Paul's Passing Thoughts

Paul Dohse Challenges John Piper on Election

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on December 29, 2016

2016 Cross Conference in Indianapolis, IN
During the “John Piper On Deck” session, Paul Dohse takes on John Piper regarding Calvin and “election”.


13 Responses

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  1. John said, on December 29, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    At 1:50, the liar Piper says he is committed to the whole Calvinistic scheme. Okay, good for him.
    At 2:14, he calls “free will” a losing proposition. Okay, good for him.
    At 3:50, he says he doesn’t know who is elect. Okay, good for him. (Wow, what assurance from a loving “god.”)
    At 4:36, Paul Dohse poses his valid question. Not good for Piper.
    At 5:52, Piper says he doesn’t know Calvin well enough to answer Dohse’s questions. (See 1:50).
    At 6:00, Piper says Calvin is NOT his authority. (See first entry, at 1:50).
    At 7:33, Paul Dohse asks why is final justification future and NOT present? Mmm, has Paul hit a nerve?
    At 7:42, Piper answers that justification will be confirmed at the last day, and that ‘we need to talk in private afterward…because it is “complicated.”

    I openly say that I do not ever wish to know this “god” that this deceiver Piper is trying to sell to students (who do not want to think for themselves.) I got saved at a specific point in time, was justified at that specific point in time, and I am now on my sanctification road. And yes, all that happened because of Jesus’ death and resurrection (God’s plan for salvation for anyone who calls on His name and believes), and my “losing proposition” of believing on the name and person of Jesus Christ, after I’d heard the Good News.

    Call me a loser; I’m fine with that. But don’t call me an unrepentant sinner/unsaved/lowly worm/miserable dog, etc., because then God is a liar. Calvin or God? Piper or God? MacArthur or God? Sproul or God? Augustine or God? Pink or God? Edwards or God? You get the rhythm; add your own names now.

    Paul, thanks for challenging this false teacher at his own party. I sincerely hope that some souls took notice of his response and of the utter nonsense and anti-biblical trash he had spewed before your question. This is scary stuff to actually hear someone talk so anti-biblically and yet stand there as though God has just sent him a special tweet to confirm that what he is babbling on about is actually true.

    I’ll keep on praying for my Calvinist friends. Must I simply accept that they might be “magically” there in heaven one day without being born-again…just because?



    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on December 29, 2016 at 3:27 PM


      Thanks for taking the time to parse out Piper’s doublespeak!


      • John said, on December 29, 2016 at 3:42 PM

        Thank goodness it was not a 90-minute-long thing; it would have driven me to nail polish.


  2. johnimmel said, on December 30, 2016 at 10:10 PM

    Hahaha . . . oh this is so rich. Paul you have cojones the size of the moon.

    Anyway . . .

    Piper has five kids and (some?) of them don’t like what he preaches. “ . . . Nothing causes me more pain. Nothing keeps me awake— nothing brings fasting and praying to life like wondering if your loved ones . . . are ever going to believe. “

    The question is why? Why is there “pain”? In a determinist world there is no causal relationship between any action and any outcome. Why is Piper’s reaction to stay awake at night? His emotions are irrelevant to any outcome. And why does fasting and praying “come to life” with the wonder? Riddle me this: in a determinist world how does fasting and praying matter one whit? By definition there is NO human agency in God’s plan . . . so fasting? Why? Praying? For what? It’s not like God is going to change his mind because a man missed some meals, right?

    By definition, if Piper’s loved ones don’t “believe” (whatever that means) then they ARE reprobate because God wants them that way, (which Piper then goes on to affirm in the next 20-ish seconds of the video). So when Piper tells everyone of his emotional turmoil, by his own doctrine, his emoting is misplaced at best and his prayer and fasting is delusionally useless at worst.

    Piper: “I am committed to the WHOLE Calvinistic scheme.” The Calvinistic scheme is the only ‘hope.’ Can they—hardened people/Muslims ever be saved? Not because we believe in free will? That is a loosing proposition.”

    (Me rolling my eyes)

    OK so . . . “loss” and “proposition” are concepts based on the concept values. There is no such thing as values in a determinist construct. (see my TANC 2015 lectures)

    Let me summarize:

    Ignore John Pipers rhetorical preamble “Can they be saved . . .?“

    The question is irrelevant because there is no human discussion of MEANS in a determinist world. Again there are no causal relationships between actions and outcomes. So means is irrelevant. And it doesn’t have anything to do with sovereignty: as if a sovereign God cares if you ever know he is in charge.

    What Piper is really doing is performing an intellectual slight-of-hand. He is trying to “Sell” the Calvinist version of determinist. (e.g. election) as the superior intellectual conclusion because that (conclusion?? Belief??) is what gets people saved. (????!!!)

    Now notice the sales pitch: “[free will] . . . is a losing proposition.” Piper is positioning free will as the catalyst to failure so that predestination is the more palatable belief. We want our loved ones to go to heaven so it is “better” that we accept predestination. Because predestination is the byproduct of a “sovereign” god. And we don’t want to disagree with such a god because that might piss him off and keep those loved ones going to where its warm and smoke. GASP! Oh No! that dastardly “free will!”

    It is subtle and it is fast but this is the root of Piper’s argument.

    And now let us dissect the nonsense:

    LOSS is rooted in the concept VALUES. You don’t LOSE something you don’t VALUE. Mountains don’t suffer the LOSE of snow, right? Mountains don’t value anything. VALUES are the singular domain of volitional beings. LOSS requires an alternative between gaining and failing to gain something sought.

    An “alternative” requires that different of courses of possible action. If different courses of action are possible (LOSS vs GAIN) then there must be volition. Volition is the primary metaphysical foundation of the concept LOSS.


    But in a determinist world there is no loss because there is volition (aka action) Whatever is . . . is. If there is no volition there are no values so there is no LOSS as such.

    Notice that PROPOSITION is also a concept based on action where alternatives are possible: Success or failure, acceptance or rejection.

    The moment Piper says “loosing proposition” he metaphysically disqualifies everything that comes next. So it is not BETTER to believe in predestination because it offers hope. There is no BETTER because there is no value as such. There are no values qua values. There is nothing to loss and certainly there is no HOPE to gain. Predestination offers, in the strictest sense of the word . . . nothing. Piper’s assertion is a non sequitur because he has NO philosophical right to these concepts LOSS or PROPOSITION.

    So here in the intellectual deceit revealed: Like most philosophical frauds he smuggles volition into the very discussion that seeks to reject volition.

    There was a lot else to comment on but I don’t have the time parse out the details of Piper’s further nonsense. But I did want to fast forward to this exchange. (6-ish minutes)

    Paul D: “I can read it.” (Speaking of Calvin’s Institutes)

    John Piper, “I don’t need you to read it because he’s not my authority.” (He = Calvin)

    Ok, so beyond the fact (as John correctly pointed out above) that Piper in the first 2 minutes declares that he is committed to the Calvinist scheme and at minute 6 declares the right to intellectual independence. (Inconsistent much?)

    But whatever . . .

    I want you to notice the happy little intellectual two step Calvinists perform when confronted with an inconsistency. Calvin is both chief theological architected AND disposable foil. Calvin is all things Reformation theology, everything Bible, AND a mere mortal of no real consequence. John Piper wants the “authority” of Calvin’s orthodoxy AND reserves the right to exercise intellectual autonomy. Neo Reformed thugs like to pretend that the IRC is the definitive theological statement AND then dismiss the IRC when it serves their intellectual purposes . . . and that is pretty much when they are confronted with what Calvin actually said. (Don’t doubt me here Calvinists don’t read the IRC.)

    Do not be dazzled by Pipers appeal to authority: “I don’t need you to read it because he’s not my authority.” This is window dressing designed to impress you into thinking he holds the “BIBLE” as the highest authority and Calvin is just some hanger on who wrote some words that he is free to disagree with whenever it serves his theological feng shui.

    The dirty little secret the thing Piper never wants you to notice is that he has no epistemological right to INTELLECTUAL AUTONOMY. The moment he says his ideas are the product of authority he has subordinate his mind to someone else’s mind. If he were at all consistent with his own determinist doctrine he would say: “I can’t help what I believe because an authority told me to believe it.”

    In Calvin’s determinist world there is no such thing as mental assent. There is no such thing as persuasion, argument or logic.

    But notice Piper is totally impatient with Paul D’s argument. The impatience is the give-away to what Piper really thinks: He really believes that he is intellectually superior. He holds the questions, the challenge, in total contempt. The only thing that John Piper really thinks is “sovereign” is his intellectual right to accept or dismiss any idea beneath his judgment.

    But here is the reality: Piper is a third rate thinker at best. So my question is . . . How in the world does this man beguile so many?

    And pass the word on to Piper’s kids to come read and watch my stuff. I’ll arm them with intellectual independence so they can refute the delusions of doctrinal grandeur.

    By the way . . . the next time you hear a Calvinist say he disagrees with Calvin the very next question must be: “So specifically what Calvinist doctrines do you repudiate?” And then watch them sputter and twist and froth at the mouth about “biblical” authority.


  3. John said, on December 31, 2016 at 4:51 AM

    Indeed, John Immel, the only person responsible for Piper’s kids’ unbelief (unbelief according to Piper’s theological framework; they are probably born-again, I guess. Wouldn’t that be something?) is Piper’s sovereign God himself. In the same way, a stripper, or prostitute, or a child molester credits (not blames, mind you) God for their immoral actions because He has allowed them, caused them to happen, willed it to happen (in some cases, they believe, God Himself actually did those despicable things). In other words, the blame for doing wrong (anything wrong, and so by reasoning, anything right too, whether you’re a lowly worm or not, heehee) is never yours. Never. You are just a puppet on a string.

    Yes, I’ve noticed Piper’s self-assumed mental/intellectual superiority at once, and I have ranted on about Calvinists’ arrogance in this regard so much that I annoy myself sometimes. (Wait until you see Platt “perform.” Looooves the limelight; loves to share his “secret” knowledge that all those below him have no way of ever finding out for themselves.) But it is a reality in every Calvinist/Reformed/Protestant/Whatever robot I’ve ever met or heard. Where does that come from? Who/what is the paradigmatic influence, or authority for that? I bet my signed, fake copy of Calvo’s Diabolical Institutes that it ain’t the Bible or the Creator of all things, or His Son, or His Holy Spirit.

    MacArthur uses the same tricks as Piper, by the way. Mac is especially notorious for his logical fallacies, sensationalism, and “militantism.” Remember the “We shall not bow”-charade (attention-seeking play) from a couple of years ago? For weeks, social media was in heaven because Mac’s “call” was “trending”, and every Calvinist on the planet had vowed that he/she would not bow down (against things that those who are born-again naturally would also not “bow down” to, but we don’t get all “quasi-militant” about it.) One Calvinist blogger even boasted that she did not fear the coming persecution and whatnot because General MacArthur would lead them. And it is just here that I rest my case. Time to rip some more pages from my fake Calvin (peace be upon him) Institutes/Koran. Oh, I hope I won’t be punished for fiddling with and defacing such a holy thing.

    John Immel, I truly appreciate your work and insights.

    I did not want to, believe me, but I could not help it. It’s as though it was simply meant to be. What? This…for all them Calvinists out there (guys and gals, start thinking for yourselves, okay? Let your lives, now and eternally, be in the hand of the Creator, not in the hands of the manipulators and deceivers.) (complete with a Calvinist dress code, dead extras, and lyrics that resemble Calvinism just too closely. Oops.)


    • johnimmel said, on December 31, 2016 at 9:32 AM

      Hey John . . . Thanks again. It is always gratifying to hear that I’m not just talking into dead air.

      But it is funny how that determinist thing compels people. I mean I talk and people listen … it is like it was determined that they think what I think. See how easy it is Calvinists? Just submit your mind to my writing and all your intellectual responsibilities vanish.



      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on December 31, 2016 at 9:47 AM

        …he said, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. 😉


  4. johnimmel said, on December 31, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    So . . . I had this further thought this morning.

    If Piper doesn’t know who is elect . . . riddle me this: Why is he up at night worrying? Why does he “fear” for his children’s salvation? He doesn’t KNOW if they are or are not elect but doesn’t worry and fasting and praying imply that he does know that some of his kids are going to hell? How can this be? What is the foundation of his ontological certitude? is he, by chance, making a judgment about their current actions? About their current beliefs? Is John Piper daring to make a judgment of the efficacy of God’s grace?

    (Me raising one eyebrow)

    How quickly Reformed theology thugs abandon the core of their doctrine. CURRENT lifestyle or thoughts are never indicative of eternal state. There is NO human agency in God’s plan. Temporal human actions confirm or deny nothing. Go to church and submit to your local mystic despot for 60 years and still end up in a lake of fire. Act like a monster all the way to your last breath and you may still be elect. This would be the P in Perseverance of the Saints. The doctrine is clear . . . the only moment in a man’s life that matters is the very last Somehow–in an eye blink God imputes to the elect all the requisite whatzit to satisfy HIS grace. Right?

    How dare John Piper elevate his judgment to critique God’s sovereign plan. How dare he fast and pray and worry as if he knows Gods sovereign plan? How dare he presume that his evaluation of his children’s current state indicates their eternal state?

    If man cannot know who is elect then it doesn’t matter what we see, feel, taste, touch or smell as a measure anyone’s election. At no point can anyone know the elects’ status. If John Piper were intellectually consistent he must say that he doesn’t even know if he is elect. For all he knows God is just @%$#*^& with him and the preaching is just a sovereign joke and very shortly he is going to wake up in a lake of fire. Ha ha … jokes on him. Right?

    In light of the P in perseverance of the saints . . . eat, drink, fornicate and be merry for TOMORROW we find out if we are elect.

    Good job Piper’s kids. Here is a toast to your intellectually deviant reprobate self. At least someone in the family is being doctrinally consistent.

    (BTW: See how easy it was to get to antinomianism via the Reformed construct?)


    • John said, on December 31, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      Don’t the “elect” get a church membership certificate or something as proof of their election? Or unisex hipster spectacles? Or l’arrogance body spray?
      Or do they get a nod from the elders after house-and-bedroom inspection?

      (I still think Piper’s kids are born-again; he simply cannot say those words. It’s like expecting a stripper to say, “no.” Simply can’t.)


      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on December 31, 2016 at 11:36 AM

        “Don’t the “elect” get a church membership certificate or something as proof of their election? Or unisex hipster spectacles? Or l’arrogance body spray?”

        Don’t forget the “soul patch”.soul patch


      • John said, on December 31, 2016 at 12:29 PM

        Priceless! The soul patch! Of course! That’s for those higher up Calvin’s ladder (the coffee shop snobs). 🙂


  5. republican mother said, on January 1, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    The fact Piper can get up there and talk about this stuff with a straight face and not feel conflicted enough to stop giving these talks and such is amazing. If something I said wasn’t right, it would drive me crazy until I made it right – instead this bunch just papers it over with smugness.

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Isa 26:3

    I’m just not seeing the peace that passeth understanding with this bunch at all. I recently left a church I was attending when it was clear that I couldn’t stomach anymore of the Neo-Cal book studies – I kept noticing the “restless” theme. Also note, this was a tiny church and me and my kids significantly changed the attendance ratio. This was not a big outfit, but the guy was clearly following the “plan”.

    Book studies at night included Platt’s Radical, Jerry Bridges’ Trusting God, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters. He mentioned maybe doing Piper’s Desiring God, but my scowl probably put him off that. The regular SBC literature has been replaced with The Gospel Project, to which I made a weekly point to object to something the writers would say because it was so convoluted. I kept repeating, boy, I’m glad I’m born again!

    I didn’t know exactly why it was so off until I read Paul’s stuff on the Historical Redemptive Hermeneutic – that really helped everything click for me what was going on with that stuff. An older lady in her 80s lamented if she’ll ever see the New Testament in Sunday School again. I joked with the teacher that us young folks will get the to the New Testament one of these days if they older folks don’t live to see it! I can tell you no one likes this curriculum. My oldest daughter said she felt like she dies a little bit each time we go, so we quit going.

    I also noticed the strange,dark twist on Scripture. He asked the question, why would Paul want to go back to Phillippi when so many bad things happened to him there: the beating, the prison, the earthquake? And I’m like are you kidding? That whole story is a Holy Ghost rock party! He got a beating, but Jesus told them that it was a’coming. They were singing in prison; God sent the earthquake; a jailer got saved; Lydia gave them a place to stay, etc.

    I notice that these guys like CS Lewis, I think because they love the story aspect of their gospel. Lewis believed that Christianity was paganism fulfilled. I grew up in a New Age/Occult type environment, so I can’t tell you how much this offends me – but I guess it all goes back to these Gnostic roots for this bunch.

    Why did I start going to this church? About a year and a half ago it was totally different. The kids Sunday School teacher made up his own lessons geared to the kids that were there (mostly mine), which is how I did it when I did the Children’s ministry gig. He told me that it was the simplest church around, which is what I was looking for! The spirit there was great, even without a pastor, but since the new hire, it would seem that Neo-Cal Baptist v.1.1 has been downloaded and is running its malware on this place. Everyone who welcomed us there a year ago has moved away or died, so I really don’t want to watch anymore of this or I might get confrontational, and there is no worse sin in church is there?

    My husband, who is king of the introverts, ventured out to hear him preach when he first arrived, and commented that he was going to try to do the whole change the church over. He was right about that-each week it was a new idea he was throwing out – elders instead of deacons, for example.

    So to the first idea, there seems to be no peace with this bunch. They seems eager to have some works, but then do the fake humility act to prove that they aren’t owning their works. The mature Christians I know don’t get rattled about much, and know where they stand with God. This bunch seems to be restless because they are standing on the shifting sand, hoping not to get sucked in.

    “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13

    Liked by 1 person

    • John said, on January 1, 2017 at 12:22 PM

      Incredible and great observations, Republican mother. Thanks for sharing. Yup, it’s the same within these “churches” everywhere. You write, “I’m just not seeing the peace that passeth understanding with this bunch at all.” Well, you would not…Isaiah 57:20, 21 give a glimpse as to why not, among many other things. And Galatians 1:6–12 gives more proof as to the absence of heavenly peace. It’s all a fake, ain’t it?


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