Reformed Recalcitrance

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. The Reformation regained the truth of the first Pauline revelation, namely, justification by faith alone (Sola fide—Latin: faith alone -NC), but did not go on to restore the truth contained in the second revelation (Eph 5:32). It is altogether possible that the problems attending the restoration of the first revelation, being so far-reaching and revolutionary as a reaction to the Romish perversions of truth, were all that could be undertaken at one time or by one generation.

    Later studies of the NT developed the almost limitless theme of the second revelation. Unfortunately, however, theologians were unprepared to receive any added truth beyond that gained in the Reformation, and Protestant theology has, by a misguided loyalty to orthodoxy, never received the truth contained in Paul’s second revelation. It has been assumed that this added truth is dangerous if it was not included in the Reformation attainments and that it must be in conflict with those attainments.

    Early in the history of Protestantism there were individual theologians who caught the first gleams of truth contained in the second revelation, and an ever increasing light has fallen on this body of truth until today where there is a great corps of students of doctrine who hold and teach, along with the first revelation, the clear unfoldings respecting the Church which is Christ’s body.

    Nevertheless, orthodox Reformed theology persists in its original, isolated, and exclusive recognition of the first revelation, and continues to reject and condemn an intrusive as disruptive the great certified findings of those theologians who have given their years of study to the second revelation. This second revelation respecting the Church, if pursued worthily, leads with inexorable logic to dispensational and general distinctions of the Word of God.

    Apart from all the misunderstandings and weaknesses of men, in which we all share to some extent, it yet remains true that in the eternal purpose of God (and made possible by the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, and by the advent of the Spirit) a heavenly people are being called out for a specific heavenly glory, that this divine purpose is in no sense the realization of the promises and covenants made unto Israel, that every promise to Israel will yet be fulfilled, and that apart from these distinctions and anticipations there can be no harmonizing of the divine revelation.

    The very fact that there has been such neglect of the whole field embraced in the second Pauline revelation becomes a challenge to the student of the Word to advance with greatest care in this all-but-limitless realm of truth. The fact that the Church is a mystery—with regard to the age of her out-calling, the truth that she is the body of Christ, the truth that she will be the Bride of Christ, and the manner of her departure from this world—indicates her distinctive character as separate from all that has gone before or that will follow.

    The Apostle Paul writes: “Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen (Rom 16:25-27)

    –L S Chafer
    farouk and Mr. Darby say Amen and like this.
  2. I think the first part of your quote is certainly correct, that the first generation of reformers were so involved with soteriology and trying to pull the church out from under the collected debris of Romanism and dismantling the philosophy of Aquinas, it really had all it could handle in those first years of the Reformation. Some of the misguided doctrines of Rome were only lessen and dented and not altogether abandoned, such as Luther's idea of Consubstantiation. Zwingli attempted to get Luther to leave that teaching, but Luther was committed to it for reason I'll never understand. As time went on, later Reformers did do some work in those areas. Calvin brought the original Augustinian thinking into brighter focus, some of the more moderate Antebaptists stood for adult immersion, and the Wesley Brothers championed the cause of practical holiness. William Carey refocused the church on the importance of missions. Chafer produced some amazing Dispensational work.
  3. Hi JW - Thanks for your informative reply. Much of the teachings which apply only to Israel's promises are still generally unknown. I believe it is yet still not common knowledge that the mystery of the Church will not include unbelieving Israelites (John 20:29), with whom God will have a “new covenant” during the Millennium (Jer 31:31, 32; Eze 36:27). The new covenant of the Christian (Jew and Gentile) was made between the Father and the Son from eternity past (Heb 13:20, 21) and is separate from God’s eternal promises to Israel.
    Mr. Darby, Major and Jack Williamson says Amen and like this.
  4. It would appear to me that even the reformed have big splits within their ranks. Based on these comments about Paul's revelations, was Chafer a part of the Grace Movement?
  5. Not sure what you mean by Grace Movement.
  6. Hyper or Ultra Dispensationalism
  7. Hi netchaplain: I guess I'll have to re-read this before really fully figuring what all Chafer means here (he has a dispensational reputation anyway).

    I reckon that whatever term one uses, Reformed Recalcitrance, or whatever, it depends on how the term is used. (Meaning depending on use of words is I guess what a guy called Wittgenstein meant when he talked a lot about language.)

  8. PS: I just re-read Chafer's quote. I think I agree!
  9. No, Chafer was not ultra dispensational to my knowledge.
    Major likes this.
  10. Hi Sir, do you like reading J N Darby's writings? (I see your screen name...)
  11. Thanks, the quote NC used seems to make him appear to be as he quotes first and second revelations by Paul.
  12. Yes, I have read a bit of Darby, but far from everything he wrote. I find I agree with him on very many things (but not absolutely everything). I also sometimes read William Kelly, but I do not find him as engaging or thought provoking as Darby. Quite frankly, I think that generation was much more in touch with the Lord than our own.
    Major likes this.
  13. "And is so? we shall be like Thy Son,
    Is this the grace which He for us has bought?
    Father of mercies, thought beyond all thought,
    In glory to His own blest likeness brought."

    Mr. Darby likes this.
  14. Hahaha, I had that song in my head for the last several days after hearing it at a Bible conference I attended.
    farouk likes this.

  15. Farouk............what do you have against "Dispensational teaching"?

    Do you understand what Dispensation means?
  16. Hi Net.......How are you doing?

    Free Grace Theology is distinguished by its doctrine of salvation. Those who follow this thinking believe that God justifies the sinner on the sole condition of faith in Christ, not subsequent righteous living. Their definition of faith involves belief, trust, and conviction of Biblical facts to be true.
  17. J N Darby wrote some great hymns!


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