Dispensing with Dispensationalism



aka Eschatologuy

Dispensationalism is a modern heresy. (No, we are not going to bury the lede.) Taking shape, primarily, in the 1800s and 1900s, Dispensationalism posits a distinction between God’s plans for ‘Israel’ and the Church — this is contrary both to Scripture and to the historical teachings of the Church. God is no polygynist — He has but one bride.

Today, the churches, particularly in the US, are rife with Dispensationalist teachings, and it is our duty as Christians to refute these lies. God has only ever had one plan for humanity and one path to salvation — declared to the first man, Adam, in Genesis 3:15 and echoed throughout the pages of Scripture; there is no path to the Father except through the Son. In today’s episode, we go over the history of Dispensationalism, what Dispensationalism teaches, and why we, as Christians, must oppose this particularly pernicious false doctrine.

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The transcript for this episode can be found here

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10 Replies to “Dispensing with Dispensationalism”

  1. Great podcasts. How about a book/text for those of us that can give you our attention better while reading?


    1. We do put out transcripts of each episode, and these should get better with time (as the tools we use to produce them improve). At present, they do not distinguish who is speaking, but our styles are sufficiently different that an attentive reader will, nonetheless, be able to tell us apart.

      As to books, that is a significant investment of time and I cannot say if either of us will produce one (or more) – although I keep threatening, and people keep asking me, to do so.


  2. I tried arguing on X with a millenialist a few days ago, using Matthew 21:33–46, pointing out that Jesus himself taught what they call “replacement theology”. Jesus says here that because the Jews refused to obey he will literally destroy them and replace them with a people that will obey. He literally taught a replacement. The millenialist just says “no.” They are merely renegades and evil and cannot be reached.

    I don’t call them dispendationalists but rather millenialist. Because there ate some people who use the word dispensations to mean just Old Testament and New Testament, who are amil and who believe in replacement theology. And if you go on X railing against dispensationalists they will defend it not knowing you ate talking about a different group. To make sure you are understood its better to call them millenialist or premils. Just my two cents.


    1. The terms “Millenarian” and “Dispensationalist” are essentially interchangeable (“Millennialist” is arguably also fine); you will also find “Chiliast” in the literature, but that one has fallen out of favor as fewer and fewer people know any Greek. In general, Christians (at least today) should avoid using the word “Dispensation” at all, when it comes to theological matters, as it is almost certain to mislead — leave it as a term used (exclusively) by heretics.


  3. I might have missed it since I passively listen, and sorry for the Low IQ question, but what about the “Times” of the gentiles in Luke 21:24. Does that not refer to the fact that Jerusalem/Israel must go back to the Jews ones the “times” of the gentiles are complete? I also get that confused with when Paul talks about the “fullness” of the gentiles in Rom. 11:25. Great, informative episode on maybe the most important theological topic right now.


    1. Luke 21 speaks, primarily, of the siege, capture, sack, and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans — this prophecy was obviously fulfilled. What Luke 21 does not say is anything about ‘the Jews’ being restored to Jerusalem — this is often (illicitly) read into the verse by Dispensationalists. No end to ‘the times of the nations’ is given in the text and we should not attempt to read one into it — God’s unrevealed plans are His alone to know.

      As to the passage from Romans, we must be careful how we interpret the term “Israel”. The verse in question says that “all Israel will be saved”. Of which Israel is this true? It is most certainly not true of ethnic ‘Israel’, for many (almost certainly most) of them are damned; so, the verse must be speaking of the true Israel, which is to say the Israel of God, which is to say the Church, for all those who belong to Christ’s Church will, indeed, be saved. To speak of the ‘fullness of the nations’ (again, as before, the term is “nations”, not “Gentiles”) is to speak of the full number of the Elect, gathered from every tribe, nation, and tongue, which certainly includes some number of the descendants of Jacob (Israel), some of whom, undoubtedly, initially came to faith out of envy of non-Hebrew Christians.

      Some recommended further reading: What Does it Mean to Stop Being a Jew? Pt 1: On ‘Genea,’ Race


  4. BDAG, or even LSJ, just doesn’t have decent Patristic coverage. For οἰκονομία as “dispensation, ordering,” see οἰκονομία.C.5,6 of Lampe’s Patristic Greek Lexicon. It’s a real and important meaning, but mostly used with reference specifically to the incarnation.

    If I had to give my own more more English-friendly gloss for how these (hundreds of) references are used, I might here translate οἰκονομία as “regulated providence” instead of “dispensation.” If you know Latin, of course, “dispensation” straightforwardly means “regulated gift” and the translation makes sense. But people don’t nowadays.

    None of this is a reason to take the modern “dispensationalist” movement as anything but ludicrous pseudo-theology, of course.


    1. This is the unfortunate fate of many terms in our day — as ignorance creeps deeper and deeper into society, we lose the ability even to simply discuss certain things because so few remain who would understand the words being used to discuss them. Utique Deus etiam his novissimis diebus sua dona pergit dispensare.


  5. Would you agree that all unfullfilled OT prophecies or promises related to the land of Israel — if there even are any; I think the return from the Babylonian Captivity can be said to fulfill them all, but — would you agree that if any did go unfillfilled then they are cancelled by the first advent of Christ and the corporate rejection of him by the Jews? Because that is my position.


    1. There is no need to speculate because Scripture gives us a definitive answer:

      2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV):
      »For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.«

      All the promises of the OT were fulfilled in Christ — nothing remains for the Jews except condemnation and damnation, unless they repent and turn to Christ.