Out Sick...

No, I haven't totally given up on blogging. And no, I haven't been consumed by the TeamPyro megablog, which has turned out to be the bloggosphere's equivalent of a black hole threatening to suck the life out of measley blogs everywhere. I've been pretty under the weather for the past three weeks, and struggling to stay above water in Hebrew took precedence over blowing off steam on my blog. I'm still not out of the woods with the illness, or with the Hebrew, so I don't know how much I'll add over here until I get back on my feet, but I'll be back.

One of the highlights of my seminary day is my trek to a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell combination store for lunch. I've been going with some regularity for the past 3 years, and have been trying to build a bridge to Christianity with a couple of the employees there who have become my friends.

John is the guy at the counter, and he's my favorite. For 3 years we've made casual conversation in passing - usually about sports, but occasionally about politics or some other current event. I don't know why I'm surprised by his intelligence - maybe it's because he's thirty-something and still working full-time as a cashier at Taco Bell. But he's bright, articulate, and as far as I can tell, as far away from Christ as he can be. But we've never broached the topic of Christianity, until today.

He knows I'm a seminary student... I'm usually flipping through Hebrew or Greek flashcards, or reading a conspicuously Christian book as I eat. It's not tough to tell what I'm up to. But I've never pushed the issue with him... just waited for him to bring it up. Today he did.

"Hey Chris. What do you think about dispensationalism?"

Uhhhh.... Not exactly what I expected from a guy who works at Taco Bell, teaches me new curse words from time to time, and who has never touched the topic of Christianity.

Turns out, he read an article in the Dallas Observer, a fairly liberal newspaper-type publication about Dallas Seminary and some controversies about dispensationalism at DTS that are actually old news although the article came out last week. I hadn't read it, so I looked it up when I got back to school.

If you're interested in dispensationalism, or some of the current discussions within dispensationalism right now, you might be interested in reading the article here. It's a really long article, but does a fairly good job in a lot of respects. It minimizes some of the distinctions between traditional and progressive dispensationalism that I wish it had brought out more, but I was overall fairly surprised at the thorough treatment given in such a liberal publication that isn't at all committed to explaining biblical truth. Dispensationalism has some black eyes, and the article brings them out, but does a pretty good job at painting dispensationalism overall in a fairly good light.

If nothing else, the article gave me a really bizzarre starting point to lead into sharing the Gospel with a guy at Taco Bell.


Louise said...

If you should run into a web item titled PRETRIB RAPTURE DIEHARDS (while Googling), you will learn why Dispensationalism should be called Dishonest-pensationalism! I guarantee you will be turned inside out after you learn that Darby wasn't first on the church/Israel dichotomy, the Gentile (church) parenthesis, the literal method, and (incredibly) the pretribulation rapture! If you keep on assuming that Darby was the "father" of at least "something," you will go down in history as just someone who copies others who copy others who copy others instead of someone who does some original research!
Louise (an independent thinker)

Chris Freeland said...

I'll pray that your humility will catch up with your knowledge as you think independently through the issues. The intention of my post was not to indicate that I agreed with everything the author of the article said, but to relate an interesting conversation I had with an unbeliever over lunch. Additionally, even you will have to admit that for a liberal media publication, the Observer did a fairly stand-up job at describing some of the current-issues in dispensationalism.

Your comment about "dishonest-pensationalism," betrays some awfully dependent thinking. I would agree that Darby was not the first to proport many of the things you mention... Paul predated him by a couple of thousand years. But it is accurate to give Darby credit for bringing some of those ideas to the forefront of church thought.

Thanks for reading.


Louise said...

Chris: I apologize. Going back over my original comment, I realize now that I wasn't too clear in part of it. When I used "you" in "If you keep on assuming" (and the rest of that thought), I had in mind the readers and especially those who merely repeat what has long been assumed about Darby. I realized that your focus was not Darby-boosting but that you were drawing attention to an interesting article. But somehow my words didn't come out right; I should have proofread it! You yourself (unlike me) said nothing wrong, and I do apologize. Louise