This review appeared in the Oct-Dec 2009 vol. 166 no. 4 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
Is God a Dispensationalist? The Definition and Dynamics of a SystemMorris Publishing, Kearney, NE January 1, 2008
While the title of this book may seem trite, the author, professor emeritus of preaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has presented a cogent case in defense of dispensationalism. His stated purpose is “to examine the classical dispensational system and grapple with the issues under current discussion” (pp. 5–6).
After a brief chapter on the role of hermeneutics in relation to eschatology Larsen points out that there have been many examples of “periodization” in history long before Darby and Scofield. Other chapters discuss the certainty of Israel’s future in the millennium, the uniqueness of the church as distinct from Israel, the nature of the millennial kingdom, the distinction between law and grace, the case for futurism, the imminence of the rapture, and the millennial reign of Christ.
Larsen defends the dispensational viewpoint on these topics from many Scripture passages, and he includes noteworthy comments by many leading dispensational writers. He also quotes a number of critics of dispensational premillennialism and offers scriptural responses. This small book is an excellent primer on dispensationalism. As Larsen concludes, “This is the system which above all others [does] justice to the apocalyptic dimension of the Christian faith” (p. 122). Readers who are uncertain about dispensationalism will benefit from this helpful overview.
—Roy B. Zuck