When I ran in Dispensational circles, I was frequently told that those who left Dispensationalism for Reformed Theology did so because they were spellbound by the Reformers. Perhaps you’ve heard something like this:
“People become Reformed because they love Calvin and the Puritans. They have so much respect for these men that they swallow their theology whole. Reformed Theology is uncritically accepted.”
For me, this was certainly not the case. I became Reformed because of the Scriptures. My journey was a thoroughly exegetical one. While in seminary, I read through the entire Bible multiple times. I read selected chapters hundreds of times. I memorized dozens of relevant passages. I studied the Greek and the Hebrew in countless texts. In short, I became Reformed because I was convinced that this is what the Bible taught.
Of course, I came to appreciate the Reformers and the Puritans. I read a few contemporary Reformed books (R.C. Sproul, namely), but I never took anyone’s word for it. I always went back to the Scriptures to check and see if these things were so. This is what dispensationalists had taught me to do.
Furthermore, I have many friends and acquaintances who moved from Dispensationalism to Reformed Theology. None of them embraced Reformed Theology because of being spellbound by the Reformers and Puritans.
I’m not sure how this myth got started, but I suspect that it is often recycled because Dispensationalists cannot fathom that the Bible might teach something different. There must be some other explanation. So, who’s the one that is spellbound?