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Author's Bias / Perspective

Author's Bias: Interpretation: conservative
Inclination: dispensational
Seminary: none

Author’s Perspective

At the top of each article is the contributing Author’s Bias / Perspective. Author’s Bias / Perspective is an indication of the author’s belief system. This provides you the means to understand the author’s reference point, evaluate the article, its integrity, and quality. Author’s Perspective will reveal up to 3 facts about the contributing author: 1) Biblical Perspective, 2) Inclination towards Covenant or Dispensational theology, and 3) Graduate of seminary or Bible college, if applicable.

1) Biblical Perspective (What does this mean?)

All authors are conservative in their interpretation of the Bible. They agree with The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and Hermeneutics.

2) Inclination towards Covenant, Dispensational or Promise Theology (What does this mean?)

The author’s inclination is indicated in recognition that some authors may not consider themselves as "classical" Covenant, Dispensational or Promise.

3) Graduate of seminary or Bible college

This will indicate what seminary or Bible college the author has graduated from.

Each author may not necessarily endorse articles from other authors within the site but have contributed, because they all have a heart felt desire to encourage sound biblical hermeneutics regardless of the theological differences that exist within Christianity.

A word on Biblical Perspective

Biblical perspective, in its most basic form, falls into three categories: 1) Conservative interpretation, 2) Neo-Orthodox, and 3) Liberal interpretation. Each reflects a particular perspective towards the Bible.

Conservative interpretation takes the position that the Bible is without error (inerrant) and is completely trustworthy (infallible). "It is God's Word as it is."

Neo-Orthodox takes the position that the Bible has some inaccuracies (errant) and is completely trustworthy (infallible). "It becomes God's Word after the Spirit moves me."

Liberal interpretation takes the position that the Bible has inaccuracies (errant) and is not trustworthy (fallible). "It becomes God's Word after I eliminate what is wrong and inaccurate."

We have chosen this classification instead of identifying the author's theological system for 2 reasons: 1) there are many Christian theological systems which may confuse the viewer, and 2) many contributing authors do not consider themselves as wholly embracing one particular traditional Christian theological system. And because this site focuses on hermeneutics, we believe that the Word should be studied as is without any presuppositions or modification to the Text as to what is acceptable for study or what is not; thus, the authors must be conservative in interpretation. For further discussion on this ministry's hermeneutics, see the section: Our Hermeneutics...how do you read the Bible?

We would be remiss if we did not at least have some discussion of theological systems and how they relate with Christian denominations. Christianity encompasses a number of theological systems such as Baptist, Arminian, Lutheran, Neo-Orthodox, Reformed, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan. For many Christians, the differences in theological perspective may not be apparent, and, if interested, we would encourage you to research this area as the details go far beyond the intent of this ministry. A guide worth considering is Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine by H. Wayne House (published by Zondervan Publishing House).

Theology, which means "reasoning about God," is not a topic only for academics. Everyone has an idea about god(s), including atheists who have rejected the idea of any god! Christian theology, in its basic form, has a definite idea of God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, man, salvation, and the Bible. Outside of this basic doctrine, differences in theological perspective exists among pastors, seminarians, and biblical scholars; however, there is unquestioned unanimity in the area of basic Christian doctrine namely that:

1) The Bible, the only inspired and authoritative written revelation given to man by God, is inerrant and infallible in the original writings.

2) There is only one sovereign God, and He is a triune being consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

3) Jesus Christ, of virgin birth, possessed both human and divine natures. He died to atone for man's sin, was resurrected in bodily form, and ascended to heaven.

4) Salvation is received by those who: a) acknowledge their sinful nature, b) believe that Jesus Christ died for their sins, and c) recognize Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.

5) Believers, through their love, are to share the good news of Christ's gift of life to the world and within the church body, serve and minister to other believers through the exercise of their spiritual gifts.

This ministry will seek article contributors from various denominations, within the context of biblical and theological perspectives, who agree with The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and Hermeneutics. Sound biblical hermeneutics is desired by God and valued by the greater church regardless of the differences that exist within Christianity. The authors will be academic clergy, pastors, para-church leaders, and lay people.

Often confused with theological systems, Christian denominations reflect the various "groups" that exist within Christianity; however, the many Christian denominations present today originate principally from one single "original church." This can be seen by way of a brief historical overview.

Year 100

Not long after the ascension of Christ, Christianity was made up of two groups: 1) Pauline Christians and 2) Jewish Christians. In subsequent years, Pauline Christians grew in size; Jewish Christians grew much slower and comprised a small group. By year 385, a formal church hierarchy was established where the most senior official became the Pope.

Year 1054

Christianity split between east and west. Eastern Orthodox churches broke from the Western Rite (precursor to the Roman Catholic Church). This was a particularly violent time as the Crusades took place. The resulting wars extinguished the existence of any other breakaway division of the Church.

Year 1517

The Reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church had been slowly stirring but the Protestant Reformation began suddenly with Martin Luther when he posted his "Ninety-Five Theses" on the door of the All Saints Church in Germany. He openly attacked the authority of the Pope, and certain church beliefs and practices (such as selling indulgences). Martin Luther promoted two fundamental principles: 1) the Bible was the ultimate authority on religious belief and practice, and 2) no priest or intermediary was needed between a Christian and God.

Year 2000

The Protestant Reformation resulted in the freedom to interpret the Bible. This permitted the growth of many Christian groups which some classify as families of denominations who share the same historical root. Those families include:

Baptist (Southern Baptist, American Baptist, etc)

European Free-Church (Amish, Mennonite, Quaker, etc)

Holiness (Christian Alliance, Nazarene, etc)

Independent Fundamentalist (Plymouth Brethren, Fundamentalist, etc.)

Lutheran (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod)

Messianic Judaism (Jews for Jesus, etc.)

Pentecostal (Assemblies of God, Church of God, etc.)

Pietist-Methodist (United Methodist, etc.)

Reformed-Presbyterian (Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregational, etc.)

Western Liturgical (Roman Catholic, Anglican, etc)

One can expect many more denominations to develop over time.


A word on Covenant, Dispensational and Promise Theology

Like the discussion of theological systems, the discussion on Covenant, Dispensational and Promise theology goes far beyond the intent of this ministry. There are many resources that will elaborate upon them and highlight their differences. In addition to these two systems, there are other more current variations that arose from them. The purpose of mentioning these three is to introduce them to the novice Christian and to encourage further study of the Bible. Theology is the result of successful Bible study; Bible knowledge builds a contextual framework from which, in turn, can enhance the success of Bible study.

For more biblically knowledgeable Christians, this is an important distinction because it affects many aspects of how you interpret the Bible, among them: 1) how you understand Divine Covenants and how they will be fulfilled, 2) how you understand prophecy and apocalyptic literature (ie Revelation), and 3) how you understand the nation of Israel today and in the future.

Covenant, Dispensational or Promise theology, refers to the various periods (or historical patterns) in Bible history and how they correlate with the activities of God.

Covenant Theology

Covenant theology arranges all Bible history and theology around the covenants that God made with man. These covenants are identified as: a) Covenant of Redemption, b) Covenant of Works (Adam), and c) Covenant of Grace (Christ and the Elect).

Dispensational Theology

Dispensational theology arranges all Bible history and theology around periods or arrangements that God determined. Each cyclical period (or dispensation) has 1) a promise of blessing if certain conditions are met, 2) man's failure of meeting the condition, and 3) God's resulting Judgment. The Dispensations are identified as: a) Dispensation of Innocence (Adam), b) Dispensation of Conscience (The Fall), c) Dispensation of Government (Noah), d) Dispensation of Promise (Abraham), e) Dispensation of Law (Moses), f) Dispensation of Grace (Christ's First Coming and the Church Age), and f) Dispensation of Kingdom (Christ's Second Coming and the Millennium).

Promise Theology

Promise theology is based on God's promise of a Seed (Gen 3:15), is a unifying theme running throughout the Bible and binds all 66 books into one organic whole.

There are countless resources that delve into Covenant and Dispensational theology, their historical roots, their differences, and their impact on theological systems. We would encourage you to explore this further (i.e. Mal Couch's book A Introduction to Classical Evangelical Hermeneutics, published by Kregal Publication, Renald Showers book There Really is a Difference! published by The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. Promise Theology is not as well known and an introduction can be seen in this article The Eschatological Hermeneutics of "Epangelicalism:" Promise Theology by Walter Kaiser).


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