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I ran across the word somewhere in my reading, but I can't find it. It is a word that has the idea that it is not right to assume that an answer to any given question is right because it is assumed to be the most glorifying to God. While the actual answer, supported by the text, to any exegetical question does give God glory, this word has the idea that it is illogical to use God receiving more glory from a given thing as a support for an interpretation.

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Calvinism. (Sorry, I couldn't resist...) – Jas 3.1 Feb 21 '13 at 20:30
Interesting you should say that, because it is in the context of a discussion about Calvinism that this came up. I agree that Calvinism can fall into this fallacy, yet I am searching for the specific word. – Leaper Feb 21 '13 at 20:59
Interesting question, I don't know the answer but I'd like to – Jack Douglas Feb 21 '13 at 21:49
We always have the option of just making one up. I guess. I have done some simple searches of theological dictionaries, and google, but I can't find anything about it. – Leaper Feb 21 '13 at 22:01
I don't see how it could be theodicy. – user947 Feb 22 '13 at 3:15

Normal (or plain) dispensationalism posits that the glory of God is the all-encompassing purpose of God above and beyond His saving purpose. Ryrie states that

At least in the awareness of most people, hermeneutics is one of the last things to be considered consciously. Most people know something of the doctrines they believe but little of the hermeneutics on which they have been built.

He continues and shows from Scripture that the glory of God is the all-encompassing, total purpose of God above (and beyond) His saving purposes, notwithstanding that "His saving purposes are one of the principal means employed in bringing to pass the greatest demonstration of His own glory." Thus the glory of God becomes the underlying hermeneutical assumption when interpreting the Scriptural texts.

Thus in plain, normal dispensationalism, the emphasis is on the plain, or normal interpretation of Scripture (which some also call the "grammatical-historical" form of interpretation). Thus the glory of God is the unifying principle or hermeneutic by which the dispensationalist interprets the Bible. Critics of dispensationalism cite this approach as a fallacy, and posit instead that God's soteriological purpose is His all-encompassing plan to bring Him glory.

In other words, whether God's ultimate, all-encompassing purpose is to save sinners, or that purpose is His self-glorification (by which saving sinners is part of that self-glorification), will necessarily affect how one interprets the Bible. At this particular point of hermeneutical interpretation is where dispensationalism and covenant theology part ways.

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. "Dispensationalism." (Chicago: Moody Press, 2007), Chapter 5, "The Hermeneutics of Dispensationalism."

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I think I understand what you are saying Joseph, but I am confused about a few things. First, I have always heard the reformed preachers that I listen to, (Piper, my pastor, etc.) refer to God's glory as being the primary purpose of any of his actions. God's salvation of mankind is secondary to his purpose of self-glorification. Yet it seems that you are saying the opposite? Is it because a dispensationalist would consider that premise axiomatic or foundational? Or am I just confused about the way the preachers I am hearing are articulating God's purpose of self-glorification? – Leaper Mar 30 '13 at 8:15
@Leaper - The all-encompassing means of manifesting the glory of God is the redemption of man according to Covenant Theology. Thus the eschatalogical restoration of Israel in the millennium, or even God's future plan for the angels have no place in the glorification of God, since the redemption of man is the exclusive unifying purpose of God under the Covenant of Grace. Cf, Dispensationalism, p.108. – Joseph Mar 31 '13 at 1:23

I'm not sure what the answer to this is. However, I think it would help to define some terms clearly. What we mean by the word glory or the idea of "bringing glory to God" is critical to getting to a clear answer here. Even for man, having the admonition and praise of other people is not an objective worth pursuing. Receiving recognition and praise from sinful people could not be what bringing God glory means. Man, having a distorted view of God, make Him into their image. Then they may applaud God when circumstances please them and curse Him when they don't. They act as if they are God with a self entitlement issue self centered world view. Sinful man applauding God does not equal bringing God glory. Even, myself, a believer in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, find myself ignoring God and forgetting His goodness. That leads to me trying to live the Christian life by my will. Then everything I do, including my attempts to worship Him are futile. I believe even a believer's attempts to worship God do not always result in "bring Him glory." So what does bring God glory. Christ living in and through man is how God gets glory out of man. So what does it mean to interpret His Word in a way that brings Him the most glory?

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