Balancing The Use Of The Old Testament -- By: Paul R. Schmidtbleicher

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 08:3 (Jul 2002)
Article: Balancing The Use Of The Old Testament
Author: Paul R. Schmidtbleicher

Balancing The Use Of The Old Testament

Paul R. Schmidtbleicher*

[*Editor’s note: Paul Schmidtbleicher earned a Th.B. from William Tyndale College and Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Paul pastors Evergreen Baptist Church in the Seattle, Washington area and is on the National Board of Advisors of Chafer Theological Seminary. He has contributed previous articles to the CTS Journal that readers may download from our Internet site: Contact Paul personally at]


A criticism that has been a thorn in the side of Dispensational Grace Believers has been their relationship to the Old Testament and particularly to the handling of the Old Testament Law. With the resurgence of Reformed and Covenant Theology, these criticisms have become strident. Books challenging Dispensationalism by Curtis Crenshaw, Keith Mathison, and others1 offer harsh criticisms on many aspects of Dispensationalism including its handling of the Old Testament.

The conflict gap has widened. Charles A. Clough concludes in his article, A Meta-Hermeneutical Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theologies that,

The conflict between the two theologies could only be lessened if Covenant Theology would attend to the integrity of the biblical covenants and if Dispensational Theology could convince its critics that it sees only one way of salvation and that it listens to all Scripture whether directly addressed to the Church or not. Meeting either requirement in the near future is unlikely.2

For many Dispensationalists, the issue of salvation is clear in that there is only one way of salvation that is “faith in Christ.” Whether we look back on His historical Person and Work as New Testament saints or looked forward to the promised and foreshadowed Savior as did the Old Testament saint, it is faith in

Christ that enters one into eternal salvation. As … he [Abram] believed in the Lord (Genesis 15:6), so we have obeyed, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31) and received eternal salvation.3

The important comment from Clough for this study involves how we “listen to all Scripture.” Other believers outside of the Dispensational camp picture Dispensationalists as dividing the Bible—dividing it to such an extent that they pick and choose what may or may ...

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