Paul's Passing Thoughts

Gospel Sanctification and Sonship’s Gospel-Driven Genealogy, Part 11: Walter Chantry’s Suffering

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 29, 2011

One day I hope to meet him. Soon, it would be like those meetings we used to see on Oprah where people who have suffered the same type of traumas meet to share their experiences. In fact, there are clubs all over the country where people meet to do just that. It’s like they have always known each other, and the very first meetings are filled with tears and hugging. Whether it’s the My Poodle Was Slain by a Pitbull in Front of My Eyes Club or some other club of trauma, the reunions seem to be a healing balm of some sort.

Chantry and I could start our own club for those who are traumatized by debating proponents of New Covenant Theology. Chantry tried to destroy the evil child soon after it was delivered and wasn’t yet named ( http://wp.me/pmd7S-Ld ). Apparently, survivors of Chantry’s onslaught split from Reformed Baptist into a meager fellowship called Continental Baptist. New Covenant Theology (NCT) is based on the Australian Forum’s centrality of the objective gospel (COG) which found new life in Sonship Theology and is now a gargantuan movement known as New Calvinism. Chantry’s bantering back and forth with one of two patriarchs of NCT, Jon Zens, is well documented and exhausting. One example can be seen here: http://solochristo.com/theology/nct/zens-chantry.htm .

Method 1: Annoying, and repetitious oversimplified denial.

Chantry, knowing that NCT hacks like to confuse and wear down their opponents with an endless flogging  of residual issues, rightly focused on the fact that it all boils down to Antinomianism. The very annoying way in which Zens debates can be seen clearly in present-day COG proponents; for example, “Show me one reference where I have ever written that I am an Antinomian you slanderer!” Chantry’s reply usually followed along these lines: “For substantiation of what I have to say, I could quote almost the entirety of the articles that you [Zens] have printed in ‘Baptist Reformation Review.'” Further, he [Chantry] viewed my [Zens] pleas for documentation as “quibbling about words, a mere strife about terminology that has no point to it.”

Method 2: Rewrite traditional meaning.

COG proponents are very sensitive to the Antinomian charge, so they continually attempt to rewrite the English language and church history to avoid the accusation. Recent articles by Tullian Tchividjian and Elyse Fitzpatrick deny that there is any such thing as Antinomianism. They also try to replace the word “antinomianism” with what they call “neonomianism (“new legalism” as opposed to “anti-law”). Likewise, “obedience” (we obey) is replaced with “new obedience” (Jesus obeyed in our place as part of the atonement, and apparently still obeys for us via the imputed active obedience of Christ). Sanctification is now “progressive sanctification” which is nothing more than the unfolding of our justification via John Piper’s “beholding as a way of becoming.” Of course, he includes “….a way….” so if he’s confronted he can say that he’s talking about contemplative spirituality being just one of many avenues while assuring us that he believes in “obedience.” But of course, he’s really talking about “New Obedience.”

Method 3: Fake contentions against supposedly contrary beliefs.

COG proponents contend against many other belief systems as a way to appear like standguards for orthodox truth. Often, the “contrary” beliefs are very similar to their own. An assistant to DA Carson recently wrote a book on Keswick theology, which has many similarities to COG. Carson also disses Keswick theology on a routine bases, but according to one article:

“Beginning in the 1920s, the Keswick Convention’s view of sanctification began to shift from the view promoted by the leaders of the early convention. William Graham Scroggie (1877–1958) led that transformation to a view of sanctification closer to the Reformed view. Today its speakers include people like D. A. Carson and Sinclair Ferguson, whose views on the Christian life differ significantly from the Keswick Convention’s first generation.” http://ccclh.org/blog/?p=1234

….But apparently, not the second generation of Keswick theology. One of  their (COG proponents) favorite targets is postmodernism or the Emergent Church who they share like philosophies with. I go into detail on this subject here: http://wp.me/pmd7S-Lk

Method 4: Quote other leaders who have written against COG-like doctrines.

JC Ryle wrote extensively on doctrines that distorted biblical sanctification, and many of them were very similar to New Calvinism and NCT. In fact, such doctrines that were running about in his day inspired his famous  “Scriptural Holiness” which is considered to be one of the best works on Christian living ever written. The introduction outlines seven elements of Quietist type doctrines that fit Gospel Sanctification to a T. Therefore, COG proponents like Kevin Deyoung now quote Ryle extensively. A proponent of NCT has recently sent me emails that contain excerpts from Scriptural Holiness that seem to indicate Ryle supported a synthesis of justification and sanctification, and asked me to post them. Only problem is, I am very familiar with Ryles writings and find the suggestion preposterous. Knowing what I know about Ryle’s theological positions, I assume the quotes pertain to a contention against those who believe that sanctification is a much lesser concern than justification. This doesn’t mean Ryle believed they are exactly the same in essence as the proponent implied.

Mix those four methods with an attitude that is driven by a belief that God is using them to orchestrate a “second reformation” (I’m not joking), and the same kind of confidence the apostle Paul mentioned about the false teachers he contended with, and what you have is a serious Excedrin headache. With that said, one remembers what Jay Adams said about Quietist type doctrines: they will “ruin people’s lives.” He also said Gospel Sanctification is “dangerous and must be stopped.” No doubt—so the fight continues.

paul

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  1. RSeiver said, on July 7, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    QUESTIONS THAT DEMAND AN ANSWER

    1. Do the Scriptures describe the 10 Commandments as a covenant, namely, the national covenant God made with Israel? (Exo. 34:28).

    2. To what does the Apostle Paul refer when he writes about the “ministry of death engraven in stones” (2 Cor. 3:7)?

    3. Does he seem to suggest that the new covenant of which he is a minister is inferior or superior to that ministry of death written in stones?

    4. What does Paul say is happening to that ministry of death/national covenant made with Israel?

    5. Is the covenant God made with Israel identical with the Old Testament Scriptures? If the two are not identical (and they are not) is it not possible to live under a New Covenant without denying the value and validity of the Old Testament Scriptures?

    6. Where is the passage in the New Testament Scriptures that gives the slightest indication that the New Covenant believer is to look to the Ten Commandments as his standard of sanctification? It would be helpful in proving your contention if only the Apostle had written, “He who loves his fellowman WILL FULFILL the law (Rom. 8:13). The problem is he didn’t. He wrote, “He who loves. . .HAS FULFILLED THE LAW.” The New Testament Scriptures do a superb job of defining for us what it is like to love our fellowman, thus preventing us from turning love into lust and licentiousness.

    7. If a person believes New Covenant believers are under the law of Christ and that Christ’s law expresses the same eternal, and immutable righteous standard as that reflected in the 10 Commandments, he can’t really be considered as being against law (antinomian) can he?

    8. Is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life sufficiently effective to accomplish the work of sanctification according to the New Testament standard?

    9. If the Sabbath observance is the sign of the covenant God made with Israel (see-Exodus 31:17), would it not be temporally coextensive with the covenant of which it was the sign? In other words, would not the Sabbath observance endure only as long as the covenant endured? Now, if that covenant has become antiquated by the establishment of the new and everlasting covenant, and the New Testament Scriptures provide abundant evidence that it has now been thus replaced, would it not make sense that God’s new covenant people are not now under the sign of a covenant that does not belong to them?

    10. Are today’s believers under the old covenant or the new covenant? If under the old covenant, why does the Apostle Paul write that he is a minister of the new covenant (2 Cor. 3:6). If the covenant Paul is talking about is the ministry of death/condemnation written on tablets of stone, the 10 commandments, what does that tell us about the believers relationship to the 10 commandments?

    Like


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