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The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism: How the Evangelical Battle over the End Times Shaped a Nation

, 2023
ISBN: 9780802879226

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A fascinating history of dispensationalism and its influence on popular culture, politics, and religion.

In The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism, Daniel G. Hummel illuminates how dispensationalism, despite often being dismissed as a fringe apocalyptic movement, shaped Anglo-American evangelicalism and the larger American cultural imagination.

Hummel locates dispensationalism’s origin in the writings of the nineteenth-century Protestant John Nelson Darby, who established many of the hallmarks of the theology, such as premillennialism and belief in the rapture. Though it consistently faced criticism, dispensationalism held populist, and briefly scholarly, appeal—visible in everything from turn-of-the-century revivalism to apocalyptic bestsellers of the 1970s to current internet conspiracy theories.

Measured and irenic, Hummel objectively evaluates evangelicalism’s most resilient (and contentious) popular theology. As the first comprehensive intellectual-cultural history of its kind, The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism is a must-read for students and scholars of American religion.

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  • Illuminates how dispensationalism shaped Anglo-American evangelicalism
  • Locates dispensationalism’s origin in the writings of the nineteenth-century Protestant John Nelson Darby
  • Provides a must-read for students and scholars of American religion
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I: The New Premillennialists, 1830–1900

  • Across an Ocean
  • American Mission Field
  • Border-State Conversions
  • Numbers and Structures
  • Revival
  • The Premillennial Complex
  • Part II: The Dispensationalists, 1900–1960

  • Sprawl
  • Standard Text
  • The “World System” and War
  • Factions
  • Scholastic Dispensationalism
  • The Great Rift
  • Dispensational Politics
  • Part III: The Pop-Dispensationalists, 1960–2020

  • Pop-Dispensationalism
  • The Great Rupture
  • The “Humanist Tribulation”
  • Saturation and Its Limits
  • Collapse
  • Surveying the Aftermath
  • Epilogue: Maranatha
  • Title: The Rise and Fall of Dispensationalism: How the Evangelical Battle over the End Times Shaped a Nation
  • Author: Daniel G. Hummel
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2023
  • Logos Release Date: 2023
  • Pages: 382
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Subjects: Dispensationalism; Evangelicalism
  • ISBNs: 9780802879226, 0802879225
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2023-04-21T16:13:22Z


2 ratings

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  1. Dennis Fillmore
    After looking at this guys bio....I understand his views on dispensationalism.
  2. Sean



    This book is a sweeping survey of the planting of dispensationalist thought in the United States and its interaction with various Christian movements, covering from the time of Darby up to and including the second decade of the 21st century. It is an enjoyable read and ties together many threads of theological history more tightly than other works--the reader really gets a sense of how dispensationalism shaped these other movements even when it wasn't accepted wholesale. I found it a very enjoyable read, though potential buyers should be aware that this is primarily a history book, not a theology text. If I had to name a few weaknesses--they are minor--one would be the lack of extensive footnoting; I would prefer to see more detailed citations backing up some of the claims made. This is largely remedied by the bibliographic essay at the end of the book; the author has certainly done his research. A second minor weakness is the reflection on certainty very recent events and trends that he tries to tie to the legacy of dispensationalism in America. Where there may be validity to these points, in some ways it's too soon to be writing a history about them. Again, these are minor blemishes. This is a good book, an enjoyable read, and one I can highly recommend to anyone interested in the subject.
  3. Bob Bolender

    Bob Bolender


    Curiously, for this platform's readers, Hummel laments the impact of Logos Bible Software on page 329. Dispensational Bible Reading methods were enhanced by the radical advances in digital tools that allowed hypertext linking, keyword searches, and interpretive collaboration on a scale never before imagined. Popular study platforms like Logos Bible Software were built on digital Bible databases including the CDWordLibrary project at Dallas Theological Seminary. Logos built a massive library of ebooks that eventually counted more than 200,000 titles, including hundreds of study Bibles and translations, and most of the entire corpus of new premillennial and scholastic dispensational theology. From the collected works of John Nelson Darby and Lewis Sperry Chafer, to Chuck Swindoll’s entire New Testament commentary, to back issues of obscure midcentury theological journals, Logos empowered pastors and lay researchers in ways that the first promoters of biblical concordances could only have dreamed of. That paragraph came from Chapter 19: Surveying the Aftermath. If Logos is in such cahoots with crazy dispensationalists then why has my community price bid for the Collected Works of John Nelson Darby been sitting unchanged since 2016? https://www.logos.com/product/16522/the-collected-writings-of-john-nelson-darby
  4. Brian Poad

    Brian Poad


    Though I am a dispensationalist. I can’t deny there are extremes and problems with the teaching. I will order the book and hear what he has to say, but unless he convinces me from scripture, I will remain a dispensationalist. Pre-millennialist.
  5. Daniel R. Smith
    Well, I guess the author has kicked the hornets' nest. I, for one, intend to buy this book. I used to believe in dispensationalism. I taught it. But as my hermeneutic grew, so did my inability to find dispensationalism in the scriptures alone. But that's me. I do not begrudge the believers of this teaching, but I do take offense at those brethren that use hateful language in against those of us that don't believe in this teaching. I wonder about the lack of the fruit.
  6. Michael Henderson
    Fringe movement my foot. This author is obviously out of touch with reality. He obviously travels in small circles. The replies as of today are spot on. I will not purchase this book because I've read the drivel before. I am looking for a coming King who we will be co-heirs with in His coming Millennial kingdom!
  7. Paul M. Tucker
    The title alone shows how out of touch he is, from the beginning dispensationalism has been about periods of stewardship and helps clarify biblical doctrine. Many believe that dispensationalism is only about Prophecy, that is part of because there is so much prophecy in Scripture. But that one would reject the doctrines is amazing.
  8. Dennis Dean

    Dennis Dean


    No point in re-inventing the wheel. Franseen is absolutely correct.
  9. Tom Franseen

    Tom Franseen


    more dribble from those who don't dig deep enough... Darby was NOT the first. Truth is there for those who don't have an agenda and/or an axe to grind - in their haste to disprove their foes, these people rush to conclusions and mislead many! These people are guilty of logical dishonesty. (I may buy it anyway so I can quote and comment on his poor research and subsequent poor conclusions) Here is one point for you to consider. Let's say that everyone agreed that the earth was round from the 1st century on. No debate, no dispute. Then suddenly in the 1800's, someone sensationalizes the concept, and 'some' people think, 'wow! what an amazing thing! No one has ever written about this before!' (like it is a new thing, which it is not). And so you would not expect, in such a scenario, to find much if any writings on the subject if everyone agreed on it since the 1st century. In the case of Dispensationalism, Darby sensationalized it - that's it. It goes back much further than that. These people are just too lazy to dig to find the evidence. And while these people would love for that to be the case, it proves nothing, just that Darby sensationalized it. Period. Just because someone sensationalizes something is NO proof that that concept is invalid or disproven. See the illogic?
Save during the Summer Reading Sale!


Digital list price: $29.99
Regular price: $26.99
Save $8.10 (30%)