Home Problem Verses Member Search Bookstore Log In Forgot Password? Sign Up
Clear Gospel Campaign
by Ronald R. Shea, Th.M., J.D
Topics Touching the Message of Salvation
— Dispensationalism —
Curriculum Outline and Study Guide | Resurrection | Assurance | Baptism | The Bema | Calvinism | The Gospel Message & Content of Saving Faith | The Creator | Dispensationalism | Eternal Security | Evangelism & Discipleship | Expiation, Propitiation and Redemption | Faith | Fruit . .. Don't you need it? | Grace | Hebrews 10 | Hebrews 6:1-15 | Heirship and Rewards | James 2:14-26 | Jesus is God | 1st John | John MacArthur | Justification | Bilateral Contract Salvation or "Lordship Salvation" | The Market Driven Church | Perseverance of the Saints | Predestination and Free Will | Public Confession of Christ | Regeneration | Repentance | Roman Catholicism | Salvation | Sanctification | The Sheep and Goats Judgment | Silly Gospel Substitutes | "Sovereign" (Irresistible) Grace | Stewardship of the Gospel Message | The Modern "Testimony" | The Ten Commandments: Their Relationship to the Believer | Theology and Doctrine | Total Depravity and `The Bondage of the Will` | Worship Music | Appendix I: Church History from a Free Grace perspective
Introduction to Dispensationalism
The Salvation of Mankind, and the Governance of Mankind
The Believer and the Ten Commandments of Moses
Israel is not the Church
The Church is not Israel, and is not Heir to the Promises
Dispensationalism as a Hermaneutic


 1          Dispensationalism and Progressive Revelation       Although the concepts of dispensationalism and progressive revelation are distinct, we believe that they are profoundly interrelated.  God progressively revealed Himself to mankind through the Scriptures, the patriarchs, the prophets, the apostles, and in the Incarnate Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Man's responsibility before God has progressed in light of God's progressive revelation.  These distinct responsibilities of man to God throughout different ages are often known as "dispensations."  Because dispensations are not inherently diachronic (crossing time), but simply deal with different administrations of God toward men, dispensationalists often stress that they are not "different ages" of progrssive revelation.  This is technically correct, and it would probably be theologically proper to say that a child or a mentally retarded person is under a different dispensation than adults.  That is quite simply, God deals with children and the mentally retarded according to a different set of requirements than an adult of normal mental functioning.  However, whether one believes there are three different dispensations, or seven dispensations, they are separate periods of human history.  Therefore, it is probably a "tempest in a teapot" to offer as a corrective, the statement that "dispensations are not different periods of time."  Because dispensational distinctions are, in most, if not all cases, intertwined with progressive revelation over time, dispensations are, in most cases, distinct administrations of God's people over different periods of time.


The important corrective is not whether or not dispensations are technically different ages of mankind.  The truly important issue in dispensational theology it to distingush progressive revelation of man's duty before God for eternal salvation, and man's duty toward God in God's administration and governance of humankind.

When Scriptural teaching of God's governance of mankind over different dispensations is confused with the progressive revelation within Scripture of how man was eternally saved throughout different ages, great violence is done to the doctrine of salvation and to the gracious character of our God.

Introduction to Dispensationalism


Clear Gospel Campaign is currently seeking 501 (c) (3) status. All donations are tax deductable.
Other books by Ronald Shea will be available soon. Visit our Bookstore regularly for new selections.