For the next couple of days, Saralynn and I will be at the “2011 JODT Conference” put on by Tyndale Theological Seminary. Tyndale is where I am working on my Master’s degree and through whom our church hosts a Bible Learning Center.
“JODT” stands for “Journal of Dispensational Theology,” Tyndale’s seminary publication. Yes, this is a theological conference.
Dispensational Theology has three primary tenets that Oak Tree, Tyndale, and I (personally) hold strongly in our teaching:
- There is a clear distinction between Israel and the Church. Israel is still God’s people and will still receive the many promises that God has not yet fulfilled. This is key in our End Times theology.
- The only valid meaning of the Bible is found through a consistently literal interpretation. The Bible was written to be understood literally. We don’t have to search for deep meanings or find hidden truths. God did not write a “word search” book to stump us.
- God’s own glory is the overarching, central theme of God’s work and of the Scriptures. The Bible is not about you and me, not about salvation, not about prophecy or end times — even though all of those things are in there. The Bible is about God. You and I are about God. Salvation is about God. Prophecy is all about God. When we read and study the Scriptures, no matter the topic or story, we are ultimately reading and studying about God and his glory.
For more information about how Dispensationalism approaches specific topics or passages, check out Dispensationalism: Tomorrow & Beyond by Tyndale Seminary Press. This collection of teachings by several well-known authors is a tribute to Charles Ryrie, one of the greatest advocates of Dispensationalism.
For the next couple of days, we’re going to be studying with men and women who hold this highest regard for God and his Word. It’s going to be a great time!
I’ll post notes and thoughts about some of the sessions as I can, so stay tuned to increase your understanding of the Scriptures along with us.
P.S.: We will be back to kick off our new series this weekend at Oak Tree Church – “Fruit of the Spirit”, honoring God in our day-to-day lives. Don’t miss it!