French Arrington details dispensationalism

Posted by Troy Day in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

Pentecostal biblical scholar French Arrington details the popularization of dispensationalism by John Nelson Darby and by C. I. Scofield. Arrington describes dispensationalism as “an interpretive scheme grafted onto the traditional body of Christian doctrine.” He defines it more specifically as a “basic assumption that God deals with the human race in successive dispensations.” A dispensation is a period of time
marked by a beginning, a test, and termination in judgment through human failure or sin. Though dispensationalism has influenced Pentecostal theology, probably because of the
avid attachment of both to eschatology, “the earliest pentecostal teachings were not tied to directly to dispensationalism.” In Arrington’s opinion, the statements of faith of major Pentecostal denominations do “commit them to premillennialism but not necessarily to dispensationalism.”

21 Comments

  • Reply January 7, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Brody Pope

  • Reply January 7, 2018

    Stephen Williams

    Wish I had that paper a year and a half ago

  • Reply January 7, 2018

    Bruce Vernall

    A dispensation is not a period of time but is the action of God within a period or age.
    To attend a chemist and suggest their dispensary is a period of time no . Better to understand what is being dispensed in the New Testimony .The Spirit is being dispensed into the believer Amen

  • Reply January 8, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Stephen You should have just asked 🙂 Bruce Can the action of God be really limited by a period of time? Like he tried to do it – did not happen then he tried again. Can a true Pentecostal really limit the action of the Holy Spirit to one dispensation alone? Brody Pope

  • Reply January 8, 2018

    Daniel J Hesse

    I believe the Statement of Fundamentals 1910-1915 by G. Campbell Morgan laid the foundations for Pentecostal Charismatic beliefs with the restorative aspects. Please correct my assumptions.

  • Reply January 8, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Pentecostal maybe. There were no charistmatics in 1915 How does this statement refers to the dispensation interpretation of the End Times?

  • Reply January 27, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Dan Irving Pentecostal biblical scholar French Arrington details the popularization of dispensationalism by John Nelson Darby and by C. I. Scofield. Arrington describes dispensationalism as “an interpretive scheme grafted onto the traditional body of Christian doctrine.” He defines it more specifically as a “basic assumption that God deals with the human race in successive dispensations.” A dispensation is a period of time
    marked by a beginning, a test, and termination in judgment through human failure or sin. Though dispensationalism has influenced Pentecostal theology, probably because of the
    avid attachment of both to eschatology, “the earliest pentecostal teachings were not tied to directly to dispensationalism.” In Arrington’s opinion, the statements of faith of major Pentecostal denominations do “commit them to premillennialism but not necessarily to dispensationalism.”

  • Reply July 20, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Dispensational Question – church age of Philadelphia or Laodicea? If you believe in Dispensations and the Ages of Church History, which age are we currently in – Philadelphia or Laodicea?
    Give the reasoning for your answer… http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/dispensation-of-grace-definition-and-benefits

  • Reply July 20, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Some believers are suffering as in Smyrna. Revelation 2:11 Arminian commentators err in taking this verse to mean, “Believers who do not overcome shall be hurt by the second death.” Reformed commentators also err by reading it this way: “All true believers are overcomers and therefore will not be hurt by the second death.” Both views have Jesus offering escape from hell for faithful obedience to Him. Since this flatly contradicts so many passages regarding eternal security and justification by faith alone (e.g., John 5:24; 10:27-30), it is better to understand Jesus’ words as a figure of speech called litotes. He is saying that the faithful Christian will be more than amply repaid for whatever sacrifice he may make for Christ’s sake, and that his eternal experience will be so far beyond the reach of the second death that it cannot be imagined. The suffering believers in Smyrna could rest in this glorious promise given to them from the Lord Himself.

  • Reply July 20, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Some churches like Sardis are being wrongly taught they lose their salvation if they lose their faith. Revelation 3:5-6. Not all believers in Christ are overcomers (see comments on Rev 2:7), but every believer in Christ who “overcomes shall be clothed in white garments.” This could refer to the actual clothes that the overcomer will wear in Christ’s eternal kingdom or, more likely, to the purity and brilliance of the glorified body the faithful believer will “wear” as a badge of authority for all eternity (cf. Dan 12:3; 1 Cor 15:35-42).

    In saying that He “will not blot out” the overcomer’s “name from the Book of Life,” the Lord is not making a veiled threat that unfaithful believers will wind up in hell. Rather, He is using a figure of speech (see comments on Rev 2:11 regarding litotes) to say, If you are faithful to Me to the end, I will honor you by magnifying your name! Christ Himself “will confess the overcomer’s “name before His Father and before His angels.” This confession is functionally the positive idea implied in the litotes (no erasure of his name means a magnifying of his name, i.e., magnification by Christ’s personal acknowledgement before the Father and His angels).

  • Reply July 20, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Some churches won’t listen to Reward Theology and need to repent. Revelation 3:12-13. Christ promises several different eternal rewards for the believer who overcomes (see comments on Rev 2:7). The believer who has been faithful to the end will become “a pillar in the temple of His God.” Since in eternity the Father and the Son will be the temple (cf. 21:22), this reward is probably an especially wonderful experience of nearness to God as well as a key position of support and prominence in God’s eternal kingdom. Second, the phrase “he shall go out no more” refers to the permanence of these rewards. Once these positions of honor and authority are given to the overcomer, they shall never be rescinded. He is securely set as a “pillar” in Christ’s eternal kingdom and as such will never be separated from this special relationship to God.

    Also Christ “will write on him” God’s name and “the name of” God’s eternal city, “the New Jerusalem” as well as His own “new name.” It is unlikely that these will be literal tattoos; instead they are representative of the blessings the overcomer will enjoy as God identifies them as people who served Him faithfully on earth. The honor God confers on the overcomer in eternity will be as wonderful and real as if God Himself inscribed a literal mark on him that reads: “This is My beloved servant in whom I am well pleased” followed by His autograph. Since faithful believers openly confessed the name of Christ throughout their lives (cf. 3:8), Christ will identify them as His victorious ones forever.

  • Reply July 20, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Many churches are like Laodicean and have believers who have been taught they have lost their salvation. Revelation 3:20-22
    3:20. Through their sinful attitudes and actions the Laodicean believers had shut the Lord out of their lives. Now in His mercy and grace He seeks fellowship with anyone there who “hears His voice and will open the door.” Christ’s invitation here is not for lost sinners to believe in Him for the free gift of eternal life, but for His disobedient children to get close to Him once again. If any of these lukewarm believers did open the door to Him, Christ promises, “I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” This is a promise that they will enjoy close fellowship with Him once again.

    3:21-22. Every believer who overcomes by keeping Christ’s works until the end of his earthly life (cf. 2:26) will rule with Christ forever (“sit with Me on My throne”). Christ was obedient to the end of His earthly life and was rewarded with a share in His Father’s throne. In the same way, He promises those believers who overcome a share in His eternal throne (cf. Matt 25:21,23; Rom 8:17 b). Initially these faithful believers will rule with Christ on earth for a thousand years during the millennial kingdom (cf. Rev 20:6). Throughout eternity they will reign with Christ on the new earth (cf. 21:10-11; 22:1-2).

    The seventh letter ends with a beautiful promise of reward that is a fitting conclusion not only to the seventh letter but to all seven letters.

  • Reply July 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Philip Williams Pentecostal biblical scholar French Arrington details the popularization of dispensationalism by John Nelson Darby and by C. I. Scofield. Arrington describes dispensationalism as “an interpretive scheme grafted onto the traditional body of Christian doctrine.” He defines it more specifically as a “basic assumption that God deals with the human race in successive dispensations.” A dispensation is a period of time
    marked by a beginning, a test, and termination in judgment through human failure or sin. Though dispensationalism has influenced Pentecostal theology, probably because of the
    avid attachment of both to eschatology, “the earliest pentecostal teachings were not tied to directly to dispensationalism.” In Arrington’s opinion, the statements of faith of major Pentecostal denominations do “commit them to premillennialism but not necessarily to dispensationalism.”

    • Reply July 21, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day very true

    • Reply July 21, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Philip Williams however MOST if not ALL Pentecostals differ by Larking / Scofield dispensation in their view of the Role of the Holy Spirit through history

  • Reply July 21, 2019

    Charles Page

    Troy Day, don’t you think that French Arrington and Donald Bowdle were at odds over soteriology? Does French Arrington agree with Keswick Reformed theology? I would like to hear that discussed on a forum.

  • Reply July 21, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Charles Page you are more familiar with their personal view I just read their theological works and conclude

    • Reply July 21, 2019

      Charles Page

      conclude what?

    • Reply July 21, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Charles Page the conclusion made above

  • Reply July 21, 2019

    Neil Steven Lawrence

    Dr. Airington was one of my professors at PTS. (Class of 1991)

  • Reply July 21, 2019

    RichardAnna Boyce

    Areas of Confusion in Dispensationalism Definition by John F. Walvoord, Chancellor and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary.
    In the twentieth century many strides forward have been made in interpreting the doctrines of Scripture, especially eschatology and dispensationalism.
    In this area of theology The Scofield Reference Bible played a major part. Written originally by C. I. Scofield in 1909, he revised it in 1917.
    After World War I and after Scofield’s death in 1921
    The Scofield Reference Bible became an unusually popular study Bible. The Bible conference movement became prominent in this country,
    and Bible teachers in those conferences
    often recommended The Scofield Reference Bible.

    As a result millions of copies were sold,
    and the views presented in that study Bible became the views of
    numerous Bible institutes and many evangelicals of the twentieth century.
    This situation changed after the 1930s and in the decade that followed.

    Many seminaries that were formerly orthodox had turned liberal.
    Then as their graduates were called to churches that were traditionally orthodox, clashes occurred between pastors and their congregations.
    If a pastor opposed the doctrinal convictions of his congregants,
    he would have to challenge the doctrine of inspiration, the virgin birth,
    and similar issues, and this would immediately cause his people
    to raise questions about his own theology.

    A number of pastors discovered that most of the people who opposed them were carrying Scofield Reference Bibles, and
    one of the distinctive factors of the Scofield Bible is that it is dispensational.
    Therefore those pastors hit on the scheme
    of attacking dispensationalism as a heresy.
    Because most people did not have clearly in mind what dispensationalism involved theologically, this tactic helped protect those pastors
    from questions about their own theology
    and it put those in the pew on the defensive.

    Conservative amillenarians saw an opportunity to further their cause, and attacked dispensationalism as a departure from the Protestant Reformation. Their motto was “Back to the Reformation” as the cure for apostasy.
    The Reformation did not deal with the subject of dispensationalism. So these theologians went back to Augustine and his amillennial eschatology.
    In the ensuing controversy many liberals attacked dispensationalism.
    But what they were really attacking was fundamentalism, premillennialism, pretribulationism, and the inerrancy of the Bible. In the process, liberals wrongly identified “dispensationalism” with fundamentalism.

    Characteristic of the attacks on dispensationalism
    is that its opponents say it is heretical.3
    Their approach is often characterized by prejudice and ignorance
    rather than careful study of the Scriptures
    and of the history of dispensational thought.
    One example of this characterization occurred when a woman indicated to me that in a conversation with her pastor she mentioned that her nephew was a student at Dallas Seminary.
    The pastor immediately replied, “That seminary is heretical.”
    When she asked him why he felt that way, he answered that it was dispensational. Then she asked, “What is wrong with dispensationalism?” He replied, “I don’t know, but it’s bad.”

    When amillenarian ministers are asked, “What is wrong with dispensationalism?” many of them cannot give an acceptable answer.

    The widespread prejudice and ignorance of the meaning of dispensationalism was illustrated when I was asked by a prominent Christian publication to write an article on dispensational premillennialism. In my manuscript I referred to The Divine Economy, written in 1687, in which the author, Pierre Poiret (1646-1719), discussed seven dispensations.4
    The editor omitted this from the manuscript, and when I protested, he said, “That is impossible because John Nelson Darby invented dispensationalism.”
    It would be difficult to find a statement more ignorant and more prejudicial that that.

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