Does Dispensationalism Teach Two Ways of Salvation? -- By: Tony Garland
CTJ 7:20 (March 03) p. 40
Does Dispensationalism Teach Two Ways of Salvation?
Th. D. candidate
Tyndale Theological Seminary
At various times, opponents of dispensationalism have charged that it teaches two ways of salvation. Some have claimed this to be an explicit teaching held by earlier advocates of dispensationalism, although not advocated by more recent dispensationalists. Others have held that it is an inherent characteristic of the dispensational system itself which results in two ways of salvation.
The purpose of this article is threefold: 1) to illustrate that dispensationalism teaches one way of salvation; 2) to explore reasons why the charge of teaching multiple ways of salvation arose; and 3) to suggest that confusion over this matter is due, in part, to key differences in ecclesiology and pneumatology (not soteriology) between dispensational and nondispensational systems.
It is hoped, by highlighting this third matter, that the key difference between dispensationalism and its rival systems concerns ecclesiology and pneumatology rather than soteriology; that the “tide of ink which has been spilled on this subject” might be stemmed.1
CTJ 7:20 (March 03) p. 41
Dispensationalism Teaches One Way of Salvation
Let it be said up-front that normative dispensationalism has never taught anything other than a single way of salvation.2
Are there two ways by which one may be saved? In reply to this question it may be stated that salvation of whatever specific character is always the work of God in behalf of man and never a work of man in behalf of God. This is to assert that God never saved any one person or group of persons on any other ground than that righteous freedom to do so which the Cross of Christ secured. There is, therefore, but one way to be saved and that is by the power of God made possible through the sacrifice of Christ.3
[T]here are not two ways of salvation. All salvation of God stems from the Savior, the Son of God, and His work on the cross...The two great essentials of salvation remain the same from the salvation of Adam to the last soul which God takes to Himself in the future. Faith is the condition and the death of Christ is the basis.4
Let it be stated categorically that Dispensationalism has not and does not believe that the Law of Moses was a means of salvation. This concept is rejected because ...
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