Rebuttals to Dispensational Prophecy Interpretations

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by RefPres1647, Mar 27, 2018.

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  1. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi brothers/sisters!

    So I am the only person in my family (and even my wife's family) who is Reformed and they are all dispensational and premillenialists (pre-trib). Fun dinners.

    So I know my views are absolutely against dispensational premillenialism since I believe we have always been once church under the Covenant of Grace and that God isn't going to deal with the Jews in a better, special way than us. Whether I'd consider myself Amil or Postmil are really up for debate since I haven't really researched past the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. All I know is I am a partial-preterist and believe that Christ's words in Matthew 24 were for that specific generation, Revelations is meant for the churches of that day and reflect the temple destruction.

    Since I still have a lot of studying up to do, I was wondering if anyone had good references (especially scriptures) that dispensationalists use to allude to future prophecies (such as Ezekiel's temple) that have been disputed. I grew up in the dispensational church so I know several of their arguments (however, I never looked up the scriptures when I was younger, so I'm not sure where to find everything). I really want them to at least start questioning how these prophecies may have been fulfilled or at least that they don't mean 7-year tribulation, 2 raptures, etc.

    I really want to help my family understand why dispensationalism is against what the scripture teaches and to let them see that there is more than just dispensational premillenialism (when I told them I didn't believe their church's end times view, they asked if I was mid-trib or post-trib) :banghead: Any information would be great!
  2. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    To begin, get the ebook version of this:

    The pdf version is an abbreviation of the ebook versions.
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  3. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

  4. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for the recommendation! I found there is a second edition to this book and they have it for $9.99 with the Kindle Edition. Just thought you might want to know so others know there's a more affordable option since the paperback was $66! That said, I'm definitely going to read these resources :)

    Edit: here is the link-
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    If during the course of conversation you want to stand within the premillennial framework for the sake of argument, do the following. It is devastating. Pre tribs cannot answer it:

    1. Pre tribs say the church won't face God's wrath (Okay).
    2. Further, that means the church will be raptured (assume for the moment).

    Problem: saints in Revelation 6 were martyred during the tribulation. This shouldn't have happened.

    Premise 1: Pretribulationism claims that 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is a promise that exempts Christians from the future day of the Lord’s wrath: “For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess 5:9).

    (So far so good)

    Premise 2: Pretribulationism claims that all the seals in the book of Revelation depict the day of the Lord’s wrath, which includes the fifth seal.

    (Not so good)

    The Pretrib Contradiction: The fifth seal depicts the death of Christians; therefore, according to pretrib reasoning these Christians experience the condemnation of the wrath of God.
  6. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    That's very interesting. I knew in their theology that people can be saved during the tribulation, but I never thought of the fifth seal and dying Christians and how that can be explained since they should be considered redeemed like everyone else, yet they're falling under God's wrath...
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Pre trib and dispensationalism are mutating. Very few old schoolers are left. It received a shot in the arm with Left Behind, but even Dispensationalists are going progressive, and pre tribs are moving to pre wrath or post trib.

    I strongly suggest that Reformed people modify their debating tactics. Very few Darbyites are left.
  8. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    Not where I grew up pal. haha. Trust me, nothing would please me more than to see everyone drop this view and understand that the church wasn't created at Pentacost, but in Genesis; however, it's harder to break tradition than absorb greater truths (as I learned going from Dispensational Arminian to Reformed Presbyterian). It doesn't help that we're currently members at a Dispensational (although, Calvinist) church...
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    The layman is old school Ryrie. Sure, and when the current crop of Dispie preachers move on (Adrian Rogers, Stanley, Jeremiah), we will see some change.
  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Culturally, dispensationalism is an unstoppable force. Even Covenant theology guys will vote for a candidate based on how pro-Israel he is.

    Intellectually, from within a premil framework, premil thinkers are abandoning pre-trib because of arguments I showed above.
  11. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    As long as you're pro-Israel and love Nick Cage flicks, you're Christian in my book.
  12. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    You will find that the big issues for those holding to that viewpoint would be the relationship between Church/Israel, between Law and Grace, and in how one sees the area of prophecy, as the messianic Age would be a literal physical state yet to come as per that theology.
  13. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Biblical Apocalyptics by Milton Terry
    Gary Demar's books.
    Ken Gentry's books.
  14. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    The problem with Gentry and Demar is that they are stuck in debating 1980s style dispensationalism. Demar got roughed up a bit by Michael Brown.
  15. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    Don't mind my ignorance, but what is the difference between 1980's and modern dispensationalism?
  16. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    1980s were the intellectual godfathers of the Left Behind series. STrict dualism between Israel and Church. Rapture ready. Discontinuity between covenants. Progressive Dispensationalism sees more continuity (and is harder to refute, though it doesn't gain as much)
  17. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Probably. But, straight arguing that context matters blows a lot of dispensationalism out of the water. That's what sold me mostly.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Although you can get much of it by reading books that oppose dispensationalism, (Riddlebarger, Storms, etc., and the one AMR links to is still probably one of the better ones,) in my opinion the best way to do this is probably to read it from the horse's mouth, and it sounds like you need something on more of a basic level, albeit somewhat thorough. Others will disagree with this procedure, but I never really grasped what they were teaching (especially with regard to the dispensations) before I read some standard dispensational literature. Part of that is because I had never had any direct exposure to it, never having sat under dispensational ministry.

    Do you have any dispensational Study Bibles, for example? The MacArthur Study Bible is good, but I don't think there's an index to the study notes at all. (It's as if he expects you to read it from cover to cover or something.) But I think you could probably consult their statement of faith and then see what it says in the notes for the proof texts on eschatology as well as their teaching. I think you can get the study notes in Grace to You's Bible app for about $5 and sometimes the Kindle edition is available for less than that.

    The ultimate for revised or modified dispensationalism (meaning, that it smoothed out some rough edges of the "classic" Scofield and Chafer variety) is J. Dwight Pentecost's "Things to Come" which is about 700 pages, I think. I don't know that you're looking for something that exhaustive, but if you're discussing things with someone who is well read or trained in that school of thought, it is a good book to have since they will have either read it or will have been influenced by someone who has. (I actually have a copy you could have fairly cheaply. PM me if you're interested. I have a lot of other books from various perspectives as well. I can check this weekend to see what else I may have that might be of use in a study of eschatology.)

    I do think my friend Jacob overstates things with regard to future changes. Or he overstates it in one sense and maybe understates it in another. No question, dispensationalism is in decline, and things like "Left Behind" probably made it worse in the long run. But the number of pre-wrathers is really pretty small, and 99% of post-trib premils hold to what Dispensationalists call "replacement theology" meaning that they can't be said to be Dispensationalists at all. Those who leave pretrib behind tend to leave premil behind altogether, especially if they don't do it under the influence of an "historic" premil professor. Offhand, I can't think of any prewrathers on any seminary faculty, as a matter of fact, other than the one who wrote the prewrath contribution in the latest edition of "Three Views on the Rapture." Maybe there are a handful here and there. Most of the people who are really into it seem to be laymen. All of the Masters Seminary men are pre-trib, and that's arguably the place where the books are being produced now, with Waymeyer and Vlach being chief examples. (Dallas seems to have veered off into Purpose Drivenism and similar "practical" things years ago. Bock's work on PD was published 25 years ago. Other than interacting with ordinary folks on FB in a way that few scholars do, I don't know what else he has written on it since then. Most of what he has published since then seems to have been related to apologetics, broadly speaking.) Masters doesn't appear to emphasize dispensations, (that may be the extent of the "leaky" part of "leaky dispensationalism") but the basics are still there, and they aren't particularly "progressive" on the kingdom (and already/not yet, etc) compared to the likes of Bock. I believe they continue to deny that Christ is seated on David's Throne, for example.

    But Jacob is right that those wanting to take on dispensationalism today need to be reading writers like Waymeyer and Vlach and not just pointing at something Chafer wrote in the 1920s or pointing at the Old Scofield notes that were basically, if very politely, repudiated by "institutional" dispensationalism (i.e. DTS) over 50 years ago. (I'm referring to things like two ways of salvation, etc.) Pointing at a dispensationalist and quoting that stuff and saying "This is the heresy you believe" (which is what some Reformed people do) isn't going to get you anywhere. Most of them have neither read it nor believe it.

    The dispensational schools have pre-trib written into their statement of faith, and as far as I know they aren't in imminent danger of collapse. (That said, Moody is in some serious difficulty, it seems.) Southern Baptist schools, or at least the majority of them, seem to have abandoned it entirely, and some never embraced it at all, such as SBTS, which pretty much went from liberalism to Mohler. (Well, none of them have any official position on the millennium anyway.)
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Are you attending the church pastored by Jesse Johnson and which hosts an extension site of The Masters Seminary? If you've been attending long, I'm surprised that you'd have such basic questions unless they just don't teach much eschatology there. Based on his previous posts on the Cripplegate, which tended to lean fairly heavily on dispensationalism, I'd be surprised by that. I did find this short series. A series that short doesn't go into everything about eschatology, but I would think that they include some "good references" that "dispensationalists use" which you asked for in the OP.
  20. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    By and large the common denominator of Dispensationalists is a wooden literal hermeneutic and the presuppositions that Tommy Ice lays out somewhere. If you can dent those, it falls.
  21. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes I do still attend that church and yes, he spent a very long time in Revelation, but he was already more than half way through it when we started attending. I grew up in the Dispensational church so I know their thought process and what a lot of their beliefs are, I guess, being the Reformed individual I am, I've been looking for literature with a systematized look at it and a rebuttal since all I've ever heard against it is vocal teaching from different sources that taught overall views on why they don't believe it.

    The family I'm talking to will have never read anything in volume that large and will have only studied it in Bible studies and in church so I'm sticking with the books that were referred to by Patrick and Mark up above (but thanks for the recommendation and offer!).

    So I guess basic questions aren't really what I had, but more systematic and scripture references for prophecies like I mentioned with the temple in Ezekiel, basically the "signs" they're looking for with Israel and random John Hagee nonsense. They asked me this past week "so what do you think it's saying about needing the temple rebuilt in order for Jesus to return?" And I was lost on that. From what I gather, Jesus was the temple rebuilt in His death and resurrection (I will rebuild the temple in 3 days) and now we are in His kingdom and we are the new temple (temple of the Holy Spirit) but maybe I'm wrong.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  22. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    In what way?
  23. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Financial issues (allegedly due to mismanagement, at least in part) as well as some faculty that apparently deny inerrancy, with whistleblowers being fired, etc. World Magazine and maybe the Christian Post and other outlets had reported on it a few months ago.

    I haven't been keeping up with it over the past couple of months, but it appears that the board has taken some initial steps to reaffirm inerrancy and hold faculty accountable.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
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  24. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Adrian Rogers has already moved on.
  25. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I know. I was speaking generally.
  26. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    True, but a lot of partial prets seem to think that every premillennialist is Tommy Ice, and that's not the case. Don't get me wrong--Pre Wrath guys have some tactical problems, too. They need to make a positive case against amillennialism if they want to keep former pre tribs from going amil.
  27. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    I have "Before Jerusalem Fell" by Ken Gentry so I'll be going into that one soon. Just have to find the time to read all these books, keep up with my devotions and scripture reading, working, and being a dad/husband. Hard to find time for these things these days!
  28. RefPres1647

    RefPres1647 Puritan Board Freshman

    I've actually read his statement of faith in the past (my church is pretty much the exact same since it hosts The Master's Seminary D.C. Campus, and it has good info on what they believe, I'm just looking for the more detailed prophecies that they're looking at for when they can expect Jesus to rapture His church (something I've told my family we shouldn't even be trying to figure out or expect when He will return) even though Christ said that no one knows the day/hour and that its not known so we are constantly vigilant.

    I guess the big issue is they're constantly picking out random Old Testament verses and applying them out of context and trying to say that these promises are for Israel and once we see these things consummated, then we can expect to see Christ soon (Israel reforming in 1948, Trump's recent Jerusalem move, United Nations stuff, etc.). I hate to see them being mislead by a less than 200 year old doctrine just because it was popularized in the last century because people want to move away from dogmatics.
  29. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Basically, the Dispensational theology of Scofield/Ryrie/Macarthur, and the new Progressive Dispensational theology branch.
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