Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:488 (Oct 1965)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Dispensationalism Today. By Charles C. Ryrie. Chicago: Moody Press, 1965. 221 pp. $3.95.

A comprehensive and scholarly discussion of dispensationalism by one thoroughly familiar with its tenets has long been overdue. Most recent discussions on the subject have been attacks on dispensationalism which have been more emotional than factual. Dispensationalism has been charged with an assortment of uncomplimentary qualities such as being a recent innovation, a major heresy, and a product of “wooden literalism.” Although such charges are seldom documented, they have become convincing by mere repetition. The resulting confusion and misunderstanding could only be countered by a calm, factual appraisal of what dispensationalism really is and teaches. This has been supplied by Dr. Ryrie.

Dispensationalism has often been accepted in the best circles of evangelicalism, and only in recent days has it been subject to sharp criticism. Sources of criticism have been many. Liberals have attacked dispensationalism because of its belief in the inerrant Word of God and because dispensationalists are invariably opposed to liberalism. Amillenarians have opposed dispensationalists because dispensationalists are always premillennial. Those seeking favor and recognition as intellectuals in the theological world have found by attacking dispensationalism that they had the approval both of the liberals and the amillenarians.

The discussion by Dr. Ryrie is designed to accomplish, first, a correction of widespread misconceptions about dispensationalism. Second, he provides a comprehensive treatment of the basic principles of normal, contemporary dispensationalism. He demonstrates that charges against dispensationalism are often either false or misleading and that even capable scholars have been unusually remiss in careful research.

Readers will find that Dr. Ryrie plainly faces the question of whether dispensationalism is a heresy and shows it is an unsupported charge. The concept of dispensationalism theologically and Biblically considered is carefully defined. The origins of dispensationalism are discussed along with the question of whether it is a recent innovation. The central place of hermeneutics is shown to be the

key to the problem. Misconceptions concerning the way of salvation in dispensational teachings are dissipated and the charge that dispensationalism teaches more than one way of salvation is cogently treated. Dispensational eschatology and covenant theology as well as the ultradispensational school of thought are carefully presented. The work concludes with a plea for tolerance and understanding. Although a comparatively short book for such a large sub...

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