Paul's Passing Thoughts

TANC Takes A Hit Via False Representation: My Response and Clarification

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 13, 2016

ppt-jpeg4After building my whole life around a church over a twenty-year period, I lost every “friend” I had at the time, my wife of 24 years whom I led to the Lord, and the privilege of living with my son, because I contended with the elders of that church over a different doctrine they brought into the assembly. Though the event was extremely unfortunate, it was the final leg of a broken road that has brought me to a blessed place.

In this blessed place, I am married to a real wife, understand real truth, and have real friends. The events of this week also remind me of something: when some disagree with you; it would seem they don’t think you deserve friends because you disagree with them. It is sort of funny how they bid you farewell in a seemingly classy way, wishing you the best of luck, after turning others against you.

There are more divisive ideologies out in the world than one can shake a stick at, but I customarily focus on the most significant; that is, until one in particular causes me to lose friends. And biblically speaking, falsehoods are always divisive. Where there is falsehood, there is division and broken relationships. Always.

This post will address events that have taken place this week within TANC Ministries, and center on a former friend of this ministry, Zack Vandermeer, the author of unreformingtheology.com and Melancholy Acoustic which focuses on “sad music being therapeutic.” One reason I want to address this issue is because Zack propagated a falsehood against this ministry that we hear often. It goes something like this: while TANC opposes Protestantism and Calvinism in particular, we really believe the same thing. And additionally, my treatment of other people proves that I bear the same fruit as well. Apparently, this was confirmed in the minds of others last week when I supposedly endorsed Ted Cruz who supposedly advocates the carpet bombing of innocent women and children, a policy that any self-respecting Calvinist would agree to.

How does Zack conclude that I am an unwitting Calvinist? I can only cite his own writings. In an article titled, “No! The Bible is NOT the Standard of Truth: A response to Paul Dohse” posted on his blog April 15, 2014, he states the following:

Now, I say “startling” because the theological/philosophical implications of such a declaration are so massive that if Paul means this as strictly and literally as it sounds,  then he has made his entire anti-Calvinist argument moot.  And that means that everything he writes and everything he thinks and everything he believes with respect to Calvinism being a false gospel is irrelevant. If he truly believes that the standard of Truth is an edict outside of man’s life then he has ceded the entire Calvinist argument, replacing one false gospel with another.

Although this very serious indictment against me, pretty much totally dismissing all of my convictions and labors of eight years, took place in April of 2014, Susan and I continued to cover this statement and many others like it with love and patience. Zack’s argument follows:

The truth is there is absolutely no rational argument for any standard of Truth outside of man’s life. Period.  Full stop.  There is no logical defense…such a notion is pure mysticism, and demands that man sacrifice what he IS (his life and the context of his SELF) for that which he is NOT (i.e. a standard of Truth OUTSIDE of his life).  This is the singular premise which forms the foundation of every cult of death, be it Communism (or other sundry forms of economic collectivism), Calvinism, monarchism, tribalism, racism, etc., etc.

This is why I am concerned that Paul would make such an egregious statement.  Indeed, if Paul really believes that the efficacious existence (truth) of ALL things must be vetted by the Bible, then all he has done is replaced “law” with “Bible”.  He rails against the Calvinists for demanding that the keeping of the law is the means of justification, while at the same time ceding the philosophical assumption which under-girds such an idea:  Truth is outside of man.  He replaces “law” with “Bible”.  How do you know if you are TRUE?  (And the flip side of that is GOOD.)  Your truth and good are a direct function of you integrating yourself into the commands of the “standard of Truth”, the Bible.

Bible-keeping is Paul’s law-keeping.  And the rest of his argument is meaningless.

The Calvinists win.

Interestingly enough, those who parted ways with us this week used the same terminology for their reasoning, especially the whole “cult of death” thing. But at any rate, where is TANC being misrepresented here? Notice that Zack totally excludes a principle strongly emphasized by TANC Ministries: the ability of humankind to reason. Simply stated, it is true that authentic Protestant orthodoxy rejects an inner ability by man to reason and ascertain truth that comes from God. In essence, according to Protestant orthodoxy, all understanding must be gifted to people when preordained by God.

TANC does not believe that at all, but moreover, and as stated in numerous posts on this ministry’s blog, paulspassingthoughts.com, we believe that the law of God is also INSIDE of man. In other words, because man is created in the image of God, His common truth is self-evident to all men. Therefore, people have the ability and freewill to choose God, but many deliberately suppress this inner truth in unrighteousness. This is diametrically opposed to Calvinism.

Indeed, Calvinism does promote the centrality of the objective gospel outside of us, but for crying out loud, I define that doctrine and refute it in The Truth About New Calvinism. I think something like four chapters address the subject.

To Zack, because of his Idealism Philosophy, which I will not delve into here, anything apart from man and outside of him rejects the very existence of man, or at least his right to exist, as you may read for yourself in the post cited.

Zack’s method of reasoning on this issue is patently absurd, but the damage is done. Nevertheless, it is a lesson well learned; when bearing with others in ministry, you need to know when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em.

paul

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