Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, removed a senior as student ministries director because of theological views that some at the college called "hyper-dispensational."
"The matters of concern raised were viewed as being potentially divisive and not accurately representing the theological interpretation of Northwestern College," said an August e-mail announcing Josh Strelecki's removal.
Strelecki holds to three controversial beliefs: that the book of James was written for Israel and not for the church; that the church started with Paul and not at Pentecost; and that Israel was saved by faith and works, not by faith alone.
Dean Paulson, Northwestern's director of campus ministries, told CT that Strelecki's views contradict the college's doctrine of faith on the authority of Scripture. Founded by fundamentalist Baptist William Bell Riley, Northwestern upholds a broadly evangelical doctrinal statement, which professors, but not students, are required to sign.
Darrell Bock, a CT editor at large and research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, said Strelecki's views depart from those of most dispensationalists.
Still, Strelecki questions whether his theology warranted dismissal from leadership. He was elected by a majority of the student body last spring. Now the student senate is forming a proposal to screen candidates for student ministries director.
"I think there will be discussion about how close to doctrinal positions of the college students need to be," Paulson said.
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Previous articles on dispensational theology include:
The Problem with Evangelical Theologies | Ben Witherington III thinks there is something fundamentally weak about each branch of the movement.
Southwestern's Predicament | Can the biggest Protestant seminary in the world be both Southern Baptist and broadly evangelical? (May 21, 2002)
The Chosen People Puzzle | When it comes to relating to the Jewish people, should we dialogue, cooperate, or evangelize? (March 5, 2001)
What Hal Lindsey Taught Me About the Second Coming | At UCLA, amid war protests and police helicopters, teachings on an imminent end made a lot of sense. (October 25, 1999)
How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend | In the last 50 years, Israel has needed all the friends it can get, and evangelicals have been loyal and productive supporters. (October 5, 1998)
Charting Dispensationalism | I am a dispensationalist. And that means I've got a bad reputation with many evangelicals. (September 12, 1994)
Dispensationalisms of the Third Kind | Reviews of books on the development of dispensationalist theology. (September 12, 1994)
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