Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Doug Phillips Fall and the New Calvinist Before and After Gospels

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 31, 2013

Douglas W. Phillips is a Calvinist Christian speaker and author. He is the son of Peggy (Blanchard) and U.S. Constitution Party leader Howard Phillips and president of Vision Forum Ministries. He advocates Biblical patriarchy, creationism, homeschooling, Quiverfull and Family Integrated Church.

~ Wikipedia

Regardless of what was at stake, Phillips finds himself in the following situation:

Yesterday, Doug Phillips resigned from Vision Forum citing an emotional affair with a woman other than his wife. He did not identify the woman, but has not only resigned from all leadership positions but has also cancelled all speaking engagements. Former fundamentalist homeschool mother Julie Anne describes Phillips’ role in the Christian homeschooling world like this:

Doug Phillips has been very influential in the sub-culture of the Homeschool Movement.  He was a popular keynote speaker at state-run homeschool conventions, speaking on topics of Biblical manhood, Patriarchy, men taking spiritual leadership of the home, creationism, a proponent of family-integrated churches and full quiver lifestyle.  He and his wife, Beall, have eight children.  We heard him speak numerous times.

~ Patheos .com

Doug Phillips is not the point. Christians devouring each other is not the point. Giving Phillips a “grace break” is not the point. The fact that none of us are perfect is not the point.

Calvin’s false gospel is the point.

In the first sentence of Phillips’ biography on the Vision Forum website we read:

Doug Phillips is a sinner, saved by grace.

That’s Calvinism. Let me interpret this often used Protestant mantra with an expanded version:

Christians still sin as a lifestyle (that’s what a “sinner” is), and are still enslaved to sin. We also continue to be saved from the sins we commit as Christians by the same grace that saved us originally. If we believe we can do no works that please God as Christians, Christ’s death will continually be applied to future sins and his perfect obedience will be perpetually applied to our Christian lives until we get to the final judgment. When we stand at the final judgment, we will be found in the doing and dying of Christ, not anything we do (or don’t do) if we live by the same gospel that saved us by faith alone in our Christian lives.

To withstand the final judgment, we must believe that we remain sinners in our salvation. We must believe in Luther’s simul justus et peccator… at the same time saint and sinner. New Calvinists continually proclaim that Christians are, present tense, “enemies of God,” “haters of God,” “dead in trespasses and sins,” etc. Calvinism rejects the new birth. I’m not saying they don’t use the term, “new birth,” I am saying Calvinism rejects the biblical new birth.

So, Doug Phillips, the sinner, had an affair. Who knew? In reality, and if Calvinists had any honesty, the response would be, “Uh, ya, I had an affair, and your point is what exactly?”

But New Calvinism hasn’t taken over enough of Christianity yet, so when these guys get caught, they revert to the gospel that most Christians think they believe. The other gospel; the one that “thinks the cross is for salvation and the new birth is for sanctification.” They fall on their sword for the sake of the rest of the movement. Hence, Phillips’ response is not even in the same ballpark with authentic Reformed doctrine:

I thought too highly of myself and behaved without proper accountability. I have acted grievously before the Lord, in a destructive manner hypocritical of life messages I hold dear, inappropriate for a leader, abusive of the trust that I was given, and hurtful to family and friends.

Look friends, other Calvinists have stated plainly that such a mentality is “trying to be the gospel rather than proclaiming the gospel.” And this Protestant overemphasis on grace cuts across denominational lines and Calvinism/Arminianism. The new birth is either devalued by Protestant Light or outright rejected by Calvinism.

That’s the Protestant family tradition.


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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on October 31, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. doremifasogirl said, on November 2, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Our family has homeschooled since our 22 year old daughter was 4— never for patriarchal/protectionist reasons. In fact, i ran from anything smacking of that. Vision Forum was particularly disturbing in an anachronistic and sinister Stepford fashion. I cannot say I am surprised at this revelation. It is interesting to view theough the lens of Calvinism as the cause– i would have ascribed it to arrogance, but that makes it more puzzling when coupled with the Calvinist view on (permanent) total depravity; i suppose your point is that those 2 views are actually mutually exclusive? Pardon my ignorance, but how would you describe yourself if not Protestant? I always operated with the understanding that non-Catholic believers in Christianity MUST be Protestants…? Why is no one else asking these questions, or making the connections that you do?



    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM


      All of Protestantism is a mess because of Calvin’s plenary total depravity. As Lydia observed, Calvin’s “power of the keys” is nothing but warmed over Catholicism. Catholicism and Protestantism both are predicated on Platonist dualism. Different doctrine, same ideology/worldview/philosophy. The whole Catholic versus Protestant motif is a sham. This is a radical fact because of tradition and both are predicated on anti-thinking. Both have effectively rewritten church history. A whole new and true Reformation is needed. There is no label for what I am. Closest would be, “free Berean.”


  3. lydiasellerofpurple said, on November 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Lisa, I once asked my mom if we were “Protestant” when I was young. She said, “What are we protesting”? She then sent me on a cursory research of where the word came from and what it meant back before the internet when we had to use hard back encyclopedias and dictionaries. In reality, there is no reason for an American to use the word to describe themselves. Your comment made me think of that!

    But to go deeper, it is not really even the opposite of Catholic. It would have meant Catholic-lite historically. They were protesting certain parts of the Catholic church— mainly indulgences. And it was political. Not spiritual.

    To make a blanket statement that is too deep to get into on a blog— Calvinism is Catholic in more ways than folks imagine. The sacraments were replaced with preaching which meant the preacher became the focus even more so than the priest in the Catholic church and we know where that led. Keys to the kingdom teaching.

    I am always amused when I hear hyper Cals like James White rail against the Catholic church. In many Calvinist circles, the Catholic church is considered reprobate eve though they are more like them but cannot see it.

    If I have to use history as my guide then I would relate more to the Radical Reformers throughout history. Sadly, they were so persecuted by the church few writings remain.


  4. Jes said, on November 3, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Protestant is a made up word by the catholics. I refuse the word. I am a saved believer in Jesus Christ. That is what the right dividing of the Bible, the Word of God, shows.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Sorry for the delay, was away with the grandchildren this week.


  5. lotharson said, on November 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Hello, I have been horrified by the recent Calvinist assertions during “Strange Fire”.
    McArthur and other New Calvinists state that 500 millions Charismatics are non-believers.
    I will turn this assertion on its head.

    All are my fellow humans I ought to love, but if McArthur and Piper worship a being who PREDETERMINED so many people to burn forever, caused their eternal suffering before they were born, then THEY are not my fellow believers for we truly don’t worship the same God.

    I know it is hard but this blasphemy is so serious that I need to expose it as clearly as possible, even though I don’t want to uselesly hurt someone.

    I started a series of post on Calvinism from a progressive Christian perspective:

    I would be glad if more conservative Arminians (and Calvinists) would join in the conservations so that we will have an intersting and respectful discussion.

    Lovely greetings from Europe.


  6. A Mom said, on November 6, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    lotharson, Horrific is the word. What part of Europe?

    Here is a post on a blog called Diary of an Autodidact regarding DP.

    Paul, check out this post if you get a few minutes. It was quite enlightening to me. Quite horrific as well.


  7. Titus2Homemaker said, on November 18, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    As a professed “Calvinist” myself (although I prefer less man-centric terminology), I have to say that the position you have described is not a remotely accurate portrayal of my belief system, nor that of anyone else I know in person who claim to be Calvinist.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who is completely, 100% perfect right now and, in that sense, I’d say that we are “sinners.” But I adamantly believe that I am completely, utterly redeemed and my sin has been replaced by His righteousness. (“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”)

    The failings of a man do not negate a doctrine. If that were the case, we’d have to throw out everything King David ever wrote. Ad hominem attacks and legitimate theological discussions are best kept separate.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 18, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      A little under the weather but I can keep this short. Here is what’s key to the fact that like your mentor, John Calvin, you believe a false gospel:
      “I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who is completely, 100% perfect right now and, in that sense, I’d say that we are ‘sinners.'”
      That means you believe perfect law keeping is the standard for justification. And…
      “But I adamantly believe that I am completely, utterly redeemed and my sin has been replaced by His righteousness.” No, if you are saved, your sin was ended, not replaced, and you are not saved by Christ’s perfect law-keeping.
      You are not justified apart from the law–it doesn’t matter who keeps it–who keeps it is not the issue.
      You believe a false gospel of faith alone in sanctification to keep yourself saved because perfect law-keeping is the standard for justifcation–like all Calvinists.


      • Titus2Homemaker said, on November 18, 2014 at 6:48 PM

        That all sounded like so much semantic mumbo-jumbo. The Bible says that we are saved BY grace, THROUGH faith. Period.

        As far as sin being “ended” vs. “replaced” — well, the verse I quoted is pretty clear that His righteousness took the place of my sin. Anyone can look around and see that, in practical terms, my sin is not “ended” (nor is anyone else’s). In terms of its being imputed to me, you’re absolutely right. It already isn’t.

        But I don’t think you’re wasting a lot of virtual breath arguing insignificant things when there are much bigger theological issues — even within the realm of Calvinist vs. not-Calvinist. (It does help to have a solid grasp of what a given group of people ACTUALLY believes, though, as opposed to your own twisted view of what you THINK they believe, before you try to, ahem, “protest” it. 😉 )


      • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 18, 2014 at 7:10 PM

        If I am up to it tomorrow this will make a good post. You have said additional things that will enable me to clearly show why you believe a false gospel.


  8. Titus2Homemaker said, on November 18, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Have at it! But please use SCRIPTURE to do so and not just your own rhetoric. What Scripture teaches is really the only thing that matters.


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 19, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      Uh, Titus, if you are a good Calvinist, your use of Scripture is the Redemptive Historical hermeneutic. Mine is the Grammatical Historical hermeneutic which means that if you are a good Calvinist, you and I interpret reality itself differently. Your view of reality, if you are a good Calvinist, categorizes all of reality as either the GLORY STORY, or the CROSS STORY. No in-between. The tenets you have been taught fit a certain way of looking at reality itself. Hence, the plain grammatical sense of a passage doesn’t settle the argument, that passage must be seen in its “gospel context.” Viz, every verse in the Bible is about justification.


      • Titus2Homemaker said, on November 19, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        (And for the record, although I don’t believe historical redemptive OR grammatical historical is quite precisely an accurate description of our hermeneutic, grammatical is closer. This is a pretty accurate description of how I — and every other Calvinist I know — interpret Scripture: You presume an awful lot about me and my beliefs — and, it would seem, about my background. You would probably be surprised. 🙂


  9. Titus2Homemaker said, on November 18, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    (I am curious, by the way, who you heard making claims of Christians being “dead in sins & trespasses,” “enemies of God,” and the like. This is decidedly contrary to anything ANY Christian I know believes, Calvinist or otherwise.)


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 19, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      Titus, you just got done telling me we are all “sinners.” Now you are saying that is “decidedly contrary” to Christianity. Which is it?


      • Titus2Homemaker said, on November 19, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        Wow; your sense of logic is…mind-boggling. Yes, I said that in the sense that we do not live 100% perfect now, we are “sinners.” As in, “people who sin,” not “people who are defined by sin.” Can you honestly tell me that you — or anyone you know — has never, ever committed one single sin since being saved, that you are completely, utterly, in practice, perfect right now? If so, then, quite frankly, you’re full of crap. If not, can you please tell me what you call that, because you’re clearly taking my use of the word “sinner” — which I very pointedly put in context — out of context and attributing to it a meaning that I did not.

        (And with that said, once you’ve had opportunity to reply, I’m finished with this discussion, because I don’t believe in wasting time on vain arguments with people who care more about being argumentative than sincerely seeking truth together.)


      • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 19, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        You’re suggesting a partial inability versus total inability; ie, those LESS THAN PERFECT and ENEMIES OF GOD. That’s what Calvinists call semi-Pelagianism; viz, to the contrary, one sin = total depravity (see the Calvin Inst. 3.14.9-11). Your “context” defies the Calvinism you think you believe in. Like many Calvinists, you can throw around orthodoxed verbiage, but you really have no idea what Calvin believed. And yes, I can supply ample quotations from DA Carson, CJ Mahaney, and Paul David Tripp stating that Christians “hate God” and are His “enemies.” Because law is the standard for justification and perfection is required to “satisfy the law,” it’s not horseshoes, it’s handgrenades.

        Problem is, this keeps Christians “under law” which is the very biblical definition of a lost person. Any separation of sin under justification versus family sin under sanctification is semi-Pelagianism. Hence, according to Calvinism, Christ didn’t come to end sin on the cross, He came to die for past sins, and to live a perfect life so that His obedience, as you previously stated, “replaces our present sins.” This COVERING of sin versus ENDING of sin is appropriated by faith alone in Christian living. So, you must keep yourself saved by living according to a formula where Jesus obeys for you lest it be works salvation.

        Titus, today is the day of salvation, the following is the true gospel:

        Christ came to die on the cross and END the law and all sin that was imputed to it. SIN is defined by a violation of the law, and where there is NO law there is NO sin. So yes, in regard to justification, we are perfect because there is no law to judge us. Moreover, the old us that was under law died with Christ, so the NEW us that was resurrected with Him is free to obey the law for the sake of loving God and others. The law that once condemned us is now our instruction for loving God and others and spiritual growth in general. Our motives for obeying the law are pure because it has no bearing on justification. Our Lord said, “It is finished.”

        Our sin in sanctification can grieve the Holy Spirit of whom we are sealed until the day of Redemption, and can lead to the Lord’s chastisement, but it has no bearing on our justification because we are not UNDER LAW but UNDER GRACE.

        Therefore, Calvinism denies the true reality of the new birth, and makes it a covering for sin in justification rather than an ending of sin in justification. Rather than being justified APART from the law, Calvinism makes the law a co-heir with Christ to fulfill THE PROMISE made to Abraham. This is Paul’s point entirely in the book of Galatians–there is only ONE SEED.

        Titus, I invite you to follow Christ in true Spirit baptism as a new creature in Christ. Do not deny the true biblical definition of the new birth…you MUST be born again!


      • Titus2Homemaker said, on November 19, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        Let us get one thing straight. “Calvinism” is a misnomer, really, because “Calvinism” does not mean agreeing 100% with John Calvin. There are various “branches” of Calvinism, but the core of Calvinism — the non-negotiable, is belief in total depravity, unconditional election, limited (or “particular”) atonement, irresistable grace, and perseverance/preservation of the saints as outlined in the Canon of Dordt. Why the term “Calvinism” has been adopted is beyond me, but all these other side details you’re throwing in are utterly irrelevant to what “good Calvinists,” as you call them, actually believe.

        Regarding the covering of sin…first of all, I’ll be honest, I’m a little unclear in a lot of your comments which things you’re saying are true, and which things you’re saying I believe…but I do not believe Christ’s righteousness replaced my “past sins,” or “present sins,” but that it replaced ALL my sins — past, present, and future. That doesn’t change the fact that I still fall short in practice; it does mean that none of my sins are charged to my account — past, present, or future.

        However, I must emphatically disagree with you that Christ came to “end the law.” If you believe that, all of your claims to grammatical-historical hermeneutics are no more than a flowery-worded front, because Christ Himself very clearly stated that He did NOT come to abolish the law. No interpretation needed. No crazy implications. Just a plain, unequivocal, black-and-white statement: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.”


      • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 19, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        This just shows your progressive justification mindset that the one law does not have a different relationship to under law and under grace. The one law can only be “the law of sin and death.” Therefore, Jesus must fulfill the law for us. The “law of the Spirit of life” is a realm where we reside by faith alone and the law of sin and death is fulfilled in our stead by Christ, otherwise known as “the vital union.” Nevertheless, the so-called Christian is still under the law of sin and death. The person once under that law did not die with Christ, and resurrected to “serve” the law of the Spirit of life, he/she remains under the law of sin and death. This = NO new birth.

        And amazingly, the “Calvinists don’t necessarily believe what Calvin believed” truism continues to be espoused, and never becomes less dumbfounding when heard.


      • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 19, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        …moreover, you are saying the 5 points are the crux of Calvinism and not the false gospel of progressive justification. No, it’s not about election at all, it’s about the false gospel of progressive justification.


  10. Michael Gulotta said, on November 27, 2014 at 3:47 AM

    Justification is the initial declarative act of God, based on the New Birth. That declarative act is vindicated in a final declaration, as well, resulting in glorification. But that is not ‘progressive justification’. What is progressive is Sanctification. A real live tree gives forth the good fruit of True Justification. Does it always look like it is yielding good fruit. No. I agree with the Titus2Homemaker. You seem to speak with a forked tongue. I hope that is not intentional. Paul, will you answer the question, do you ever sin?


    • paulspassingthoughts said, on November 27, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      Whoa! Michael thank you for this precious gift! I will be addressing this in a post as the wording is very helpful in articulating the false gospel of the Reformation. And yes, I will answer your question: In regard to justification do I sin? NO, NO , NO ,NO , NO!

      The very question to a Christian, “do you ever sin?” is a hallmark of your false gospel. It denies that the old you died, and is therefore still under law. The new you, which you deny, is not sanctified by the same law that condemned the old you which has not apparently died.



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