Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JOTGES 5:2 (Autumn 92) p. 87
“A Review of Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, Part 1,” John A. Witmer, Bibliotheca Sacra, 149:594, April-June 1992, pp. 131–45, “A Review of Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth, Part 2,” John A. Witmer, Bibliotheca Sacra, 149:595, July-September 1992, pp. 259–76, and “Who Is Wrong? A Review of John Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth,” Richard L. Mayhue, The Master’s SeminaryJournal, 3:1, Spring 1992, pp. 73–94.
These three articles review in depth John Gerstner’s attack on dispensationalism in his Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth. The first two articles are by John A. Witmer, Archivist and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Dallas Theological Seminary. The third article is by Richard Mayhue, Vice-President and Dean, and Professor of Pastoral Ministries, at The Master’s Seminary. Both men write from a dispensational point of view and respond to the arguments and criticisms of Gerstner.
Mayhue’s review begins with a preface which ends with this statement: “The work is of such a misleading nature that a retraction of some kind seems to be in order” (p. 73). Mayhue then summarizes the credentials of Gerstner and his previous work which would seem to qualify him as an able critic of dispensationalism and then gives a brief synopsis of the book.
Mayhue’s purpose is twofold. First, he wishes to demonstrate that Dr. Gerstner “falls well short of what he repeatedly claims to have accomplished,” i.e., to have decisively refuted dispensationalism (p. 80). Second, Mayhue hopes to stimulate dispensationalists to “speak up” and clarify themselves on significant issues of disagreement from past dispensational thinking and in current issues, such as the Lordship debate (p. 80).
He lists ten major assumptions in Gerstner’s work which he feels are in error and seriously undermine his arguments (pp. 80–84). Among these: that Gerstner assumes his brand of Calvinism is the only brand and that Gerstner seems to rely more on the Synod of Dort than Scripture to authenticate his view of truth. Of particular note, Mayhue points out that Gerstner assumes that dispensationalism presupposes a certain soteriology and fails to appreciate the distinctions between, for
JOTGES 5:2 (Autumn 92) p. 88
example, fellow dispensationalists,John MacArthur and Zane Hodges, in the area of soteriology. This misunderstanding seems due to Gerstner’s view that Calvinism (his style of it) is the antithesis of dispensationalism, “thus making one’s soteriology determine whether he is a dispensationalist or not” (p. 89).
Mayhue then discusses nine maj...
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