Paul's Passing Thoughts

“You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away….but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.” James 4:14, Hebrews 10:25

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 7, 2013

 

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Index of Essays on Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 6, 2013

Originally posted on Essays on Calvinism:

This is a work in progress. This blog is indexing over 1000 articles on Calvinism from Paul’s Passing Thoughts .com

This is in preparation for several upcoming writing projects for TANC Publishing.

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This Week on Blogtalk Radio

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on October 5, 2013

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Archives on Demand: blogtalkradio.com/falsereformation 

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Host: Paul M. Dohse Sr. 

LIVE 5/15/2015 @ 7pm: Paul David Tripp’s “How People Change,” An Overview and Evaluation;

Part 3. Call in and talk with the host.

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HF Potters House (2)Prerecorded: The Potter’s House;  every Sunday morning @ 9am. 5/10/2015: Romans 15:1-14.

Live Link for 5/10/2015

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Acts Series Archives

Recent Archives: blogtalkradio.com/falsereformation 

Host: Andy Young 

LIVE 5/5/2015 @ 7pm: Acts Lesson 52. Call in and talk with the host. Link will be posted prior to show.

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Acts SeriesPrerecorded morning Bible studies on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday @ 6am.

Teacher Andy Young

5/4/2015 Acts lesson 1.

5/6/2015 Acts lesson 2.

5/7/2015 Acts lesson 3.

The 2015 Conference on Gospel Discernment and Spiritual Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 4, 2013

The Source of Phobias

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 21, 2015

PPT HandleI have rubbed shoulders recently with folks who have a phobia thing going on. In one particular case, the person presently employed by a relative of mine would not ordinarily be able to hold down a job.

This is another area where Christians show how confused they are. On the one hand, they get all glassy-eyed and proclaim the simplicity of God’s word, how we should read it as “little children.” But you mark my words: on the other hand, they will proclaim my biblical explanation for phobias here, “Too simplistic.”

The source of ALL fear, according to the Bible, is being under law as opposed to being under grace. I find it hard to believe that if the primary source of fear is gone, that the extreme expressions of it are possible.

According to the Bible, being under law, and specifically its condemnation, is the antithesis of LOVE. Throughout the Bible, fear and love are set in contrast to each other—polar opposites.

To those under law, the Bible is condemnation; to those under grace, the Bible is the discipleship of love. One is a law that continually warns of the wrath to come, the other is instruction regarding love.

This is why Paul said that the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. Ironically, many denominations keep their followers under law. This is why it is more than possible that professing Christians will suffer from these phobias which is also the case with the aforementioned acquaintance. I also find it curious that said person is of a denomination that emphasizes law. Hence, the person’s known faithful Bible reading will only make the fear worse because of a skewed view of law/gospel.

I am also convinced of this: God’s word states that you are under law regardless of who keeps it; under law is under law. The law must be ENDED for condemnation or you are still under its power. You must be put to death so you are no longer under it, and raised to life so that you may serve the law of love freely. Still being under law with the idea that someone keeps it for you is antithetical to the new birth. You must know that you can no longer be condemned. You are not merely protected from condemnation—condemnation no longer exists.

And therefore, fear can only exist if you allow it for it cannot live without condemnation.

paul

The Key to Revival: Stop Saying “Sins of the Flesh”. The Flesh is NOT Sinful

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 21, 2015

PPT HandleProtestantism wasn’t born of Gnosticism; it was born of Neo-Platonism which became Gnosticism. Most Protestants would deny that they are Gnostics, but because the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, they often embrace ideology that is Gnostic. In other words, they are functioning Gnostics.

The prime example is the whole “sins of the flesh” Christian mantra. That’s not a biblical idea, and is essentially Gnostic.

A primary tenet of Gnosticism is Either/Or epistemology. If you pay attention to the words used in this Sunday’s sermon, more than likely, you will notice that everything is either/or with no middle ground. I realize that the Bible does contain sentences that refer to the “desires of the flesh” and “sins of the flesh,” but that refers to when the flesh, the bodily members, are used for sinful purposes. Please note that the Bible also states that we can use our members for holy purposes as well.

Furthermore, the Bible even states that as believers, our bodies are the temples of God. Moreover, a more careful examination reveals that the reference to “temple” in regard to our bodies actually refers to the Holy of Holies. If you think you can presently hear Calvin and Luther rolling and screaming in their graves in response to that assertion—the problem is not in your cranium set.

If you are actually free to present your body as a living sacrifice to God in the Holy of Holies, what do you need the vast Protestant industrial complex for? You don’t.

The flesh is NOT sinful, according to the Bible; it is “weak.” The idea that weakness is part and parcel with the evil material world is a Gnostic presupposition. For example, the holy angels are weaker than God, no?

Pastors, do you want revival? Stop telling your parishioners that they are “sinners saved by grace.” They are not sinners; they are literally a nation of holy priests.

“But we still sin.”

If you just said that, you are not fit for the ministry—you don’t even understand Biblical Law/Gospel 101.

Get with the program.  You will never have revival with a bunch of sinners—that would seem evident. Grow up in Christ, and stop listening to men. You are like my adorable grandson, Blaine, who is 4 years old.  He is a great listener and repeats everything he hears.

That’s just adorable, but when grown men who dare to call themselves pastors do the same thing—not so much.

paul

Church Discipline

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 20, 2015

The Oligarchy White Paper – Read All About It!

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 20, 2015

OWP FINAL LOGOPPT is excited to announce a new member to the team, Sean Williams, who has accepted the significant assignment of defining and illustrating religious and political oligarchy at our new sister blog called The Oligarchy White Paper.

Sean brings to the table a different perspective and a passion for exposing the truth about the systems which create positions of power in society. He will shed light on aspects of the government that control virtually every facet of our lives to the hierarchy of religious organizations and churches who attempt to do the same.  We invite readers to start the journey with us as he begins a series with an article entitled Oligarchy 101.

Welcome aboard, Sean!

Acts Lesson 53

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 19, 2015

Acts Series

Tuesday Night Bible Study – Now LIVE on Blogtalk Radio!
Lesson 53 – May 19, 2015 (click here to listen on-demand)

 

 

 


Tonight’s Text – Acts 20:1-12

…Because they may or may not be of the ‘Elect’

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 19, 2015

elect results

Anyone else catch the veiled implicatations behind this?

Andy

The Heavenly B-52s Can Save American Christianity from Its Present Dark Age

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 18, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published February 11, 2013

We must remember that the Dark Ages were a European thing. And we must remember that Greco-Roman philosophy was the source and then it was turbocharged with the integration of European style religiosity. European religion has always been grounded in Plato’s disdain for humanity. Hence, one philosopher stated well that faith and force together are the destroyers of the modern world. One of the most notable historians of our time, K.R. Popper, fingered Plato specifically in regard to the logic that has wreaked havoc on Western culture through Communism, Islam, Catholicism, and Reformed theology. Augustine, one of the fathers of the Reformation, called Plato a pre-Christian Christian, and the juggernaut of faith and force was thus born.

And primarily, American religion was imported from Europe via the Puritans who were a European style religious political sect. They wanted to create a theocracy of their own in the new world. That’s the “religious freedom” they sought in America—a political one. Ironically, this importation of a European pandemic is romanticized by the Thanksgiving holiday. Somehow, deep in our evangelical American psyche, we think the Puritans could have led us to the religious utopia that we all lust for. And in fact, deep in our evangelical psyches, we think the war still rages between our Puritan foundations and the evils of Enlightenment philosophy. And if Enlightenment philosophy would surrender, all would be well and the heavenly Jerusalem would finally come down to Earth.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Enlightenment thought, even with its many abhorrent shortcomings, launched America to unprecedented greatness as a nation because of three basic principles that God agrees with: man is free; man is capable; and man is responsible for the sum and substance of his own life before God. Men “small and great” will all stand before God. Plato’s philosopher kings do not stand before God in our stead regardless of the priestly garb that the Reformers have adorned them with.

In the movie Moneyball, based on a true story, the General Manager of the Oakland A’s baseball team set all time league records with a meager budget and has-been players by breaking tradition with the ways big league teams have always been built. The player’s manager of the team was against the plan, and was a constant hindrance to its implementation. But when the Oakland A’s became the talk of the sports world because of the plan, the player’s manager got all of the credit. In the same way, the manager of American Christianity, the one of 95 Theses fame, Martin Luther, is given credit for America’s greatness. God has blessed America because of the Puritan missionary children that he spawned. Their roots are the lifeblood of America. We were “founded on their Christian principles.” This is a significant departure from reality.

Luther despised reason. He believed that reasoning was a dangerous stunt that the unenlightened masses shouldn’t try at home. And because they are not capable, they have to be protected from themselves; hence, neither are they free. To the degree that we are free the world is in a spree. Man must be saved from himself; by force if necessary, and for the good of the world. Martin Luther to the rescue. Stalin to the rescue. Muhammad to the rescue. The Moral Majority to the rescue. And on every Thanksgiving Day, deep, deep in our American psyche, a small still voice cries out: “Oh but for the Puritans! What could we be?” It’s all the same logic. You can dress it up in different doctrines, but it’s all the same. Logic comes in many doctrinal forms—both secular and religious.

The founding fathers of this country were children of the Enlightenment era. Until America popped up on the history radar screen, force and faith was the big league tradition. Our founding fathers proposed something different: government as the protector of man’s right to be free, capable, and responsible. And a government that served at the pleasure of the people to do so. It is a testimony to the power that is displayed when merely three ideas from God are implemented in our realty. Three ideas from God made America the envy of all world history. In the end, the motif that any child can perceive in the book of Revelation will fill the world with blood up to the horse’s bridles: force and faith. To what is said here, the proffers of force and faith, the Reformed of our day, answer in all of their Puritan glory, “I beg your pardon! Jesus Christ should be the envy of the world!” But which Jesus Christ? The Puritan Jesus Christ? And enlightened minds want to know: “Are we free to decide that for ourselves?” And: “Are we capable of even knowing that?” We fear that the answer to both of these questions is, “No.” And that is why giving you power in our lives at any level is a really bad idea.

Hence, To the degree that the Reformed Dark Age feigns, darkness in the American church does rein. And we are in that Dark Age. It came in essence as logic stowed away in the Mayflower’s diseased European rats bringing the same plague with it. I could drag out all of the apocalyptic data and its many faceted manifestations, but a recent televised top of the hour newscast introduction will suffice:

Here we go again, another sex scandal in the Evangelical church.

You notice they said, “Evangelical” and not “Catholic.” Anybody who knows the facts knows that sexual abuse and the subsequent cover-ups are just as prevalent in the Protestant Evangelical Church as it is in the Catholic Church. The scandals are the same, and the silence among clergy is the same, along with the same disregard for victims. Different doctrines—same logic—same results. Logic always has an endgame; there are many different doctrines that can get you there.

But the American Dark Age takes on a different appearance than the open fires of European religious wars and unspeakable terrors for it is tempered with freedom, capability, and responsibility. In the same way that God’s spies found refuge with a harlot, the American church has been saved from itself by Enlightenment thought. The result has been Reformed Light, and the carnage has been greatly limited. The European Reformers believed that children should be seen and not heard; American Reformed Light allows their children to play in a sandbox. Children are happier when they have a sandbox to play in, and they can form all kinds of ideas in what they make in the sand. But when it is time for dinner, it’s also time to put our little buckets and shovels away, run to the dinner bell, and obey mommy and daddy. They protect us from truth that can cause division because we are unable to handle truth, and they make truth a storybook that we can understand. They read it to us at night, and we are much comforted. We can pretend in the backyard, and we feel safe because mommy is watching from the kitchen window.

But the children of Reformed Light do not grow up. For certain, the American church is every bit like grown adults playing in a sandbox. The real Reformers now come forward and scoff at the pathetic sight, and say they are the answer. Yes, not playing with ideas at all must be the answer. Adults in a sandbox is not the problem, the sandbox is the problem. Sandboxes tempt people to play with truth. The Reformers to the rescue—those half breed Semi-Pelagian  parents be damned.

Children in adult bodies will always rape, hate, pillage and steal. It is what it is: spiritually, they were born slaves, born incapable, and born irresponsible. Reformed theology is a bus of misfits, but all believe that it is the only bus going to heaven—the bus of faith alone in Puritan sanctification. All kinds are on the bus, but the tie that binds is womb to the tomb total depravity.

Some do not persevere in accepting their total depravity and the total depravity of others. Some do not trust God’s anointed to get the bus of misfits to heaven, so an Inquisition is needed. The European Reformers used the gallows and the burning stake (if the victim was lucky), brainwashing, and orthodoxy. The American Reformers can use brainwashing and orthodoxy, but because of the founding fathers, the American Reformers must replace the gallows and burning stake with character assassination, authority to condemn eternally, and false criminality. And all of the aforementioned paints the portrait of the present-day American Dark Age in the church. There is a little metal plate on the bottom of the spectacular painting hanging in the gallery of human history, and it reads:

Here we go again.

The Bible is written for mass consumption. All Bible books, save a few, were written to assemblies and not leadership. God has also written his word on the hearts of every person ever born into the world (Romans 2:14). We are all responsible before God, free to obey Him or not Obey Him, and obviously, must exercise our minds for understanding. We also live in the information age; so, if man was without excuse in the days of the apostolic church (Romans 2:1) we are certainly without excuse today.

Nations, particularly the USA, have used heavy bombers to drop propaganda leaflets on cities before an invasion or in an attempt to turn the population at large against the enemy leadership. Each bomb usually weighs about 250 lbs. and rains about 60,000 leaflets on a given area. During the Iraq/US war, leaflet bombings resulted in the mass surrender of Iraqi soldiers. In the same way, regardless of what’s going on in the world, God has a message of truth for every person. Invariably, it is man’s responsibility to do what God wants him to do in any given situation.

God has given the truth to all men, and only the truth will set us free. We need to pick up and read the leaflet and surrender to the Chief Shepherd. The Reformation is responsible for this present Dark Age in the American church. It is a doctrine that must be rejected with prejudice, and we must disdain anything that has touched its filthy garments.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

paul

John Calvin: Mankind Fallen BEFORE the Fall

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 17, 2015

Originally published December 22, 2013

For some time I have heard teachings coming from Calvinists that seem to insinuate that man was fallen before the fall. A popular teaching in the Patriarchy movement is the idea that Adam sinned before Eve bought into the idea that she needed a mediator between her and God. In fact, the need for mediation between man and God before the fall is very prevalent in Calvin’s writings. Francos Wendal, in his work, Calvin: Origins and Development of His Religious Thoughts (Presses Universitaires Defrance 1950) states the following on page 216:

“Indeed, for any contact to be established between the most holy God and sinful man, it was necessary for God to come right down to man, since man would never, of his own strength, have been able to raise himself up to God. ‘The majesty of God is too high,’ said Calvin, ‘For us to say that mortal men could attain to it, seeing that they can do no more than crawl over the earth like little worms,’*

“That, of course. Is the state of man since the Fall. But Calvin had no very high opinion of humanity even before the original sin. It is not so surprising therefore, that he could write:

‘Even If man had remained in his integrity, still his condition was too base for him to attain to God. How much less could he have raised himself so far, after having been plunged by his ruin into death and hell, after staining himself with so many defilements nay, even stinking in his corruption and all overwhelmed with misery?’** [The Calvin Institutes 2.12.1: Henry Beveridge translation varies slightly]”

The more Calvin is studied, the more it is realized that he sought to upend every element of truth in the Bible. The root of this is Calvin’s Platonist underpinnings that of course would have to see a problem with man before the fall because of his material essence.

Again, in regard to the pastorate of our day, who knew what and when? And in regard to those who didn’t know, why not?

paul

Endnotes

* Inst., 2.6.4.  Among numerous similar passages, the Course upon Hosea, Opp. 42, 264: “Deum a nobis quaeri non posse, nisi in mediatore Ghristo. . . . Nisi Christus se medium nobis offerat qua via possemus ad Deum accedere?” Or again, the sermon on I Ephesians 1.1-3: “Without this Mediator, it is certain that we are all foreclosed [by God] and the majesty of God ought to make the hairs of our head stand on end.” Opp.9 51, 256.

** The Institutes 2.12.1.

Why Every Self‐Respecting Premillennialist Isn’t a Calvinist

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 16, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published April 9, 2014

“One’s eschatology will be consistent with their view of justification—unless you’re John MacArthur.”  

At the 2007 Shepherds’ Conference, Pastor John MacArthur gave the opening message titled, “Why Every Self‐Respecting Calvinist Is a Premillennialist.” The message caused a hyper hissy fit among the authentic Geneva style Calvinists that used to associate with MacArthur. Most of the hysterical reviews were whining rants about how the message was an “ambush.” They came to the conference to hear solid fatalistic Reformed doctrine while enjoying sweet fellowship among philosopher kings, and instead were personally dressed down at the very beginning of the conference that they attended with hard earned parishioner money. It just ain’t right.

No doubt, the message left amillennialism naked and freezing outside in the cold. Well, sort of, depending on your understanding of Calvin’s election construct. This is why the various responses danced around the real issue and were in bondage to MacArthur’s fundamental misunderstanding about what Calvinism is while calling himself one. Paul warned the Corinthians that elitist academia is not the venue that God works from, and this fiasco is just one good example among many as to why that is so. The Geneva popes could not expose the fact that MacArthur’s fundamental premise is wrong—that would expose what Calvin really believed about election—a truth that the totally depraved artisans can’t handle.

MacArthur said this during the message:

“But bottom line here, of all people on the planet to be pre-millennialist it should be Calvinists; those who love sovereign election. Let’s leave amillennialism for the Arminians. It’s perfect! [laughter] It’s ideal. It’s a no-brainer. God elects nobody and preserves nobody. Perfect! Arminians make great amillennialists. It’s consistent. But not for those who live and breathe the rarified air of sovereign electing grace. That makes no sense. We can leave amillennialism to the process theologians . . . The irony is that those who most celebrate the sovereign grace of election regarding the church, and its inviolable place in God’s purpose from predestination to glorification, and those who most aggressively and militantly defend the truth of promise and fulfillment, those who are the advocates of election being divine, unilateral, unconditional, and irrevocable by nature for the church, unashamedly deny the same for elect Israel. That is a strange division.”

Ok, so MacArthur highlighted one of the assumed positive notes that can be taken from the idea of Calvin’s election: Once saved always saved. And, absolute assurance of salvation because it is God’s work alone—we can’t mess it up. And, how can you proffer election for the individual and ignore the fact that Israel was elected? This put the Geneva popes in a tough spot because they know that this apparent contradiction fits perfectly with Calvin’s doctrine of election.

Calvin believed in three categories of election: the non-elect, the called elect, and the chosen elect. This necessarily denies assurance because the called elect don’t know for certain whom among them have been chosen. Calvin stated this in no uncertain terms:

Let us, therefore, embrace Christ, who is kindly offered to us, and comes forth to meet us: he will number us among his flock, and keep us within his fold. But anxiety arises as to our future state. For as Paul teaches, that those are called who were previously elected, so our Savior shows that many are called, but few chosen (Mt. 22:14). Nay, even Paul himself dissuades us from security, when he says, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall,” (1 Cor. 10:12). And again, “Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee,” (Rom. 11:20, 21). In fine, we are sufficiently taught by experience itself, that calling and faith are of little value without perseverance, which, however, is not the gift of all (CI 3.24.6).

You can be called, and you can have faith, but that doesn’t seal the deal, said Calvin:

The expression of our Savior, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” (Mt. 22:14), is also very improperly interpreted (see Book 3, chap. 2, sec. 11, 12). There will be no ambiguity in it, if we attend to what our former remarks ought to have made clear—viz. that there are two species of calling: for there is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness (CI 3.24.8).

So, this fits perfectly with Calvin’s eschatology; Israel was temporarily elected just like many individuals are temporarily elected. The logical conclusion of Calvin is that God’s word did in fact fail (Romans 9:6). Moreover, and in direct contradiction to 1John 5:13, authentic Reformed doctrine has always denied assurance. This is reflected in many contemporary authentic Calvinists:

There is danger on the way to salvation in heaven. We need ongoing protection after our conversion. Our security does not mean we are home free. There is a battle to be fought (John Piper: Bethlehem Baptist Church Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Elect Are Kept by the Power of God October 17, 1993).

Words mean things. Piper is clearly saying that our battle in sanctification is a battle for justification. If you really understand the Reformed view of justification, you know: that battle is against our supposed propensity to gain favor with God through works in sanctification (“please/love God” changed to: merit for salvation). There is no separation of justification and sanctification, so works in sanctification must be sanctified with a faith alone formula. It’s salvation by Christ plus not doing any works in sanctification (Christ + antinomianism to maintain our salvation). We must be sanctified the same way we were justified so that we can properly finish justification. Therefore, Calvin believed that sins committed in the Christian life separate us from grace, and a continual repentance, the same repentance that saved us, is needed to maintain our salvation. Unless we live by faith alone in sanctification, Christ’s blood will not be applied to the new sins we commit. This is the battle Piper is talking about. Said Calvin:

…by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God… Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God (John Calvin: Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles; The Calvin Translation Society 1855. Editor: John Owen, p. 165 ¶4).

And, guess what? It just so happens that your local Reformed elder, via the Reformed power of the keys, has the authority to forgive those pesky sins that take away your salvation. Whoever would have thunk it?

To impart this blessing to us, the keys have been given to the Church (Mt. 16:19; 18:18). For when Christ gave the command to the apostles, and conferred the power of forgiving sins, he not merely intended that they should loose the sins of those who should be converted from impiety to the faith of Christ; but, moreover, that they should perpetually perform this office among believers (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.22).

Secondly, This benefit is so peculiar to the Church, that we cannot enjoy it unless we continue in the communion of the Church. Thirdly, It is dispensed to us by the ministers and pastors of the Church, either in the preaching of the Gospel or the administration of the Sacraments, and herein is especially manifested the power of the keys, which the Lord has bestowed on the company of the faithful. Accordingly, let each of us consider it to be his duty to seek forgiveness of sins only where the Lord has placed it. Of the public reconciliation which relates to discipline, we shall speak at the proper place (Ibid).

Calvinism is an egregious false gospel being flaunted in broad daylight by academic elitists who are in reality clueless, which brings me to my second point. This is where the vast majority of American Christians are functioning Calvinists…among many other ways while vehemently denying Calvin. Specifically, the whole idea that eschatology is a “secondary issue.” No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Eschatology is gospel; you cannot separate the cross from eschatology. One’s eschatology will be consistent with their view of justification—unless you’re John MacArthur.

The number of resurrections and judgments, and who stands in those judgments, are indicative of a particular view of justification, and election in particular. MacArthur’s dispensationalism coupled with naming the name of Calvinistic soteriology, which really isn’t Calvin’s soteriology to begin with, is a dumbfounding contraction that leaves one without words to fully explain. Calvin’s eschatology calls for one resurrection and one judgment at the end of time where everyone sweats it out while waiting to find out if they were antinomian enough. Some of the books at the Great White Throne Judgment are the books of the law that will be used by God to judge the works of those standing in that judgment. As one aspect of Christian security, we will not stand in that judgment because we are not under the law. Furthermore, we don’t wait to see if our antinomianism sufficiently utilized the “doing and dying” of Christ to cover our sins—our sins have been completely eradicated.

The number of resurrections and judgments speak to our view of what part of Christ’s works on the cross are finished and not finished, the separation of justification and sanctification, the new birth, election, and future Israel. Eschatology is gospel.

That’s why every self‐respecting premillennialist isn’t a Calvinist, and why MacArthur isn’t a Calvinist, but he thinks he is a Calvinist. As stated by Richard Muller,

There is every likelihood that John MacArthur’s “Calvinism” would probably not be recognized by Calvin himself.

It’s all simply pathetic.

paul

Five Damning Facts About Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 16, 2015

I. It’s daily re-salvation by preaching the gospel to yourself every day.

II. Its progressive justification defines “Christians” as under law—the biblical definition of a lost person.

III. Forgiveness for “present sin” that “removes us from grace” can only be found through membership in a local church under the authority of elders who forgive sin on God’s behalf.

IV. John Calvin’s three categories of elect include those who are temporarily elected and therefore receive a greater damnation. Therefore, entering the “race of faith” gives one a chance that the non-elect do not have, but a double portion of eternal suffering if one is not of the “perseverance” category.

V. Any act of love performed by a “saint” is works salvation. All works must be imputed to the “believer” by faith alone. Moreover, the focus must be living by faith alone well enough in order to “stand in the judgment covered by the righteousness of Christ and not a ‘righteousness of your own.’” That must be the focus, not loving others. Calvin believed all acts of love performed by the “saints” fall short of perfection, and are therefore unacceptable to God.

Calvinists can talk about love all they want to; their soteriology excludes the possibility.

Anti-Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 15, 2015

Are We in the Last Days?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 14, 2015

A John Piper Mickey Finn

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 14, 2015

The Calvinist Grand Quandary

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 14, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published August 28, 2014

“At any rate, the very attempt by Calvinists to evangelize places them in a twofold grand quandary that requires the abandonment of rudimentary logic.” “But in contrast, if God’s choice over our choice is the crux of the gospel, that crux must be explained in order for the presentation itself to be a true gospel.” 

At the 2008 T4G conference, John MacArthur Jr. officially came out of the closet as a bonafide New Calvinist. He did this because he was convinced by John Piper and others that New Calvinism is Old Calvinism. MacArthur signed up because it’s true, and he was unwilling to reject Reformation tradition. Apparently, only other-than Anglo Saxon can be deceived en masse.

MacArthur’s keynote address was titled, The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability. MacArthur was converted from his Lordship Salvation escapades of the late 80’s by the New Calvinist camp. According to a pastor I knew at the time, Michael Horton and others challenged MacArthur to rethink the controversy he had started. The result is MacArthur still affirming Lordship, but as a manifestation rather than actions of new creaturehood. I recently completed a series explaining all of the confused controversy in regard to the Lordship Salvation issue.

At any rate, the very attempt by Calvinists to evangelize places them in a twofold grand quandary that requires the abandonment of rudimentary logic.

I have written before about the Gospel of Sovereignty. Any ability at all on the part of mankind is a slight against God’s sovereignty. This is the hypothesis of MacArthur’s aforementioned messages. Hence, the “good news” is man’s “absolute” inability and God’s sovereignty. MacArthur’s primary text was John 3:1-8…

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

MacArthur stated during his messages that when the gospel is presented we must make it clear that people can only do one thing in response to the gospel: ask for salvation, and then wait to see if the wind blows or not. So, it is not a decision, often maligned in Reformed circles as “decisionism,” or a choice. Either suggests ability on the part of the individual to make a decision for God or to choose God; ability and God’s sovereignty are mutually exclusive. If man can choose, or make a decision, God ceases to be God.

This qualifies a fair challenge to all Calvinists: “Do you make it absolutely clear in your gospel presentation that people have no ability to choose God?” If they do not do this, if this is not qualified, they are presenting a false gospel by their own definition. Why? The truthfulness of their gospel must be verified by the certainty that the individual does not assume they have a choice or can make a decision.

Most Calvinists get around this by replying that people are being called on to believe only, not make a decision or a choice. However, it also stands to reason that belief itself is a choice. When we are presented with a proposition, we DECIDE to believe it or not believe it. In all fairness, according to their own definitions, Calvinists must make this distinction clear in their gospel presentation. Let’s face it; few do if they evangelize at all. In fact, when Calvinists are cornered with this question, they immediately start acting like a toddler who needs to use the bathroom. Basically, they know that the lack of this distinction in their actual gospel presentation is telling. Their presentation is supposedly purified by the absence of information.

On another wise, Calvinists are also admitting that they are asking for a mere mental assent to acknowledging that God saves people. The Bible states that part and parcel with belief is the acceptance that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Obviously, among the unbelieving, there are those who reject the existence of God altogether, and those who believe in His existence, but don’t want anything to do with Him. Is the wind only blowing halfway in those cases? Are there three different wind advisories? None, moderate, and gale force? Furthermore, if people have no ability to choose, is a decision to choose Buddha over Allah made for them? The logic seems to be that man can indeed choose, but will only choose other gods unless God intervenes—if they understand that they have no ability to choose.

If we give this whole construct merit to this point, we further find that the definition of faith must be a mere mental accent to the facts of the gospel with an intentional non-response; any response must be from the blowing wind. MacArthur stated in the same messages that we know  Nicodemus was saved because “the wind blew” referring to his righteous actions.

Hence, if the Calvinist gospel is not false by their own definition, it must be presented as follows:

“God saves people, and you may be one of them and you may not be one of them, but if you are able to choose, God is not sovereign, and you are trusting in your own ability to choose.”

Unwittingly, some Calvinists say it is alright if people initially think they are able to choose, but later understand that it wasn’t their choice. So, it is alright if they initially trust in their decision in order to receive the gift of salvation from God, but later realize this was not the case at all. So at what point were they really saved? And would not sooner be better than later? Why not tell them from the get-go? This implies a cult-like procedure that misrepresents the truth, and then slowly indoctrinates the individual to a just standing. Others suggest that the evangelist should never state that it is their decision, but rather cite Scriptures that imply such—that way, apparently, it is the Holy Spirit lying instead of you. But nevertheless, what the individual believes about choice is uncertain unless clarified.

In the final analysis, everyone but the recipient of the gospel knows they have no real choice, but thinking they have a choice might be necessary to get them into the kingdom. But in contrast, if God’s choice over our choice is the crux of the gospel, that crux must be explained in order for the presentation itself to be a true gospel.

Add to this the definition of “believe” in the Bible. In the Bible, “believe” is never defined as a mere mental assent to the facts of the gospel; it also involves a commitment to kingdom living. More than not, it was the “gospel of the kingdom” that was preached by Christ and the apostles. As I explained in the Lordship series, it is impossible for the execution of the commitment to save you because justification and sanctification are completely separate. But clearly, a response to the gospel must include a decision to leave life A for life B. The follow-through doesn’t save you, the decision saves you. Because of the weakness of the flesh, love for God’s ways will vary in application, but you are not only choosing a savior; He is also Lord.

Consequently, Calvinists insist that repentance be left out of the gospel presentation for this reason—it calls on the individual to choose a different way. In the book of Acts, Christianity is referred to as “The Way” in several places. This is more information that must be excluded from the Calvinist gospel in order to make it true by their own definition. Therefore, in order for their gospel to be truthfully presented by their own definition…

“God saves people. If He saved you, you will live differently. The wind will blow, but it’s not your choice, do you believe this? And by the way, don’t change your life to prove to yourself  God saved you, that’s fruit stapling. If you believe, that’s great, but now you must wait to see if the wind blows. The Christian life is a Sabbath rest.”

Anything less than this in a Calvinist gospel presentation is a false gospel by their own definition.

And let us not forget, in Calvinist post salvation status, the wind keeps on blowing, or not. It is undeniable that Calvin himself believed in three classes of people: the non-elect, the called, and those who persevere. Said another way: no wind at all, those who are temporarily enlightened (the wind stops), and the ones who get a steady wind to the end.

There is only one way Calvinism can be feasible; logic must be completely divorced from the Bible.

paul

The Theology and Worldview of Paul David Tripp

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 13, 2015

TrippWhat this ministry lacks is a good solid overview of what Paul David Tripp believes, and what drives his biblical counseling ministry. Our stats indicate that a lot of people come to TANC ministries looking for information on Tripp, but I am not sure we offer much that is useful. Hopefully, this 2-hour addition on BlogTalk radio will supply a good synopsis of Paul David Tripp’s soteriology.

Link: Friday 5/15/2015 @ 7pm.  2 hour broadcast.

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Acts Lesson 52

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on May 12, 2015

Acts Series

Tuesday Night Bible Study – Now LIVE on Blogtalk Radio!
Lesson 52 – May 12, 2015 (click here to listen)

 

 

 

 


Tonight’s Text – Acts 19:21 – 20:1
Brief review

  1. Summary of remaining journey
    1. Intentions to visit Macedonia and Achaia
    2. Send ahead two “ministers”
      1. Timothy and Erastus
      2. διακονεω (dee-ahk-oh-NEH-oh) – “deacon”; one who serves
  2. No small stir in Ephesus
    1. Diana – the Roman goddess
    2. Demetrius – a silversmith.
      – made “silver shrines”
    3. Paul’s teaching threatened their livelihood.
      1. Primary motivation – wealth
      2. Compare with 1 Timothy 6:2-10, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Jude 10-13
    4. The big business of religion
  3. The assembly in the theater
    1. Theater of Ephesus – multi-purpose venue
    2. Silversmiths lead riotous crowd
      • Paul discouraged from entering
        1. By other disciples
        2. By other “friends”
    3. Examining the “assembly”
      1. εκκλησια (ek-lay-SEE-ah) – a body gathered for a common purpose such as a government function.
      2. Must be lawful
      3. Must be orderly
  4. A voice of reason
    1. Townclerk points out the assembly’s irrational behavior
      1. Keep calm
      2. Think clearly
    2. Examining the validity of the claim
      1. No “robbers of churches”
        1. ιεροσυλυος (hee-er-os-oo-lous). “temple despoilers”
        2. taking the glory for themselves
      2. Never spoke evil of Diana
    3. Respect for the rightful use of law

A Footrace to Hell

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 12, 2015

Grace as Hate Speech

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 12, 2015

Missionaries?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 12, 2015

Authority and Faith

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 12, 2015

Simply Stated: Why is Calvinism a False Gospel?

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 12, 2015

Originally published November 24, 2013

Simply stated, Calvinism is a false gospel because it denies that salvation is a onetime event in the life of the believer. In other words, when a person believes in Christ, all of their sins are not forgiven once and for all time. The sins we commit in our Christian life go against our just standing, so we must continually revisit the same gospel that saved us in order to maintain our just standing. This is a problem because we have to do something to keep our just standing. The Reformers taught that salvation as a onetime finished work is a false gospel.

In our present day which is experiencing a resurgence of the original Reformation gospel, we assume that the mantra, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves everyday” is just a popular opinion about the best way to grow spiritually in our Christian life. Not so. The revisiting every day of the same gospel that saved us is necessary to maintain our just standing before God. “The same gospel that saved us also sanctifies us” is another popular mantra that is deceptive; a re-visitation of gospel is a must for keeping ourselves saved according to the Reformation gospel.

This is why the Reformers redefined the biblical new birth. Instead of the new birth being a onetime event in the life of the believer, making us a new creature, they made the new birth a continual rebirth experience only needed to maintain our salvation. Another way this could be stated follows: a perpetual re-salvation experience. Contemporary Reformed theologians call this “mortification and vivification” in their systematic theology.

paul

American Clergy Brilliance: “The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration”

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 11, 2015

green-logo3Originally posted May 6, 2013

“Look, think about this; even an adolescent Sunday school student can see it: if the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law (Romans 3:21), why would Christ need to keep it for our justification? For crying out loud, what does ‘apart’ mean?”

My theses for this year’s TANC conference highlights the fact that the Reformers taught from a totally different reality than a normative reality that draws logical conclusions from the arrangement of verbs, nouns, prepositions, adjectives, conjunctions, etc. taken at face value. The Reformers created their own metaphysical premise for interpreting reality. The authentic Reformed gospel is predicated on a contra reality. This is one of four reasons that the authentic Reformed gospel experiences a social death periodically throughout church history, and then periodic resurgence movements like the one we are presently in via New Calvinism. There have been five of these resurgence movements sense Calvin’s theocracy in Geneva. They will be documented in volume two of The Truth About New Calvinism. As Christians read their Bibles, they are naturally drawn away from the authentic Reformed gospel because the human tendency is to interpret reality from the normative perspective. They become uncomfortable with the contradictions. However, as each resurgence dies a social death, Protestant traditions of men continue to be a significant part of what emerges from the ashes. A Reformed hybrid emerges that apes the anemic sanctification spawned by Reformed thought. This lays the ground work for the resurgences that follow. Protestantism, historically, oscillates between the weak sanctification of the hybrid and the despotic resurgence movements that temporarily replace the hybrid. Basically, the vicious cycle must be stopped if revival is going to be possible. God sanctifies with truth, not the traditions of men. Part and parcel is a dumbed-down Christianity saturated with the traditions of Reformed men—primarily dead ones. Men of old that are deemed geniuses are often mindless Kool-Aid drinking followers of John Calvin and his ugly stepchildren, the murdering despotic Puritans. Part of the Protestant tradition that carries on is the big “O,” ORTHODOXY. A synonym for “truth” in American churchianity, it is really the repackaging of truth interpreted by the Protestant elite for consumption by the unenlightened masses. The American church follows the tradition of Protestantism when the arrogant, elitist who’s who of evangelicalism come together and publish declarations, i.e., the confessions and creeds of traditional Reformed thought. A recent example of this is the third edition of The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration  (1994, 1997, 1999) signed and/or endorsed by, for example, the following: John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, D. James Kennedy, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, Bruce Wilkinson, Ravi Zacharias, Jack Hayford, Steven Strang, John MacArthur Jr., RC Sproul, Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and JI Packer. Only problem is, the document denies the new birth and describes Christians as being under the law as opposed to being under grace. In other words, the authentic gospel of the Reformation. First, the document speaks from the perspective of the authentic Reformed gospel that only recognizes the possibility of a linear gospel, ie., the “golden chain of salvation.”  Because sanctification is the links of a chain that stretches from justification to glorification, the links must stay intact by the same gospel that saved us. Hence, grace cannot be inside of the believer because that makes him/her a participant in the completion of justification. Justification is only a finished work if we live among the sanctification links in the same way we were saved—by faith alone. The Reformers only recognized this reality, and judged all other gospels from the same reality. Grace is either infused within the believer, making him/her a participant in finishing justification, or grace remains completely outside of the believer. The alternative that sanctification is completely separate, a parallel gospel, is not considered to be a possible reality. Accordingly, note the following statement in said GEC document:

We deny that we are justified by the righteousness of Christ infused into us or by any righteousness that is thought to inhere within us.

The Reformers believed that ALL grace and righteousness must remain OUTSIDE of the believer or it by default made him/her a participant in the completion of justification. They got around the mass of prepositions throughout Scripture that clearly state that grace is within us by utilizing the emphasis hermeneutic (the redemptive historical hermeneutic). This hermeneutic is a Gnostic concept derived from Plato’s theory of forms. I will delve into this in detail during my second session at this year’s TANC conference. Granted, many of the signers probably didn’t, and still don’t understand what the Reformers believed, and I believe other signers such as RC Sproul deliberately play on that confusion. Secondly, the doctrine propagates the Reformed mainstay of Christ’s perfect obedience to the law being imputed to our sanctification so that “sanctification is not the ‘ground’ of our justification.” See the chain thing going on there? Our enablement in sanctification necessarily makes sanctification the GROUND of our justification because sanctification finishes justification. It’s a “chain.” Here is what the document states:

God’s justification of those who trust in him, according to the Gospel, is a decisive transition, here and now, from a state of condemnation and wrath because of their sins to one of acceptance and favor by virtue of Jesus’ flawless obedience culminating in his voluntary sin-bearing death.

And….

We affirm that Christ’s saving work included both his life and his death on our behalf (Gal. 3:13). We declare that faith in the perfect obedience of Christ by which he fulfilled all the demands of the Law of God on our behalf is essential to the Gospel. We deny that our salvation was achieved merely or exclusively by the death of Christ without reference to his life of perfect righteousness.

Look, think about this; even an adolescent Sunday school student can see it: if the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the law (Romans 3:21), why would Christ need to keep it for our justification? For crying out loud, what does ‘apart’ mean? Worse yet is the idea that this perfect obedience is imputed to our sanctification if we live our Christian lives by faith alone because sanctification is a progressive process that finishes justification. James refuted this idea in no certain terms, which is why the Reformers questioned its rightful place in the New Testament canon. Moreover, this idea keeps Christians “under the law,” which is the biblical designation for the unregenerate. I don’t know much about the theologian William R. Newell, but with that disclaimer, I will say that I agree with his opinion in regard to this issue:

The fatal result of this terrible error is to leave The Law as claimant over those in Christ: for, “Law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth” (7.1). Unless you are able to believe in your very heart that you died with Christ, that your old man was crucified with Him, and that you were buried, and that your history before God in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary, you will never get free from the claims of Law upon your conscience (William R. Newell: Verse by Verse Commentary on Romans).

Hence, the law remains a claimant over the believer at any point where he/she stops living their life by faith alone in the same gospel that saved them rather than belief in the new birth followed by the death of the old us that died with Christ and is no longer under the law. We must now fear that our obedience in sanctification is making the law the “ground” of our justification. Likewise, Calvin stated the following: Another principal part of our reconciliation with God was that man, who had lost himself by his disobedience, should by way of remedy oppose to it obedience, satisfy the justice of God, and pay the penalty of sin. Editor’s note: For our redemption, Christ kept the Law for us and died upon the Cross. By this, Christ obtained forgiveness of sins for us (Calvin on the Mediator: Chapel Library press, 2009). This is also known as “vicarious law-keeping.” A definition of vicarious is:

Adjective Experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person: “vicarious pleasure.” Acting or done for another: “a vicarious atonement”.

Christians need to stop following men in general, and Reformed men in particular.  God only sanctifies with truth, and Reformed doctrine does not save or sanctify accordingly. It calls for a salvation by law-keeping and who keeps it is not the issue. The law as a standard for justification is the issue. It also denies the different relationship of the law to believers as opposed to unbelievers: the law provokes the former to righteousness, and provokes the latter to sin. It skews the very biblical definition of the regenerate.

paul

New PPT Moderation Policy

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 11, 2015

TANC LOGOHere at PPT, discussing how we should moderate comments is an ongoing discussion. While being strong believers in the arena of ideas, it’s not an arena of platforms supplied to every theological ragamuffin that comes down the pike.

However, as you know, PPT/TANC also values knowledge about world philosophy because we think it lends greatly to the historical aspect of grammatical-historical interpretation of reality. So, we may very well allow comments from someone who could care less about the religious dogfight, but has something informative to add in areas that we deem to be important information.

But I have decided to drive a stake on something regarding the issue of moderation. Anybody aware of my writing style is also aware that my posts usually encompass four or five points based on research of some sort accompanied by citations. This brings me to the point.

Since the conception of this blog in 2009, I have noticed a marked pattern in how Calvinists comment. They rarely address the specific points made in the post, but instead make some sort of broad statement concerning my supposed cluelessness in regard to what Calvinism is really about. That’s always first in this construct, followed by some residual concern about a grammatical error, “name calling,” or something that points to some sort of personal flaw.

I have noticed this pattern for a long time, but have never stopped to really think about it. That is, until we received another such comment today. Regardless of the fact that the post made specific points backed up with specific data, all of that was ignored and…

“This displays an absolutely stunning ignorance concerning the actual teachings of Calvinism and a truly disgusting level of name calling, personal insults. However, all that is truly acceptable given that you know everything there is to know about everything you rail against.”

This is a Calvinist protocol that I have seen time, and time again since 2009. What’s going on? How can they just bypass the main propositions of the post all together and make these twofold blanket statements?

First of all, from now on, this Calvinist protocol will be rejected at PPT. Objections that do not address the main points made in the post will not be passed through moderation.

With that said, what do I think is behind this approach? Something is, it’s been too consistent, too many times, and for too long; some sort of logic drives it. Have you read any of my recent posts about the two contrary interpretations of reality within evangelicalism? If these people think my literal interpretation of reality disqualifies me from understanding Calvinism, wouldn’t that explain this approach? Wouldn’t they have to present a grammatical-historical argument to refute the specific points made in these posts?

Also, it’s obvious that they wouldn’t want to address my perception of reality as being the crux of my error. That’s a rabbit they want to keep in the hat.

paul

The Mother’s Authority Over Pastors and Elders

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 11, 2015

John Pavlovitz Sees the Problem with Mud and is Trying to Save It.

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 11, 2015

I hate Facebook, but can’t live without it. One reason why is an article that was reposted by someone on my Facebook friends list. The article, written by a John Pavlovitz, was posted on his blog John Pavlovitz .com.

As gleaned from the article, JP sees the problems concerning “church” with stunning clarity, and is on a journey to save it from those who have “hijacked” it.

Like so many in our day, JP doesn’t understand that the church which he properly describes as “in the mud” is not in the mud because it has been hijacked—it is the mud.

Like so many in our day, he doesn’t want to “[throw]ing the baby Jesus out with the muddy bath water.” But Jesus doesn’t dwell in any muddy water. If you throw out the muddy bath water of the church, fear not, Jesus is not in there.

Much can be drawn out of JP’s article, but without a doubt the primary reason that the JPs of the world will not succeed in changing the muddy church follows: they think Christianity is a combination of Jesus and mud, the mud being us, and the only problem with church at this time is it’s too muddy. The muddy Christians are being too muddy, but Jesus still loves the muddy church. Therefore, we must save the Church of Mud by making it less muddy.

This is why Luther and Calvin never really left the Catholic Church; they shared the same essential metaphysics, epistemology, and politics (they also killed people who disagreed with them). They only disagreed on the ethics. The Reformation was not a revolution, it was a reformation. The Catholic Church had become too muddy.

This is what the JP’s of the world and all discernment bloggers to boot don’t understand: we don’t need another Reformation—we need a revolution. The problem with the muddy church is: it is made of muddy people and Jesus is not muddy, and those who follow Christ are like Him in the world. We are “washed,” not muddy.

And JP would say: “But we still have mud.” Therefore, a revolution instead of a mere reformation would be “throwing the baby Jesus out with the muddy bath water.” Here is what JP, like many others do not understand: the Church of Mud is muddy for a reason. While sharing the same ideology as the Church of Mud, their primary concern is that things become too muddy. They love the mud as much as anyone and seek to save the mud. However, there must be limits to the mud. The ideology that creates the mud cannot be allowed to create too much muddiness.

Hence, when JP and many others point out that there is too much mud, the others in the Church of Mud should not accuse him and others of, “being angry malcontents; serial complainers who have no real desire to make things better, who simply delight in publicly dragging Christianity through the mud.”

You see, the church being muddy is one thing, but dragging it through its muddiness is something else entirely. Why? Well, according to the formal doctrine of the church, it is the only place where mudders get saved, so you can’t do anything to hurt the Church of Mud. Now you are messing with the gospel of muddiness.

JP apparently means  well, but his confusion can be seen in the article, i.e., “The problem is, organized Christianity is no longer truly in the hands of all the people. Like so many riches in this world, it too is being hoarded and held by a small minority who tend to speak for themselves; who are prone to leveraging power and position and platform to control those who they deem to be inferior or dangerous or deviating from the norm.”

This is the contradiction of the post: what was just cited and the whole not throwing Jesus out with the muddy water thing. He sees the problem, but clearly doesn’t understand that the ideology of church orthodoxy (the norm) will not, and cannot permit something that is “truly in the hands of all the people.” We call that a “revolution.” It’s a complete rebuild, not a renovation.

He is biblically correct on this, but fails to understand the difference between a true biblical model of “church” and Protestant orthodoxy. He is correct: God’s family is a holy nation of priests. What does that imply? It implies that there is no spiritual caste in the family of God.

The Bible states that we are a body, and with all bodies, the individual parts play very important roles and determine what the body is able to achieve. The body parts don’t wait around for permission from men to practice their function; they are guided by the one head, Christ. The body parts work together according to truth for the unity of one mind and one voice that strives to learn the mind of Christ more and more. The body parts are organized according to gifts.

But it doesn’t stop there. We are not just any run of the mill priests. The type of priest that the Bible is speaking of is the priest who entered the Holy of Holies once a year to offer an atonement for the sins of Israel. But now the veil has been torn asunder and all have free access to the Holy of Holies. We are able to enter in because we are washed—not muddy. Muddy people have never been allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and never will be.

JP recommends a revolution that will put Christianity back in the “hands of all the people,” and then prescribes a mere reformation; that won’t work.  We are not muddy priests of a muddy church in charge of making sure we don’t become too muddy.

Is this perfectionism?  Yes and no depending on how you define perfectionism in regard to the new birth. The church spawned by the Reformation defined perfectionism as a denial that Christians sin. It basically redefined sin in stark contrast to the biblical definition. The Bible makes a distinction between sin that condemns and sin by those who are God’s literal offspring. The Reformers made no such distinction in brazen defiance of holy writ.

As a result of this single perspective on sin, they made the law THE standard and measure of righteousness, and not the new birth. Instead of the new birth putting those under the law of condemnation to death with Christ and freeing them to obey the law for the sole purpose of love after their resurrection to new life, the Reformers kept believers in the mud and not washed by the baptism of the Spirit.

In other words, Jesus came to cover the mud, not wash it away. According to Calvin and Luther both, “saved” people must become official members of the Church of Mud through the initiation of water baptism to keep their mud covered by perpetual rewashings every time that we return to the “same gospel that saved us.” This is why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day” and “live by the gospel” according to everything in our lives being “gospel driven.”

Consequently, according to Luther, and Calvin, the believer should care less how much mud gets flung around as it is really none of our business. We are not in control of the mud, only getting it covered by behaving at church. If we are in control of the mud depth, well, we have a “righteousness of our own.” And trust me, the mud doesn’t fling far from the pigsty.

Hate to tell you JP, but the church folk that fear you are right; according to Protestantism, you really should keep your mouth shut. The muddiness is what it is; if you think there is too much mud you are self-righteous. Sound familiar?

If you go to “The Table” tab/page on JP’s blog, it is fraught with Church of Mud orthodoxy mixed in with anti-total depravity emergent-like ideology. Like so many in our day, JP needs to totally forget everything he has learned and do the job he is called to: High Priest. That is his job, not the collecting of other people’s thoughts for perhaps a well-meaning search for answers.

On the same page, you will notice that we “reflect” rather than actually do things, and our lives are a “story” like the redemptive-historical metaphysics of the Church of Mud. And then there is this:

We realize that no one has all the answers, and that faith and doubt live side by side. No one has the market cornered on Truth and we’re OK with that.

What about the one mind of Christ that we are called to be unified by? If no one can really know anything “except Christ and Him crucified,” or stated another way, Luther and Calvin’s “objective gospel experienced subjectively,” what unity does JP propose will take place? This confirms that he is out of touch with the biblical concept of body.

The page also states that everyone and their views are welcome, but I am not sure they want to hear what I have to say because I think little of a physician who wants to save cancer patients by first saving the cancer, or those trying to save the Church of Mud from too much mud.

We need a revolution, not a reformation. The problem with the Church of Mud is the mud.

paul

The Problem with Contemporary Biblical Counseling: Justification “Runs in the Background”

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on May 9, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published June 13, 2014

“Jay Adams has often pointed out that people are clueless in regard to the fact that there are about 200 different counseling theories in Psychology. Think about that. When people go to a psychologist for help they are no doubt clueless in regard to the perspective that they will be counseled from. Nevertheless, if biblical counseling is about sanctification, and it is, there are at least as many different theories on how justification ‘runs’ with sanctification.”

The fact that our justification is a finished work is critical to the gospel. If justification is not finished, its proper maintenance by faith alone without works becomes a balancing act between works and faith in sanctification. You have an integration of two things where one calls for faith alone and the other calls for a faith that works.

Therefore, when justification and sanctification are fused together, the Christian life will be marked by confusion, fear, introspection, and a paralyzed, stagnant Christian life. Sound familiar? A radical dichotomy between justification and sanctification frees the believer to aggressively love without fear that anything they do in sanctification will affect their justification. There is no fear in our justified position.

A false gospel cannot help people. All in all, the contemporary biblical counseling movement is saturated with the idea that justification is progressive. Point in case; biblical counseling superstar Lou Priolo believes that justification, “runs in the background.” In a guest post written for Jay Adams’ Institute for Nouthetic Studies, Priolo stated the following:

To my way of thinking, the place of the doctrine of justification in the believer’s life is much like the operating system on a computer. I’m a PC guy. My personal computer operates under a Windows operating system. Windows is always up and running, but most of the time, it runs in the background. I don’t see it. I can go for days without looking at it (although I know it is functioning as long as the other programs are operating properly). Occasionally, I have to go to the control panel to troubleshoot a problem, make some minor adjustments, or defrag my hard drive, but I don’t give it another thought because I have faith that it is doing what it is supposed to do. So it is with my justification. It is always up and running. Though I am not always consciously thinking about it, everything I do flows from it.

If one carefully examines this statement by Priolo, many disturbing anti-gospel ideas could be pointed out, and oddly, Jay Adams himself has written against these very ideas. Particularly, the idea that “everything” we do is powered by, or “flows” from justification. This is no whit different from what Tullian Tchividjian, John Piper, or even Joseph Prince believes.

Justification cannot be both finished and “running.” If justification runs in sanctification, what do we have to do to keep it running properly? That’s a huge problem by virtue of the very question itself. If the race we run as Christians, the one Paul talked about, is powered by justification, and we can be disqualified from that race; well, the ramifications in this issue speak for themselves.

No wonder that confusion, chaos, controversy, and a civil war between “first generation” biblical counseling and “second generation” biblical counseling are the order of the day in those circles.

Jay Adams has often pointed out that people are clueless in regard to the fact that there are about 200 different counseling theories in Psychology. Think about that. When people go to a psychologist for help they are no doubt clueless in regard to the perspective that they will be counseled from. Nevertheless, if biblical counseling is about sanctification, and it is, there are at least as many different theories on how justification “runs” with sanctification.

Who will finally stand up and say, “Enough of this madness!”? Who will finally stand up and say one is finished and one is progressive. Come now, are we saying that one runs in a race that is finished? Indeed, I stood dumbfounded when Voddie Buacham’s answer to that question from me was, “yes.” Is this nonsense the very reason that the world does not take us seriously? We are unable to clarify the gospel we proclaim. Call the world totally depraved if you will, but they are not stupid.

paul

Get Over It: Calvin and Luther Propagated a Blatant False View of Justification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

“Do you understand justification as a legal term in the believer is ‘declared righteous’ in the eyes of God because of the imputed righteousness of Christ that takes place at conversion when the person exercises faith in Christ as their Savior?”

I understand the Reformed tradition states that, and I understand what the Reformed tradition means by it, and that’s why I reject it for the false gospel that it is. FACT is, Luther and Calvin propagated a false view of justification and the theological math is very simple. It’s a religious empire built on a big fat lie. Luther and Calvin belong in the infamous Hall of False Gospels, not Christian folklore.

Why is this? Justification is not a legal covering that God “sees.” It is not a legal declaration of covering, it is a legal declaration of fact concerning the true being of the individual who is now a family member. He now deals with us as sons. When God looks at the new family member, He sees a righteousness that is like Christ’s because Christ is the brother, but it is also the righteousness of the individual. When God “sees” one of His children, He sees the righteousness of one born of Him. “A righteousness of our own” argument is intellectually dishonest; it attempts to make us the originators of righteousness because we received it as a gift.

“But Christians still sin.”

This very contention is a false gospel smoking gun. This simple four-word contention (one of Calvin and Luther’s primary arguments for progressive justification) is all one needs to completely discredit the Reformation from the plain sense of Scripture. This perspective obviously sees Christians as still under the law and needing a COVERING to satisfy the law.

But here is the good news of the true gospel: sin is not merely covered, it is ended, and where there is no law, there is no sin.

But that doesn’t mean “under grace” equals not being under any law. It’s just a different use of the law: for love, NOT condemnation. Authentic Protestantism clearly keeps Christians under the law of condemnation, and therefore needing a covering of righteousness not their own. Supposedly, Christ came to not only die for our sins, but to obey the law perfectly so that His perfect obedience can be imputed to our Christian life by faith alone.

There are many problems with this view of justification known as “double imputation.”

First, it makes the law of condemnation a co-life-giver. That’s Paul’s whole point in Galatians chapter 3. Also, the law now sits on a third throne with God the Father and Christ. In fact, Reformed tradition often pontificates about “An offering given to satisfy the law from the empty hands of faith which only bring the righteousness of Christ as an offering.”

Whoa! Really?

Secondly, it denies that the old person died with Christ via the baptism of the Spirit. Why in the world would believers need a covering to protect them from a law that they are no longer under? A dead person cannot be found guilty under the law—they are dead. This is Paul’s whole point in Romans chapter 7.

Thirdly, because of the Reformation’s single use of the law, that of condemnation only, the ability of the Christian to love is circumvented. The Christian is not free to “serve another.” The law of sin and death, the ministry of death, is made the same as the law of liberty, the law of Christ, and the law of the Spirit of life that He uses to sanctify us (John 17:17).

Fourthly, because the believer is still under the law of sin and death confirmed by the fact that he/she still needs a covering of righteousness that is not their own imputed by the new birth, he/she is still enslaved to sin.

Fifthly, the principles of GIFT and REWARD in the Bible now have to be the same. Therefore, salvation is the reward for living by faith alone in the same gospel that saved us. This, according to Calvin, “keeps us in the family of God.”

Hence, salvation is a reward for living by faith alone rather than a gift. This problem speaks for itself and is the crux of “already not yet.”

Is it any wonder that the Protestant church is a train wreck? It’s that way because of its false gospel.

paul

Which of the Two Types of “Christian” Are You?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

Absolutely Critical to Effective Ministry: Knowing the Two Realities of Protestantism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

If we are to accomplish anything in contemporary Christianity, we must begin to live by a basic hard-fast rule: our actions must be guided by the knowledge that there are two realities in contemporary Christianity; grammatical-historical and redemptive-historical.

These are usually discussed as methods of Bible interpretation, but they are really much more than that according to Protestant tradition. These are two different ways of interpreting reality itself.

We will begin by defining the redemptive-historical interpretation of reality along with this caution: one of the most powerful influences that this view of reality has is the dismissal of its basic premise as mere mysticism held by fringe elements of Protestantism. Those who dismiss it out-of-hand then proceed to function by its tenets unawares. The who’s who of Protestantism care little that the masses understand this ideology, just so they function by it.

In fact, Protestant leaders assume most parishioners are unable to grasp its tenets. Therefore, redemptive-historical reality must be explained in a way that will enable congregants to apply it to their lives and function a certain way within church culture. Redemptive-historical reality is primarily the crux of Protestant orthodoxy and its spiritual caste system.

In mythology, we often link the bizarre narratives to the philosophy itself, but that’s a mistake. Roman, Greek, and Babylonian culture was not developed by superstitious idiots. What we fail to understand is the narratives are stories that convey principles to the spiritual underlings so they can apply principles of higher knowledge to their lives. They cannot understand the higher knowledge, but those who can need to tell the underlings how to live in order to obtain the best possible society.

“Orthodoxy” can be likened to mythological narratives that teach those of lesser spiritual understanding how they should live, but they are based on well thought out metaphysical (state of being) systems of knowledge. We shouldn’t be surprised that what seems to be superstition has ruled the greatest empires on earth. This is because the core ideology is always a succinct system of thought that is greatly underestimated. The ancient philosophers were not idiots. Democritus (circa 400 BC) was the originator of atomic theory. The sophist class of philosophers were the first to apply philosophy to sociology in an in-depth way (circa 500 BC). ALL present-day psychologies are founded on the basic theories of that day. For example, the basic ideology that drives the theory of rehabilitation in our modern-day prison systems came from Socrates.

Let’s now define redemptive-historical reality. I will be using a quote from Graeme Goldsworthy who is considered to be the contemporary father of redemptive-historical hermeneutics:

If the story is true, Jesus Christ is the interpretative key to every fact in the universe and, of course, the Bible is one such fact. He is thus the hermeneutic principle that applies first to the Bible as the ground for understanding, and also to the whole of reality (Graeme Goldsworthy: Gospel-centered Hermeneutics; p.48).

This is a pretty straight forward statement and accurately depicts what Protestantism is really founded on; not a theology per se, but a way to interpret reality itself. How in the world does one interpret all of reality through the one person Jesus Christ? You MUST understand: Martin Luther articulated the answer in the foundational treatise of Protestantism, the Heidelberg Disputation.

The Heidelberg Disputation is a concise systematic ideology that explains how all of reality is to be interpreted through redemption, or if you will, the man of redemption, Jesus Christ. Again, the power of this ideology is a dismissal of it out-of-hand by those who proceed to sit under its “theology.” The theology of the metaphysics redefines biblical terms, and uses them to lead the masses into a functioning Christocentric view of reality.

We will not plunge the depths of the Heidelberg Disputation in this writing, but the principles will be outlined and their inevitable functionality among Christians. Before we move forward, let’s examine additional statements that confirm this approach among Christians. This testimony was given in a recent email to me:

An old acquaintance of ours (Presbyterian as they get) has said more times than I can remember something like this: “Every verse in the Bible, from Genesis 1 through Revelation, is talking about Jesus.” Years ago that sounded so intellectual, holy; today it sounds like hogwash. I mean, are we really expected to believe that the passages talking about incestuous rape are talking about Jesus? Come on, really?

Well, as ridiculous as it sounds, the answer is, “yes.” Many function according to the theology that is predicated on this foundational interpretive method for not only the Bible, but reality itself.

Pause: keep in mind that those who function according to this interpretation of reality without understanding its premise will reflect back the resulting interpretation of Scripture. They repeat pulpit talking points without ever investigating the source of them, or the logical conclusions of the talking points. Sometimes, such people are referred to as “useful idiots.” But again we need to be cautious: people who blindly follow others do not do so for the sake of following blindly—they are functioning according to some sort of ideology that leads to the blind following.

Higher Knowledge cropped

Let’s look at some more examples from proponents of New Covenant Theology:

New Covenant Theology insists on the priority of Jesus Christ over all things, including history, revelation, and redemption.  New Covenant Theology presumes a Christocentricity to the understanding and meaning of all reality (1st tenet of NCT according to the Earth Stove Society, a NCT think tank).

Not much ambiguity in that statement. Pretty clear on its face except for how one would apply it to real life. Again, many might scratch their head in regard to that statement, but proceed to let the theological orthodoxy that flows from it shape their life and thinking. At the point of debate with such people, their orthodoxed talking points will reflect the metaphysical premise. They will absolutely not be swayed in their thinking because they concede that they cannot understand the higher knowledge, and the authority of the higher knowledge is part of the orthodoxy.

Pause: I used to be involved in a ministry that evangelized Jehovah Witnesses. Debating the Bible with them led nowhere because their orthodoxy reinterprets all biblical terms and phraseology. When Christ is referred to, it is assumed that their presuppositions regarding Christ are the same, and they are not. Instead, we challenged their orthodoxy, i.e., the Watchtower publication. Likewise, let me reveal a concluding theme of this study: never debate the Bible with a Protestant; instead, bring their authority into question. Refuse to discuss anything else for it will be futile for reasons yet to be examined.

Let’s look at another statement from the New Covenant Theology camp:

At this time, resist the temptation to utilize subsequent passages to validate the meaning or to move out from the immediate context. Remembering that all exegesis must finally be a Christocentric exegesis.

Look for Christ even if He isn’t there directly. It is better to see Christ in a text even if He isn’t, than to miss Him where He is (The Biblical Theological Study Center: A Christo-Presuppositional Approach to the Entire Scriptures; Max Strange. Online source: http://goo.gl/5sGjP).

The question quickly becomes, “How can you see Jesus in every verse in the Bible?” This is where the Bible becomes a “meta-narrative.” That can mean, “grand narrative,” but in this case it means “metaphysical narrative.” The Bible is a narrative, or story that depicts redemptive reality. You will get confused unless you understand that the theory also posits the inclusion of multi-purpose perspectives into the metaphysical story (a story that depicts true reality). The text grammar doesn’t determine the perspective resulting in a particular objective outcome, but the assumed outcome determines the perspective. So, can “passages talking about incestuous rape” say something about redemption? Of course. In this example, the passage is not talking about Jesus specifically, but denotes why His redemptive works are needed. In some way, according to the prism, the verse always speaks of Jesus and His redemptive works.

This approach to interpreting reality (state of being, or metaphysics), what we call epistemology, plugs into the basic ancient philosophy of total inability. This proffers the idea that man cannot know or comprehend reality. The metaphysic follows: man dwells in a realm apart from true reality that he cannot comprehend. Secondly, somehow, usually via a theory of predeterminism, there are a select few that can ascertain truths from the other realm. Usually, the delineation of the realms is the material versus invisible with mankind residing in the material realm.

The Reformers recognized a reality that man functions in, but deemed it “subjective,” or shadowy. Focusing on this shadowy realm leads to despair. In the aforementioned foundational document of Protestantism, Luther contended that man’s material realm only feeds “the glory story,” or the story of man.

In Luther’s construct, ALL reality is interpreted through two stories: the glory story (the story of man), and the cross story (the story of redemption). Giving any credence to the material world or the belief that man can know the material world empirically only contributes to the story of man and his glory. Yes, man functions in this world, but it does not possess any objective wisdom that can bring true wellbeing. Only an ever-clearer understanding of the cross story can bring wellbeing.

What then is the cross story specifically? It is twofold: it is the holiness of God as set against the sinfulness of man. This is the only objective truth and reality that can bring wellbeing. The goal is a deeper and deeper understanding of how inept we are in every category of life as set against the glory and holiness of God.

Pause for main point: according to this philosophy, the sole purpose of the Bible is to lead us in seeing the cross story with more and more clarity. To the extent that we do that, we will have wellbeing. AND, to the extent that each individual lives according to the cross story, the wellbeing of society as a whole will increase. When Reformed folks talk about “transforming society with the gospel,” this is exactly what they are talking about. To the extent that the populous embraces the doctrine of inability, society will be transformed.

One reason for lauding this epistemology is unified agreement on interpretation. If every verse is about Jesus, there is no division in opinions. Secondly on this point, it gives Christianity a pass on defending inerrancy; e.g., narratives are not meant to be technical systems of theology that require consistency in logic. Thirdly on this point, if some sort of Christocentric conclusion is drawn from the text—it can’t be wrong. If the interpretation of the text somehow demeans man and exalts God, error is impossible.

Before we address the grammatical-historical approach to interpreting reality, let me add some thoughts to the redemptive-historical perspective. This perspective now dominates the institutional church. Just yesterday, I participated in a conversation on a social media site in which the following statement was made about Proverbs chapter 8:

The Old Testament reveals shadows of what Jesus Christ will be in the New Covenant. I can easily say that wisdom personified in Proverbs 8 is Jesus Christ.

If one reads Proverbs 8, the assertion that it is about Christ is beyond presumptuous at best. It is a complete rejection of the plain sense of the grammar; even in lieu of the personification being in the female gender.

Also, these two perspectives on reality are a salvific issue with the Reformed. A denial of total inability equates with the grammatical-historical view of reality which is supposedly an attempt by man to glorify himself by writing his own story. By believing that you can understand reality, you are in essence making yourself God.

The most common question is the issue of biblical imperatives that are clearly directed at mankind. This assumes that man is able to obey because grammatically, the commands are directed at him with a demand for obedience. But again, addressing these commands with the presupposition of total inability that equates with the redemptive-historical prism, the commands are supposedly meant to deliberately frustrate man and “drive him to despair of self-righteousness.”

The Reformed continually concede that the Bible states things in grammatical form, but that is always followed with the proper “gospel context” according to the redemptive-historical interpretation of reality. The classic example is this quotation from Neo-Calvinist Paul David Tripp:

….and the Bible does call us to change the way we think about things. But this approach again omits the person and work of Christ as Savior. Instead, it reduces our relationship to Christ to “think his thoughts” and “act the way Jesus would act.” (How People Change 2006, p.27).

Notice that Tripp concedes that the Bible calls us to do things according to the grammatical context, but goes on to say that is a denial of the gospel (omits the work of Christ as savior). On page 26 of the same book, Tripp calls obedience to the word of God a “behavioral approach” that “separates the commands of Scripture from their Christ-centered gospel context.”

Lastly before we move on, when one is able to wrap their minds around the redemptive-historical approach to interpreting reality, it will be recognized that this approach now saturates the Protestant institutional church.

What is the grammatical-historical approach to interpreting reality? As with the other prism, I am not going to elaborate on the “historical” part except to say that the redemptive-historical hermeneutic makes history part of the prewritten gospel narrative. History is simply the redemptive story playing out as scripted by God.

The political commentator Rush Limbaugh often notes that “words mean things.” This is a good working definition of grammatical-historical interpretation; it draws conclusions from a technical evaluation of the words in a sentence whether spoken or written. The many categories of language that give meaning are considered also, which speaks to the “historical” part of the term. Does the sentence mean the same thing today that it meant then? For instance a sentence written in 1940 might say, “Bob is gay.” History informs us of the meaning in that day: Bob is happy. Today that means Bob is a homosexual. The etymology of words and many other factors weigh-in, but all have this in common: they are empirical tools.

This interpretive method also assumes mankind is able to comprehend the realty he dwells in according to empirical observation and can draw conclusions on his own. Man has ability.

Pause: how did Luther get away with denying that mankind had any kind of ability at all? He chalked-it-up to man’s self-perceived ability that can accomplish things in the material world. These accomplishments are of no worth and only accomplish one thing and one thing only: they serve man’s lust to glorify himself. Luther believed that satisfaction from accomplishment was nothing more than sinful pride. To Luther, the only redeeming thing about the world was that heaven manifested its works on earth according to God’s sovereign will. If man lives life subjectively and professes that his evil “good” works cannot be distinguished from heavenly manifestations “experienced subjectively,” that is venial sin that can be forgiven. In accordance with authentic Reformed tradition, Luther believed the following: the belief that any man, including Christians, can perform a good work is mortal sin.

Therefore, the Reformed often define wisdom/knowledge according to two categories: “worldly knowledge” and “wisdom from above.” Sure, man can obtain worldly knowledge that improves his circumstances, but it is all prideful according to Luther. Wouldn’t this approach propagate a lot of death and misery due to a lack of science? Yes, but that was exactly Luther’s point. Many are perplexed by the embracing of ideologies that result in third world cultures, but those who are perplexed make the point for those in the other camp: what is the perplexity of the detractors? Answer: they are perplexed that other people do not lust after materialism as they do. Hence, third world cultures are often seen as being virtuous by the Reformed.

This is why Luther introduced suffering as a hermeneutic that interprets reality. There is true wisdom in the cross story because according to Luther, “all wisdom is hidden in suffering.” According to Luther, many reject this interpretation of reality and dub it the “foolishness of the cross.” Luther also stated that men call the good evil (suffering), and evil good (anything that prevents suffering). This is why Luther called reason an “ugly whore who should have dung rubbed in her face.”

The grammatical-historical perspective of reality assumes man can interpret his own reality, and the material world is not inherently evil. Believers and unbelievers share common realities that are simply practical and not evil.

Here is the challenge: to bring biblical knowledge to bear on grammatical-historical reality when the prevailing view of Protestantism has been the redemptive prism for hundreds of years.

But there is good news as well: the grammatical prism is what man utilizes intuitively. People assume they can interpret their own reality. Of course, the Reformed see this as the very problem.

Does this mean that grammatical-historical Christians should evangelize the lost world and forgo debate with Protestants? Yes it does, because it is a futile endeavor. You are trying to reach people who define reality itself differently. Protestants are redemptive-historical religionists.

Knowledge cropped

Futility cropped

Law and Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

Cry

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

Death

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2015

Is the Cross a Prism for Interpreting the Bible as a Whole?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 5, 2015

Two Hour Crash Course on Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 4, 2015

Abused Women and a Gym Membership: A Comparison

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 4, 2015

I presently have a membership at LA Fitness. Why? Because they are reasonably priced, don’t require a contract (sort-of), and have the best facilities in the world, hands down.

So anyway, at least in my case (I can’t speak for other members there), when I joined LA Fitness, I paid for the first month and the last month upfront. At some point in the month that is paid for, they automatically withdraw money from my account for the next month. Roughly a week before the end of the month, the payment didn’t go through.

That’s when the phone calls started; daily, and at least two phone calls per day. Regardless of the fact that they were informed that the problem with the account would be reconciled in a few days, the calls continued. Remember, this is during a time period when the present month is paid for, and the following month as well. Moreover, the callers talked like Valley Girls in regard to pitch and speed. Remember them? They were made famous by the 1982 Frank Zappa song that he recorded with his 14 year old daughter, “Moon.” Some of the callers talked so fast I couldn’t understand what they were saying.

The final straw for me was a phone call at 8:45 am on Sunday. Play that song, and then imagine stumbling around on a Sunday morning grappling for the coffee pot after a week from hell, seeing the call on your cell phone, answering, and well, play the YouTube vid.

They (LA Fitness: remember that this young lady was only doing her job) kept me on hold until the card cleared, and then finally proclaiming my salvation, informed me that I would be taken off of the harassment list. She called it the “[call] list.”

My friends, this is harassment and abuse. Plain and simple.

So, now I have a choice: will I stay in this abusive relationship because of the excellent facilities? No I will not.

But Paul, it wouldn’t have happened if the money was in the account.

Sound familiar? That’s what we call “victim blaming.” Because the victim started it, or was to blame on some wise, the abuse is excused. See, I could say: “I love the facilities, and after all, if I had made sure the money was in there, I wouldn’t have been abused. I will therefore stay in the relationship.”

Yes, I could say that, but I will not tell myself that, nor will I do that. Why? Because if I do, I become a participant in evil according to the end result. My reasoning is neither here nor there, the final outcome is the real issue; bad behavior is not held accountable.

Sure, sure, LA Fitness will hardly go broke because of my departure, but that’s not one of the primary points. Ineffective revenge is not one of the primary points; the primary points are principle and boundaries that prevent self-destruction. Now, of course, I am not saying that keeping my membership at LA Fitness would be self-destructive—it’s merely an analogy. Or is it? The significance of principles is that they can be applied unwittingly from the mundane to the dramatic.

We are dealing with three points here: inadvertently condoning bad behavior through lack of accountability, living by principles, and gain, boundaries that prevent self-destruction.

Women and men both partake in the fallacy of weak boundaries, but the title focuses on women because our culture is more sensitive to the issue of abuse in regard to women.

No women should stay in any relationship with anybody or anyone in any place where boundaries are refused and ignored. It doesn’t mean they lack love, it means they have standards. It means they live by the principle of mutual respect. Neither does it mean there isn’t a process that lays the ground rules when needed, but it does mean that the line can be crossed in the process even when it is fully understood. Think, “temporary separation” to clarify boundaries.

We don’t stay in a relationship with a spouse regardless of anything because of the spouse’s facilities. Our children are not exempt from boundaries because we love them. Unaccountability is not love. Facilitating disrespect for others is not love. Trust me, if a child does not respect the parents, they will hardly respect anyone. And in all of this, we should all have boundaries in regard to helping those who will not hold others accountable.

This is a shot out of nowhere, but I want to interject it: do you support a church that will not hold its denomination accountable? Is the only boundary that of, “Our particular congregation didn’t do it”? Do you still support the denomination because of its facilities?

If you want to believe you have no value, if you want to believe your tolerance is a show of the same grace and mercy you received, if you think a boundary-less life is a humble life, let me remind you, the world already has a savior, so don’t try to be one. Stop making yourself God under the guise of humility, and trading your dignity for a bowl of soup.

Likewise, LA Fitness crossed the line. I will now pay more for lesser facilities—but I retain my self-respect which is predicated on my principles.

Your facilities are not enough when you cross the line.

paul

Righteousness

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 4, 2015

Commentary Has No Authority

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 3, 2015

Who Do You Need?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 3, 2015

You Don’t Need Orthodoxy; You Need Jesus

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 3, 2015

Jesus Doesn’t Loan You Righteousness; He makes You Righteous

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 3, 2015

If You Don’t Have “A Righteousness of Your Own,” You Are Condemned

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 2, 2015

“And frankly, that’s exactly what Protestantism teaches: that righteousness is on loan from Jesus.”

In vogue among evangelicals is the idea that we have no righteousness of our own. If we lay claim to a good work that pleases God, we must sanctify it with, “It wasn’t I who did it—it was Jesus working through the Spirit.”

To take credit for a good work is to steal the glory from God, and lay claim to a “righteousness of our own.” This idea is rooted in Martin Luther’s alien righteousness. It is the belief that all righteousness remains outside of the believer.

The result is a confused endeavor to do Christianity without doing anything; after all, “The just shall live by faith.” Therefore, Protestantism still struggles in the clarification of how we do Christianity without doing anything; after all, “It’s not about our doing, it’s about what He has done.” Protestantism is fraught with these doing it without doing it truisms.

Actually, Luther and Calvin articulated how the Christian life is done without doing, but Protestantism wouldn’t be any more popular than the Branch Davidians if Protestants knew the true tenets of Protestantism.

But here is the primary problem: Protestantism is a slick works salvation gospel. Basically, it turns doing nothing into a work; you do nothing to keep yourself saved. People assume that doing nothing with intentionality to obtain an objective is not doing anything. In reality, doing nothing is still doing something; it’s a “choice,” and deciding to do something or not do something is doing something in both cases.

The linchpin is Protestantism’s redefinition of the new birth which is redefined as an ability to better see what we can’t do, rather than a new creature who does things because of who we are.

Hence, if we have no righteousness of our own, we are condemned. If you are the least bit familiar with the New Testament, you know of the interpretive duo of “gift” and “reward.” Once you receive a gift, you own it, right? Salvation and the righteousness that comes with it is a GIFT. Rewards come in this life and the life to come as a result of how we put the gift that we now own into use. Primarily, the Bible calls that “love.”

But now think with me for a moment. If something is not a gift, what is it? Right, it’s a loan, and what do we know about loans? Right, you have to pay them back. And frankly, that’s exactly what Protestantism teaches: that righteousness is on loan from Jesus. We have no righteousness of our own; we only have the righteousness of Jesus. The gift of righteousness is really righteousness on loan from Jesus, and we receive the benefits by antinomian faith alone payments (doing nothing).

Let’s clarify the Protestant payments a little more. Because of this construct, Protestants have to categorize works into two categories: works of self-righteousness, and faith alone works. Faith alone works usually consist of praying, faithfulness to church attendance, tithing, and behaving well at church. Works of self-righteousness are pretty much everything else, but particularly thinking that you know something well enough to debate the pastor.

Because Protestantism denies that we own the gift of righteousness, they must now define REWARD as final salvation, and they most certainly do in no uncertain terms. Think about that: the final equation of Luther’s alien righteousness is salvation as reward for living by faith alone. That’s a huge problem.

One of the keys to understanding all of this is Hebrews 6:10,

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”

Why would it be “unjust” for God to “overlook” YOUR “work”? Because you have earned it. This isn’t complicated: salvation/righteousness is a gift that you can’t earn, but nevertheless this righteousness is part and parcel with your new being, and you are rewarded for how you put it to use for love’s sake.

The conclusion of the matter is simple: Protestantism is a false gospel that circumvents love because we supposedly have no righteousness of our own. It makes ownership synonymous with being the originators of righteousness which also defies the reality of a “gift” as well.

paul

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Tonight’s Show Will be a 2-Hour Crash Course on New Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 1, 2015

Blog Radio LogoThe emergence of the New Calvinist movement is closely related to the history of the biblical counseling movement and the book, “How People Change” by Paul David Tripp.  In fact, the movement almost died out as a flash in the pan early on, but found new life in the biblical counseling movement.

Join us tonight at this link:  http://tobtr.com/s/7555149  @ 7pm.

The Elephant in the Room: The Historical-Redemptive Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on April 30, 2015

ELEPHANTOriginally published September 3, 2013

There isn’t a bigger elephant in the Sunday school room or the sanctuary than the issue of Bible interpretation. The reason for this follows: the method of interpretation that comes natural to us is assumed.

What is that method? This gets into an area of study called hermeneutics (the theory of interpretation), and the two primary theories thereof are exegesis and eisegesis. These are big theological words that the average Protestant is not supposed to know. This is because the Protestant interpretation of the Scriptures is based on authority.

We will get to exegesis and eisegesis, but the crux of the issue is authority. The Reformers came from Romanism and clearly, their interpretive construct was based on authority; i.e., the average parishioner was not free to interpret the Bible and follow it according to one’s own conscience:

Rightfully and nobly did the Protestant Reformers claim religious liberty for themselves; but they resolutely refused to concede it to others. [1]

The very foundation of Protestant interpretation is based on authority; that is, the leaders dictate meaning. Therefore, traditionally, the need for Protestants in general to understand interpretive principles would be unnecessary, and as a result, Protestantism functions that way till this very day. In the early days of the Reformation, private interpretation was outlawed [2]; in our day, education regarding the tools needed to interpret the Bible are merely excluded.

This fact brings us to an interesting word, “orthodoxy.” Traditionally, this word is associated with “truth” as a synonym. This is not the case at all. Orthodoxy is the authority of truth based on counsels of any given sect. [3] The opinions of these counsels regarding the meaning of “truth” are known as “creeds” and “confessions.” These are “truths” (actually, opinions concerning the meaning of any given subject) repackaged for those who have limited understanding, and usually recited and learned through catechisms [4].

Authority Versus Individual Interpretation

Hence, Protestant interpretation is based on authority and not individual interpretation. The structure of this interpretive process is orthodoxy formed through counsels, distributed by creeds/confessions, and practiced through catechisms. In Europe and early Colonial America, it was a matter of civil law, in our day the process is tempered by the freedom to choose your own orthodoxy, but it is still orthodoxy. Once a typical American parishioner chooses who they want to believe, they will follow that leader as an authority. A like tendency caused the Apostle Paul to confront the believers at Corinth (1COR 3:1-9).

Of course, the authoritative method of interpretation is at the root of every cult. Traditionally, when people seek to find God, they begin by finding an authority that they are comfortable with. This is why many people prefer authoritative interpretation in a free society: it allows them to choose their own general truth while leaving the hard task of thinking to others. The Apostle Paul said this would be particularly problematic in the last days (2TIM 4:3-5).

The visible authority structure within the church is known as “church polity” or church government. [5] Again, the whole construct is based on authority. If authority is the interpretive prism, roles in the church are going to be seen as positions of authority rather than gifts. When Christ ministered here on earth, disciples were free to follow Him or not follow Him under their own free volition (JN 6:66-69). Christ made it clear to the disciples that their roles in the kingdom were not that of authority (Matthew 20:20-28).

The word “office” inserted in the English translations when associated with “bishop” or “deacon” were added in to the translations and do not appear in the Greek manuscripts while in other places these roles are spoken of as gifts (EPH 4:11-16). We have been given authority to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom on earth, but that is a vertical authority and not horizontal. Those who protest the gift idea versus the authority idea often cite the following text:

Hebrews 13:17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

The word for “obey” in this verse is πείθω (peithō) which means to persuade by argument. The word “submit” is ὑπείκω (hypeikō) which means “to surrender.”  Here is the best rendering according to a heavy paraphrase:

Be persuaded by your leaders’ arguments from Scripture and don’t be stubborn in regard to the truth for this is no advantage to your own spiritual wellbeing. Besides, they have to give an account for how they led you, and let that account be a joyful recital to the Lord rather than a sorrowful report.

Why is this important? Because every person is personally culpable before God for following the truth, not men. Paul was an apostle, yet the Bereans verified what he taught according to their own understanding of Scripture (Acts 17:11). Paul told the Corinthians that he should only be followed as he followed Christ (1COR 11:1). Every individual will stand before God to give an account of the sum and substance of their own lives, not who they followed among mortals.

The Exegesis and Eisegesis of Hermeneutics

The theological word for the science of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics. The first consideration of hermeneutics must be exegesis and eisegesis. Exegesis draws conclusions from written text depending on the grammatical meaning and arrangement of words. Eisegesis approaches the text with an interpretive prism. One who uses the exegetical approach will even approach the text to learn how the text itself should be interpreted. Eisegesis assumes one must approach the text with a proper presupposition in order to properly understand it.

Therefore, this takes us right back to the basic question of authority versus the freedom of individual interpretation. Eisegesis will approach the text with a prescribed method of interpretation while exegesis will look for the best way to interpret the text from the text itself. The interpretive prism for eisegesis comes from an authority. The common contention from those of the authority camp is that everybody approaches the Bible with presuppositions, and this is unavoidable; so, it is important to use the right interpretive prism. Since we are supposedly incapable of approaching the Bible objectively, we should bow to their authority in regard to the proper interpretive prism.

Historical-Grammatical Versus Historical Redemptive: The Elephant in the Room

Eisegesis and exegesis really boils down to authority versus individualism, and so does the two major methods of interpretation in the church: historical-grammatical method and the historical-redemptive method. This is where we get into discussion about the elephant in the room. These two devices of interpretation yield completely different results. When we sit under any given teacher, he/she will be using one of these hermeneutics. The two different approaches will sound the same because each uses all of the familiar terms, “gospel,” “justification,” etc., but the terms mean different things in each construct. This is the elephant in the sanctuary and the Sunday school room that no one is talking about.

As suggested by the terms themselves, one interprets the Bible grammatically, and the other interprets the Bible through a Redemptive prism. The latter seems perfectly reasonable: “Isn’t the Bible primarily about Redemption?” The former would judge that assertion by a grammatical evaluation of the text. In other words, conclusions are drawn by the arrangement of words, their meaning, and what those words meant to people in that historical context. This is exegesis.

The redemptive method presupposes that the Bible is a gospel narrative about the works and personhood of Christ. It presupposes that this is the dominate theme of the Bible and everything else in the Bible is secondary and points back to Christ. For example, biblical commands aren’t really meant for us to obey, but rather illustrate the works that Christ has accomplished for us and illustrative of what we are unable to do. This bypasses the normal grammatical interpretation of an imperative expectation, and interprets it as a finished work that God in fact does not want us to do. This is assumed because of the redemptive presupposition. As Neo-Calvinist Paul David Tripp has said, biblical commands must be seen in their “gospel context.” [6]

The Gospel Transformation Study Bible and the Redemptive-Historical Gospel

Dr. Kathleen Nielson, in a promotional video for the Gospel Transformation study Bible, stated that the historical-redemptive theme is not imposed on the text, “it’s actually in there!” This, we by no means deny, but are the works of Christ and His personhood something that every verse in the Bible points to? Nielson, like many from the redemptive-historical camp, use the grammatical approach to determine that something is in the text, and then make that an authoritative interpretive prism.

I have talked face to face with pastors who use this hermeneutic. As one stated to me, “You might have to cover multiple chapters in one sermon in order to see the Christocentric theme God is showing you at the time.”  Others are even more direct:

At this time, resist the temptation to utilize subsequent passages to validate the meaning or to move out from the immediate context. Remembering that all exegesis must finally be a Christocentric exegesis.

Look for Christ even if He isn’t there directly. It is better to see Christ in a text even if He isn’t, than to miss Him where He is. [7]

Again, we see that a “Christocentric exegesis,” something that is in the text grammatically, becomes the authoritative eisegesis. And this elephant is a big one, because interpreting the Bible this way is intrinsically tied to the gospel that comes part and parcel with the redemptive method. The historical-redemptive method is a tool for enabling the believer to live by faith alone in their Christian walk. The historical-redemptive method is actually a gospel in and of itself.  To interpret the Bible grammatically is to conclude that God actually wants us to exert our own will in response to commands in the Bible. To proponents of the redemptive-historical method, this is works salvation because Christ is not obeying for us in our Christian life. This is what the Reformation motto, “Christ for us” means. The Neo-Calvinist John Piper has stated it this way, “[Christ] 100% for us.” [8] Piper has also said that “necessary sanctification” comes from faith alone in the Christian life (Ibid).

Therefore, according to proponents of the redemptive model, a historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture necessarily leads to works salvation and making what we do in the Christian life “the ground of our justification” (Ibid). For all practical purposes, Paul David Tripp has stated such:

….and the Bible does call us to change the way we think about things. But this approach again omits the person and work of Christ as Savior. Instead, it reduces our relationship to Christ to “think his thoughts” and “act the way Jesus would act.” [9]

Here, Tripp concedes that the Bible can be interpreted grammatically, “and the Bible does call us to change the way we think about things.” Grammatically, one assumes the commandments are to us and that we are called to do them. Again, Tripp clearly recognizes this fact. But what does he say the results are?

But this approach again omits the person and work of Christ as Savior.

What happens if we “omit” Christ as “Savior”? Clearly, Tripp is stating that if we interpret the Bible literally and obey it, we are circumventing Christ’s salvific work. Much more than mere semantics are at stake here. The elephant in the room is absolutely huge! This is about the gospel.

The historical-redemptive method of interpretation is all the rage in contemporary Christianity. Projects and programs that promote this method of interpretation and target all age groups abound. Almost all Christian publishers are on board with the historical-redemptive hermeneutic. The latest project that has been unveiled towards this endeavor is Crossway Publishers’ The Gospel Transformation Bible. It will be available 10/19/13.

The subtitle is, “Christ in all of Scripture, Grace for all of Life.” This is typical of those who promote this method of interpretation and its gospel. Christians will assume that the title only pertains to justification by faith alone, but it doesn’t. “Transformation” or change has to do with the Christian life, and in the subtitle, “Grace” replaces “gospel” to veil the real crux of this doctrine. Basically, it teaches that Christians are transformed by continually revisiting the same gospel that saved them. Not only that, we keep ourselves saved by doing such. This is what is behind the Neo-Calvinist mantra, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” John Piper has said that the question is not only how one gets saved, but how one must use the same gospel that saved him/her to keep themselves saved. [10] Piper has also said that we must “see” the same gospel that saved us over and over again as a requirement to enter heaven. [11]

Note: This is what’s so critical about the Reformed historical-redemptive interpretative model according to many Calvinists, it enables us to fulfill what is “required of us” to enter heaven (Ibid). In essence, once saved, how we read our Bible determines whether we keep our salvation or not. So therefore, those who promote The Gospel Transformation Bible actually see it as a resource for maintaining one’s salvation.

The “Gospel-Driven” Life

The question that is invariably raised is, “How do proponents of the historical-redemptive model explain obedience and the Christian life?” Primarily, they say Christians must “experience” obedience, but must not be the ones who perform it in the Christian life. By revisiting the gospel afresh, the works of Christ are “manifested” in our lives. When this happens, the obedience is experienced by a willing, joyful spirit. As we use the historical-redemptive model to see how sinful we are (a deeper realization of our sin, the realization that originally saved us), and thereby gaining a greater appreciation for what Jesus did for us, we experience “vivification.” This is some sort of joyful rebirth. Proponents of this hermeneutic, primarily those of Reformed theology, refer to this as “mortification and vivification.”  A “daily dying and rising,” a “living out of our baptism.” [12] [13]

The Origin of the Historical-Redemptive Hermeneutic

Where did this hermeneutic originate? Even though Martin Luther’s 95 Theses launched the Reformation, the framework of the Reformation’s doctrine and gospel was articulated by Martin Luther six months later. Essentially, Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation to the Augustinian Order in 1518 is the heart and soul of the Reformation. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is a greatly expanded treatise of Luther’s framework. However, every fundamental element of Reformation doctrine can be found in Luther’s Disputation, and this by no means excludes the historical-redemptive hermeneutic. [14]

The primary theme of Luther’s Disputation is known as The Theology of the Cross. It was comprised of the glory story and the cross story. Luther believed that salvation must be maintained by an incessant emptying of self. One’s focus must be OUTWARD only. Any semblance of an inward look was the “glory story.” The outward focus on Christ and His works, and nothing about us whatsoever is the “cross story.” A beginning focus on the cross saves us, and a continued focus on the cross story keeps us saved the same way we were originally saved: by faith alone. Sola Fide also pertains to the Christian walk/life. The historical-redemptive model came from Luther’s Theology of the Cross.

Luther believed the outward focus and utter eradication of self leads to a subjective power displayed by the Holy Spirit that we experience. However, we are not to be concerned with it because there is no way for us to distinguish between our own efforts and those of the Spirit. [15] Mortification and vivification can be ascertained in Theses’ 16 and 17 of the Disputation.

Never have Christians been so oblivious to such a critical issue. What we believe about the gospel and how we convey it to the world is at stake. Every Sunday in America, historical-grammatical parents deliver their children to historical-redemptive teachers while clueless in regard to the ramifications. This reality actually creates mixed families and marriages via two different gospels. One spouse buys into sanctification by faith alone while the other one doesn’t. Eventually, you have a mixed marriage.

The issue with these two hermeneutics is not a matter of semantics and preference—these are two different gospels. This issue is the elephant in the sanctuary and the Sunday school room.

ENDNOTES

1. Nabu Public Domain Reprints: The Principles of the Westminster Standards Persecuting; William Marshall, D.D., Coupar – Angus. Edinburgh, William Oliphant & Co. 1873, p. 13.

2. Ibid., pp. 19-22, 28.

3. Bruce Overton: MacMillan’s Modern Dictionary; The Macmillan Co. New York 1943.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid. designated as synonymous with “politic” : the science of government.

6. Paul David Tripp: How People Change; Punch press 2006, p. 26.

7. The Biblical Theological Study Center: A Christo-Presuppositional Approach to the Entire Scriptures; Max Strange. Online source: http://goo.gl/5sGjP).

8. John Piper: Desiring God .org blog: Video, If you had 2 minutes with the Pope, what would you say?

9. Paul David Tripp: How People Change; Punch press 2006, p. 27.

10. John Piper: Desiring God .org blog; How Does The Gospel Save Believers? Part 2. August 23, 1998 Bethlehem Baptist Church.

11. Ibid, Part 3.

12. Michael Horton: The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way; Zondervan 2011, p. 661.

13. Paul Washer: The Gospel Call and True Conversion; Part 1, Chapter 1, heading – The Essential Characteristics Of Genuine Repentance, subheading – Continuing and Deepening Work of Repentance.

14. In its fundamental elements. It was not referred to as the historical-redemptive hermeneutic for many years afterward.

15. Heidelberg Disputation: Theses 24.

Does Protestantism Require Church Membership for Salvation?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 30, 2015

PPT HandleIt most certainly does, but the reason church membership is required by the Protestant faith is far more scandalous than that one symptom. We will start with the core gospel of the Protestant religion, and then see how required membership in the local church is efficacious to its gospel.

How “Christians” that are far removed from the original Protestant tradition function is no defense for its official Reformed gospel. Protestants can’t have it both ways though they try. They excuse what Luther and Calvin taught because not all Protestants function by every jot and tittle. But on the other hand, they deem other religions as false based on their original statement of faith. Obviously, no Protestant will give a Buddhist a pass for one second because, “Not all Buddhists believe the exact same things that Buddha believed.”

By and large, the problem is that most Protestants really don’t know what the Protestant gospel is, and when they are confronted, they choose to defend their investment in it for whatever reason. At least one reason follows: investing in the truth is hard work. Protestantism, like many other religions, propagates the farming-out of their faith to the experts. Of course, that is very ill advised.

First, we will look at a summary of the Protestant gospel, and then establish the summary with specific citations. The core principle is progressive justification. This is the idea that salvation is a process and not a onetime passing from death to life. This fact about Protestantism surprises many Protestants. Many tout “once saved always saved,” but that’s not what the Reformers taught at all. They taught that the justified state was a progression from definitive justification to final justification, and the process in the middle is subjective justification. The process in the middle is really progressive justification, but many Reformed scholars deny that in the face of insurmountable evidence. In fact, the title of chapter 14 in book 3 of the Calvin Institutes is, “The Beginning of Justification. In What Sense Progressive.” In other words, justification is present continuance; it’s not a onetime finished event.

As we will see, the institutional church established by the church at Rome circa 4th century is deemed as God’s institution that oversees the progression of justification for God’s people. Unless you are a member of a local church, your salvation cannot progress from point A to point B. Remember, the Reformation did not really seek to replace the “Mother Church,” but rather sought to reform it. Luther, Calvin, nor their mentor St. Augustine ever officially left the Catholic Church. Luther and Calvin had a dying devotion to Augustine until the end who is an official Doctor of Grace in the Catholic Church until this day.

Foundational to Protestantism is the idea that Christ’s death served two purposes for sin: an unconditional forgiveness of past sin, and a conditional forgiveness for “present sin” and future sin. The condition for receiving forgiveness for “present” and future sin was membership in the local church signified and confirmed by water baptism. They didn’t teach baptismal regeneration directly, but taught that forgiveness of present and future sin can only be received in the church, and only water baptism made someone a true member of the church:

“Wherefore, our initiation into the fellowship of the church is, by the symbol of ablution, to teach us that we have no admission into the family of God, unless by his goodness our impurities are previously washed away” (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.20).

“Nor by remission of sins does the Lord only once for all elect and admit us into the Church, but by the same means he preserves and defends us in it. For what would it avail us to receive a pardon of which we were afterwards to have no use? That the mercy of the Lord would be vain and delusive if only granted once, all the godly can bear witness; for there is none who is not conscious, during his whole life, of many infirmities which stand in need of divine mercy. And truly it is not without cause that the Lord promises this gift specially to his own household, nor in vain that he orders the same message of reconciliation to be daily delivered to them” (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.21).

“To impart this blessing to us, the keys have been given to the Church (Mt. 16:19; 18:18). For when Christ gave the command to the apostles, and conferred the power of forgiving sins, he not merely intended that they should loose the sins of those who should be converted from impiety to the faith of Christ; but, moreover, that they should perpetually perform this office among believers” (The Calvin Institutes: 4.1.22).

“Secondly, This benefit is so peculiar to the Church, that we cannot enjoy it unless we continue in the communion of the Church. Thirdly, It is dispensed to us by the ministers and pastors of the Church, either in the preaching of the Gospel or the administration of the Sacraments, and herein is especially manifested the power of the keys, which the Lord has bestowed on the company of the faithful. Accordingly, let each of us consider it to be his duty to seek forgiveness of sins only where the Lord has placed it. Of the public reconciliation which relates to discipline, we shall speak at the proper place” (Ibid).

“…by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God… Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God” (John Calvin: Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles; The Calvin Translation Society 1855. Editor: John Owen, p. 165 ¶4).

“. . . forgiveness of sins is not a matter of a passing work or action, but comes from baptism which is of perpetual duration, until we arise from the dead” (Luther’s Works: American ed.; Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press; St. Louis: Concordia, 1955, vol. 34, p. 163).

“. . . Forgiveness of sins is not a matter of a passing work or action, but of perpetual duration. For the forgiveness of sins begins in baptism and remains with us all the way to death, until we arise from the dead, and leads us into life eternal. So we live continually under the remission of sins. Christ. is truly and constantly the liberator from our sins, is called our Savior, and saves us by taking away our sins. If, however, he saves us always and continually, then we are constantly sinners” (Ibid, p.164).

“For the forgiveness of sins is a continuing divine work, until we die. Sin does not cease. Accordingly, Christ saves us perpetually” (Ibid., p.190).

“Daily we sin, daily we are continually justified, just as a doctor is forced to heal sickness day by day until it is cured” (Ibid., p.191).

Hence, notice that there is no distinction made between sins committed as unbelievers and sins committed as believers. Sin is sin and needs a perpetual forgiveness in order for the “believer” to remain justified. The only difference is unconditional forgiveness (sin committed as an unbeliever) and conditional forgiveness, i.e., you can only receive forgiveness as a member of the local church.

Also note the shocking assertion, usually attributed to Catholic priests, that pastors/elders have the authority to grant forgiveness for present and future sin.

paul

Why the Five Solas are an Anti-Love Abomination: Romans 12:1

Posted in Uncategorized by Pearl, PPT Moderator on April 29, 2015

5 solas

Originally published October 4, 2014

The biblical way of living life is pretty straightforward in the Scriptures. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross saved us, and then we move on to the “living sacrifice.” Calvinism propagates a perpetual return to the onetime sacrifice of Christ for all sin and insists that this onetime act must be continually reapplied to our lives by “faith alone” in order to keep ourselves saved. This is what “preaching the gospel to ourselves every day” is all about. It’s a contemporary term, but it is grounded in the doctrinal foundations of the Protestant Reformation.

This is also what is behind the sacred sola fide (faith alone) of the five solas of the Protestant Reformation. But, “faith alone” means literally faith alone in both salvation and sanctification (Christian living). James railed against sanctification by faith alone in no uncertain terms, and thus, his epistle wasn’t exactly Luther’s favorite. In the same way that we assume total depravity of the five points of Calvinism only applies to the unregenerate, ignorant Protestants assume much and think little. When they read or listen to orthodoxy, their minds are programmed to receive only. In Protestant churches everywhere, the five solas are proudly displayed at the front of the church while in reality this clarion cry of Protestantism is a biblical abomination. Hence, from heaven’s viewpoint, this worldwide collective mockery on Sunday morning must be a beholding of unimaginable proportions.

Why is this? Well, because “Christians” “still sin.” And hey, if we still sin, we must need forgiveness every day. And hey, if we still need forgiveness, we can only get it from the original source—the cross. So, the Christian life becomes an endeavor to keep our new sins covered by a continual return to the same gospel that saved us.

This is a result of an egregiously flawed view of the law that has eternal consequences. Christ died on the cross to end the law, and the law NEVER had any connection to justification. Christ died on the cross to reveal the righteousness of God APART from the law. Calvinism makes the law to be justification’s standard, and it NEVER was. Calvinism makes the law something that must be fulfilled in order to maintain and define righteousness (justification). Therefore, Christians remain under law which is the very biblical definition of a lost person. One is either under law, or under grace. Lost, or saved. Calvin and Luther defined “Christians” as under law.

According to their doctrine, Christ ended the law by fulfilling it while he lived on earth and obeying the law perfectly. This is an “ending” defined by an ending to us keeping it, not Christ. This makes the law the definition and standard of God’s righteousness. That’s a huge problem. Christians are then still under law, and must return to the cross so that the law continues to be satisfied by reapplying the death and life of Christ by faith alone (sola fide).

This is nothing new, and is the same Galatian error that Paul stood against. What was his argument? He argued that if a perfect fulfillment of the law defined righteousness (justification), there is life in the law, and the promise was by two seeds, and not just one…that is, Christ. However, Paul made the point that there is only one seed, and therefore NO life in the law…for righteousness. That’s the key, “for righteousness.”

Christ ended the law for righteousness, and our sins are not merely COVERED by a supposed need to return to the cross—our sins are ENDED.

Calvinism’s anti-gospel view of the law is not only a false gospel, but sucks all of the life out of sanctification. Why? It places sanctification under the precarious auspices of the law for justification making justification a process rather than a finished work. Protestants do not know what it means to be under grace. “Under grace” means that Christ fulfills  the demands of the law in our stead—that’s a false gospel.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul begins 12:1 with, “I appeal to you therefore….” This appeal was based on everything he had written in the first eleven chapters. The Reformed assert that this is Paul’s call to fulfill the imperatives that follow by returning to the first eleven chapters daily; in essence, a return to the sacrifice of Christ and the cross. Not so, this is an appeal by Paul to move from Christ’s sacrifice to our sacrifice…

…to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Paul then proceeds with instruction on how to do that. Key to understanding this is knowing that the body, or members, are NOT inherently evil. We sin because the body is “weak,” and mortal, not inherently evil. Notice from the citation above that the body can be used for holy purposes. Also note that we are the presenters to God, and this presentation is “spiritual worship.” Worship is using our minds and bodies to love God and others according to Scripture 24/7:

Romans 13:8 – Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Notice in Galatians 5:6 that faith works. This speaks against the anti-gospel lie of sola fide of which all of the five solas stand in the same way that all five points of Calvinism stand or fall on total depravity. Faith is not alone in sanctification in the same way that faith is alone in justification. When that view is proffered, it is telling that such also proffers a gospel that keeps people under law and thus makes justification progressive instead of a finished work. This was James’ very contention against a faith without works in sanctification; in essence, it reveals what you believe about justification.

Moreover, a faith alone that does not work completely circumvents the primary purpose of the living saint: love. In the same way that being under law violates every point of the law when one point is violated (James 2:10), the one under grace fulfills the whole law with one act of love:

for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Is this meant to be literal? Perhaps not, BUT for certain, it demonstrates that the Christian cannot sin against the finished work of justification in anyway because where there is no law, there is no sin (Romans 5:13). Christ’s death on the cross ended the law FOR justification—while we fulfill the law by acts of love and…

Romans 6:12 – Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

It is now our choice to allow sin to reign in our mortal bodies because the ending of the law strips sin of condemnation. Sin’s ability to condemn through the law has been ended, and therefore, sin has no power over us:

1Corithians 15:56 – The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have victory over sin because Christ ended the law and stripped sin of its ability to condemn—Christians do not sin in regard to justification and never needed Christ to fulfill the law of sin and death in our stead; in the present, or the past. He died to end the law. We are now free to fulfill the law of the Spirit of life through love which are actions done by us and described by Paul in Romans chapters 12-16. We can only sin against love, not justification, and Christ never came to fulfill the law of sin and death, but to enable us to fulfill the law of the Spirit of life through faith working in love (See Romans 8:1-17).

There can be no confusion here or questioning of motives, when Christians obey the law, it is for love, not justification: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

The supposed necessity of Christ to fulfill the law for us while we live the Christian life by “faith alone” is the essence of antinomianism ([anti-law]“anomia”). And consequently, someone else obeying the law for us, or more accurately, loving God and others in our place; i.e., Christ, will , and always does lead to cold heartedness:

Matthew 24:12 – And because lawlessness [anomia] will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Psalm 119:70 – their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.

There is no place where you will hear “I love you” more than a Reformed church, yet, it is a lie and indicative of cultic love-bombing. The often-seen five banners of each sola displayed prominently at the front of many churches are banners of heresy over that “church.”

They are banners representing those still under law while falsely proclaiming that they are under grace. These banners mock the cross over raised hands praising to the sounds of contemporary rock music. Deception and damnation never had a happier face.

paul

Got Priest?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 28, 2015

Don’t Waste Your Life

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 28, 2015

What’s Wrong with the Protestant Church? This Says it ALL

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 28, 2015

OneTwoThreeFourFive

Acts Lesson 51

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on April 28, 2015

Acts Series

Tuesday Night Bible Study – Now LIVE on Blogtalk Radio!
Lesson 51 – April 28, 2015 (Click here to listen)

 

 

 

 


Tonight’s Text – Acts 19:11-20

Brief Review

  1. Miracles by Paul’s hand
    1. From his body
    2. The purpose
      1. A new aspect to the ministry
      2. To contrast reprobate works from authentic ones
        1. Compare with 2 Timothy 3:5-9
        2. Pharaoh’s magicians
  2. The works of false teachers
    1. “Vagabond” Jews
      1. Wanderers
      2. Sons of a chief priest
      3. Exorcists
    2. Known for their works
      • successful at it
    3. Why invoke Jesus’ name?
      • Compare with Matthew 7:15-23
  3. Result of Paul’s works
    1. People believe
      • Confession and repentance
    2. A change in behavior
      1. Out of obedience
      2. Out of love

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