Paul's Passing Thoughts

So, What’s Up With All of This “I Didn’t Do It, God Did It” Stuff?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 17, 2023

Originally posted in 2019, revised and edited.

One experiences many confusing things at church, but the most well-traveled road of confusion is people dong stuff they really didn’t do; God did it. Like the head coach of Clemson football, yesterday, the coach of Liberty’s basketball team gave “all the glory to God” because they didn’t really win the game, God did, because of their “Christ-centered program.” 

Truly, there is no religion on earth less self-aware than Protestantism. They are so utterly clueless regarding their own confessions that any religion, cult, or militant group should be commended for simply understanding what they really believe. Moreover, no one is better than Protestant scholars at dressing themselves up as the epitome of academic acumen. To watch the likes of John MacArthur Jr. and others at conference Q and A sessions present themselves the way they do is stunning when you realize how clueless they are. 

Few Protestants, if any, understand why they do or say anything. So, why do they say God did something they clearly did? I will explain. It starts with something the Liberty coach said while not really knowing what it means like all things Protestants say. “Christ-centered,” is a term that encompasses a vast body of Martin Luther’s metaphysics. While Protestants hail Luther as their spiritual hero and father of their faith, and this includes Evangelicals and Lutherans alike, they are slow to recognize that Luther was primarily a philosopher of Platonist disciplines. Christocentric metaphysics encompass Luther’s Theology of the Cross which was based primarily on Dualism. 

We will begin by stating why Protestants say they didn’t do something when they did, while not knowing why it is important for them to say it. Reason: if they claim they did something good, they, according to Luther’s Theology of the Cross, have denied the gospel and will consequently go to hell. Now, of course, regarding that being the reason, the Protestant will protest, while stating that the purpose of the statement is to only give God all the glory. Sounds good, but that is NOT Protestant orthodoxy. If you ever want to know what Protestant orthodoxy is, never ask a Protestant because they don’t know (and the ones who do know are not going to be honest about it). However, we must remember that the talking points they don’t understand lead to a functionality that doesn’t match the intellectual confession, and that is fine with the Protestant industrial complex if not the outright goal. 

So, how does this all work? In Luther’s metaphysics, reality is divided into two parts, or realms: 100% evil, and 100% good. Luther didn’t necessarily assign 100% evil to all the material realm, but he certainly assigned it to humanity. In this metaphysical construct, humanity is both passive and active while the good is only active. What does this mean? Regarding humanity, it is actively evil and passive. When the human is active, only evil occurs, only evil can flow out of man, whether lost or saved, but the human being also has a passive element. This passive element is like water. What do we know about water? It is passive; in other words, until it is acted upon by gravity, temperature, or wind (an active force outside of it), it just sits there and does nothing. 

Hence, when a person does something good, it is only because their passive element was acted upon by God. Therefore, God did it, not you. When water freezes, the water didn’t do it, the temperature did. When water does the wave dance, the water isn’t doing it, the wind is. HOWEVER, keep in mind, all this activity, whether passive or active, is experienced by us (according to the doctrine) as if all of it is active. In other words, it is experienced as if the totally depraved humanoid did it actively. 

Now, let’s get a little bit deeper into Luther’s metaphysics and how this is experienced in reality. Don’t forget the key element to understanding all of this: EXPERIENCE. We will now mention contemporary lingo that refers to Luther’s Theology of the Cross: “Objective justification/righteousness experienced subjectively.” Good and evil are both objective, but humanity only experiences both subjectively. In other words, in the experience of the totally depraved individual, saved or lost, they cannot distinguish from the active or passive; they cannot distinguish between whether their actions are coming from within their own evil self, or whether their passive being is being acted upon by the good (even though it all feels like it is active by us). In contemporary lingo, we also hear “The objective gospel outside of us.” All good remains outside of the individual, or Martin Luther’s “alien righteousness.” 

Accordingly, Luther split up works this way: human; ALL evil with some of the works appearing as good. The invisible realm: ALL good. It is interesting to consider why Luther (and Calvin) rejected the notion that a human can do a good work: the law. Luther and Calvin both believed a human cannot keep any aspect of God’s law perfectly; hence, ANY act by ANY individual can only bring condemnation. In other words, perfect law keeping is the standard for righteousness. This is an astonishing contradiction to the Bible which shows us a righteousness “apart from the law.” In the true gospel, mankind and true righteousness become one apart from the law because of the new birth. The new birth, according to the Bible, changes a true believer’s relationship to the law from something that can only condemn to something that can only reward. Luther and Calvin both rejected this idea and insisted on a single perspective on law and its sole purpose for condemnation. 

Therefore, central to Luther’s soteriology based on his metaphysics (view of reality or humanity’s state of being), he coincided all the aforementioned with a doctrine of mortal sin and venial sin. All venial sin is forgivable through the church’s “common means of grace” while there is only one mortal sin: the belief that humanity can do good works or anything else that would find merit with God as opposed to summary condemnation. This is the doctrine of total depravity. And this is why Protestants, though few realize it, are insistent on “giving all glory to God” and the “Glory to God alone” solas. This philosophy is also the foundation of the 5 Points of Calvinism. By the way, regarding soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), Calvinism cannot be separated from any form of Protestantism via the mostly insignificant subject of freewill. ALL Protestants function according to the doctrine of Total Depravity, while some deny it intellectually. Most, if not all Protestants insist on “giving all the glory to God” and thus deny the importation of a gift that enables the individual to do good works actively. In effect, an unwitting denial of the new birth, which was redefined by the Protestant Reformation. Certainly, God gave us the original gift, but any gift that is accepted transfers ownership to the recipient or else it is not a gift. A loan is not a gift. We are either righteous as a state of being, while failing to love because of weakness, or yet under condemnation because we are loaned the righteousness of someone else via a “legal declaration,” which is not a righteousness apart from the law to begin with.

Don’t misunderstand, there are some Protestant scholars who truly know what it’s all about. A few names would be DA Carson and Tim Keller. Some time ago, Tim Keller received push-back from the church at large for teaching that Christians need to repent of good works to remain saved. The amount of push-back he received is indicative of Protestant confusion as Keller’s assertion was merely sound Protestant orthodoxy. I would also say many of the neo-Calvinist teachers of our day understand what’s really going on like John Piper and Mark Dever. That’s the T4G, TGC, etc. bunch. This is why they drive many Evangelicals in the church at large nuts—because they don’t understand that the movement is a return to real church. 

Just for giggles, and because I know our readers who are original/independent thinkers have some good questions, I am going to delve into this a little deeper with the help of Jonathan Edwards. In other words, I am going to delve deeper into how all of this supposedly works in real life. Let’s begin by defining what is saving faith according to Protestantism. “Faith” is merely an ability to perceive reality according to Luther’s metaphysical construct. Luther and Calvin both equated saving faith with agreement regarding their Platonist worldview and stated such often. Anything perceived by the five senses is evil, including technology that would improve life. That knowledge is earthly and is dubbed “the glory story” (the story of man) as opposed to “the cross story” (the story of God and redemption) in Luther’s Theology of the Cross metaphysics. All empirical knowledge that improves life only accomplishes the following: it puffs man up and steals glory from God according to Luther. Accordingly, and supposedly, Christ primarily went to the cross to establish a lifestyle of suffering to obtain true knowledge as opposed to being part of establishing the new birth and ending the condemnation of the law. So, according to Jonathan Edwards, saving faith is a sixth sense that enables one to see the cross story apart from what the five senses perceive, which is only evil (Martin Luther’s glory story). 

Before any action, people think about it first, or the action is based upon a prior thought. Edwards taught that God was the author of the first thought that produced any good work. The mind of the individual is also actively evil and passive. Any idea that we have is evil, but any idea that comes from God’s action on the passive part of our humanity is good. But again, we have no way of distinguishing between the two because they are experienced by us in the same way, or as if the idea was originated by us. This is why Keller rightfully suggested that “Christians” pray to be forgiven of good works; that is, works that only appear to be good but aren’t because they didn’t come from God. As one pastor stated it, “Sanctification is done TO us, not BY us.” Nevertheless, it is experienced, or feels like it is done by us. Since authentic Protestantism affirms sanctification as the progression of salvation (progressive justification), these feelings must be rejected as truth with a confession that the “Christian” life is experienced subjectively.

We can therefore close with the suggestion that sports coaches don’t necessarily have to give God all of the glory for winning a big game because winning a big game wouldn’t necessarily be classified as a good work. It might be more theologically correct to ask for forgiveness for winning the game and how winning puffs us up. Or, they could say this: “If we won this game, we ask for God’s forgiveness, but if it was his doing, we give Him all the glory.” That would be the truth according to Protestant orthodoxy because life is subjective and the coach has no way of knowing whether God won the game or not. 

God loves to win basketball games and football games because such is a moral good work…who knew? 


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