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 pptmoderator on October 10, 2014

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Originally published December 5, 2013

“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 interest 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

The Gospel According to Dr. David Allen and Al Mohler: Is the Official Southern Baptist Gospel Biblical?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 6, 2013

ppt-jpeg4“So, what is it exactly that both camps agree with? What is this Calvinism that is fundamentally orthodox according to Dr. David Allen?”

Well, yesterday was full of learning. I think the most important thing I learned is that Southern Baptist leaders are like wrestlers in the World Wrestling Federation. They fight in the ring, and go out together for beer afterwards. Another thing I learned is that both parties (Calvinists/Arminians) have a vested financial interest in keeping the SBC undivided. Truth is not the issue here, at issue is the salvation of the SBC financial machine monetized by the sheep they deem as still totally depraved. And sadly, like WWF fans, the sheep think these guys are really fighting.

Some of my wisest mentors have been totally depraved. Not in regard to ethics, but in regard to reality. As a young, and naive new restaurant assistant manager, the elderly general manager sat me down and stated, “Paul, this is how it works; if you prefer, rape the waitresses, steal the food, and put stuff in the customer’s meals, but don’t mess with the money.” I fear the SBC is little different.

Calvinism versus Arminianism in the SBC? “The Watershed issue in the SBC for the next 5-10 years”? How many SBC parishioners watch WWF? Bless their hearts, in the same way that WWF fans love their favorite wrestlers, many SBC congregants love the “T” word: truth. That’s a problem. At this year’s John 3:16 Conference, a couple of young restaurant managers asked the Southwestern Seminary elites what they were going to do about the Calvinist problem in the SBC. Dr. David Allen, the wise general manager, set them straight. Those Calvinists are our brothers, and Calvinism is not outside of “Christian orthodoxy.” And it goes without saying that Al Mohler over at Southern, “ground zero for the Neo-Calvinist movement,” would agree with Allen wholeheartedly. As one leader stated during the same conference, the big match is “a family matter.” Yes Sally May, bring us another round.

Both parties even have mutual foes that disrupt family harmony. Dr. James White points to those pesky hyper Arminians while Dr. Allen points to those pesky hyper Calvinists. As a pastor you learn one thing in a hurry: if you want a two party beat down, get in the middle of a family dispute and take sides.

So, both sides agree: there are merely residual disagreements in regard to Calvinism, but fundamentally, it is “orthodox.” So why the conference? That answer becomes as easy as A,B,C: the fans shouldn’t expect the wrestlers to really kill each other, that wouldn’t be Christian-like. The conference wasn’t a stand for the truth, it was wise counsel from the general managers to the fans. They said as much:

This strand of Baptist life, Caner said, ran concurrent with the stronger Calvinistic one from the Philadelphia Baptist Association and both have existed within Southern Baptist life since the founding of the convention.

Caner asserted that much of the theological disunity could be resolved if there was more evangelistic methodological unity, particularly using an altar call.

Southern Baptist history, Caner said, demonstrates that revival and the methods of evangelism associated with historic “revival meetings” will be what halts “discussion over doctrinal differences” and stops “theological infighting.”

So, what is it exactly that both camps agree with? What is this Calvinism that is fundamentally orthodox according to Dr. David Allen? Well, in the Calvin Institutes, Calvin teaches that the “washing”; i.e., salvation, is “perpetual,” and the atoning work of Christ on the cross is also perpetual (3.14.11). I kid you not.

In 4.1.21,22, and elsewhere, Calvin states that sins committed in the Christian life separate us from grace, and we must therefore receive daily salvific forgiveness of sins, and this forgiveness can only be found in the institutional church and under the authority of pastors. This should give relevant meaning to the “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day” jingle that is popular among SBC leaders.

I could go on and on and on with examples, but you get the point.

The SBC fans are paying good money to have their gospel picked for them while the SBC elite laugh about it at the local pub over a few cold ones. It’s time for that gig to be over.

Trust me, the fans have God’s permission to choose their own gospel. You do not have to go to a conference to get permission from elitist charlatans. Take me for instance, I am a licensed Southern Baptist pastor, and I confess that Dr. David Allen can take his false gospel and stuff it in a place of his choosing. No pun intended.

paul

Totally Unexpected: Dr. James White Backs Down From Public Debate; Susan Weighs In

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 6, 2013

ppt-jpeg4“No Calvinist, including John MacArthur, can win a debate on Calvinism with ANY Christian who can read. Why? Because Calvin makes anti-gospel statements in the Institutes that cannot be defended. Truth be known, these guys are not going to debate anybody who is familiar with the Calvin Institutes. On this wise, they couldn’t even win a debate against Forrest Gump, and they all know it.”    

How surprised was I that Dr. James White backed down from a public debate with me? I was working on an introduction. The Introduction that will never be spoken follows, but I have some thoughts first. Actually, the thoughts come from my better half, Susan Dohse. Susan was totally taken aback by the in-your-face elitism from Dr. James White and Dr. Allen both, and weighed in with the following ideas:

Why do you need any credentials at all? Why pass on a public discussion between two brothers on any subject? If he is a leader, would that not at least be an opportunity to model proper dialogue between Christians? Furthermore, your challenge is unique, why would he not seize the opportunity? What is he afraid of?

Well, Susan and I don’t agree on everything, I cannot assert that this man is a brother, I don’t know that, and he backed down from a definitive, outlined rebuttal against the gospel he believes in. Basically, I am stating publically that he believes in a false gospel, and he will not defend it. This makes me 2/0/0 on Calvinists backing down from a public debate with me. The first agreed initially, but negotiations broke down when I was told I couldn’t read from the Calvin Institutes. And that my friends is the crux of the issue. No Calvinist, including John MacArthur, can win a debate on Calvinism with ANY Christian who can read. Why? Because Calvin makes anti-gospel statements in the Institutes that cannot be defended. Truth be known, these guys are not going to debate anybody who is familiar with the Calvin Institutes. On this wise, they couldn’t even win a debate against Forrest Gump, and they all know it.

Here is the introduction I was working on before the big surprise:

I am not here tonight to debate the doctrine of election or the five points of Calvinism. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, that debate hasn’t solved anything and precious few have been persuaded either way. That is a debate where people come already convinced, one way or the other, and are simply looking for permission to remain where they are.

To the contrary, Calvin’s soteriology is against what is clearly stated in the Bible. It is a brazen affront to the biblical gospel and Pauline soteriology in particular. Said another way, there is very little theory here and many facts. The devil in the Reformation gospel is in the details.

Ironically, Calvinists don’t really believe in the doctrine that they have effectively hidden behind for more than 500 years—the doctrine of election. As one saved out of Calvinism myself, I always rejoiced in the idea that God had chosen me before the foundation of the earth, well before I was even born, and therefore, nothing could separate me from the love of God. When I joyfully shared this with other Calvinists, I was puzzled by the flat response. I am no longer puzzled.

Election, in the Calvinist construct, only qualifies us to enter the race. From there, we have to keep ourselves saved by faith alone in the Christian life. It reminds me of the rock and roll hit, “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive: “we work hard at doing nothing all day…taking care of business [by being re-saved every day].” This is the simplistic and powerfully deceptive false gospel of Calvinism; it requires us to keep ourselves saved by not doing works in the Christian life. Yes, there is much more to the jingle, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves everyday” than most are aware of. That is not a Calvinist prescription for a more apt way to be sanctified in the Christian life, it is a prescription for keeping ourselves saved.

“We must.” When those two words are anywhere in the Christian life, it begs the question: for justification, or sanctification? If for justification, it must be works salvation. The Reformation crowd often speaks of “the golden chain of salvation” in context of objective, subjective, and final justification. What they call “progressive sanctification” is really, “subjective justification.” That’s a huge problem. It requires us to remain saved by continually revisiting the same gospel that saved us. We enter a race where the reward is salvation, not rewards for Christian obedience to a risen Savior. This begs the eschatological question as well, “How many resurrections, and how many judgments?” It begs the question of dichotomy between justification and sanctification. Is justification a onetime finished work while sanctification only is progressive? Why did Calvin state that justification is “progressive”?

And why did the Reformers insist that the Christian life is a New Testament expression of the Old Testament Sabbath? The idea that works in sanctification brings Sabbath death?

Yes indeed, the fusion of justification and sanctification makes Christian living a minefield on the way to glorification. It requires a careful consideration of what is works in sanctification and what is not works in sanctification. It is a formula for “keeping ourselves in the love of God” and instruction on how Calvin’s gospel continues to “save believers.”

It is often the masterful exposition of sanctification in a justification way. Calvin’s soteriology of works salvation clothed in antinomianism. It posits an unfinished work of the cross, a rejection of the new birth, and a law that gives life.

paul

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

ppt-jpeg4

“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

If Space Aliens Visited Westminster Seminary

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on February 8, 2011

I don’t know what’s wrong with me this morning. I sang to PJ and Phillip while taking them to school this morning: “Let the sunshine in, face it with a grin, frowner’s never win…….” Too much coffee or something. Then I guess I made the mistake of checking my FB wall before getting to work. One of my friends posted an item concerning an apparent, or possible paranormal event concerning the pale horse of the apocalypse. At first, my comment was serious:

“ Interesting. It could be paranormal – that does happen. But for Christians the question is always, “So what?” Or, Objective verses subjective. Like when lightning struck the giant image of Jesus here in Ohio: objective; God doesn’t like idols so He struck it with lightning. This [note] is more in the realm of subjective. Subjective paranormal events are sometimes a judgment because they are often a form of idol worship. People like idols because they can draw any truth they want from them; like the giant Jesus here in Ohio – it meant many different things to many different people. Likewise, people can draw all kinds of different “conclusions” from subjective paranormal activity. The apostle Paul said that in the end times God will send “delusions” as a judgment and Christ said they will be so deceptive that they could potentially deceive the elect “if that were possible.” I believe that as the time draws near we will see strong delusions, and Katie bar the door, if the likes of John Piper can fool people, one can only imagine the wholesale plunge into deeper error.”

Then something happened. You see, I have been in a cage while writing the second edition of “Another Gospel” because I made Susan the chief editor of the book. Her credentials for such a task are over the top, and it has been brutal: no sarcasm, no unprofessional statements, no unnecessary statements that don’t contribute to the main point, etc., etc., etc., and etc. Do you know what I mean? Do you hear me knocking? “No, this won’t work,” she says, “the blog is informal [my translation: fun!], this is serious business.” So, I made a second comment to the note on FB that was in jest – something about an end-time delusion concerning space aliens visiting Southern Theological Seminary and presenting a false gospel. Then I thought, “Hey, that would make a good post!”

But then I thought (Susan never lets me start a sentence with “but”), “It wouldn’t be fair to use Southern since they are primarily influenced by Westminster these days, so I will use Westminster for the imaginary scenario instead. So, imagine with me, the spaceship lands on the front lawn of Westminster Seminary, the aliens emerge, and say, “Take us to your leader.” Undoubtedly, since this would be a counseling situation, and even a possible alien abduction (I could only wish), they would summon profs from CCEF, the counseling wing of Westminster. After listening to the new gospel presented by the aliens, one can only assume they would respond this way:

“No, no, we have a much better gospel than that. We believe in change at the ‘heart level.’ You see, we don’t need to evolve, the church has always had the truth, but then it forgot a bunch of stuff. We realized the church did so when we observed people who hate us developing theories of change based on an ‘inside life.’ Unfortunately, first generation versions of ourselves deny this ‘inside life’ because they are obsessed with what can be known objectively. It is important to overcome that because even though we have recovered truth forgotten by the church, ‘it’s different because it’s always in a different socio-cultural-historical movement, and different forces are at work’ ( see David Powlison interview with 9 Marks Blog). However, this shouldn’t bother our first generation friends because the Bible is not a book of objective truth anyway, it’s a gospel narrative.

Now, on Earth we have flowers called the daisy, and if you just cut down a daisy, it will grow back again because what you need to do is get to the roots and dig them up. Likewise, idols in the heart must be found and destroyed by deep repentance. When we do that, change is just a ‘mere natural flow’ via new obedience. Now, idols in our heart take our desires captive, so we locate the idols by asking ourselves x-ray questions, which will identify desires that have been disoriented / misplaced by the idols. This is very important because like Sigmund Freud, we believe ‘Everything we do is shaped and controlled by what our hearts desire’ (How People Change, p.17). Furthermore, we like to quote a great teacher of the past who said: ‘The heart is an idol factory.’ So, as our nasty hearts continue to create these idols, we must eradicate them by deep repentance.”

At this point, the aliens have a question: “So, your gospel is a gospel that teaches a constant cycle of new idols being created in the heart and the cutting down thereof ?” Answer: “Precisely! Because when we sin, it keeps us humble and prevents self righteousness. But when we obey, it’s not really us obeying; when the idol is eradicated, the void is filled by Christ and he obeys for us. So really, it’s a constant cycle of humbleness and rejoicing in what Jesus is doing, not anything we do. This is much better than the first generation of putting off the old self and putting on the full righteousness of Christ granted to us at salvation.”

Aliens: “But isn’t that what Ephesians 4:20-24 says to do? And isn’t it more objective than idol hunting?” Answer: “That’s first generation thinking. We thought you guys are supposed to be more highly evolved than us. The Bible is a gospel narrative, and ‘Christ is a person, not a cognitive concept we insert into a new formula for life’ (How People Change, p.27). The Bible is a big picture model / story of every believers life, and we are invited to enter into the plot ( How People Change p.94).”

Aliens: “Your concept: the Bible is personal truth embodied in a person [Christ] and expressed in a narrative; therefore, it cannot be applicable truth; isn’t that postmodernism? Another one of your earthly leaders says it is (John MacArthur, Truth War pages 12-14).” Answer: “Guilt by association! Are you guys really blogwatchers posing as aliens?!”

To conclude my narrative, one of the aliens keys his communicator and says the following: “Ground to command, beam us up, there’s no intelligent life down here.”

And once again, CCEF’s research and development team has saved planet Earth!

The end.

(Don’t tell Susan I wrote this).

paul

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