Paul's Passing Thoughts

Dr. James White (Calvinist) and Dr. David Allen (Arminian) Keep the Christian Herd Calm While Vying for the Mutton

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 5, 2013

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“Based on the Calvin Institutes 4.1.21,22 alone, how could Dr. Allen say, ‘I do not consider it to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.’ Does this speak to the condition of American seminaries in general; the brain trust thereof are this clueless? I think it does. Christians are paying thousands of dollars to be educated by theological morons.”

There may be something to Socrates’ theory of intuitive knowledge. I have always suspected that the church is crippled by spiritual caste, but today’s events revealed to me that Protestantism is spiritual caste on steroids. I knew it, but now I really know it. Now I see it clearly.

I have been perplexed for some time over the Arminian/Calvinism debate that Christians never seem to tire of. The reason this is perplexing to me follows: Calvinism is clearly a false gospel. For four years, I tenaciously mapped the history and doctrine of New Calvinism. New Calvinists claim that they are returning authentic Calvinism to the church, a claim that I planned on addressing in volume two of The Truth About New Calvinism. In preparation for volume two, I consulted with church historian John Immel. When I showed him my New Calvinist map, he in essence said, “Yes, that looks an awful lot like what Luther and Calvin believed. I would read the Calvin Institutes.”

And that I did. To my utter shock, I learned that the Calvin Institutes are no more or no less than the New Calvinist playbook. I also learned some other interesting things about Calvinism. In the Calvin Institutes 4.1.21,22, Calvin states in no uncertain terms that Christians need a daily re-forgiveness of sins in order to remain saved, and that forgiveness can only be found in the institutional church under the authority of pastors. He also wrote that pastors are granted authority to forgive sins of condemnation by proxy. Truly, the Institutes are chock full of anti-biblical ideas and outright heresy.

Election versus freewill; Calvinism has been hiding behind this silly debate for more than 500 years while Calvinism is a conspicuous false gospel A-Z. The other day, I was sent some videos that pertained to Dr. James White’s objection to this year’s John 3:16 Conference. Here is what the Baptist Press said about the conference:

While stressing that the discussion between Calvinists and non-Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention is a family matter, speakers at the 2013 John 3:16 Conference outlined the differences between the two views and what they believe to be the issues hindering unity among Southern Baptists.

Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., which hosted the conference on March 21-22, told attendees that the event would help them “engage in the conversation going on across the nation and the Southern Baptist Convention.”

When I saw Dr. White’s critique of the conference, and other videos that in fact showed the ignorance that was on display at the conference and thereby making White look good, I decided to venture back into the arena of public debate. I contacted White’s ministry, Alpha and Omega, and received this reply:

Paul,

1. Could you please direct me to any of your published work on the subject?

2. Could you provide me with your credentials (training, degrees, etc.).

3. What work of Dr. White are you familiar with? Please list his books and debates that you have watched, read and perhaps even commented on.

4. I would especially be interested in any publications or sermons where you exegete, at the very least, Genesis 50:15-21, John 6:37-45, Romans 1-3 and all of Romans 9.

The following was my reply:

1. Yes, until 2012, I was the only author to publish a book on the contemporary history and doctrine of the Neo-Calvinist movement. In 2012, a work by Dr. Robert R. Congdon cited my book six times, and referred to it indirectly in several other places. Reviews of my book can be found at The Truth About New Calvinism .com. Volume 2 is in process, and the only book to date that documents the resurgences of authentic Reformed doctrine since Calvin’s oversight of Geneva. It also documents the antinomian controversies between redemptive historical Calvinists and grammatical historical Calvinists. Furthermore, the book will document the specific influences of Neo-Platonism on Calvin’s theology.

I am the only contemporary author to write a book that challenges the Reformation’s justification by faith alone as a works salvation: False Reformation; Four Tenets of Calvin and Luther’s False Gospel, TANC Publishing 2012. It focuses on progressive justification, the fusion of justification and sanctification, Calvin and Luther’s view of the new birth, their methods of interpretation, and the total depravity of the saints. It does not address the doctrine of election as that subject gets the cart before the horse in regard to soteriology.

Besides, it is my contention that Calvinists don’t really believe in election to begin with. They believe election enters you into a faith alone race in which you have to persevere by faith alone in order to keep yourself saved. In essence, a perpetual re-salvation through the process of mortification and vivification that makes the Christian life an experience, and not a work. This leads to an ambiguity regarding assurance that was an Augustinian hallmark. Everyone stands in one last judgment waiting to see if they lived the Christian life by faith alone adequately enough to avert “making sanctification the ground of our justification.”

I have also written a book (“Pictures of Calvinism”) that addresses the Reformed doctrine of the centrality of the objective gospel outside of us and its supposed application to life.

In addition, I have done research for the Institute of Nouthetic Studies and The Journal of Modern Ministry in response to their requests.

2. Credentials other than being Spirit-filled? Sure. I was a proponent of Reformed theology for 20 years, and a Reformed pastor for five. I was a pastor in Dallas TX, and am presently a pastor in Xenia, Ohio. For whatever it is worth, I have attended several Bible colleges and plan to obtain a degree sometime next year. I am also a certified biblical counselor.

3. I have watched several of Dr. White’s debates via video. The one that incited my goal here was in regard to the John 3:16 Conference. Though public debate is not my forte, I am compelled because Dr. White is right: their arguments against Calvinism are utterly pathetic.

4. I am presently preaching through the book of Romans, and the first eight chapters are published: “The Gospel: Clarification in Confusing Times.” You can peruse the archives here: https://paulspassingthoughts.com/the-potters-house/  We are in chapter 12.

In backing out of the debate, here was their excuse coming from the president of Alpha and Omega:

Paul,

Thank you but I don’t believe that we would have an interest in a debate at this time. Your focus of work seems to be in the area of Calvin and the history of the Reformation which is not something that we have ever pursued as a primary debate topic. Further, we do scholarly work here and after having been accused of ‘picking the low hanging fruit’ on numerous occasions by arminians we have simply raised the bar for the qualifications of our opponents. When you can show me that you have formal training in Greek, Hebrew and Systematic Theology at the very least I will be happy to reconsider whether we could find a topic of interest in common. Further, such a debate would need a primary focus on the scriptures with history being secondary for us to have any interest.

Blessings,

Rich Pierce

Alpha and Omega Ministries

Let me make a point here Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe parishioner. When you go to your pastors with a concern, in the vast majority of circumstances, this is how they see you: unknowledgeable in systematic theology, Greek, and Hebrew, and uncertified by a Protestant philosopher king institution. While they put on their I am really concerned and respect your spiritual intellect look, they are thinking, “Dude, just shut up and tithe your ten percent—you’re clueless.”

By the way, while these guys claim no interested in history, it would do them some good to know that the father of Reformation doctrine, St. Augustine, was not the least bit studied in Hebrew or Greek. And certification? He was a Catholic till the end. Would James White refuse a debate with St. Augustine based on academic credentials?

While I was waiting for the White camp to respond, I sent this email to one of the Arminian philosopher kings who spoke at the John 3:16 conference:

Dr Allen,

Greetings. My name is Paul Dohse and I work with a nonprofit LLC that researches Reformed theology and the Neo-Calvinist movement in particular. I published the first book on New Calvinism in 2011, and that book culminated four years of research. The only other work published on this subject followed a year later, and was written by Dr. Robert Congdon. He cited our work (“The Truth About New Calvinism” volume 1) extensively in his book, “New Calvinism’s Upside-Down Gospel.”

I have also published the first outright challenge to Calvin’s soteriology in “False Reformation: Four Tenets of Luther and Calvin’s Egregious False Gospel.” The book contends that Calvin propagated progressive justification, a denial of the new birth, the idea that justification is predicated on a perpetual perfect keeping of the law by Christ in the believers stead (a law that can give life for justification), and the idea that Christians must keep themselves saved by preaching the gospel to themselves every day.

In light of this, I would like to interview you in regard to your comments during the John 3:16 conference Q&A; specifically, to a couple of young men arguing for separation from Calvinists in the SBC. My blog usually conducts these interviews by videotaping me talking to the participants over the telephone, preferably a landline.

Thank you for your consideration,

Paul M. Dohse

TTANC LLC

Here was his response:

Paul,

Thank you for the invitation, but I must respectfully decline. While I strongly disagree with many aspects of Calvinism, I do not consider it to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity (hyper-Calvinism excepted).

Sincerely,

David L. Allen, Ph.D.

Dean  |  School of Theology

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Let us ponder the possibilities:

1. None of these people have ever read the Calvin Institutes while holding conferences and posing as experts on the subject.

2. They know what Calvin believed, but they don’t want to spook the herd for financial reasons.

Based on the Calvin Institutes 4.1.21,22 alone, how could Dr. Allen say, “I do not consider it to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.” Does this speak to the condition of American seminaries in general; the brain trust thereof are this clueless? I think it does. Christians are paying thousands of dollars to be educated by theological morons.

Moreover, on the Arminian side, it is the same. Notice how Dr. Allen summarily dismissed my assertions about Calvinism without a shred of curiosity. Why? See the Alpha and Omega Ministries reply—same reason. So, likewise, even if you are a theologically accomplished layperson, and you have a discussion with one of these Arminian guys, the result is the same:

While they put on their I am really concerned and respect your spiritual intellect look, they are thinking, “Dude, just shut up and tithe your ten percent—you’re clueless.”

Be not deceived, whether Calvinist or Arminian, they both have the same goal: don’t spook the herd. It is a spiritual caste system rivaled by none. Rather than teaching you theology, they banter back and forth to keep you confused, and controllable.

“After all,” says their fears, “if the herd can understand theology, what would they need us for?”

paul

12 Responses

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  1. trust4himonly said, on December 6, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    I am so sorry A Mom – are you feeling better?

    Ahh yes… – credentials don’t always = truth. In fact, some of the smartest people on the block can actually be the dumbest. Like Piper with his video on TWW. Foolishly going into a Muslim country (prayer noise going on in the background) and stating he and others are coming in to take over for Christ and THEN on top of that bringing in the whole PREDESTINATION spiel- what was that all about?

    Or Driscoll with his many doctorates calls Esther a whore, poor exegesis on Song of Solomon, and probably using ghost writers to write his books which ends up plagiarized in parts- how dumb is that?

    Like

  2. A Mom said, on December 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    t4ho, Yes. Much better. Antibiotics for such bacteria are a wonderful invention! What would our lives be without the benefit of hard thinking put to action by others?

    And I agree. To subscribe to Calvinism, one must stop thinking & observing & just agree. Wonderful previously working brains are traded in for mindless bottom of the barrel irrationalizations. I know, I shelved my own brain for a little while, I’m sorry to say. And it sure feels good to be free! Every single day I’m excited to think! 🙂

    Like


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