Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Protestant Reformation was NEVER About the Bible

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 1, 2014

It was brought to my attention yesterday that Mr. Reformation himself, John Piper, hands down the most popular Calvinist of our day and the “elder statesman” of the Neo-Calvinist movement, stated the following in The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin  ( John Piper, Crossway Books, 2000, page 73):

We need to rethink our reformed doctrine of salvation so that every limb and every branch in the tree is coursing with the sap of Augustinian delight.

This is an outright admission that Plato is the foundation for understanding reality and the Bible. Augustine’s integration of Platonist philosophy with the Bible was well documented by Susan Dohse during the 2013 TANC Conference. Once one pursues knowledge in this information age regarding what was really going on during the Reformation, you see that it was nothing more or less than a philosophy war. You can take that literally because armies in fact brought swords and catapults to the theological debates going on during that time.

So, why did Martin Luther make Sola Scriptura a central focus of the Reformation? Due to the rise of the Age of Reason, the Bible being made readily available to the great unwashed masses was inevitable. Ingenuity invented the printing press, and the handwriting was on the wall. The masses were going to get a Bible in every hut, and it was obvious that Augustinian-like slaughter was not killing people fast enough to prevent mass distribution, so the next best thing was to mandate how people interpret the Bible. That’s what the Heidelberg Disputation was all about. Nothing more, nothing less.

Yes indeed, Scripture alone, but with what interpretation? Not the use of reason. To Luther and the Reformers, a serf believing in the ability to reason is like a toddler playing with a loaded gun. Basically, this is a discussion about grammatical interpretation using reason versus redemptive narrative. Those who would use reason to interpret the Bible were known as the “schoolmen,” and Calvin refers to them 69 times in the Calvin Institutes. The references are not complimentary. Like Luther, Calvin saw the use of reason to interpret the Bible as a rogue hermeneutic and antithetical to Platonist principles of philosophy.

This is an issue that has never been brought to the forefront among Christians for consideration even though most pastors preach via meta-narrative, and most Christians assume the use of reason to reach logical conclusions past, “I am a totally depraved person who can know nothing beyond the foolishness of the cross.” This is why Protestants are the most confused individuals on the face of the earth. Protestant pastors interpret reality in a totally different way than those being led.

And so it goes: Sunday after Sunday, the churches are full of parishioners trying to draw logical conclusions for living from a sermon designed to lead parishioners to one conclusion only: the only thing you can understand is that you cannot understand anything save that you deserve hell, and everything other than that is a an undeserved gift. Principles for living life? What life? Life isn’t for living, it is only to be praised as something done to us, not by us. The only thing we should be doing is hell, not life.

Therefore, if you raise a concern, or ask a question, this immediately reveals the fact that you just don’t get it. You are living for your own glory, and not the glory of the cross story. Knowledge and pride are inseparable, and of course, “pride precedeth a fall.”



Paul David Tripp Gnosticism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 20, 2014

TrippPaul David Tripp is a leading “Christian” author and well noted in the contemporary biblical counseling movement. Tripp was active in aiding fellow Gnostic David Powlison in hijacking the biblical counseling movement from Reformed grammarians. I use the term “grammarian,” who are few in our day, to differ from redemptive historical interpreters. If a teacher is not identified according to his/her interpretation method of either grammatical or redemptive, it is impossible to know what they are really teaching. You may think you know what they are saying, but you don’t. Depending on which method is being utilized, all basic theological terms, like “new birth” mean different things. To believe you can understand any teacher without knowing their interpretive method is folly. The best way to explain a grammarian is, “words mean things.”

Gnosticism came from Platonism and to state it simply: it is the belief that the material realm is evil and only the spiritual realm is good. In order to find true knowledge, one must obtain it by getting beyond what the five senses can ascertain. Plato believed that the material world is the shadows of the invisible world. Plato also believed that truth is immutable; so, the gateway to truth from the material/evil realm must be something immutable. For Plato, that was math.

The Reformers were not theologians first, they were philosophers first and were embroiled in the debate of that era: Plato or Aristotle? Platonism holds to spiritual caste which proffers the idea that elitist philosophers are preordained to lead the masses who are enslaved to the shadows of reality. They are specially gifted by the force or god of your choice to obtain the “Gnosis.”  Determinism is also a major pillar of Platonism.

Hence, Gnosticism can be seen throughout Tripp’s teachings, especially in How People Change. In that book, Tripp attributes a literal interpretation of Scripture to works salvation. He also attributes obedience to something that Christians only experience, but do not really perform; the experience is imputed to the material realm by the Spirit, who is defined more as a realm than a person. Gnosticism can be seen in Tripp’s interpretation of Romans 8:2 and most of Romans 7—“law” is not really “nomos,” a written law, but refers to two different realms: material/evil versus invisible/good.