Editorials -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 095:379 (Jul 1938)
Article: Editorials
Author: Anonymous


“Dispensationally-Colored Premillennialism”

In the July number of the Union Seminary Review, the Reverend Professor James E. Bear of the Union Seminary faculty has contributed an article entitled, Dispensationalism and the Covenant of Grace, in which he seeks to set forth the Reformed teaching concerning this theologically-constructed covenant, and what he conceives to be the inimical effect upon it of “modern” dispensationalism. It is not the province of a brief editorial to treat a subject of such far-reaching implications, but perhaps this can be supplied by a longer article sometime in the future.

Like all the articles written in criticism of so-called modern dispensationalism during the last few years, this one shows a lack of understanding of what generally accepted premillennialism is. “Dispensationalists are Premillenarians, but many Premillenarians today refuse to be classified as Dispensationalists,” says our author; and again, “Dispensationally-colored Premillennialism is taught” in a number of Bible institutes (named) “and the Dallas Theological Seminary.”

It seems to me to be significant that the vast majority of those who have repeated the very questionable statement that there are many Premillenarians who refuse to be classed as Dispensationalists, have been Amillennial writers. Where are these “many” persons? Where do they live and flourish? What literature have they produced? How does it come that they themselves are not more vocal and that Amillennial writers are their spokesmen? The fact is, if a so-called Premillenarian has failed to grasp the clear dispensational divisions set forth in the Pauline Theology his testimony is a weak one, and lacks the assurance of Apostolic authority.

It is indeed unfortunate that the dispensational divisions

of the Scriptures have been treated as an ism-something to be tolerated or cast aside, something to be accorded lipservice or anathematized at will. When the Apostle Paul records that wonderful sentence of ten verses in Ephesians 1, he is not merely playing with words when he speaks of “the dispensation of the fulness of times”-he is here dealing with revelation as clearly as with any other subject in the Epistle. The Pauline Theology is dispensationally divided by inspiration. Its rigid distinctions between law and grace have always disturbed those of a legalistic bent of mind, but there has been no way to avoid the force of Paul’s argument. To those who have had no desire to avoid it, or the other great divisional distinctions of the Pauline Theology, these have never degenerated into mere “isms” but have r...

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