Paul's Passing Thoughts

In Regard to Debating Protestants

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 5, 2017

ppt-jpeg4Protestants, especially those of the Reformed stripe, are the most intellectually dishonest people among men. When it gets right down to it, as someone mentioned just yesterday, any attempt to debate a Protestant is a “fool’s errand.”

Why is this? I think my encounter with John Piper at the 2016 Cross Conference put the reasons on full display.

During an open Q and A session that will be a format unlikely to be repeated at future Neo-Calvinist conferences, I confronted Piper about Calvin’s three categories of election; the non-elect, the temporary elect, and those who persevere, or the permanent elect (Calvin Institutes 3.24).

He had just finished stating his position on predestination in response to a question about lost relatives. His position? Though the thought of relatives spending eternity in hell is agonizing, the fact that God elects some people for salvation should give us hope. Otherwise, there would be no hope that anyone would be saved.

My question to Piper followed immediately after: how can any of us know we are saved when Calvin’s temporary election is considered? His answer follows:
“I don’t know Calvin well enough to answer. I don’t believe there is any such thing as temporary election. So, if he says that I don’t agree with him.”

I then offered to read Calvin’s position on temporary election from the Calvin Institutes. Piper then replied, “You don’t need to read it he’s not my authority.” Problem is, here is what Piper stated in his opening to the Q and A shortly before our exchange:

“So, I am committed to election, predestination, effectual calling, and the whole Calvinistic scheme.”

I called him out on the contradiction: “You referred to the whole Calvinistic scheme like 5 minutes ago.” To which he replied, “Right, the whole scheme of TULIP. The Institutes are 1100 pages and there are lots of them I don’t agree with but let’s just go to the Bible.”

There are several problems to be noted here regarding Piper’s legitimate knowledge of Calvinism while claiming to be one, and his blatant flip-flopping of positions within the same conversation.

First, if people would educate themselves about Piper’s primary mentor, Jonathan Edwards, they would find that Edwards wrote about the joy we will experience in heaven while watching our former family members suffer in hell. Supposedly. While often referring to Edwards as an example of pure genius, Piper seems to feel our agony about condemned relatives. My point? The history of Protestantism’s psychopathic murdering despot forefathers should discredit Protestantism all by itself. Augustine, Luther, and Calvin are held up as heroes of the faith while a cursory observation of history will reveal who they really were.

Secondly, while Piper surprisingly pointed to his lack of knowledge concerning Calvin while claiming to be a Calvinist, he later claimed to be aware of several pages in the Calvin Institutes that he disagrees with. Which is it? Does he know Calvin well, or not well? He stated both in the same conversation.

Thirdly, when called out about saying he is committed to the whole Calvinistic scheme and then rejecting Calvin as an authority, he answered by saying that his statement only referred to TULIP. There are two problems here: TULIP doesn’t represent the whole scheme of Calvinism and TULIP is not from Calvin but rather the Synod of Dort.

Fourthly, during said Q and A, Piper claimed to be an advocate of OSAS concerning the elect, and contended via the Bible that “those who left us where never of us,” or in other words, were never God’s true elect. But Calvin clearly states in the Institutes that the temporary elect are also temporarily “illumined” and suffer a greater damnation than the non-elect accordingly.

Fifthly, while recognizing that he threw Calvin under the bus to save face and quickly claimed to be a Biblicist instead, he proceeded to use the Bible to defend his version of election which includes “effectual calling.” Only problem is, the Bible makes it clear that “many are called but few chosen.” This is the verse that Calvin used to make his case for temporary election. The “called” are the second class of elect who fall away, or the ones temporarily elected and illumined for purposes of suffering a greater damnation for God’s glory, and those who persevere are the permanent elect.

Hence, in fact, and in contrast to the Bible according to Calvin, some of God’s gifts and callings are revoked.

Though Piper denied this in the Q and A, Calvin’s position of temporary election is reflected in the Protestant tradition of supersessionism. This is the idea that Israel was, well, temporarily elected and replaced by the church.

Sixthly, here was my response to Piper’s rejection of temporary election: “And if that’s true, why is ‘final justification’ (a staple Protestant doctrine) future and not present?” To which he replied, “I do believe that justification is present, and will be confirmed in the last day.”

So, if justification is confirmed on the last day, how can he say that “those who left us were never of us”? If they already left us, why would those who didn’t leave us need to be confirmed on the last day? And if they didn’t leave, doesn’t that mean they persevered?

Seventh, while throwing Calvin under the bus and quickly becoming a Biblicist, he denied the clear teaching of Scripture concerning multiple judgments. If justification is “confirmed on the last day,” doesn’t that mean believers and unbelievers all stand at one final judgement? Sure it does; and in fact, that’s Protestant orthodoxy. The huge problem with that follows: CLEARLY, all who stand at that judgement are condemned and judged by the law. This is not only a Piperist propagation of Progressive Justification, but an admission that Protestants are biblically defined as “under law.”

The problem with debating a Protestant is simple: they will continually move the goal posts and redefine terms. Many of their interpretive doctrines have it both ways: “Already, not yet.” “Simultaneously saint and sinner.” “Distinct, but never separate,” and “the paradoxical gospel.”

Therefore, the endeavor to debate a Protestant is indeed a fool’s errand.


8 Responses

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  1. lydia00 said, on May 5, 2017 at 10:25 PM

    “The history of Protestantism’s psychopathic murdering despot forefathers should discredit Protestantism all by itself”

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    (Personally, I think they actually admire them for their authoritarianism and wish to have it)


  2. lydia00 said, on May 5, 2017 at 10:27 PM

    “The problem with debating a Protestant is simple: they will continually move the goal posts and redefine terms. Many of their interpretive doctrines have it both ways: “Already, not yet.” “Simultaneously saint and sinner.” “Distinct, but never separate,” and “the paradoxical gospel.””

    And after playing mind games they shame you about “unity”.


  3. johnimmel said, on May 5, 2017 at 11:30 PM

    Yea Paul this is excellent. The assessment of Piper’s deceitful argumentative methods . . . perfect.


  4. Argo said, on May 6, 2017 at 12:08 AM

    “The whole Calvinist scheme”.

    “I don’t agree with everything in the Institutes.”

    Sorry for my language but…what a f*%#ong a$&@hole.

    How can anyone ever accept anything these doubletalkers say?!


  5. John said, on May 6, 2017 at 6:10 AM

    The problem is that many think that Calvinists/Reformed sheep and the majority of Protestants (like Presbyterians, Lutherans), etc.) are all Christians just trying to get to heaven a different way (or being “called” and “elected” there a different way.). Whatever. I don’t agree.

    They are not just “Christians.” They are part of a cult…an anti-biblical, Jesus-diminishing, self-serving, self-worshiping, authority-fetish, control-freak cult. And a dangerous one, one that does not care one hoot about you.One that shows not the love of Christ; one that condemns. One in which the majority of its cult members are NOT born-again (yes, there are exceptions to every rule; there are those who are duped by these devils). So how can one debate with these cultists? Why should you?

    Pray that those who really love Jesus and have been saved (past tense) by Him as part of God’s great plan of reconciliation come out of the whore called Calvinism.

    Calvinism has nothing to do with the God of the Bible. That cult preaches a different gospel, a different Jesus, a different blooming everything.

    Let them be accursed.


    • johnimmel said, on May 6, 2017 at 9:06 AM

      LOL . . . actually John, if they were at all consistent with their doctrine . . . they already are accursed.

      That is why i like calling them evil Calvinists. I’m just agreeing with their doctrine of Pervasive Depravity.


      • John said, on May 6, 2017 at 2:37 PM

        John Immel,

        I also call them evil, and I don’t care who reads it. Lydia is correct in assuming this when she wrote, “(Personally, I think they actually admire them for their authoritarianism and wish to have it).

        I believe that many (if not most) would like to take control today and force people to do/think what to say, etc., whether you’re an Eskimo or a Bulgarian who don’t even know a thing about God, for example. I think, really, that in their “impressive” (everything about them has to be impressive, eh?) library, you will find some books about Hitler and other mass murderers. I just know that. Mm, aren’t they “celebrating” the Deformation 500 this year. That it coincides with Halloween is just too much of a coincidence. Hee hee. Satan plans well.

        Oh, of course, and if you don’t agree with their twisted, evil doctrine and authority, let your head roll or expect to be shot in the back of your head while your five-year-old daughter looks on…all for the pleasure of the sovereign gawt because they are the “rulers.”

        The only thing this evil lot is consistent in is in their inconsistencies.


  6. lydia00 said, on May 7, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Btw, I went through the whole NCT meme with some folks about 10 years ago. They aren’t Reformed, they aren’t Calvinists, Blah, blah. My view is that they are striving for a distinction without a real difference. And of course NO ONE ever gets gets it right. Same old story.


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