The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 148 of 211
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"Ultra dispensationalism."
A criticism examined.
The place of Acts 28:
pp. 175 - 179
The intelligent reader will not need informing that a magazine which stands for such a
provoking course of teaching as does The Berean Expositor must always be under the fire
of criticism. How can the charge "ultra dispensationalism" be dealt with? Is any useful
purpose served by dealing with the charge that we have no use for the epistle to the
Romans? Yet if any criticism sends us back to "The Book" we are thankful. What we
are still awaiting, is a scriptural exposure of our attitude to Acts 28:
Comparatively recently some notes written in a good spirit have been passed on to us,
and as some readers may be desirous of having the points raised dealt with, we will
endeavour to do so in a short series of articles, praying that the cause of truth will be
furthered thereby. We will refer to the writer who has criticized our position as "B". He
"The chief point of difference with Mr. Welch seems to be in his discovery that in
Acts 28 we have the founding of a new `dispensation', though the word is not used there,
nor is there, to my mind, any clear indication of this most important fact."
It is often said that Luther discovered the great doctrine of justification by faith, but
what is nearer the truth is that Luther gave that doctrine prominence. The need of the
time called forth, under God, the man, and the Reformation followed.
We have certainly made Acts 28: the keynote of our ministry, seeing in it a
dispensational boundary that influences the whole course of the outworking of the
revealed purpose of the ages, and bringing into the light that position which had hitherto
been hid in God. The Lord, however, Who knows the hearts of all men will not allow
many of His servants an exclusive claim to knowledge, lest pride and boasting spoil the
testimony. We gratefully acknowledge the pioneer work done by others before us, who
in their turn were quickened and directed by other witnesses. In the end, we all shall
appear in a twofold capacity, viz., sowers and reapers--sowers of seed garnered from the
harvest prepared before by others.
This matter, however, is scarcely a point in the criticism, although in a part, which we
do not quote, there is the thought that the exposition of the Scriptures along the lines of
The Berean Expositor is somewhat of a presumption, seeing that for nineteen centuries
the church as a whole has taught on other lines. There is, however, but one test for all
truth--not its antiquity, nor its popularity, but whether it is in harmony with all that God
has written. And this we claim for "dispensational truth". We can well imagine that "B"
will interject here: "But surely you will give me credit for believing all that God has
written too?" Our answer must be qualified. Yes, in all sincerity you believe that you do