[This special treat is a scoop. Two months ahead of its appearance in Sounds of Grace, Pastor Reisinger has invited me to share this with you. The tone is, as you'd expect of John, gracious, and this dispensationalist welcomes both him and it. Pastor Reisinger writes:]
I was converted on a Monday, given a Scofield Reference Bible the next day, and enrolled in the Scofield Bible Correspondence Course on the third day. I graduated from an Arminian, Dispensational Bible School. In my first pastorate, I.C. Herendeen, the man who published A.W Pinks books and tracts, came into our congregation. Under God, Mr. Hereunder, patiently taught me the truth of sovereign grace.
At that time the only books teaching Calvinism were written by Presbyterians. Calvinistic Baptists were unheard of. I accepted Covenant Theology as a package deal and left Dispensationalism. I could not buy infant Baptism. About 30 years ago, I began to question the basic presupposition of Covenant Theology and this left me in “no man’s land.”
I have no trouble believing, 1) the “promise made to the fathers” are fulfilled in Christ; 2) believing the NT spiritualizes the kingdom promises; 3) and believingChrist is presently seated on the throne of David. I see no necessity of an earthly millennium but also see nothing stating there will not be one. In many ways, I agree with the A-Mil but not on his basic presupposition that the “Bible teaches there will be no earthly millennium. Seeing no necessity for one and saying Scripture teaches there will not be one is two different things. I am not looking for a millennium but there may be one. I guess if I had to chose a label, I would say I am an A-Mil with a very low level of assurance. Of course it would depend on what book I read last.
Having said all that, I still have several very real problems. One, some of the OT prophecies have a very literalistic ring. Passages like Habakkuk 2:14 are difficult to spiritualize. The only time in history such a promise remotely came close to fulfillment is Christmas and I think Habakkuk means more than that.
Two, Israel is there on the map as a nation, like it or not. Spurgeon, McCheyne and may others preached that Israel would be restored to the promised land. Many scoffed but there they are! No nation that was conquered and never regained its land or its king has every maintained its identity for more than 100 years. It was assimilated into the other culture. Israel was without a land or a king for over 2,500 years, was persecuted by nearly everynation, some of which tried to literally annihilate them off the face of the earth.
Israel today is like a little David surrounded by giant Goliath's. Every once in while one of those Goliaths mess with Israel and get their butts kicked. When that happens, I check my Scofield footnotes and Larkin’s charts one more time just to be sure!
I should add that when evolution hit full force and a lot of Reformed people were “re-thinking” some things, it was the Dispensationalist who were defending the inspiration of the Bible. The Scofield Bible moved it adherents to start hundreds of Bible conferences, Bible schools like Moody Bible Institute, Philadelphia School of the Bible, and many others including Dallas Theological Seminary. Those schools trained and sent 30,000 missionaries to countries all over the world and everyone of those godly young men and women had a Scofield Bible in their suit case.
As I said at the beginning, I am not a dispensationalist, but among my most Godly personal friends some are dispensationalists. Please do not make any snide remarks about them or question either their godliness or scholarship around me.