Thursday, December 11, 2003

Dispensationalism's Development

by James R. Mook, Th.D.

Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology

Capital Bible Seminary

"In 1958 C. Norman Kraus said that "Dispensationalist scholars show little historical self-awareness." He asserted as evidence that "no attempt has been made to write a definitive history of the movement." (Dispensationalism in America: Its Rise and Development (John Knox Press, 1958) p. 71) Today, forty years later, there still is no fully developed definitive history of Dispensationalism. But in the last three decades there has been a greater attempt of self-awareness as the movement has developed.... "

[This article gives a brief overview of the history of Dispensationalism. Of interest is this comment on Progressive Dispensationalism (PD). ~ The Billy Goat ~]

"Developments within a theological tradition usually result in a mainstream that attains the balance between honoring prior theologians within the tradition, carrying on common central distinctives from these thinkers, and yet articulating those distinctives in newer forms. Whether PD is truly a new development within the Dispensationalist tradition can be assessed by asking three questions: 1) Does PD consciously respect prior theologians in the Dispensationalist tradition? 2) Does PD positively seek to continue the common central theological distinctives of these prior theologians in the tradition? 3) Are PD's distinctive new tenets really central traditional teachings in new forms, or are they departures from the central distinctive beliefs of the tradition?"

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