Second-Blessing Models of Sanctification and Early Dallas Dispensationalism

Mark A. Snoeberger | May 19, 2010

An assumption that dispensationalists are anti-Reformed in their soteriology may stem from an honest misunderstanding of publications of the early dispensationalists who separated the indwelling of the Spirit from sanctification. A historical survey of four early dispensationalists—J. N. Darby, James Hall Brookes, C. I. Scofield, and Lewis Sperry Chafter—reveals whether this model of sanctification is essential to dispensationalism. Darby rejected a second work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life and was critical of D. L. Moody’s Keswick beliefs. Brookes, after years of denying a second work of the Spirit, began affirming that doctrine in 1880. Beginning in 1893, Scofield apparently supported Keswick teaching of a second work of the Spirit in a believer’s life, though the teaching was strongly opposed by other dispensationalists. Neither he nor Brookes associated it with the dispensational system. Chafer, founder and longtime president of Dallas Seminary and systematizer of dispensationalism, embraced the second work of the Holy Spirit from the beginning, but not as a part of his dispensational system. His “second work” view arose from his Oberlin training, his itinerant evangelism, and the influence of Moody and Scofield on him, not from his dispensational theology. From a study of these dispensationalists, it is clear that dispensationalism is not necessarily anti-Reformed in its soteriology.

Vol. 15, no. 1 (Spring 2004)

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Snoeberger, Mark A.. "Second-Blessing Models of Sanctification and Early Dallas Dispensationalism." The Master's Seminary Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 93-105.