Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics

2008 Council

  • Statement | Materials | Council Participants | Story | Photos

     

    The 2008 Summit Statement on Dispensational Hermeneutics

    Get a printable version of the statement here.

    The affirmations and denials cited below are issued by the first meeting of the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics. They are intended as preliminary statements for further exploration and not necessarily as the final word. The name of the statement is derived from the location of the Council at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. The individual statements are limited to the topics chosen for discussion at the meeting.
     
    Affirmations and denials in two areas that were discussed (the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament and the New Covenant) were tabled until later meetings. The next meeting may be dedicated strictly to the topic of the New Covenant.

    Hyperbole and Poetry in Prophecy
    Article 1
    We affirm that hyperbole is a legitimate figure of speech that uses exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis or impact.
     
    We deny that the presence of hyperbole or other literary devices removes referential meaning from the text.
     
    Article 2
    We affirm that the presence of hyperbole or other literary devices does not hinder the clarity of the author’s intended meaning for the original audience.
     
    We deny that modern linguistic theory governs our understanding of meaning in prophetic and poetic literature.
     
    Extended Metaphors
    The statements below assume the following definitions:
    A metaphor is a verbal representation of one thing (the “subject”) as another (the “image”) where strict identity is impossible.
     
    An extended metaphor is the use of a series of metaphors or a metaphor with multiple facets of comparison developed in a sequence of related statements.

    Article 3
    We affirm that an extended metaphor is a legitimate figure of speech (used in multiple genres) when it can be determined contextually that the author intended it to be understood as such.
     
    We deny that texts should be treated as extended metaphor apart from the presence of a series of metaphors or a metaphor with multiple facets of comparison.
     
    Article 4
    We affirm that all metaphors (including extended metaphors) must point to specific, textually-identified referents.
     
    We deny that extended metaphors may be used to explain texts on the basis of non-textual subjects.
     
    Implicitly Conditional Prophecy

    Article 5
    We affirm that implicitly conditional prophecy exists in Scripture only where contextual markers indicate conditionality as the intent of the author.  
     
    We deny that most prophecy is implicitly conditional.  Implicitly conditional prophecy is the exception to usual prophetic utterance.
     
    Article 6
    We affirm that the prophets often intended to elicit a response in the hearer or reader, but we further affirm that God directed the human authors to prophesy that which He has determined will come to pass.
     
    Article 7
    We affirm that the literal fulfillment of prophecy throughout the Old Testament and in the life of the Savior guarantees the same pattern of literal fulfillment in the prophecies yet to be fulfilled.
     
    Speech Act Theory
    Article 8
    We affirm that speech act theory imposes a philosophical-linguistic system on the Bible that seems to be incompatible with traditional grammatical-historical principles of interpretation.
     
    We deny any use of the category of illocution that locates the basis of meaning in the reader and not the author.  We further deny any appeal to the use of illocution as a means of de-historicizing the text.
     
    We deny that the categories of speech act theory are an improvement over traditional categories of grammatical-historical interpretation.

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    Materials from the 2008 Council
      Topic 1: The issue of hyperbole and poetry in prophecy. Initial presentation by Dr. Mike Stallard: Dean, Professor of Systematic Theology, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Discussion questions     
    For background information from the 2007 Dispensational Study Group of ETS, click here.
      Topic 2: The specific issue of extended metaphors. Initial presentation by Dr. Thomas Ice: Executive Director, Pre-Trib Research Center, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
    Discussion questions
      Topic 3: Recognizing implicitly conditional prophecy. Initial presentation by Joe Parle: Academic Dean, College of Biblical Studies, Houston, TX
    Discussion questions     
    Related materials
      Topic 4: How long will New Testament use of the Old Testament govern the conversation? Initial presentation by Dr. John Master: Professor, School of Biblical Studies, Philadelphia Biblical University, Langhorne, PA
    Discussion questions   
      Topic 5: Why do traditional dispensationalists struggle to agree on the fulfillment of the New Covenant and its relationship to the church? Initial presentation by Dr. Rod Decker: Professor of Greek and New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Discussion questions     
    Related materials  
      Topic 6: The value of speech act theory for interpretation. Initial presentation by Dr. Robert Thomas: Professor of New Testament, The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, CA
    Discussion questions
    Related materials
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  • Council Participants

    Dr. Daniel Anderson: President, Appalachian Bible College, Bradley, WV
    Dr. Ron Bigalke Jr.: Director, Eternal Ministries, Rincon, GA
    Dr. Doug Brown: Professor, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, Ankeny, IA
    Dr. Alan Cole: Professor, Co-Chair, Division of Bible and Theology, Faith Baptist Bible College, Ankeny, IA
    Dr. Christopher Cone: President, Professor of Bible and Theology, Tyndale Theological Seminary and Bible Institute, Fort Worth, TX
    Dr. Rod Decker: Professor of Greek and New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. David Fredrickson: Site Director, Academic Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Theology, Western Seminary, Sacramento, CA
    Dr. John Greening: GARBC National Representative, Regular Baptist Ministries Executive Director, Schaumburg, IL
    George Gunn: Chair, Department of Bible and Theology, Dean of Admissions and Records, Shasta Bible College, Redding, CA
    Dr. J. B. Hixson: Executive Director, Free Grace Alliance, Dallas, TX
    Dr. Thomas Ice: Executive Director, Pre-Trib Research Center, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA
    Dr. Robert Lightner: Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Adjunct Professor in Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX
    Dr. John Master: Professor, School of Biblical Studies, Philadelphia Biblical University, Langhorne, PA
    Jonathan Master: Instructor, Department of Systematic Theology, Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, MD
    Joe Parle: Academic Dean, College of Biblical Studies, Houston, TX
    Dr. Charles Ryrie: Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX
    Dr. Mark Snoeberger: Director of Library Sciences, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Allen Park, MI
    Dr. Mark Soto: Professor of Theological Studies, Director of Distance Education and Online Learning, Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, IN
    Dr. Mike Stallard: Dean, Professor of Systematic Theology, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Robert Thomas: Professor of New Testament, The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, CA

    Also attending the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics
    Dr. William Arp: Professor of New Testament and Greek, Baptist bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Dann Austin: Seminary Chaplain, Professor of Church Education, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Chuck Emert: Professor, Chair of Bible Division, Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Richard Engle: Professor of Old Testament Literature, Language, and Exegesis, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Ken Gardoski: Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Gary Gromacki: Associate Professor of Bible and Homiletics, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Alan Ingalls: Associate Professor of Old Testament Languages and Literature, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Lee Kliewer: Assistant Seminary Dean, Seminary Registrar, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. David Mappes: Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Bible Exposition, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dr. Mark McGinniss: Assistant Professor of Old Testament Literature, Language, and Exegesis, Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA
    Dave Shumaker: Assistant Professor, Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, PA
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