Clearly the Reformation was a watershed time in the life of the Church, and this book brilliantly illuminates this crucial moment in history. But unlike some works on the Reformation, which seem to deify the reformers and ignore some of their inconsistencies, the capable authors of this book provide a helpful perspective on what took place in those critical centuries. And they convincing show that dispensational theology’s taproot goes back to the Reformation.
Luther and others once again established that the Scriptures alone (sola scriptura) were the final authority in matters of doctrine. They did this by returning to the literal, grammatical-historical hermeneutic of the early church and shedding the allegorical method which had long dominated the Roman Catholic Church. So, the restoring of this hermeneutical approach brought great clarity in the doctrine of salvation and to some extent the doctrine of the church. But, unfortunately, these men were inconsistent and did not apply their hermeneutic to the matter of biblical prophecy, specifically to the fact that Israel’s covenant promises were given to the Jews and not to the church.
Dispensational theology, which began to be systematized by John Nelson Darby, was far more consistent in applying and advancing the hermeneutical principles of the reformers. The authors of “Forged From Reformation” provide insights into Luther, Calvin, Darby and others, showing how present day dispensational theology is a legitimate child of the reformation, but a child that has grown to be even more faithful to the spirit of reformation hermeneutics than many of the “reformed churches” of today. This book is a must read for those who think of dispensationalism as a wandering theological star out by itself in the doctrinal universe. It is a book which will bring understanding to some of the great issues facing the church today.
Dr. Paul Benware
Professor of Bible and Theology