Case for Progressive Dispensationalism The eBook Â

10 thoughts on “Case for Progressive Dispensationalism The

  1. says:

    The PositiveIt is laden with fewer assumptions than classical dispensationalist writings For example it isn’t just assumed off the bat that Israel and the church are two completely separate peoples of God with two separate eternal rewards Instead Saucy gives some texts that demonstrate that although they are separate entities and the nation of Israel has a future they are ultimately one people of God The new covenant though not fulfilled has been inaugurated and the Gentiles who know Christ are partaking of the blessings of the Jewish Messiah already Thus it is progressive dispensationalism It is though accessible nonetheless much scholarly and much freer of emotional rhetoric and appeals than the writings of some popular level dispensationalists eg Lahaye HageeDr Saucy does a good job of refuting some of the arguments of covenant theologians He points out successfully that there is certainly an earthly dimension to many prophecies and passages about the Messiah They aren’t all just metaphors where the original meaning has been superseded and it all speaks of us flying away from earth to heavenOverall a lot of what I find clearly wrong with traditional dispensationalism is shed from the view Saucy holds at least insofar as he holds it Although I do take issue with Saucy’s literalism it is less extreme and better explained than that of some other writers I have come across Also this form of dispensationalism doesn’t relegate Christ’s bride to a sort of Plan B for God nor does it claim that the church this current union of Jews and Gentiles in the Messiah was totally unheard of in the Old Testament And some of what Saucy says makes sense For example when the New Testament speaks of “Israel” it clearly is referring to the Jewish people at least most of the time There are good points to be madeThe Negative At times it is noticeable that assumptions about the end times color Dr Saucy’s interpretations of key passages he points to In the chapter on the Davidic covenant in order to argue that Jesus is not currently reigning today he points to several passages from Luke and Acts to demonstrate that Luke taught that Jesus would not begin reigning until after His physical return And yet the passages he cite include Luke 1931 which is from a parable and if the timing is followed precisely would if anything say the opposite Luke 2231 where Jesus speaks of the kingdom coming after a bunch of stuff happens and then in the next verse tells the disciples that “Truly I say to you this generation will not pass away until all things take place” which partial preterists like me are uick to point out for good reason and Acts 16 7 where disciples ask about when the kingdom will be restored o Israel which only proves that Jesus’ kingdom reign begins at His physical return if you already believe that it only begins with this restoration of Israel and not before Regarding Psalm 110 he says that it demonstrates that the messianic prophecy has been inaugurated thereby disproving the traditional dispensationalist idea that all messianic prophecy is irrelevant to the church and only applies to the Jews but considers it “radically re interpreting the Old Testament” to suggest that Jesus is currently ruling as well which Verse 4 says is the case of the one in view in the midst of His enemies no less And yet He doesn’t clearly explain why that is It is or less assumed that David was referring to a strictly earthly reign in the Psalm and thus the Psalm proves that Jesus’ reign is not occurring the earth now from Heaven But that’s a bit circular isn’t it? We know that the Psalm teaches this because we know the Psalm teaches this?Another such example Similarly how Luke 1414 is demonstrated as a prooftext that there are two different resurrections that occur apart from one another one before the millennium and one after But to speak of the “resurrection of the righteous” need not mean that it occurs at a different point in time Even if both are resurrected at the same time there is uite a huge difference between them One awakes to salvation the other to damnation John 529 One will reap decay the other eternal life Galatians 68 What makes them so distinct isn’t when they occur even if they do occur at different times but what happens when they do Same goes for passages like Philippians 311 With the exception of a literal interpretation of Revelation 201 6 none of the passages he points to which that speak of 2 different resurrections actually places a difference in time between them In fact John 528 taken at face value seems to indicate the two different resurrections happen at the same time although it is not necessarily so At times points are unjustifiably extrapolated from things Saucy does successfully demonstrate For example as mentioned before he argues against the view fairly common among critics of dispensationalism that things spoken of as pertaining to earth are all just some metaphor for us dying and going to Heaven However this doesn’t really prove that there is a literal millennium I think the reasoning here is supposed to be that since the Messiah will reign on earth where else would it be but during the millennium? But why not during the eternal state? After all the meek will inherit the earth There will be a new heavens and a new earth In Revelation the holy city comes from heaven to earth The Bible never says you “go to heaven” but that we have heavenly rewards a heavenly city etc Well if heaven and earth are remade and if it is anything like the admittedly metaphor filled description seen at the end of Revelation who is to say that God doesn’t bridge heaven and earth? That would solve a lot of our problems of interpretation Of course that also means that all Saucy has demonstrated is that Jesus will rule on earth not that He does so in a special really great but still not perfect millennium It has the occasional false dilemma and loaded uestion For example “But does the New Testament support this hope and include what we might call a millennial phase in the fulfillment of the kingdom? Or have the Old Testament prophecies been transformed by apostolic teaching concerning the unbelief of Israel and the establishment of the church?” pg 273 No one is saying that the apostles transformed what the prophets said Those who don’t hold to premillenialism don’t think the prophets meant that in the first place His attempt to prove premillenialism in Chapter 11 is a weak point Admittedly this is somewhat secondary as there are premillenialists who are not dispensationalists and although few use these use the D word some hold to a dispensational view of the place of Israel without holding to premillenialism But it is key overall system most dispensationalists progressive and traditional alike hold to and thus was a significant part of the book pretty much all of Chapter 11 Considering the binding of Satan in Revelation 20 for example he doesn’t even argue against the specific arguments commonly employed like the possible allusion to Matthew 1229 or the fact that as even Saucy admits there will still be sin in the millennial kingdom meaning Satan’s work isn’t exactly without its fruit even while he is bound It also applies a very literal hermeneutic to what is the most symbolic and arguably figurative book in the whole Bible It’s not that amillenialist don’t know that “come to life” means physical resurrection in pretty much the whole New Testament The argument is that in a book of dragons and women clothed in the sun and beasts who represent people and empires where an angel just threw a dragon into a big hole that this vision itself represents something He sees the men come to life a resurrection but this itself is symbolic of one of several ideas that amillenialists have These things aren’t even mentioned or considered Even if they aren’t great arguments they are better than the nothing that Saucy tries to refute hereSome arguments made are uestionable He cites a number of passages that speak of saints reigning with Christ in the future and since in “the end” Christ gives the kingdom to the Father 1 Corinthians 1528 this period must be the millennium But some of the passages he cites calls that into uestion It is true that the Hebrew “olam” doesn’t always mean everlasting in a literal sense but in Daniel 727 there is no mention of a distinct period of rule before the actual everlasting Kingdom that will be God’s in the new heavens and earth Here is nothing there to point to or indicate an end to the saints having this kingdom Then again that is true of a lot of passages about the future glories after Jesus returnsHe then admits that the saints will reign with God in eternity according to Revelation 225 but that this cannot be what is in view becausewell after rereading this part several times I don’t get what he means this is in Chapter 11 He points to passages like Psalm 8 and 110 and Hebrews 2 and how they show that Christ’s current rulership over creation does not fulfill these passages showing that the reign with Christ must be something future and not current That makes sense but then that just becomes evidence that it can’t be referring to the eternal state which is future I feel that there was some sort of disconnect thereThe theological and philosophical argument that Christ’s work just isn’t fulfilled if it doesn’t take place within “history” a distinction the Bible never makes is also weak and assumption laden Two can play at this theology philosophy game For example if the righteous are already in Heaven with God wouldn’t their being resurrected in a millennial world that Saucy admits still has sin and strife be a downgrade of their condition? Some arguments made just don’t follow For example it is argued that there is no gradual subjugation of Christ’s enemies currently something that was begun a the cross and will be completed andor made manifest at his physical return because He is currently sitting at God’s right hand as His enemies are made a footstool he just refers to “Hebrews” but I assume he means 113 But what if God who is specifically the one who is said to put the enemies under Christ’s feet in the first place is doing that now? It doesn’t say that Christ is waiting for the moment where He will come and start doing it; it says He is waiting for this to be made the case One might counter that Jesus can’t be reigning if right now He is not subjugating His enemies But if we are going to take these statements so literally that Jesus is inactive in the process now never mind that He is the Lord and that God is triune then we would have to say it is as 1 Corinthians 15 never says Jesus destroy His enemies but that God does it for Him By this reasoning Jesus would never reign at all since He never is the one who puts His enemies under His feetThings I Would Ask If this Were a Doctoral Dissertation and I Was on the Committee That said certain uestions some rhetorical still remain What of the passages that I pointed to above that I don’t think were adeuately addressed like Psalm 1104? I’d be specific if this were a doctoral dissertation committee of course How can we say the prophets should be read at face value in just about everything they say when both sides at some point have to ignore the face value meaning of a prophecy and interpret it differently to maintain the integrity of scripture? Take Isaiah 6517 24 for example Some take the whole passage is being figurative and understated In the new heavens and the new earth that Isaiah mentions in Verse 17 it is not that there will literally be death any After all Isaiah already said that there will be no death in Chapter 25 And even if men live well over 100 sure there will still be tears Yet Isaiah tells us in Verse 19 that there will be no crying or weeping How can this be if there is death? Even the patriarchs who were as old as dirt left tearful loved ones behind eg Genesis 501 His talking of men living well over 100 if they are righteous is simply appealing to a vision of things that people could understand better than the ethereal pie in the sky though absolutely true things he says in other places in his book It’s like telling a kid that Heaven will involve getting to eat all the hot fudge sundaes you want they can better relate to it even though you’ve told them that it will actually be uite different in some ways and way better It’s hard to imagine way better” but its easy to imagine sundaes That may sound like a bit of verbal gymnastics to some but the only alternative is to take it literally and say that Isaiah contradicts both himself both in 259 and the same freaking chapter and the rest of scripture by saying that the righteous will die in the new heavens and earth giving people cause to weep or that Isaiah starting in Verse 18 is actually talking about the millennium Even though Isaiah never mentions a millennium here or anywhere or says anything that would indicate to the reader that he is going from a vision of the eternal age with no death that he just mentioned to a vision of the age before it he is doing that anyway That isn’t exactly taking it literally or at face valueIn several other passages including ones that Saucy points to to actually take it literally not just dispensationalist “literally leaves us some theological problems To just assume that anything that if taken literally about the future would be at odds with New Testament teachings is the good but still imperfect millennium even when no indication is given isn’t necessarily any less arbitrary than taking things a bit figuratively That’s why Bible scholars and apologists need to be really knowledgeable about the Bible and how it works and how to interpret it because not everything can be taken literally all the time like Isaiah 65 In regards to the above I will say as a credit to Saucy although I don’t think it is perfectly applied in some of the prophetic passages he looks at he does make the point that the dispensationalist vs covenantalist debate isn’t a difference in literal vs figurative but to when and how passages will be taken literally vs figurativelyConclusionSo this book leaves me not convinced of progressive dispensationalism In fact in some ways it leaves me somewhat convinced that much of what I like about progressive dispensationalism is that it is simply less like traditional dispensationalism than traditional dispensationalism is It definitely doesn’t change my mind and I am by no means part of the “dispensationalists are barely Christians if at all” camp within Reformed circles that brought us its fair share of anti dispensationalist polemical writings in the last century However he does show that it is a much stronger view than the traditional dispensationalism of Darby and Scofield that Saucy himself critiues which is half the battle And fairly often I did found myself saying that the broader less specific theological insights he makes were good Overall the book was okay succeeding in some parts while being less successful in others

  2. says:

    Traditional dispensationalism is problematic in several areas Saucy hits this head on and early on That said many of us continue to take the prophecies of Israel and the Kingdom to be in tact and to be fulfilled in the future Saucy does a fine job of bringing the Scripture concerning these truths together in a logical manner There were some days that the chapters drug on And I'm not sure the book could have ended abruptly I prefer the writing style of Michael Vlach in He Will Reign Forever That said this is a worthy read

  3. says:

    An interesting and surprisingly coherent case The whole thing falls apart in the last chapter though because what he thinks the purpose of Israel is in the millennium is entirely vague Without that clarity it becomes pretty much historic premilennialism with a strong emphasis on Israel's land promisec

  4. says:

    Excellent It is the first Saucy book that I’ve read and I was most impressed

  5. says:

    It took me a while to get through this book There were many points of agreement with Saucy but it was a really difficult book to read Saucy isn't a horrible writer but he's not great either He doesn't have the ability to convey complex ideas in an accessible way I had to stay really focused as I read and had to read paragraphs over and over again to understand what Saucy was saying I had the same issues with Bock and Blaising's Progressive Dispensationalism Either people of this persuasion are not great writers or their theology is just complex I'm not convinced this means they are wrong they are just harder to understand For example it would be easier to say that the kingdom is either fully present or fully future but to say both makes things tougher to comprehend I will probably have to reread this book a couple years from now hoping that I will be able to understand his arguments better

  6. says:

    The title of this work may obscure the extent of what Saucy covers in this book The first chapter does deal with the differences between dispensational theologies and between dispensational and non dispensational theologies But the rest of the book is not so much a cumulative case as it is studies of key biblical issues from Saucy's dispensational perspective One part of the book looks at several of the biblical covenants as well as the theme of the kingdom in Scripture Another part of the book examines aspects of ecclesiology The final section of the book looks at the purpose of Israel in God's plan prophecies about Israel in the OT and NT and the fulfillment of those prophecies There is much valuable information here

  7. says:

    This book was extremely well researched and well written It covers most if not all of the crucial points of contention within the eschatological debate and does a fine job in handling them I was challenged by Saucy's approach to the relationship between Israel and the Church When many people think of Dispensationalism they are thinking of old school or classic Dispensationalism but in reality Dispensationalism has undergone serious refinement and groundbreaking changes since Darby and Scofield and it is unfair to the movement and simply uneducated to fail to recognize this progressionThis book is an absolute must read for anyone wanting to serious engage in eschatology

  8. says:

    This is not really a light reading on eschatology In order to get all that this book has to offer one must come into it with a significant amount of previous understanding on the topic All that to say it is not an easy read Though I do believe that this could be the fullest description of Progressive dispensationalism by an fantastic systematic theologian

  9. says:

    Talbot Course Systematic Theology 4 EschatologyDr Saucy is one of the pioneers on Progressive Dispensationalism After reading this book I was influenced greatly on this position

  10. says:

    Will someone please put dispensationalism out of its misery already?

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Case for Progressive Dispensationalism The [PDF / EPUB] Case for Progressive Dispensationalism The Debate abounds on the future of Israel and Israel's relation to the Church Saucy affirms that the Old Testament prophecies are completely fulfilled in the future the nation of Israel has a prophetic f Debate abounds on the Progressive Dispensationalism PDF/EPUB Ã future of Israel and Israel's relation to the Church Saucy affirms that the Old Testament prophecies are completely fulfilled in the future the nation of Israel has a prophetic future and Israel is not the Church But he shows that the fulfillment of OT prophecy begins in the present church age and there is a continuity between the Church and the OT messianic program rather than an unrelated mystery parenthesis.