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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Are you a dispensationalist?

What men, then, according to these definitions, should be classed as dispensationalists? The answer to this question might be stated in a variety of ways. Three of these may suffice:

(1) Any person is a dispensationalist who trusts the blood of Christ rather than bringing an animal sacrifice.

(2) Any person is a dispensationalist who disclaims any right or title to the land which God covenanted to Israel for an everlasting inheritance.

And (3) any person is a dispensationalist who observes the first day of the week rather than the seventh.

To all this it would be replied that every Christian does these things, which is obviously true; and it is equally true that, to a very considerable degree, all Christians are dispensationalists.

However, not all Christians, though sincere, are as well instructed in the spiritual content of the Scriptures as others, nor have they seen the necessity of recognizing other and deeper distinctions which do confront the careful student of the Word of God.

It should be observed, however, that, apart from extremists who are not now under consideration and mere echo men who appear on either side of a controversy and who have not thought through the problems of interpretation, the instructed dispensationalists of all generations have had as good reason for the distinctions they have made as any Christian might present for trusting only in the blood of Christ apart from all Jewish sacrifices.

The worthy dispensationalist does not create problems of interpretation; he rather seeks to solve the problems which penetrating study of the text of Scripture imposes. Naturally, to the person who has confronted no problems, the work of the advanced student seems divisive and superimposed. Such misunderstandings obtain in every field of human investigation.

Lewis Sperry Chafer, Dispensationalism. (Dallas 4, Texas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1951), 9–10.

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