Paul's Passing Thoughts

Pedestrian Christian Run Over By Wartburg for Calling a Heretic “Sophomoric”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 24, 2013

ppt-jpeg4I consider Alex Guggenheim, the author of The Pedestrian Christian blog a good friend of this ministry. Every now and then, I find time to swing by and read his stuff. Wish I could do that more often, but this ministry is growing and I am doing the work of several people.

As Susan and I learn more and more about the Protestant tradition, the list of things to write about and the consideration of approaches is very long, so we have to work by priority. Low on the list is the tsunami of illogical functioning and reasoning by many discernment bloggers. However, after reading Alex’s report concerning the treatment he received over at Wartburg Watch, I am motivated to point some things out. Is this because I like Alex and am therefore offended by the treatment he received? Probably, but nevertheless, the point is worthy of a temporary jettison to the top of the list.

I will get to what happened to Alex specifically in a bit, but in order to lay some groundwork first, I will cite a paragraph from his account:

The Wartburg Watch blog, as I have observed, inaugurated itself with an emphasis on Neo-Calvinism, ecclesiastical malfeasance of many sorts but particularly with sexual misconduct or abuse and patriarchalism/complementarism excesses or even its existence. Something needed in general, though I certainly do not subscribe to all of their criticisms or theological persuasions.

And apparently, because of what happened to Alex, and what I have seen likewise among many discernment bloggers, there are good New Calvinists and naughty New Calvinists. I believe “Deb and Dee,” the Wartburg authors, call them the “Calvinistas.” New Calvinism is a doctrine; specifically, the false doctrine of progressive justification. This is just the FACT of the matter. Anybody who propagates New Calvinism is a heretic, plain and simple. I have been researching this doctrine for almost six years now, and as will be demonstrated in our upcoming June conference, there is absolutely nothing about this doctrine that is true. It denies the new birth, rejects the Trinity, rejects sanctification, and is vehemently anti-Semitic.

While referring to New Calvinists as “Calvinistas,” Wartburg strongly endorses and networks with none other than Wade Burleson. Burleson is a strong advocate of Jon Zens who is one of the forefathers of the present-day New Calvinist movement. Burleson propagates progressive justification in its purest form along with the accompanied belief that the Bible is a mystical gospel meta-narrative. What his preaching seems to project is of no concern of mine; the quality of the milk is determined by the cow. Furthermore, according to Burleson, he is enamored by the Puritans while posing himself as an understanding advocate for the spiritually abused. Wartburg, affirming such accordingly, sponsors an e-church that features his preaching live on every Sunday. Anyone who knows the history of Puritanism would find this ironic.

In discernment blogging, there is an illogical disconnecting between doctrine and behavior as if the two are totally unrelated. If you applied the same logic to Nazism, there would be good Nazis and bad Nazis because some Nazis where good Lutherans who didn’t work the ovens at the concentration camps. It is generally recognized that not every Nazi behaved badly, but that the ideology is the problem. Leave it to Christians to abandon common sense on that wise. I use the Nazi example because New Calvinists, though often dressed in the demeanor of Mr. Rogers, and their female counterparts that of Mary Poppins, are among the most vicious and heartless homosapiens walking the face of the earth. Trust me, if they had the marriage between themselves and the state that they seek, the behavior would be no different than it was in Geneva. This is a certainty. As it presently stands, they improvise through other means.

The thing that really gets me is the anti-spiritual abuse bloggers who hold to Reformed theology and even call themselves Calvinists. This is where the Nazi example is apt. This utterly disconnects history from reality and Christ’s declaration of, “By their fruits you will know them.”

Alex keyboarded into one of these illogical endeavors over at Wartburg. They were actually pitting the supposed virtue of New Calvinist Thabiti Anyabwile against the supposed racism of New Calvinist Doug Wilson. As an aside, let me mention that John Piper endorses Doug Wilson and Anyabwile endorses Piper but Anyabwile doesn’t endorse Wilson but Piper does because Wilson “has the gospel right” and he also endorses Anyabwile and so it goes. Somewhere in all of the discussion, the obvious is missed: Wilson is the one with the most virtue because he is consistent. The South was practically an unofficial Presbyterian theocracy during the Civil War. The theological endorsement of slavery during that time by the Presbyterian Church is confirmed by a cursory observation of American history. And Anyabwile is a Calvinist. And the Prebyterian church was founded on Calvinism, and yet, Anyabwile is taking on Wilson for merely connecting with their (singular) historical roots. And by the way, Wilson’s assessment overall is not far from the mark.

But apparently, this absurd contradiction is ok because Anyabwile is (according to Dee during her scolding of Alex), “walking while black.” I have news for Wartburg, Calvinism has a large share in two world Holidays: Martin Luther King Day, and the International Religious Freedom Day. Their share in the former is hefty, and their share in the latter is 100% as that holiday was founded after Calvinistic Puritans hung three Quakers in Boston for “walking while Quaker.” What is up with all of this? Why do Neo-Calvinists get a pass on their history while Nazi’s don’t—the connection between Nazism and Reformed theology another conversation notwithstanding to boot?

Alex Guggenheim is too damn nice: calling Anyabwile theologically “sophomoric” is like describing Jeffrey Damher as one over-curious about culinary issues. Anyabwile is a walking hypocritical heretic and his color has nothing to do with anything. I firmly believe that New Calvinists laugh about getting the church tangled up in these worthless discussions.

Wartburg did get something partially right in the article that Alex commented on, but it unfortunately adds to their grossly misinformed promotion of Anyabwile:

I disagree with Wilson in the matter. Slavery almost always involves racism since it is the forced servitude of people groups. The South’s slaves were black. Slavery results in the perception that said group is inferior and deserves to be enslaved. This attitude, after the Civil War, resulted in the separation of whites from blacks. “Separate but equal” was anything but equal and it took the Civil Rights movement to expose the ugliness of this entrenched view of the superiority of the white race.

The proper term is CASTE SYSTEM. And NO, it is NOT fundamentally racist. Racism is a result of the root: spiritual caste systems. Caste is not fundamentally racist—it is fundamentally spiritual. A dear friend of this ministry, church historian John Immel would argue that it is fundamentally ideological and philosophical. He would contend that theological doctrine is the result of the ideology. Well, I would agree because theological error is separate from the Bible anyway and a mere human ideology by default. Either way, racism is a mere residual consequence of the core problem.

And Calvinism is a spiritual caste spectacle. It is predicated on preordained enlightened mediators ruling over the unenlightened masses on behalf of God, whether perceived as a cosmic force or a person. This concept is the bedrock of ancient Paganism which gave birth to Hinduism, was integrated into Socratism by Plato, became Neo-Platonism and gave birth to Gnosticism and the Nicolaitanism (translated: “power over the laity”) that plagued the first century church, was adopted by Augustine and Gregory, and passed on intellectually to their mentorees Luther and Calvin. And the results are always the same. Nazism was a horrific brew of Hinduism and Augustinianism, and Calvinistic fruit does not fall far from that tree. The aforementioned spiritual caste system drives Calvinism and the Neo-Calvinistic movement of our day in particular. Patriarchy, racism, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., are all results of that fundamental ideology.

We are the laity; and Calvinistic elders, according to Al Mohler (a popular target of Wartburg), are “appointed” to save us from, “ignorance.” And our response is to act like we need it while whining about the spiritual abuse that always comes with it. For the most part, New Calvinists do not take discernment bloggers seriously for the following reason: like dumb fish that swim after every breadcrumb thrown over the bridge by children, we will chase every red herring thrown out the window by New Calvinists.

Like the racism issue.


11 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on April 24, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. Argo said, on April 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    An excellent post from top to bottom. Buy believe me, I have been on Wartburg numerous times trying to make the same argument: the only difference between a good Calvinist and a bad one is how far they are willing to take the doctrine toward its logical conclusion. Still, it seems impossible to get them to concede the doctrine is wrong. It is still somehow people not “doing it right”.

    I wish you better luck than I have had.


  3. Alex Guggenheim said, on April 24, 2013 at 9:17 PM


    Thanks for the follow-up and investigation and reporting regarding the Wilson, Anyabwile Presbyterian-Calvinist link. I am interested, now, in some personal further investigation regarding the consistency of “The Watch”. Again, while they have made some points, when they go beyond their Fabianistic criticisms into the actual exercise of theological examination, they seem to fail exegetically and theologically hence, giving voice to easily refuted sources and arguments. Indeed, I am a friend of the ministry to which you have been called.


  4. paulspassingthoughts said, on April 25, 2013 at 7:55 AM


    I like how you worded your comment. Adds clarification.




    Consider coming to the June conference–we have accommodations here on site: rooms have TV, Internet, desk etc.


  5. Argo said, on April 26, 2013 at 6:40 AM


    Can you give me those dates again.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 26, 2013 at 11:50 AM


      Last week of June:


  6. Argo said, on April 26, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    I checked the site; I couldn’t get to it from my phone. I’m sure its my phone.
    I would love to come; I need to clear it past committee; see if I can get travel expenses and mileage; food allowance, etc. (all that means is I have to ask my wife). I will clear the dates with her., and get back to you today. I think it would be awesome to hear you guys speak.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 26, 2013 at 1:17 PM


      June 21-23. The group here on site will be small which gives great opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the issues. We hope to conclude the conference with a taped group discussion. The inclusion of other bloggers would be awesome. The conference will be streamed live over the internet and attended by two way participation via Google group, Oovoo, and Skype as well.



  7. Argo said, on April 26, 2013 at 11:24 PM


    I will be there. 🙂

    Do I register on the site? 2013.ttanc?


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on April 27, 2013 at 6:57 AM


      Cool. Yes, register there–click on early bird registration.


  8. […] we are anti-Calvinism, and in a particularly notable post, accused of supporting Calvinism link.  We call attention to Wade Burleson who does the weekly sermon on E Church. He subscribes to […]


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