get past that you are spinning your wheels.



   
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December 1st, 2012, 11:21 AM

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Originally Posted by sky. View Post
That is a pretty good starting place. I have been told that I am a dispensationalist but I think it can be important also to know what dispensationalism isn't. The ones who like to point fingers don't really understand both views.
Thanks. Feel free to jump in and comment as you see fit.





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December 1st, 2012, 11:28 AM

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Originally Posted by sky. View Post
You aren't going to go anywhere by arguing the validity of your source of truth. You would be better off not studying covenant theology or dispensational theology. As both need you to rely on the source of truth, the Holy Bible. 66 books. Until you get past that you are spinning your wheels.
I agree. And I do accept the "western" canon. I know that the Eastern Church rejected some books included in this canon such as Revelation and 2 Peter....I think...as well as 2,3, John, and one or two others.

I view the Bible as the word of God...and that's simply a work of faith. So, maybe that wasn't the right question to ask in this thread.

Obviously, if one doesn't accept the scriptures as God's inspired truth...then everything else is kind of pointless.

I guess I was just interested in hearing someone defend the canon and offer their views on it's establishment. As opposed to the Eastern canon which has nothing to do with the Catholic church or Constantine.... if my understanding is correct.





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December 1st, 2012, 11:35 AM

After you decide on what Bible. My advice is to seek to learn from a Jewish perspective. A Messianic Jew. It is vital to understand Scripture from not just the words God used in the Bible but what those words meant. A lot of truth can be expounded on because the Jewish people are who God used to write the Bible and who God spoke through.



   
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December 1st, 2012, 11:42 AM

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Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
It is my understanding that many dispensationalists to not accept water baptism as an essential part of having believed the gospel.
To whom did Jesus say he was sent? You can also use the "Old Testament" and see to whom the promises (more than one) were made.

Filling in gaps has nothing to do with it.





Jesus saves completely.

Titus 1:10-11

For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped

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December 1st, 2012, 11:42 AM

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After you decide on what Bible.
There was a time that I would have viewed it as insanity to even ask such a question.

Yet, one really can't deny the influence of the Catholic Church, and Constantine with respect to the canon....and there are different views on it out there. Just for example, the Armenian canon had books canonized that I had never even heard of....such as 3 Corinthians.

"Armenian canon

The Armenian Bible introduces one addition: a third letter to the Corinthians, also found in the Acts of Paul, which became canonized in the Armenian Church, but is not part of the Armenian Bible today. Revelation, however, was not accepted into the Armenian Bible until c. 1200 AD. when Archbishop Nerses arranged an Armenian Synod at Constantinople to introduce the text.[23] Still, there were unsuccessful attempts even as late as 1290 AD to include in the Armenian canon several apocryphal books: Advice of the Mother of God to the Apostles, the Books of Criapos, and the ever-popular Epistle of Barnabas.

The Armenian Apostolic church at times has included the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs in its Old Testament and the Third Epistle to the Corinthians, but does not always list it with the other 27 canonical New Testament books
."

From wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_biblical_canons





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December 1st, 2012, 11:44 AM

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To whom did Jesus say he was sent? You can also use the "Old Testament" and see to whom the promises (more than one) were made.

Filling in gaps has nothing to do with it.
Matthew 15:24

"But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”





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December 1st, 2012, 11:46 AM

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Originally Posted by sky. View Post
You aren't going to go anywhere by arguing the validity of your source of truth.
I couldn't disagree more. The Holy Bible is the only place for the answers. You can not be a covenant believer and believe the Bible at the same time. You take it at face value, unless you clearly aren't supposed to take it at face value. For example, who really gets on their knees to punch the asphault when you "hit the road".





Jesus saves completely.

Titus 1:10-11

For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped

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December 1st, 2012, 12:12 PM

I'd be happy to have some links and/or recommended reading material regarding dispensationalism from those who have been studying it for a while.

Thanks.





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December 1st, 2012, 12:14 PM

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Originally Posted by Guyver View Post
Obviously, if one doesn't accept the scriptures as God's inspired truth...then everything else is kind of pointless.
Do you believe a person can know the gospel from just the sayings and parables of Jesus? Just the red letters?

I do.





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