Paul's Passing Thoughts

Second Epistle of Andy to “Trevor”

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on February 17, 2016

Some time ago I relayed the account of a Facebook interaction I had with an individual I called “Trevor”.  Trevor is a young man in his early twenties.  I’ve had the privilege of having long conversations with him regarding theology and Biblical matters in general.  Trevor goes to a local church and has made a profession of faith, so giving him the benefit of the doubt (since it is not my place to make a judgment otherwise) I regard him as a brother in Christ.

Last Friday, Trevor and I got into another discussion, this time about the Law and how it pertains to believers.  Since he was pressed for time and our conversation was growing increasingly in depth, Trevor asked if he could pose some specific questions via a Facebook message to which I could then compose a more in-depth reply.  What follows is my response to Trevor.  His questions are included in the body of the response in bold italics.  I hope that you find it edifying!

Read the entire post here

12 Anti-Gospel Presuppositions of Protestantism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 8, 2014

I.  God declares people righteous without making them righteous. “Sinner” is not past tense.

II.  Perfection is defined as perfect law-keeping in this life.

III.  The new birth is defined as a realm or ability to see/experience something that is not our own essence as believers.

IV.  “Flesh” is inherently evil, not merely weak.

V.  “Earth” is not merely weak, but inherently evil.

VI.  “Sin” is the essence of the material world, and not a “master” separate from it.

VII.  Sanctification (the Christian life) is a rest. John Calvin believed New Testament sanctification is the Old Testament Sabbath rest. It is the belief that the Christian life is a rest from works because all works are still under law.

VIII.  God’s kingdom is presently on earth.

IX.  Hell was also created for man.

X.    Single relationship to the law for both believers and unbelievers.

XI.  One judgment.

XII.  Salvation of the soul and body happen at the same time.

The Missing Kingdom In Our Gospel

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 25, 2009

There is something new afoot in my brain regarding biblical truth lately. Apparently, God has a physical Kingdom  with a capital city; and not only that, he likes to talk about it a lot. Furthermore,  he thinks enough of it that he made his Son king over his kingdom and bankrupted Heaven [temporarily] to make a way for us to dwell with him in his kingdom forever. If this is in-fact true, and it sure looks that way to me, where is all of the teaching in regard to a literal kingdom of God? Really, it makes me want to cry “foul!” At this time, I don’t know what all this means and what all the significance is, but I have a few hunches.

First of all, let’s talk about the gospel. That’s pretty significant. The gospel is the “good news.” Teachers like Michael Horton have much to say about the “good news” and how it is often distorted in contemporary church culture. He’s written, what, about 200 books on the “good news” by now? So, what is the good news? Throughout Scripture, like, almost everywhere, it’s the good news about the kingdom AND Jesus Christ. I’m not going to wear-out my keyboard citing Scriptures that state this specifically and in context, but I will cite a few. And while I’m at it, why not eliminate a bunch of nonsense by preemptively citing quotations from the *Apostle to the gentiles* at the pinnacle of his ministry:

Acts 20:25
And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.

Acts 28:31
proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Acts 28:23
When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.

By the way, just as an aside, for those who teach that the New Testament interprets the Old in regard to Jesus Christ and the gospel, Paul sure didn’t have any problem convincing  people about Jesus Christ from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets [Acts 28:23 cited above]. Something to think about, but my main point is the fact that the good news is not only about Christ, but also the kingdom. “And,” is a coordinating conjunction. Throughout Scripture, the “good news” is described  with both of these phrases put together and sometimes with only the kingdom stated, as in Acts 20:25. Yes, yes, I know: “Christ is the gospel and the gospel is the kingdom, it’s all the same thing.” No it isn’t. That’s a stupid idea. Here is only one of the many reasons why: The resurrected Christ appeared to his disciples  and here is what the Holy Spirit says about it;

Acts 1:3
He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

After it was all said and done, here is the question the disciples presented to Jesus:

Acts 1:6
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Christ  acknowledged the validity of their question with the following answer:
“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth [Acts 1:7,8].’”

Here, in fact, is the good news: God will replace this present world order with his Kingdom of righteousness. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and we will serve him and worship him in joy forever. His Son, and our Lord, will rule the nations in righteousness forever. We will rule with him as kings and priest in various roles, and this service to him will fulfill the desires of our heart because we will serve him and please him with all perfection. We were born into this present kingdom of darkness. The Son left his kingdom in Heaven and came to earth as a man to purchase us from the bondage of sin through his death, burial, and resurrection. He translated us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. We were bought with a price [like bond slaves were purchased in that day] and do not belong to ourselves. We now belong to our master and Lord, Jesus Christ. We are presently aliens and ambassadors in this dark kingdom and are to live with that reality in mind. One day, our glorious king will appear with the army of our kingdom. He will destroy this kingdom of darkness and put all of his enemies under his feet. He will eradicate the earth and Heaven from all memory of evil and his kingdom will dwell on earth in all righteousness forever. All evil and it’s abode will be destroyed forever in a lake of fire. Therefore, we exhort men everywhere, BE RECONCILED TO GOD!!!!!!

That’s the good news. The sacrifice of  Jesus Christ to purchase us for the kingdom of God is not the whole gospel, and who are we to make the whole gospel whatever we want it to be for whatever reason? Especially if the reason happens to be anti-Semitism. Pray tell, why did John the Apostle  weep bitterly in Heaven when there appeared to be no one worthy to open the title deed to the earth? He knew he was going to get his and he was already getting a grand tour of Heaven, so what was the big deal? Perhaps the new song that was sung when Christ was found worthy to open the scroll will lend some understanding:

“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood  you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’”

That’s the good news. Christ ransomed us to make us a righteous, literal kingdom on earth for God, and we will rein with him forever.  It’s the good news of the kingdom and Jesus Christ,  and there’s a bunch of folks that need to get over it.

So, what’s the significance? Well, it’s funny. As I write this post in a coffee shop [I confess, it’s Starbucks], a gentleman that has observed my Bible asked the following question: “What does the Bible say is going to happen?” Let me answer that with half of the good news: “Well sir, you don’t need to be concerned with what’s going to happen, you only need to be concerned with the fact that you are a sinner and Christ died for your sin.” Here is how I approached the opportunity instead: “Here is exactly what the Bible says is going to happen: ‘The Son of God is going to come down and destroy  all of the kingdoms of this world and establish his own righteous kingdom that will be forever. Why do you think he would want to do that?’” Need I say more? I think you know where the conversation might have gone from there, and it did. A concept of the good news that doesn’t mirror scripture; does not offer the natural doors that God uses to approach people with the truth of his gospel,  the women at the well and many other examples should come to mind. Furthermore, where is the significance of the kingdom in the Church ordinances? Christ said he would not drink of the cup again till he did it anew with us in the kingdom. When was the last time you heard that emphasized? What about baptism? We find this about Phillip in the book of Acts:

Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Baptism not only had the death, burial, and resurrection in mind, it was also significant in regard to belief in the kingdom of God. Something to think about.

I also strongly suspect the missing kingdom in our gospel has led to a vacuum filled with many over-emphasized endeavors. For some time, I have been disenchanted with the reformed counseling culture that is ever more prevalent in today’s Church, but unable to put my finger on the why. I now wonder if reformed theology has created, to some degree, the problem it now attempts to fix through it‘s counseling culture; due to allegorizing large portions of God’s counsel. I wonder how much counsel is needed in a marriage where both spouses are focused on all of the future and present ramifications of  God’s kingdom. How much counsel is needed for those focused on the imminent return of Jesus Christ? I don’t know for sure, but I can tell you this: both concepts are all but vacant from Christian mentality these days. However, on the other hand, there is no shortage of  campaigns such as making sure Christians know that God is a happy God, with hordes of Christians following behind fawning over the profundity of it all. Other spiritual endeavors that look like floating twigs on the ocean, next to the Queen Mary when compared to the kingdom, are in no wise in short supply as we speak.