Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Philosopher King Wars

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 6, 2012

“The sheep are catching on. They are pushing back against being owned by anyone other the Lord who purchased us with His own Blood.”

In our day, most pastors, indeed, most, fit into two categories: the philosopher kings of the first gospel wave, and the philosopher kings of the second gospel wave. First, I will explain what a philosopher king is, and then I will explain the contemporary eras in which they function. Thirdly, I will describe some of the contemporary wars between them and the saints. Then I will explain the theory of the third gospel wave.

The contemporary reign of philosopher kings in the church began in circa 1950. The concept of the philosopher king as pastor began with St. Augustine. He got the concept from the fraternity of philosophers that has shaped Western culture; ie, Plato’s Academy, which was the first institution of philosophy and higher learning in Western culture. This philosophy was founded on four basic principles:

1. The total inability of man (Augustine projected that into Christian discipleship as well).

2. The ability of some to connect with the true, beautiful, and good (those who love knowledge).

3.  Those who have striven and succeeded in knowing the true, beautiful, and good, should rule over the remainder of mankind; ie, philosopher (lovers of knowledge) kings.

4. The laws of men are necessary to restrain the ignorant, but are empirical, and not intuitive, and therefore not the most expedient in all cases for the philosopher kings.

Until the second century A.D., churches were primarily led by a group of common people. Various pressures that eventually culminated with Augustinian thought ushered in the one church—one bishop concept. In essence, a philosopher king for each congregation. Today’s seminaries have become Plato’s Academy where men go to become philosopher kings, and then go to congregations to lord it over the flock.

The First Gospel Wave

This era is from 1950 to 1970. It was primarily predicated on the inability of the saints. Just believe only and get your fire insurance. Commendable kingdom living was devalued because of a fundamental belief in inability on the part of the saints who are still “sinners saved by grace” instead of  holy ones empowered by the Holy Spirit and aggressively colaboring with Him. The clarion call of the first wave philosopher kings was to get people saved in church under the auspicious of the enlightened ones. Hence, the same gospel that saved us was the predominate theme, not discipleship and kingdom living par excellent.  Christians in our day are theologically illiterate because the philosopher kings of the first wave did not teach congregants the theology that they learned in seminary—deeming them unable to understand it. “Change” was just a pipe dream in the realm of theory. “You can’t fix stupid.” Pastors refused to counsel with the word of God and farmed counseling out to the secular philosophers. As one pastor told me: “I am not going to let counseling distract me from the gospel.”

The Second Gospel Wave

The second gospel wave not only devalued discipleship, it returned to pure Augustinian thought which rejected it all together. Man is so inept—even after conversion—that he can have no significant role in either salvation or discipleship. Augustine believed that biblical imperatives only exemplified God’s desires and besought Christians to pray that God would bring about His desires in the lives of Christians. He believed that goodness was manifested in a spiritual realm—not by Christians. Hence, theology only focuses on the works of Christ and our own depravity which continually magnifies the same gospel that saved us. Therefore, the primary goal of the second wave philosopher kings is Comfort Care until God comes for those whom He has predestined. This entails a constant, “showing forth of the gospel” that saved us and constantly reminding us of our total depravity.

In both waves, the survival of the philosopher king is paramount for the comfort of the sheep and the salvation of souls. Though enlightened, they are still totally depraved like the rest of humanity with expected behaviors following. Hence, some philosopher kings fall into deep sin, but must be protected for the benefit of the whole. Their fall would result in lost souls (first wave) and horrendous discomfort (second wave) among the pathetic, pitiful sheep. Those who are victims of the philosopher kings must be sacrificed for the benefit of the whole.

Eventually, the sheep begin to reject this notion. Because of this rejection, pure Augustinian theology eventually dies a social death within Christianity. Some examples are Colonial Calvinism and Confederate Calvinism. The saints begin to rise up. But after the pain and the memories of the tyranny subside, coupled with a historic shortfall of appropriate action/ education to prevent its return, the door is opened for the rebirth of the philosopher kings. This is commonly known in Reformed circles as “Gospel Recovery movements.” We are now seeing the beginning of this social death in our own day via the Philosopher King Wars. The following are examples of a few major battles, and are by no means exhaustive.

First Wave Wars

Do Right Hyles-Anderson verses Philosopher King Jack Hyles

Jack Hyles is the premier philosopher king of the first gospel wave. For years, his family members and understudies reined unfettered terror upon God’s people. Regardless of this, fellow philosopher kings in the same denomination refused to confront him, and even went as far as to name a Christian college after him. Finally, after years of crying out from victims falling on deaf ears for the betterment and comfort of the whole, the organization Do Right Hyles-Anderson has struck a powerful blow for the justice God loves. Their ministry statement reads as follows:

This group was created to be supportive to all the victims of FBC/HAC and the IFB community. This is not a group started out of hatred, resentment or bitterness. The core of our group is grace, unconditional love, and redemption. We support all the victims. We want our voice to be heard. We will hold IFB churches accountable for abuse and corruption. And we will report any and all cases of abuse that are brought to our team of victim advocates. We’re not going away…this is a life long mission and we will help the helpless.

Undoubtedly, this organization played a large role in the very recent dethroning of Hyles’ son-in-law as pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond which at one time had the largest Sunday School program in the world. His sins, though criminal, are tame compared to the past terrors of the Hyles cartel. The fact that he has been dismissed by FBCH is a gargantuan step in the opposite direction from the tolerance of the past. This is about Christ’s 1 of 100, and the Jewish proverb, “He who saves one life—saves the world,” and not Socrates’ sinful sacrifice of the few for the sake of the many.

W. Kempton

The ABWE Bangladesh Missionary Kids verses Philosopher King Donn Ketcham

For some 20 years, the abuses of GARB hero Donn Ketcham fell on deaf ears. Other ABWE/GARB philosopher kings such as Wendell Kempton covered for Ketcham in a massive and shameful cover-up.  Nevertheless, Kempton is presently being honored with a multimillion dollar sports complex on a Christian college being named after him. For the most part, the GARB community has shown only token distaste for what has occurred. Again, protecting the enlightened ones is best for the community as a whole. Because of the ineptness of the great unwashed—the likes of Ketcham and Kempton must be protected due to their irreplaceable contribution to the totally depraved.

Second Wave Wars


SGM Survivors .com  verses Philosopher King CJ Mahaney

SGM Survivors is one of many such organizations pushing back against philosopher king CJ Mahaney, who among other various travesties was taped black mailing SGM cofounder Larry Tomczak. Regardless of this, the who’s who of second wave philosopher kings are protecting Mahaney and investing in media spin on his behalf (John MacArthur, Mark Dever, Al Mohler et al). This has resulted in him being reinstated as president of SGM. However, the pushback against second wave philosopher kings is becoming more formidable by the day.

J.A. Smith

Julie Anne Smith verses Beaverton Grace Bible Church

There is perhaps nothing more representative of the revolution against second wave philosopher kings than the everyday Oregon housewife Julie Anne Smith. When big name second wave philosopher kings came to BGBC’s defense against this humble soccer mom—she didn’t even blink, calling out the likes of John MacArthur lackey Phil Johnson who has recently stopped blogging (supposedly by his own choice). MacArthur hack and executive director of his media, Fred Butler, recently published unconfirmed smut/slander concerning Smith’s daughter after she prevailed against BGBC in a 500,000 dollar lawsuit. After years of striking fear in the hearts of pastors coast to coast, the second wave philosopher king pastors are incredulous in the face of Smith’s unsinkable courage. Their fears of her are warranted as others will follow including American pastors who exemplify a spirit of spinelessness never before seen in any other generation.

The Third Gospel Wave?

The sheep are catching on. They are pushing back against being owned by anyone other the Lord who purchased us with His own Blood. He owns us, not the philosopher kings. Nor do the philosopher kings own us by proxy. We are only slaves to Christ, not cruel masters who demand our children to be their willing and unwilling concubines. We will follow those of the Lord who lead us by His example. We remember our brother Paul who exhorted us with tears to only follow him as he followed Christ. And trust me, the philosopher kings of our day are no Apostle Paul. Not only can they not even carry his water, they are the clouds without water that Jude spoke of. As clouds come and promise nourishment for the crops, they come with the same promises—but they have nothing but lies instead of rain.

Authority only resides in the full, complete, and infinite philosophical statement of the Scriptures. The only authority elders have is truth as judged by the Bereans. We are not obligated to follow delusional hypocrites because of their Reformed accreditation and name-brand clothing, but only the Chief Shepherd. We detest those who say that the very breath of God is nothing more than a narrative for mystic gospel contemplationism. The Scriptures are written for Bereans who’s hearts are set on fire by our Counselor and Helper—the blessed Holy Spirit. The Bible contains its own hermeneutic, and we do not need the arrogant to teach us how to read it or listen to it as it supposedly comes from them.

We pray for a third gospel wave that endeavors to make disciples, not “saved” mindless followers of philosopher kings. We pray for leaders who will equip us to be full of goodness, full of knowledge, and able to counsel each other (Romans 15:14).

Not those who suffer us to glory in our supposed total depravity in order to satisfy their own lust for control.


6 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on August 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. lydiasellerofpurple said, on August 6, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    “…..instead of holy ones empowered by the Holy Spirit and aggressively colaboring with Him. ”

    Wow! YES YES YES!!! And guess what? That belief and “doing” GLORIFIES GOD! It is the “kingdom” on “earth” as it is in heaven.

    Ok, going back to finish rest of post. :o)


  3. Argo said, on August 7, 2012 at 9:18 AM


    Yes, I firmly believe that the Holy Spirit in the individual believer’s life is sorely under-emphasized in many mainstream churches, ESPECIALLY new Calvinist. How can we accept with nary a protest from pretty much any Christian regardless of their theology that the Holy Spirit dwells in the believer (the temple of the Holy Spirit) and yet continue to deny that individual Christians lack any real power to effect real, quantifiable, permanent change? That’s really the whole point, is it not, of having the Holy Spirit in the first place. So that we can ACTUALLY do what we’ve DESIRED to do before, but could not, per Romans 7. The point of Romans 7 is not that the believer continues to sin despite his will; it is that before, though you may have been willing to do good, you seemed to always do the opposite of what you wanted to do; those things which you knew were “good”. Now, with the Spirit usurping the power of the flesh, we can effect change; we can both desire AND do. This doesn’t mean we won’t still sin…since God doesn’t desire or do FOR us (that is, he does not POSSESS us); sanctification by definition is progressive. But the point of the Epistles is to encourage believers to DO good things…to partake in their sanctification with the knowledge that now, with the power of the Spirit, the power of sin is broken, and when you decide you WANT to obey, or want to do this or that good thing, you actually CAN, because you are no longer a slave to sin. The Holy Spirit becomes the fuel or the link between desiring and doing/acting/changing etc. etc. (Which means that sanctification is a wholly separate idea from justification…they are not linked; your accepting Christ’s atonement, which is NOT a work, is what saves you. The Holy Spirit is what enables you to be sanctified…sanctification is not NECESSARILY a change in DESIRE per se, it is effectual, tangible change, meaning that now you DO observable (and sometimes not so obvious things, like ACTUALLY effect a new frame of mind or outlook or personality traits that are godly. So what I’m saying is that the Holy Spirit doesn’t force you to choose Christ; no, I would say you freely choose based on your free will/desire, and thus Christ saves, and THEN the Holy Spirit dwells and begins His work of effecting sanctification. Paul…am I right here??) And that when you do DO, this is actually YOU doing it, and thus YOU are commendable to God for the good you now DO.

    The dirty little Calvinist secret that they almost never say out loud is that if you are “unable” before salvation you MUST be unable after as well. It cannot be any other way according to their theology. So it is God DOING both the saving and the sanctifying FOR HIMSELF merely THROUGH you, for whatever weird, mysterious reason God does this…you can do nothing except be depraved. (This is Paul’s point of why Calvinism IS necessarily progressive justification…it has to be; for if not, the whole Calvinist house crumbles).

    Paul, I have not heard the the term “Confederate Calvinism” before. What does that mean?

    Well…this was just supposed to be a short post. Oh well…the inability of the leopard and all that….:-)


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 7, 2012 at 9:38 AM


      In essence, the American Confederacy was a Presbyterian theocracy. Calvinism had its part in starting the American Civil War. Do some research on it–pretty fascinating.


  4. said, on August 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Argo, Read the bio of Boyce written by Broaddus, his contemporary. Some of it is free on google books. Boyce founded SBTS. Boyce was trained by the Presbyterians at Princeton back when it was run by the Presbyterians. What Broaddus writes as a fervant fan of Boyce is a bit chilling. He thought it was so wonderful that Boyce was against succession UNTIL he found out it meant freeing the slaves. Boyce thought this would be horrible because their status as slaves meant that he and other white educated theologians could better disciple them if they were slaves. He thought his position was enlightened and compassionate.
    “Confederate Calvinism” is exactly what it was.

    One of the reasons why the SBC moved away from Calvinism is because the “civil war founded SBC”
    thought God was on their side. It became obvious after the war this was not the case and more Christians started questioning the truth of a determinist God. Thaat took a while, of course. By the turn of the century you see the Calvinist God is dwindling within the SBC and the rise of a more free will theology.

    That is why it is so interesting that Mohler and others insist we go back to our “roots” of Calvinism as the true SBC. Yet, they wanted the name changed for the SBC becasue it was a reminder of our pro slavery stance. What is interesting is if you want to work at SBTS you miust sign the “Abstract of Principles” which are Calvinistic and instituted at its founding. For many years, it was ignored until Mohler became President. I call the whole thing: Deceptive


  5. trust4himonly said, on August 7, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Yes Argo I agree exactly about the Holy Spirit!! This is exactly what was missing in the Reformed church I attended. The Holy Spirit was hardly mentioned; I always wondered why? at the time.
    Paul I do agree with the premise of a third wave; there is definitely a shift coming. It was amazing how the Holy Spirit moved my husband and I out of the institutional church and we knew that this was His will. Many would scoff at that and think we were in disobedience, but it was the best thing we ever did.
    I will share two other sites that you will find others standing up to the pastor “kings”.


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