So why would “hard-line dispensationalists” be excluded [from TGC]?

"My guess is that, despite Kelly and DeYoung’s claims, TGC has taken a stand on eschatology. As Kevin Bauder has noted, most traditional dispensationalists (perhaps this is what is meant by 'hard-line') do not believe that the kingdom has been inaugurated, while TGC’s Founding Documents explicitly claim that it has."

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JC's picture

So would it be safe to conclude that:

1. TGC believes eschatological interpretation is essential to the gospel (and by extrapolation, that traditional/hard-line dispensationalists are not saved or preaching the gospel)

OR

2. That TGC is more than a 'gospel coalition'.   Is it also a shadow coalition for eschatology and other unstated like-minded subsets of evangelical Christians?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Probably for reasons similar to why non-dispensationalists are excluded from many fundamentalist organizations.  Before working up a load of indignation about the inaugurated kingdom not being part of the Gospel (which it is not), please ask yourself if the pre-tribulation rapture is a fundamental of the Christian faith?  Are you willing to include non-dispensationalists on fundamentalist mission boards and schools?  If not, why not?

G. N. Barkman

JC's picture

I understand that a lot of organisations have distinctives around eschatology and many other issues.  We call them denominations.    My understanding was that the gospel coalition (TGC) was meant to sit above those distinctives and unite around simply gospel issues.   Maybe my understanding of their mission is wrong.  If that is the case, I just wish they would admit they are a denomination.

And by way of full disclosure:  The reason my first post had a tinge of 'indignation' its because I've seen first hand their mockery of dispensational interpretation.  I've witness at TGC associated conferences unsolicited public declarations like, 'We don't need a chart to explain Revelation', when eschatology wasn't even being discussed.  Separately, I've heard associated sermons take apart the Left Behind Books (and that is not hard to do theologically) and then declare they have debunked dispensationalism.   Both those examples actually drove good gospel focused Christians away rather than united them around a common mission.   

Now, I hold a progressive dispensational view (so I assume I am not personally excluded), but my beef is the way strawmen are used for 'unnecessary religious politics' when the stated narrative is 'only the gospel'.

Finally, I will also take your point and try to not respond with indignation, but with a more relaxed tone.