Paul's Passing Thoughts

The New Calvinist License To Kill: And Did God Really Condemn Christ To Hell?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 2, 2011

This isn’t real complicated. Gospel Contemplationism, by virtue of its reductionism must necessarily be embellished or you will simply run out of material. Even for intelligent people like John Piper, the necessity to go “ever deeper and deeper” into the gospel that saved us can be a real challenge. I have predicted in the past that two things must eventually happen in this movement: “truth” will be embellished beyond the confines of being defensible, and because contemplative theologies are by nature antinomian—revelations of decadence will eventually begin to emerge.

 

Embellished “Truth”

The challenge is to see the gospel in every verse of the Bible. The cradle of New Calvinism, the Australian Forum, a Reformed think tank created by Robert Brinsmead, taught that the Holy Spirit only illumines Scripture in context of the gospel. The Forum also taught that the letter of Scripture itself had to be judged by the “spirit of the gospel.” The gospel is spirit, but using Scripture for instruction was to use the Bible like the Jews used the Torah. “The Spirit gives life, but the letter kills” (Robert Brinsmead, The Danger of Biblicism).

Of course, a lot of awesome things can be written and preached about justification. A now good friend of mine who sang at my wedding introduced herself to me by complaining about my continual calling out of Piper. She mentioned that she had recently read a Piper book and thought it was awesome. I’m sure it was. Justification is an awesome subject. I then challenged her to reread the book and find examples of truth that could be applied to life in the spirit of Matthew 7:24-27. She called two days later, astonished at her findings, and a friendship was born.

However, the human mind has limitations, and soon, the need to implement the imagination will arise. Hence, at the 2009 Resolved conference, John Piper and CJ Mahaney taught that Christ’s cry to the father while on the cross was “the scream of damnation.” Apparently, they got the concept from RC Sproul, who used to be rock solid, but now it would appear that senility has opened his mind to the nonsensical theological acrobatics of our day. Likewise, the same consideration might apply to John MacArthur who spoke at the conference and also sponsored it; he is getting up in years as well. I offer this as a possible excuse for both of them though the vision of my heart longs to see them as the gray-haired stalwarts of the faith that I thought they were.  Here is what Sproul said:

“Once the sin of man was imputed to Him, He became the virtual incarnation of evil. The load He carried was repugnant to the Father. God is too holy to even look at iniquity. God the Father turned His back upon the Son, cursing Him to the pit of hell while on the cross. Here was the Son’s ‘descent into hell.’ Here the fury of God raged against Him. His scream was the scream of the damned. For us” (Tabletalk magazine, My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? April 1990, p. 6).

Steve Camp, on his blog, wrote a tame but thoroughly convincing argument against such a notion. But the fact that Camp thought such a significant expenditure of effort was needed is indicative of our day; surely, only ten years ago, such a thesis would have invoked a horrendous outcry among God’s people.

Contrastively, in a sickening display of affirmation by the poster child of mindless Koolaid drinking, Justin Taylor posted an email sent to Piper and Mahaney by a well known New Calvinist, praising them for this supposed new and wonderful take on the gospel. Stay tuned, more will come, including the weekly re-baptizing of Christians if it is not already going on.

Decadence

Jennifer Knapp, the Christian music artist who is a professing lesbian, recently praised Al Mohler (one of the “core four” of the New C. T4G org.) for his comments concerning “homophobia,” a term coined by non-professing liberals. My new friend Peter Lumpkins reports on it extensively on his blog: http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/  Go there and type in “homophobia” in the search engine box and several articles written by Peter on this event will appear. Jennifer Knapp is a good example of how New Covenant  Theology, a tenet of New Calvinism, will work itself out in the lives of, well, “God’s people?” Note here: http://wp.me/pmd7S-x5  and here: http://wp.me/pmd7S-kP .

As I state in my upcoming book, “Another Gospel,” this doctrine is indicative of the antinomianism that will be prevalent in the last days. In fact, the antichrist is referred to several times as the “anomia one” or the “man of anomia.” Also prevalent with antinomianism is lovelessness.  In speaking of the last days, Christ said that the hearts of many would be cold “because of anomia.” The heartless character of this movement is well documented; for instance, the hostile takeover of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Another example would be the excommunication of 256 members for non-attendance from a SBC church. The pastor of that church is a hero among New Calvinists for that reason, and many other NC churches followed the example. By the way, it is my understanding that the same church has closed mid-week Bible studies which smells cultish to me.

This ministry (GS Infonet) has its share of information in regard to the heartlessness of New Calvinism, especially in the way church discipline is used to control parishioners, including parishioners being brought up on discipline for not tithing. Others are disciplined for questioning doctrine while some in the same churches live together out of wedlock which apparently is a law issue and not a gospel issue. The practice of integrating church discipline with formal and informal “biblical counseling” is also a major concern. When Gospel Contemplationism doesn’t correct the sin, much to the surprise of the counselee, they find themselves under discipline for “unrepentance.”  Others are counseled that they are in a mixed marriage (saved/unsaved) because one spouse holds to a synergistic view of sanctification. Truly, no amount of words could adequately describe the carnage being left behind by this movement. Lastly, it is my understanding that Soverien Grace Ministries, overseen by one of the “core four,” CJ Mahaney, has amassed an unbelievable record of pastoral abuse and decadence while being lent creditably by the who’s who of evangelical New Calvinists like Al Mohler and John MacArthur . I have been referred to Survivor’s of SGM.com, but frankly I am already drowning in this kind of information regarding New Calvinism. Apparently, such revelations forced CJ Mahaney into a “sabbatical” to deal with his mistakes while his promoters decline comment.

Bottom line: if you carry the Calvinist/Reformed label, you have a license to kill, and to rape, pillage, and steal—just don’t question doctrine or come up short on your tithe.

I saw a video trailer for the 2009 Resolved event where the damnation of Christ was proclaimed for the supposed purpose of showing mindless followers the gospel in a “deeper” way. I was aghast in regard to the mega rock star motif that dominated. That’s a whole other post—the cult of personality that is New Calvinism. For now, I will not go there, but will rather close with a poem written by the aforementioned friend who used to follow John Piper:

Enamored

Enamored is a youthful state,

Where fledgling citizens confiscate

Old ideas and make them new,

A secular taste for Holy truth.

But I reject this play of light,

And move past men with deeds that blight

And tarnish souls with sinful depth

While we proceed gravely inept

To grasp the ark when dirt is better.

Douse the illusion!

Illumine the Letter!

~Lara Moon

paul

11 Responses

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  1. Cindy said, on September 2, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    I have not yet read the full article, but Sproul was mentioned, as was his age. I have followed Sproul for well over approaching 25 years and was even among the group of first members of the tape of the month club. Sproul was my introduction to Calvinism, and his old and early work shaped my understanding of the system of theology.

    Sproul was in a literal train wreck, I am going to say, fifteen years ago. He has written about his experience of struggle with pain, using it as a starting point to talk about adversity in the life of the Believer.

    I have found that his work seemed to suffer after he began to suffer with chronic pain, so I tend to see Sproul in terms of before and after the train wreck which caused his injury. He appears to not have changed his theology, but he is not the same, and his approach is different. Making him more difficult to figure out, he will basically go and talk and work with any group, regardless of their position, seeing most invitations as a platform to speak the truth to those who would not otherwise listen to him. (But I don’t know what’s going on with him and 4TG sometimes, save that it’s a post-wreck affiliation.)

    I like the pre-wreck Sproul the best, and we eventually stopped supporting the post-wreck Sproul because we didn’t like what he was doing, well before his association with the New Calvinists.

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  2. Lydia said, on September 2, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    There was also the Ligoneir scandal when they tried to sue a blogger. It was in USA Today and other media because it was one of the first of it’s type of lawsuits against a blogger. I think this was back in 2006. It got real ugly and what came out of Ligoneir was not Christlike at all.

    As to the cold heartedness of this New Calvinism. It is rampent. But the internet is exposing it. That is why CJ Mahaney, Mohler and others call bloggers “gossips”. Blogs are repeatedly chastized by the gurus. They no longer control the information. Ezelll said bloggers were in their mom’s basements wearing pajama’s. And this was in relation to an SBC pastors blog questioning Ezell’s words and actions!

    They are not used to being questioned, their words being analyzed and their behavior watched. But, they CHOSE to be public teachers of the Word. And they have worked hard to be in our faces as the experts whether on stages all over, selling books and doing conferences or marketing their sermons on line, etc.

    They cannot have it both ways.

    here is a link to quotes Mohler gave a reporter of the Courier Journal about CJ Mahaney stepping down. Now, tell me why Mohler, a paid employee of the SBC,feels free to say such things about the problems in another denomination?

    From:

    http://blogs.courier-journal.com/faith/2011/07/12/mohler-backs-mahaney-dismisses-accusations-of-abusive-leadership/

    The Sovereign Grace network is separate from the Southern Baptist Convention, the affiliate of Southern Seminary, but Mohler praised Mahaney’s group as “one of the most vital movements of church planting and evangelism and church development in this generation.”

    Mohler added: “Any time you’re going to take on the role of leadership, you’re going to have critics.”

    Mohler also supported Sovereign Grace’s highly centralized leadership structure in its churches, with “very strong pastoral direction” and internal discipline.

    “It’s something clearly called for in the New Testament,” he said.

    Mohler said he knew this practice has had online critics for years.

    “Basically there are people who are very uncomfortable with the strong kind of spiritual direction that comes through the Sovereign Grace Ministries,” Mohler said. “It’s very hard to criticize it on biblical terms, as you’ll see on most of those Web sites. It basically comes down to the criticism, ‘I don’t like that.’”

    Many of those attending the conferences led by Mohler, Mahaney and others are young pastors and others described by Hansen’s book title as “Young Restless, Reformed.” They often are marked by goatees, shaved heads and/or cargo shorts and by their earnest focus on the doctrines of the 16th century Protestant Reformer John Calvin and those influenced by him, from Puritan devotional poetry to the 19th century sermons of Charles Spurgeon.

    The Sovereign Grace Ministries name, in fact, echoes Calvin’s emphasis on God’s power (sovereignty) and favor (grace) rather than human works in achieving salvation. Calvinist thought predominates at Southern Seminary, and a denominational survey found nearly 30 percent of recent graduates from all Southern Baptist seminaries who are now serving as pastors identified with Calvinism.

    NOTE: All questioning and making the outrageous information about how sgm dealt with molesters in their churches is referred to as “criticism” by Mohler.

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  3. Lydia said, on September 2, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    As to Mohler’s comments at the convention about “us” being homophobic and lying about homosexuality:

    1. Later he defined the “us” as all evangelicals. Even though his audience was the SBC. (Here we go again)
    2. If I am being accused of being homophobic, I would like to be given a clear example so I can repent.
    3. If I have lied about homosexuality, then I also need to know how so I can repent.

    Again, Mohler is an employee of the SBC and as an academic needs to be held to some standard of defining and choosing his words carefully. Perhaps he could have given us examples of his own homophobia and lying about homosexuals?

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  4. Alex Guggenheim said, on September 8, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    The clue with Sproul and Piper is that both had Calvinistic epiphanies while attending calvinist Seminaries and formed their theologies (without serious audit in the pursuing years) rather on the spot and could (and did) only act according to the dictates of Calvin and (still Calvin) Reformed theology.

    Augustinianism/Reformed/Calvinistic (ARC) doctrine has a poor theodicy and only offers “do not question God, He will do will do what He will” theology based on an erring view of Divine Sovereignty as control and not rule. he This explains many of the oddities and mercurial articulations by those who claim to cling to its tenets dearly but often express otherwise.

    As to Christ’s sufferings, separation from God the Father was death for us, the lake of fire is the rewarhd of human righteousness.

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    • pauldohse said, on September 9, 2011 at 5:07 AM

      Alex,

      Interesting. You have any excerpts or references on this?

      > —–Original Message—– >

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  5. Alexander Guggenheim said, on September 10, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    I read it at Justin Taylor’s blog which cited a source about 6 months ago, I will look for it and bring it back.

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    • pauldohse said, on September 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      Alex, Thanks–looks interesting.

      > —–Original Message—– >

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  6. Alexander Guggenheim said, on September 10, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Paul,

    Here is the article link:

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/04/01/the-legacy-of-r-c-sproul-and-john-piper/

    And here is the quote from Taylor to which I am referring:

    “Both men became Calvinists during seminary, as their resistance was overcome by God using a professor who insisted on taking God at his word.”

    “Both men discovered and were deeply impacted by Jonathan Edwards during their seminary days.”

    Seeing that Taylor worked for Piper I am going to trust his account with regard to Piper and believe he would not state this as such with R.C. without some source. I am sure the original can be discovered via email with Taylor or a more thorough biographical Google search on pubs pertaining to each man. Anyway, that was my source for my earlier post.

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    • pauldohse said, on September 10, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      Thanks a bunch Alex.

      > —–Original Message—– >

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    • pauldohse said, on September 10, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      Gag. Is Justin Taylor the sultan of man-worshipers or what?

      > —–Original Message—– >

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  7. Alex Guggenheim said, on September 10, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Paul,

    LOL I won’t say whether the impression of Taylor’s anthropological admiration has crossed my mind or not by way of reading his blog but I would say that if your observations were a gun sight I wouldn’t want to be a deer.

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