Problems with dispensationalist theology

Question 198, from Peter, Switzerland

Several of your answers refer to Dispensationalism and give some of the history of the term, and the influence it has had on Christian Culture and Politics, particularly in the USA. You also seem to suggest it is theologically deficient. Can you outline succinctly the main theological positions of this view, where they are derived from and why you find them unsatisfactory?

Dispensationalism is the idea that God’s relationship with human beings is different throughout the different eras of human history as recorded in the Bible. The eras are called ‘dispensations’ as they depend on the way God’s grace is dispensed during those times, for example, through a covenant with the Hebrew people, through the ministry of Jesus, through the church, and so on. (more…)

The mystery of Enoch’s disappearance, and its relevance to missing persons today

Question 197, from Julian, UK

Why did God take Enoch? Does God take people today, for example missing persons who are never found?

Enoch is a bit of a mystery figure in the Old Testament. The text of Genesis refers cryptically to Enoch ‘walking with God’ and “then he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis Chapter 5, verse 24). ‘Took’ in that verse is the Hebrew ‘lakach’, which can mean ‘received’ him. (more…)

Noah – the new action blockbuster movie from Paramount Pictures

Recently on UCB Radio, Paul Hammond the presenter asked Jon the freelance theologian this question: “Does it matter if the new Noah film is faithful to the Biblical story or not?”

Broadly speaking, if we are going to limit any versions of Noah to ones that are Biblically authentic then we are going to have to clear the shelves of our Christian bookshops of any children’s books about Noah, and probably quite a few of the adult books will need to go too. (more…)