Who Is Wrong? A Review of John Gerstner’s“ Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth” -- By: Richard L. Mayhue

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 03:1 (Spring 1992)
Article: Who Is Wrong? A Review of John Gerstner’s“ Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth”
Author: Richard L. Mayhue


Who Is Wrong?
A Review of John Gerstner’s“
Wrongly Dividing The Word of Truth”1

Richard L. Mayhue

Vice-President and Dean
Professor of Pastoral Ministries
The Master’s Seminary

Dr. John H. Gerstner, a recognized scholar with impressive credentials, has issued a call for dispensationalists to admit the glaring gaps between their system and orthodox Christianity. However, his presentation of dispensationalism contains shortcomings that necessitate this special review article to point out some of these and to challenge dispensationalists to publicize a greater clarification of their position. Many of the assumptions that undergird Dr. Gerstners case against dispensationalism are in error. These faults are magnified by a number of major weaknesses in his argument. A review of the book shows how the authors treatment of his subject deteriorates even more through ten representative theological misstatements. The work is of such a misleading nature that a retraction of some kind seems to be in order.

* * * * *

General Anthony C. McAuliffe, commanding officer of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, found his troops surrounded by the Germans early in the famous World War II Battle of the Bulge (December, 1944). The opposing Nazi general, sensing quick victory, sent word to surrender immediately. McAuliffe replied with what is

now one of the most famous one-word responses in military history, “Nuts!” In love, that also is our response to Dr. Gerstner’s call for the surrender of “dispensationalism.”

This strong retort, borrowed from WW II, answers R. C. Sproul’s (President of Ligonier Ministries and a disciple of Dr. Gerstner) initial comments in the Foreword (p. ix).

This bomb—unlike missiles that suffer from dubious guidance systems and are liable to land on civilian populations wreaking havoc indiscriminately—is delivered with pinpoint accuracy into the laps of dispensational scholars.

According to Sproul, Gerstner

would prefer torture or death to intentionally distorting or misrepresenting anyone’s position…. If Gerstner is inaccurate—if he has failed to understand dispensational theology correctly—then he owes many a profound apology. But first he must be shown where and how he is in error. This is the challenge of the book. If Gerstner is accurate, then Dispensationalism should be discarded as being a serious deviation from Biblical Christianity (p. xi).

Dr. Gerstner delivers his “Surrender!” demand in the Introduction and elsew...

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