Some years ago, Dr. Gary North and Ken Gentry wrote articles for a monthly newsletter titled Dispensationalism in Transition. So much about dispensationalism has changed over the years that C.I. Scofield most likely would not recognize it. The Scofield Reference Bible that first appeared in 1909 and was revised by the author in 1917, has gone through several revisions since then. “In 1967, Oxford University Press published a revision of the Scofield Bible with a slightly modernized KJV text, and a muting of some of the tenets of Scofield’s theology. Recent editions of the KJV Scofield Study Bible have moved the textual changes made in 1967 to the margin. The Press continues to issue editions under the title Oxford Scofield Study Bible.”
In addition to the Scofield Bible, many broader changes have taken place. There is no longer a clearinghouse for what constitutes dispensationalism except Israel’s reunification during the seven-year tribulation period the pre-tribulation rapture of the church.
Eschatology 101: Bible Prophecy Essentials
With so much prophetic material in the Bible—somewhere around 25% of the total makeup of Scripture—it seems difﬁcult to argue that an expert is needed to understand such a large portion of God’s Word and so many ‘experts’ could be wrong generation after generation. If God’s Word is a ‘lamp to our feet and a light to our path’ (Psalm 119:105), how do we explain that not a lot of light has been shed on God’s prophetic Word and with so little accuracy?Buy Now
Many modern dispensationalists when questioned about some of the older claims of the system will often state, “Well, I don’t believe that” or “That’s no longer a major tenet of the position.” That’s why O.T. Allis’ book Prophecy and the Church published in 1945 is out of date in places and the same is true of John Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism, even though there is still good material in both books.
Younger adherents of dispensationalism aren’t aware that numerous revisions have taken place and that many of the major tenets of the position have been redefined by “pop dispensationalist” books coming from publishers like Harvest House and Tyndale (the Left Behind series) that concentrate on end-time speculation. No matter what is taking place in the world, popular prophecy writers explain it all in terms of Bible prophecy counting on the fact that most modern-day readers have no clue that prophetic speculation has a long and failed history.
When dealing with dispensational arguments, it’s best to stick with authors like John Walvoord and J. Dwight Pentecost since their works have been consulted by generations of dispensational advocates going back to the 1950s. But even they can’t be trusted to stick to the program. For example, John Walvoord’s book Armageddon, Oil, and the Middle East Crisis, first published in 1974, went through several revisions as historical circumstances changed.
While I was researching a Bible prophecy project, I saw some things in Ken Gentry’s “Dispensational DysIexia” (October 1990) article that proved to be helpful to make a point. I went to J. Dwight Pentecost’s book Things to Come to check the context. What I found in my edition of Pentecost’s work did not match what I was reading in Gentry’s quoting of Pentecost. In fact, it was the opposite of what I had found. Knowing Ken, there was no way he would make such a mistake. So I called him about the issue.
Ken explains what happened next:
I [Ken] read him [Gary] the paragraphs in my copy of Pentecost’s Things to Come (a 1974 printing) and he read me the same sections and on the same pages in his copy of Things to Come (a 1987 printing). They were diametrically opposed! Then we checked the back of the title pages in our copies of Things to Come to see if the two books were different editions. But alas! they were apparently the same edition. There was no note of any editing changes (although DeMar’s copy was a later printing than my own).
Ken describes the shenanigans that took place with the later printing (not edition) of Pentecost’s Things to Come in his article “Things That Went” published in Dispensationalism in Transition June 1992 (5:6). It’s delightful and informative reading.
Last Days Madness
In this book, DeMar tests your views and renews your zeal for the living truth. This is the most thoroughly documented and comprehensive study of Bible prophecy ever written! Last Days Madness will be your survival guide and spiritual compass to ensure you escape the paralysis of last days madness.Buy Now