Episode 1 Is Dispensationalism Indispensable?


Feb 15, 2024


Jan 15, 2024

This is Episode 1 in a new Podcast from the Christian Research Institute, entitled Christian Research Journal Reads.

This is an audio version of the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL  article “Is Dispensationalism Indispensable?” by Steve Gregg. This article first appeared in the CHRISTIAN RESEARCH JOURNAL, print issue volume 35, number 04 (2012).

Many Christians today read Scripture through a theological paradigm that was unknown prior to the nineteenth century. This view, called dispensationalism, introduced such concepts as the pre-tribulation rapture and third-temple Judaism in the millennium. However, eschatological novelties are not the most important differences between dispensationalism and historic Christian theology, many of which are not trivial. The controversy raises questions about the nature of the kingdom of God, of the church, and of the gospel itself.

Though originally viewed with suspicion by many conservative Christians, dispensationalism subsequently acquired mainstream status among evangelicals and is seen by many as the very definition of biblical conservatism.

The views of John Nelson Darby, the system’s founder, have been propagated through annotated study Bibles, best-selling novels, radio and TV personalities, numerous Bible institutes, and seminaries. Dispensationalism has become the official theology of some of America’s largest evangelical denominations. To some, its presuppositions have come to be seen as the indispensable foundation for correct biblical exegesis. Since its introduction in 1830, dispensationalism has branched into more than one variety.


This podcast presents audio versions of Christian Research Journal articles. As the flagship publication of the Christian Research Institute, the Journal seeks to equip followers of Christ to think and to live Christianly—to exercise truth and experience life. Truth, especially essential Christian doctrine, forms the basis for how we live our lives in Christ. As the apostle Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:16, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

The Christian Research Journal enjoyed a print incarnation of almost 45 years. Now exclusively an online publication, the Journal consists of thousands of free articles. We hope that through these audio articles you are not only equipped to proclaim and defend your faith but that as a disciple you also draw closer to Christ in your walk with Him.  You can find the written version of each article that is an episode of Christian Research Journal Reads at the website of the Christian Research Institute, equip.org. All Christian Research Journal articles at equip.org are completely free and do not require a subscription and are not under a paywall.

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