Scholars focus on Holy Spirit at fourth annual event

Scholars focus on Holy Spirit at fourth annual event

Spirit baptism, the doctrine of illumination, and the relationship between the ministry of the Spirit in the Old Testament and that in the New Testament were among the topical areas discussed during a special meeting of biblical scholars and observers at Baptist Bible Seminary.

"Dispensationalism and the Holy Spirit" was the theme for the fourth Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics, held September 21-22. Organized and moderated by Seminary Dean Dr. Mike Stallard, the 2011 session followed similar meetings in 2008, 2009, and 2010.BBC&S

Eight papers were presented, with an allotted time of 30 minutes each. Presentations were followed by an hour of discussion. The 2011 meetings also included a panel of pastors discussing implications for local churches of a dispensational understanding of the Holy Spirit, including areas of worship and preaching.

"The comments were very positive, from both members and observers," Dr. Stallard said. "Pastors enjoyed the interaction."

Papers will be posted online at later this fall, after feedback from the presentation and discussion is incorporated. Photos, a list of members, and information from previous Councils are online now.

View pictures from the sessions here

"The need for such discussion among traditionalists is highlighted by the fact dispensationalism seems to be greatly maligned at the present hour," Dr. Stallard said. "It is our goal to pave the way forward in advancing the cause of inductive Bible study and proper theological method. In the process, clarification of dispensational positions will emerge."

A date and location for the 2012 Council will be determined later this year. Details on the 2011 meeting along with papers and information on past sessions are online at

Inside the Council
Dispensationalism holds to historical-grammatical principles of interpreting the Bible, including prophecy. The Council meetings add academic weight and credibility to the effort at keeping objective interpretation of scripture at the forefront of modern biblical presentation in churches and academia. The event has served as a forum for traditional dispensationalists to discuss biblical interpretation and related matters.

Dr. Stallard describes the Councils as "a 20-year project" to advance academic dispensational discussions to the church level and beyond. The advancements may include book projects and Council meetings held at various sites across the country.

"We must never lose our desire to think about practical application," Dr. Stallard said. "One of the ideas is to move Council meetings to other locations every other year. That way, other schools can host discussions while inviting pastors from those particular regions. What we do needs to be seen and heard in other parts of the country."

Members of the Council steering committee are:
- Dr. Rod Decker, Baptist Bible Seminary
- Dr. George Gunn, Shasta Bible College
- Dr. Elliott Johnson, Dallas Theological Seminary
- Dr. Joe Parle, College of Biblical Studies
- Dr. Mark Soto, Grace Seminary
- Dr. Mike Stallard, Baptist Bible Seminary

Baptist Bible Seminary offers students a genuine blend of rigorous academic content and transformational hands-on applications. Five advanced degrees are available in several affordable and flexible formats.

To learn more, call 800.451.2287 or email

Posted on: 9/23/2011 3:15:06 PM

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