According to author Steve Urick, dispensationalism is “the biblical study of stewardship responsibility, given to a nation or individual by God, for a certain period of time.” In essence, it is a particular way of eschatologically reading the Bible and understanding history by looking at certain periods of time in which God’s plan for the faithful is given through divine revelation.
In his book, Acts 1: Dispensationalism, Urick looks to clear up a number of misunderstandings in the Bible, including the apostleship of Peter and Paul (i.e., exactly what Gospel was Paul preaching in the first century?), the evangelical nature of the 12 apostles, who was first to preach the gospel of Grace, who was the first member of the body of Christ, and how were people saved before Jesus arrived on the scene in first century Palestine. Moreover, he examines the eschatological clues in scripture regarding the second coming of Christ and the rapture, to remind Christians “to WATCH for these key signs and be ready accordingly.”
Urick knows that these can be difficult topics to fully comprehend, but he does a generally fine job of outlining the questions of interpretation and then takes readers step-by-step through his analyses. The author is well read, having studied at the Moody Bible Institute, and his answers are instructive. His writing is largely clear, although there are some dense and confusing passages that could use refining.
Moreover, he offers readers three important ways for interpreting scripture, including looking at “the normal, literal meaning of the text,” “comparing scripture with scripture,” and considering “the dispensational setting (or historical context) by asking who is speaking to whom, about what, where, when or at what time in history, and why.” These suggestions help readers further understand Urick’s approach to the material.
Acts 1 is well intentioned and informative. Many evangelical and born-again Christians will find this extended tract helpful in further understanding their faith.