PMW 2020-038 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In my last posting, I began a studying exposing the error of dispensationalism claimed literalism. Since this is such a big feature in the system and such a drawing card for it, it is important that Reformed Christians be able to refute it. I hope these two articles will be helpful to that end. The more recent form of dispensationalism, known as Progressive Dispensationalism, has largely recognized the problem and made important changes to the system. However, pew-sitting believers are still enamored with dispensationalism and its claim to literalism.
So, let us continue exposing the error.
Ezekiel and Literalism
In The New Scofield Reference Bible at Ezekiel 43:19 we read: “The reference to sacrifices is not to be taken literally.” How can this be? Indeed, on the opposite side of the issue we should note the dispensationalist treatment of Isaiah 52:15, which reads: “So shall he sprinkle many nations.” The New Scofield Reference Bible comments: “Compare the literal fulfillment of this prediction in 1 Pet. 1:1–2, where people of many nations are described as having been sprinkled with the blood of Christ.” Is this literal? When was Jesus’ blood literally sprinkled on the nations? This sounds more like “spiritualizing” than “consistent literalism.” Continue reading
PMW 2020-037 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Dispensationalists pride themselves in being consistent literalists. Not only so, but they warn that taking a non-literal approach in Scripture involves one in “encroaching liberalism. For instance, Charles Ryrie writes:
Although it could not be said that all amillennialists deny the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, yet, as it will be shown later, it seems to be the first step in that direction. The system of spiritualizing Scripture is a tacit denial of the doctrine of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures. . . . Thus the allegorical method of amillennialism is a step toward modernism. [Ryrie, The Basis of the Premillennial Faith, 34, 35, 46.]
Alleged literalism is probably one of the most important arguments for keeping dispensationalism alive and well on Planet Earth. It seems so obvious; it takes so little effort to understand. We need to lovingly confront our dispensational friends with a reality check. In this and the next article I will be focusing on dispensationalism’s literlism errors. Continue reading
PMW 2019-077 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
When opening the book of Revelation, the would-be interpreter must understand that it is a highly figurative book that cannot be approached with a simple, straightforward literalism. It constantly amazes me that when I discuss Revelation with many evangelical laymen they are immediately alarmed that I am not taking Revelation “literally”! Perhaps one of our first tasks in convincing laymen of the preterist view of Revelation is to disabuse them of literalism.
The first thing we need to do is to point out that though Revelation is highly symbolic, the preterist view does understand Revelation’s prophecies as strongly reflecting actual historical events in John’s near future. And this is despite their being set in an apocalyptic drama and clothed with poetic hyperbole. As even premillennialist commentator Robert Mounce notes: “That the language of prophecy is highly figurative has nothing to do with the reality of the events predicted. Symbolism is not a denial of historicity but a matter of literary genre.” Continue reading