Monday, March 5, 2012

Dispensational Theology

"Dispensationalism rests on the view that God's dealings with men have proceeded through 'well-defined time-periods' ie 'dispensations', in each of which God reveals a particular purpose to be accomplished in that period, to which men respond in faith or unbelief. ... Dispensationalists differ in identification of the dispensations, but it is fairly general to distinguish those of innocency (Adam before the fall), conscience (Adam to Noah), promise (Araham to Moses), Mosaic law (Moses to Christ), grace (Pentecost to the rapture) and the millennium. The sharp distinction drawn between Israel and the church (except during the dispensation of grace) is crucial. ... The basic hermeneutical principle is literal interpretation, ... which insists that throughout, 'the reality of the literal meaning of the terms involved' is determinative. ... Some details are in dispute among dispensationalists. These include the number and designations of the dispensations and the point at which the dispensation of grace began."
('Dispensational Theology' H.H. Rowden, New Dictionary of Theology, (IVP 1988) p200-201)

This describes my Grandmother's dispensationalism, is it what you have in mind when you hear the term? I've snipped only sections of the article, should the definition be wider or narrower? What is there to agree with or disagree with?