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#48333 - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 7:59 AM What is essential ****
John_C Offline

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Registered: Saturday, September 15, 2001
Posts: 1909
Loc: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Is it the 5 Solas, or the 5 points of the fundamentals of the faith declared back in the 1910's. Are there essentials that are underneath non-essentials to the above?

Why I'm thinking of this is that a forum friend on another board is encouraging his denomination, EFCA, to remove its standard regarding pre-millennial only. He thinks the denomination standard should include a-mil and post-mil. (I gather his denom lumps historical pre-mill and dispy pre-mill together). IOW, one's view on eschatology is really non-essential. I do think the 3 views except for dispy pre-mill are within orthodoxy, but is that where the essential vs non-essential argument flows? In my denomination there is a growing (still distinct minority) traction in regards to women deaconesses. The denom's standard on this seems essential when it comes to church polity, but non-essential when it comes to soteriology.

How best to view this essential vs non-essential elements.


Edited by John_C (Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:15 AM)
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#48334 - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:23 AM Re: What is essential [Re: John_C]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13356
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: John_C
Is it the 5 Solas, or the 5 points of the fundamentals of the faith declared back in the 1910's. Are there essentials that are underneath non-essentials to the above?

First, I'm not 100% clear on what the following means: "Are there essentials that are underneath non-essentials to the above?", but I'll take a guess. grin

Second, for clarification of those who may not be familiar with the "Five Essentials of the Faith" of 1910:
  1. The inspiration of the Bible by the Holy Spirit and the inerrancy of Scripture as a result of this.
  2. The virgin birth of Christ.
  3. The belief that Christ's death was an atonement for sin.
  4. The bodily resurrection of Christ.
  5. The historical reality of Christ's miracles.

Third, I view those "Five Essentials" as being far too broad in scope because they would acknowledge Arminianism, semi-Pelagianism, Pelagianism, Roman Catholicism and most sects as being legitimately Christian, i.e., acceptably teaching biblical truth, especially in the matter of salvation, to which I would strongly disagree.

Fourth, so I obviously believe that there are far more "essentials" that need to be included than those listed in the "Five Essentials of the Faith" of 1910.
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#48395 - Friday, April 27, 2012 11:53 AM Re: What is essential [Re: John_C]
li0scc0 Offline
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Registered: Thursday, December 19, 2002
Posts: 641
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Essential has to do with salvation.
Non-essential does not.

Thus in my opinion, eschatology is non-essential. So a Dispensational Preimillenialist believes in justification by grace through faith without salvific works. An amillenialist believes in justification by grace through faith without salvific works. Both agree on essential doctrine yet disagree on eschatology (and yes, I realize they would disagree on other things as well).

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#48397 - Friday, April 27, 2012 12:15 PM Re: What is essential [Re: li0scc0]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13356
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: li0scc0
Essential has to do with salvation.
Non-essential does not.

Thus in my opinion, eschatology is non-essential. So a Dispensational Preimillenialist believes in justification by grace through faith without salvific works. An amillenialist believes in justification by grace through faith without salvific works. Both agree on essential doctrine yet disagree on eschatology (and yes, I realize they would disagree on other things as well).

Most Dispensationalists (classic in particular) are semi-Pelagian and sometimes Arminian (classic) and thus although giving lip service to salvation by grace alone do in fact embrace a works (synergistic) salvation [their free-will exercising of their faith].

Secondly, classic Dispensationalists believe that OT saints were saved in a different manner than NT saints. Thus there is that crucial difference as well.

So, there is some truth to your response in that generally speaking, eschatology isn't necessarily an essential. grin
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#48441 - Saturday, April 28, 2012 6:13 AM Re: What is essential [Re: li0scc0]
John_C Offline

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Registered: Saturday, September 15, 2001
Posts: 1909
Loc: Mississippi Gulf Coast
That is where the argument takes us. Are only those parts of the Bible teaching about salvation to be consider essential? My thread question leads to that somewhat in that I asked if their are a subset of essentials underneath the the core tenets of the 5 solas and other vital truths.

Say for instance, is it not essential to adopt a non-ordination of women view based on Scripture. Sure, someone can be a 'invisible church' Christian in having that belief, but at the same time that particular belief is a man-made one, not from biblical teaching. So, is it essential for a church or denomination to restrict women from ordination?

Another point I would like to make is the use of non-essential. Let's take the women ordination question again. My bet is that the majority of those who agree with women ordination takes it not from the view that it is non-essential, but that it is essential to ordain women. They argue that it is non-essential when talking to those who disagree with women ordination, but argue that it is essential when talking to their like-minded friends.

In retrospect, non essentials really belong to the grey areas, which I would put some elements of eschatology in.


Edited by John_C (Saturday, April 28, 2012 6:17 AM)
_________________________
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"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7

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#48442 - Saturday, April 28, 2012 8:28 AM Re: What is essential [Re: John_C]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13356
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: John_C
That is where the argument takes us. Are only those parts of the Bible teaching about salvation to be consider essential? My thread question leads to that somewhat in that I asked if their are a subset of essentials underneath the the core tenets of the 5 solas and other vital truths.

Again, my concerted opinion is "NO! The doctrine of salvation is certainly one of the "essentials", which obviously includes LOTS of other doctrines of which it is derived. But there are other doctrines which are not directly part of soteriology but are expressions of how a true Christian and particular the Church practice that salvation, e.g., ecclesiology; its worship, church government, and sacraments.

Originally Posted By: John_C
Say for instance, is it not essential to adopt a non-ordination of women view based on Scripture. Sure, someone can be a 'invisible church' Christian in having that belief, but at the same time that particular belief is a man-made one, not from biblical teaching. So, is it essential for a church or denomination to restrict women from ordination?

Yes, the doctrine of ordination of church officers is essential because it falls under ecclesiology, the doctrine of the Church of which the visible Church is to govern itself, wherein is the gathering of those who are saved. The argument that it is "man-made" is self-defeating. What doctrine isn't "man-made"? This is how God has intended that doctrine (biblical teaching) is to be established. When Christ ascended on high He gave good gifts to men that some should be "pastor/teachers" who would bring the will of God to His people. The Bible isn't an encyclopedia where one can simply look up Trinity and there is an article explaining it. And, the Bible itself provides the proper hermeneutical principles (method of interpretation) by which truth is found in Scripture.
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#48559 - Sunday, April 29, 2012 11:24 AM Re: What is essential [Re: Pilgrim]
li0scc0 Offline
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Registered: Thursday, December 19, 2002
Posts: 641
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My Dispensational experience was for 2 years in a very solid 4 point Calvinist (Amyraldian) church. The Calvinist preaching and teaching there was, sadly, more solid than what I have seen in most alleged 5 point chuches. Most folks here would have been comfortable with all the teachings BUT those that were Dispensational in related. Especially solid were those teachings relating to Salvation, both Old and New Testament.
Honestly the reason I switched was because I am not a Zionist. But I would still characterize their teachings as solid and still remain in friendship with their pastors.
In the essentials, this was a very solid church.

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#48643 - Sunday, April 29, 2012 4:53 PM Re: What is essential [Re: John_C]
Robin Offline

The Boy Wonder

Registered: Thursday, January 3, 2002
Posts: 1020
Loc: Florida, Occupied CSA
Raised "Dispie" and Charismatic, I always assumed that all Christians had the same eschatology and that it was essential. In college learning history, though, I found out how very wrong I had been, and how very amazingly Christ's Olivet prophecy was fulfilled in the next 40 years following His ascension!

My change of eschatology (from Dispie premill to Amil) forced a change from Pentecostalism to Puritanism as well.

And for a time, like all newly Reformed perhaps, eschatology remained essential in my eyes. It defines the role and duration of the Charismatic signs, but also the very nature of the Kingdom. While I can accept as brethren those who hold to some forms of historic premillennialism and postmillennialism, it seems to be that old-style Dispensationalists worship a different god! One whose plans failed and who had to come up with not one, but up to seven (depending on the "brand" of dispensationalism) new "plans of salvation" before he found one that works. Their god has two distinct "peoples of God," each with it's own separate plan of salvation! It's very hard to accept believers in that god as brethren who worship the Almighty God of the scriptures, Who has always had one single people with one single path of salvation - by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to His glory alone.

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#48755 - Sunday, April 29, 2012 9:55 PM Re: What is essential [Re: Robin]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3911
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
My experience is much like Robins, yet I also know that there are Dispensationalists that do not believe the same way when it comes to issues such as what Robin brought up.

Right off the top of my head John MacArthur comes to mind.

Tom

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#48756 - Monday, April 30, 2012 4:53 AM Re: What is essential [Re: John_C]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13356
Loc: NH, USA
'Tis true, Tom, that there is a great variance of beliefs among Dispensationalists and thus it is near impossible to know what any particular Dispensationalist holds to be true doctrinally. But one thing is most always held in common among them and that is the fundamental importance of eschatology for it involves not just the rapture, Israel, the great tribulation, the millennium, etc., but how one actually interprets the Bible. To illustrate the importance they put on one holding to Dispensationalism, since you mentioned John MacArthur, here is a very salient and disturbing article: John MacArthur on Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Israel and Hermeneutics: A Few Comments. In short, MacArthur whose "Dispy Lite" eschatology, aka: Progressive Dispensationalism is perhaps furthest from Classic Dispensationalism comes close to making Dispensationalism an essential of the faith.
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#48877 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:13 PM Re: What is essential [Re: li0scc0]
Dennis Offline
Plebeian

Registered: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posts: 21
Loc: Torrington, Ct.
Originally Posted By: li0scc0
Essential has to do with salvation.
Non-essential does not.

Thus in my opinion, eschatology is non-essential.
Eschatology, I believe is essential in the way of harmony with all of God's word. When discussing eschatological issues with people throughout the years, I have notice in 99% of the cases Dispensationalists were Arminian, semi-Pelagian or Pelagian.

Most Post Mil's and A-Mils, were Reformed.

I personally cannot understand how someone who is reformed (5Point Calvinist)can be a Dispensationalist, it just does not harmonize. I and shocked John Macarthur is a Dispensationalist, I really am.
_________________________
"There is no possibility of taking a mercy out of God's hand, till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy."

THOMAS BROOKS

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#48878 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:23 PM Re: What is essential [Re: Pilgrim]
Dennis Offline
Plebeian

Registered: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posts: 21
Loc: Torrington, Ct.
Originally Posted By: Pilgrim

Most Dispensationalists (classic in particular) are semi-Pelagian and sometimes Arminian (classic) and thus although giving lip service to salvation by grace alone do in fact embrace a works (synergistic) salvation [their free-will exercising of their faith].
I agree Pilgrim, in my experiences I have noticed the same.

Quote:
Secondly, classic Dispensationalists believe that OT saints were saved in a different manner than NT saints. Thus there is that crucial difference as well.
You do realize John MacArthur is a Dispensationalist?

_________________________
"There is no possibility of taking a mercy out of God's hand, till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy."

THOMAS BROOKS

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#48879 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 8:31 PM Re: What is essential [Re: John_C]
Dennis Offline
Plebeian

Registered: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posts: 21
Loc: Torrington, Ct.
I would like to mention something in regards to this issue.

My pastor is a Dispensationalist, but he is also a 5 point Calvinist. I cannot for the life of me understand why he is a Dispensationalist; the only think I can gather out of it is, he does not put much study into the end time issues, and therefore really does not have a solid foundation in these issues. However, I believe, if he does one day invest time, prayer and study into Eschatology, his stand will probably change.

The church I attend, I attend with a fried of mine, who used to be a full time pastor of a (Reformed) Congregational church, he also cannot understand it. Well he attends when he can, because the pastor is a 5 pointer; when not attending he is preaching at a Presbyterian church while their pastor is away.
_________________________
"There is no possibility of taking a mercy out of God's hand, till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy."

THOMAS BROOKS

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#48881 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:08 PM Re: What is essential [Re: Dennis]
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13356
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: Dennis
My pastor is a Dispensationalist, but he is also a 5 point Calvinist. I cannot for the life of me understand why he is a Dispensationalist;.... <cut>

1. There are 5-Point Calvinists and there are 5-Point Calvinists. wink
2. There are Dispensationalists and there are Dispensationalists. There are many "varieties" of Dispensationalism so it is important to know which "variety" someone embraces, from 'Acts 28' ultra-extremists, to the more docile and inconsistent "Progressive Dispensationalism" held by men like John MacArthur. Elsewhere I provided a link to an article by Kim Riddlebarger who took MacArthur to task for some very disparaging and foolish remarks he made in regard to Dispensationalism and Calvinism. At least MacArthur, albeit, on the other side of the proverbial fence, realizes there is a consistency and necessity of coherence in Reformed Theology. Of course, I believe he violates that coherence by embracing Dispensationalism. evilgrin
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#48882 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:40 PM Re: What is essential [Re: Pilgrim]
Dennis Offline
Plebeian

Registered: Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posts: 21
Loc: Torrington, Ct.
Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Dennis
My pastor is a Dispensationalist, but he is also a 5 point Calvinist. I cannot for the life of me understand why he is a Dispensationalist;.... <cut>

1. There are 5-Point Calvinists and there are 5-Point Calvinists. wink
2. There are Dispensationalists and there are Dispensationalists. There are many "varieties" of Dispensationalism so it is important to know which "variety" someone embraces, from 'Acts 28' ultra-extremists, to the more docile and inconsistent "Progressive Dispensationalism" held by men like John MacArthur.
Yes sir, I agree.

Quote:

Elsewhere I provided a link to an article by Kim Riddlebarger who took MacArthur to task for some very disparaging and foolish remarks he made in regard to Dispensationalism and Calvinism. At least MacArthur, albeit, on the other side of the proverbial fence, realizes there is a consistency and necessity of coherence in Reformed Theology. Of course, I believe he violates that coherence by embracing Dispensationalism. evilgrin
Again, I agree. Thanks for the reply. smile
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"There is no possibility of taking a mercy out of God's hand, till the mercy be ripe for us, and we ripe for the mercy."

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