Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dispensationalism and the New Covenant

NT Resources Blog: Dispensationalism and the New Covenant

A friend from the staff at my church sent me an email that told me I should read this paper on Dispensationalism and the New Covenant. I am going to print it out and read it indeed. :~) My brother has told me that he finds it bizarre that dispensationalists celebrate the NC in the Lord's table, even though they think the NC is largely about the nation of Israel and reamins yet to be fulfilled. I am one of them he finds bizarre. :~) We have had some interesting discussions about it. I do think it is something that needs careful thought.

Reading the article by Dr. Decker is something I am
looking forward to. (<--- I now end sentences in prepositions quite regularly... and unapolegetically... because Rachel showed me a webpage that says this is OK. If the internet says it, it must be true.)

I am working right now, but I will get back to answering comments and participating in the post below this one very soon. Carry on without me for now, but remember to be nice and polite.


  • Rose:

    Good evening. If I may, Covenant Theology Versus Dispensationalism: A Matter of Law Versus Grace by Bob Nyberg is a very good read.


    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 11/13/2008 8:24 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    HERE is a good read by Zane Hodges.

    By Blogger alvin, at 11/13/2008 11:03 PM  

  • Lou,
    Thank you for that link. John checked it last night and said it looked to be a worthy read. I will check it out. I want to read this other article first but always get busy near the end of the week. Anyways, thank you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/14/2008 11:35 AM  

  • Interesting how the Baptist Bulletin is just full of articles regarding dispensationalism this month... and last with Kevin's interview of Dr. Ryrie. It must be that the GARBC and like-minded folks are starting to see that it is time to get off our behinds and defend, promote, and actually TEACH what we believe about Bible interpretaion, not assuming that it is a settled issue forever in our churches. New people come in and they need to be taught dispensational hermenuetics too.

    There is a plethora of Covenant and now 'New Covenant' reading material out there for these new folks. We can't be asleep about this issue.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/14/2008 11:40 AM  

  • Alvin,
    I read that article about a year ago and found it to be very well-written and a blessing.

    I do not see it the ZH way in this case, though. From what I remember he sees the NC as being for believers, if I am remembering correctly. I take the Darby view that the New Covenant is for Israel. The Church is not a direct participant in it, but is blessed through Christ's blood, the blood of the New Covenant.

    Chafer's view was that there were 2 New Covenants, which I think is kind of iffy. I don't appreciate the Progressive Disp view of it either (the "now" and "not yet" thingy.)

    Did you think ZH view was sort of akin to the "now" and "not yet" view? If I remember correctly, I think it was. I could be wrong though - it was at least a year ago that I read that article.

    It is a tricky issue and one that I plan on reading a lot more on. I have only just begun and need to think harder than these theologians, being only a lowly graphic designer. ;~)

    THANKS for the link, Alvin! God bless you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/14/2008 11:45 AM  

  • Rose said:

    . . . I take the Darby view that the New Covenant is for Israel. The Church is not a direct participant in it, but is blessed through Christ's blood, the blood of the New Covenant.

    Rose, how do you defend this? The blood of the New Covenant is the New Covenant. This is to equivocate. Jesus says:

    . . . This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. . . . Lk 22:20

    Furthermore to say that we are only participants (i.e. the Church), and not the direct referents of the New Covenant is very thin. I.e. What's the difference between being a "participant of the blood," and the direct referent of the NC?

    Conversely, how do the "Jews" participate in the New Covenant . . . isn't the basis of participating union with Christ through His shed blood? If this is so, then again to try and differentiate Jew and Gentile on this basis is equivocating; since both are partaking of Christ through His blood.

    I could bring up points relative to the incarnation that, I think are even more troubling for your view. But I'll stop, I think what I have presented so far is equally problematic :-).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 11/14/2008 5:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Zane believes the New Covenant is for Israel but not exclusively. I believe the church being partakers.

    Zane: The New Covenant is indeed to be made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, just as Jeremiah says. And the meaning of this is that the entirety of Israel and Judah will someday receive eternal salvation. This is plainly stated in the prophecy itself, which says:

    No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying “Know the Lord” for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord.

    Yet at the same time the NT appears to treat NT believers as objects of the New Covenant arrangements. A number of pivotal passages show this.

    For example, the expression new covenant appears in all three Gospel accounts of the institution of the Lords Supper: Matt 26:28; Mark 14:24; and Luke 22:20. Luke, for example, reports: Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you.”

    This statement of Jesus is repeated by the apostle Paul in his discussion of the Lord’s Supper in 1 Cor 11:25. Furthermore, Paul describes himself as a minister of the New Covenant in 2 Cor 3:5,6 when he says, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant.


    By Blogger alvin, at 11/14/2008 10:53 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Decker has some good things to say for sure.

    Keep up the good work.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/15/2008 2:33 PM  

  • I agree with you, Rose.

    Consideration of this issue has to be grounded in the actual promise of the New Covenant in the Old Testament.

    By Blogger Celestial Fundie, at 11/16/2008 3:41 PM  

  • Hi Bobby.
    I just simply think that the new covenant as described in Jeremiah 31 is for the nation of Israel.

    36If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

    37Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (Jer 31)

    I think it is probematic to say that this is not speaking of the nation of Israel and a yet-to-be-fulfilled promise.

    Thanks for visiting, Bobby.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/17/2008 10:04 AM  

  • Alvin,
    Thanks for sharing the thoughts from ZH that resonate with you. I admit it is a difficult issue.

    Good to see you brother. When is L&O returning? :~E)

    I know and it is sweet to have agreement. :~)

    Consideration of this issue has to be grounded in the actual promise of the New Covenant in the Old Testament.


    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/17/2008 10:07 AM  

  • Rose,

    I'm not disputing that it is for the nation of Israel, either, indeed it is! But you conveniently did not deal with my points of critique. I realize you don't want to argue your points; but I also want to assert that "assertions" will never serve to substantiate a position. If the logic a view is not coherent, or sound, then I think that position should be abandoned. There is equivocation on your part here, as I have already noted. If your comfortable with that, then I guess we truly have come to a brick wall in discussing this issue any further . . . hey, I'm trying to be reasonable here ;-).

    In Christ,


    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 11/17/2008 3:30 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I may put Liver-and-Onions back up after the first of the year.

    Have a good one!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/17/2008 10:49 PM  

  • Hey Bobby!
    Do you want to discuss the issue further? I think I am going to post my thoughts on the article by Decker that I finished reading a couple of days ago. If you want to, I would possibly enjoy talking about it with you. :~)

    Oh goody!! I really hope so. I am not taking it off my link list because of this hope you keep alive by saying such tings. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 9:11 AM  

  • Bobby,
    I wish you would read Decker's article. It is really interesting.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 9:12 AM  

  • Now I am clicking on Lou's link. Hopefully it is not as long and involved as the Decker article.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 9:12 AM  

  • Well, that is much easier to read.

    I found this interesting Dabney quote in that article. He is lamenting the teaching that one can KNOW without a doubt that they are truly saved:

    The cause of this error [the teaching of assurance of salvation] is no doubt that doctrine concerning faith which the first Reformers, as Luther and Calvin, were led to adopt from their opposition to the hateful and tyrannical teachings of Rome. These noble Reformers... asserted that the assurance of hope is of the essence of saving faith. Thus says Calvin in his Commentary on Romans, "My faith is a divine and scriptural belief that God has pardoned me and accepted me."

    Calvin requires everyone to say, in substance, I believe fully that Christ has saved me. Amidst all Calvin's verbal variations, this is always his meaning; for he is consistent in his error... for as sure as truth is in history, Luther and Calvin did fall into this error, which the Reformed churches, led by the Westminster Confession of Faith, have since corrected. (Discussions of Robert L. Dabney, Vol. I, pp. 215-16)

    I find that so interesting that Calvin is seen by Dabney as teaching this antinomian concept! When I have that in my mind and I think about a lot of our modern discussions, they seem a bit ironic.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/20/2008 9:27 AM  

  • Hello Rose,
    I remember we had a long discussion about the New Covenant some time ago. As you know, I've been reading baby books these days instead of debating theology. It's much less stressful. ;0)

    Every blessing to you Rose!

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 11/20/2008 7:37 PM  

  • Rose,

    I'll have to read the Decker article; this would make for an interesting discussion. I respect the fact that you have conviction on a view, Rose . . . I'm just afraid we disagree, in some fundamental ways. If you post on this further, I'll be back for more :-).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 11/21/2008 5:05 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I'm offering this link because this is one of the few books written by a man that I think all Christians should read.

    Renald E Showers There REally Is A Difference: A comparison of Dispensational and Covenant Theology.


    By Blogger Kevl, at 11/22/2008 9:14 PM  

  • Kevin,
    Thanks. I have Renald Showers' book and have read most of it.
    He was scheduled to come and speak at our church last week but had to cancel because of illness. He said he hopes to reschedule very soon.

    The dispensational ball was getting dropped! But its getting put out there again. You can't just assume these things will stay in line if you don't address them regularly. It's interesting.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 11/22/2008 10:37 PM  

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