Q198 : Recommending Reading in Dispensationalism

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Q198 : Recommending Reading in Dispensationalism

Could you suggest a list of resources for readers who would like to become more familiar with Dispensational Theology?

A198 : by Paul Henebury

In suggesting the list which follows, no “Progressive Dispensationalist” work is included because I do not consider that approach to be Dispensationalism proper (which does not mean dispensationalists can’t learn from them!). Neither have I included ultra-dispensational works, nor indeed, those post-tribulation/pre-wrath books which deny imminence. Bold entries indicate my recommendation of where money ought to go first.


  • Dispensationalisma – Charles C. Ryrie – Updated version of the author’s Dispensationalism Today, which should still be purchased. This is a must read, even if it is soft on the covenants. Irenic in style.
  • Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Mythsb – Michael Vlach – Short and punchy. I don’t like his restriction of Dispensationalism to ecclesiology and eschatology.
  • Understanding End Times Prophecyc (2nd ed.) – Paul Benware -A very good introduction to the subject.
  • The Endd – Mark Hitchcock – A large but still fairly introductory level text. I haven’t read it yet, only skimmed its contents.
  • The Footsteps of the Messiahe (2nd ed.) – Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum - Somewhat unique in its presentation of eschatology. Contains some “Pemberisms” (abodes of Satan, pre-Adamic crystalline earth, etc).
  • Major Bible Propheciesf – John F. Walvoord – A handy resource.
Biblical Theology:

  • The Dawn of World Redemptiong – Erich Sauer – Perhaps the best study of God’s overall plan in the OT. Some glitches, but the main argument is very sound. Contains many ideas which deserve to be developed. Includes many seed-thoughts and insights
  • The Triumph of the Crucifiedh – Erich Sauer – Coupled with the work above this is a must-have book.
  • From Eternity to Eternityi – Erich Sauer – Provides both an overview of God’s plan and responses to objections. Recommended.
  • The Greatness of the Kingdomj – Alva J. McClain – An outstanding, mature study of the subject. One of the “must have” books.
  • The Theocratic Kingdomk (3 Vols) – George N. H. Peters – An extraordinary book. Notable for several reasons, not least because it is theocentric and so avoids treating eschatology in isolation. Not perfect (e.g. holds to a partial rapture), but the work on the subject. The person who masters Peters will be a formidable Bible teacher.
  • Everlasting Dominionl – Eugene Merrill – An excellent Old Testament Theology, though again, soft on covenants in Genesis 2-3. Merrill gives due stress to the covenants.
  • A Biblical Theology of the Old Testamentm – Zuck/Merrill/Bock (eds.) – An often helpful treatment of the subject.
  • The Millennial Kingdomn – John F. Walvoord – A solid contribution and critique of opposing positions. Adopts the “two new covenants view.” Has interesting, if not totally persuasive comments about the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. Walvoord’s best work.
  • Israelologyo – Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum – Massive and cumbersome, but thorough presentation and defense of the biblical data concerning Israel. An important study of millennial systems and Israel’s place in Theology. Ponderous and repetitive in style.
Important Studies:

  • The Great Prophecies Concerning the Jews, the Gentiles and the Churchp – G. H. Pember – The author was known for his ”Pemberisms” (Gap theory; Pre-Adamic fall; Partial rapture) but there is little evidence of them here. A good study, elegantly written.
  • Israel in Prophecyq – John F. Walvoord – Brief and full of insight.
  • Things to Comer – J. Dwight Pentecost – One of the finest texts on eschatology ever published. The style is “scholastic” and it needs updating.
  • Thy Kingdom Comes – J. Dwight Pentecost – Thorough study of the biblical data. Good use of dispensations and covenants.
  • Revelation 20 and the Millennial Debatet - Matthew Waymeyer – The best study of this vital passage. Undermines the whole foundation of amillennialism.
  • How Firm A Foundationu – Hal Harless – A fine study of covenants and the Bible, even if he does teach covenants in Genesis 2-3.
  • Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenantv – (ed.) Michael Stallard – Chapters from a symposium on the subject seeking to answer the question of the Church’s involvement (or non-involvement) in the New Covenant. Our position that Christ is the New Covenant and all who are saved must be saved by it is not represented.
  • Continuity and Discontinuityw - (ed.) John Feinberg – Top of the line articles by dispensationalists and covenant theologians (and one or two ‘inbetweenies’) about the relationship between the Testaments.
  • Israel in the Plan of Godx - David Baron.
Specific Issues:

Collected Essays:

Along “Dispensational” Lines:

In addition these works on theology will be helpful:

Top Three Recommendations For Students:

I’m going to insert here a little moan about the awful lack of methodological groundwork which has stifled dispensationalist thinking for decades. Should we be concerned about defending our system, or should we be concerned with representing God’s Truth? The former encourages a trench mentality; the latter is open to improve and grow.

  1. Dispensationalismnnn – Ryrie – A good primer for getting oriented.
  2. Has The Church Replaced Israel?ooo – Vlach – Sound argumentation based upon robust methodology.
  3. The Greatness of the Kingdomppp – McClain – The only volume of a proposed Systematic Theology (what might have been?). This is the kind of work dispensationalists should have built on for the past 50 years and haven’t!
[This answer was adapted from Paul Henebury's blogqqq.]

Links Mentioned Above
a - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8024-2187-3.
b - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?http://www.amazon.com/Dispensationalism-Essential-Beliefs-Common-Myths/dp/B0081LI8J0.
c - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8024-9079-4.
d - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-1414353739.
e - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0914863090.
f - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0310234678.
g - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8028-1174-4.
h - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8028-1175-2.
i - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802811769.
j - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-88469-011-3.
k - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0825435409.
l - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0805440263.
m - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802407382.
n - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-310-34091-8.
o - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-914863-05-3.
p - See http://www.amazon.com/Prophecies-Concerning-Gentiles-Classic-Reprint/dp/B008ZQIHDS/.
q - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0310340812.
r - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-310-30890-9.
s - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-89693-549-3.
t - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-9717568-8-0.
u - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8204-6931-9.
v - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-1607764946.
w - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-89107-468-6.
x - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8254-2089-X.
y - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?884690008.
z - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-08054-4654-8.
aa - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?1-56507-783-0.
bb - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0736913874.
cc - See http://www.amazon.com/Premillennialism-Amillennialism-Charles-L-Feinberg/dp/B000O2TYRE/.
dd - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0-8054-4627-2.
ee - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0929239422.
ff - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0310341512.
gg - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0915540228.
hh - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0-9814791-6-3.
ii - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?1-56453-091-4.
jj - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0914863076.
kk - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-915540-50-9.
ll - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0805449723.
mm - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-1418438319.
nn - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802492272.
oo - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802423818.
pp - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802439475.
qq - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0981479101.
rr - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-1597526883.
ss - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8254-2351-1.
tt - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-7369-1352-1.
uu - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0974981178.
vv - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802441782.
ww - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802401618.
xx - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0825428784.
yy - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8254-2367-8.
zz - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-1433669729.
aaa - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0825420627.
bbb - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0310320241.
ccc - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0310275862.
ddd - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0825437748.
eee - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0310206200.
fff - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?9780802427342.
ggg - See http://www.amazon.com/Chafer-Systematic-Theology-8-Volumes/dp/B000F47UN6/.
hhh - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802827296.
iii - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0825423741.
jjj - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0764225543.
kkk - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0982252727.
lll - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0825426728.
mmm - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0802434340.
nnn - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-8024-2187-3.
ooo - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?978-0805449723.
ppp - See https://spiritandtruth.org/id/isbn.htm?0-88469-011-3.
qqq - See http://drreluctant.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/recommended-reading-in-dispensationalism/.
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