Paul's Passing Thoughts

Dr. James White (Calvinist) and Dr. David Allen (Arminian) Keep the Christian Herd Calm While Vying for the Mutton

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 5, 2013

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“Based on the Calvin Institutes 4.1.21,22 alone, how could Dr. Allen say, ‘I do not consider it to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.’ Does this speak to the condition of American seminaries in general; the brain trust thereof are this clueless? I think it does. Christians are paying thousands of dollars to be educated by theological morons.”

There may be something to Socrates’ theory of intuitive knowledge. I have always suspected that the church is crippled by spiritual caste, but today’s events revealed to me that Protestantism is spiritual caste on steroids. I knew it, but now I really know it. Now I see it clearly.

I have been perplexed for some time over the Arminian/Calvinism debate that Christians never seem to tire of. The reason this is perplexing to me follows: Calvinism is clearly a false gospel. For four years, I tenaciously mapped the history and doctrine of New Calvinism. New Calvinists claim that they are returning authentic Calvinism to the church, a claim that I planned on addressing in volume two of The Truth About New Calvinism. In preparation for volume two, I consulted with church historian John Immel. When I showed him my New Calvinist map, he in essence said, “Yes, that looks an awful lot like what Luther and Calvin believed. I would read the Calvin Institutes.”

And that I did. To my utter shock, I learned that the Calvin Institutes are no more or no less than the New Calvinist playbook. I also learned some other interesting things about Calvinism. In the Calvin Institutes 4.1.21,22, Calvin states in no uncertain terms that Christians need a daily re-forgiveness of sins in order to remain saved, and that forgiveness can only be found in the institutional church under the authority of pastors. He also wrote that pastors are granted authority to forgive sins of condemnation by proxy. Truly, the Institutes are chock full of anti-biblical ideas and outright heresy.

Election versus freewill; Calvinism has been hiding behind this silly debate for more than 500 years while Calvinism is a conspicuous false gospel A-Z. The other day, I was sent some videos that pertained to Dr. James White’s objection to this year’s John 3:16 Conference. Here is what the Baptist Press said about the conference:

While stressing that the discussion between Calvinists and non-Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention is a family matter, speakers at the 2013 John 3:16 Conference outlined the differences between the two views and what they believe to be the issues hindering unity among Southern Baptists.

Frank Cox, pastor of North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga., which hosted the conference on March 21-22, told attendees that the event would help them “engage in the conversation going on across the nation and the Southern Baptist Convention.”

When I saw Dr. White’s critique of the conference, and other videos that in fact showed the ignorance that was on display at the conference and thereby making White look good, I decided to venture back into the arena of public debate. I contacted White’s ministry, Alpha and Omega, and received this reply:

Paul,

1. Could you please direct me to any of your published work on the subject?

2. Could you provide me with your credentials (training, degrees, etc.).

3. What work of Dr. White are you familiar with? Please list his books and debates that you have watched, read and perhaps even commented on.

4. I would especially be interested in any publications or sermons where you exegete, at the very least, Genesis 50:15-21, John 6:37-45, Romans 1-3 and all of Romans 9.

The following was my reply:

1. Yes, until 2012, I was the only author to publish a book on the contemporary history and doctrine of the Neo-Calvinist movement. In 2012, a work by Dr. Robert R. Congdon cited my book six times, and referred to it indirectly in several other places. Reviews of my book can be found at The Truth About New Calvinism .com. Volume 2 is in process, and the only book to date that documents the resurgences of authentic Reformed doctrine since Calvin’s oversight of Geneva. It also documents the antinomian controversies between redemptive historical Calvinists and grammatical historical Calvinists. Furthermore, the book will document the specific influences of Neo-Platonism on Calvin’s theology.

I am the only contemporary author to write a book that challenges the Reformation’s justification by faith alone as a works salvation: False Reformation; Four Tenets of Calvin and Luther’s False Gospel, TANC Publishing 2012. It focuses on progressive justification, the fusion of justification and sanctification, Calvin and Luther’s view of the new birth, their methods of interpretation, and the total depravity of the saints. It does not address the doctrine of election as that subject gets the cart before the horse in regard to soteriology.

Besides, it is my contention that Calvinists don’t really believe in election to begin with. They believe election enters you into a faith alone race in which you have to persevere by faith alone in order to keep yourself saved. In essence, a perpetual re-salvation through the process of mortification and vivification that makes the Christian life an experience, and not a work. This leads to an ambiguity regarding assurance that was an Augustinian hallmark. Everyone stands in one last judgment waiting to see if they lived the Christian life by faith alone adequately enough to avert “making sanctification the ground of our justification.”

I have also written a book (“Pictures of Calvinism”) that addresses the Reformed doctrine of the centrality of the objective gospel outside of us and its supposed application to life.

In addition, I have done research for the Institute of Nouthetic Studies and The Journal of Modern Ministry in response to their requests.

2. Credentials other than being Spirit-filled? Sure. I was a proponent of Reformed theology for 20 years, and a Reformed pastor for five. I was a pastor in Dallas TX, and am presently a pastor in Xenia, Ohio. For whatever it is worth, I have attended several Bible colleges and plan to obtain a degree sometime next year. I am also a certified biblical counselor.

3. I have watched several of Dr. White’s debates via video. The one that incited my goal here was in regard to the John 3:16 Conference. Though public debate is not my forte, I am compelled because Dr. White is right: their arguments against Calvinism are utterly pathetic.

4. I am presently preaching through the book of Romans, and the first eight chapters are published: “The Gospel: Clarification in Confusing Times.” You can peruse the archives here: https://paulspassingthoughts.com/the-potters-house/  We are in chapter 12.

In backing out of the debate, here was their excuse coming from the president of Alpha and Omega:

Paul,

Thank you but I don’t believe that we would have an interest in a debate at this time. Your focus of work seems to be in the area of Calvin and the history of the Reformation which is not something that we have ever pursued as a primary debate topic. Further, we do scholarly work here and after having been accused of ‘picking the low hanging fruit’ on numerous occasions by arminians we have simply raised the bar for the qualifications of our opponents. When you can show me that you have formal training in Greek, Hebrew and Systematic Theology at the very least I will be happy to reconsider whether we could find a topic of interest in common. Further, such a debate would need a primary focus on the scriptures with history being secondary for us to have any interest.

Blessings,

Rich Pierce

Alpha and Omega Ministries

Let me make a point here Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe parishioner. When you go to your pastors with a concern, in the vast majority of circumstances, this is how they see you: unknowledgeable in systematic theology, Greek, and Hebrew, and uncertified by a Protestant philosopher king institution. While they put on their I am really concerned and respect your spiritual intellect look, they are thinking, “Dude, just shut up and tithe your ten percent—you’re clueless.”

By the way, while these guys claim no interested in history, it would do them some good to know that the father of Reformation doctrine, St. Augustine, was not the least bit studied in Hebrew or Greek. And certification? He was a Catholic till the end. Would James White refuse a debate with St. Augustine based on academic credentials?

While I was waiting for the White camp to respond, I sent this email to one of the Arminian philosopher kings who spoke at the John 3:16 conference:

Dr Allen,

Greetings. My name is Paul Dohse and I work with a nonprofit LLC that researches Reformed theology and the Neo-Calvinist movement in particular. I published the first book on New Calvinism in 2011, and that book culminated four years of research. The only other work published on this subject followed a year later, and was written by Dr. Robert Congdon. He cited our work (“The Truth About New Calvinism” volume 1) extensively in his book, “New Calvinism’s Upside-Down Gospel.”

I have also published the first outright challenge to Calvin’s soteriology in “False Reformation: Four Tenets of Luther and Calvin’s Egregious False Gospel.” The book contends that Calvin propagated progressive justification, a denial of the new birth, the idea that justification is predicated on a perpetual perfect keeping of the law by Christ in the believers stead (a law that can give life for justification), and the idea that Christians must keep themselves saved by preaching the gospel to themselves every day.

In light of this, I would like to interview you in regard to your comments during the John 3:16 conference Q&A; specifically, to a couple of young men arguing for separation from Calvinists in the SBC. My blog usually conducts these interviews by videotaping me talking to the participants over the telephone, preferably a landline.

Thank you for your consideration,

Paul M. Dohse

TTANC LLC

Here was his response:

Paul,

Thank you for the invitation, but I must respectfully decline. While I strongly disagree with many aspects of Calvinism, I do not consider it to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity (hyper-Calvinism excepted).

Sincerely,

David L. Allen, Ph.D.

Dean  |  School of Theology

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Let us ponder the possibilities:

1. None of these people have ever read the Calvin Institutes while holding conferences and posing as experts on the subject.

2. They know what Calvin believed, but they don’t want to spook the herd for financial reasons.

Based on the Calvin Institutes 4.1.21,22 alone, how could Dr. Allen say, “I do not consider it to be outside the boundaries of orthodox Christianity.” Does this speak to the condition of American seminaries in general; the brain trust thereof are this clueless? I think it does. Christians are paying thousands of dollars to be educated by theological morons.

Moreover, on the Arminian side, it is the same. Notice how Dr. Allen summarily dismissed my assertions about Calvinism without a shred of curiosity. Why? See the Alpha and Omega Ministries reply—same reason. So, likewise, even if you are a theologically accomplished layperson, and you have a discussion with one of these Arminian guys, the result is the same:

While they put on their I am really concerned and respect your spiritual intellect look, they are thinking, “Dude, just shut up and tithe your ten percent—you’re clueless.”

Be not deceived, whether Calvinist or Arminian, they both have the same goal: don’t spook the herd. It is a spiritual caste system rivaled by none. Rather than teaching you theology, they banter back and forth to keep you confused, and controllable.

“After all,” says their fears, “if the herd can understand theology, what would they need us for?”

paul

5 Reasons New Calvinism Will Die

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 8, 2013

TANC LOGONew Calvinism will die again. For the fifth time in church history. There has been five resurgences and four deaths. That is why the primary agenda of TANC is to educate the church concerning every nuance. Lack of information is what enables this evil beast to come back into the church from time to time. The goal is to educate as many Christians as possible who will hopefully see this coming the next time. The following is an excerpt from the upcoming 2013 TANC Conference. In this first session, the five reasons New Calvinism will die are stated.

Excerpt:

Perpetual Death and Resurgence of the Authentic Reformation Gospel

As we have noted, as the Reformation moved forward in history, many did not realize that it spoke from its own reality. As Christians read their Bibles from the normative reality, the true gist of the Reformation gospel is lost over time. The Reformers were mostly responsible for the printing of English Bibles, but how they wanted the Bible to be read was mostly misunderstood despite their massive commentaries.

The natural tendency is to read literally and take the meaning of verbs, nouns, and prepositions at face value. This will draw one away from the Reformed gospel in general, but will retain the Reformation’s lack of emphasis on aggressive sanctification. Let me give you an example of this. In the book, “How People Change” by New Calvinist Paul David Tripp, he discusses the issue of Christians endeavoring to change their thinking to biblical thinking. This is a pretty passive consideration as far as human activity goes. In fact, changing the way we think is probably the most passive human activity we can think of. Yet, note what Tripp states on page 27 of said book:

….and the Bible does call us to change the way we think about things. But this approach again omits the person and work of Christ as Savior.

~ Paul David Tripp: How People Change Punch Press 2006, p. 27

This statement encapsulates the totality of Reformed metaphysics perfectly. First, we see the clear indication of what we will dissect in my second session; the Reformed gospel of progressive justification. Christians NEED the ongoing work of Christ AS SAVIOR in our lives. To not do Christianity in a certain way OMITS that saving work in sanctification.  This statement by Tripp is a damning indictment of Calvinism.

Secondly, we see that although the Bible calls us to change the way we think, to read that in a normative reality is to misinterpret the “true” meaning, and unless those passages are understood via Reformed epistemology, the ongoing salvific work of Christ in our Christian lives will be circumvented. Elsewhere in the same book, Tripp states that biblical commands must be seen in their “Christ-centered gospel context” (Ibid p. 26). Throughout this same book, and like all Calvinists, Tripp speaks of “heart change,” but as we shall see in my second session, this is a term that DOES NOT mean that we change. The title of the book is a Calvinist lie. It is condoned by Gnostic arrogance that doesn’t think the common Christian is “ready” for the hard truth of the authentic Reformed gospel. John Piper made this specific notation in an interview:

I think Rome and Protestantism [the Protestantism that fell away from Reformed metaphysics] are not yet ready. I don’t think the Reformation is over (Online source: http://youtu.be/lQvtAd7WEOY).

The second reason that the authentic Reformed gospel dies a social death from time to time is because it is simply boring. It is driven by a narrow concept; everything is about the gospel. This was the major complaint that Dr. Jay E. Adams received while he was writing Biblical Sonship: An Evaluation of the Sonship Discipleship Course (Timeless Texts 1999). Concerned Christians told Adams that they were hearing the same things from the pulpit every week and the doctrine seemed “vague.” Susan and I have visited churches recently that were very exuberant about New Calvinism a couple of years ago, but follow-up visits reveal a marked decrease in enthusiasm. To be more specific, in protest regarding the possibility that we would ever return to one of the churches, our teenage son remarked, “That place isn’t very interesting.” Susan and I were also overwhelmed with the sense of deadness that was present.

A third reason is the fact that this doctrine does not produce spiritual growth which results in a plethora of negative issues that arise from spiritual immaturity.

A fourth reason is the spiritual tyranny that is ALWAYS part and parcel with this doctrine. Remember, it is basically a spiritual cast system that puts a high premium on control.

A fifth reason is the fact that God’s people eventually figure out that it is a false doctrine.

These are the five reasons why these resurgences die out. The hybrids that emerge are still predicated on weak sanctification which lays the ground work for the next resurgence. The following illustration shows how authentic Calvinism has oscillated between tyranny and weak sanctification throughout church history.

Reformation History