- Admit that dispensationalism has been a powerful, influential presence among Biblically-faithful Christians since (at the latest) the beginning of the 20th century, and a major motivator behind increased lay Bible study, Bible teaching, missions and evangelism; or....
- Build yourself a little bungalow beside that lazy river in Egypt.
Several folks (including yr obdt svt) made some protesting comments. To them, this response has just been offered:
To those disappointed the dispensational view has been left behind: It would unbalance the debate to have two premillennials. And we can only fit so many around the table, so we've gone with what's most relevant in our context. (Maybe when Jim gets back to Southern Seminary, they can have the intramural premil discussion there!)I have submitted a response to that. Like this blog, that one is moderated, so it isn't up yet as I publish this post. But this is what I wrote:
Here's why that doesn't convince me.(BTW, to be clear: I am not advocating booing and hissing. If you go, don't boo or hiss. But I do think it would be unfair to criticize dispensationalism in absentia, since we won't be allowed to respond from the back of the bus.)
"Historic" premils love to take a stance approximating "Oh, no no no, look — don't lump me in with those nasty dispensationalists! I'm sophisticated, and have a very old and respectable position!"
Plus, when the Presby's studied dispensationalism in the 1940s to see if it accorded with the WCF, they tried to be very emphatic that they meant dispensational premillennialism, and not "historical" premillennialism. The former (they ruled) was incompatible; the latter was hunky-dory.
And now for an institution to come and say "Oh well, same/same...."
I don't think so. Are they the same? Then let's be even-handed about it. Tell the Presbys and all the pitchfork committees that if they want to come after dispensational premills, they're going to have to come through the "historical" premills first.
And be sure to tell sites like this and this that they're just the same/same — so they should either shut out EVERYONE, or revisit the back of the bus and let it speak for ITSELF.
And if this (to me) common-sense approach isn't followed, I'm sure the moderator will instruct the audience to boo and hiss if any of the participants says anything critical of dispensationalism.
You'd have to have walked in my shoes to see just how bitterly hysterical this is. I can't count how many times I've read or heard "Reformed" types pouring acid scorn on dispensationalists (usually while misrepresenting them, or picking at some peripheral [or totally-unrelated] bangle) — and then they'll say, "Of course, historical premillennialism is an entirely different matter."
Yet here's a conference presumably organized by educated men, saying in effect, "Huh? Hey, we've already got one premil on the platform; it'd be redundant to have a dispensationalist."
Right. Because they're the same thing.
Except when they're being shredded, ostracized, misrepresented, tarred and feathered.
UPDATE: see further thoughts here.