Dispensationalism Examined

Great book in contrasting the Reform and Dispensational views

Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2009

Dispensationalism, Rightly Dividing the People of God?, is excellently written from cover to cover; even the preface, which is usually ignored by the reader, is insightful. In the preface, Mr. Mathison basically states what inspired him to write the book: first of all, the dispensational views are so widely accepted by the majority of people without reservation of thought, simply because these views are popular, and secondly, the Christian is obligated to seek and perpetuate Biblical truth.

Prominent dispensationalist, such as Charles Ryrie, C.I. Scofield, Lewis Sperry Chafer, J. Dwight Pentecost, and others, are quoted throughout the book. Liken unto the analyses of a chemist, holding a test tube over a flame, breaking a bit of matter to its common elements - so too does Mr. Mathison in analyzing dispensationalism, holding the very words of dispensationalist over the flame of Holy Scripture. The purpose of this book is to determine whether or not dispensational theology is Biblically true.

Perhaps the chapter most beneficial to me personally was Chapter 12, "Regeneration," because it cleared up the confusion of the Christian with two nature assumption. In this chapter, Mathison explains that when a person is saved (regenerated), that person is then spiritually alive, not dead, but that this does not equate to having a new "divine" nature; a Christian has a spirit united with Christ (by His Spirit), but, as Mr. Mathison states, "a man remains a man with a human nature only."

I also found "Part 2" of the book (chapters 3-6), in regards to the contrast between the Reform view and Dispensational view of the Doctrine of the Church, were extremely helpful; in particular, Mathison's examination of Romans 11:11-24 and Galatians 3:16, 29, and Chapter six, including the diagrams representing "NATIONAL ISRAEL", "GENTILE NATIONS", and "TRUE ISRAEL = THE CHURCH."

Dispensationalism, Rightly Dividing the People of God?, is a very good book; it's relatively easy to read, straight-forward, and yet thoroughly detailed; provocative, yet not insulting. It's a book which you could loan to a dispensationalist friend - and still remain friends.