There are at least a couple blatant errors about Dispensational theology cast into the wind like dandelion seeds. They won’t actually sprout, but they do stick onto things and can be hard to get off. It’s one thing for our covenantal brothers to act like Dispensationalists aren’t cool, fine. But tagging Dispensationalism with all the baggage of hyper-Dispensationalism requires reading into rather than out of, which turns out to be a modus operandi for reading a lot of things.
It is untrue that a Dispensationalist believes in two ways of salvation. When working through the relationship between the Old and New Testament, between the Law and Gospel, there are reasonable questions about the relationship between them. But a Dispensationalist does not believe that someone before Jesus was saved in any other way than by faith in God. Old Testament saints looked forward by faith to the coming Messiah. After Christ’s coming we look back by faith. But salvation is, and always has been, by faith alone. There was one note in the original Scofield Study Bible (1909) that some misread, uncharitably, that was revised in the next edition to make it clear. Some have been purposefully blind to that clarification.
It is untrue that a Dispensationalist believes in grace without obedience. In other words, Dispensationalists are not antinomian, that is, those who don’t believe that Christians should obey God’s law or submit to Jesus as Lord. It is true that a couple Dispensationalists have taught that, for example, the Sermon on the Mount is only meant to apply to the Kingdom of God and therefore has no application for believers today. The same sort of group might say that the Old Testament law has no application for New Testament believers. But again, this is hyper-Dispensationalism, this is over-cutting, not cutting straight. It is not what we mean at all.
With that said about untruths, there are some significant unpleasantries about Dispensationlism that should be dealt with, and I’ll address those in the next post.