The Transcendental Argument Against Dispensationalism: Introduction

Over the course of the next [however long it takes me to do this], I will be posting a series which will seek to show that the Christian believer who holds to a Dispensational hermeneutic is not relying on sola scriptura to interpret the Bible and is instead, just like the Romanist, Muslim, Arminian or Atheist, relying upon tradition and his own autonomy to interpret scripture.

Let me make it clear that I do not believe that our Dispensationalist friends are not brothers or sisters in Christ. Rather, I am writing this because I believe they are in Christ but whether due to poor teaching, tradition, or autonomous reasoning they’ve believed a lie.

Perhaps a better title for this series would be The Transcendental Argument for the existence of God in the context of Dispensationalism. My reason for saying this is because I am not so much arguing against Dispensationalism as I am arguing for Christian theism as a unit and showing how the system of Dispensationalism is not found in Christian theism.

This first post will mainly contain logiical arguments which show that Dispensationalism is not a part of Christian Theism. I plan, as the series progresses to explore and defend these arguments in greater detail by exploring and exegeting the relevant scriptural passages. Below, my arguments are listed for your perusal:

1.
P. The intelligibility of experience presupposes Christian theism.
P. Dispensationalism is not Christian theism.
C: Not Dispensationalism.

2.
P. Belief in falsehood presupposes human autonomy.
P. Dispensationalism is false.
C: Dispensationalism presupposes human autonomy.

3.
P. Christian theism presupposes Sola Scriptura.
P. Dispensationalism is not taught in Scripture.
C: Dispensationalism is not Christian theism.

4.
P. Christian theism presupposes not human autonomy.
P. Dispensationalism presupposes human autonomy.
C. Christian theism is not Dispensationalism.

I hope these posts will be helpful in bringing our Dispensationalist friends into a right understanding of Sola Scripture both in practice and in principle. I hope that these posts will be helpful for those whop are studying presuppositional argumentation to see that the transcendental argument is not simply for use against Atheists, but rather is capable of defending Christian theism against any error.

In Christ,
Ben

Note: I edited one of the arguments to correct the terminology the substance of the four arguments has not changed.


 

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10 Comments

Nate Claiborne

I’ll look forward to see where you take this series.

Out of curiosity though, how are you going to define dispensationalism? Who are going to be your primary conversation partners for articulating the dispensational position you plan to deconstruct?

I am not personally of the dispensational persusasion, but I do have a Th.M from Dallas Seminary, and at this point have seen very few people legitimately interact with current dispensational thought. This series looks promising, but looking at your outline, I have a hard time seeing you complete it successfully if your primarily interact with people like Darrel Bock and Craig Blaising.

Ben W.

Thanks for your interest!

I do plan on interacting with Progressive Dispensationalism. Darrel Bock, Craig Blaising and Robert Saucy are my main sources for that work.

Ron (aka RealityCheck)

Yeah, I’ve got to agree with Nate. Unless a proper definition of Dispensationalism is laid out first (and I am of the MacArthur type) any interaction is misleading.

I’d recommend people searching over at the sites of Fred Butler (http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/) and Dan Phillips (http://bibchr.blogspot.com/) to get a full presentation.

Ben W.

Hi Ron,

The reason I didn’t specify a specific flavor of dispensationalism is because I hope to deal with more than just one. I’d like to make it clear though that Progressive Dispensationalism is the most interesting to me because of its attempts to deal with the errors in the Classical view.

MacArthur’s “leaky” Dispensationalism isn’t something I plan to specifically address, though, I think certain arguments against both Progressive and Classical Dispensationalism will be relevant to his view as well. The similarities between MacArthur’s view and the Progressive view are many.

Nate Claiborne

Excellent, I’ll look forward to following along and see where you take this argument!

CW

Can you explain what Sola Scriptura is. Thank you

RazorsKiss

Here’s a simple explanation: Scripture Alone (Theopedia)
The Monergism Resource Overkill
Here is my debate on the topic, as well.

SLIMJIM

Have you been able to flesh out any of the arguments you proposed?

Ben W.

Hi SLIMJIM,

I’m working on my next post in the series, being in school has slowed my posting down to a crawl though. I hope to have something out soon.

Thanks for asking!

SLIMJIM

Thanks for the prompt reply. I know what you mean with being busy!


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