[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

MAD!

by David Wyatt

No, I'm not mad! The letters stand for "Mid-Acts Dispensationalism." I really don't know that much about the beliefs of those that would align themselves with this doctrine. I have participated in a forum with some of the folks, & for the most part they seem like very warm-hearted believers with a passion for the Rapture of the church. We should certainly agree with them on that, & we should cetainly make it our aim to be ready so as not to be ashamed at His coming. The question I am asking is, what do you folks here at UoG think of this teaching? They basically believe that water baptism is not for this age at all. Otherwise, I believe they would be in pretty much agreement with us, especially on free grace. Any thoughts?

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26 Comments:

  • Um, being Pre-Wrath Post-Trib I think I might not come into the category of 'having a passion for the Rapture', or at least not what you necessarilly mean by the rapture.

    Can I get away with just saying that Mid-Acts Dispensationalism is naff?

    The church began at Pentecost. The distinctive truth of the church age is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the body of Christ. This indwelling began through the new work of Pentecost (though God was dealing with Israel at the same time).

    Forms of Ultradispensationalism and some expressions of Classic Pauline Dispensationalism also take away the necessity of the accountability teaching in the Synoptic Gospels.

    I will expand if you want.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 11, 2008 12:31:00 AM  

  • Hi David,

    I've had lengthy discussions with a Mid-Acts dispensationalist before and I was truly impressed that they do indeed preach a free grace gospel. However I really have to disagree when they propose that saints from other dispensations did not/will not receive justification by faith alone. They basically argue that other dispensations require faith and works in order to receive justification. Thus the book of James is said to be a book for tribulation believers when they will need to persevere in faith and good works in order to receive eternal life.

    I agree with Matthew. I really don't think this system of theology can stand up to a lot of scrutiny. Charles Ryrie has a good chapter on ultradispensationalism in his book "Dispensationalism".

    God bless,
    Andrew

    By Blogger Andrew, at Friday, January 11, 2008 5:13:00 AM  

  • It is not only Ultradispensationalists who hold to works salvation in other dispensations.

    The Ruckmanite crowd also take that view. I heard Laurence Vance does, which is tragic.

    Holding to works salvation in past and future dispensations is a monstrous distortion.

    These Dispensational extremists may be roughly Free Grace in their presentation of the Gospel, yet when they deny that the epistle of James is for this dispenstion, they intoduce confusion that is deeply harmful.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, January 11, 2008 5:56:00 AM  

  • I agree Matthew. It is very sad.

    By Blogger Andrew, at Friday, January 11, 2008 5:59:00 AM  

  • Brothers, I do not have time to respond as I would like at this time, but I do want to say a heartfelt thank you for your comments, they are tremendously helpful, I believe. God Bless you all today as you serve Him!

    Others?

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, January 11, 2008 6:45:00 AM  

  • Thank you for posting this, brother Wyatt. I think the comments are helpful too.

    Ryrie's book was great on this. Did you ever read it, David? "Dispensationalism" by Charles C. Ryrie. It is a great book that I read this fall. I think all dispys should read it.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, January 11, 2008 8:31:00 AM  

  • Andrew and Matthew are so smart. It is good to be able to get feedback from them on things like this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, January 11, 2008 8:32:00 AM  

  • I truly believe that many people don't totally understand a theology and they just go by what they have heard or what they think. I hold this belief and the few things that I read in the comments do not hold true to what I believe. I have come to find that, with all these labels, there could be people who believe certain things that don't necessarily hold true to a particular theology, but they hold that title. How many people do you know that call themselves "Christians" but have never been truly born again?! I have some links if you would like to read further about what the majority of mid-acts dispensationalists believe.

    Here are a few ebooks. Understanding Your Bible is a great and easy read.
    http://openfellowship.org/pastorslibrary.aspx

    Theology Online has a wide group of MAD who post on there.
    http://theologyonline.com/

    My church blog has many links where you can find great stuff!
    http://betsyinthebeginning.blogspot.com


    I came here through my link (interests) on my profile of my blog. Have a great day :)

    By Blogger Betsy, at Friday, January 11, 2008 1:11:00 PM  

  • To be honest, I'm not totally sure about the variation and extent of Mid-Acts dispensationalism but one of the key voices of MAD is the Berean Bible Society. Their view of the condition of salvation is that of traditional FG theology (see this article.) while their view about the condition of salvation for previous and future dispensations is that we are saved "essentially by grace through faith" (link). In other words, they take an almost Lordship view of salvation in previous and future dispensations. C R Stam writes in "Things that Differ", "Note carefully that while God refuses works for salvation today, He required them under other dispensations. This was not, as we have explained, because works in themselves could ever save, but because they were the necessary expression of faith when so required."

    At any rate, I think Ryrie offers an excellent critique of MAD that really gets to the heart of the matter. MAD advocates argue that the Body of Christ/Church doesn't begin until Acts 8 or somewhere around there. There is no consensus on when it begins but all are agreed on when it did not begin. Ryrie's critique is excellent:

    "Before His ascension the Lord promised the disciples that they would be baptized en pneumati ("in the Spirit," Acts 1:5). In 1 Corinthians 12:13 Paul explains that being placed in the Body of Christ is accomplished by being baptized en pneumati. Since the promise of Acts 1:5 was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (see 11:15-16), and if this is the baptism explained in 1 Corinthians 12:13 as effecting entrance into the Body of Christ, that is an irrefutable argument for the Body church's beginning on the Day of Pentecost." (Dispensationalism, p. 205)

    Blessings,
    Andrew

    By Blogger Andrew, at Friday, January 11, 2008 2:53:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, January 11, 2008 3:29:00 PM  

  • I deleted my last comment because I posted it before I had reviewed it & something I had said was unclear. So, here it is again!

    I really appreciate all the comments. Bro. Andrew, I appreciate the information from bro. Stam regarding salvation in other dispensations. I have been reading a little Stam here & there but had not come upon that as of yet. Now I know why a former pastor of ours rejected Dispensationalism outright because of the MAD (& others') belief concerning salvation during the Tribulation especially. I could not understand at that time where he got the idea that dispensationalists believed that, but now I see where he heard it: from MAD's.

    I really do appreciate their free grace stance for this dispensation, but disagree that it was not always thus. I am learning a lot from these discussions & I like that. I want to learn mo'!! I am finding out just how stupid I really am.

    Betsy,

    Welcome to the discussion! We are glad you have come & want you to feel welcome as well. Hopefully you will provide us some more discussion & clarity of your position. God Bless y'all real good.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, January 11, 2008 3:35:00 PM  

  • Bro. Matthew, I would appreciate it if you would expand some on your previous post. I appreciate your scolarship & your Christian charity, so I would be very imterested to know what you have dug up on MAD.
    I have been encouraged to find out that Sir Robert Anderson & J.C. O'Hair who were both purported to be MAD did not believe in justification by faith plus works in ANY dispensation! I would be greatly encouraged about this since I really appreciate Sir Robert's writings & what I have seen of bro. O'Hair's so far. Yet I know that we must all be Bereans as in Acts 17:11. Thank you all & God Bless you!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 11:32:00 AM  

  • This book, especially Chap. 4 "Nailing Down the Start", will explain MAD much better than I ever could. Please, read this chapter. It will give you answers to what MAD truly believes.

    Understanding Your Bible by S. Craig macDonald
    http://openfellowship.org/Documents/MDonaI01.pdf

    By Blogger Betsy, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 12:14:00 PM  

  • I do not believe Sir Robert Anderson was MAD.

    I am open for correction on this point.

    With regard to the beginning of the church, what must be emphasised is that the church is not defined by its inclusion of both Jews and Gentiles.

    It is true that Gentiles were not introduced into the church until the middle of Acts. However, the body of Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit's indwelling was already in existence from Pentecost.

    It is the indwelling of the HOly Spirit in a body of men and women in Christ which is the essence of the church.

    1 Cor 12:13 shows that it is by the Pentecostal work of the Holy Spirit that we are brought into the church.

    The centrality of the Holy Spirit's indwelling the church is seen in Ephesians 2:20-22.

    If the beginning of the Holy Spirit's indwelling of the body did not begin at Pentecost, we need some hard evidence that it occurred in the middle of Acts.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 12:31:00 PM  

  • Betsy,

    Thank you for coming back. I will try to read that chapter when possible.

    Bro. Matthew, thanks for your input. You make good points. As top Sir Robert, I am going by what a poster at GES Chat said, & I also am open to correction on that point. God Bless you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 1:44:00 PM  

  • I am sure they must be mistaken.

    He is a well known writer. I am sure he would have been mentioned in discussions about Ultradispensationalism if he was of that opinion.

    And I think his books would be a little less popular if he was a MAD.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 2:12:00 PM  

  • I posted a small section from the chapter that explains where we believe (and why) the beginning of the Body of Christ/Age of Grace/God turning to the Gentiles begins.

    http://betsyinthebeginning.blogspot.com/2008/01/nailing-down-start.html

    By Blogger Betsy, at Saturday, January 12, 2008 5:49:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger lightninboy, at Thursday, January 17, 2008 8:31:00 AM  

  • dyspraxic fundamentalist said...

    "The Ruckmanite crowd also take that view."

    I have read that somewhere. However, Peter Ruckman wrote some of the best refutations of hyper-dispensationalism.

    By Blogger lightninboy, at Thursday, January 17, 2008 8:36:00 AM  

  • Lightinboy, the Hyper-Dispensationalists say some bad things.

    However, I believe that Peter Ruckman's teaching that eternal security and salvation by grace were absent in past and future dispensations is very dangerous teaching that casts doubt on the character of God.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, January 17, 2008 11:30:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Kev made this statement:
    Rose, you said "crossless" (hate that term)
    Kev made this statement:
    It is a terrible term. But it accurately describes the supposed gospel being discussed.

    I know you are in a rough spot.


    Rose I think you’re in the best spot you could be and that’s between two men that believes the truth!!!

    This is something I’ve noticed on these ones who accuse us of preaching a “crossless gospel.” I’ve went to their blogs and checked out their invitations and the biggest issue seems to be sin, not life. I have yet to see one site where the living water is offered freely to anyone who desires. I’ve come to the conclusion that these ones who are attacking believe there is a barrier between man and God and until one realizes they are a sinner they cannot be saved. They seem to be noble in their cause “fighting for the cross” but in truth have not believed it themselves. They MUST have the cross as an essential because they got to get "sin" in there somewhere. I don’t believe that they believe these verses below:

    John 1:29b Behold the Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY the sin of the world.

    2 Cor 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the WORLD to Himself, NOT imputing their trespasses to them

    John 4:10 If you [now] knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink’, you would [already] have asked Him, and He would [already] have given you living water.

    Rev 22:17b Whoever desires take the water of life freely.

    According to there blogs you can’t just do this but sin is an issue that has to be dealt with first!

    Jesus said speaking of the Holy Spirit: And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and judgment: of sin, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME

    See with Jesus disciples sin wasn’t the issue because they had believed in Him for eternal life. Jesus told them they were clean (John 13:10). This is why sin is NOT the main issue believing is!!! These checklist salvationist have it backwards, they put sin as the main issue so they have to make the cross an essential because they really don’t believe in what Christ accomplished for everyone on the cross.
    This could only be the reason why such an invitation can be given at the end of the bible without referencing sin in any way. Everyone is invited to come and take of the water of life freely. Now that’s the real Gospel (good news)!

    Take it freely
    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at Friday, January 18, 2008 4:12:00 PM  

  • Thank you all for your insight. I still have some more studying to do on this issue. I do appreciate these folks especialy their love of Bible truth, though they, as we all, are off on some things. God Bless you all.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, January 18, 2008 5:51:00 PM  

  • Looking at the works that Peter Ruckman has written, he seems like a typical Acts 2 Dispensationalism, Free Grace, King James Only Independent Baptist.

    By Blogger lightninboy, at Saturday, January 19, 2008 3:09:00 PM  

  • Lightinboy, I will admit I have not read his books (I would love to, but they are almost unavailable here in the UK).

    However, those who have read them seem to take this abhorrent position that those in past dispensations and the Millennium were and will be saved by works.

    If you can show me that Peter Ruckman believes that those in all dispensations were saved by faith, I will be much re-assured of his reliability. I would be quite delighted if he were sound on that point.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Monday, January 21, 2008 12:03:00 AM  

  • Dear Dyspraxic Fundamentalist,
    What is a dyspraxic fundamentalist?
    I have read basically only of Peter Ruckman's works his refutations of Mid-Acts Dispensationalism.
    His online bookstore seems to have a pretty good selection, if you don't mind the King James Only Baptist slant.
    I have also read that he is somewhat racist, but I can't say I have read anything of his that proves it.
    It would be interesting to learn more about Ruckman and Ruckmanites.

    Have you registered at the Grace Evangelical Society's Online Chat, which is now Free Grace Churches Forums, started by Jeremy Myers?

    By Blogger lightninboy, at Monday, January 21, 2008 9:54:00 AM  

  • I suffer from Dyspraxia, a disability which limits my mental-physical co-ordination. It makes me very clumsy.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Tuesday, January 22, 2008 5:40:00 AM  

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