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Thread: classical dispensationalism vs progressive dispensationalism

  1. #1

    classical dispensationalism vs progressive dispensationalism

    What are the differences between classical dispensationalism and progressive dispensationalism?

    Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA)
    Scranton, PA

    17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 8

  2. #2
    While classic dispensationalism has it roots in a theology bordering on heresy (alternative path to salvation for the Jews), PD is very close to historic pre-mil theology.

    If folks say that they are historic pre-mil instead of something that has 'dispensational' in it, they might be having to look for new employment. And the PDs tend to carry forward the 'special role for the modern state of Israel' line of teaching. But PD should be considered a major step in the right direction from Scofieldism.

  3. #3
    It's easier to understand the development of dispensationalism if it's split into three periods or phases of development.

    1. Classic--Scofield, Chaver, Arno Gaebelien, Old Scofield Bible, etc.
    2. Revised or Normative--Ryrie, Walvoord, Pentecost, McClain, New Scofield Bible (1967 as well as Scofield III)
    3. Progressive--Bock, Blaising, Saucy, Ware

    Hardly anyone, especially academically, holds to "classic" Scofield/Chafer dispensationalism anymore. But it does have some adherents on the popular level among those still toting the Old Scofield. This is probably found more in older dispensational bible churches (even though the pastor is probably a Ryrie type who may even sneer at some notes in the Old Scofield) and in more extreme IFB circles.

    I do not think it is accurate to say that Revised or Normative dispensationalists hint at anything like an alternative path to salvation for the Jews. That was the biggest difference between them and the earlier generation of Scofield and Chafer that made statements that suggested that salvation under the dispensation of law was by works. IIRC not even their adversaries at the time (including the 1944 PCUS report that condemned Chafer's teaching) charged them with anything like an alternative path of salvation for the Jews in the dispensation of grace (between the cross and the rapture.) But to state that they were confused by salvation prior to the cross is an understatement.

    The main difference between Revised or Normative dispensationalism (i.e. Ryrie, Walvoord) is PD's embrace of inaugurated eschatology with an emphasis on the already/not yet (influenced by Ladd here, as some amils have been as well) along with a lack of emphasis on the traditional 7 dispensation scheme. So they will say that the kingdom has been inaugurated, something that the traditionalists vehemently deny.

    I see it often stated that MacArthur is a PD but I don't see it, especially WRT the idea of an inaugurated kingdom, etc. I think he is put into that camp by some because he does not emphasize 7 +/- dispensations. Those in the MacArthur camp appear to identify more with the teaching in McClain's Greatness of the Kingdom than they do with the inaugurated eschatology of Bock and Blaising. Saucy is somewhere in the middle.

    While PD's usually doesn't have as sharp of a distinction between the church and Israel that traditional dispensationalism does, it has more dichotomy there than historic premil, especially historic premil of the covenantal variety. While there seems to be some confusion on this point by others not in that camp, the overwhelming majority of PD's are pre-trib. That's incompatible with historic premil.

    With regard to having to look for new employment if you dissent from the party line, that applies in any kind of institution that binds men to a statement of faith, including Reformed ones.
    Last edited by Pilgrim; 01-01-2012 at 04:44 PM.
    Attending EPC, LA
    One Pilgrims Progress |Twitter

    And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13
    4 member(s) found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Hey Chris,

    I didn't see any mention of RB Thieme in there. Where would you place him? (if you're familiar with him)
    Mike Mariotti
    San Diego, Ca
    Grace Fellowship (PCA)
    Alpine, Ca


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