Presuppositional Dispensationalism -- By: Christopher Cone

Journal: Conservative Theological Journal
Volume: CTJ 10:29 (May 2006)
Article: Presuppositional Dispensationalism
Author: Christopher Cone


Presuppositional Dispensationalism

Christopher Cone, Th.D

Professor of Bible & Theology, Tyndale Seminary

This article will address four pillars of a framework necessarily foundational (in the author’s estimation) to dispensational theology, and which contribute to matters including presuppositions, foundational truth, epistemology, and theological method. He does this through the incorporation of the presuppositional apologetic into the classical dispensational framework.

The intent is to provide within the dispensational system a development which, firstly, is not silent about and accurately represents and utilizes Biblical epistemology, and, secondly, which builds upon proper theological and philosophical foundations for the effective understanding, application, and defense of a dispensational worldview. The application of presuppositionalism to method, coupled with consistent Grammatico-historical interpretation, leads to a dispensationalism that is more robust in its conclusions.

Introduction

Admittedly and without apology, this approach begins with circular reasoning. Specifically, it begins with the defining circle of self-authenticating truths upon which the system is (and will be) developed. While this might cause some to discount the approach, it must be realized at the outset that at issue here is not one option beginning with circular reasoning as opposed to another option which does not. Any approach to worldview necessarily begins with an application of circular reasoning. That is, a worldview must by definition begin with its own self-authenticating pronouncements of truth. Whether or not the pronouncements of the defining circle are valid is the question to consider, not whether such pronouncements are in fact made. The Biblical worldview claims exclusivity in its validity, never presenting an apologetic for its own validity, but rather assuming it as necessary and foundational truth. The positive assertions that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7) and wisdom (Prov. 9:10) provide the epistemological base for any effective theological method. In this presuppositional dispensational approach, the Solomonic epistemology will be adhered to.

Pillar I: The Existence of the Biblical God

Definition

As a first principal, the God of Scripture exists. Not merely as a deity, but as the One who has divinely disclosed Himself through means in which His exclusivity is decisively pronounced. He consistently claims uniqueness in bearing this attribute (i.e., Deut 4:35;...

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