On the other hand, dispensationalists commit a fundamental hermeneutical blunder when they simplistically base their views, on an ill-defined notion of “the normal, plain” meaning of Scripture, and even worse, against its own fundamental principle, disallow the analogy-of-faith principle that could correct their errors. Vern Poythress brilliantly perceives that they read the text not “plainly” but “flatly,” failing to see adequately the symbolic import.12 for example, the temple on Mount Zion always participated in the heavenly reality, and cannot be distinguished from it (cf. Heb 12:22). Moreover, dispensationalists fail to appreciate fully the significance that the church has become fellow heirs of Israel’s covenants through its union with Abraham’s Seed, Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 4:16–17; 11:11–24; Gal 3:26–29; Eph 2:19). Paul’s illustration of the one olive tree in Romans 11 suggestions that the elect comprise, one covenant community, rooted in the patriarchs, and not two, and that the covenant community is essentially not a national group, because the Gentiles, who are not treated as political states, are grafted into it.
Bruce Waltke, “Dispensational and Covenant Theologies” in William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey ed. Theonomy: A Reformed Critique (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 64–65.
12. Vern Poythress, Understanding, Dispensationalists (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987).
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