Dispensationalism’s Role in the Public Square

Robert L. Thomas | May 24, 2010

After being criticized for years because of its “do-nothing passivity,” Dispensationalism has most recently received criticism for its undue influence on foreign policies of the United States and England. Timothy P. Weber’s case against Dispensationalism relates mostly to the United States, and Stephen Sizer faults the system’s impact on both Great Britain and the USA. The land-promise aspect of God’s promise to Abraham, a promise repeated frequently throughout the OT, is the crux of the issue for both critics: to whom does the land of Israel belong? Covenant theologians, in line with their view that the church has replaced Israel in the ongoing program of God, deny that the land-promise to Israel is still valid. The approach of New Covenant Theology takes the physical land promise as being fulfilled in the spiritual salvation of God’s people. Kingdom Theology takes an “already/not yet” approach to NT teaching about the kingdom, which essentially denies Israel a central role in the future kingdom. Though Progressive Dispensationalism is more “Israelitish” than Kingdom Theology regarding the future kingdom, that system is quite ambivalent on how it sees a fulfillment of the land promise to Israel. Dispensationalism is the only system that takes the land promise in the way that Abraham understood God when He made the promise. It is no wonder then that the USA and Great Britain have been politically favorable to Israel in light of Dispensationalism’s indirect influence on their foreign policies. Dispensationalism has also evidenced a largely overlooked social impact in the public square.

Vol. 20, no. 1 (Spring 2009)

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Thomas, Robert L.. "Dispensationalism’s Role in the Public Square." The Master's Seminary Journal 20, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 19-40.