I came across the book called A Dispensational Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Grace Publications, 1972, 2008) by Charles F. Baker.
Baker was born in Dallas, in 1905, and attended Scofield Memorial Church, where his pastor was Lewis Sperry Chafer. He studied at DTS, then at Wheaton, and later taught theology at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids.
Baker was a “Mid-Acts” Dispensationalist, meaning, he understood the descent of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 to be the fulfillment of OT prophecy. We usually take Pentecost as the beginning of the Church, and of the Dispensation of Grace. But Baker thought the ministry of the twelve in the first chapters of Acts still belonged to the OT offering of the kingdom. The Kingdom that had been “at hand” during Jesus’ earthly ministry, was, after Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension, finally ready to be offered. But when Peter and the other apostles offered it to the Jews, they rejected it. So God decided to postpone the kingdom, and form the “mystery” (i.e. unprophesied) Body of Christ. So, according to Baker, the Kingdom was not rejected before the Cross, but after it. And the Body of Christ did not begin at Pentecost (an OT feast day), but with Paul’s ministry, somewhere in the middle of Acts (hence, “Mid-Acts Dispensationalism).
Even more controversially, Baker rejected the practice of baptism, arguing that both baptism and circumcision were concurrent OT practices, not for the Church age. Rather, we have spiritual circumcision and baptism when we believe in Christ, and receive the Spirit.
As Herman Hoyt writes on the back cover, “It is to be expected that many will not be persuaded at points where there is variation from views of long standing…” But where there is agreement on views of long standing in the Dispensational community, Baker has a lot of good insights to offer.
For example, he explains that many people get confused about eternal security because they don’t understand the Biblical use of the word “salvation”, or the difference between eternal life, eternal rewards, and present spiritual blessings:
“A number of proof texts are generally quoted to disprove the doctrine of Security. These may be classified under six general heads:
1. ….Many of the warning passages from the Old Testament and the Gospels have to do, not with soul salvation, but with physical consequences of breaking the law (cf. Ezekiel 33:13). The curse of a broken law brought physical death upon many who no doubt were saved people. Saints today die physically because fo the curse of sin, but that does not mean they are not saved. Other warning… refer to a time after the Church is taken out of the world.
3. Those applying to Rewards and not to Salvation… Salvation is entirely apart from all of man’s good works. No man will ever receive salvation as a reward for what he has done. But after one is saved he will receive a reward for faithfulness, or suffer loss of reward for unfaithfulness, but this will in no way affect his eternal salvation.
4. Those that Warn Believers of Things They May Lose. Believers are in danger of losing many blessings which the Lord has provided for them. Any sin, disobedience, lack of faith, neglect of the Word of God, or prayerlessness is bound to result in loss of joy, loss of power, loss of fruitfulness, loss of fellowship, and loss of reward…
5. [Warning passages dealing not] with personal salvation but with national privilege.”
(Baker, Dispensational Theology, 462).
I haven’t read through the whole book yet, but from what I’ve read so far, there are plenty of good nuggets. I would say that its worth having on your bookshelf.
Someone has made the book available online: