Christ's Prophetic Plans is an excellent introduction to Dispensationalism or as the authors also entitle it,
"Futuristic Premillennialism". John Macarthur, Michael Vlach, Richard Mayhue, Nathan Busentiz and Mathew Waymeyer team up to defend the grammatical-historical hermeneutic in the interpretation of prophecy. They start by removing misconceptions about Dispensationalism, such as the idea that Premillennialists believe that there are two-ways of salvation, and they define what Dispensationalism/Futuristic Premillennialism really is. "… dispensationalism shapes one's eschatology and ecclesiology. That is the extent of it. Pure Dispensationalism has no ramifications for the doctrines of God, man, sin, or sanctification. More significantly, true Dispensationalism makes no relevant contribution to soteriology, or the doctrine of salvation."
They then go through and show that their eschatology is exegetically derived from Scripture, and not from a misinterpretation of the texts. They focus particularly on Israel, as they point out that ""What distinguishes dispensationalists…is that they believe not only in the salvation of Israel but also in the restoration of Israel…'Restoration' involves the idea of Israel being reinstalled as a nation, in her land…In other words, in a literal, earthly kingdom - a millennium." They defend God's right to distinguish nations/races in His New Covenant plan and not just to distinguish individual people(such as men and women).
Critiquing Covenant Theology's imposition of a theological system on prophetic texts, they point out that the hermeneutic of Futuristic Premillennialists is not derived from their creeds or theology. "If one's hermeneutic is one's theology, then one's theology determines one's hermeneutic…A theology is not a hermeneutic...For Futuristic Premillennialism, a consistent grammatical- historical hermeneutic to interpret all of Scripture is a presupposition, not a determined theology. " Part of Macarthur's contribution is a reiteration of his controversial , and in my opinion excellent, message, 'Why Every Self Respecting Calvinist Should Be A Premillennialist'.
Though I don't agree with all of their views, such as Christ being the 'true Israel', or the statement that Reformed Theology is not related to any particular Eschatology, I think that the authors did a good job with this 'Primer' on Futuristic Premillennialism.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this
review. Thanks Moody Publishers!