Paul's Passing Thoughts

Rob Turner Appointment: Cedarville University Striving for Excellence in Total Depravity

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 22, 2013

ppt-jpeg4The American church is in a truth crisis. Many who profess to be Christians see no reality in truth or consequences. The apostle Paul described wicked people as those who refuse to love the truth (2THESS 2:10). This wickedness among professing Christians in our day is rampant. Truth really doesn’t matter. What matters is the décor, the programs, the praise music, and the conduits for entertaining our spoiled little brats. Moreover, the hard work of thinking and study in spiritual matters is seen as works salvation. That’s how pathetic the situation is.

My heart sinks when I see the overall attitude in the church regarding doctrine. We live in a day when an elder of a church will look at you and say, “I’m not a theologian” without even blinking. When two men who love doctrine are discussing such at a fellowship, we hear, “Do you guys have to discuss work all of the time?” Nevertheless, Christians function on mental automatic pilot from the time they wake up in the morning till they go to bed at night. The American Christian mind is programed to receive only. And that it does 24/7 while disdaining any rude interruptions by a call to discernment. We like to learn new things every day: automatically. Get with the program, there is something new behind every bush, not the devil.

And the results? The new American Christianity: The Total Depravity of the Saints. That’s right, “the Christian is no whit different than the unregenerate.” The Christian doesn’t change, we can’t change. Our message to the world is to show forth a gospel that proclaims how we can be joyful in our wickedness. Meditating on our wickedness leads to “vivification.” To partake in the works of Christ circumvents this joy, we must rather “experience” the joy of these works and label them “obedience.” One of the most popular “Christian” teachers of our time calls it “Christian Hedonism” and nobody even blinks. God help us.

Cedarville University just took another step towards fully embracing this doctrine with all lust via the appointment of Rob Turner as director of the university’s Master of Ministry program. Turner leads the “teaching team” at Apex Community Church, a conclave of  New Calvinism’s total depravity of the saints gospel. The fact that Cedarville has been fleeing to this doctrine for months now is certainly no big secret while hundreds of leaders stand by silently. Why? Because truth doesn’t matter, that’s why.

Apex heavily endorses and utilizes the teachings of New Calvinist Paul David Tripp. In his book, How People Change (Punch Press 2006 edition), Tripp describes Christians as “powerless and enslaved,” “dead,” “fools,” “those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,” “incapable of doing anything that is pleasing in God’s sight,” and “alienated enemies of God” (pp.64,65). Apparently, stuff that Christian parents will pay dearly for in order that it can be taught to their children.

Throughout the book, Tripp posits the idea that a literal interpretation of the Bible “omits the person and work of Christ as Savior.” Hence, to not read the Bible in the prism of a “gospel context” leads to works salvation. Every verse must be seen in the context of our sin as set against the holiness of God. Commands are supposedly for the express purpose of driving us back to the cross in utter despair of self-righteousness. Though the book is a monstrous metaphysical anomaly, it is a chilling and apt articulation of New Calvinism. For that reason, many New Calvinists stay aloof from Tripp because they don’t think he is ambiguous enough and therefore offers opportunity for objective criticism.

In 1982, a concerted effort was launched by a Presbyterian named Ernest Reisinger to take over the Southern Baptist Convention with this doctrine, and frankly, the doctrinally/theologically dumbed down convention was no match for the takeover. This is what’s behind the SBC’s cozy relationship with Cedarville. The university is hell-bent on adopting this doctrine and is tapping into the SBC for their resources accordingly. SBC super star Paul Washer explains the doctrine as a balance between despair, and joyful, perpetual rebirths as we plunge the depths of our Christian depravity (The Gospel Call And True Conversion: Recovering the Gospel, last page of Chapter One).

But here is another shame that hides behind another weakness: lack of knowledge regarding TRUE church history; this movement has come and gone throughout church history. New Calvinism is the fifth manifestation of this pseudo-revival since Calvin’s theocracy in Geneva. It dies for a reason, but not before it strips what it consumes of its former identity.

So, Cedarville supporters are paying good money to help the New Calvinists rape the university. And when this “resurgence” once again dies, what is left of Cedarville will be left for dead along with it.


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  1. […] Rob Turner Appointment: Cedarville University Striving for Excellence in Total Depravity. […]


  2. paulspassingthoughts said, on July 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


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