Fred Butler has written a blog article in which he seems to suggest that non-dispensational hermeneutics are the cause (or something) of theistic evolution and other such compromises with naturalistic science. We beg to differ. Mr. Butler says:
"My point along these lines is simple: It has been my experience that those who are prone to use hermeneutics which spiritualize, allegorize, and utilize excessive typology in understanding eschatology, tend toward using the same method when dealing with Genesis and what is wrongly perceived as conflicts with modern, secular, scientific paradigms."
No, Mr. Butler. It is simply a lack of faith that leads to men compromising with naturalistic and unbelieving science. Otherwise we would not have examples of leading Dispensationalists who committed the same acts of compromise. None other than C.I. Scofield (see picture) in his far-famed Reference Bible taught the Gap Theory, which is a method for reconciling Genesis with long ages. G.H. Pember, in Earth's Earliest Ages advocated the same theory, and he too was a Dispensationalist. Indeed, many of the early Dispensationalist writers held to some version of the Gap theory. One website cites J.N. Darby, Sir Robert Anderson and Lewis Sperry Chafer "all major pioneers in the dispensational movement" as proponents of this theory. Note that this website is itself dispensationalist, and in favour of the Gap theory. We warn our readers that the theology here is NOT sound. Dr. Arthur Rendle-Short, a surgeon and a preacher among the English Open Brethren in the mid-twentieth century (and therefore by definition a Dispensationalist), actually held to a form of theistic evolution (see J. Rendle-Short: Green Eye of the Storm [Edinburgh, Banner of Truth]). Darby, Scofield, Chafer... it's practically a hall of fame for leading Dispensationalists. These are the men who developed the system, and they all taught versions of the Gap Theory! There must be something about Dispensationalism that makes its teachers tend towards that particular compromise... No, except that it was developed during a period when many Christians thought that the conclusions of naturalistic science were unassailable, and therefore they had to develop some method to accommodate long ages with the Biblical creation account. That is why the non-dispensational Thomas Chalmers also taught the Gap Theory. The real cause is something other than the Dispensational or non-dispensational theologies of these men.
Mr. Butler, we fear, is gulity of the fallacy of post hoc, propter hoc (after it, so because of it). The truth is more complicated, as is all too often the case with nice easy arguments.
Simon Padbury's 2007 James Begg Society lecture 'Creationism and the Reformed Faith' is an excellent treatment of the subject historically.
We reserve our remarks about Dispensationalist use of the term 'allegorizing' for a future date.