Parker Reardon

Concluding Thoughts & Resources for Further Study

(Read Part 7) Editor’s Note: For the conclusion to this blog series—Dispensationalism 101—I interviewed Dr. Parker Reardon and asked him to expand on his views on dispensationalism, as well as on the “Resources for Further Study” that he includes at the bottom of this final article. He shared a number of interesting thoughts, and we also discussed our plan to expand this series into a more substantial resource to be published by Dispensational Publishing House. Be watching for that—and hopefully for more material [...]

Dispensational Distinctives Delineated

(Read Part 6) It is readily known that Plymouth Brethren minister John Nelson Darby is credited with the systematizing of dispensational thought in the 1800s. Yet some history scholars trace the teachings back another century.[1] Though there is variation of beliefs within the dispensational camp, some of the major components that characterize it are: A consistently literal interpretation of Scripture, particularly in prophetic passages where God has made promises to Israel. A distinction between God’s plan for Israel and His plan for [...]

Issues of Contention: Part 3B—Hermeneutics

(Read Part 5) We learned last time that dispensational and covenantal theology differ in their approach to hermeneutics. This week's post will finish our study of that topic, and of all the "Issues of Contention" that underscore the difference between these two understandings of the sacred text. Hermeneutics (continued) Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32) Throughout the exegesis demonstrated by covenant theologians, we see an overdependence on figurative language, typology and [...]

Issues of Contention: Part 3A—Hermeneutics

(Read Part 4) In this fifth installment in our series, we begin looking at the last of the major "Issues of Contention" between dispensational and covenantal theology and thought. Hermeneutics The final important issue to mention is hermeneutics. Though some have used the phrase dispensational hermeneutics,[1] that is an unfortunate combination of a doctrinal position (covering ecclesiology, eschatology and soteriology, as already noted) and how we practice exegesis of the text of Scripture. The student of Scripture is not free to practice his [...]

Issues of Contention: Part 2—Soteriology

(Read Part 3) Publisher's Note: What follows from Dr. Parker Reardon is one common view of soteriology among dispensational teachers. Dispensational Publishing House presents the various views in an effort to develop healthy debate and thinking. Our founder is non-Calvinistic and an adherent of Free Grace theology, but also teaches that we should "question the assumptions" of all our beliefs. We have printed articles from both a Calvinistic and Lordship salvation perspective as well as a non-Calvinistic, Free Grace perspective. It is in the [...]

Issues of Contention: Part 1—Ecclesiology and Eschatology

(Read Part 2) The purpose of this series is to consider the difference between dispensational and covenantal theology. Having examined the basic elements of "Covenantal Thought" last time, we turn our attention in this installment to the first and second of four different "Issues of Contention." These are ecclesiology and eschatology. Issues of Contention The distinction between these two schools of thought centers on ecclesiology, eschatology, soteriology and hermeneutics. Ecclesiology (the church) Notice first the different views of the church. Dispensational theologians see [...]

Covenantal Thought

(Read Part 1) Last time, we began this series by considering the difference between dispensational and covenantal theology. We thought about some basic things that we must understand in order to deal properly with that issue. We begin this article with a brief review. Covenantalism in a Nutshell The terms covenantal and Reformed are often used interchangeably. There are dispensationalists who speak of being Reformed, yet the way they use the term Reformed is in respect to salvation, referring to the doctrines [...]

The Difference Between Dispensational and Covenantal Theology

What is the difference between dispensational and covenantal theology? Furthermore, is the difference really that important? After all, there are believers on both sides of the discussion. Before entering into the conversation, there are a couple of understandings that need to be embraced. Tension and Mystery First and foremost, there is the need to recognize the tension—and mystery—which has characterized this and other theological discussions for centuries. There will probably never be a satisfactory answer or clarifying article that will settle the [...]