The Importance of Dispensationalism and Covenantal Theology Essay

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Covenant theology and dispensationalism has been a highly debated topic in many evangelical circles for the past century. There are many God fearing men that fall on both sides of this debate and even more who are not knowledgeable of either side. Paul Karleen states this issue well when he says, “If one mentions the word dispensationalism in any group of evangelicals, there are likely to be various responses. What is a dispensationalist? How can you recognize one? Is it a person who frequently attends Bible conferences? Once he is identified, can he be labeled immediately as unscholarly, as some might do? For some, dispensationalism is foolishness. But for others it is a tremendous help in understanding the Bible”. Although many God fearing Christians differ on this topic this does not diminish the importance of proper study and research on both covenant theology and dispensationalism. This paper will compare both covenantal theology and dispensationalism by examining the definition, historical context, and biblical context, followed by a personal defense of the view in which I adhere. Furthermore, in an effort for clarity, this paper will examine both of these view separately followed by comparing the two. Dispensationalism will be the starting point of this intriguing discussion.


Dispensationalism like most theological topics is best discussed by examining the definition, historical context, and Biblical context. When these three topics are studied individually it gives a fuller and more complete concept of the given topic. The first place one must start is by defining the topic.
Dispensationalism can be a tough word to define because it is such a vast t...

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Gerstner, John H.. Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: a Critique of Dispensationalism. Brentwood, Tenn.: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991.

Karleen, Paul S.. The Handbook to Bible Study: With a Guide to the Scofield Study System. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Kraus, C. Norman. Dispensationalism in America Its Rise and Development . Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1958.

Nevin, Paul David. “Some Major Problems in Dispensational Interpretation” unpublished Doctor’s dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1963.

Ramm, Bernard. Protestant Biblical Interpretation. Boston: W.A Wilde, 1956.

Reymond, Robert L.. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1998.

Robertson, O. Palmer. The Christ of the Covenants. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980.

Ryrie, Charles. Dispensationalism Today. Chicago: Moody Press, 1971.

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