An Apologetic for Dispensationalism -- By: Roy L. Aldrich

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 112:445 (Jan 1955)
Article: An Apologetic for Dispensationalism
Author: Roy L. Aldrich

An Apologetic for Dispensationalism

Roy L. Aldrich

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Aldrich is President of the Detroit Bible Institute and a Visiting Lecturer in Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary.]

The Problem

There exists today an important theological movement or trend in Biblical interpretation which is critical of dispensationalism. Postmillennialism and amillennialism have always been critical of dispensationalism, but now some of the criticism comes from premillennialists. Several Christian colleges and Bible institutes that formerly taught dispensationalism are now severely critical of this system of interpretation. Students who attend these schools are being prejudiced against the system of Bible interpretation held by their own pastor and church.


Our position is that two extremes are to be avoided in dispensationalism. One is the extreme of ultra-dispensationalism which makes a separate dispensation out of part or all of the book of Acts and abolishes water baptism, or both water baptism and the Lord’s supper for this age. Dr. Ironside has answered this form of ultra-dispensationalism in his book, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth. It has been answered more completely by John Graber in his unpublished doctoral dissertation, “Ultra-Dispensationalism” (Dallas Seminary Library). The other extreme is represented by those who would do away with dispensationalism entirely. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer has answered this position in his Systematic Theology and also in his book Dispensationalism published by Dallas Theological Seminary.

We defend a dispensationalism that lies between these extremes. Such a system is set forth in the Scofield Reference Bible or in Dr. Scofield’s Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. We do not insist upon slavish agreement with Dr. Scofield in every detail. Titles for the dispensations may vary and there may even be legitimate disagreement over the number of dispensations. However, it is believed that a system of dispensationalism, such as Dr. Scofield uses, is absolutely necessary for a correct understanding of the Word of God.


The word dispensation is a Scriptural term. It occurs in 1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, 3:2, and Colossians 1:25. The Greek word is oikonomia. It is a compound word derived from the words oikos (house) and nomos (law). The latera...

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