DISPENSATIONALISM: VERSUS COVENANT THEOLOGY AND THE MILLENNIALISM
J.B. Stoney notes that:
- In the Reformation there was, through grace, a great deliverance. The ground-work of Christianity was recovered; namely, justification by faith. But though this was recovered, it was not maintained that the old man was crucified on the Cross, and hence they only refused the exaction of popery, but considered the flesh as still before God. Refusing the exaction was right; but the retention of that on which the exaction could be made, the old man, was and is the weakness of the Reformation.
Miles Stanford also observes that:
- The Lutheran Church is an example of little birth truth and no growth truth, resulting in legalism, lack of eternal security, and even a charismatic element as well as liberalism. In general, the Reformation-oriented Reformed Churches, with birth truth but little or no growth truth, also reflect this imbalance in their unscriptural application of "the law as the rule of life" for the believer.
Dr. William R. Newell pretty well sums it up when he wrote:
- Almost all the theology of the various ‘‘creeds of Christendom' date back to the Reformation, which went triumphantly to the end of Romans Five, and, so far as theological development or presentation of truth was concerned, stopped there.
The reformation brought back the truth of salvation by grace, but reverted to the law for living the Christian life. This law-grace paradox continued to plague the church until John Nelson Darby and his contemporaries came on the scene in the early 1800's. Darby adopted the literal, historical-grammatical method of Bible interpretation.