Introduction To The Blog, and a Bit About My Dispy Testimony
Hello, welcome! This blog is dedicated to discussing things eschatological, from primarily an American Evangelical perspective. I will describe and articulate the ins-and-outs of what has become known as Dispensational Theology. I am not actually an adherent of ‘Dispensational Theology’ any longer. But, I was once ardently so! I was born into an ordained Conservative Baptist pastor’s home, and was weaned on what I will call Classic Dispensational Theology (viz. Pre-Trib, Premillennial, etc.). I sat under this teaching in my very early formative years. I can remember looking at dispensational charts, like this one:
As I continued to grow older and mature I continued to be intrigued by this theological/hermeneutical system, and out of high school (a few years) I began really digging into this stuff much more heavily. I devoured old school dispensational preacher H. A. Ironside’s commentaries, dispensational biblical theologian Erich Sauer’s books; and then of course I read Charles Ryrie, purchased a C. I. Scofield study Bible, read J. Dwight Pentecost, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John Walvoord, J. Vernon McGhee, David Hocking, Hal Lindsey, et al. I also attended Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA. (for about 4 years, during this period), and also attended Calvary Chapel Bible College (which is staunchly Classic Dispensational in orientation). 1998 I matriculated (I graduated high school in 1992 just for point of reference) to Multnomah Bible College (which is also, in heritage, very indebted and shaped by the Classic Dispensational system), and it is here where I “converted” to what is called Progressive Dispensationalism (most of my profs were in fact PD at this point). I held this view up until probably about 3 years ago, at which time I “converted” out of the Dispensational system (which honestly was hard for me), and now claim what is called Historic Premillennialism as my own (I flirted with amillennialism for awhile, but could not bite that bullet).
So that is a bit of my dispy testimony. I wanted to start this blog because I sense that there is really a lot of questions out there about this stuff (esp. in American Evangelicalism), and I have lots of background and training in this area; so why not offer some of what I know for those who might be interested. I will discuss the intricacies related to Dispensationalism. I will try to provide sketches on its history of development, its hermeneutics, its various instantiations (like Classic, Revised, and Progressive). I will contrast Dispensationalism with my Historic Premillennialism, and then with Amillennialism. I will also discuss the various tribulational views here.
I think this is a timely blog, and one that should be of interest to those who sit under this kind of teaching day in and out in American Evangelicalism. I will not be hyper-critical of dispensationalism here; instead I want to constructively engage it, and in so doing provide “critical” resources for “Church folk” to be able to engage in thoughtful reflection upon a system of thought that is usually communicated in ways that assume it to be the only “Biblical” interpretation of the Text of Holy Scripture. It is not the only alternative.