THE CALVINISTIC HERITAGE OF DISPENSATIONALISM
自1930年代，改革宗内部兴起了圣约神学（Covenant Theology），然后绝对开始清洗起源于弟兄会的时代论（Dispensationalism）开始，改革宗对时代论发动了一波又一波的攻击。改革宗方面不断的出版鼓吹圣约神学，定罪时代论前千禧年主义的著作，希望和时代论划清界限；极力的批判达秘（JN Darby）和司可福圣经（Scofield Bible）。美国基督教界，时代论甚至已经被改革宗抹黑为“坏（神学）”（What Is Dispensationalism? by Thomas Ice，http://www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/WhatIsDispensationalism.html 。
Thomas Ice博士，美国华盛顿《灾前被提研究院》的执行长，在《The Calvinistic Heritage of Dispensationalism/时代论的加尔文主义背景》一文中，为我们揭开了一段不为人所知的背景：原来时代论是完完全全加尔文主义的产物。甚至，近代时代论的奠基者，达秘还特别为了加尔文主义，远征日内瓦的亚米念主义，并得到了日内瓦领导颁发的奖章。而所谓‘时代论的大本营—达拉斯神学院’，不但是绝对的加尔文主义，更是美国许多长老会培养牧者的摇篮。看完这篇文章后，不仅让人有一种“本是同根生，相煎何太急”之感！
Modern, systematic Dispensationalism is approaching two hundred years of expression and development. We live at a time in which Dispensationalism and some of its ideas have been disseminated and adopted by various theological traditions. This is not surprising since our day is characterized by antisystemization and eclecticism in the area of thought. It may be surprising, to some, to learn that Dispensationalism was developed and spread during its first 100 years by those within a Reformed, Calvinistic tradition. It had only been in the last 75 to 50 years that Dispensationalism and some of its beliefs were disseminated in any significant way outside of the orbit of Calvinism.
DEFINITIONS / 定义
Before proceeding further I need to provide working definitions of what I mean by Calvinism and Dispensationalism. First, by Calvinism, I am speaking mainly of the theological system that relates to the doctrine of grace or soteriological Calvinism. This would include strict and modified Calvinism (i.e. four and five point Calvinism). I am referring to that aspect of Calvinism that speaks of the fallen nature of man and the elective grace of God.
Second, by Dispensationalism, I have in mind that system of theology that was developed by J. N. Darby that gave rise to its modern emphasis of consistent literal interpretation, a distinction between God’s plan for Israel and the church, usually a pretribulational rapture of the church before the seventieth week of Daniel, premillennialism, and a multifaceted emphasis upon God’s glory as the goal of history. This includes some who have held to such a system by may stop short of embracing pretribulationism. The focus of this article will be upon Dispensational premillennialism.
THEOLOGICAL LOGIC / 神学逻辑
In concert with the Calvinist impulse to view history theocentricly, I believe that dispensational premillennialism provides the most logical eschatological ending to God’s sovereign decrees for salvation and history. Since Dispensational premillennialists view both the promises of God’s election of Israel and the church as unconditional and something that God will surely bring to pass, such a belief is consistent with the Bible and logic. A covenant theologian would say that Israel’s election was conditional and temporary. Many Calvinists are covenant theologians who think that individual election within the church is unconditional and permanent. They see God’s plan with Israel conditioned upon human choice, while God’s plan for salvation within the church is ultimately a sovereign act of God. There is no symmetry in such logic. Meanwhile, Dispensational premillennialists see both acts as a sovereign expression of God’s plan in history which is a logically consistent application of the sovereign will of God in human affairs.
Samuel H. Kellogg, a Presbyterian minister, missionary, and educator wrote of the logic between Calvinism and “modern, futurist premillennialism,” which was in that day (1888) essentially dispensational. “But in general,” notes Kellogg, “we think, it may be rightly said that the logical relations of premillennialism connect it more closely with the Augustinian than with any other theological system.”His use of “Augustinian” is the older term for Calvinism. Kellogg points out the different areas in which Calvinism and premillennialism are theologically one. “Premillennialism logically presupposes an anthropology essentially Augustinian. The ordinary Calvinism affirms the absolute helplessness of the individual for selfregeneration and selfredemption.” 2 He continues, it is “evident that the anthropological presuppositions on which premillennialism seems to rest, must carry with them a corresponding soteriology.”3 Kellogg reasons that “the Augustinian affinity of the premillennialist eschatology becomes still more manifest. For nothing is more marked than the emphasis with which premillennialists constantly insist that, . . . the present dispensation is strictly elective.”4 “In a word,” concludes Kellogg, “we may say that premillennialists simply affirm of the macrocosm what the common Augustinianism affirms only of the microcosm.”5
Samuel H. Kellogg, 一位长老会的牧师，宣教士，和教育家，他曾撰写关于加尔文主义和“现代和未来派的前千禧年论”间的逻辑，在当时（1888）就是时代论的。‘但是，一般而言’，Kellogg说，‘我认为，从逻辑关系而言，前千禧年论比任何其他神学系统都更接近奥古斯丁。’他使用的‘奥古斯丁’一词，乃是对加尔文主义的旧称。Kellogg在许多不同的方面指出了加尔文主义和前千禧年论丛神学而言乃是一致的。“前千禧年论逻辑上假设一个从本质而言是奥古斯丁的人论。正统的加尔文主义确信各人在自我重生和自我救赎上的完全无助。”他继续，证据就是“前千禧年论的人论的假设中也必然包括了相应（加尔文主义）的救赎论。”Kellogg解释说，“奥古斯丁派坚信的是前千禧年的末世论也是显而易见的。没有什么比前千禧年论不断强调的。。。今日的分赐（dispensation，在次指神在各时代对救赎的不同分赐）是完全根据神的拣选。”“换句话说”，Kellogg总结，“我们能够说前千禧年论者坚信的宏观宇宙就是奥古斯丁主义所相信的微观宇宙。”
This is not to say that Dispensationalism and Calvinism are synonymous. I merely contend that it is consistent with certain elements of Calvinism which provide a partial answer as to why Dispensationalism sprang from the Reformed womb. C. Norman Kraus contend,
这并不是说时代论和加尔文主义是一样的。我只是强调加尔文主义里面的某些元素提供了为什么时代论是从改革宗中所孕育出来的部分答案。C. Norman Kraus说道：
There are, to be sure, important elements of seventeenth-century Calvinism in contemporary dispensationalism, but these elements have been blended with doctrinal emphasis from other sources to form a distinct system which in many respects is quite foreign to classical Calvinism.6
Nevertheless, Dispensationalism did develop within the Reformed community and most of its adherents during the first 100 years were from within the Calvinist milieu. Kraus concludes: “Taking all this into account, it must still be pointed out that the basic theological affinities of dispensationalism are Calvinistic. The large majority of men involved in the Bible and prophetic conference movements subscribed to Calvinistic creeds.” 7 I will now turn to an examination of some of the founders and proponents of Dispensationalism?
DARBY AND THE BRETHREN / 达秘和弟兄会
Modern systematic dispensationalism was developed in the 1830s by J. N. Darby and those within the Brethren movement. Virtually all of these men came from churches with a Calvinistic soteriology. “At the level of theology,” says Brethren historian H. H. Rowdon, “the earliest Brethren were Calvinists to a man.”8 This is echoed by one of the earliest Brethren, J. G. Bellett, who was beginning his association with the Brethren when his brother George wrote, “for his views had become more decidedly Calvinistic, and the friends with whom he associated in Dublin were all, I believe without exception, of this school.”9
近代系统化的时代论乃是1830年代由达秘（JN Darby）以及弟兄会运动内的成员所发展的。这些人都有加尔文派教会的救赎论背景。“在神学的层次”，弟兄会历史学家H. H. Rowdon说，“早期的弟兄们都是加尔文主义者。”这和最早的弟兄会成员，J. G. Bellett所说的一致，当他的兄弟乔治写道他如何开始与弟兄会联系时说道，“他的观点已经是绝对的加尔文派，我相信那些在都柏林跟他在一起的人也一样都是这一派的，绝无例外。”
What were Darby’s views on this matter? John Howard Goddard observes that Darby “held to the predestination of individuals and that he rejected the Arminian scheme that God predestinated those whom he foreknew would be conformed to the image of Christ.”10 In his “Letter on Free-Will,” it is clear that Darby rejects this notion.
在这点上，达秘自己的观点又是什么呢？John Howard Goddard观察到达秘“坚信预定论，他拒绝了亚米念方面的神先预知那些将会被模成基督的形象的人，在预定他们。”在他的“致自由意志者的信”中，达秘明确的拒绝了这个观点。
“If Christ has come to save that which is lost, free-will has no longer any place.”11 “I believe we ought to hold to the word?” continues Darby, “but, philosophically and morally speaking, free-will is a false and absurd theory. Free-will is a state of sin.”12 Because Darby held to the bondage of the will, he logically follows through with belief in sovereign grace as necessary for salvation.
Such is the unfolding of this principle of sovereign grace, without which not one should would be saved, for none understand, none seek after God, not one of himself will come that he might have life. Judgment is according to works? salvation and glory are the fruit of grace.13
Further evidence of Darby’s Calvinism is that on at least two occasions he was invited by non-dispensational Calvinists to defend Calvinism for Calvinists. One of Darby’s biographers, W. G. Turner spoke of his defense at Oxford University:
进一步证明达秘的加尔文主义的证据是最起码有两个事件，当他被非时代论的加尔文主义者邀请去帮助加尔文者辩护加尔文主义。达秘传记的作者，W. G. Turner提到他在牛津大学的辩护说道：
It was at a much earlier date (1831, I think) that F. W. Newman invited Mr. Darby to Oxford: a season memorable in a public way for his refutation of Dr. E. Burton’s denial of the doctrines of grace, beyond doubt held by the Reformers, and asserted not only by Bucer, P. Martyr, and Bishop Jewell, but in Articles IX—XVIII of the Church of England.14
当F.W. Newman在相当早期的时候（我记得是1831）邀请达秘先生去牛津：这是他公开驳斥E. Burton博士否认恩典教义令人难忘的季节，远远超出了改革宗者的怀疑，并得到包括Bucer, P. Martyr, 和Jewell主教，并英国教会教纲9-18条的支持。
On an other occasion Darby was invited to the city of Calvin—Geneva, Switzerland—to defend Calvinism. Turner declares that “He refuted the ‘perfectionism’ of John Wesley, to the delight of the Swiss Free Church.”15 Darby was awarded a medal of honor by the leadership of Geneva.16
Still yet, when certain Reformed doctrines came under attack from within the Church in which he once served, “Darby indicates his approval of the doctrine of the Anglican Church as expressed in Article XVII of the Thirty-Nine Articles”17 on the subject of election and predestination. Darby said,
For my own part, I soberly think Article XVII to be as wise, perhaps I might say the wisest and best condensed human statement of the view it contains that I am acquainted with. I am fully content to take it in its literal and grammatical sense. I believe that predestination to life is the eternal purpose of God, by which, before the foundations of the world were laid, He firmly decreed, by His counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and destruction those whom He had chosen in Christ out of the human race, and to bring them, through Christ, as vessels made to honour, to eternal salvation.18
DISPENSATIONALISM IN AMERICA / 在美国的时代论
Darby and other Brethren brought dispensationalism to America through their many trips and writings that came across the Atlantic. “In fact the millenarian (or dispensational premillennial) movement,” declares George Marsden, “had strong Calvinistic ties in its American origins.”19 Reformed historian Marsden continues his explanation of how dispensationalism came to America:
This enthusiasm came largely from clergymen with strong Calvinistic views, principally Presbyterians and Baptists in the northern United States. The evident basis for this affinity was that in most respects Darby was himself an unrelenting Calvinist. His interpretation of the Bible and of history rested firmly on the massive pillar of divine sovereignty, placing as little value as possible on human ability.20
The post-Civil War spread of dispensationalism in North America occurred through the influence of key pastors and the Summer Bible Conferences like Niagara, Northfield, and Winona. Marsden notes:
The organizers of the prophetic movement in America were predominantly Calvinists. In 1876 a group led by Nathaniel West, James H. Brookes, William J. Eerdman, and Henry M. Parsons, all Presbyterians, together with Baptist A. J. Gordon, . . . These early gatherings, which became the focal points for the prophetic side of their leaders’ activities, were clearly Calvinistic. Presbyterians and Calvinist Baptists predominated, while the number of Methodists was extremely small. . . . Such facts can hardly be accidental.21
在美国的预言（研究）运动的组织者是由加尔文主义者所主宰的。在1876年，一群由Nathaniel West, James H. Brookes, William J. Eerdman, 和 Henry M. Parsons的长老会成员，加上A. J. Gordon,等等的浸信会成员。。一同领导。这些早期的聚会成为这些领袖们活动的重点，都清楚地是
Proof of Marsden’s point above is supplied by Samuel H. Kellogg—himself a Presbyterian and Princeton graduate— with his breakdown of the predominately dispensational Prophecy Conference in New York City in 1878. Kellogg classified the list of those that signed the call for the Conference as follows:
Marsden上述的观点得到了Samuel H. Kellogg—他本身就是普林斯顿毕业的长老会成员—将1878年参加纽约时代论预言研究大会的分类的支持。Kellogg将参加该次大会签名者分类为：
Presbyterians / 长老会. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
United Presbyterians / 联合长老会 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Reformed (Dutch) 荷兰改革宗 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Episcopalians 英国国教（美国）. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Baptist 浸信会 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Reformed Episcopalians 改革宗英国国教（美国）. . . . . . . . . . . 10
Congregationalists 会众主义派 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Methodists 卫理会 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Adventists 安息日会 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Lutheran 路德 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 22
Kellogg concluded that “the proportion of Augustinians in the whole to be eighty-eight per cent.”23 “The significance of this is emphasized,” continues Kellogg, “by the contrasted fact that the Methodists, although one of the largest denominations of Christians in the country, were represented by only six names.”24 Kellogg estimates that “analyses of similar gatherings since held on both sides of the Atlantic, would yield a similar result.”25
George Marsden divides Reformed Calvinism in America into three types: “doctrinalist, culturalist, and pietist.”26 He then explains that “Dispensationalism was essentially Reformed in its nineteenth-century origins and had in later nineteenth century America spread most among revival-oriented Calvinists.”27 This is not to say that only revival-oriented Calvinists were becoming dispensational in their view of the Bible and eschatology. Ernest Sandeen lists at least one Old School Presbyterian—L. C. Baker of Camden, New Jersey—as an active dispensationalist during the later half of the nineteenth century.28 Timothy Weber traces the rise of Dispensationalism as follows:
George Marsden 将美国的改革宗加尔文主义者分为三类：“教义派，文化派和圣洁派。”他然后解释“时代论在19世纪的起源中是改革宗的，在19世纪下半期在美国大觉醒运动影响的加尔文主义者中广为流行。”这不是只有被大醒运动影响的加尔文主义者才会在他们对圣经的看法和末世论成为时代论。Ernest Sandeen最起码列举一个长老会的老牌学校—纽泽西的L. C. Baker of Camden—作为在19世纪下半叶活跃的时代论主义者。Timothy Webe将时代论的兴起追朔于：
The first converts to dispensational premillennialism after the Civil War were pietistic evangelicals who were attracted 8to its biblicism, its concern for evangelism and missions, and its view of history, which seemed more realistic than that of the prevailing postmillennialism. Most of the new premillennialists came from baptist, New School Presbyterian, and Congregationalist ranks, which gave the movement a definite Reformed flavor. Wesleyan evangelicals who opposed premillennialism used this apparent connection to Calvinism to discredit it among Methodists and holiness people.29
It is safe to say that without the aid of Reformed Calvinists in America dispensational premillennialism would have had an entirely different history. Men like the St. Louis Presbyterian James H. Brookes (1830-1897), who was trained at Princeton Seminary, opened his pulpit to Darby and other speakers. Brookes, considered the American father of the pretribulational rapture in America, also discipled a new convert to Christ in the legendary C. I. Scofield.30 Others such as Presbyterians Samuel H. Kellogg (Princeton trained), E. R. Craven, who was a Princeton College and Seminary graduate and Old School Presbyterian,31 and Nathaniel West provided great leadership in spreading dispensationalism in the late 1800s.
所以我们可以很有把握的说，若没有美国改革宗加尔文主义的帮助，时代论千禧年主义将会走入另一个完全不同的历史轨迹里。那些像圣路易斯市的长老会成员，James H. Brookes (1830-1897)，普林斯顿神学院毕业，甚至讲他的讲台相达秘和其他的讲员开放。Brooks，被公认为美国的灾前被提论的先驱，也是由神话般的司可福（C. I. Scofield）带领接受基督的。其他如长老会的Samuel H. Kellogg（普林斯顿训练），E. R. Craven普林斯顿大学和神学院毕业，老派的长老会成员，和Nathaniel West在18世纪前千禧年论传播时发挥了极大的领导能力。
SCOFIELD, CHAFER AND DALLAS SEMINARY / 司可福，Chafer和达拉斯神学院
C. I. Scofield (1843-1921), Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952), and Dallas Theological Seminary (est. 1924) were great vehicles for the spread of dispensationalism in America and throughout the world. Both Scofield and Chafer were ordained Presbyterian ministers. The “Scofield Reference Bible, is called by many the most effective tool for the dissemination of dispensationalism in America.”32 Scofield was converted in midlife and first discipled by James H. Brookes in St. Louis. He was ordained to the ministry at the First Congregational Church of Dallas in 1882 and transferred his ministerial credentials to the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. in 1908.33 Thus, his ministry took place within a Calvinist context.
司可福（1843-1921），Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952),和达拉斯神学院 (1924设立)都是向美国和全世界传播时代论的主要管道。司可福和Chafer都是长老会按立的牧师。“司可福注解圣经，被许多人称为，是美国传播时代论最有效的工具”。司可福是在中年之后信主，现在圣路易斯的James H. Brookes手下受教。他在1822年被达拉斯的第一会众教会（First Congregational Church of Dallas）按立为牧师，然后在1908年转入美国的长老会牧会。歌词，他的职事乃是在加尔文主义的背景下进行的。
Scofield was the major influence upon the development of Chafer’s theology. John Hannah notes that “it is impossible to understand Chafer without perceiving the deep influence of Scofield.”34 In fact, “Chafer often likened this relationship to that of father and a son.”35 This relationship grew out of Chafer’s study under Scofield at the Northfield Conference and from a life-changing experience in Scofield’s study of the First Congregational Church of Dallas in the early 1900s. Scofield told Chafer that his gifts were more in the field of teaching and not in the area of evangelism in which he had labored. “The two prayed together, and Chafer dedicated his life to a lifetime of biblical study.”36
Scofield and Chafer were two of the greatest American dispensationalists and both developed their theology from out of a Reformed background. Scofield is known for his study bible and Chafer for his Seminary and systematic theology. Jeffrey Richards describes Chafer’s theological characteristics as having “much in common with the entire Reformed tradition. Excluding eschatology, Chafer is similar theologically to such Princeton divines as Warfield, Hodge, and Machen. He claims such doctrines as the sovereignty of God, . . . total depravity of humanity, election, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints.”37 C. Fred Lincoln describes Chafer’s 8 volume Systematic Theology as “unabridged, Calvinistic, premillennial, and dispensational.”38
司可福和Chafer是美国历史上最伟大的时代论主义者，他们两人都从改革宗的背景下发展他们的神学。司可福因他的圣经研究著名于世，Chafer是以他的神学院和系统神学著名于世。Jeffrey Richards形容Chafer的神学特性如同拥有“许多与整个改革宗传统的共同点。除了末世论，Chafer与普林斯顿神学院的Warfield，Hogde，和Machen比较接近。他宣称，这些教义乃是神的主权，。。人的完全败坏，（神的）拣选，不可抗拒的恩典，和（神）对圣徒的保守”。C. Fred Lincoln将Chafer的八卷系统神学描述为“未经过删减的，加尔文主义的，前千禧年的，和时代论的。”
Since its founding in 1924 as The Evangelical Theological College (changed to Dallas Theological Seminary in 1936), it has exerted a global impact on behalf of dispensationalism. Dallas Seminary’s primary founder was Chafer, but William Pettingill and W. H. Griffith-Thomas also played a leading role. Pettingill, like Chafer was Presbyterian. Griffith-Thomas, an Anglican, wrote one of the best commentaries on the Thirty-nine Articles of the Anglican Church,39 which is still widely used by conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians today. The Thirty-nine Articles are staunchly Calvinistic.
自从福音派神学院（在1936年改名为达拉斯神学院）在1924年创立以来，它一向高举对全球产生深刻影响的时代论主义。达拉斯的主要创办人是Chafer，但是William Pettingill和W. H. Griffith-Thomas也在其中起了非常重要的带头作用。Pettingill，就如同Chafer一样，是长老会背景。Griffith-Thomas则是英国国教（美国）教会背景，他曾写了对英国国教39条最好的注解，今天仍被英国国教和Episcopalian广泛使用。那个39条乃是彻头彻尾的加尔文主义的。
Both men were clearly Calvinists. The Seminary, especially before World War II, considered itself Calvinistic. Chafer once characterized the school in a publicity brochure as “in full agreement with the Reformed Faith and its theology is strictly Calvinistic.”40 In a letter to Allan MacRae of Westminster Theological Seminary, Chafer said, “You probably know that we are definitely Calvinistic in our theology.”41 “Speaking of the faculty, Chafer noted in 1925 that they were ‘almost wholly drawn from the Southern and Northern Presbyterian Churches.'”42 Further, Chafer wrote to a Presbyterian minister the following: “I am pleased to state that there is no institution to my knowledge which is more thoroughly Calvinistic nor more completely adjusted to this system of doctrine, held by the Presbyterian Church.”43
Since so many early Dallas graduates entered the Presbyterian ministry, there began to be a reaction to their dispensational premillennialism in the 1930s. This was not an issue as to whether they were Calvinistic in their soteriology, but an issue over their eschatology. In the late 1930s, “Dallas Theological Seminary, though strongly professing to be a Presbyterian institution, was being severed from the conservative Presbyterian splinter movement.”44 In 1944, Southern Presbyterians issued a report from a committee investigating the compatibility of dispensationalism with the Westminster Confession of Faith. The committee ruled dispensationalism was not in harmony with the Church’s Confession. This “report of 1944 was a crippling blow to any future that dispensational premillennialism might have within Southern Presbyterianism.”45 This ruling effectively moved Dallas graduates away from ministry within Reformed denominations toward the independent Bible Church movement.
A BROADENING OF DISPENSATIONALISM ACCEPTANCE / 对时代论的更广泛的接纳
Even though dispensationalism had made a modest penetration of Baptists as early as the 1880s through advocates such as J. R. Graves,46 a strong Calvinist, they were rebuffed by nonCalvinists until the mid-1920s when elements of dispensational theology began to be adopted by some Pentecostals in an attempt to answer the increasing threat of liberalism. Kraus explains:
Some teachers said explicitly that premillennialism was a bulwark against rationalist theology. Thus it is not surprising to find that the theological elements which became normative in dispensationalism ran directly counter to the developing emphasis of the “New Theology.”47
Up to this point in history, those from the Arminian and Wesleyan traditions were more interested in present, personal sanctification issues, rather than the Calvinist attention in explaining God’s sovereign work in the progress of history. However, the rise of the fundamentalist/liberal controversy in the 1920s stirred an interest, outside of the realm of Calvinism, in defending the Bible against the anti-supernatural attacks of the liberal critics. Dispensationalism was seen as a conservative and Bible-centered answer to liberalism, not only within fundamentalism, but increasingly by Pentecostals and others as well. Timothy Weber notes:
But in time, dispensationalism had its devotees within the Wesleyan tradition as well. More radical holiness groups resonated with its prediction of declining orthodoxy and piety in the churches? and pentecostals found in it a place for the outpouring of the Spirit in a “latter-day rain” before the Second Coming.48
LATTER RAIN PENTECOSTALISM / 晚雨灵恩派
One of the first non-Calvinist groups to adopt a dispensational orientation can be found among some Pentecostals in the mid-1920s. This development must be understood against a backdrop of the Wesleyan and holiness heritage out of which Pentecostalism arose at the turn of last century. The American holiness movement of the 1800s was primarily postmillennial and if premillennial, then historical premillennial.
They were not in any way dispensational. Pentecostalism is at heart a supposed restoration of apostolic Christianity that is meant to bring in the latter rain harvest in preparation for Christ’s return. The phrase “latter rain” is taken from Joel 2:23 & 28 and sometimes James 5:7 as a label describing an end-time revival and evangelistic harvest expected by many charismatics and Pentecostals. Some time in the future, they believe the Holy Spirit will be poured out like never before. The latter rain teaching is developed from the agricultural model that a farmer needs rain at two crucial points in the growing cycle in order to produce a bountiful harvest. First, right after the seed is planted the “early rain” is needed to cause the seed to germinate in order to produce a healthy crop. Second, the crop needs rain right before the harvest, called the “latter rain,” so the grain will produce a high yield at harvest time, which shortly follows. Latter rain advocates teach that the Acts 2 outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the “early rain” but the “latter rain” outpouring of the Holy Spirit will occur at the end-times. This scenario is in conflict with dispensationalism that sees the current age ending, not in revival, but apostasy. It will be during the tribulation, after the rapture of the church, that God will use the miraculous in conjunction with the preaching of the gospel. Thus, latter rain theology fits within a postmillennial or historical premillennial eschatology, but it is not consistent with dispensationalism.
Many Christians are aware that the Pentecostal movement began on January 1, 1901 in Topeka, Kansas when Agnes Ozman (1870-1937) spoke in tongues under the tutelage of Charles Fox Parham (1873-1929). Yet, how many realize that in the “early years Pentecostalism often took the name ‘Latter Rain Movement’”?49 This is because Parham titled his report of the new movement as “The Latter Rain: The Story of the Origin of the Original Apostolic or Pentecostal Movements.”50 Many are also aware that William J. Seymour (1870-1922) came under the influence of Parham in Houston, Texas in 1905 and then took the Pentecostal message to Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906, from where it was disseminated to the fourcorners of the world. But, how many are also aware that he too spoke of these things in terms of a latter rain framework?
许多基督徒都知道灵恩运动开始于1901年1月1日。Agnes Ozman (1870-1937)在堪撒斯州Topeka在Charles Fox Parham(1873-1929)的监督下开始说方言。然而，有多少人知道，早期的灵恩运动自称为晚雨运动？这是因为Parham用“晚雨：最 初的使徒或五旬节运动的起源故事”作为报道这个新运动的标题？ 许多人也知道，1905年时William J. Seymour (1870-1922) 在德州休士顿的时候，受了Parham的影响。然后在1906年将五旬节的信息带到洛杉矶的Azusa街。从那里被传致世 界的各处。但是有多少人知道，他也在晚雨的架构下，教导这些（时代论的）东西？
There is no doubt that the latter rain teaching was one of the major components—if not the major distinctive—in the theological formation of Pentecostalism. “Modern Pentecostalism is the ‘latter rain,’ the special outpouring of the Spirit that restores the gifts in the last days as part of the preparation for the ‘harvest,’ the return of Christ in glory,” says Donald Dayton.51 David Wesley Myland (1858-1943) was one of the early Pentecostal leaders. He wrote the first distinctly Pentecostal hymn entitled, “The Latter Rain” in 1906. The “first definitive Pentecostal theology that was widely distributed, the Latter Rain Covenant” appeared in 1910.52 Myland argued in his book that “now we are in the Gentile Pentecost, the first Pentecost started the church, the body of Christ, and this, the second Pentecost, unites and perfects the church into the coming of the Lord.”53
不可否认的，晚雨的教导是五旬节主义中一个主要—即使不是最与众不同—的神学组成部分。“现代五旬节主义是‘晚雨’，‘为了预备收成，基督在荣耀里回来，圣灵特别以浇灌的方式在末日重建（各种）恩赐’”，Donald Dayton如此说过。David Wesley Myland (1858-1943)是一位早期的五旬节运动领袖。他在1906，用“晚雨”为标题写了第一首真正五旬节运动的诗歌。“第一位鼓吹晚雨之约，真正的五旬节神学家”出现在1910.Myland在他的书里争辩说，‘我们如今乃是在一个温和的五旬节，第一个五旬节开始了教会，基督的身体，这个，第二个五旬节将要联合并预备教会，进入主的再来。
Dayton concludes that the “broader Latter Rain doctrine provided a key . . . premise in the logic of Pentecostalism.”54 In spite of having such a key place in the thinking of early Pentecostalism, “the latter rain doctrine did tend to drop out of Pentecostalism” in the 1920s “only to reappear, however, in the radical Latter Rain revitalization movement of the 1940s.”55 One of reasons that latter rain teachings began to wane in the mid-1920s was that as Pentecostalism became more institutionalized it needed an answer to the inroads of liberalism. As noted above, dispensationalism was seen as a help in these areas.
The Latter Rain teaching developed out of the Wesleyan-Holiness desire for both individual (sanctification) and corporate (eschatological) perfection. Thus, early perfectionist teachers like John Wesley, Charles Finney, and Asa Mahan were all postmillennial and social activists. Revivalism was gagged by carrying the burden of both personal and public change or perfection. It follows that one who believes in personal perfection should also believe that public perfection is equally possible. Those who believe the latter are postmillennialists. After all, if God has given the Holy Spirit in this age to do either, then why not the other? If God can perfect individuals, then why not society?
However, as the 1800s turned into the 1900s, social change was increasingly linked with Darwin’s theory of evolution. The evolutionary rationale was then used to attack the Bible itself. To most English-speaking Christians it certainly appeared that society was not being perfected, instead it was in decline. Critics of the Bible said that one needed a Ph.D. from Europe before the Bible could be organized and understood. It was into this climate that dispensationalism was introduced into America and probably accounts for its speedy and widespread acceptance by many conservative Christians. To many Bible believing Christians, Dispensationalism made a great deal more sense of the world than did the antisupernaturalism con-clusions of liberalism.
Dispensationalism, in contrast to Holiness teaching, taught that the world and the visible church were not being perfected, instead Christendom was in apostasy and heading toward judgment. God is currently in the process of calling out His elect through the preaching of the gospel. Christian social change would not be permanent, nor would it lead to the establishment of Christ’s kingdom before His return. Instead a cataclysmic intervention was needed (Christ’s second coming), if society was to be transformed.
Early Pentecostalism was born out of a motivation and vision for restoring to the church apostolic power lost over the years. Now she was to experience her latter-day glory and victory by going out in a blaze of glory and success. On the other hand, dispensationalism was born in England in the early 1800s bemoaning the latter-day apostasy and ruin of the church. Nevertheless, within Pentecostalism, these two divergent views were merged. Thus, denominations like the Assemblies of God and Foursquare Pentecostals moved away from doctrines like the latter rain teaching and generated official positions against those teachings. It was in the mid1920s that dispensationalism began to be adopted by non-Calvinists and spread throughout the broader world of Conservative Protestantism.
Dispensationalism appealed to the average person with its emphasis that any average, interested person could understand the Bible without the enlightened help of a liberal education. Once a student understood God’s overall plan for mankind, as administered through the dispensations, he would be able to see God’s hand in history. Thus, dispensational theology made a lot of sense to both Pentecostal and evangelical believers at this point in history.
POST WAR DEVELOPMENT / 战后的发展
Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism/Charismatic movements spread rapidly in America after the second World War and since dispensationalism was attached to them, it also grew rapidly. Many babyboomers within Pentecostal and Charismatic churches grew up with dispensationalism and the pretribrapture as part of their doctrinal framework. Thus, it would not occur to them that dispensationalism was not organic to their particular brands of restoration theology. Further, as non-Calvinist Fundamentalism grew after the War, especially within independent Baptist circles, there was an even greater disconnect of dispensational distinctives from their Calvinist roots.
We have seen that the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has a tradition of both Latter Rain/restoration teachings as well as the later rise of a dispensational stream. However, these are contradictory teachings which appear to be on a collision course. Either the church age is going to end with perfection and revival or it will decline into apostasy, preparing the way for the church to become the harlot of Revelation during the tribulation. It is not surprising to see within the broader Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, since the mid 1980s, a clear trend toward reviving Latter Rain theology and a growing realization that it is in logical conflict with their core doctrine. Many, who grew up on Dispensational ideas and the pre-tribrapture, are dumping these views as the leaven of Latter Rain theology returns to prominence within Pentecostal/Charismatic circles.
Pentecostal/Charismatic leaders like Earl Paulk56 and Tommy Reid, to name just a couple among many, are attempting to articulate the tension over the struggles of two competing systems. They are opting for the dismissal of dispensational elements from a consistent Pentecostal/Charismatic and Latter Rain theology. Tommy Reid observes:
如同Earl Paulk和Tommy Reid这样的五旬节/灵恩运动领袖正在将两个互相竞争的系统间的张力整合为一。他们反对将时代论的成分从五旬节/灵恩运动和晚雨神学中脱钩。Tommy Reid这样观察道：
This great Last Day revival was often likened in the preaching of Pentecostal pioneer to the restoration promised to Israel in the Old Testament. . . . Whereas Dispensationalists had relegated all of these prophetic passages of restoration only to physical Israel, Pentecostal oratory constantly referred to these prophecies as having a dual meaning, restoration for physical Israel, AND restoration for the present day church. WE WERE THE PEOPLE OF THAT RESTORATION, ACCORDING TO OUR THEOLOGY. (emphasis in original)57。
At the same time, the purge of Dispensationalism from Reformed Christianity, begun in the late 1930s, has been pretty much completed. Typical of this polarization is found in books like John Gerstner’s Wrongly Dividing The Word Of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism.58 While admitting on the one hand that a “strange thing about Dispensationalism is that it seems to have had its strongest advocates in Calvinistic churches.”59 Gerstner so strongly opposes dispensationalism, that it has blinded him to the true Calvinist nature of such a Godcentered theology. Gerstner claims that he and other Reformed theologians have raised “strong questions about the accuracy of dispensational claims to be Calvinistic.”60 It appears that since Dispensationalism arose within the Reformed tradition, as a rival to Covenant Theology, some want to say that they cannot logically be Calvinistic. This is what Gerstner contends. However, in spite of Gerstner’s sophistry on this issue,61 he cannot wipe out the historical fact that dispensationalism was birthed within the biblical mindset of a clear theocentric theology and by those who held strongly to soteriological Calvinism. The fact that Dispensationalism arose within a Reformed context is probably the reason why the Reformed community has led the way in criticism of Dispensational theology.
CONCLUSION / 结论
The purpose of this article is to remind modern Dispensationalists and Calvinists of the historical roots of Dispensationalism. It is precisely because Dispensationalism has penetrated almost every form of Protestantism that many today may be surprised to learn of its heritage. In our day of Postmodern irrationalism, where it is considered a virtue to NOT connect the dots of one’s theology, we need to be reminded that the theology of the Bible is a seamless garment. It all hangs together. If one starts pulling at a single thread, the whole cloth is in danger of unraveling.
I personally think that if systematic Dispensationalism is rightly understood then it still logically makes sense only within a theocentric and soteriologically Calvinists theology. After all, Dispensationalism teaches that it is GOD who is ruling His household, as administered through the various dispensations of history. However, the reality is that Dispensationalism, or elements of Dispensationalism (i.e., pretribulationism, futurism, etc.), have been disseminated throughout a wide diversity of Protestant traditions.
Dispensationalism is best seen as a system of theology that sees views God as the Sovereign ruler of heaven and earth? man as a rebellious vice-regent (along with some angels)? Jesus Christ is the hero of history as He is saves some by His Grace? history as a lesson in the outworking of God’s glory being displayed to both heaven and earth. Dispensationalism is a theology that I believe is properly derived from biblical study and lets God be God.