2024 CDH Call For Papers: “Answering the Myths about Dispensationalism”

Seventeenth Annual Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics

Faith Baptist Bible College & Seminary, Ankeny, Iowa

September 18-19, 2024

“Answering the Myths about Dispensationalism”

This is a call for papers for the 2024 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics.  The Council is an academic study group for traditional dispensationalists although observers from other theological traditions are welcome to attend. All presenters must affirm traditional dispensationalism. This year’s focus is on answering the many myths that exist about dispensationalism. At times it seems like dispensationalism is the most misrepresented approach to the Bible among evangelicals. Recently, critiques of dispensationalism have increased, although many of the responses were given decades ago. With that in mind, the Council is asking for papers dealing with specific myths about dispensationalism. It is important in doing such analysis that we consider making a positive presentation of dispensationalism along the way and not just give negative critique of opponents of dispensationalism. One of our goals will be the publication of a book responding to critics in this way.

We may be asking specific individuals to do various topics as well as receiving your proposals.  Off-topic proposals will be considered but those concerning the chosen theme will be reviewed first.  All proposals with full title and descriptions (not more than 200 words) should be emailed to the Executive Director, Dr. Mike Stallard, at mstallard@foi.org. The deadline for topic proposals to be turned in is June 10, 2024.  The entire Steering Committee of the Council will decide collectively which papers are accepted.  This process usually does not take long.  The deadline for presentation papers to be turned in is September 1, 2024 in order to be posted at the Council website prior to the actual conference.

Once again, this year there is a modest registration fee of $25 for the Council to help cover the costs of the meeting. Approved speakers for the conference do not have to pay the registration fee. Registration will be online at the Council website:  www.dispensationalcouncil.org.

Myths about dispensationalism that we are requesting members to analyze are the following:

  • Dispensationalists only care about eschatology
  • Dispensationalists like to set dates for the rapture and the Second Coming
  • Dispensationalists believe in two ways of salvation
  • Dispensationalists destroy the unity of the Bible like higher criticism
  • Dispensationalists believe in “cheap” grace
  • Dispensationalists are too pessimistic about social engagement
  • Dispensationalists throw away the Ten Commandments
  • Dispensationalists throw away the Sermon on the Mount
  • Dispensationalists reject the local church (and perhaps focus only on the Universal Church)
  • Dispensationalists believe the Church is Christ’s Plan B
  • Dispensationalists are the cause of ongoing violent conflict in the Middle East
  • Dispensationalists oppress Palestinian Arabs in the Middle East
  • Dispensationalists wrongly support an unbelieving, imperialistic nation when its supports Israel
  • Dispensationalists believe that God’s future kingdom is only 1000 years (note John Calvin’s critique of premillennialism in the Institutes)
  • Dispensationalism is a rather recent doctrinal innovation
  • Dispensationalism is a belief in dispensations or in seven dispensations (here it must be noted that covenant theologians believe in the concept of dispensations)
  • Dispensationalists practice a dual hermeneutic – one for passages about the Church and one for passages about Israel (contrast to covenant theology practicing a dual hermeneutic – one for the NT and one for the OT when promises about Israel’s land, nation, and kingdom are in view)
  • Analysis of any so-called myths of dispensationalism not listed above
  • Why are so many myths about dispensationalism propagated? Is the cause historical and creedal, hermeneutical and methodological, or something else?
  • Exegesis and exposition of key texts where dispensational understanding is heavily rejected such as Romans 9:6, Galatians 6:16, and others
  • Comparison of Old and New Testament texts that help to support a positive presentation of dispensational hermeneutics and theological conclusions (e.g., Amos 9:11-16 compared to Romans 8:28-39)
  • Review of any recent critiques of dispensationalism like Daniel Hummel’s The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism and Brian Irwin’s After Dispensationalism
  • What can dispensationalists do to explain their views more clearly to the younger generations?

Other topics related to the theme are welcome as well. These are suggestions to help us think about the issues. It is important to note that we would like for all presentations to be dealt with explicitly from a dispensational viewpoint. Why should dispensationalists be concerned about any of these themes?

As always, we will attempt to have an appropriate pastor’s panel to make sure our discussions stay grounded in concern for the local church. We will make every effort to livestream each plenary session.

Again, final papers are to be submitted to Dr. Stallard by September 3, 2024 at the email listed earlier. There will be no remuneration for presentation of papers. Council attendees need to provide their own transportation to the Council site. Information on area hotels will be provided on the Council website.

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