Paul's Passing Thoughts

2016 TANC Conference Archives

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on August 29, 2016

All Conference Videos Now Available! (updated 9/12/2016)

This page will be updated frequently as the media becomes available.  The conference sessions will be available in both YouTube videos and audio only MP3 format.

Susan Dohse – “A Historical and Cultural Survey of Marriage”

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Paul Dohse – “Biblical Metaphysics: The Historical Overview of Church as Caste”

Thursday Intro
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Video (YouTube) – Part 1
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Blogtalk Radio
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Audio Only – Part 1(mp3)
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Chart (PDF)


Andy Young – “Exercising Spiritual Gifts in Love: An Exegetical Study of 1 Corinthians 12-14”

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John Immel – “The Disaster of Sacrifice as the Ultimate Moral Standard”

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A Blog for TANC Ministries

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 19, 2016

Second Epistle of Andy to “Trevor”

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 17, 2016

Some time ago I relayed the account of a Facebook interaction I had with an individual I called “Trevor”.  Trevor is a young man in his early twenties.  I’ve had the privilege of having long conversations with him regarding theology and Biblical matters in general.  Trevor goes to a local church and has made a profession of faith, so giving him the benefit of the doubt (since it is not my place to make a judgment otherwise) I regard him as a brother in Christ.

Last Friday, Trevor and I got into another discussion, this time about the Law and how it pertains to believers.  Since he was pressed for time and our conversation was growing increasingly in depth, Trevor asked if he could pose some specific questions via a Facebook message to which I could then compose a more in-depth reply.  What follows is my response to Trevor.  His questions are included in the body of the response in bold italics.  I hope that you find it edifying!

Read the entire post here

Redemptive-Historical Hermeneutic – A Classic Example

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 26, 2016

Originally published March 4, 2015

andy-profile-1I came across an “interesting” blog article the other day. It appeared in my Facebook newsfeed because someone on my friend list commented on it when one of his friends shared it. Of course, since I am not friends with the one who originally shared it, I was unable to add my comment, thus the inspiration for this article today.

The title of the blog article in questions is, “If we sin, do we lose our salvation?” That mere fact that such a question is still posed in Christianity is indicative of just how biblically illiterate most Christians are. The fact that authors such as this one still address this question in the manner that he does is even more disturbing.

Before even addressing the issue of whether one can lose one’s salvation, the author begins his article by citing Jesus’ example of the two house builders found in Luke chapter 6. Let’s take a look at this passage ourselves before we move on.

47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
Luke 6:47-49

Clearly, Jesus is using a metaphor, but to properly understand the metaphor we must ask ourselves, what is the context of this passage? It should be apparent that the context is a contrast between two kinds of individuals. One kind is an individual who hears AND does. The second kind is an individual who hears only. The parallel passage in Matthew 7 goes even further in marking this contrast.

24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Matthew 7:24-27

The individual who hears AND does is considered wise. The one who hears only is considered foolish. Herein is the point of this whole passage: the emphasis on hearing AND doing, which is considered to be wise. But please notice what the blog author chooses as his focus:

 Building a house is very similar to one’s experience as either a Christian believer or an unsaved nonbeliever. That is why Jesus drew a comparison between the two (Luke 6:47-49). If you start out with a good foundation that is level and built on solid ground, you can confidently add on walls and flooring and a roof and every other component that makes up a house, and be certain that, because the foundation is sound, the house will be sound. But if you lay a poor foundation that is uneven and shaky, the rest of the house will follow and all the components that are built on that poor foundation will be compromised. To have a soundly constructed house, you must have a good foundation; to have a rock-solid Christian faith, you must build it on foundational truth.”

This is one of the most intellectually incompetent and dishonest uses of the two builders that I have ever seen! This example from scripture has nothing to do with “foundations”. It has everything to do with wisdom and sanctification. The author completely ignores the part about wisdom in both hearing and doing and instead engages in what I call “spiritualizing the analogy”, making it about justification instead. He has interpreted this passage in the so-called “proper gospel context”. This is what happens when you interpret scripture using a redemptive-historical hermeneutic. Spiritualizing the analogy makes a false application of a metaphor that was never intended. It is a logical fallacy. Let’s examine what I mean by this.

If I am given the logical premises that A=B and B=C, I can logically conclude that A=C. This is the logic of the example of the two house builders.

A = B      Hearing and doing = a wise man
B = C      A wise man = building on a rock (a good foundation)
   therefore
A = C      Hearing and doing = building on a rock (will make one strong; i.e. aggressive sanctification)

The same holds true for the foolish man.

A = B      Hearing only = a foolish man
B = C      A foolish man = building on sand (a poor foundation)
therefore
A = C      Hearing only = building on sand (will make one weak; i.e. little or no sanctification)

A metaphor makes no sense in and of itself. It has no relevance outside of the initial truth that it represents. If Jesus had only said, “Make sure you build on a rock foundation and not a foundation of sand,” that would have made no sense whatsoever. But Jesus clearly stated that hearing and doing is wise, and He further emphasized that point by using the analogy of building on a rock.  Notice also that a correct logical progression in thought results in the proper application of the conclusions.  One can reasonably conclude that this not a salvation passage but rather a sanctification passage for believers.

That is the proper meaning and intention of this passage. Contrast that with what the author did in the article. He took the metaphor all by itself and made it say whatever he wanted it to say in order to make his case.  And what is his case?

“If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins, and turn to God in repentance of your sins, then you will be saved… This does not mean that after this occurs, you will never sin again, or even that you will not commit the same sin repeatedly. It means that your heart has been changed toward sin so that you can now see it for what it is… Fortunately, for Paul and for you and for me, that question has a definitively glorious answer: ‘Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’”

Plain and simple, this is progressive justification. Notice it is an ongoing deliverance, not a onetime deliverance. So, then the question remains, what do we have to do to keep the deliverance going? Well, we repent, and that saves us, BUT we still sin.  So what?  Well, the “so what” is that we need perpetual saving by Jesus.  This is what Paul David Tripp and Tim Keller and John Piper call a “daily rescue.”  This is Luther’s theology of the cross, a perpetual mortification and vivification.

This is the very reason why the emphasis on the hearing AND doing is ignored. For us “to do” would be works, at least in this construct, if this were a passage on justification and not sanctification. We must live by “faith alone” and not build on the wrong “foundation.” We can only “experience” what it is to have the right foundation, because for us to try and work and build is building on the wrong foundation which is the reformed definition of the “unsaved”. But justification is a finished work. There is nothing we can do to add to it. Because it is finished, we can aggressively “do” the things we “hear” taught to us in the Word. Time and time again, the scriptures equate for us doing good with life and doing evil with death. Good = life = wise. Evil = death = foolish. When it comes right down to it, this really isn’t that hard to figure out.

Andy

The Truth About the Gospel Project Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 25, 2016

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Part 1 Link

Part 3: To be Announced.

MONDAY AT 12:00 NOON. Live Link: 9/26/2016 at 12 noon. Call-in Number: (347) 855-8317

Video will be available after the program.

This program will focus on an insidious program that targets children with a false gospel. We will explain why this gospel is false, and how it distorts God’s purpose for His word. We will also explain how this gospel will transform our children into people characterized by the last days.

blog-radio-logo1

Program prep and announcements:

https://paulspassingthoughts.com/2015/10/03/there-is-no-such-thing-as-legalism-3/

https://paulspassingthoughts.com/2013/09/04/the-gospel-transformation-bible-a-tool-for-keeping-your-salvation/

https://tancpublishing.com/the-truth-about-the-gospel-transformation-bible/

Indianapolis Mission Trip: Cross Conference

7questions.me

Register for TANC 2017

2017.ttanc.com

 

Can Protestants Obtain Ongoing Forgiveness if the Cross is Empty?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 23, 2016

ppt-jpeg42It would seem that Socrates had one thing right for certain: people primarily learn from dialogue. At the end of this post, you will see a meme that I posted last year and was reposted by Facebook’s one-year memory option. Someone on my Facebook list commented on the post: “I agree mostly—the Crucifix is a symbol of death, but the EMPTY cross shows that Jesus conquered death.”

That statement raised an interpretive question in my mind that is the title of this post. No doubt, that’s an agreeable statement, but not Protestant. However, the truthful plausibility of the statement is indicative of Protestant contradiction. Once again, I must say that at least Catholics know what they believe because their crosses usually depict Christ yet hanging on it. So, in authentic Protestantism, what does an empty cross really illustrate?

To some, an empty cross may illustrate that Christ conquered death, and that is true, but again, that’s NOT Protestantism. So what does the empty cross really illustrate according to Protestant orthodoxy? We hear it constantly in sermons and on Christian radio:

“God resurrected Jesus from the dead to confirm that His death was a sufficient sacrifice for sin.”

Nope, that’s a false gospel. Christ’s resurrection was the establishment of the second part of Spirit baptism: being born again of which Christ was the first fruits. And by the way, we are justified by the new birth (Rom 4:25, 1Jn 3:8,9). The first part of Spirit baptism is dying with Christ as He died on the cross, and being resurrected from that death with the same power that resurrected Christ from the grave. This is what makes us literal members of God’s family. A mother who conceives is full of joy upon hearing the news from the doctor—not because she experienced the conception in some dramatic way. We rejoice that we are born again because we believe the report from the word of God—the good news.

If we make the resurrection about the sufficiency of Christ’s death that might mean His death has a continued need for those who think they are following Him, and in fact, that’s the case. Hence, the resurrection is not about bringing many sons to glory in the here and now through the new birth, but rather a confirmation that “Christians” remain dead in trespasses and sin, and Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient for the forgiveness of present and future sin…

…IF we return to that cross for forgiveness.

Look folks, the who’s who of Protestantism in our day say that all of the time in broad daylight and in no uncertain terms. This is nothing more or less than good old fashioned Reformation orthodoxy. That’s the root, and vestiges of its fruit can be seen in varying degrees in every Protestant denomination.

Instead of the resurrection bringing many sons to glory as new creatures in Christ through Spirit baptism, the resurrection merely confirms one’s continued need to return to the cross for forgiveness of present sin. And here is the metaphysical sleight of hand used by the Protestant philosopher kings: “The blood of Christ is sufficient for all sin; past, present, and future.” Yes, yes, yes, absolutely, Christ only died once, BUT His blood (death) is “sufficient” for all future sin. That’s because Protestant orthodoxy deems our sin as yet condemning.

Here is where I am going with this post: this is the EXACT same heresy that the Hebrew writer addressed in the letter to the Hebrews. Said author makes the point that Christ not only died once, but His blood was ALSO ONLY applied…ONCE. While Protestant scholars attest that Christ only died once, they call for the reapplication of His blood to every future sin. The Hebrew writer said “no” to this, and added that Christ entered the Holy of Holies ONCE to sprinkle His blood on the mercy seat for all sin. This is the dominate theme in Hebrews.

Note: in the book of Hebrews, Christ’s death, blood, and ENDING of sin all go together.

Note: in the contra gospel, the blood continues to be applied for a COVERING of sin, not an ENDING of sin. Therefore, apparently, God does remember present sin (see Heb 8:12) which makes another application of Christ’s blood necessary. Of course, we can’t practice continued animal sacrifices as the Judaizes did until the razing of the Temple, so it is affected through ritual. In Protestantism, that equals, church membership, sitting under “gospel preaching” by Protestant philosopher kings, the Lord’s Table, walking forward after a sermon (altar calls), etc., otherwise known as the “means of grace.”

For example, Martin Luther and John Calvin, the two primary undisputed forefathers of the Protestant Reformation, believed that water baptism is required to make one a member of a church, and that continued membership continually reapplies the cleansing of sin affected by water baptism. Said John Calvin:

Baptism is the initiatory sign by which we are admitted to the fellowship of the Church, that being ingrafted into Christ we may be accounted children of God (CI 4.15.1) Hence those who have thought that baptism is nothing else than the badge and mark by which we profess our religion before men, in the same way as soldiers attest their profession by bearing the insignia of their commander, having not attended to what was the principal thing in baptism; and this is, that we are to receive it in connection with the promise, “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). (CI 4.15.1).

Nor is it to be supposed that baptism is bestowed only with reference to the past, so that, in regard to new lapses into which we fall after baptism, we must seek new remedies of expiation in other so-called sacraments, just as if the power of baptism had become obsolete. To this error, in ancient times, it was owing that some refused to be initiated by baptism until their life was in extreme danger, and they were drawing their last breath, that they might thus obtain pardon for all the past. Against this preposterous precaution ancient bishops frequently inveigh in their writings. We ought to consider that at whatever time we are baptised, we are washed and purified once for the whole of life. Wherefore, as often as we fall, we must recall the remembrance of our baptism, and thus fortify our minds, so as to feel certain and secure of the remission of sins. For though, when once administered, it seems to have passed, it is not abolished by subsequent sins (CI 4.15.3).

The Hebrew writer’s point? Nope, you can’t separate the ONE-TIME death of Christ from the ONE-TIME sprinkling of His blood; if you do, you are crucifying Christ again and putting Him to open shame again and again.

You can say the cross is empty all you want to, but it isn’t.

We must now once again remember the fundamental lesson pointed out by John Immel at TANC 2012; ALL actions/behavior are driven by LOGIC. No one does anything for no reason; there is logic behind it. There is a “why” behind every action. Some years ago, fundamental Baptists of every stripe went berserk because John MacArthur Jr. (while he was still only mildly confused) suggested that the blood of Christ was merely an idiom for Christ’s death. He suggested that there was nothing mystical or efficacious about the blood of Christ. The backlash seemed totally over the top. Every Baptist preacher I knew couldn’t even talk about it without every blood vessel in their neck bulging.

Why? Because in essence, MacArthur was saying that the blood of Christ was no longer needed to cover sin—that’s what was really driving the controversy and its frenzied reaction. Few recognized what was really behind all of the Scripture stacking from the book of Hebrews. In what seemed to be WWIII over mere semantics really boiled down to the separation of Christ’s death and His blood; the former happening once, but the latter needed for future sin. In his lesser confused state at the time, MacArthur suggested that the Baptist attitude toward the blood was little different than Catholicism, and he was right. Christ not only died once, He offered His blood once as our High Priest in the Holy of Holies.

The efficacy of the blood for present and future sins is, in reality, putting Christ back on the cross; this is the cardinal point of the Hebrew writer. Christ’s blood was an ending of sin, not a perpetual covering invoked by ongoing repentance to prevent condemnation. There is no longer any condemnation for God’s children and God does not remember their present or future sins. Christ took away sin when he died on the cross and offered his blood once—His blood is not a mere covering—it’s an ending.

BOTH happened ONCE, and ENDED ALL sin for ALL people for “ALL time” (Heb 9:26-28, 10:14).

And frankly, you go to the church temple to have your sins continually covered rather than meeting with family to encourage each other unto good works. You are not free to serve love; you are busy keeping yourself “covered by the righteousness of Christ, not a righteousness of your own.”

Curiously, the Hebrew writer also warns that the idea of perpetual application of Christ’s blood leads to willful sin. Why? Because what is the use in preventing sin? You are going to be at the temple every week sacrificing anyway, right? The idea of an ongoing covering rather than an ending of sin ALWAYS leads to a relaxing of the law and antinomianism (the absence of love in sanctification). This is also a major point made by Paul in the book of Galatians; those under the condemnation of the law will fulfill its demand for love through ritual rather than being free to love through a proper understanding of the new birth.

Under the reposting of the meme, I have included my Facebook response which might be helpful on another wise. But in closing, let me say that the Protestant cross is not really empty according to the Hebrew writer. For some who see it that way it is a nice and true thought, but it is not Protestant.

paul

cross-meme

Death is conquered PRESENTLY for “believers”? That’s true, BUT that is NOT Protestant Reformation orthodoxy. Nope. In Reformation doctrine, “saving faith” (note the present continuous tense) is defined as an ability for the yet spiritually dead to perceive the kingdom while remaining dead in trespasses and sin. Being baptized into church membership qualifies one for the “race of faith” which is rewarded with “final justification” for those of the preselected “perseverance” class of election. The other two predetermined classes are the “non-elect” and “the called” or temporary elect who are “not gifted with perseverance.”

Protestantism is predicated on NO ASSURANCE. The only thing one can be certain of follows: if you are not a member of a church you are of the non-elect. Church membership qualifies you to be either “called” or those gifted with perseverance and you basically don’t find out which until the final judgement.

But wait a minute! There is indeed good news according to Protestantism’s “Power of the Keys.” Whatever the elders bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever they loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. So, guess what? If the elders like you, you are probably in! You, at the very least, can claim this when you face Christ; unless of course, the elders are only acting like they like you. Do you now wonder why folks are so reluctant to cross the elders even when they are obviously dead wrong? Folks, this is the Reformation gospel in black and white, and in no uncertain terms.

So, let’s develop this even further. How do we run the race for salvation once we are entered into the race by church membership? Answer: by faith alone. But you say, “Uh Paul, how is ‘running’ by faith alone not a work; ie., by faith ALONE?” Good question. The way this works follows: you live by faith alone, and Jesus does the running. Then you ask: “But that would be a sure thing if Jesus is doing all of the running, no?” Well, that depends on how well you let Jesus do all of the running. You see, according to Protestantism, our strongest tendency as those yet dead in trespasses and sins is to think we can do a good work.

According to Martin Luther and John Calvin, the belief that any person can do a good work whether saved or lost is mortal sin (unforgivable) and the cardinal false gospel. But, if one believes that every work they do is evil, that is venial sin (forgivable) if one seeks ongoing forgiveness that can only be found within the confines of church membership.

Now you ask yet another question: “So, we just don’t do anything at all but believe?” No, you repent of everything you do, including good works; that’s doing something. Because our present sin; ie., EVERYTHING we do separates us from God’s salvation (defined by a fulfillment of the law’s constant demand for perfection), we must keep ourselves saved by continually returning to the same gospel that originally saved us (“We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day”).

And again, access to the gospel for forgiveness of present and future sin can only be found in the church. So, the only good works in our lives are done by Jesus and not us, but how in the world does that work? Well, we hear it all the time: “Jesus did it through me.” What does this mean? Here is how the Reformers explained it. The Christian life is “experienced subjectively.” In other words, we experience some works as if we are doing them, but really we aren’t. However, if we believe that everything we do is evil including what could be perceived as a good work, we believe a true gospel. Hence, our “Christian” life/experience is “subjective.” We don’t know if any good work we do is us or Jesus doing it because the two are experienced in the same way, but it is only a good work if Jesus did it because He is the perfect law-keeper.

This is because every work of every man whether lost or saved supposedly falls short of the law in some way. This is where Christian spiritual bumper stickers like “We are all just sinners saved by grace” come from. Note that “sinner” is in the present tense, and we are still saved by grace, or the same way we were originally saved. Salvation is a PROCESS, not a finished work.

Register Now and Take a Bite Out of Spiritual Tyranny: 2017.ttanc.com

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 22, 2016

john immel                                                         John Immel, TANC 2012 session 1:

“And this is the challenge. This is the challenge that I have as a man who is passionate about thinking: to inspire people to engage in complex ideas that drive tyranny. So here’s my challenge to those who are listening.

Do not be seduced into believing that righteousness is a retreat from the world.

Do not be seduced into believing that spirituality is defined by weakness and that timid caution for fear of committing potential error is a reason to be quiet. Do not be intimidated by vague, hazy threats of failure.

Do not let yourself believe that faith is a license to irrationality. Do not mistake the simple nature of God’s love for a justification for simple-mindedness.

Do not deceive yourself with the polite notion that you are above the fray, that your right to believe is sufficient to the cause of righteousness. There is no more stunning conceit. Do not pretend that your unwillingness to argue is the validation of truth.

Know this: Virtue in a vacuum is like the proverbial sound in the forest; irrelevant without a witness. Character is no private deed. To retreat is nothing more than a man closing his eyes and shutting his mouth to injustice.

Virtues are not estimates to be wafted gently against evil.

Virtues are not to be withheld from view in the name of grace.

Virtues are not to be politely swallowed in humble realization that we are all just sinners anyway.

Love is not a moral blank check against the endless tide of indulgent action.

Love is not blind to the cause and effect of reality.

Love is not indifference to plunder and injustice and servitude.

The time is now, you men of private virtue, to emerge from your fortress of solitude and demonstrate that you are worthy of a life that bears your name.

The time is now, you men of private virtue, to answer Mick Jagger and all the nihilists that insist we are living on the edge and we cannot help but fall.

It is time for you men of private virtue to take up the cause of human existence and think.”

7 Questions Indy is 7questions.me

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 22, 2016