Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism

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9781561210213: Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism
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In this devastating critique of dispensationalism, noted historian and biblical scholar John H. Gerstner, Ph.D. (Harvard), focuses on several of dispensationalism's leading errors. He demonstrates that dispensationalism not only provides a prophetic scheme for interpreting history, but a whole new theology that makes serious alterations to evangelical doctrine. Gerstner, a former dispensationalist himself, carefully demonstrates through abundant citation of original sources that dispensationalism promotes dubious evangelicalism, spurious Calvinism, and overt antinomianism. In this edition he also replies at length his dispensational critics.

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About the Author:

John H. Gerstner (November 22, 1914 March 24, 1996) was a Professor of Church History at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Knox Theological Seminary and an authority on the life and theology of Jonathan Edwards. He earned both a Master of Divinity of degree and a Master of Theology degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Harvard University in 1945. He was originally ordained in the United Presbyterian Church of North America, then (due to church unions) with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the Presbyterian Church (USA). In 1990, he left the PCUSA for the Presbyterian Church in America. Gerstner counted among his students, noted author and preacher, R. C. Sproul, founder of Ligonier Ministries, Dr. Arthur Lindsley, Senior Fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute, and Dr. Walter (Wynn) Kenyon, Professor of Biblical Studies and Philosophy; Chair of the Philosophy Department and Division of Ministry and Human Services at Belhaven University. In addition to the books Gerstner had written, he also recorded several lengthy audio courses giving a survey of theology, church history, and Christian apologetics, which are distributed through Ligonier Ministries.

Review:

This is a hard book, not in the sense of theological difficulty, but in that it hits hard against a theological system that in all probability is the majority report among current American evangelicals. Gerstner does not have a reputation for dueling with gentility; he asks no quarter and gives none. Yet Gerstner is not interested in substituting vitriolic polemic for hard debate. Rather, he is convinced that nothing less than the gospel is at stake here, and hence it is not a time for pussyfooting timidity. As a debater Gerstner is steeped in the tradition of Paul, Luther, Calvin, and Edwards where the issues are of such importance that it is imperative that those who go to the mat are dealt with not as weaker brothers, but as able-bodied, indeed, formidable opponents. In this sense the book is hard and not for the weak-minded. As a world-class historian, Gerstner has done his homework. The book is a result of years of careful and painstaking research. Gerstner has examined in the minutest detail the works of the most important historic dispensational theologians. He has canvassed scholarly journals and Ph.D. dissertations. He has been in repeated dialogue and debate with contemporary dispensational scholars. The current publication is the crystallized essence of over one thousand typescript pages of Gerstner s research and conclusions. My hope is that this book will spark earnest debate. Recent years have witnessed cordial and helpful dialogue between Reformed theologians and dispensational theologians. In that dialogue much has been accomplished. This book will escalate the debate. It will surely generate heat. My hope is that in the heat there will be light, and that in mature debate our understanding of the gospel will be sharpened and not obscured. --R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries

In this book a clear-headed classical Calvinist challenges contemporary Dispensational theology. With skill and thorough knowledge he maps the geography of the gulf that lies between the two positions, and invites the reader to agree that Dispensationalism is seriously astray. All readers will be grateful to the author for clarifying the issues more precisely than any previous book has done. --J.I. Packer

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