J. N. Darby and the roots of dispensationalism

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Abstract

J.N. Darby and the Roots of Dispensationalism describes the work of one of the most important and under-studied theologians in the history of Christianity. In the late 1820s, John Nelson Darby abandoned his career as a priest in the Church of Ireland to become one of the principal leaders of a small but rapidly growing religious movement that became known as the “Plymouth Brethren.” Darby and other brethren modified the Calvinism that was common among their evangelical contemporaries, developing distinctive positions on key doctrines relating to salvation, the church, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the end times.

After his death in 1882, Darby's successors revised and expanded his arguments, and Darby became known as the architect of the most influential system of end-times thinking among the world's half-a-billion evangelicals. This “dispensational premillennialism” exercises extraordinary influence in religious communities, but also in popular culture and geopolitics. But claims that Darby created this theological system may need to be qualified -for all his innovation, this reputation might be undeserved. This book reconstructs Darby's theological development and argues that his innovations were more complex and extensive than their reduction into dispensationalism might suggest. In fact, Darby's thought might be closer to that of his Reformed critics than to that of modern exponents of dispensationalism.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9780190932367
ISBN (Print)9780190932343
Publication statusEarly online date - 08 Mar 2024

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