Warning shots against Calvinistic influence in Southern Baptist churches is all the rage today. While some anti-Calvinist Southern Baptists have been involved in end times conferences promoting Dispensationalism, they do not seem to fear its Calvinistic roots. To be fair, many Southern Baptists may not know the Calvinistic history of Dispensationalism.
Dr. Ice explains the systematization, history and growth of Dispensationalism. He begins:
If systematic Dispensationalism is rightly understood it logically makes sense only within a theocentric and soteriologically Calvinists theology. Dispensationalism teaches that it is GOD who is ruling His household, as administered through the various dispensations of history. Though Dispensationalism, or elements of Dispensationalism have been disseminated throughout a wide diversity of Protestant traditions, this system of theology is best seen as a system of theology that views God as the Sovereign ruler of heaven and earth; man as a rebellious vice-regent (along with some angels); Jesus Christ is the hero of history as He is saves some by His Grace; history as a lesson in the outworking of God’s glory being displayed to both heaven and earth. In essence, Dispensationalism is a theology properly derived from biblical study and lets God be God.
After defining Calvinism and Dispensationalism, Ice explains the theological logic of how nicely the two systems fit together. He then tackles the following topics as they relate to Dispensationalism.
- Darby and the Brethren
- Dispensationalism in America
- Scofield, Chafer, and Dallas Seminary
- A Broadening of Dispensational Acceptance
- Latter Rain Pentecostalism
- Post War Development
Ice concludes in part:
In our day of Postmodern irrationalism, where it is considered a virtue to NOT connect the dots of one’s theology, we need to be reminded that the theology of the Bible is a seamless garment. It all hangs together. If one starts pulling at a single thread, the whole cloth is in danger of unraveling.
I personally think that if systematic Dispensationalism is rightly understood then it still logically makes sense only within a theocentric and soteriologically Calvinistic theology.
Read the whole thing: The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism by Dr. Thomas Ice.
Guilt by association is often employed against Calvinism in certain Southern Baptist circles. Yet, that fallacy is not used against Dispensationalism that is taught within Southern Baptist churches. No one seems to be worried that Dispensationalism within the Southern Baptist Convention is going to slowly move people toward Calvinism nor slowly move people toward theological practices that the founders of Dispensationalism practiced.
Now, if we Southern Baptists can just treat other theological positions with Calvinistic roots in the same manner there may be much less infighting.
For what it’s worth…
P.S. Don’t be a Southern Baptist Phantom Menace.