Gunn – Dispensationalism


George Gunn, PhD
Chair: Department of Bible and Theology
Shasta Bible College
Redding, California

This is a serious study on Dispensationalism, its origin, its principal proponents, the conditions of its focus, etc.

Table of Contents

I. What is Dispensationalism?
What it’s not
1. A View of Bible Prophecy
2. Christian Escapism
3. Dividing Time into Dispensations
What it is
1. Distinction between Israel and the Church
2. A Consistently Literal Interpretation of the Bible
3. The Glory of God as the Underlying purpose of God in the World

II. Where did it come from?
Is something wrong merely because it is recent?
Are the Sine Qua Non ancient or recent?
1. Distinct origins
2. Distinct bases of existence
3. Distinct in how they are constituted
4. Distinct in the nature of their relationship to God
5. Distinct culminations
Are there other ancient features of Dispensationalism?
1. Dispensations
2. Pretribulation Rapture
Who were some of the important early pioneers of Dispensationalism?
1. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)
2. C.I. Scofield (1843-1921)
3. Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952)
4. Charles C. Ryrie (1925-Present)
What are the seven dispensations?
1. Innocence
2. Conscience
3. Human Government
4. Promise
5. Law
6. Grace (or Church)
7. Kingdom

III. What are the principles of interpretation required for Dispensationalism?
Literal interpretation
Single meaning / authorial intent
Contextual consistency

IV. How does Dispensationalism inform us about Israel? – Part 1
Covenants: Theological and Biblical
1. Theological Covenants (Covenant Theology)
2. Biblical Covenants (Dispensationalism)

V. How does Dispensationalism inform us about Israel? – Part 2
National Israel at the First Coming of Christ
1. Returned from Babylonian Captivity, but not worldwide dispersion
2. All elements of a kingdom present except for a qualified Davidic King
3. Gospel of the kingdom and repentance
National Israel at the present time
1. Partial return from worldwide dispersion
2. Still a need for repentance on the part of Israel
National Israel at the Second Coming of Christ
1. The Land Covenant will be completely fulfilled.
2. The Davidic King will arrive.
3. Repentance will be accomplished through the New Covenant.
4. All the unconditional covenants will be fulfilled.

VI. How does Dispensationalism inform us about the Church? Part 1
Distinct from Israel
1. Supersessionism (“Replacement Theology”)
2. The Church in the Gospels (Red-letter theology)
3. Ministry of the Holy Spirit

VII. How does Dispensationalism inform us about the Church? Part 2
1. Sabbath Observance
2. Pre-Tribulational Rapture
Church polity
Is the church a “kingdom”?

VIII. How does Dispensationalism differ from Covenant Theology?
With regard to the sine qua non
1. Consistent Literal Interpretation
2. Distinction between Israel and the Church
3. Doxological Purpose of God
With regard to Israel
1. Literal Israel vs. the “True Israel of God”
2. National Israel vs. Ethnic Israel
3. Kingdom Purposes vs. “Salvation” Purposes”
With regard to the Church
1. Beginning of the Church
2. Consummation of the Church
3. Circumcision and Baptism

IX. What different views claim to be “Dispensationalism”?
Ultra-Dispensationalism (also called “Hyper-Dispensationalism”)
1. Water Baptism
2. The Lord’s Supper
3. Divine Healing
4. Evaluation of Ultra-Dispensationalism
Progressive Dispensationalism
1. A Present Davidic Reign of Christ
2. Greater Continuity between Israel and the Church
3. A Departure from a Consistently Literal Interpretation of Scripture
4. Evaluation of Progressive Dispensationalism

X. How Does Dispensationalism Inform Us about the Present Ministry of Christ?
What about the reformed doctrine of Christ as “Prophet, Priest, and King”?
Christ’s relationship to the Father’s throne and to the throne of David
How does the New Testament present Christ’s present ministry?
1. Building the Church
2. Directing the Church as its Head
3. Preparing a Place
4. Interceding for the Saints
5. Psalm 110 and Melchizedekian Ministry (contrasted with Davidic kingly ministry in Psalm 2 and other passages)

XI. How does Dispensationalism inform us about the Future Kingdom?
How does a literal interpretation of the Old Testament portray the kingdom?
How is the kingdom different from heaven (or the eternal state)?
What is the role of the following groups in the kingdom?
1. The Church
2. Resurrected Old Testament and Tribulation Saints
3. National Israel
4. Gentile Nations

XII. How does Dispensationalism inform us about Future Events Leading up to the Kingdom? – Part 1
Pretribulational Rapture
1. Three Principal Texts
2. Five Stages
3. Differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming
4. Reasons for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture

XIII. How does Dispensationalism inform us about Future Events Leading up to the Kingdom? – Part 2
The Tribulation Period
1. To make an end of wickedness and wicked ones
2. To bring about a worldwide revival
3. To break the power of the holy people
The Second Coming of Christ
1. The Campaign of Armageddon
2. The Second Coming of Christ
3. The Removal of the Abomination of Desolation
4. The Judgment of the Antichrist and False Prophet
5. The Imprisonment of Satan
6. The Judgment of the Gentiles
7. The Resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation Saints

Gunn-Dispensationalism Gbk
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About Pastor David Cox

I am a pastor and missionary of Fundamental Baptist Church in Mexico City, Mexico. I am also the webmaster of this and several other websites (both in English and Spanish).