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Thread: Progressive Dispensationalism

  1. #1
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Progressive Dispensationalism

    Progressive Dispensationalism is an attack on the very fundamentals and the foundation of Traditional Dispensationalism. Those in the Progressive dispensationalist community argue that the kingdom age is upon us now.

    Progressive Dispensationalist Dr. Darrell L. Bock, Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, writes that "it is clear that with Jesus' presence, and especially his Resurrection-Ascension, comes the beginning of Jesus' kingdom rule" (Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, ed. Blaising & Bock [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992], 65).

    This teaching is false and it is a simple thing to prove that it is false. The Lord Jesus made it plain that the kingdom would not even be near until He returns to the earth:

    "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand"
    (lk.21:27-31).

    The overall scheme of Progressive Dispensationalism is entirely dependent on the idea that the kingdom is here already. However, with these words of the Lord Jesus in view their whole teaching comes tumbling down like a child's house of cards.

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  3. #2
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    As I said, Progressive Dispensationalist Dr. Darrell L. Bock teaches that the kingdom is now here. He also says that "the current phase of the kingdom has continuity with the kingdom to come" (Ibid., 66).

    However, the Lord Jesus said that it will be when He returns to the earth when He will sit upon His throne, or rule in His kingdom:

    "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory"
    (Mt.25:31).

    The Greek word translated "then" means "then, at that time" (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon).

    So according to the Lord Jesus He will not sit upon His throne and the kingdom will not be here until "then," when He returns to the earth.

    But Dr. Bock says that the Lord Jesus is reigning now in His kingdom but the Lord Jesus says that will not happen until He returns to the earth.

    The theology which the Progressive Dispensationalists continue to put forth is bankrupt and easily proven to be false.

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Progressive Dispensationalist Dr. Darrell Bock says that "throughout the survey of the kingdom concept in Luke's gospel, passages keep appearing that set forth the kingdom as present" (Ibid., 47).

    Bock singles out both Luke 11:20 and Luke 17:21 as evidence that the kingdom's arrival is declared even while the Lord Jesus walked the earth. However, after those events had passed the Lord Jesus made it plain that the kingdom "is not of this world":

    "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence" (Jn.19:36).

    The Progressive Dispensationalists fail to realize that at Luke 11:20 and similiar verses figurative language is being used to enable the listeners to understand that the Lord Jesus is the promised King and not to unequivocally declare that the promised kingdom was actually on the earth.

    The Progressive Dispensationalists claim to be experts about the kingdom but they prove over and over that they are woefully ignorant about what the Scriptures reveal about the kingdom.

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    This is definitely Lower Wacker Drive. musterion's Avatar
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    The overall scheme of Progressive Dispensationalism is entirely dependent on the idea that the kingdom is here already.
    Sounds like the one brand of disp'ism that might appeal to preterists.
    Not a single cluster of living fruit was, or ever will be, harvested from the tree of legality. Law can only produce “dead works,” from which we need to have conscience purged just as much as from “wicked works.”

    C. H. Mackintosh


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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musterion View Post
    Sounds like the one brand of disp'ism that might appeal to preterists.
    Three men are usually given credit for being the fathers of systemized Progressive Dispensationalism and those men are Darrell Bock, Craig Blaising, and Robert Saucy. The title of Saucy's book says it all:

    "The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism: The Interface Between Dispensational & Non-Dispensational Theology"

    H. Wayne House, who was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary tells the following story:

    "One of my best students, and a research assistant to me at DTS, had told me in the mid-1990's that he had accepted progressive dispensationalism. My next meeting with him at the Dallas Seminary bookstore just two years ago I discovered that he had embraced amillennialism and covenant theology. When I asked him about this he commented to me that it was an easy move to make from progressive dispensationalism to amillennialism"
    (House, "Dangers of Progressive Dispensationalism to Pre-Millennial Theology," Pre-Trib. CD 2003, 3).

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  11. #6
    This is definitely Lower Wacker Drive. musterion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    "One of my best students, and a research assistant to me at DTS, had told me in the mid-1990's that he had accepted progressive dispensationalism. My next meeting with him at the Dallas Seminary bookstore just two years ago I discovered that he had embraced amillennialism and covenant theology. When I asked him about this he commented to me that it was an easy move to make from progressive dispensationalism to amillennialism" (House, "Dangers of Progressive Dispensationalism to Pre-Millennial Theology," Pre-Trib. CD 2003, 3).
    I absolutely believe it.
    Not a single cluster of living fruit was, or ever will be, harvested from the tree of legality. Law can only produce “dead works,” from which we need to have conscience purged just as much as from “wicked works.”

    C. H. Mackintosh


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  13. #7
    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    In His book we can see that Dr. Darrell Bock understands that the Lord Jesus is now sitting with the Father in the Father's throne:

    "A crucial text is Revelation 3:21. Here the one who conquers is granted the right to sit on Jesus' throne, just as Jesus 'conquered and sat down' with the Father on the Father's throne"
    (Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church, 62).

    So Bock understands that the Lord Jesus is now sitting with the Father in the Father's throne. However, that changes into the Lord reigning from his right hand throne. Bock writes:

    "The image of sitting on the throne is clearly an image of rule, and the description of being seated next to the Father accords with the language of Psalms 110, a messianic Psalm. The previous texts in Revelation make it clear that this is an already bestowed authority. Furthermore, this throne of the lamb, set next to the father, is alluded to again in Revelation 22:1...Jesus is neither passive nor inactive from his right hand throne" (Ibid.62-63).

    I am not aware of any evidence that the Lord Jesus ever moved from sitting with the Father in the Father's throne to a "right hand throne." And Bock says nothing about the Lord Jesus moving from one throne unto another. Besides that, he doesn't say what throne it is which the Lord Jesus referred to as "My throne":

    "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne"
    (Rev.3:21).

    Of course it is the throne of David which was given to the Lord Jesus. Gabriel told Mary the following:

    "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Lk.1:32,33).

    If Bock says that the words "My throne" refer to the throne of David then how can he say that the Father's throne where He now sits is also the throne of David? Would that make sense? Of course not!

    Therefore, common sense dictates that the Lord Jesus is not now sitting or ruling from the throne of David.
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; August 22nd, 2017 at 02:16 PM.

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