Friday, February 12, 2010

Dispensationalism and the Westminster Standards, Part 1: WCF

I recently finished reading through the Westminster Confession of Faith (ARP edition), cover to cover, and while this was not my goal, I was pleasantly surprised to find many statements in the WCF that contradict Dispensationalism, which I had never noticed before. Below, I’ve posted all the parts of the WCF that I believe a dispensationalist would have to take exception to in order to subscribe to it. I plan on reading through the Larger and Shorter Catechisms next, and will the parts of those documents related to dispensationalism, as well.

As a side note, I believe it would be beneficial to have “cheat sheets” like this for different doctrinal errors, so that if a candidate were to hold to an errant view on, say, paedocommunion, those examining him would have a handy guide with which to challenge him and note any and all exceptions he would have to take to the Standards.

Sections of the Westminster Confession of Faith related to Dispensationalism:

WCF 7.6, “There are not, therefore, two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations.” (Gal 3:14, 16; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:21-23, 30; Ps. 32:1 with Rom. 4:3, 6, 16-17, 23-24; Heb. 13:8.)

WCF 8.4, “and shall return to judge men and angels at the end of the world.” (Rom. 14:9-10; Acts 1:11; Acts 10:42; Matt. 13:40-42; Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4.)

WCF 20.1, “all which were common also to believers under the law;” (Gal. 3:9, 14.)

WCF 25.2, “The visible church…is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Matt. 13:47; Isa. 9:7.)

WCF 25.5, “there shall be always a church on earth to worship God according to his will.” (Matt. 16:18; Ps. 72:17; Ps. 102:28; Matt. 28:19-20.)

WCF 25.6, “The Pope of Rome…is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all this is called God.” (Matt. 23:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:3-4, 8-9; Rev. 13:6.). ***NOTE: This wording is not the in the ARP edition of the WCF, but was part of the original WCF. I’ve included it for historical perspective, and because I do believe this statement to be correct. It obviously contradicts the Dispensational idea of a future antichrist.

WCF 28.1, “Baptism is…to be continued in his church until the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:19-20.)

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