Home         Articles         Study         Library         History         Heresy         Blogs

A Comparison of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology

  Dispensationalism Covenant Theology
1 Either Pelagian, Semi Pelagian, Arminian, Evangelical Arminian, rarely a modified Calvinism and even less rarely a five point Calvinist Augustinian and Calvinistic, Reformed and Presbyterian embraces five points, Lutheran a modified version as well as Anglicans
2 Stresses a 'literal' interpretation of the Bible Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation
3 Usually does not accept the idea of “Analogy of Faith” Almost always accepts the idea of “Analogy of Faith”
4 “Israel” always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob “Israel” may be literal, physical descendants of Jacob or figurative, spiritual Israel, based on context
5 “Israel of God' in Galatians 6:16 is physical Israel alone “Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 is spiritual Israel, cf Galatians 3:29, Romans 2:28-29, 9:6; Philippians 3:3
6 God has two peoples with two separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly) God always had only one people, which developed from Abraham to the Church
7 The Church was born at Pentecost The Church began in the Old Testament (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the New
8 The Church was not prophesied as such in the Old Testament but was a hidden mystery until the New The Old Testament contains many prophecies of the New Testament Church
9 All Old Testament prophecies for Israel are for literal Israel, not the church Some Old Testament prophecies were for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel
10 God's main purpose in history is literal Israel God's main purpose is Christ and secondly the Church.
11 The church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages. The church is the culmination of God's saving purpose for the ages
12 The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Christ and spiritual Israel
13 There was no eternal “Covenant of Redemption” within the Trinity The eternal “Covenant of Redemption” was within the Trinity to effect election
14 There was no “Covenant of Works” with Adam in the Garden of Eden God made a conditional “Covenant of Works” with Adam as representative for all his posterity
15 There was no “Covenant of Grace” concerning Adam God made a “Covenant of Grace” with Christ and His people, including Adam
16 Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mount Sinai Israel was right to accept the Covenant Mount Sinai
17 The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20 The “New Covenant” of Jeremiah 31 is the same as in Luke 22; Hebrews 8, says both are for spiritual Israel
18 God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations God's program in history is mainly through related covenants
19 Some Dispensationalists have said that Old Testament sinners were saved by works No one was ever saved by works, but by grace alone
20 Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the Old Testament, were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.
21 The Old Testament sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect Old Testament believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies
22 The Holy Spirit indwells believers in the Dispensation of Grace, not in the Old Testament nor after the Rapture The Holy Spirit indwelt some believers in all ages, and all in the present era, and will never be withdrawn
23 Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel
24 Old Testament believers were not in Christ, nor part of the Body or Bride of Christ. Believers in al ages are all “in Christ” and part of the Body and Bride of Christ
25 The Law has been abolished The Moral Law has three uses: • to restrain sin in society • to lead to Christ, and • to instruct Christians in godliness. The ceremonial laws have been abolished; the civil laws apply only within their general equity; the applicability of the moral laws continues
26 Old Testament laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the New Testament Old Testament laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the New Testament
27 Sees the Millennium is the Kingdom of God, are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulation The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillennial, or Post-Millennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial but never Pre-Tribulational
28 The Old Testament animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium The Old Testament sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ
29 The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant made with Abraham. Israel has a literal future Christ fulfilled the Covenant made with Abraham. Some believe in a future for literal Israel, most do not
30 David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him

Copyright © 2008 [www.seeking4truth.com]. All rights reserved .Revised: 05/17/2009