Friday, December 26, 2008

Dispensationalism vs Covenantalism

Taken from here

Here is a list of essential differences between dispensationalism and covenantalism (D= dispensationalism, C = covenantalism)

D 1. May be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.
C 1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.

D 2. Stresses literal Interpretation of the Bible.
C 2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

D 3. Usually does not accept the idea of the ‘Analogy of Faith
C 3. Almost always accepts the idea of the ‘Analogy of Faith.’

D 4. ‘Israel always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob
C 4. ‘Israel’ may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.

D 5. ‘Israel of God’ in Gal. 6:16 means physical Israel alone.
C 5. ‘Israel of God’ in Gal. 6:16 means spiritual Israel, parallel to Gal. 3:29, Rom. 2:28-29, Rom. 9:6, Phil. 3:3.

D 6. God has two peoples with two separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).
C 6. God has always had only one people, the Church gradually developed.

D 7. The Church was born at Pentecost.
C 7. The Church began in the O.T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N.T.

D 8. The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.
C 8. There are many O.T. prophecies of the N.T. Church.

D 9. All O.T. prophecies for ‘Israel’ are for literal Israel, not the Church
C 9. Some O.T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.

D10. God’s main purpose in history is literal Israel.
C 10. God’s main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.

D 11. The Church is a parenthesis in God’s program for the ages.
C 11. The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.

D 12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant was Isaac and literal Israel.
C 12. The main heir to Abraham’s covenant was Christ and spiritual Israel.

D 13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.
C 13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.

D 14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
C 14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.

D 15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.
C 15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam.

D 16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.
C 16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.

D 17. The ‘New Covenant’ of Jer. 31:31-34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20.
C 17. The ‘New Covenant of Jer. 31 is the same as in Luke 22; both are for spiritual Israel according to Hebrews 8.

D 18. God’s program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.
C 18. God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants.

D 19. Some Dispensationalists have said that O.T. sinners were saved by works.
C 19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace.

D 20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their Dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.
C 20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.

D 21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.
C 21. O.T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.

D 22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the Dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.
C 22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N.T. era, and will not be withdrawn.

D 23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.
C 23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.

D 24. O.T. believers were not ‘in Christ’, nor part of the Body of Bride of Christ.
C 24. Believers in all ages are all ‘in Christ’ and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.

D 25. The Law has been abolished.
C 25. The Law has three uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in godliness. The ceremonial laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws continue.

D 26. O.T. Laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.
C 26. O.T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.

D 27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of God Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.
C 27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenantalists are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.

D 28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.
C 28. The O.T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.

D 29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.
C 29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenantalists believe in a future for literal Israel, most don’t.

D 30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.
C 30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.

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