Paul's Passing Thoughts

Dee Parsons of Wartburg Watch: The Personification of Everything Wrong with Church

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 8, 2015

Blocked by DeeWhen Paul’s Passing Thoughts .com was started in 2009, the goal was to find out why church turned on me with a vengeance despite my best efforts. Second to that was the question, “What now, where does one go from the point of diagnosing the problem?” You have to properly diagnose the problem before you can fix it.

This article will not wear you out with points leading up to a final conclusion; I will begin by stating what I have found. Church produces the fruit of its ideology. What is wrong with church? Answer: church is what’s wrong with church. Christ’s mandate to his followers was never intended to look anything like church. The solution is to depart from church and pursue Christ’s mandate to His followers. You can’t fix church. There is nothing there that is salvageable.

Let me back up a tad because this post is not the least bit personal, but seeks to sharpen the objectives of TANC Ministries. This is some information that I have not shared before. PPT was primarily a blog for the express purpose of sharing my research. My focus was research. I had to know why—how could dozens of pastors stand by and watch Clearcreek Chapel do to my family what they did?

Clearly, obviously, from a literal interpretive standpoint in regard to the Bible, what they were doing was dead wrong and unbiblical. During the episode, I was even under the counsel of a church that was part of the same fellowship of churches that Clearcreek Chapel belongs to. The pastor, the late Rick Wilson, was a former associate pastor at CCC. The present pastor of the church, Paul Craig, was an elder at the time and according to Wilson found the situation, “unsettling.” Grace Covenant (Beavercreek, Ohio) was obviously stuck in the middle, and was also the recipient of a significant exodus of people from CCC at the time. Though I was clearly under church discipline at CCC, I was allowed to attend Grace Covenant on a regular basis. I even thought about applying for membership which would have forced the Grace Covenant elders into making a judgment regarding the veracity of CCC discipline. I should have; watching that play out would have been priceless.

Eventually, Wilson instructed me to go back and play along in order to get my wife back, but I had already tried that for four months. During that time, I was subjected to cult-like break sessions conducted by CCC elder and Psychiatrist Dr. Devon Berry. The CCC elders knew that I had overcome serious depression in the past, and it was obvious they thought they could use Berry and the circumstances they were bringing to bear in my life to drive me into debilitating despair. It was very apparent to me at the time: that is what they were trying to do.

I want to stop right here and thank God publically for something right now—I want to give Him the glory. At the time, I was working out of town and laid in bed at night before going to work the next day…in perfect peace. My favorite time of the day during that time period was bedtime. Why? I laid there in the quiet darkness, not really thinking about anything except how peaceful it was. I was doing nothing but laying there soaking up the peacefulness. Do I have any theories regarding this experience? One: I had begun a long journey in search for the truth. God is with one on such journeys. That’s my best shot at answering that question. By all reasoning, I should have been a basket case.

Let’s now pause here for some simple clarification. It all boiled down to two things:

AUTHORITY, and how I interpreted reality versus how they interpreted reality.

I have discovered something in my research—research enables you to come to a point more and more where you can explain complex problems in simple terms. In the 2500 + articles I have written on Reformed ideology, you can see the focus move from the what to the why. My first book articulated the what and how it contradicted a grammatical interpretation of reality, though I didn’t understand the latter dynamic. My second book articulated the contemporary history of the Neo-Calvinism movement and added some more data about grammatical contradictions.

My third book and subsequent booklets articulate the grammatical contradictions in regard to soteriology. They also describe the dynamics between the Old Calvinism/New Calvinism question and how the interpretation of reality drives that debate.

Including time spent prior to PPT, eight years later, I can now put all of this in simple terms. It boils down to AUTHORITY vested in the interpretation of reality.

And, the established credential thereof known as “orthodoxy.” What is the premise of orthodoxy? Nothing more or less than the claims of men that people choose to believe. You can put any number of things in place of “naked” in regard to the following question posed by God, “Who told you that you are_____?” Be very, very, very wary of what men say God told you. And that’s orthodoxy. And the place we go to get certified in orthodoxy is called “seminary.” In case you haven’t noticed, God isn’t the dean or an adjunct professor in any of these schools.

PPT Blocked 4Here is something else that should be evident: you, and only you alone will answer to God. Therefore, pick your orthodoxy well. There are no attorneys in God’s court save Christ, “hear ye Him.” “God has spoken to us in these last days through His Son”, not a horde of academics.

So, what do we have in the recent dust-up between PPT and Wartburg Watch? Be advised, I am not going to rehash all of the gory details. Dee Parsons is right and I am wrong because she has college degrees, and holds to orthodoxy. Paul Dohse does not have college degrees, and does not hold to orthodoxy. Paul Dohse holds to a grammatical interpretation of realty, and therefore asks, “How can those who proclaim themselves ‘wicked’ lay claim to salvation?”

Be sure of this: NOTHING has changed since Christ ministered on earth. The primary pushback against Christ was clearly the orthodoxy of the day. Christ deliberately avoided the lauded academia of that day. I just don’t know what is more obvious. In addition, he had to personally reeducate the apostle Paul who was the only religious academic that He used for foundational purposes.

I am weary of documenting the steroidal cognitive dissonance that takes place over at Wartburg and their e-church hosted by the Barney Fife of pastors, Wade Burleson. Regardless of his credentials, from a standpoint of interpreting reality grammatically, his theological snafus are just plain embarrassing. For example, you can’t make the point that a biblical author was teaching something based on the analysis of a word that didn’t exist in the first century. This all takes place in the face of common sense for the same reason I experienced what I experienced at CCC:

AUTHORITY vested in a particular interpretation of reality.

Because one is credentialed in knowing how to lead those who cannot know reality, one should have authority over you for your own good and the common good of people in general.

In varying degrees, CHURCH, established in the 4th century by St. Augustine et al, is the expression of this primary root, and the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Chaos and drama will continue in the church with no solution in sight because of its foundational presuppositions concerning the interpretation of reality and the authority vested in its epistemology.

This ministry’s series on the Heidelberg Disputation focuses on the following fact: at issue with the Reformation was a debate about the interpretation of reality. Of course that spoke to how the Bible is interpreted, but the issue started with how reality itself is to be interpreted. Let me give you the thumbnail:

Words don’t necessarily mean things.     

By and large, there are two kinds of Protestants roaming about, Calvinists and functioning Calvinists. Susan and I often have conversations with people who hate Calvinism, but verbally espouse Calvinism unawares constantly. We don’t even address the particulars anymore because we know a complete reeducation is needed. This is what we are attempting to do with the HD series. This series reexamines the roots of the poisonous tree.

This is why Dee Parsons, in the recent dust-up, insinuated that I am mentally ill. What is the definition of a person who does not properly perceive reality? Hence, the CCC elders involved a Psychiatrist in my situation because they honestly believe I am mentally ill because I interpret reality grammatically. Reformed scholars such as Geerhardus  Vos have stated such openly. Pastor Russ Kennedy told me I was “mad” and begged me to allow them to “shepherd” me. I believe the guy honestly meant well and still does. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Class Act

By the way, I am not talking about grammatical interpretation that leads to a redemptive outcome. I am talking about the interpretation of reality beginning with exegetical presuppositions in the purest sense. I realize Reformed scholars interpret a verse literally when it can serve a redemptive historical outcome…

…that doesn’t make you a proponent of interpreting reality grammatically.

One of the accusations that flowed from the recent dust-up was that TANC Ministries is merely developing its own orthodoxy. Not so. Orthodoxy fundamentally interprets reality according to Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation which was expanded upon by John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. Seminary degrees guarantee that individuals will not do independent research that will reveal the real tenants of orthodoxy:

  1. It is a metaphysical redemptive narrative that interprets all reality through a dualism of good and evil.
  1. It demands the fusion of faith and force for the common good of mankind.
  1. It is predicated on spiritual caste that adds additional mediators between God and man other than Christ.
  1. All of reality progresses as predetermined by manifestations of good completely outside of man.

Dee Parsons’ response to me that “I don’t believe what you say I believe” is most likely due to her ignorance regarding the true sum and substance of the same Reformed orthodoxy that she promotes. Perhaps. While claiming to be an advocate for the spiritually abused, she picks and chooses from orthodoxy what she wants to acknowledge.

The Westminster Confession is just wonderful, but its call to control the free press and execute those who are heterodox is due to the authors being “men of the time.” Of course, their politics and ethics had nothing to do with their ideology. Perish the thought, and no, American Jurisprudence isn’t the only difference between Calvin’s Geneva and the present-day church. It’s absurd to think Dee Parsons would actually have you committed to a mental institution because she thinks you are mentally ill. It’s absurd to think Mark Driscoll would really put you in a wood chipper just because he said that’s what ought to be done. It’s absurd to think James MacDonald would catapult you into the next county, and to your certain death just because he said he wishes he could.

Church is a place where professional clergy interpret reality in a completely different way than most parishioners. Congregants follow the dictates of church leaders while being clueless in regard to their interpretation of reality. They are given elements to follow while being totally unaware as to what those elements are based on. Hence, chaos and confusion reign. Duggar-like drama is paraded before the world constantly like an out-of-control stampede of rats. Yet, that isn’t the madness; the madness is suggesting that we rethink how church is done.  After all, Catholicism and Protestantism have had only 1500 + years to get it right. Not only that, the Neo-Calvinist movement has been in total control of the church for at least ten years. Growing steadily since its conceptual resurgence in 1970, discernment/spiritual abuse blogs exploded in 2009 when the movement shifted into 4th gear. Starting in 2008, a historical phenomenon of mediation organizations to keep churches out of court exploded onto the scene as well.

With all of this considered, I think I have heard the best assessment of Wartburg Watch yet:

Subconsciously or consciously, Dee uses her blog as a means to leverage her desire for a seat at the American church’s authoritarian table. Period. Whether this was an initial objective of her blog or merely a pitfall of unforeseen success, who knows? But the reality is obvious:

Dee creates better soldiers, not better souls. And the irony is thus that the “victims” who frequent her site often become the very image of that which they initially despised: manipulative self-appointed God-proxies who claim that the only legitimate doctrinal discussions are with those whom already concede their reformed hermeneutic (Muff Potter, anyone?).

My point is that the cognitive dissonance, the categorical rejection of reason as a yard stick for measuring reality (the efficacy of existence), makes contending with her an almost perfect waste of time.

So what’s the solution? I believe the solution is an utter rejection of orthodoxy and church as we know it. The immense ramifications of that is not the issue—truth is the issue. The church has had its chance to make a case for hope, and has not measured up.

I believe the task ahead is daunting, but will supply a freedom and joy beyond our wildest imaginations. It is a call for Christians to submit themselves to the one mediator Jesus Christ. It is a call for Christians to stop listening to men, and “hear ye Him.” Orthodoxy has NO authority, ALL authority has been given to Christ and no one else.

Past this, God’s people must gather together for mutual encouragement and edification in the ways prescribed by the Bible and not the traditions of men.

When is the misery and suffering produced by orthodoxy enough to make us question everything?

That time is well past.

paul

New Calvinist Terms/Phraseology

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on March 3, 2015

Glossary of Gospel Sanctification Terms
_______________________

“Finally, I must deprecate, and I do it in love, the use of uncouth and new-fangled terms and phrases in teaching sanctification. I plead that a movement in favor of holiness cannot be advanced by new-coined phraseology, or by disproportioned and one-sided statements–or by overstraining and isolating particular texts–or by exalting one truth at the expense of another– or by allegorizing and accommodating texts, and squeezing out of them meanings which the Holy Spirit never put in them”

~ JC Ryle

Apostle’s hermeneutic: A supposed pattern of interpretation used by the apostles that replicates redemptive-historical hermeneutics. However, despite numerous challenges from various writers, NCT proponents have never been able to articulate it.

Christian hedonism: Invented by John Piper in 1980. He believes people are completely driven by their desires. Therefore, change the desires and you change the person. Piper believes we can only change our desires by meditating on the gospel as seen in the Bible, with a goal of making Christ our deepest desire. Therefore, a Christian hedonist is one who seeks pleasure in God. He also believes that biblical imperatives only serve to make us dependent on Christ and cherish Him more (because they show us what Christ has done for us, rather than anything we are supposed to do) – we are powerless to keep the Law. He cites Romans 6:17 to make this point, and believes Christians are still “enslaved” to sin (pages 31, 32, essay, pages 89-98).

Deep repentance: Repenting of idols in the heart which are discovered by identifying the desires that they (the idols) produce. The idols can be discovered by asking ourselves “X-Ray questions.” Repenting of the idols (after we discover them) “empties the heart” which leads to us being filled with Christ. This is followed by automatic, joyful obedience because Christ is obeying for us (pages 30, 201).

Good repentance: Repenting of good works, or anything we try to do in “our own efforts” as opposed to yielding to Christ and allowing Him to obey for us. Paul Tripp says this will result in “new and surprising fruit.” Tim Keller teaches that repenting of good works is also necessary for an authentic conversion.

Heart theology: The study and theories of how we discover idols in our heart (essay, pages 145-148).

In-lawed in Christ: The Law is completely fulfilled in Christ because He obeyed it perfectly. Therefore, we have no need to obey it, nor does it have any role in sanctification.

Imperative command is grounded in the indicative event: All biblical imperatives illustrate the work of Christ, not anything God expects us to do. As Paul Tripp states it: All biblical commands must be seen in their “gospel context”(essay, pages 82-86).

Imputed active obedience of Christ: Christ’s perfect life imputed His obedience to us so we wouldn’t have to obey to be justified in sanctification (since there is no difference between the two according to GS proponents). This is also called monergistic substitutionary sanctification
(see new obedience ).

Intelligent Repentance: Another term for deep repentance.

New Calvinism: The expression of New Covenant Theology (NCT)  and all of its tenets; heart Theology, gospel sanctification, Christian hedonism, and the redemptive-historical hermeneutic.

New Covenant Theology: Conceived in, or about 1980. The belief that the New Covenant abrogated all aspects of the Old, including, and especially, the Law. The New Covenant replaced the Law with a single “higher law of love”(page 56).

New Legalism: Synergistic sanctification. Any attempt to apply the word of God “in our own efforts.”

New obedience: The result of deep repentance – Christ obeys for us. We know that it is not us obeying in “our own efforts” because when it is Christ obeying through us, the obedience will always be experienced with a willing, joyful spirit, or Christian hedonism (pages 31,194).

Progressive sanctification: Ongoing justification, which isn’t a one time act, but is continually applied to us as needed. Some advocates of NCT acknowledge a daily “re-saving.” Paul Tripp says that Christians need a “daily rescue,” and cites Romans 7: 24 (essay, pages 124-129).

Redemptive church discipline: A redemptive process (rather than a process for resolving conflict between Christians) to eradicate sin in general. It is often used to convert individuals to monergistic sanctification. In many churches, this process has been assimilated into their counseling programs (essays; pages 159-172).

Redemptive-historical hermeneutics: Invented by the liberal theologian Johann Philipp in the 17th century and further developed by Geerhardus Vos. It makes NCT possible by supplying a prism that will always yield redemptive concepts from the text (essay, pages 177-183).

Reorientation of the heart: Replacing idols with right desires. This happens when we repent of idols discovered through interpreting desires, and replacing them with lofty visions of the gospel and Christ, which produces godly desire instead of idols which produce evil desires (page
146).

Rich typology: It’s so rich, that it doesn’t read like typology, but rather seems to be literal, being so rich. Example; “Israel” doesn’t really mean “Israel,” but is always a reference to Christ. God’s word really doesn’t mean “word,” or “Law,” but is also 100% synonymous with “the person of Christ who personifies the Law.”

What does that look like? If your leaders start using this phraseology, again, it’s a red flag. It’s an attempt to eradicate the implication that Christians are supposed to participate in the verb world. Instead of: “what should we do?” It’s: “what does that look like when Jesus is doing it for us?”

What did you want? The most utilized interpretive question among the X-ray questions used to find idols in the heart.

Word pictures: If your pastor starts using this phraseology, it’s a red flag. The insinuation is that the Bible writers were writing a gospel narrative / novel / story rather than a document containing specific ideas / instruction to be drawn from the text by evaluating grammatical construction and historical context.

X-ray Questions: Interpretive questions used to identify idols of the heart.

Advice to Clearcreek Chapel Members Being Held Against Their Will: Don’t Slip John Street a Note

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 14, 2015

streetRegardless of unresolved conflict with many Christians and documented outrageous behavior by the leadership of Clearcreek Chapel in Springboro, Ohio, the Professor and Chair of the graduate program in biblical counseling at The Master’s College and Seminary, John Street, will conduct the Chapel’s annual “Family Enrichment Weekend” (1/23, 24/2015).

I would equate that to chickens having a celebration of life conference at a KFC processing plant. The Clearcreek Chapel leadership has devastated many families, and the idea of a “family enrichment conference” hosted by them is an absurd mockery. Regardless, the biblical counseling community insists on sending troubled people to their counseling center and endorsing them overall.

Clearcreek Chapel, referred to by many in the area as “Cloudy Creek Chapel” and “Clearcreek Cult,” has a storied past of bazaar teachings from the pulpit and outright creepy behavior by the elders. They also hold a suffocating control over parishioners and their instances of church discipline matches that of churches several times their size. The Chapel has brought people up on discipline for insufficient tithing, nonattendance, and asking too many questions. Congregants have also been disciplined for vacating membership without the approval of Chapel elders. Members can also be disciplined for visiting websites that are unapproved by the elders; e.g., it was announced that visiting any website authored by moi is “sin.”

Devon Berry, one of the present elders, preached a sermon that propagated the following idea: spiritual growth can only come from the word of God if heard coming from an elder. In another sermon, Berry promised the congregation that Jesus would keep the Chapel by-laws for them. He also stated that the Chapel membership covenant has equal authority to the Bible.

A former elder who recently left the Chapel for undisclosed reasons used to lead a yearly pilgrimage to the gravesite of Geerhardus Vos, a Reformed mystic who died in 1949. In the last known Pilgrimage, said elder read from one of Vos’ books graveside while weeping. You can’t make this stuff up.

However, the hallmark of Chapel leadership is holding people hostage there under some kind of threat; usually, loss of reputation through church discipline. In fact, counseling, formal or informal, is considered the first step of church discipline by default. The counselees are rarely aware of this. The Chapel then uses information gathered in counseling to control people. Though Street is clearly aware of all of this along with the counseling organizations that support the Chapel, they continue to robustly endorse the Chapel with no hesitation. Basically, they are referring hurting people to a classic cult.

I am not sure when these types of endorsements became closure for me, but they are. The topic Street will be delivering is an example of this: The Gospel-Centered Marriage. So, John Street is going to the Chapel with New Calvinism’s Christocentric calling card. He is officially New Calvinist. In regard to no one in the Reformed camp that I was a part of for 20 years holding the Chapel accountable, I am totally ok with it because none of them were ever my friends. I was never a New Calvinist, but apparently, all of my “friends” were.

Nevertheless, I can give some advice to those being held hostage there by some means. I know what you are thinking: when Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown, some of the members slipped him a note asking for help. I strongly advise against that when Street arrives. He is one of them, and he won’t help you.

In addition, neither can his Christocentric progressive justification help you. Gee, sorry you have to go, but I am sure it is required since you are under “heavy counseling.”

paul

An Open Letter to the Board of Trustees of Southern Seminary

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 2, 2015

TANC LOGO

Originally posted January 2, 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, 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

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

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