Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Scream of the Damned and “How Much?” Christ’s Descent into Paradise

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 11, 2015

Yesterday, I wrote a post regarding the Reformed doctrine of double imputation. This Reformed doctrine was developed to deny the idea that God infuses righteousness into believers through the new birth. Supposedly, Christ lived a perfect life so that His righteous can be imputed to believers for purposes of living by faith alone in sanctification. As discussed, this begs the question: “How much?” Is that why Christ lived 30 years? Is that what it took to secure enough righteousness to get the elect into heaven? And of course, PPT continually points out why this is sooooo wrong on many levels.

The other side of double imputation suggests that Christ died for each and every sin of the elect only. So therefore, in the same way another question is begged: how much suffering was necessary?

Now enter Christ’s decent into “hell” while He was on the cross as noted by, 1 Pet. 3:18-20, 1Peter 4:6, Ephesians 4:8-10, Acts 2:31, and Galatians 3:21-27. Here at PPT we think it is pretty obvious what these verses refer to. Old Testament saints were covered, or protected by the law until Christ died on the cross. The law was a “guardian” until “faith came.” This is the imputation that is not talked about nearly enough: the imputation of sin to the law because “all sin is against the law.” Sin is “held captive” by the law until one believes in Christ who ended the law. In this way, OT believers were “captives” as the law was a guardian that protected them until “faith came” (Christ).

By the way, that atonement is ended for believers, but not unbelievers. Presently, every sin an unbeliever commits is imputed to the law because all sin is against the law and where there is no law there is no sin. People will either be judged by the law at the final judgement, or they will believe on Christ and have the law ended along with every violation they committed against it. This law also includes the law of conscience written on the heart of every person born into the world. Apparently, those who have no knowledge of the Bible will only be judged according to conscience while the religious who have biblical knowledge will be judged by both.

So, when OT believers died, they went to “the abode of the dead.” According to Christ’s “parable” in Luke 16, it was divided into “Abraham’s bosom” and a place of torment. Yes, I believe Christ’s illustration in that chapter is to be taken literally, and was Christ’s description of an actual event. Christ never earmarked the illustration as a parable per His custom when he utilized parables. Hence, when Christ went to “paradise” to preach to the captives He took the thief on the cross with Him. I would say the thief got one whale of an education on that day. Christ preached victory to His enemies and led the captives free, and took them to heaven. Then, upon arriving in heaven, He poured gifts out on His assembly.

But…when your doctrine is predicated on the false presuppositions of Reformed double imputation, Christ’s descention must now be used in a lame attempt to answer the “how much?” question. The result is the notion that God actually sent Christ to hell for the purpose of adequately paying the penalty for the elect. This includes the idea that Christ emitted a horrific scream on the cross as He suffered in hell for the sins of the elect.

Yes, you too can pay $80,000 for a seminary education where you will be required to believe such things in order to get a job. Ya, do that. Go for it Bubba.

How much? Christ’s death ended the law. His resurrection infuses life. One death for life everlasting. Two single acts, one by Christ and one by the Spirit. That is enough—that secured our salvation.


The False Protestant Gospel of “How Much?”

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 10, 2015

“At any moment, any lost person can choose to have their sins ended. It is not a question of whether or not they are elected, it is a question of whether or not they are under the law—and they are.”      

The Protestant gospel effectively denies the biblical interpretation of the new birth. Because of its Platonist metaphysical presuppositions, it denies the treasure of God’s seed dwelling in weak vessels. Hence, the new birth is redefined and confined to the ability to perceive realm manifestations apart from any ability to do a good work of any kind. As stated by some, “Sanctification is done TO you, not BY you.”

In the biblical good news schema, Christ does ONE act of obedience as His part in God’s reconciliation plan. There is no question of “how much?” because His death was all that was required.

Now enter the heinous “Reformation” gospel of confusion. A cursory observation of Reformation history reveals that the dust-up between Rome and the “Reformers” was over metaphysics first. The very first and foundational doctrinal statement of the Reformation contained 12 theses of philosophical metaphysics. Luther was miffed that Rome was moving away from its Augustinian/Platonist roots and coming under the spell of Thomism. This shift began in the 13th century via St. Thomas Aquinas and eventually incited the Reformation. The assertion that the Reformation was driven by sola scriptura is absurd.

Martin Luther introduced his metaphysical answer to Thomism and foisted his theses that supported it onto Scripture. The centerpiece eventually came to be known as double imputation. To Luther’s credit, he created a timeless soteriology based on metaphysics that continues to turn the world upside down. John Calvin articulated Luther’s foundation in the Institutes of the Christian Religion. Both were dedicated to returning the church to its Augustinian roots.

What is double imputation? Basically, it’s the idea that Christ’s role in the gospel of first importance (as set apart from God’s full counsel which is also good news) was twofold as opposed to ONE single act. This was necessary as a “biblical” doctrine that keeps the material being of man separate from Plato’s trinity: the good, true, and beautiful, ie., the invisible. The true gospel turned dualism philosophy completely on its head by infusing good into weakness and defining the true definitions of God’s creation and the state of being.

The idea that God infused His righteousness into the being of mankind is repugnant to the Reformed mindset. How repugnant? The colonial Puritans executed Quakers for even asserting an errant view of the idea.

Therefore, distorting Christ’s role in God’s elected plan of reconciliation was necessary. Christ’s redefined soteriological role removes all goodness from mankind proper and “Christians” in particular. Christ not only came to die for the sins of particular persons preselected by God, but He also came to live a perfect life in obedience to the law so that His obedience could be imputed to the “elect.”

Now the questions are begged: “How much suffering was necessary to pay the penalty for sins committed by the preselected, and how much obedience was necessary for righteousness to be imputed to the preselected as well. When a false doctrine is predicated on errant presuppositions, not only do these kinds of questions arise, but the attempted answers give rise to more questions.

And displays of nonsense. An example is the weird and embarrassing ad lib “Scream of the Damned” propagated by John Piper and CJ Mahaney at a conference hosted by John MacArthur Jr.’s Grace Community Church.* The sheer weirdness of it all even raised eyebrows within Reformed circles by the likes of Steve Camp. The premise was an adolescent-like attempt to explain how much? in regard to Christ’s death. Imagining the response from my older than dirt and probably dead father in the faith, Pastor Richard Peacock, put me on the floor rolling around while laughing uncontrollably. Only the thought of thousands of attending pastors supported by the hard work and sweat of the laity watching without a blink shocked me into the horror of reality and put an end to my shameless response.

When are people going to stop and say to themselves, “Wait a minute here; what drives this stuff? This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen for any or no reason.”

Likewise, in regard to how much?, how long did Christ have to live and how much of the law did He have to obey for the elect? Theories abound because the question itself flows from the false presuppositions of Platonism foisted on the Scriptures resulting in the doctrine of double imputation.

Christ did ONE thing to secure reconciliation for mankind: He died. How much? Answer: enough for ALL mankind. How? Answer: by ending the law. How is that possible? Answer: because all sin is against the law and imputed to the law, and Christ died to end it. Sin is not covered by Christ’s law–keeping; no, sin is not covered, it is ENDED. At any moment, any lost person can choose to have their sins ended. It is not a question of whether or not they are elected, it is a question of whether or not they are under the law—and they are.

What else did Christ do to secure our reconciliation? Answer: nothing. But wasn’t He resurrected? Answer: yes, but He didn’t do that, that was the Holy Spirit’s role in God’s plan of reconciliation. The fact that Christ would be resurrected was a promise made TO Christ and Abraham BY God. That surprises many Christians who don’t read their own Bibles for themselves, viz, most.

In other words, this is the gospel: Christ DIED to END sin. The Spirit resurrected Christ as the first fruits of those who would also be resurrected to new life and justification which is NOT merely a legal declaration, but a metaphysical fact. It does of course have a legal aspect, but it is adoption court where the Holy Spirt bears witness with us that we are the children of God. Christ  was “resurrected” for our justification” by the Holy Spirit. “Forensic Justification” does have a legal aspect, but not only in the halls of criminal court, but just as much in the court of adoption with the Holy Spirit appearing as a witness.

Obedience to the law by Christ does not justify us, the new birth justifies us because we are in fact righteous. The resurrection justifies us, not law-keeping by anyone including Christ.

True resurrection with Christ is “under grace,” but that by no means states that we are no longer under a law. It means that we are no longer under a law that condemns us. This is what strips sin of its power. This is what strips death of its sting. We must remember that the law is the Spirit’s law. He will use it to convict the world of sin and warn of the judgment to come, or he will use it to sanctify God’s children. The law is a savor of death to those who do not believe, and a savor of life as we walk in it as God’s children.

The time has come to stop dwelling in the Protestant metaphysical narrative of death, and to follow Christ in our duty to write a narrative of life.

How much? That will depend on OUR obedience as children of God. The Spirit gave us life and opportunity to use His law to love God and others. “Do’s and don’ts” are not the issue, LOVE is the issue. We do not stay at the foot of the cross while Christ loves for us; we will be rewarded for the narrative of life that we write by using the gifts granted to us when Christ sat down beside the Father and rested from justifying all who will believe in Him.

We zealously write our narrative of life without fear of condemnation because of Christ’s love for us. And our love will never be enough because of the freedom we feel. The freedom purchased by His blood that freed us from the condemnation of the law and the Master empowered by it, and the freedom to love by obeying the law of the Spirit—the perfect law of liberty. When God looks at us, He sees more than Christ, he sees one that Christ is not ashamed to call a brother—He sees one of His children. Christ doesn’t cover us, He presents us.

He is not ashamed of us. His death was enough for our life.


* “Apparently, they got the concept from RC Sproul, who used to be rock solid, but now it would appear that senility has opened his mind to the nonsensical theological acrobatics of our day. Likewise, the same consideration might apply to John MacArthur who spoke at the conference and also sponsored it; he is getting up in years as well. I offer this as a possible excuse for both of them though the vision of my heart longs to see them as the gray-haired stalwarts of the faith that I thought they were.  Here is what Sproul said:

‘Once the sin of man was imputed to Him, He became the virtual incarnation of evil. The load He carried was repugnant to the Father. God is too holy to even look at iniquity. God the Father turned His back upon the Son, cursing Him to the pit of hell while on the cross. Here was the Son’s ‘descent into hell.’ Here the fury of God raged against Him. His scream was the scream of the damned. For us’ (Tabletalk magazine, My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? April 1990, p. 6).

Steve Camp, on his blog, wrote a tame but thoroughly convincing argument against such a notion. But the fact that Camp thought such a significant expenditure of effort was needed is indicative of our day; surely, only ten years ago, such a thesis would have invoked a horrendous outcry among God’s people” (The New Calvinist License To Kill: And Did God Really Condemn Christ To Hell?, Paul’s Passing Thoughts blog, Paul Dohse, Sr., September 2, 2011).

Titles of MacArthur’s New Books Hint at Continued Downgrade

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 31, 2012

As I mentioned in a previous post, MacArthur’s willingness to associate with CJ Mahaney and even teach with him at the upcoming Resolved Conference is a clear indication that he is completely off the orthodox reservation. Let’s just face it, our beloved Mac is now willing to be a party to such madness as “The Scream of the Damned” that occurred at the 2009 Resolved conference. Game over. Such foolishness would have invoked horror in the Mac of old. And appearing with Mahaney speaks volumes, as attested to the fact that unnamed New Calvinists called for James MacDonald to cancel an appearance by TD Jakes at his church. Hanging out with people, like words, mean things.

I will pause here to give you a hint: all that matters is adherence to COGOUS. Past that, anything goes. If one “has the gospel right,” all other bets are off.

I really enjoy many of Susan’s idiosyncrasies. As she walked past my computer this morning, and saw what I was viewing, she quipped, “That’s not true.” I was viewing a promo that I received by email concerning John MacArthur’s two latest books. Large pictures of both covers were on the PC screen. I couldn’t help but smile and ask, “What isn’t true dear?” She replied, “Worship isn’t our ultimate priority, obedience is.”

Is this not true? I have a wife who takes the meaning of words seriously, and that’s huge.  What does the word “ultimate” mean? And is worship the “ultimate” priority for Christians? Well, it’s not the primary reason Christ said that he was going to send us a “Helper.” Read John 14. The dominate theme of that chapter is the fact that Christ was going to leave them and send the Holy Spirit. And for what reason primarily? To worship? No, to help them obey. Christ reiterates that fact several times in that same chapter. And of course, who is not aware of the prophet’s words to King Saul, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”?

On several occasions, MacArthur has made it clear that he has fully bought into the gospel contemplationism > gratitude > obedience sanctification paradigm that he got from hanging out with John Piper and Michael Horton. And of course, this means that he is now a great danger to the well-being of Christians. Osteen isn’t a great threat, he’s obvious and even admits he’s “not a theologian.” On the contrary, MacArthur is a respected theologian who now propagates Quietist error. The cover of this book hints at the aforementioned paradigm that he now advocates.

The second book title hints towards his new hermeneutic. From the hardcore grammatical-historical motto “Unleashing God’s Word One Verse at a Time” to “ “Unleashing God’s Word One Day at a Time.” New Calvinists everywhere are probably just giddy over this. Bully for you Mac, you have your reward, from men who peddle God’s word via adolescent dramas such as “The Scream of the Damned.” I have been told by New Calvinists face to face how that hermeneutic works: keep reading till you see Jesus or something about Jesus and His works—not anything you would do. The Word is not a cognitive concept we apply to life, it’s a person. Whatever.

Is this an unbalanced criticism of Mac? Has he fully articulated his new method which doesn’t take this extreme approach to Scripture? Is his approach different from everyone who he is hanging out with these days?  Where? Sorry, he is well paid to communicate clearly—it’s on him.