I find myself confused over Covenant vs. Dispensational Theology.  Can you explain the differences, each one's implications and shortcomings, or if it really matters at all?  


Let me keep this simple:

1. Dispensationalism - basically says that God unfolded or "dispensed" His plan at various stages in history:

Examples: God dealt in a specific and unique way in Eden (Edenic Dispensation), Antediluvian Dispensation (after the Fall), Noahical (or Patriarchal) Dispensation, Mosaic Dispensation, Church or Christian Dispensation, Millennial Dispensation.

2. Covenant Theology - basically says that God dealt with man according to the various covenants that He made:

Examples: Edenic Covenant, Noachical Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Sinaitic Covenant, Levitical Covenant, Davidic Covenant, and the New Covenant (New Testament).

Both of these concepts are "man-made" ways of interpreting the Bible, stating how God operated at various times in history. However, in both approaches we find that people who believe in these systems will then interpret Scripture based on their system, which may, at times, cause some bizarre doctrines--saying that certain Bible teachings don't apply to the Church today because they were for a different dispensation or covenant.

My Bible says that "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." [Deuteronomy 29:29] So God's Word is for all of us................all God's Word applies, to a degree, to each one of us.

I think it best to ignore both of the aforementioned systems and focus on the simple and plain fact that God has only made two real distinctions in the Bible on how he deals with man--Israel and the Church. There are certain promises that were made to Israel and these don't apply to the Church and some to the Church that don't apply to Israel. In the end, when it is all over and we are in eternity, then God will bring us together, but in his dealings on earth God keeps the two separate.

Never forget that there is only one gospel, and it is the "eternal gospel" and it saved Adam and Eve, and Moses, and David, and the Apostles, and you and I today, and that is always the gospel of grace through faith, and faith alone.

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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