Progressive Dispensationalism & Cessationism: Why They Are Incompatible -- By: Bruce A. Baker

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 08:1 (Spring 2004)
Article: Progressive Dispensationalism & Cessationism: Why They Are Incompatible
Author: Bruce A. Baker


Progressive Dispensationalism & Cessationism:
Why They Are Incompatible

Bruce A. Baker

Senior Pastor, Open Door Bible Church
Belton, Missouri

Understanding the far-reaching consequences of any new doctrinal formulation is usually a process that takes some time. Only rarely are all the ramifications of a doctrinal revision understood early on. This seems to be true in the modification to dispensationalism that appeared in 1986, which is commonly referred to as progressive dispensationalism. While much ink has been devoted to the implications of progressive dispensationalism in the area of hermeneutics,1 considerably less attention has been given to the

effects of progressive dispensationalism on pneumatology,2 particularly as it relates to miraculous gifts and the modern “signs and wonders” movement. Yet, as it has been noted above, the interrelationships that exist between various doctrines makes such an examination prudent.

This article will examine the relationship between progressive dispensationalism, the Davidic covenant, and the signs of the kingdom. This paper will attempt to show that the progressive dispensationalist’s assertion that the Davidic covenant has been inaugurated logically leads to an abandonment of the cessationist position of miraculous signs in the present age as well.3 In other words, if the Davidic covenant has been inaugurated, there must be some sort of inauguration of its blessings as well. If there are no blessings promised by the Davidic covenant in the present age, then the covenant cannot be considered “already, but not yet.”

The Davidic Covenant

Stipulations of the Davidic Covenant

There are two primary passages that detail the stipulations of the Davidic covenant: 2 Samuel 7:11–14 and 1 Chronicles 17:10–15. While it is true that the promises given to David are not called a covenant in either passage, these promises are declared a covenant

in other places.4 Relying on these two passages alone, Fruchtenbaum sees seven promises in this covenant:

First, David was promised an eternal house, or dynasty (2 Sam. 7:11, 16; You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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