Dispensationalism describes a way of reading the Bible and a system of theology the nearest roots of which are in the 19th century. There have been premillennial (traditionally known as “chiliastic) movements, including some Reformed theologians, since the early church but most of them have been what is known as “historic premillennialists” since their system lacked the distinctive features of Dispensational premillennialism. It can be a surprise for Dispensationalists to discover that 1) that they are part of a tradition; 2) that their tradition is quite modern. Most Dispensationalists are part of the so-called Bible Church movement, which has not typically emphasized the history of the church. The blessing of Dispensationalism is that it gives a great lot of attention to the Bible, which can mean that when presented with strong arguments from Scripture that Dispensationalists are willing to hear them. The curse of Dispensationalism has been that they are so certain that their system is that of Scripture that they see no need to investigate their place in history or their relation to other traditions or even to consider whether some or all of what they believe may be incorrect.
The resources below contain a variety of materials. Some of them address Dispensationalism directly and others address it indirectly. Some of them provide an introduction to Reformed alternatives to Dispensationalist views and methods. Some of them address how Scripture is read among Dispensationalists and offer alternatives. Some of the materials are biographical, stories of ex-Dispensationalists who discovered historic Reformation (specifically Reformed) theology, piety, and practice. Some of the materials address contemporary intra-Dispensational arguments (e.g., the so-called Lordship Controversy) and its consequences and others sketch the Reformed alternative.
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