Paul's Passing Thoughts

TANC 2019 Andrew Young Session 1

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 24, 2019

Andy’s Notes and Slides:

“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” ~ Luke 6:26

1st Century Authority and the Contemporary Church

Ok, so we spend a lot of time here at TANC talking about authority.

We talk about the men in modern christianty. We talk about the who’s who in Christian circles. Who does your pastor quote in his Sunday sermons?

So these are the men we are supposed to look up to. These are the men who are supposed to have all the answers. The tell us that we need to be humble. They tell us that we need to be submissive to our pastors and elders. We go to their Bible conferences and we learn about things like cross-centered living, cross-centered marriages, cross centered homeschooling, cross-centered this/that.

I wanted to start out my series by just taking a quick survey of some of these guys, see what we can find out about them.

We can have fun with this. Its fun to ridicule these guys because they are worthy of ridicule.
At same time, it is also frightening and disturbing.

John Piper
Retired pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN (Retired in 2013)

Net worth: $11 Million (as of 2018) source:
Books written- 74 (listed by Wikipedia)
does not include articles written on Desiring God website.

Book income filtered through charity. Copyrights assigned to charitable foundation
(Desiring God Foundation)
501(c)(3) non-profit
Required to file IRS form 990
It would be interesting to follow the flow of money in this organization to see just how much Piper gets and exactly what he pays (or doesn’t pay) in taxes.

Hard to determine what he actually receives from book royalties.

Managed to guard against the love of money. Channeled back into ongoing ministry.

Desiring God website
The Gospel Coalition
Together for the Gospel (T4G)

Theological Pedigree
attended Wheaton College (1964–1968) majoring in literature and minoring in philosophy. Studying romantic literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated his poetic side,[12] and today he regularly composes poetry to celebrate special family occasions as well as annually composing story-poems (based on the life of biblical characters) for his congregation during the four weeks of Advent

he was originally on the pre-medicine track, only to decide to go into ministry during a bout of sickness, while listening to the sermons of Harold Ockenga over the radio from his hospital bed.[14] He then completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.[15] While at Fuller, he took several courses from Daniel Fuller and through him discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards.[16] Along with C. S. Lewis,[17] Edwards[18] and Fuller[19] are noted influences in Piper’s life and ministry.

Doctor of Theology degree in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Germany (1971–1974) under Leonhard Goppelt. His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House. Upon completion of his doctorate, he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel University and Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, for six years (1974–1980).[20]

C.J. Mahaney
(a.k.a Charles Joseph Mahaney, a.k.a. “C.J.”, a.k.a. “Seej”)

Founding pastor Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, MD.
Current pastor of Sovereign Grace Church, Louisville, KY.
Former president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (formerly People of Destiny International (PDI)) Resigned 2013

Net worth: $750,000 +, includes stocks, properties, and luxury goods such as yachts and private airplanes.

Author of at least 12 books
The Cross Centered Life
Proclaiming a Cross Centered Theology

Southern Baptist Convention
Together for the Gospel (T4G)

John MacArthur
(a.k.a. “J-Mack”, “Johnny Mack”)
Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA
Grace to You radio program
Former president of Masters College (formerly Los Angeles Baptist College)
Founder of Masters Seminary, 1986

Net worth: over $12 million
Annual salary: $160,000

Written or edited over 150 books!

Theological pedigree

attended Bob Jones University before transferring to Los Angeles Pacific College (now Azusa Pacific University). In 1963, he obtained his Masters of Divinity from Biola University’s Talbot Theological Seminary, in La Mirada, California, graduating with honors. From 1964 to 1966, he served as an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, California, and from 1966 to 1969 as a faculty representative for Talbot Theological Seminary.

Paul David Tripp
He’s got his own app!
Apparently he’s dropped the “David” part

“is a pastor, author, and conference speaker, connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.” (does he really believe that?)

More than 30 books and video series on Christian living
How People Change

Desiring God
Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life through the writing and teaching of Dr. Paul David Tripp. It was officially incorporated on June 19, 2006.

Theological Pedigree
Paul attended Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University) and majored in Bible and Christian Education. He went on to receive his M.Div from the Reformed Episcopal Seminary and his D.Min in Biblical Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary.

A faculty member at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) for many years, a lecturer in Biblical Counseling at Westminster Theological Seminary, a Visiting Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church.

Al Mohler
(a.k.a “Big Al”)
President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Net Worth: Approx $3.5 million

Founding Fellow of the Research Institute of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). The ERLC is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)
ERLC is a registered non-government organization (NGO) with the UN. This means that they must agree with the UN one-world agenda.

Theological Pedigree
Mohler attended college at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton in Palm Beach County as a Faculty Scholar. He then received a Bachelor of Arts from Samford University, a private, coeducational Baptist-affiliated college in Birmingham, Alabama. His Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in systematic and historical theology were conferred by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.[4]

host of The Albert Mohler Program, a nationwide radio show
produces a weekday podcast on the news, The Briefing, in which he provides commentary on current events from a Christian worldview.
former vice chairman of the board of Focus on the Family
member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

Now, after taking a look at some of these guys we should start to see some patterns, some common characteristics among them. What are some of them?

They write books…a LOT of books!
Incredibly wealthy (nothing against being wealthy, but how do they get their wealth?)
A lot of stock in their academic/theological pedigree.

This last point is mostly what I am going to focus around for the remainder of my series because it is so closely tied with authority.

Now, church leaders are going to tell you that the reason they have authority is because of some vague interpretation of Hebrews 13:17. Of course Calvin gave us this notion of the “power of the keys”. And then there was the whole argument about apostolic succession at the close of the 1st century. And for the last 2000 years church people have just blindly accepted this notion of authority.

We look at all the problems that are happening in churches today and we scratch our heads. You have survival and discernment blogs bemoaning abuse of authority in churches, and whining about symptoms. Oh if we just get the right kind of leadership. If we just get the right system of polity. If we just get the right system of accountability, all of these problems will get fixed. Folks, this is only addressing symptoms and not the root problem.

I want to give credit and the utmost thanks to John Immel for what he has taught me over the past 5 or 6 years listening to his talks here at the TANC conferences. I am so grateful for his knowledge and all the study that he has done. He has really helped my gain so much understanding of the kind of thinking that leads to the behaviors that we see in churched. And not just in churches but in the secular and political realm as well. There is no difference between politics and religion. They are both two sides of the same philosophical conclusions.

In philosophy you have these 5 disciplines that form a progression of thought from assumptions to conclusions.

Some time ago I decided I was going to work through the progression of these philosophical disciplines and try to come up with a useful chart that would summarize the progression of thought from different metaphysical assumptions. Come up with some way that we could do a helpful comparison. For example if one is an individualist, or has an individualist philosophy, what must that progression of thought look like? If one is a collectivist, what must that progression of thought look like?

This is what I came up with. I’ll leave this up here. And if anyone wants a copy of this I can make it available to you. But I want you to follow the progression of thought of the collectivist from metaphysics all the way down to aesthetics.

Man is existentially evil and fundamentally flawed and therefore has no ability.
This is the metaphysical premise. This is the reality. Or at least, this is the reality they want you to accept. This is what the collectivist is trying to get you to believe about reality around you. Regardless of what you think you know or can perceive with your own senses, you cannot trust them because they are flawed in some fundamental way.

This metaphysical premise results in an epistemological conclusion. Which is this:

Because man is fundamentally flawed, his depravity and fundamental flaws make him unable to discern truth. Truth therefore must be dictated to him from some authority, ruling class, or religious figure/despot/tyrant. This is where the philosopher king comes into play. There is some elect class of elites who somehow get a metaphysical pass from total depravity. They have some special calling that gives them the right to force their view of reality upon you.

This results in a system of ethics, which is where we derive values. What is value to the collectivist?

Since truth is dictated by authority, any value derived as a result of that truth is only relevant insofar as it benefits the collective. Man’s depravity/inability therefore means he has NO value. Any value he can possibly hope to contribute is found only in sacrificing himself for the benefit of the collective.

Now naturally, some people are going to naturally want to rebel against this kind of value system. So…

A rigid class structure is needed in order to compel man to operate within the above ethical assumption. An authority is needed to use force against man when necessary lest he make the mistake of assuming that he can do anything for himself outside of the collective, or that anything he does for himself is of any value to himself or another.

Ultimately you will see the impact of this progression of thought manifest itself one way or another in artistic expression.

Cultural expressions represent a tribute to the collective and some notion of utopian prestige. They speak to what the collective values the most.

Why are there all these problems in churches? This is not a new development. This is the kind of thing that has been happening for thousands of years. Why, because it all follows the same pattern of philosophical thought.

Now for the remainder of my series I am going to give you a couple of examples from the New Testament. We’re going to look at them in depth. In my next session we’ll look at an example with Paul from the book of Acts. And then the session after that, I have a great case study in religious authority from the gospel of John.

But for now, to close out this session I want to just look as some passages of scripture. And I might comment on these as we go through them, but I think it’s best to just let them speak for themselves. These are all memes that I have posted on PPT over the past year or so. As I go through these, feel free to stop me and comment about any of these that happen to really resonate with you.

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
Ezekiel 34:2-4

Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
Ezekiel 34:7-10

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Matthew 23:4-7

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Romans 16:17-18

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:1

Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.
Micah 3:9-11

“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” ~ 2 Peter 2:2-3

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:12-14


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