Q. I’ve been hearing and reading lately that Dallas Seminary is drifting away from the seven dispensations and is leaning to “progressive dispensationalism” which, I’m told, say there are four. Do you have any insight into this? Thank you, again, for your ministry. We are all blessed from it.
A. In my opinion, the differences between traditional dispensationalism and progressive dispensationalism are relatively minor, centering around the question of whether Jesus is sitting on David’s throne today or not. I tend to believe He’s not, since I believe David’s throne symbolizes rulership over Israel on Earth.
I’m aware of the “elimination” of some of the dispensations by the progressives, and of a slightly different view of God’s dealings with Israel during the Church Age, or current dispensation. And I’m troubled by what may turn out to be a departure from a strictly literal interpretation of Scripture among progressives. But so far this is just a battle among intellectuals. How many run of the mill dispensationalists could name the 7 dispensations, or even know that they are dispensationalists?
The progressive view seems more accommodating of the fact that Jews are being saved in increasing numbers. But man’s tendency is to look at things from the perspective of his own experience, and in the 15 years or so that the progressive view has been around a lot of Jews have been saved. Jewish web sites that are designed to fight this trend say that more Jews have been saved in the last 19 years than in the previous 1900. To me this just means that the Church Age is about to end and God’s focus is once again returning to Israel. It doesn’t require a new system of theology to understand that.