Excellencies of Dispensationalism -- By: Nickolas Kurtaneck

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 03:2 (Spring 1962)
Article: Excellencies of Dispensationalism
Author: Nickolas Kurtaneck


Excellencies of Dispensationalism

Nickolas Kurtaneck

Professor of Bible, Biola College

As a system of Biblical interpretation, Dispensationalism has been controversial ever since it became popular during the nineteenth century. Consequently, throughout the years it has been misrepresented by its opponents, and even misunderstood by many who have professed to embrace it. The criticism of this school has been intensified to the point that a volume published in 1958 classifies the dispensational movement among the “isms” facing the Church.1 During that same year, Norman Kraus, an anti-dispensationalist, wrote that “many conservative writers have called dispensationalism a heresy.”2

That many men have carried the dispensational method of interpretation to an unwarranted extreme is undeniable. To any clear thinking person, however, this would be an indictment upon man who is a creature of extremes, and not upon the school. In spite of the objections raised against Dispensationalism (all of which have been adequately answered), it is this writer’s opinion that a sane dispensational approach to Scripture is still the best method of understanding the complex plan of God. Therefore, it is the purpose of this article to point out what are considered the major exceliencies of this system. It is believed that these commendable features argue very cogently against the claims of its critics, and establish its right to stand above other methods of interpretation. Those who speak so disparagingly of this movement apparently overlook, or consider of little consequence, or are not familiar with the following excellencies of Dispensationalism:

It Harmonizes Scripture

Passages which appear contradictory can be harmonized by this school because of its sound hermeneutical basis, and its recognition of the different dispensations in accord with progressive revelation. Employing consistently the literal, historical, and grammatical method of interpretation, and by observing carefully the full context of a passage, the interpreter is able to explain a text according to the natural meaning of its words, and in the light of its proper dispensational setting. This approach enables one to discern correctly the distinct rules of life governing man’s relationship to God. Law and grace are not confused; Israel and the Church are kept distinct. While acknowledging these dispensational distinctives, it is to be pointed out that all dispensationalists abide by the divine dictum that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God (i.e., God-breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be ...

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