Paul's Passing Thoughts

Joseph Prince and John Piper Sitting in a Tree, K-i-s-s-i-n-g and Why John MacArthur is a Hypocrite

Posted in Uncategorized by paulspassingthoughts on September 14, 2012

Kinder, Gentler Calvinist

“Not only that, Prince et al are kinder, gentler Calvinists who wouldn’t dream of endorsing a serial sheep abuser like CJ Mahaney.”

I have seen something for some time that I just haven’t had time to write on: Joseph Prince, the charismatic prince of Singapore, knows the Reformation gospel to a “T” and does a phenomenal job of articulating it from the pulpit. Really, the big boys, Piper et al, can’t touch this guy when he talks about the Reformation gospel of progressive justification from the pulpit. Check out the video series from when Prince preached at Joel Osteen’s church. It is the Reformed Justification by Faith Alone [for sanctification also] par excellent bar none.

Yes, yes, Prince has a different application of that gospel in some areas of  life. He uses progressive justification to promote prosperity. It is not true that Prince promotes a “prosperity gospel”—that’s a red herring to throw folks off the scent—his gospel is the Reformed gospel of Justification by  Faith Alone [for sanctification also] to a “T.” In fact, Prince’s application of the gospel is actually less harmful than the New Calvinist spiritual despots. And there are no charges of spiritual abuse or control issues coming from Prince’s camp as yet. Indeed, the prosperity Gospel Sanctification camp seems to be a kinder, gentler Reformed theology (by golly, that’s a tweet).

I was given the opportunity to squeeze this post into my schedule via a Facebook conversation I stumbled into yesterday. Jo Bowyer of The Reformed Traveler blog stated the following on her FB page:

The Resurgence [I am assuming the New Calvinist Resurgence blog] now quoting Joseph Prince? Seriously?????!!!! The quote they used is this:

“The law justified no one and condemned the best of us, but grace saves even the worst of us.” – Joseph Prince

I wasn’t the least bit surprised. It’s the same gospel. The New Calvinist crowd then picks and chooses who they will associate with according to the application thereof and other criteria. Certain biblical anomalies are acceptable because such and such “has the gospel right and the other issue is secondary” while some have “secondary” applications that they deem unacceptable. This not only explains the strong ecumenical flavor of New Calvinism, but exposes it for its pervasive hypocrisy.

What better example than John MacArthur who continually rags on Joel Osteen and the likes of Prince while he believes the same gospel. Gag, his hypocrisy makes  me sick! Not only that, Prince et al are kinder, gentler Calvinists who wouldn’t dream of endorsing a serial sheep abuser like CJ Mahaney. Like MacArthur does.

Yes, the internet is a wonderful gift from God. While the European oppression of the Scriptures was cured by Gutenberg’s press, the deep deception of Reformed theology is exposed by Google. As Joseph Prince would say, “Thank you Jesus.” I said to self: “Self, I am very busy, what’s the best infogoog for this?” So I typed in, “Joseph Prince John Piper” and came up with a jewel.

It was a post by some Reformed guy objecting to the fact that many people think Justification by Faith Alone “for the baptized as well as the unsaved” is all of Joseph Prince’s idea. He makes the case that the Reformers had the idea first, and posted two videos by John Piper and RC Sproul to prove it. Too rich.

Now look, I am really busy and must move on, but you bloggers out there, with the help Gootenberg, can have a lot of fun with this. Trust me, the infogoog on this is vast.


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10 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.

  2. Argo said, on September 14, 2012 at 9:23 am


    “Gootenberg”…I love it. Very nice. :-) That’s a keeper.

  3. Andy Young said, on September 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    You quoted
    ” ‘The law justified no one and condemned the best of us, but grace saves even the worst of us.’ – Joseph Prince”

    And in an earlier article, you had a problem with the following quote from John McArthur:
    “God does not justify whom He does not sanctify, and He does not sanctify whom He does not justify.”

    Can you please clarify what exactly is wrong with those statements? I don’t know that I would disagree with them, but perhaps I am missing something.


  4. paulspassingthoughts said, on September 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm


    This is the difficulty with exposing this false gospel: the confounding of justification and sanctification. Both statements are fact when they stand alone, but they are being used to facilitate the conclusion of progressive justification. This is a problem because Jesus said, YOU must be born again. If we cannot participate in the sanctification process because we are not new creatures, but still totally depraved, as New Calvinists plainly teach, then something else is taking the place of the new birth which makes it a false gospel: “You MUST be born again.”

    And it is ever so subtle. Notice Prince’s statement. The subject is justification on both sides of the transition “but.” Ok, first, who is “us”? He is speaking in the first person plural, so if he considers himself a Christian, and I am sure he does, “us” is referring to Christians. And therefore, “condemned” is properly in the past tense. But in the second part of the sentence, with “us” still plainly referring to Christians, “saves” is in the present tense, and in the English context implies an ongoing action even though a gerund is not present. In the English, lack of additional words for clarification implies an ongoing tense. A better way of stating this is the fact that in this particular context, as in most, past tense is a state of being, but present is ongoing. Why would he not use past tense on both sides of the transition: “The law justified no one and condemned the best of us, but grace saved even the worst of us.” Why would he say “saves”? Well, listen to more of his teachings–it’s in your face Gospel Sanctification;ie., the same gospel that saves you also sanctifies you. And all in all, never has there been so much discussion about reconciliation among the reconciled.

    Now, MacArthur really doesn’t play the “missing transition” and the “tense” game that much. But still, a confounding of justification and sanctification can still be argued in his statement. There is only one justification, but three sanctifications: positionally separated (past) progressively separated (present-ongoing), and final separation (future). MacArthur’s context is justification, which only includes positional sanctification and future sanctification per Roman’s 8:30. Here, the statement you refer to was regarding what Martin Luther taught about justification–that was Mac’s context, and Luther made no distinction between progressive sanctification and justification. But at any rate, MacArthur doesn’t qualify his statement as to what sanctification he is talking about or the tense which at the very least is extremely sloppy hermeneutics.


  5. Andy Young said, on September 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm


    Thank you for clearing this up. I am usually suspect of “sound bite” theology with the pithy little catch phrases that sound good and everyone will easily remember. But when you put them in context it is easy to see the agenda.


  6. David said, on October 21, 2012 at 3:26 am

    I have read both authors you speak of and differ with your conclusions. Joseph Prince confounds justification and sanctification by insisting that what is true of justification is true of sanctification. The passive reception of justification is thought to be how we are sanctified, resulting in a form of quietism. Prince also confounds repentance and faith by quoting one sentence out of a larger entry in Thayer’s lexicon. Thayer says repentance involves changing one’s mind, feeling godly sorrow for sin, and turning from sin. Prince misrepresents Thayer and cites him as a corroborating authority that repentance is nothing more than a change of mind to believe (faith). Joseph Prince confounds all of the varied uses of torah and nomos. He sees all concept of royal or moral law as contained within fulfilled Mosaic Law. He seems to think that when God writes His moral law on our heart it ceases to be His and becomes ours.

    In addition to taking Scripture out of context (in spite of his covering statements to the contrary) Prince theological elements out of their systematic contexts. Prince accepts Calvinist eternal security but not Calvinist perseverance of the saints or the Calvinist third use of the law.

    His classic, dispensationalist approach to the synoptics allows him to edit Scripture to his liking as does his insistence that 1 John 1 is not addressed to Christians. It is Joseph Prince that acknowledges his indebtedness to Hagin et al. It is Prince that harps incessantly about effortless success and material blessing (with an occassional comment that real success also involves a happy marriage and bodily healing). The grand purpose of Princianism is pleasant circumstances. I have seen and read many Princians who use Prince’s teaching as comfort for their unrepentant lifestyle.

    There are many points at which I differ with MacArthur but, having read his work, I believe he is well within the bounds of orthodoxy. I have read Prince’s works (three times each so far) and have watched him on television and YouTube. Princianism is a toxic blend of the Word-Faith (complete with New Thought positive affirmation/confession) heresy with Sandemanian Antinomianism and mystic/higher life quietism. I do not recognize either the MacArthur or Prince of your post though I am continuing to look for them.

    “Thousands will crowd to hear a new voice and a new doctrine without considering for a moment whether what they hear is true….Inability to distinguish differences in doctrine is spreading far and wide, and so long as the preacher is ‘clever’ and ‘earnest’, hundreds seem to think that it must be all right, and call you dreadfully ‘narrow and uncharitable’ if you hint that he is unsound!” – J. C. Ryle

  7. paulspassingthoughts said, on October 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm


    Thanks for the comment, but your right, we ‘differ.”

  8. David said, on October 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I appreciate your kind posting my comment, Paul. Besides the typo in the second paragraph (happened in editing) my comment was faulty in that I failed to mention that I believe a broad consideration of the entire corpus of MacArthur’s work will show he is orthodox on justification. He has, at times, taken great pains to show that justification and sanctification are distinct but — just as the New Testament repeatedly teaches — MacArthur believes these clearly distinct concepts are inseparable. This has always been the orthodox way to harmonize Paul and James, but it is evident withing Pauline writings as well. As I said earlier, I differ with MacArthur on some important points but I do not think he is a hypocrite or a heretic.

  9. james jordan said, on September 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    “The law justified no one and condemned the best of us, but grace saves even the worst of us.”

    This devilish misreading of the Law as if it is some failed attempt to “save” people from a fictional original sin and default status of damnation to hell that doesn’t even exist is the cause of ALL the problems in the Western world, not just religious but social and political as well.

    We are not damned by default and so no solution is needed to the nonexistent problem. Therefore, the Law was not given to solve that. Therefore the Law did not fail to solve it. Therefore Paul’s nonsense dichotomy of the Law failed but the gospel will succeed is nonsense. His whole theology is aimed at solving a problem that never existed, and in doing so he created a billion new problems.

  10. Phuma said, on October 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I seriously think u have a problem who would want to follow john calvan, is not Calvin who has called us into this fellowship with the holly Spirit, i don’t see anything wrong with prince’s teachings all i see is He preaches Christ and Christ alone that our faith might not rest on him but on Christ not man we are not called to for the calvanist we are called to be Christ’s followers

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