Paul's Passing Thoughts

Why David Powlison is a Liar

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 1, 2013

tanc logo blockCultists are all the same. First, they believe they understand a higher knowledge that most Christians are not “ready for.” Example: in an interview with John Piper conducted by someone who asked him what he would say to the Pope if he had two minutes with him, Piper stated in no uncertain terms that most Christians are not ready for the true Reformation gospel of justification by faith alone [in sanctification]. Secondly, this mentality allows them to condone the hijacking of familiar Christian terms/phrases and use them to deceive. Example: when they use the term progressive sanctification they really mean progressive justification and they know it grade-A well. It’s deliberate deception.

“Cult” is a loosely used term and it should be. Cults are defined as any group that seeks to control others through deception. They are also defined by being sectarian; in other words, their false doctrine divides relationships of various kinds. New Calvinism has its roots in ancient spiritual caste systems that are defined by those characteristics.  Much of today’s religion finds its origins in those ancient philosophies. So “cult” is going to be a term often used, and rightfully so.

This post was instigated by an email I received from a reader regarding a recent article by David Powlison in the revamped The Journal of Biblical Counseling. I believe Powlison to be, for many documented reasons, an unrepentant, habitual liar. The article that was referred to me, as you can tell, has ruffled my feathers. I’m just fed up with all of the deception. The link was a review written by John Piper puppet Justin Taylor. What is the gist of the article? Powlison is going to explain why being sanctified by justification is only one small part of the full counsel of God that he pretends to proffer. In one promotion for the article we read,

David Powlison challenges the popular views on sanctification that take one strand in Scripture and present it as the be all and end all of Christian growth. He specifically engages the strengths and weaknesses of the view that asserts, “You are sanctified by remembering that you are justified.”

Um, excuse me, but first of all, the idea that Christian growth comes from preaching the gospel to ourselves every day or revisiting the gospel isn’t even “one strand” of Scripture to begin with. That strand isn’t there period. It’s a lie directly from the pit of hell itself. According to Taylor, Powlison will address the following in part 2 of the article:

In an article planned for the next issue of the journal, Powlison plans to look at several related questions:

Is sanctification essentially the activity of remembering and rebelieving that Jesus died for your sins? Is self-justification by your own performance the chief problem that sanctification must deal with? When the Bible says to “make every effort,” is the hard work chiefly the struggle to remember and believe again that we are saved by the achievement of our Savior? “In each case,” he writes, “I will say No, and will seek to widen both our personal approach to sanctification and the scope of ministry to others.”

Powlison chooses his words carefully. He is going to “teach” us how to “widen” our “approach to sanctification.” But the “approach” is still singular, and as this blog has exhaustively documented, his approach is exclusively Christocentric. Powlison’s language is also continually saturated with nuance such as, “I will say no.” Why not just say NO and be done with it? Because the answer is not really “no,” that’s why. That’s the usual Powlison speak for, “It’s kinda ‘no’ but then again it’s kinda ‘yes’”

Let me make my point with this excerpt from Taylor’s blog:

Is self-justification by your own performance the chief problem that sanctification must deal with?

Um, excuse me, but if you are a Christian, self-justification in sanctification is a complete impossibility. But notice that it is conceded that such is a possibility by referring to it as a question of being the “chief problem.” Also note that the concern isn’t those who attempt to be saved by their works which then cannot be called sanctification to begin with, but that self-justification in and of itself is possible in sanctification. The very question verifies what Powlison really believes. Works justification CANNOT take place in sanctification. Where works justification is present, sanctification cannot exist. The very framing of the question shows that Powlison doesn’t believe that the two are mutually exclusive. Moreover, we need them to guide us through the very tricky business of figuring out what is our “own performance” in sanctification resulting in “self-justification” verses what isn’t our own efforts in sanctification. Again, their very premise is a biblical impossibility, but reveals what they really believe.

Powlison is a cultist extraordinaire. That’s what he is. Like all New Calvinists.


6 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on April 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. JeffB said, on April 2, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    I notice that in the love fest – er, comments – on Taylor’s post, Ligon Duncan and Ray Ortlund join in. They are two of Mahaney’s most ardent defenders. I, myself, am banned from commenting on the blog because I criticized Mr. Mahaney, which is not permitted.


  3. Bridget said, on April 2, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    My response to reading this:

    “Is self-justification by your own performance the chief problem that sanctification must deal with?” Justin Taylor

    was ??????? impossible!


  4. […] Why David Powlison is a Liar. […]


  5. Ed said, on August 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    I know David Powlison and you sir, have not only misrepresented what he teaches, you have shown yourself to be unskilled at determining truth. I urge everyone who reads this to leave this blog. Your time would be better spent gazing at your navel lint.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on August 27, 2013 at 6:16 AM

      If you know David Powlison you can tell him that I think he is a habitual liar, false teacher of a Gnostic gospel, and a slanderer of godly men. He will get no pass from me for his persecution of Jay Adams. Nor do I appreciate the fact that Powlison is directly responsible for spreading the motif that Adams is a Pharisee, and I greatly disrespect the massive cowardly herd that will not call him on it. Now look, if you want to drink Powlison’s Kool-Aid, go do it and leave me alone. It’s a free country, if you want to associate with individuals of the baser sort, go to it, but why bother me with your decisions?


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