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Quote of the Week

Dennis Johnson in his new book, Him We Proclaim, discusses how dispensational thinkers in an attempt to react properly to Enlightenment criticism inevitability ended up fragmenting the Bible and creating a whole new mess of hermeneutical difficulties.

Subsequently, dispensational theologians, for different reason and offering different arguments, adopted a hermeneutic that drove another wedge between the Old Testament and New. Reacting to historical criticism’s dismissal of the church’s pre-critical reading of its Scriptures as subjective and imprecise, dispensationalism believed that it could establish the objectivity of its reading of Scripture by treating symbolism with suspicion and preoccupying itself with establishing the texts “literal” sense. Thus over the last three centuries, the theological substructure of apostolic hermeneutics and homiletics has been assaulted by the “hostile fire” of Enlightenment criticism and the by the “friendly fire” of Bible-believing students who sought to develop an objective hermeneutic sufficient to withstand the acidic rigors of Enlightenment doubt. (Johnson, Him We Proclaim, 5)

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