Am I a Dispensationalist?..

Discussion in 'Covenant Theology' started by JS116, Sep 27, 2011.

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  1. JS116

    JS116 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hey guys! It's me again with more questions that need answers haha.Well I finally have submitted my application to the baptist church I was telling you about.For those of you who dont know they are 5 point calvinstic leaky Dispensationalists,mainly in exact agreement with John Macarthur.Although in a sense I find them to be Reformed,as they strongly hold to the 5 solas,doctrines of grace and the pastor said he would closely relate to the 1689 London Baptist Confession.I talked to the pastor and we talked for a while then I brought the subject up on dispensational vs covenant theology,I told him me and my other reformed friend were talking and my friend said he's Dispensational to the core and I wanted to know if he was really Dispensational or not,seeing how i'm leaning towards covenant theology,but not fully knowledgeable in the area.

    He told me he was not "Dispensational to the core" like my friend had stated,but he never denied he wasnt a dispensationalist either,but he did assure me he wasnt going to excommunicate me for not being a Dispensational either haha.But he did jokingly say I was "going to be dispensational" before I leave,I took that as a friendly challenge to me be prepared in what I believe.

    Well he sent me a link today and said we will discuss it next week,Round 1 folks! :)

    Am I a Dispensationalist? - Pastors -

    and searching the web I found this response

    A Brief Response to Matt Waymeyer's Article, "Am I a Dispensationalist?" - Christian foundations -

    Any thoughts from you guys on what to lookout for?TResouces would help too,he church is pretty much solid,the preaching is excellent and me and my reformed also agreed on that,but how do you think I should respond when asked about the subject by him knowing i'm not solid in the area.How should I lovingly and biblically respond to him if I don't agree with what he says?
  2. Weston Stoler

    Weston Stoler Puritan Board Sophomore

    There is two churches in my city that are reformed the Presbyterian PCA church (small congregation) and First Bible. First bible is progressive Dispensational is what the pastor said when I asked. I saw no reason to make it something bigger then it is, a disagreement on hermanutics.
  3. JS116

    JS116 Puritan Board Freshman

    You dont think it will go deeper than that?
  4. Weston Stoler

    Weston Stoler Puritan Board Sophomore

    Well, sometimes you will got uncomfortable it all depends on how much you prize your view of hermanutics. Others would stand on a hill and die for covenant theology. I am not one of those people. Although to give you some background I ended up leaving it for the PCA church and then became a presbyterian lol.
  5. JS116

    JS116 Puritan Board Freshman

    LOL,how ironic ,I do think it's important,but as of now with my little of understanding of it,I dont really feel that passionate about it as my other reformed brothers do.
  6. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

  7. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    It depends on the dispensationalist. Really. If a pastor is teaching that OT saints were saved partly through keeping the law and sacrificial system (as opposed to by grace through faith), run. If he pushes a Zionist agenda from the pulpit, cut his microphone wire and run. If he talks about a "dispensation of grace" in such a way that law is obsolete, walk away briskly with your hand guarding your wallet. If he preaches on the rapture constantly, fly!

    But then there are some Dispensationalists such as John MacArthur. I'm not a huge MacArthur fan, but I can't say that he is a poor shepherd of souls. If my parents went to his church, I would not feel anxious for them spiritually. I would know that they are getting massive doses of expository preaching, clear presentations of the gospel (minus a few quirky lordship parts), and sound moral instruction. If a MacArthur-esque Dispensationalist church is the most solid one in town, that's still way better than many places.
  8. JS116

    JS116 Puritan Board Freshman

    Well,through God's providence one of my reformed friends introduced me to another reformed guy who goes to a opc church in town,we had a 2hr conversation on the various topics including this matter he seemed humble and knowledgeable so were having lunch tomorrow and were just basically building a friendship.God is a gracious all the time,who wouldve known I wouldve found this many christians dedicated to God and his word in my city.
  9. Weston Stoler

    Weston Stoler Puritan Board Sophomore

    First Bible was progressive dispensationalist. They where not too bad.
  10. JS116

    JS116 Puritan Board Freshman

    Well guy's the church i've been attending is having new membership presentation class tomorrow.I don't know if I will be in it because I haven't agreed with church's covenant (Cant agree with what I haven't read).Other than the dispensational factor I dont see anything else that I disagree with.Some would say the hermanuetical interpretation of the scriptures would differ from those who hold to covenant theology which I agree to an extent.Like I said he's more of an Macarthur style preacher who is heavy on calvinism.

    As long as I am getting good preaching(except for israel and the church haha),Christ-centered worship,amazing fellowship I should be fine in my opinion. I know people who have been in postion and get mixture of both experiences.Some would say they never would join a church which they knew where "Dispensational" because it would touch more than just the church but their interpretation of the bible.I also know some who have are confessionally reformed and have joined "Dispensational" churches and say it did conflict but didnt effect THEIR view of God,his word and the church.

    So I guess joining would have it's pro's and con's,but in this situation I think the pro's may outweigh the cons.Now I can advise EVERYBODY to do the same to me because some churches uphold to stricter views of certain doctrines,Whereas in my case they seem to be more "tolerable" of my covenant views.

    Any thought's?
  11. brandonadams

    brandonadams Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi Shawn,

    I don't see any problem with you joining the church if you like it - especially if you're still learning about covenant theology. You can always change later if your view changes/develops.

    As to your original post: You can't answer the question until you define dispensationalism. Vern Poythress (covenant theologian) has written one of the best books on dispensationalism. It is very irenic and helpful. It's available online, so I would encourage you to read it:

    The important thing to note is that Poythress recognizes there are various streams of dispensationalism (just as there are many varied streams of covenant theology). He tries to boil it down to its essentials and defines dispensationalism as follows:

    So the basic crux is if you see Israel and the church as two separate groups that even today continue to have different roles and destinies.

    Hope that helps.
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