Some Thoughts About the End-Times

Several months ago, the teens at church asked three questions during Sunday School as the teacher covered 2 Thessalonians 2, and I wrote up a brief response to augment the teacher’s answers. These were their questions:

  1. Was Old Testament salvation by faith, or by works?
  2. Did the Holy Spirit indwell believers in the Old Testament?
  3. Will the Holy Spirit indwell believers during the Tribulation?

I love both letters to the Thessalonians. I especially love 2 Thessalonians 2, because it gives such a clear skeleton outline of eschatology. Here’s what I wrote to them …

In order to answer these, and to understand why these questions even came up in 2 Thessalonians 2:6, you need to read the passage. It’s probably the clearest chronological account of what will happen in the end-times. Read it and see for yourself!

Paul was reassuring the Christians in Thessalonica that they shouldn’t pay attention to silly and ridiculous teachings about the end-times. Even back then, people were running around concocting all kinds of weird speculations about the end of days! So, Paul wanted to set them straight (2 Thess 2:1-2). Here is the order of events the passage gives us:

1: Jesus won’t come back and judge the world until the great rebellion against God comes first (2 Thess 2:4).

Specifically, a “man of lawlessness” will come onto the world stage. This man will be a “son of destruction.” The “lawlessness” and “destruction” are characteristics of this man; he epitomizes lawlessness and rebellion against God and he destroys all that’s good and holy. Jesus won’t come back until this guy appears first.

2: This evil guy will “oppose and exalt himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God,” (2 Thess 2:4).

This man will have a reverse Messiah complex; He’s Jesus’ counterpart from the “dark side,” so to speak. In short, this man is the Antichrist.

3: Paul reminds the Thessalonians that he already told them this, when he was with them (2 Thess 2:5). Why are they getting so confused!?

It’s clear that people have always wanted to know about the end-times, and teachers have always had to preach and teach about it!

4: Something is restraining this evil man from appearing now, “so that he may be revealed in his time,” (2 Thess 2:6). And “he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way,” (2 Thess 2:7).

What is this restraint? What or who can possibly restrain the forces and cultural conditions necessary for people around the world to want and accept what the Antichrist will be offering? Bear in mind that the Antichrist will be offering a world system opposed to God; in fact, he’ll offer himself as a secular alternative to God. There’s something in our culture, right now, that’s “holding back” or “restraining” people from embracing this alternative. What could it possibly be?

It’s likely the Holy Spirit.

But, what means is the Spirit using to restrain the world culture from accepting a wholehearted secularism? It seems natural He’s using people’s consciences, God-honoring laws and social mores, and more. There are cultural pockets in this world that have embraced secularism – especially in the West. But, there are many more that haven’t.

If we’re right about the Holy Spirit being the “restrainer,” then what does it mean that He’ll eventually be “out of the way?” It seems to mean that the Spirit will stop restraining evil in the world, the doors will open, and a flood of wickedness and secularism will drown the entire world – to a much greater extent than it does right now. Then the cultural conditions and secular mindsets will be in place to accept a world system explicitly predicated on hatred and opposition to the Christian God.

Pretend you’re holding a door closed, while someone is trying to push his way through from the other side. After a while, you step away from the door and let the person crash through into the room. The Holy Spirit is the one holding the door. The Antichrist and his philosophy are trying to push through. One day, the Spirit will simply step aside and let him come in.

5: The Antichrist will be revealed, and Jesus will return (Rev 19) and kill him (2 Thess 2:8).

6: The Antichrist is a tool of Satan, who seduces people to a secular world system “because they refused to love the truth and so be saved,” (2 Thess 2:9-10).

In fact, because they don’t love Him, God will even send them a delusion so they’ll believe the Antichrist, when he comes (2 Thess 2:11-12).

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the answers to the three original questions:

Was Old Testament salvation by faith, or by works?

It was by faith. The idea of “having faith” or to “believe the Gospel” means to put trust or allegiance in Jesus and His message. It doesn’t mean a mental leap into the dark, or deliberately believing something you know can’t be true. Read Galatians 3-4, where Paul answers the question directly. The idea that the Old Covenant saints were saved by works is a legacy of a bad form of Bible interpretation. The Scofield Reference Bible was perhaps the best-selling study Bible of the 20th century. Unfortunately, it suggested that Old Covenant believers were saved by works, and New Covenant believers were saved by grace.1 This is wrong. For the truth, see especially Jesus’ interpretation of the Mosaic Law (Mk 12:28-32), where He taught the essence of the law was obedience based on love for Him.

The Scofield study Bible, and one strand of the theological system that accompanied it, has influenced countless Christians to believe false things about Old Covenant life and practice. I think the original Scofield bible notes are dangerous.

If a believer in any age really loves God, she’ll prove it by actions. Those actions will look a bit different, depending on when you’re alive. Abraham didn’t have the Mosaic law, so his form of loving obedience looked a bit different than David’s. Likewise, our life looks a bit different than Ezekiel’s. But, at the heart of all of it is this fact – if you love God, you’ll keep His commandments. It’s always been that way.

Did the Holy Spirit indwell believers in the Old Testament?

Yes; why wouldn’t He? See the oodles of passages which talk about people “circumcising” their hearts (Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4, etc.). What does it mean to “circumcise your heart?” It’s clearly figurative:

  • just as external circumcision is an external mark that shows a boy belongs to God’s covenant family
  • internal circumcision is an internal mark on your heart to show that you belong to God’s family

Can you make your heart belong to God? Of course not; God has to do something to your heart and mind first! In essence, “circumcise your heart” means “you must be born again!” It means spiritual birth. You have spiritual birth by believing in God’s promises about the Messiah.

Will the Holy Spirit indwell believers during the Tribulation?

Yes, why wouldn’t He?2 This is only a valid question if you assume 2 Thessalonians 2:6 means the Holy Spirit leaves this world and goes back to heaven to hang out. This is wrong, and that means this question is based on a bad assumption.

Notes

1 1917 Scofield note at Gen 12:1: “Grace had prepared a deliverer (Moses), provided a sacrifice for the guilty, and by divine power brought them out of bondage Ex 19:4 but at Sinai they exchanged grace for law.”

Note at John 1:17: “[Grace] is, therefore, constantly set in contrast to law, under which God demands righteousness from man, as, under grace, he gives righteousness to man Ro 3:21; 8:4; Phm 1:25. Law is connected with Moses and works; grace with Christ and faith Joh 1:17; Ro 10:4-10. Law blesses the good; grace saves the bad Ex 19:5; Eph 2:1-9. Law demands that blessings be earned; grace is a free gift De 28:1-6; Eph 2:8; Ro 4:4-5. As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ Ro 3:24-26; 4:24-25. The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as the condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ, with good works as a fruit of salvation.”

2 See especially Rolland McCune, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, 3 vols. (Detroit: DBTS, 2009), 2:267-289. No, I didn’t give the poor teenagers this footnote …

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There are 29 Comments

pvawter's picture

You know I've heard about Scofield's 2 ways of salvation teaching for years, but only ever from his detractors. Does anyone know of any dispensationalist who actually taught that OT saints were saved by works?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Never heard anyone teach it. But, have always seen Christians very confused by it. The footnote above has some gems from Scofield.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ron Bean's picture

pvawter wrote:

You know I've heard about Scofield's 2 ways of salvation teaching for years, but only ever from his detractors. Does anyone know of any dispensationalist who actually taught that OT saints were saved by works?

 

Peter Ruckman taught this including his proclamation that those who remained after the rapture would have to be saved "the way people were saved in the Old Testament---by faith AND keeping the Law." I've also heard at least one of his followers saying the same thing.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I've also heard a lot of confusing rhetoric about "law" and "grace," implying that there was basically no grace in Old Testament times and that there is no law now.

In part, this thinking comes from misunderstanding passages like these:

  • Jn 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
  • Ro 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
  • Ro 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

It would make for a long post to unpack these passages, but they do not teach that "there was once a time when everyone related to God through law and that time has now passed and we relate to Him today through grace." 

The really short version of what they do mean is ...

  • All grace in all times has come through Christ
  • Law in the sense of "the standard of God's righteousness" condemns us all until we are "in Christ." At that point, it no longer condemns us and we are "not under law" but "under grace." In other words, grace has triumphed over the condemnation that law brings (See also Rom. 8:1ff). This was also true of OT saints who entered into relationship with God the Abrahamic way, through faith. (Gal. 3:15-17 is especially helpful for sorting this out.)
  • Rom. 10:4 is not saying that law-keeping ever was "for righteousness," but (I think) that vain attempts to become righteous by that route are ended in Christ. This was also true in OT times whenever believers entered into genuine relationship with God through faith. (The passage may also mean that Christ is the goal of the law for righteousness... I have more study to do, but I'm quite confident of what the verse does not mean.)
pvawter's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

 

pvawter wrote:

 

You know I've heard about Scofield's 2 ways of salvation teaching for years, but only ever from his detractors. Does anyone know of any dispensationalist who actually taught that OT saints were saved by works?

 

 

 

Peter Ruckman taught this including his proclamation that those who remained after the rapture would have to be saved "the way people were saved in the Old Testament---by faith AND keeping the Law." I've also heard at least one of his followers saying the same thing.

Never followed Ruckman. Guess that would explain why I didn't know he taught this. Did he credit Scofield as the source of his view?

pvawter's picture

TylerR wrote:

Never heard anyone teach it. But, have always seen Christians very confused by it. The footnote above has some gems from Scofield.

Yeah, well, those gems are obviously a tiny fraction of his writing on the subject. I used the Scofield Reference Bible from age 13 until at least my mid-20s and never came away with the idea of salvation by law-keeping in the OT. Now if he'd argued for a covenant of works in the garden, that might have been a different story. 

pvawter's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

I've also heard a lot of confusing rhetoric about "law" and "grace," implying that there was basically no grace in Old Testament times and that there is no law now.

In part, this thinking comes from misunderstanding passages like these:

  • Jn 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
  • Ro 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
  • Ro 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

It would make for a long post to unpack these passages, but they do not teach that "there was once a time when everyone related to God through law and that time has now passed and we relate to Him today through grace." 

The really short version of what they do mean is ...

  • All grace in all times has come through Christ
  • Law in the sense of "the standard of God's righteousness" condemns us all until we are "in Christ." At that point, it no longer condemns us and we are "not under law" but "under grace." In other words, grace has triumphed over the condemnation that law brings (See also Rom. 8:1ff). This was also true of OT saints who entered into relationship with God the Abrahamic way, through faith. (Gal. 3:15-17 is especially helpful for sorting this out.)
  • Rom. 10:4 is not saying that law-keeping ever was "for righteousness," but (I think) that vain attempts to become righteous by that route are ended in Christ. This was also true in OT times whenever believers entered into genuine relationship with God through faith. (The passage may also mean that Christ is the goal of the law for righteousness... I have more study to do, but I'm quite confident of what the verse does not mean.)

There seems to be plenty of confusion to go around about law and grace in every theological tradition. 

ScottS's picture

Tyler, your points 1 & 3 I agree with, but I would disagree with point two:

Did the Holy Spirit indwell believers in the Old Testament?

Yes; why wouldn’t He? See the oodles of passages which talk about people “circumcising” their hearts (Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4, etc.). What does it mean to “circumcise your heart?” It’s clearly figurative:

  • just as external circumcision is an external mark that shows a boy belongs to God’s covenant family
  • internal circumcision is an internal mark on your heart to show that you belong to God’s family

Can you make your heart belong to God? Of course not; God has to do something to your heart and mind first! In essence, “circumcise your heart” means “you must be born again!” It means spiritual birth. You have spiritual birth by believing in God’s promises about the Messiah.

To equate "circumcision of the heart" with "indwelling of the Spirit" is a massive leap in my mind (I'm not even sure I'm convinced that "heart circumcision" is 100% equal to "born again," but that sidetracks the discussion here).

I would say the Spirit did come upon people (not necessarily even just believers; e.g. Num 11:25, 24:2, 1 Sam 10:10 [NOTE: 1 Sam 10:9 is a heart change in Saul, but the Spirit did not come upon him until after that heart change, which at least shows that a heart change was distinct from Spirit's direct activity of coming upon OT people], and various other passages). But I would submit the following as at least some of the points arguing that OT believers were not indwelled:

  1. The Bible explicitly states the Spirit had not come because Christ needed to first be glorified (Jn 7:39); so this directly answers your "Why wouldn't he?" question (though opposite of your "yes" answer). It also states later He "will be in you" (future tense, Jn 14:17; at the time He was just dwelling "with" them).
  2. If the Spirit was already indwelling believers in the OT, then at least some (if not all) of the 11 faithful disciples would have already had the Spirit indwelling them prior to ever meeting Christ, for there is every indication that at least some of them were already faithful Jews keeping their eyes open for the Messiah and believing Jesus was him (Jn 1:41). And even if not considered faithful before, at least after meeting Christ, they were believing he was the Messiah, so the Spirit would have come then (Mt 16:16). It makes no sense that the Spirit still had to come (per #1 verses) or that they needed to be expecting to receive the Spirit from Christ (Jn 20:22; Act 1:8, 2:4, 2:33) if the Spirit was already indwelling them as OT believers.
  3. In accord with Jn 7:39, the Spirit's indwelling appears to be a post-incarnation/crucifixion/glorification of Christ mark of belonging to Christ (Rom 8:9-11), and is what makes Christ's body (the church) the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16), distinct from God dwelling in the tabernacle and temple in the OT (2 Sam 7:5-6 [cf. Exo 40:34]).

To me, those are all significant reasons to believe that an "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit was not part of the OT believers experience.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

TylerR's picture

Editor

Appreciate it. DT has a tradition that is skeptical of OT indwelling. McCune changed my mind (see footnote), and Leon Wood wrote a book on the Holy Spirit and the OT, as well. Didnt want to go into it, here. Neither did teens!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Probably the most concise thing I could say is that, if we could leave system labels aside, it depends how much continuity and discontinuity you see between the OC and NC salvation and motivation for service. I see greater continuity than most DT guys.

I believe many DT pastors are tied up in knots by about the relationship between law and grace, because the answers they learned are extremely confusing. I personally found Houghton's book (and McClain's) incoherent and extraordinarily confusing. I've read it three times. Likewise, Strickland's contribution to Zondervan's "Four Views on Law and Gospel" was also incoherent, in my opinion.

I've seen many Christians confused by this. I understand many will disagree here.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Ron Bean's picture

pvawter wrote:

 

Ron Bean wrote:

 

 

pvawter wrote:

 

You know I've heard about Scofield's 2 ways of salvation teaching for years, but only ever from his detractors. Does anyone know of any dispensationalist who actually taught that OT saints were saved by works?

 

 

 

Peter Ruckman taught this including his proclamation that those who remained after the rapture would have to be saved "the way people were saved in the Old Testament---by faith AND keeping the Law." I've also heard at least one of his followers saying the same thing.

 

 

Never followed Ruckman. Guess that would explain why I didn't know he taught this. Did he credit Scofield as the source of his view?

Ruckman didn't credit anyone with anything!!! Among his endtime oddities were that, at the rapture, believers would leave behind piles of blood and skin because "flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of heaven" (He had cartoon illustrations!), and that all believers would be 33 year old males because "we shall be like Him". 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

pvawter's picture

Ron Bean wrote:
 

Ruckman didn't credit anyone with anything!!! Among his endtime oddities were that, at the rapture, believers would leave behind piles of blood and skin because "flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of heaven" (He had cartoon illustrations!), and that all believers would be 33 year old males because "we shall be like Him". 

So Ruckman would not be what anyone would call a "mainstream" dispy. That still leaves me scratching my head about Tyler's warning that Scofield's notes are dangerous if no serious dispys taught 2 ways of salvation. 

pvawter's picture

TylerR wrote:

Probably the most concise thing I could say is that, if we could leave system labels aside, it depends how much continuity and discontinuity you see between the OC and NC salvation and motivation for service. I see greater continuity than most DT guys.

I believe many DT pastors are tied up in knots by about the relationship between law and grace, because the answers they learned are extremely confusing. I personally found Houghton's book (and McClain's) incoherent and extraordinarily confusing. I've read it three times. Likewise, Strickland's contribution to Zondervan's "Four Views on Law and Gospel" was also incoherent, in my opinion.

I've seen many Christians confused by this. I understand many will disagree here.

I recall finding Houghton's book generally helpful, but I don't remember any specifics at the moment. Do you have any specific dispy pastors in mind whose teaching on law and grace you find especially tied up in knots?

Ron Bean's picture

pvawter wrote:

 

Ron Bean wrote:
 

 

Ruckman didn't credit anyone with anything!!! Among his endtime oddities were that, at the rapture, believers would leave behind piles of blood and skin because "flesh and blood will not inherit the kingdom of heaven" (He had cartoon illustrations!), and that all believers would be 33 year old males because "we shall be like Him". 

 

 

So Ruckman would not be what anyone would call a "mainstream" dispy. That still leaves me scratching my head about Tyler's warning that Scofield's notes are dangerous if no serious dispys taught 2 ways of salvation. 

We were in a ministry that is still in existence that was strongly pro-Scofield and still is. They would properly be labeled hyper-dispensational but would deny it and use the Scofield notes to prove it. A key for them was seeing Acts as a transitional book and largely ignored (even though the Epistles were written DURING the time of Acts). This resulted in essentially ignoring baptism, the Lord's Supper, and formal church membership. A drastic view of the difference between israel and the Church that included that the wife and the Bride were two totally separate entities, that OT saints were in no way "in Christ". Add to that their conclusion that the Gospels were part of the  Old Testament because the Dispensation of Grace didn't begin until after the resurrection. I could go on. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

ScottS's picture

TylerR wrote:

Appreciate it. DT has a tradition that is skeptical of OT indwelling. McCune changed my mind (see footnote), and Leon Wood wrote a book on the Holy Spirit and the OT, as well. Didnt want to go into it, here. Neither did teens!

I'm unconvinced by McCune on a number of points he makes, but will respect not wanting "to go into it, here" (even though it was one of the three major points of your post).

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Larry's picture

Moderator

Scott, What is the explanation for obedience apart from Spirit indwelling? Is obedience possible apart from the Spirit, or in the flesh?

Bert Perry's picture

I believe I heard somebody teach that OT salvation was by works, and I know I've seen a (heretical church) pamphlet arguing that the sin at the "golden calf incident" consigned all but a couple of Israelites to Hell because it was sin donchaknow.  In the past 20 years, I've not seen it much.  I'm guessing it's partially because it's not as much in vogue to preach end times because we don't fear global nuclear war like in the 1980s.  Probably other reasons, too, like "I tend to shy away from churches that give too much credence to guys like John Hagee."

And Ruckman....all I can say is that it's amazing to me that a guy who was divorced twice and maintained a brutal attitude towards those who read the Scriptures in modern translations maintained his position as a pastor at any church.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

pvawter's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

We were in a ministry that is still in existence that was strongly pro-Scofield and still is. They would properly be labeled hyper-dispensational but would deny it and use the Scofield notes to prove it. A key for them was seeing Acts as a transitional book and largely ignored (even though the Epistles were written DURING the time of Acts). This resulted in essentially ignoring baptism, the Lord's Supper, and formal church membership. A drastic view of the difference between israel and the Church that included that the wife and the Bride were two totally separate entities, that OT saints were in no way "in Christ". Add to that their conclusion that the Gospels were part of the  Old Testament because the Dispensation of Grace didn't begin until after the resurrection. I could go on. 

Interesting. It seems like they functionally deny as much of Scofield's teaching as they accept.

pvawter's picture

And other than Bert's hazy recollection that he's heard someone teach that OT believers were saved by works, I'm still wondering if there's any actual evidence that anyone took Scofield's notes and used them to teach such a thing. I realize that they can be interpreted that way and commonly are by his detractors, but I'm just curious to find out if he actually influenced anyone to teach this. 

Ron Bean's picture

pvawter wrote:

And other than Bert's hazy recollection that he's heard someone teach that OT believers were saved by works, I'm still wondering if there's any actual evidence that anyone took Scofield's notes and used them to teach such a thing. I realize that they can be interpreted that way and commonly are by his detractors, but I'm just curious to find out if he actually influenced anyone to teach this. 

http://www.ruckmanism.org/multipleplans

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

ScottS's picture

Larry wrote:

Scott, What is the explanation for obedience apart from Spirit indwelling? Is obedience possible apart from the Spirit, or in the flesh?

Obedience is not "possible apart from the Spirit" working, but His work does not require His indwelling. People can be and are drawn toward faith, God, obedience, etc., by the Spirit prior to an actual coming to faith. Additionally, regeneration is a change in the person's human spirit (making it new; and also a work of the Spirit), whereas the indwelling is God in the person permanently (as opposed to the temporary nature in the OT); so the regenerating work of the Spirit promotes an obedient heart in believers (though does not guarantee obedience, and neither does the Spirit's indwelling; guaranteed obedience won't be until sin is also eradicated from the body through the resurrection). 

 

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

G. N. Barkman's picture

My grandfather gave me my first Schofield Bible when I was eleven.  He also tried to persuade me not to be baptized when I was twelve.  He listened to a radio teacher named Cornelius Stam, who authored several books.  I attended my grandfather's church during the Summer of 1965 while living with and working for him.  It was good for me, in that I heard many doctrines contrary to what I had been taught.  It caused me to start studying the Bible for myself in a way I had not previously.  I mark that as one of the most profitable periods of my youth. 

I love my grandfather, now with the Lord, but his brand of hyper-dispensationalism was strange fire.  No water baptism.  No church membership.  OT salvation by works.  I heard his pastor preach on the text, "The just shall live by faith."  The first citation in Habakkuk 2:4, he interpreted as prophecy.  "During Habakkuk's day, people were justified by works, but when the New Covenant arrives, then the just shall live by faith."

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

Appreciate. I'm on vacation, so there's no way on earth I was going to write an article about OT indwelling for SI. And, to be honest, that's such an esoteric DT thing that there's no need for me to argue against it in my ministry context!

My article was meant to be broad. I leave McCune and Wood to tackle the subject. I believe Calvin had a good discussion about the Spirit in the OC vs NC in his commentary on Hebrews 8.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Paul Henebury's picture

If memory serves Leon Wood taught that salvation in the OT was a separate question from the indwelling of the Spirit

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.

pvawter's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

 

pvawter wrote:

 

And other than Bert's hazy recollection that he's heard someone teach that OT believers were saved by works, I'm still wondering if there's any actual evidence that anyone took Scofield's notes and used them to teach such a thing. I realize that they can be interpreted that way and commonly are by his detractors, but I'm just curious to find out if he actually influenced anyone to teach this. 

 

 

http://www.ruckmanism.org/multipleplans

Ok, I get that Ruckman had a strange brand of quasi-dispensational teaching, but it seems pretty clear that he did not follow Scofield.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I think the most gracious interpretation of Scofield and early Chafer is they weren't as clear as they could have been. Regardless, their statements certainly suggested a different scheme of salvation.

Chafer is on record saying he never meant that, and I believe him. I'll always remember reading Chafer's soteriology in seminary. It's excellent, and I treasure vol. 3 of his systematic!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

Paul wrote:

If memory serves Leon Wood taught that salvation in the OT was a separate question from the indwelling of the Spirit

Just returned home from vacation, and looked at Woods. He taught that, because OT believers were regenerated, by inference the Holy Spirit had to indwell them in order to keep them in the faith - because nobody has ever been able to accomplish that on his own. Here is a relevant excerpt:

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

You asked:

I recall finding Houghton's book generally helpful, but I don't remember any specifics at the moment. Do you have any specific dispy pastors in mind whose teaching on law and grace you find especially tied up in knots?

Andy Stanley ... (smile). On a more relevant note, I have no "celebrity" examples you would know. This is my anecdotal experience from many churches pastored by anonymous men (like me) whom the world will never know. Houghton is very careful and very precise in his book. At the front-line level, I believe his fine distinctions are lost in many cases with many pastors. And, to be sure, many pastors didn't have the privilege of being taught by a world-class theologian like Houghton.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

pvawter's picture

TylerR wrote:

You asked:

I recall finding Houghton's book generally helpful, but I don't remember any specifics at the moment. Do you have any specific dispy pastors in mind whose teaching on law and grace you find especially tied up in knots?

Andy Stanley ... (smile). On a more relevant note, I have no "celebrity" examples you would know. This is my anecdotal experience from many churches pastored by anonymous men (like me) whom the world will never know. Houghton is very careful and very precise in his book. At the front-line level, I believe his fine distinctions are lost in many cases with many pastors. And, to be sure, many pastors didn't have the privilege of being taught by a world-class theologian like Houghton.

Stanley, sure. Lol

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