Dispensational Thought for the Day #4

02 Feb

Continuing with the information discussed in item #3, please consider

#4 The use of the allegorical hermeneutic by the Reformed people is tricky and even risky.

My Reformed friends aren’t going to like hearing this but it is true. Keep reading… Look, the use of allegory can be a train wreck if the person controlling the switch flips it too quickly or keeps it flipped for too long. And how does a person come to know how and when to flip the allegory switch? Think about the railroad switchmen who flipped the heavy levers that moved the small section of traintrack allowing a train to modify its course. Boy, if they made an error of timing, catastrophe would result.

The Reformed people use a fairly large allegory filter to view scripture. They see Israel transmogrify into the church at some point and cease to be a nation yet there is enough New Testament talk about Israel and the church to place their hermeneutic in question (note: all Reformed people may not do this but many do).

Look carefully at Romans 11 for example. I am not saying that Romans 11 is easy for Dispensationalists to translate and understand but scripture seems to be clearly continuing the distinction between Israel, the Church, and Gentiles. Some people from the nation of Israel become members of the Chruch along with some Gentiles by God’s grace is the idea. That does not eliminate the nation from possible future salvation in part or in whole.

Then there is the book of the Revelation. To use allegory here can allow a person to make scripture mean practically anything. We will zoom in upon individual details later but suffice it to say that the Truthinator does not understand the sweeping use of allegory as a justifiable hermeneutic.

I see the Bible being written in order for people to be able to read it and understand what is possible for them and to take on faith the futuristic information based upon God’s power and ability to deliver what He has promised. The Dispensational framework uses a “take the literal stuff as literal and the obviously symbolic stuff as such” if you will pardon my paraphrase. I do not believe the Bible was written as a code that would have to be deciphered later. This would give much too much power to the supposed holder of the deciphering key thus placing us back into Roman Catholicism again. I do not believe any of the writers wrote in code. Why not? Because none of the human tools for taking down God’s inspired word knew the result of their efforts would eventually become the Bible. They were writing to a primary audience.

The writers were writing letters and keeping records. Do people write their letters and keep their records in some kind of code? Maybe sometimes but not usually. They usually want people to be able to understand what they write. Also, the Bible itself places strong warnings against adding to and taking away from its message.

Please consider what I have written and respond if you like. We will continue with another installment soon. Thank you for your kind attention.


Posted by on February 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “Dispensational Thought for the Day #4

  1. chaddavis14

    February 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    “They were writing to a primary audience.”

    This is absolutely right. It does however beg the question, “Who is the Primary Audience.” With regard to the Book of Revelation, one’s answewr to that question will largely determine his or her interpretation and eschatology.

    As far as your thoughts about codes, although you meant with regard to an allegorical interpretation of the Apocalypse, I think that Dispensationalism is a system MOST PRONE to the finding and interpreting codes. Hence, the detailed understanding of the alleged 7 year tribulation period. Let’s Talk.

    In Love,

    • Truthinator

      February 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      No one knows for sure but I believe John saw his audience as the contacts he had from the local church. Obviously, John’s writings got off of Patmos somehow so he either had visitors or maybe he was allowed to leave once his banisher died or whatever. It is reasonable to assume John did not know that he was writing what would become a book of the Bible.

      I really do not think John was purposefully writing some wild type of coded message that contains a core meaning that varies from the wording of his work. That is a very far stretch. Also, consider the fact that John has already warned his audience about adding to or taking away from the prophecies of his work.

      As far as Dispensationalists being prone to see things in Revelation that aren’t there… I agree! Some do! It is not a good thing however. Just because we do not understand what John is describing to us does not give us the freedom to force fit what we know into an explanation. Some wild-eyed prophecy wonks in the 80s would say that heavy metal bands were being described when John taked about the creatures with hair like women and faces like lions and so forth. That was rediculous. On this, you and I agree.

      The problem with the Reformed point of view (in my perspective) is they force much of future events into a framework of events that already occurred. However, Satan has yet to be bound for a 1000 years, Christ has not yet sat on His throne in Jesrusalem for 1000 years, and so forth. To convert so much of prophecy into allegory so as to be able to claim it has already happened is wreckless (IMHO).

      Anyway, thanks for hanging around with us to discuss. Let’s keep talking. I appreciate your perspective.

      • chaddavis14

        February 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

        Awesome. I am glad you see that. I am pretty sure we don’t agree about Dispensationalism and Eschatology, but its great that we can have a civil, if not warm Christian conversation about it.

        I do see the audience of John’s letter to be the specific group of angels/ayyeloi/pastors of teh 7 churches in Asia Minor in the last days of the First Century. I believe his message is meant for them and is about them.

        I also think that Jesus’ eschatological discourses in Matt 24 and Mark 13 are about the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

        Christ has not returned visibly so that every eye shall see him and they also that pierced him. But that is next.

        May I suggest a good read on this subject? M. Eugene Boring’s fine commentary called Revelation. Its a part of the interpretation Series. He views the Apocalypse as having been written to that specific generation, not to some end-time generation in the 21st or subsequent centuries.

        No worries if you don’t agree. I am just recommending the book.

        Yeah, I always thought there was something apocalyptic about those guys in Kiss and Poison.

        Rock on Dude

  2. Ali

    February 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    The Bible – The WORD of God – is the revealed word – revealed by The Holy Spirit of God to teach, to lead, to direct and guide man toward their Redeemer.

    The Word is Wisdom for those who will hear – Light for those who stumble in darkness.

    • Truthinator

      February 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Absolutely! Thanks, Ali and welcome… as always. Stop by anytime.


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