Early in my Christian life-I was a dispensationlist. In a sense it was because of their view of the last days-eschatology. It was exciting. Premillenial pretributionalism is truly a newspaper hermeneutics. Almost every aberrant item is checked if it is a tool or agent of the Antichrist.
But in the other sense- I have not understood their understanding of law and grace and their doctrine on the assurance of salvation.When I came into Gerstner’s Primer on Dispensationlism, he accused them as antinomians because they do not follow the Mosaic law especially the Ten Commandments. And there is no one I know that will rammed against the Ten! I did not know that some Covenant Theologians will flatten out salvation history everything in the name of continuity. And dispensationlist-in the classic sense is really discontinuous in the past salvation history. They are continuous with reference to the nation of Israel-therefore their premillenialism.
And it is worse when they also taught that there are different ways of salvation per dispensations. It makes God confused on his purpose for history.
If they only emphasized their doctrines of grace and salvation-they would have been understood by their Reformed brothers. And some of them did emphasized them-and I am now reading some books of them by Ironside,Strombeck,Chafer and Thru the Bible’s Dr Mcgee-Baptist usually.
Both of them accepts the doctrine of eternal security-Reformed calls it the perseverance of the saints. But the road through it is different. Dispensationals emphasized it as only by grace and the spirit (but since they are also fundamentalist-so they killed it by their mulitifarious additional man-made laws and conventions) while the Reformed emphasized the “third use of the law” or sanctification through the law. Clearly both of them are wrong-either directly and indirectly.
Sanctification is clearly by grace and the Spirit only. The law that should be our guide is that of the Lord Jesus and his apostles only. Not the Mosaic Law.
BTW, another good assessment of covenant theology and dispensationalism can be found here: http://magnifygod.wordpress.com/2006/08/04/a-reformed-dispensationalist/. An excerpt :
“Covenant theology, however, is not a soteriological system, but a framework of biblical theology. Biblical theology seeks to find unity within the Scriptures. Covenant theology sees Scripture through the lens of two covenants, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. With these two covenants, covenant theology unifies the Scriptures under the progressive work of redemption. The Bible becomes the story of God’s redeeming for Himself a special people (covenant theology either holds to a replacement theology, where the church replaces Israel, or a view that unifies Israel and the church as one entity). For a more detailed summary, see Dr. J. Ligon Duncan’s explanation
Dispensationalism is also a framework of biblical theology. It sees God’s rule established and broken in Gen. 1-3. In Gen. 3:15, God promises a seed who will conquer the evil one and, by implication, restore deliver the earth from the curse. All of Scripture, then, is an outworking of God’s plan to re-establish His rule over and through mankind (cf. Elliott Johnson, Expository Hermeneutics: an Introduction). While His purposes remain the same, the way He administers His purposes change over the progress of revelation. The Scriptures anticipate a day when God’s purposes will be fulfilled in His restored rule on earth over and through His Son and those whom He has redeemed.”