Marsh, Cory M. “Luther Meets Darby: The Reformation Legacy of Ecclesiastical Independency,” (El Cajon, CA: SCS Press, 2017): 145-78.
Marsh, Cory M. “How Dispensational Thought Corrects Luther’s View of Israel,” (El Cajon, CA: SCS Press, 2017): 179-226.
Written in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the essays in this book argue that it has been dispensational thought which has remained the most consistent to the Reformation’s core principles. Rather than dispensationalism being at odds with reformed thinking, it in actuality does the most to advance the reformers’ legacy unlike any other theological system in the Christian tradition. This is exemplified most by the dispensationalist’s adherence to a consistently literal, grammatical-historical hermeneutic in their upholding of sola Scriptura.
Marsh’s first chapter compares two reformers separated by time and geography, Martin Luther and John Nelson Darby. The chapter demonstrates how abuses that the German reformer called out against the Roman Catholic Church were essentially identical issues that J. N. Darby called out against the Established Church of England and Ireland. However, it was the latter reformer, Darby — who is often credited as “the father of Dispensationalism — who further carried Luther’s reforms which had a unique impact on American evangelicalism, most notably through the Bible College movement.
Marsh’s second chapter demonstrates the inconsistencies of Martin Luther’s application of literal hermeneutics as he essentially dismissed the historicity of any prophecy given to national Israel. Thus, Luther held to an unbalanced application of the grammatical-historical hermeneutic. As such, Luther applied an allegorical interpretation, a method in which he inherited, of key texts which ultimately justified his radical anti-Semitism during the end of his otherwise heroic life.
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