I recently had a good discussion with a friend about some of the reasons I left a Dispensational church for a Presbyterian church (PCA). I previously documented a number of reasons here in my journey, but I also wanted to look up resources that speak to the issue and found a few articles and sites that are worth perusing. It’s interesting to note that the major founders of Dispensationalism left Presbyterianism in particular.
From The Christ of the Covenants, O. Palmer Robertson, pg. 41.
The New Covenant, promised by Israel’s prophets, does not appear as a distinctive covenantal unit unrelated to God’s previous administrations. Instead, the New Covenant as promised to Israel represents the consummate fulfillment of the earlier covenants. This organic relation of the New Covenant to the covenants of Abraham, Moses, and David finds explicit development both in the Old Testament prophecies concerning the covenant and in the New Testament realizations of this consummating covenant. From either perspective, the New Covenant may be understood in no other way than as a realization of the prophetic projections found in the Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic covenants.
“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:7 ESV)
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (Acts 2:38-39 ESV)
As a teenager growing up in east Fort Worth, in the summer of 1995, I can remember it well. Stuck in the doldrums of my own sin, like a washing machine on spin cycle, I was miserable. With a number of dark industrial bands blaring in the background of my room, in anger I tried to ignore and suppress the Lord calling me, until one day this guy showed up to my house, in my room, and brought a presence with him that I couldn’t explain. We chatted some, then he looked at my CD collection and said very directly, “You need to get rid of all these and throw them away.” Now normally, anyone else could have told me this and I would have cynically blown it off as some religiousy call to “clean my act up.” Not that day.
“To some extent, cohesive social forces are at work in any culture or subculture with shared worldview and shared doctrines. In itself this counts neither for nor against the truth of the worldview or the doctrines. But it does mean that things that seem ‘obvious’ or ‘plain’ or ‘commonsensical’ to members of a social group need not be at all obvious to those outside.” – Vern Poythress, Understanding Dispensationalists.
As a side note, this book was explained to me by a DTS graduate as a book in which they learned more about dispensationalism than their whole student career in attendance at DTS, ironically enough.