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Primer on Dispensationalism [Paperback]

By John H. Gerstner (Author)
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Item Number 130697  
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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.18"
Weight:   0.16 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 31, 1983
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875522734  
EAN  9780875522739  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Noting that dispensationalism, or "Scofieldism," divides the people of God, Gerstner urges the reader to avoid the pitfalls of antinomianism and embrace the gospel of Christ in its fullness.

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More About John H. Gerstner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gerstner has pastored several churches before accepting a professorship at Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary where he taught for over 30 years.

John H. Gerstner was born in 1914 and died in 1996.

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Only moderately useful  Mar 14, 2008
This book is too short to be all that useful in my opinion. Although he does cover a decent amount of information, I don't think he really backed up many of his key charges against dispensationalism.

He also spends too much time on tangential points. For example, he spends quite awhile arguing that it's inconsistent with Calvinism. I may be being obtuse, but I couldn't quite see his point here and don't think he really pointed out anything that would make dispensationalism inherently contradict Calvinism. This argument also assumes that the reader thinks being inconsistent with Calvinism is a bad thing (what if the reader's not a Calvinist though?). Although this is certainly an interesting point that I would have liked to have seen developed more (I will have to study it further myself), I think there are more serious and more fundamental flaws that can be pointed to.

He does point to some of the more serious, fundamental flaws though - for example, the fact that dispensationalism has some rather disturbing implications about soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). If held consistently, dispensationalists must hold that there are two ways of salvation - one during the Old Testament and one during the New Testament. In fact, I still remember being taught that when I was still a dispensationalist, and I'm ashamed to admit it took me a long time to realize that people were saved by grace through faith in the Old Testament too.

There were a few glaring omissions in this book. For example, he doesn't spend much time (if any) talking about dispensational eschatology, which is a pretty significant topic that's worthy of a book-length critique in itself (there are actually quite a few; a few good ones that leap to mind include "Last Days Madness" by Gary Demar and "The Apocalypse Code" by Hank Hanegraaff; I'm also currently reading "Rapture Fever" by Gary North and it's good so far).

This book is alright as a place to start I guess, particularly if you're already familiar with dispensationalism, but I would recommend looking to longer critiques to deal with these issues in more depth. In fairness, I guess there's a limit to how much you can discuss in 35 pages, so I guess my complaint isn't that this book is badly written as much as it's just too short. It also assumes some background knowledge of dispensationalism.

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