Dispensationalism And Free Grace: Intimately Linked Part 2 -- By: Grant Hawley

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 24:47 (Autumn 2011)
Article: Dispensationalism And Free Grace: Intimately Linked Part 2
Author: Grant Hawley

Dispensationalism And Free Grace:
Intimately Linked
Part 2

Grant Hawley


Grace Bible Church

Allen, TX

I. Introduction

In the first installment of this series, I demonstrated that many of the proponents of Lordship Salvation have advanced the argument that normative Dispensationalism and Free Grace go hand-in-hand. Among these are Drs. John MacArthur1 and John Gerstner, though many others have also made this claim. I agree with this assertion.

To establish this connection, I showed where MacArthur and Gerstner have drawn a correlation between Dispensationalism and Free Grace in their works on soteriology, and did a brief survey of the writings of A. W. Pink both before and after his change from Dispensationalism to Covenant Theology, showing that his soteriology was greatly impacted by the change. In other words, in the first installment of this series, I demonstrated that a non-Dispensational approach to interpretation leads to Lordship Salvation.

In this article, I will attempt to show how this occurs by interacting with specific methods of interpretation used by proponents of Lordship Salvation as they are applied to various

Biblical passages. In the last installment of the series, I will attempt to demonstrate how and why Dispensationalism has led so many to Free Grace theology.

Three major distinctions of Covenant Theology most often drive the soteriology of Lordship Salvation. These are kingdom-now millennial views (including already/not yet views), a soteriological view of history, and the application of the Law to Christians. All of these are the fruit of non-literal interpretation and each point will be examined below.

II. Hermeneutical Differences

While both sides of the debate over Dispensationalism agree that Dispensationalism and consistent literal interpretation necessarily go together, some have sought to cast doubt on the motivation of Dispensationalists’ insistence on consistent literal interpretation. For example, in both A Primer on Dispensationalism,2 and Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth,3 Gerstner makes the claim that theology drives Dispensationalism to consistent literal interpretation4 rather than the other way around. This is a strange assertion because it is so unlikely that an interpreter would come up with a theology inde...

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