Paul's Passing Thoughts

Denial of the New Birth

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 8, 2016

John Piper’s Gospel of Begging for Salvation and Hoping for the Best

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on March 12, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally posted August 6, 2013

The Reformed gospel is really a begging for salvation and then hoping for the best. “Election” only qualifies you for the drawing where “final justification” is determined at a one, final, justification judgment. Calvinist views on assurance are shrouded in an ambiguous “already not yet” terminology. You’re for sure saved, but it will be “confirmed” at the final judgment. By the way, there is clearly more than one judgment and one resurrection in the Bible. This is just another example of Calvinists interpreting the Bible any way they please.

One way of confirming this assertion is an examination of John Piper’s Christian Hedonism theology. In his book Desiring God, Piper makes joy absolutely synonymous with salvation:

“Could it be that today the most straightforward biblical command for conversion is not, ‘Believe in the Lord,’ but, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord’?” (Desiring God page 55).

“The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an ‘extra’ that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your ‘faith’ cannot please God. It is not saving faith” (Desiring God page 69).

“We are converted when Christ becomes for us a Treasure Chest of holy joy” (Desiring God page 66).

“Something has happened in our hearts before the act of faith. It implies that beneath and behind the act of faith which pleases God, a new taste has been created. A taste for the glory of God and the beauty of Christ. Behold, a joy has been born!” (Desiring God page 67).

But then, Piper continually prefaces that with the idea that joy is strictly a gift from God. He is adamant that we can do nothing to obtain the experience of joy. For those who can’t find joy, all they can do is pray and hope all turns out well because where there is no joy, there is no assurance of salvation. Just one of many examples is in Piper’s book When I Don’t Desire God:

In obedience to God’s word we should fight to walk in the paths where he has promised his blessings. But when and how they come is God’s to decide, not ours. If they delay, we trust the wisdom of our Father’s timing, and we wait. In this way joy remains a gift, while we work patiently in the field of obedience and fight against the weeds and the crows and the rodents. Here is where joy will come. Here is where Christ will reveal himself (John 14:21). But that revelation and that joy will come when and how Christ chooses. It will be a gift.

Throughout the book, on nearly every page, Piper describes methods for seeking the joy that is in fact our salvation:

Heaven hangs on having the taste of joy in God. Therefore, it might not be so strange after all to think of fighting for this joy. Our eternal lives depend on it.

So, those who want to keep their salvation fight for joy. It is all incredibly ambiguous. In contrast, the apostle John wrote that we can “know” that we are saved. “Fighting for joy” is conspicuously missing in John’s instruction. The good John, not Piper.

paul

New Calvinism and the Great Society

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on November 30, 2014

Didn’t plan on doing any writing today as I am trying to tie up family chores in order to start back on writing projects tomorrow. However, I always make the mistake of checking in on FaceBook before I get started with my day. Couldn’t resist but to comment on a post, and thought it would make a decent post here as well.

I read the article over at Desiring God.org, and of course, John Piper is the “elder statesman” of the Neo-Calvinist “resurgence” which has been going on since 1970. The movement has all but totally owned the American church for 10 years, but yet we are in an increasingly, according to the article, “secular” and “post Christianity” gospel misinformed society. Hmmmm, whose fault is that?

Truly, the New Calvinist movement has to be the spiritual version of Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Trillions of dollars have been poured into the program since the 60’s and at the end of the day, it is an abject failure (see “Detroit”). The New Calvinist movement, since its conception in 1970, has escalated into a multi-billion dollar religious empire with a massive sub-culture of church “campuses” and innumerable information networks. Yet, we see the emergence of a never-before-known phenomenon called “the Nones”: people who have given up on church but not God. Like the liberal media, the New Calvinist evangelical industrial complex bears no responsibility for this and continually claims to be the new kids on the block with all the answers to the woes they have created.

Not only do we have the phenomenon of the Nones, but in 2009 spiritual abuse blogs, primarily focused on the New Calvinists, exploded onto the blogosphere. This movement also created the advent of intercessory organizations like Peacemaker Ministries to keep congregants from suing churches. Ironically, these organizations are supported by local churches, and therefore funded by the laity, just in case they would want to sue the institutional church.

Unfortunately, the institutional Protestant church has NEVER advocated individual evangelism because of its Platonist foundation and subsequent spiritual caste system. It has always been the producers bringing people to the expert, or specially anointed evangelist. I shouldn’t have to say anything more than “Billy Graham” to make the point here.

And, neither is said article advocating Christ’s individual mandate, but rather a “community effort.” And be sure of this, Collectivism is always about “community.”

It’s Not About Truth and it Never Was.

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 10, 2014

Paul M. Dohse

TTANC L.L.C.

PO Box 583

Xenia, Ohio 45385

To Dr. Walter Price and the Board of Trustees of Southern Seminary:

Gentlemen,

It is no surprise that truth is of low value in our day; the apostle Paul informed Timothy that in the latter days people would not tolerate sound doctrine, and we are in those days. Hence, there are no expectations in regard to this letter, but nevertheless, it is a duty to proclaim the truth.

Southern Seminary now offers academic credits for attending seminars at conferences sponsored by various organizations connected with the present-day resurgence of authentic Calvinism. Though the traditions of men and antinomianism was of primary concern as stated by Christ during His earthly ministry, the evangelical academia of our day follows the crowds in wholesale acceptance of any doctrinal name brand that sells.

This blitzkrieg of resurgent conferences targets youth specifically. The resurgence seeks to turn a whole generation of youth to this doctrine. This represents the future of the American church. Evangelicals, and its academia in particular, seem indifferent to the gravity of future accountability attached to this reality.

Our organization researches the Calvin Institutes, and the trustees of Southern Seminary would do well in following our example rather than the opinions of men like Albert Mohler. Calvin’s gospel, as stated in the Institutes, is a call to keep ourselves saved through the practice of antinomianism, and has a distinctive Gnostic application. It is works salvation by Christ plus antinomianism, and reduces obedience to only experiencing the imputation of Christ’s perfect obedience to the Christian life. An example of this would be on page 215 in How People Change (2006), a book written by Paul David Tripp, a speaker at the recent Cross Conference endorsed by Southern Seminary. He states the following:

When we think, desire, speak, or act in a right way, it isn’t time to pat ourselves on the back or cross it off our To Do List. Each time we do what is right, we are experiencing what Christ has supplied for us. In Chapter 11, we introduced some of the fruit Christ produces. We will expand the discussion here.

Calvin, as well as Luther, believed that all reality is interpreted through the works of Christ in the gospel, or the “objective” gospel and the imputation of those works are experienced “subjectively” in order to remove our works from sanctification. Hence, “the subjective power of an objective gospel” and other such mantras often heard among evangelicals today. This necessitates, in a manner of speaking, interpreting every verse in the Bible as a justification verse; i.e., “Biblical Theology,” a buzz word at Southern. This way of interpreting the Bible was introduced by Christian mystic Geerhardus Vos circa 1938.

Calvin also redefined the new birth as an experience of perpetual rebirth in order to keep ourselves saved by the same gospel that originally saved us. So, the new birth is not a one-time event, it is a perpetual cycle of the same repentance and new birth experience that originally saved us—that’s why we must, “preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” This is the doctrine of mortification and vivification. It is part of Calvin’s systematic theology. This is factually indisputable. The Christian life focuses on our total depravity and repentance only, leading to the experience of vivification, or a joyful experience.

Therein, the human “heart” is redefined as something that is transformed only by its increased ability to experience vivification. This is why John Piper states that joy is essential to the Christian life; if vivification is not being experienced; perpetual rebirth is not taking place:

The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an ‘extra’ that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your ‘faith’ cannot please God. It is not saving faith (Desiring God: p. 69).

Likewise, Southern Baptist Paul Washer states the following:

This cycle simply repeats itself throughout the Christian life. As the years pass, the Christian sees more of God and more of self, resulting in a greater and deeper brokenness. Yet, all the while, the Christian’s joy grows in equal measure because he is privy to greater and greater revelations of the love, grace, and mercy of God in the person and work of Christ. Not only this, but a greater interchange occurs in that the Christian learns to rest less and less in his own performance and more and more in the perfect work of Christ. Thus, his joy is not only increased, but it also becomes more consistent and stable (Paul Washer:The Gospel Call and True Conversion; Part 1, Chapter 1, heading – The Essential Characteristics Of Genuine Repentance, subheading – Continuing and Deepening Work of Repentance).

The new birth is redefined as a “cycle” rather than a one-time event like our physical birth. It is redefined as a perpetual rebirth experience as we focus on our saintly total depravity. We are only righteous positionally; regeneration is a mere experience of Christ’s perfect obedience to the law. This not only keeps Christians under law, but inadvertently calls for a rejoicing in our own supposed total depravity.

This is why authentic Calvinism dies a social death within Christianity every 100 years or so. God’s people eventually catch on to the fact that it is a false gospel. Lighter forms of it survive the rejection while maintaining the label. We are presently within the fifth resurgence since Calvin’s Geneva, and the trustees of Southern are mindless participants accordingly.

We had the wonderful privilege of meeting many, many young people at the recent Cross Conference where you promoted this false gospel. We realize that there will only be a remnant that loves the truth enough to reject this latest academic novelty. But this is a generation of young people capable of great things, and smart enough to know that they only need God Himself to accomplish His mission. We believe that American Christianity has become a mission field in and of itself; namely, YOUR resurgence movement, a movement that bears your name, and we are seeking to reach that remnant of God that loves His truth. This is our duty and calling. A gospel promoting a justification that is not finished cannot save.

Meanwhile, as stated by the apostle Paul, let those who teach another gospel be accursed whether they be angels or men of renown.

Because only truth saves and sanctifies,

Paul M. Dohse

John 17:17

Matthew 4:4

Why? Because Piper is an Antinomian, That’s Why

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 7, 2010

“Let me suggest that Piper’s indifference to this behavior is spawned by his theology. Has that thought ever crossed anybody’s mind?”

Well, I didn’t expect to be posting this topic this morning. I was perusing stuff from the 2010 Shepard’s Conference and saw something taught by a Mark MacArthur (Not John; who is he?). That really got my curiosity gong, so I googled the name. What I ended up seeing first was an article asking why John Piper invited Mark Driscoll to his 2008 Desiring God Conference. The answer was left open. It seems that nobody really knows the answer as to why; other than the explanation given by Piper himself, and that doesn’t seem to be good enough. But what shocked me was the discovery in the same article concerning a series John MacArthur did about a year ago in regard to Driscoll’s handling of the Song of Solomon. I was unaware of it, but it was surprisingly candid / scathing, and four parts long! The article also noted that MacArthur related his concerns to John Piper directly, and apparently, to no avail.

So why would John Piper associate with “Mark the cussing pastor,” and even invite him to speak at his Desiring God Conference? Well, we get a clue in another spectacle that occurred at the same conference, an interview with Paul David Tripp in which he relates having a cussing contest with his own children while in the family car. If you can still find the video, it has a lame disclaimer in the introduction claiming that Paul Tripp doesn’t condone cussing; he was only cussing, and encouraged his children to do so as well in order to make a point. The video even offended Steve Camp, who railed about it on his blog: http://stevenjcamp.blogspot.com/2008/09/paul-tripp-ing-likes-to-say-s-word-has.html

But whether it’s Mac, or Camp, or all of the people who comment, they seem perplexed by this behavior and Piper’s indifference to the issue. Camp closed his scathing commentary with this comment:

“Anyone seen the real John Piper lately? If you do, tell him that he is missed and that we want to hear him just preach the Word again and leave behind his fascination with this high-school, emerging, juvenile, lascivious mentality once for all.”

This is what’s frustrating to me: I have seen the real John Piper for a long time, and I am really just a dumb hillbilly from Portsmouth, Ohio. Let me suggest that Piper’s indifference to this behavior is spawned by his theology. Has that thought ever crossed anybody’s mind? Piper has a problem with a Christian obligation to uphold the law. Christians are not listening to what he says in careful, studious, fashion. If Steve Camp would carefully examine the preaching from the John Piper who was supposedly missing while at his own conference, he will find a marvelous, masterful, exposition of God’s word; but strictly in vertical form. Piper’s teaching is all but completely void of instruction and practical application. His ability to proclaim the glory of God camouflages his plenary monergism, and his disdain for a synergistic approach to sanctification. As a matter of fact, like Paul David Tripp, he often cites Scripture that concerns our condition prior to salvation to make specific points about our walk with God as Christians. Like Tripp, he does not believe that we are anymore equipped to have a part in our sanctification than we were before justification. That is why Piper said in one sermon: “Never, never, never, never, separate the gospel from the sanctification process.” Do Christians really know what he is saying when he says those things?

Yes, yes, yes, I know, these guys believe in the upholding of the law; they just don’t believe that we can have a part in it, don’t miss that point. In the final analysis, it needs to be called what it is: antinomianism. You may not agree with me, but my premise certainly explains Piper’s indifference to the behavior of Mark Driscoll and Paul Tripp. John Piper has never been missing in my mind. And by the way, who is Mark MacArthur?

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