Gary answers a listener question about resources that best represent and present the dispensational premillennial position.
In order to understand a thing aright, it is always helpful to seek to understand its purpose according to its designer and builder. Eschatology is a theological discipline that is concerned with discovering the divinely revealed, long range purpose of the world and of history. It is concerned with the consummational direction of history: What will the consummation be? What are its precursors? How will it be brought about? When will it occur? By necessity, then, eschatology must be concerned with creation, for it is the divinely decreed fruition of creation as we know it—the end is tied to the beginning (Isa. 46:10; Rev. 21:6; 22:13).
God has created the world and for a purpose. Despite the confusion brought into the question by certain leading dispensationalists, Reformed theology has as the ultimate goal of universal history, the glory of God. His creational intent in bringing the world into being was for the manifestation of His own glory (Rev. 4:11; Rom. 11:36; Psalm 8:1; 19:1).
Furthermore, at the very beginning of history and before the Fall of man into sin, God created man in His own “image and likeness” (Gen. 1:26). One vital aspect of that image is that of man’s acting as ruler over the earth and under God. This is evident in the close connection between the interpretive revelation regarding man’s being created in God’s image and His command to exercise rule over the creation order (Gen. 1:26-28).
Man lives up to His creational purpose as He exercises righteous dominion in the earth. God has implanted within man the drive to dominion.
The Creational (or Dominion) Mandate was given at the very creation of man, distinguishing man from the animal, plant, and protist kingdoms and defining His task in God’s world in accordance with God’s plan. Not only was it given at creation before the Fall, but it remains in effect even after the entry of sin. This is evident in many ways, two of which will be mentioned. In the first place the revelational record of man’s beginnings show man acting as a dominical creature and without disapprobation, subduing the earth and developing culture—even after the entry of sin. Indeed, from the very beginning and continuing into the post-Fall world, Adam and his descendants exercised dominion. And this dominion impulse operated at a remarkably rapid rate, contrary to the primitive view of man held by modern anthropologists (Gen. 4:17-22). Any primitiveness that may be found in earth cultures is a record of the developmental consequence of sin and of estrangement from God, not of original creational status. In the second place, the Creation Mandate is specifically repeated in Scripture in both testaments (Gen. 9:1ff.; Psalm 8; Heb. 2:5-8).
House Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensational Theology
Bahnsen takes on the law sections, while Gentry handles the eschatology. Dispensationalism teaches that God has two distinct plans: one for Israel and one for the Church. Bahnsen and Gentry show clearly that God never intended or taught about separate plans. Quite the opposite, God's plan for Israel was but the first phase of His plan for the world. Jesus was both God's plan and His solution before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:17-21).Buy Now
Gary answers a listener question about resources that best represent and present the dispensational premillennial position. The listener wants to hear the best case for Dispensationalism, even though he has become increasingly convinced of postmillennialism. Gary shows how every position has a couple seemingly perfect Bible verses, but this is not how we should be reading and understanding the Bible as a whole.
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