Paul's Passing Thoughts

Hashtag for Calvinists

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on September 30, 2016

New Covenant Theology: How Jon Zens Tried to Save Calvinism

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on October 27, 2014

tanc-vol-1The title of this post may seem a little strange as it seems hardly the case that Calvinism needs saving; Calvinism has already taken over American evangelicalism lock, stock, and barrel which includes Arminians that function according to Calvinism while denying some elements of its ideology.

But really, Calvinism does need saving. I was made aware last night of yet another New Calvinist mega church in our area that is dying out. In regard to the recent Mark Driscoll fiasco, is he more wily than we give him credit for? Does he see his recent demise as an opportunity to jump a sinking ship? (You might consider the conferences that he is being invited to). What is going to be more ugly and depressing than the slow death of all of these New Calvinist campus infrastructures?

Don’t be mistaken, the goal of this ministry is to educate God’s people in regard to authentic Calvinism so that it can’t make another comeback in the future. The present resurgence movement will die once again, and it’s in the process of doing so presently. Staying at the foot of the cross and not moving on to maturity can only yield one result: little spiritual babies in adult bodies getting run over by real life.

Actually, New Calvinism is a Godsend. It will finally cause God’s people to come to grips with Protestantism in general and the institutional church in particular. Many of us have known for years that there is something fundamentally wrong with church, but have never been able to put our finger on it. Thanks to New Calvinism, that is no longer the case.

When folks once again find themselves in the vicious cycle of the church caultasack called “new” and its false hope of something finally happening in the institutional church, we hope the simple theological math of Protestantism’s false gospel will be apparent. What is that?

It is the idea that the law is the standard for justification. And since that is the case, a perfect keeping of it must be maintained by Jesus THROUGH faith alone by us in sanctification. That’s the simple math of Protestantism’s soteriology of death. Instead of the law being ENDED for justification paving the way for it to be the guiding instruction of the law of the Spirit of life for sanctification, the law is restricted to the single dimension of condemnation, sin, and death.

Hence, sin maintains all of its power over us because its ENDING for justification, or APART from justification, does not exist in Reformed orthodoxy. Clearly, the power of sin and death is the law’s ability to condemn, and “Christians” are kept under that condemnation with the prescription being a COVERING for sin by institutional absolution and the “active obedience” of Christ.

When those who have sense enough to be disillusioned take another look, this simple fact of law and gospel will be obvious to them. And during the resurgence of real Protestantism in the 70’s, a man named Jon Zens knew that this simple math posed a problem for the Resurgence in the future. He was viciously attacked by Reformed Baptists early on like Walter Chantry, but like all of the rest, Chantry was clueless. Zens was only trying to correct the faulty theological math.

What was his solution? It follows: Christ in fact came to end the law, and replaced it with…depending on which New Calvinist theology (NCT) camp you are referring to…the single law of love. Instead of ONE law with two different applications/perspectives/dimensions, NCT is two different laws: one abrogated, one ushered in. A helpful book that explains the many variants of this viewpoint is “All Old Testament Laws Cancelled: 24 Reasons Why All Old Testament Laws Are Cancelled And All New Testament Laws Are for Our Obedience” by Greg Gibson. Like all of the Reformed, Gibson is confused and fundamentally full of it, but he does an excellent job of explaining all of the variant positions of NCT. However, in the final analysis, all of it is the same old progressive justification song and dance.

Let me also add another caveat here, slightly off point: if I correctly understand NT Wright’s New Perspective on Paul, he asserts that when Paul speaks of “justification by the law,” Paul is primarily speaking to the application of the traditions of men added to and taking away from the truth of the law. I agree with that, though Wright is in the Reformed camp and should therefore be dismissed out of hand in most other cases. When the law is still the standard for justification, it must be dumbed down and fulfilled by some kind of ritual. For the Judaizes, that was circumcision and other traditions. For the Reformed, it is…

If you do this, that, or the other, Jesus will keep the law for you.

NCT, in some rare cases among those who are like a nonfunctioning clock that is right twice a day, the following proposition may be presented: “Wait a minute Paul, if some forms of NCT posit the OT law as the law of condemnation, and its ending, while the New Testament is a new law that doesn’t condemn, and we can actually obey it without condemnation, what’s the difference?”

Well, by far, this is the least egregious of all Reformed heresy. In this construct, justification can also be separate from sanctification making us true colaborers with the Holy Spirit. The problem is that it eradicates half of the law for sanctification and proffers a New Testament only approach to the law; that’s a really, really big no, no.

How Jon Zens Tried to Save CalvinismFurthermore, it denies an interpretive cooperation between the OT and NT other than the NT interprets the OT hermeneutic. Moreover, that assertion invariably leads back to the same progressive justification of Reformed orthodoxy. In the final analysis, it should not surprise us that NCT has demonstrated the Reformed camp’s uncanny ability to add confusion upon more confusion. At last count according to the NCT think tank, The Earth Stove Society, NCT has 82 tenets. Count them: 82.  Also note that the first tenet states that ALL reality is interpreted through redemption; i.e., the same old-same old redemptive historical hermeneutic of Reformed theology.

As we will discuss in this Friday’s Gnostic Watch Weekly, the Reformation was just another player in the field of world philosophy with its interpretation of reality. NCT is an attempt to reconcile the glaring contradiction in the theological math for those who have not yet been fully assimilated into seeing reality in an anti-normative Protestant way.

paul

Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Prince of Preachers?

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on October 13, 2014

PPT Handle

Originally published July 29, 2013

“The problem is the fusing of law and grace, not election. People on both sides of that argument can fuse law and grace together and often do….Notice that who does the work is not the issue. Work period is the issue.”

Protestantism is the foundation of the American church. Our heroes of the faith are those who protested Rome but never left Rome. Augustine, Luther, and Calvin merely believed they could do Rome better. Luther and Calvin in particular were fed-up with the popes and gave birth to a resurgence of Plato’s moral tyranny. The popes were in the tyranny business for money and the fulfillment of sinful desires; the Reformers were in the tyranny business for the glory of God. Their mentor, Augustine, boldly proclaimed that the Bible was useless without Plato’s insight and proclaimed Plato a pre-Christian Christian.

Plato’s philosophical principles and anthropomorphic presuppositions laid the foundation for every political and religious caste system in Western culture. Plato’s DNA is in every tyrant ever born in the West whether political or religious. His philosophy lives in both anemic form and viral, fleshing itself out in either philosophical capitulation or the zealot’s bloody axe. Only God knows the number buried in that landfill named, “The Traditions of Men.”

During the first advent, Christ spoke often of two concerns: the traditions of men and antinomianism. Anti-law of God is made possible to the degree that the authority of men usurp the authority of God’s word. Tradition is powerful and often relegates truth to a metaphysical anomaly. Such is the case with American religious heroes. Their stardom defies logic and truth. While Americans shake their heads in disbelief at documentary films that show Hitler pontificating to swooning masses, we celebrate the Pilgrim Puritans who hung Quakers and baptized women in waters of death. Tradition knows no limits in regard to hypocrisy and ignorance. Better to skim the Cliff Notes of tradition than to suffer a possible stroke by the exercise of thinking.

Calling Charles Haddon Spurgeon the “Prince of Preachers” is perhaps the grandiose example of illogical tradition. Spurgeon was a shameless Calvinistic hack. He once said,

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.

The most inconvenient thing ever for admirers of Spurgeon is the truth. He constantly disregarded the plain sense of Scripture, though eloquently. While comparing Augustine and Calvin to the apostle Paul in the same sermon (A Defense of Calvinism), any concern for Paul’s warning of being a proponent of a doctrine named after a man was totally disregarded by Surgeon in open defiance to the truth (1COR 3:1-9).

But the fundamental problem is the fact that Calvin taught a blatant false gospel. He believed that grace was not possible unless Christ fulfilled the law for us (CI 3.14.9-11). He believed that Christians are still “under law” which is the very definition of a lost person in the book of Romans and the premise for Calvin’s total depravity.

Hence, Christians remain under the law for justification and must live their Christian lives by faith alone in order to keep their salvation. If Christians live by faith alone in sanctification, the perfect obedience of Christ is perpetually imputed to us and we remain saved. Of course, this requires a complex doctrinal judgment in regard to what is works in sanctification and what is not a work in sanctification in order to live our Christian lives by faith alone resulting in the maintaining of our salvation. This is the very reason for the anemic sanctification that has plagued Protestantism for centuries. We either throw Law out the window completely, or live in fear regarding what is a work and what isn’t a work in our Christian lives lest we find ourselves in “works salvation.”

The problem is the fusing of law and grace. Not election. People on both sides of that argument can fuse law and grace together and often do. Unbelievers are “under law” while believers are “under grace.” We are justified APART from the law (ROM 3:21). Christ didn’t come to fulfill the law FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION; He came to die for our sins so that a righteousness APART from the law could be credited to our account. If Christ had to fulfill the law…. for our justification, law is still the BASIS for our justification and justification is then NOT OF GRACE. The basis of our justification is not law, we are rather UNDER GRACE. This is what the apostle Paul wrote:

Romans 11:6 – But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Notice that who does the work is not the issue. Work period is the issue. The BASIS of grace is the issue here, and if the basis of grace is works it is no longer grace. If Christ had to keep the law for us to make grace possible, according to Paul, grace is no longer of grace. To the contrary, Paul states that Christ came so that he could fulfill the law through us in sanctification completely separate from justification:

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Notice that a perfect keeping of the law is not required for us in sanctification to please God for justification. Why? Because the two are separate and there is no law in justification for the believer. The two are separate. We are saved apart from the law for justification and the law informs our sanctification (ROM 3:21, GAL 4:21). Calvinism propagates a grace based on works. Its consummation is an antinomianism where Christ must keep the law for us because we are unable to please God through the perfect fulfillment of it in our Christian lives—perfection as a goal not withstanding in sanctification, but not for justification. According to Calvinism, we have no faith that is alive; we are still dead in our trespasses and sins. It is of the variety that separates us from the fulfillment of the law in sanctification as well. Only Calvin was genius enough to devise a doctrine that combined the best of works salvation and antinomianism.

Only truth sanctifies (John 17:17). The idea that Spurgeon ever helped anyone with his preaching is an illusion grounded in the traditions of men.

paul

Gnosticism and the Contemporary Institutional Church

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

Paul Dohse Sessions 2014 Conference on Gospel Discernment and Spiritual Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 30, 2014
%d bloggers like this: