Naselli's twelfth question was a provocative one: "What issues have been lingering difficulties in your theological reflection?" It strikes me as the kind of question many theologians would have dodged—it's not especially fashionable for a professional theologian to admit he doesn't have everything figured out.
But McCune doesn't dodge or even unload a squid-like ink blob of obfuscation. Though I'd need some more explanation to grasp his broader point, the implications of his closing comments should be inescapable. Here's what he said:
When I was in seminary in the later 1950s, Dr. John C. Whitcomb opined in class that dispensationalism could take possibly two hundred years to be fully integrated into ST. Dr. Ryrie was reported to have said he thought dispensationalism was about thirty percent developed back then.I've lived the vast majority of my life in unabashedly Dispensational contexts, and that Dispensationalism has been pretty dogmatic—the kind that sees Covenant Theology as serious error. In many cases, it's seen as the kind of error from which one needs to separate. Some might think of Covenant Theology as "uniquely precarious." Exposure to that sort of dogmatism seems to be the experience of quite a few people my age.
No doubt there are Dispensationalists who don't demonstrate that level of separatist dogmatism. No doubt many CT'ers are similarly dogmatic and condescending to Dispensationalists. And which system is right isn't really the issue here.
So what is the issue? Well, it simply seems to me as though advocates of a system that needs a bit more time to ripen—according to some of its most ardent advocates—might want to demonstrate some reserve when they critique other systems. I'm not suggesting that energetic debate is unfruitful. I've benefited immensely on a personal level from evaluating the clash between the best presentations of mutually exclusive views. And I'm certain that critical interaction has helped both camps move towards better articulations of their views. But I am wondering if a bit more charity and humility, coupled with less rhetoric and fewer straw men, might not serve the cause of the gospel well.