I’m Dispensational. There, I’ve said it. Now that we’ve got past the elephant in the room let me let you in on a little secret: I’m sooo frustrated by how fractured God’s People are; Dispensational, Covenantal, Premillennial, Pedobaptismal… we’re so… splintered. I understand why (in fact I’m as guilty as the next guy); I just hate it.
With that in mind I recently read a post by Prof. Johan Malan of the University of the North (which I think has merged to become the University of Limpopo;
although I couldn’t find Prof. Johan Malan listed under the faculty [editor: I have it on good authority that the Prof is retired hence the absence on any lists.]) who laid down a seven fold Dispensational view in an article titled The Dispensations of God – Do You Have the Correct Perspective? Turns out, according to the Prof, I don’t. The seven Dispensations he laid down vary to the seven Dispensations I’ve always held to and am familiar with.
So with “Ecclesia semper reformanda est” ringing in my ears I went online to correct my view. After a bit of reading though I just couldn’t find references to back up his divisions, yet I found works to confirm mine… so I wrote to him (which he didn’t respond to :( ) and asked, “um… I don’t get it?” [editor: this is a paraphrase of the letter at the bottom of this post.]
Needless to say there might be a whole new group of Dispensationalists (like that’s all we needed, more obfuscation) out there who are characterised by their belief that God relates to human beings in a different way while the Antichrist reigns during the tribulation period (technically I think there is a flaw in this thinking).
Below is a table for comparison of who believes what regarding the Dispensations:
|Schemes||7 or 8 Dispensational Scheme||Prof Johan Malan||4 Dispensational Scheme||3 Dispensational Scheme (minimalist)|
|Genesis 1-3||Innocence or Edenic||The Dispensation of Innocence||Patriarchal||Law|
|Genesis 3-8||Conscience or Antediluvian||The Dispensation of the Conscience|
|Genesis 9-11||Civil Government||The Dispensation of Human Government after the Flood|
|Genesis 12 to Exodus 19||Patriarchal or Promise|
|Exodus 20 to Acts 1||Mosaic or Law||The Dispensation of the Law||Mosaic|
|Acts 2 to Revelation 20||Grace or Church||The Dispensation of Grace||Ecclesial||Grace|
|Revelation 4 – 18||The Dispensation of the Antichrist’s Reign|
|Revelation 20:4-6||Millennial Kingdom||The Dispensation of the Kingdom||Zionic||Kingdom|
|Revelation 20-22||Eternal State or Final|
Below is the letter I wrote to Prof. Johan Malan:
I don’t mind being wrong, got somewhere where I can go and look for more detail on this seven fold Dispensational view? If you’d like to read up a bit more go and check out GotQuestions which uses Ryrie’s model. Oh yes, I think Ryrie is the bomb. Anyone actually care about stuff like this or is this a little too dry and dusty?