Is Dispensationalism a theory of men, or is it a truly biblical doctrine?

Dispensationalism is often referred to as a “systematic theology,” but that does not necessarily make it a theory of men as distinct from the truth of God. Christians are called upon to be “workmen” of the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15), so we cannot expect God to be doing all the work of understanding the Bible for us. There are a variety of ways in which the Bible is not entirely self-interpreting, and must therefore be “correctly handled” or “rightly-divided” according to sound reasoning and the honest application of principles of literary interpretation. The principles are vital to uphold if the Bible is to be understood without contradictions.

If the Bible gives us 2 + 2, we are expected to be able to figure out that the sum is 4, even if it does not specifically say so. If it gives us 2 + ? = 4, we are supposed to figure out that 2 is the missing variable. There is a mathematical exactness to the Word of God that requires us to use our God-given faculties of reason and logic. Sometimes the Bible presents interpretational problems that are essentially algebraic in nature, meaning that we must reason from the known to the unknown to find the solution. [1] Jesus held the disciples accountable for their failing to understand the necessity of his suffering, death and resurrection, even calling them “fools” when they did not draw logical conclusions from the evidence. [2] In other words, they failed to put 2 and 2 together from the scriptural and physical evidence. Actually, they failed to distinguish between his suffering and his glory, and to realize that the only way to harmonize all the evidence was to posit two separate “comings” of Christ to the earth to Israel.

Endnotes

[1] For a thorough listing of the principles we employ to “accurately handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), see our booklet 22 Principles of Bible Interpretation.
[2] In Luke 24:25, Jesus called two of his disciples fools because they did not “put two and two together” when it came to his suffering and glory. “Fool” in the Greek text is anoetos, which is literally “one who does not think or apply his mind to the situation.”

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