Bruce BakerCouncil on Dispensational Hermeneutics Meets

By David Gunn and Darrell Goemaat

It’s an overcast day in Kansas City, Mo. A dark gray sky overshadows the campus of Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary, obscuring the sun from view. But that won’t bother the scholars and pastors gathered in one of Calvary’s conference rooms—they’re going to spend the next two days indoors anyway.

September has arrived, and with it the seventh annual meeting of the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics. Mike Stallard, dean of Baptist Bible Seminary (Clarks Summit, Pa.) and founder and moderator of the council, explains the genesis and purpose of the event. It began in 2007 when he participated in a debate with D. Brent Sandy at a meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. “I came away from that debate with this thought: There is no forum for traditional dispensationalists to get together and talk,” Stallard recalls. To fill that void, the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics was born. As a rule, each presenter is given 30 minutes to present his research, which is followed by an hour of open discussion on the subject at hand. Only traditional dispensationalists are allowed to join the council as members; progressive dispensationalists, hyper-dispensationalists, and charismatics are excluded. This policy isn’t intended to reflect a harsh attitude toward other groups—the point is simply to cultivate “in-house” dialogue to strengthen the traditional dispensational community.