Dispensational Soteriological Innovations by John Hendryx
This essay is written out of the deep concern for, and occasional frustration of seeing so many dispensational brothers holding to a hopelessly contradictory theology about salvation. It is my purpose in this short essay to show that dispensationalists who hold to so-called four-point Calvinism (who reject the doctrine of limited atonement), already believe in limited atonement without consciously knowing it. Here’s why: Dispensationalists already correctly hold to in the biblical doctrine of efficacious/irresistible grace and I will show how this compels them to likewise embrace the biblical doctrine of particular redemption (AKA limited atonement). It is a biblical contradiction to hold to one without the other since all redemptive benefits find their source in Christ. It can be forcefully argued from the Bible and plain reason that the near-universal belief among dispensationalists in irresistible grace and their rejection of limited atonement gives rise to a fatally inconsistent view of the Scriptures and bifurcates the redemptive blessing of irresistible grace from the work of Christ. I intend to establish that particular redemption is the only biblical option left to us, if one is to also believe the biblical doctrine of efficacious/irresistible grace (as dispensationalists do).
Summary: Dispensationalists and Reformed theologians alike agree that all spiritual blessings have their origin in the person and work of Christ (Eph 1:3). But it seems that Dispensationalists perhaps conveniently have forgotten that irresistible grace is among these same spiritual blessings. Dispensationalists, like Calvinists, also teach the doctrine of irresistible grace, and likewise teach that this grace is applied by the Holy Spirit to the elect only (not to the non-elect). Therefore it infallibly follows that they must believe that Christ died for the elect (to secure irresistible grace) in a way that He did not for the non-elect. Therefore, either dispensationalists already do believe in the biblical doctrine of particular redemption without knowing it or they promote an unintelligible system of theology that is divorced from Christ with regard to the application of the work of redemption.