Thursday, October 5, 2006

Book Review - A Comparison of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology

A Comparison of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology
by Richard P. Belcher


For those who might desire a quick overview of the basic teachings of dispensationalism and Covenant theology, I would recommend this little book. Belcher's book is certainly not an exhaustive study, but it presents an accurate and usually fair presentation of both views (although the author occasionally allows his Covenant theology bias to bleed through). The volume also compares and contrasts the two positions side by side on the major dividing points.

The only place where I felt that the author seemed unfair was in his short discussion of the differing hermeneutics. Dispensationalists have long contended that Covenant theologians would have to change their position if they would interpret literally the Old Testament passages dealing with the kingdom. It is because they give figurative meanings to those passages that they come away with a different view concerning eschatology. Belcher, however, fails to mention this, but does accuse the dispensationalist of interpreting Scripture figuratively -- especially Rev. 4, in which he claims dispensationalists often see the Rapture. I personally have never read a dispensationalist who held the view that Belcher claims (there are probably some), although dispensationalists believe the opening verses of Rev. 4 do leave room for the Rapture. This is somewhat misleading, yet a minor flaw in an otherwise helpful little book.

HT: Gary Gilley

1 comment:

Pastor Ryan said...

I have always felt that it is a HUGE stretch to believe in the rature theory based on Rev. 4.