David Mappes, PhD
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg calling for scholarly debate and change within Romanism. Luther’s students most likely translated these 95 points into German and circulated them throughout the region. This call for scholarly debate quickly led to the Reformation; Luther repeatedly appealed to sola Scriptura to support and frame the Reformation. In his famous Table Talks Luther mused that when I was a monk I was a master in the use of allegories. I allegorized everything. Afterward through the Epistle to the Romans I came to some knowledge of Christ. While the Reformation was primarily soteriological, sola Scriptura quickly took center stage.
The Reformers helped to shift the medieval church away from the Alexandrian-allegorical model of interpretation embedded within medieval scholasticism to a more literal interpretative model albeit an incomplete model. Dispensationalists seek to be more comprehensive and more consistent in using a literal model of interpretation. Literal interpretation utilizes the historical-grammatical methodology to discern the intention of the human author of Scripture by examining what each author affirms in the historical context of his writing.
Forged from the Reformation is an outstanding anthology addressing hermeneutics, theological method, and the critical reformational issues portraying superb dispensational scholarship. Rather than focusing on the historical and cultural milieu of social settings or church creeds, this book refreshingly focuses upon the Biblical text itself. The essays also present a wonderful blend of historical nuances and courageous commitments of our fellow believers in Christ. And in keeping with the historical dispensational emphases upon the local church and exposition, the essays are incredibly profitable for both scholars as well as for all believers in Christ.
I heartily commend the book.
David Mappes (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of New Testament at Liberty University, adjunct professor of theology at Baptist Bible Seminary, and director of Noble & Knowable Truth Ministries.