Friday, March 22, 2013

PreMillennial Math

Charles Ryrie defined Dispensationalism by the following three precepts:

  • A clear distinction between God's program for Israel and God's program for the Church.
  • A consistent and regular use of a literal principle of interpretation.
  • The understanding of the purpose of God as His own glory rather than the salvation of mankind.

It is the second principle above, the principle of literal bible interpretation, that Dispensationalists use to defend their belief in a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:4-6). It is on this basis that they level their most strident attack at differing eschatological views. Those who would deny the literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth are accused of "not believing the bible" and "over spiritualizing the text of scripture to conform to their system." At first blush this would seem to be quite a forceful argument. It strongly implies that Dispensationalism stands in the purity of literalism, and that all other viewpoints spiritualize the bible to the point of unbelief. But does this strict literalism hold up under close scrutiny? Or is Dispensationalism guilty of precisely the same "spiritualization" of time in interpreting the text of scripture?  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


In a recent internet dialog with a Roman Catholic, I was asked to give an example of where the Roman Catholic Church's (RCC) tradition was not in keeping with the testimony of scripture. There are numerous examples in RCC doctrine from which to choose, but the first that came to mind was that of purgatory. Given that I was repeatedly pointed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) as an explanation of what this RC believed, I thought it might be beneficial to provide a critical commentary regarding that teaching.  You will find the CCC's statement on purgatory below, with teth's commentary in blue. I have embedded the footnotes directly below text for easy reference.