Alas, we find ourselves at the end of our series on Dispensationalism (cue weeping and/or shouts of exaltation)!
Over the past few weeks, we have reflected on some of dispensationalism’s key underlying tenets by placing the movement in its immediate social/historical context. In our first post, we looked at the dispensationalist understanding of the church via John Nelson Darby’s split with the Church of England. In our second post, we placed the dispensationalist interpretation of Scripture in conversation with nineteenth and twentieth century liberalhermeneutics. Finally, in our third post, we evaluated dispensationalist eschatology (the branch of theology dealing with the “end times”) in the light of modern, progressive interpretations of history. Rather than offering some further reflections or a summative conclusion to this series (because let’s be honest, we’re all getting a little tired of hearing me bloviate), I thought that it might be more beneficial to point you in the direction of further resources. If you know of any good resources that are not included, feel free to mention them in the “Comments” section below. If I find your link especially helpful, I may include it into the body of this post!
I. Primary Sources:
The Collected Writings of J. N. Darby: In many ways, theses texts mark the genesis of classic dispensationalism. See especially “Considerations Addressed to the Archbishop of Dublin” and “Considerations on the Nature and Unity of the Church of Christ.” Both of these articles are absolutely essential for understanding Darby’s view of the Church.
The Scofield Reference Bible: Without question the most influential dispensationalist work to date.
Scofield’s Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: A great resource for understanding both the dispensationalist approach to scripture and the seven individual dispensations.
Charles Ryrie, Dispensationalism: A “revised dispensationalist,” Ryrie offers a helpful introduction to dispensationalism from within the movement’s own ranks.
Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth: With more than 28 million copies sold, Lindsey’s work has served as a wildly popular dissemination of dispensationalist ideology.
The works of John F. Walvoord: Pastor, theologian, and president of Dallas Theological Seminary, Walvoord was one of the most influential dispensationalist theologians of the 20th century. See especially: The Rapture Question
II. Secondary Sources:
Clarence Bass, Backgrounds to Dispensationalism: A helpful examination of the origins of dispensationalism, particularly in the thinking of J. N. Darby
Larry Crutchfield, The Origins of Dispensationalism: An in-depth look at Darby’s theology
Gordon Isaac, Left Behind or Left Befuddled: The Subtle Dangers of Popularizing the End Times. Gordon-Conwell’s own Dr. Isaac examines the suppositions and dangers of premillennial eschatology.
George Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture: One of the greatest historians of Christianity in America, Marsden offers some excellent insights into the rise of dispensationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
III. Online Resources:
“Farewell to the Rapture:” A Brief article on the rapture by notable theologian and former bishop of Durham, N. T. Wright
“Biblical Foreign Policy?:” A post by Michael Horton, professor of theology at Westminster Seminary, addressing dispensationalist concern for the modern nation of Israel. A VERY IMPORTANT topic in light of President Obama’s recent statement about redrawing the Israeli borders.
Finally, my personal favorite: Eternal Earth-Bound Pets: The next best thing to pet salvation in a post rapture world! Nervous about your pets being “left behing?” For only $135.00, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets will take care of your animals after you’re raptured!