Paul's Passing Thoughts

Curing the Protestant Disease of Noanswerosis

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on April 1, 2015

As one crawling out of the present Protestant Dark Age, a focus on sanctification rather than keeping myself saved by not working has revealed a disease that infects all Protestants: Noanswerosis (pronounced no-anser-osis).

This is a word that joins, no—answer—osis. When a Protestant is “saved,” their brain is immediately infected with this disease. In fact, contemporary terms that refer to the Protestant gospel state such explicitly.

The subjective power of an objective gospel.

Or…

The objective gospel.

Or…

The centrality of the objective gospel outside of us.

Or…

Definitive justification experienced subjectively.

What are these terms saying? Well, these are contemporary terms that define the foundational document of the Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation to the Augustinian Order (1518). Luther’s 95 Theses was a moral disputation, his Heidelberg Disputation defined the worldview of the Reformation and was penned about 6 months after the 95 Theses. John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion further defines Luther’s foundational premise.

What’s the gist of it all? First, God is completely sovereign over everything. Reality is a movie produced and scripted by God. History is a meta-narrative, or metaphysical narrative prewritten by God. Also, this movie (reality) is a 3D movie and requires special glasses in order to see it.

In other words, without the 3D glasses the movie (reality) will be blurred and distorted. And, the 3D glasses are…the gospel. All of reality, according to authentic Reformed ideology, is a gospel story. Seeing yourself in the role of how it all plays out as a mere character in a prewritten play is a matter of faith. If you see yourself as in control of anything, you are making yourself God and attempting to write your own reality.

Therefore, the gospel is the only reality that is…objective. EVERYTHING in life that happens is part of the gospel narrative, or… “his-story” (history).

So, how in the world does this supposedly work in real life? Before we get to that, let’s discuss the immense benefits from seeing reality in this way. Basically, there is no use in getting stressed out about anything because it is just all a prewritten narrative by God that you have no control over. In some sense, more accurately, in a big way, you can step back and separate yourself from what is going on in the world. Don’t worry—be happy. There is no need to get upset about an event, it’s all part of God’s gospel narrative that helps us in seeing reality more clearly.

Stop right there. That’s key. The goal is more seeing. There is a reason for this madness; what else but the primary goal of all philosophies? Happiness or joy or wellbeing or peace or however else you want to frame it. “Faith” is defined as SEEING ONLY. In Luther’s construct, ALL doing is part of the material world and inherently evil. If you can see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it, or DO it—it’s evil, period.

Seeing life more and more as a prewritten narrative that glorifies the gospel that you have no role in leads to more and more wellbeing. Hey, no matter what happens, to God be the glory. Every life event says something about the gospel. Actually, there is a specific interpretive paradigm, or if you will, the 3D glasses: “The holiness of God as set against the sinfulness of man.” Every life event lends more understanding to the depths of our own depravity versus the holiness of God. When something good happens to us “worms crawling upon the earth” (Calvin), that’s grace, that’s astounding mercy. When something bad happens, we are merely getting what we deserve.

That’s life, but what about the Bible? The Bible is an aid in seeing our depravity more and more and God’s holiness more and more. The Bible is the script of the gospel narrative. According to the Reformed academics that really understand Reformed ideology, the Bible is a gospel narrative that displays the fundamental narratives that play out in life. When you read the Bible, it is therefore your story also as seen in narrative archetypes.

So, a life of faith is really about seeing only, all of the doing has been predetermined by God. This is how we live our lives by faith alone; life is seeing and not doing. The doing is ONLY EXPERIENCED.

Now we are getting into how this philosophy actually functions in real life, supposedly that is. Pretty much, go ahead and live out your life… and here it comes… “subjectively.” This is an affirmation that everything you do is evil, even your good works, and you really have no way of knowing whether it is you doing the work or God. Take note: in understanding this philosophy, it is important to distinguish between personal works and what happens in reality. Everything that happens is predetermined by God as part of His prewritten historical narrative. But, how we see or perceive life events determines whether we are living by faith or not. There must be a distinction between actual events and perception.

Bible study, or teaching in general is focused on perception, and then we go about living our lives subjectively. Yes, we make an effort to live life, but in our effort to live life we confess that it is a subjective experience. What does that mean? Luther split subjective life into two categories: venial sin and mortal sin. If we believe that we can do a good work, that’s mortal sin. If we confess that even our good works are evil, that’s venial sin. Life is subjective because when we see our works in the world, we have no way of knowing whether it is God doing the work through us or ourselves doing a work…and you hear this often… “in our own efforts.” All of the incessant moaning you hear in church over “works done in our own efforts” is right out of the Heidelberg Disputation.

The Reformed have three schools of thought in regard to how the subjective life works. Theory one states that the subjective life of faith is a combination of manifestation and our actual works. Manifestation is realm manifestation. This is when the invisible realm births an event in the material realm. It is like the rain. You feel the rain, you experience the rain, but you have no control over the rain. The rain comes from heaven—you didn’t make it rain, you only experience the rain. This school holds to the idea that it is impossible to distinguish between our actual efforts and realm birthing, or realm manifestation. As long as the person believes that everything that he/she does is evil, and anything good that happened came from God—that’s venial sin and will be forgiven IF we confess that our good works are evil. It is a subjective life because we have no way of knowing what our works are and what the Spirit’s works are. We only confess that if anything we experience is actually a good work, we didn’t do it.

The second school is John Calvin’s Sabbath Rest Sanctification paradigm. If all of our works are sanctified by contemplation on the gospel, ie., our sinfulness as set against God’s holiness, we will be less tempted by our “good” works. In other words, we will be less tempted towards mortal sin—the belief that we actually did a good work. This is closely related to the imperative command is grounded in the indicative event. The more we contemplate the gospel, the more we are able to see that anything in our life that appears to be a good work is a work that flows from the gospel event. This is also connected to the Reformed doctrine of double imputation.  Christ came to fulfil the law so that His obedience to the law during the time He lived on earth can be imputed to our lives by faith alone. So, if we experience any good work in our life and believe it is a manifestation of Christ’s obedience imputed to us—we are under venial sin and not mortal sin.

Venial sin is forgivable, but we must be faithful to the institutional church and return to the same gospel that saved us in order to receive a reapplication of Christ’s penal substitution and righteous obedience. They use 1John 1:9 and other Scriptures as a proof text for this doctrine. A perpetual return to the same gospel that saved us keeps us in the “vital union” with Christ which is yet another Reformed soteriological doctrine.

The third school emphasizes the Reformed doctrine of mortification and vivification.  This doctrine encompasses the other two schools as well. Its contemporary expression is John Piper’s Christian Hedonism. This is also the official Reformed definition of the new birth. The new birth is mortification and vivification. Mortification entails a focus on our sinfulness and wormism. This is the death part of our baptism. This results in resurrection, or vivification. This is the resurrection part of our baptism. As we see the gospel narrative more deeply, we experience the joy of vivification in a deeper and deeper way. Seeing the depths of our sinfulness as set against God’s holiness (mortification) leads to a deeper and deeper experience of joy in our Christian lives (vivification). Hence, the new birth is not a onetime event in the Christians life, the Christian must continually return to the new birth process that leads to the ultimate goal of a joyful Christian life. Question. In the final analysis, is this not a rejoicing in evil that Paul stated as an antithesis of love?

Therefore, believing that the new birth is a onetime event assumes Christians move on to something else other than the gospel which also assumes Christians can do good works. That’s mortal sin. Also, a literal interpretation of the Bible assumes that biblical commands can be obeyed by the believer, that is also mortal sin according to Reformed ideology. This means that a grammatical historical view of the Bible is conducive to mortal sin while the historical redemptive view of Scripture keeps the “believer” under the auspices of forgivable venial sin.

This all translates into a dramatic devaluing of wisdom for living life in an effective way. This is what has been going on for hundreds of years. Obviously, answers are not the point or anywhere in the ballpark of life. Answers are not merely in the back seat—they aren’t even in the car. The only answer for an unfixable life is to be “joyful no matter what your circumstances are.”

This is where Noanswerosis comes from. What are the symptoms? When you counsel someone and give them solid answers from the Scriptures, they just sit there and look at you dumfounded. They will actually depart without acknowledging that the conversation actually happened. As Protestants, we are so accustomed to not having answers that the answers are now paralyzing us. It’s Noanswerosis.

Noanswerosis is caused by believing that having answers is mortal sin and applying the answers will condemn you to hell. Now you better understand where the Bible is coming from. Faith is not just seeing—it’s doing (see James). Happiness does not come from mere seeing—the blessing is IN the doing (James 1:25). Seeing only is a life built upon sand, a life of having answers and applying them is a life built upon a rock.

We have the answers, let’s keep learning and putting what we learn into practice while it is still daylight for the darkness is coming when no man can work.

paul

The Protestant Twisting of 1John: A Clarification, Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 31, 2015

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Welcome to Blogtalk Radio False Reformation this is your host Paul M. Dohse Sr. Tonight, part 2 of “The Protestant Twisting of 1John: A Clarification.”

How is 1John used to argue for a progressive salvation, and what is John really saying in his epistle? That’s what we are discussing tonight. If you would like to add to our lesson or ask a question, call (347) 855-8317. Per the usual, we will check in with Susan towards the end of the show and listen to her perspective.

If you would like to comment on our subject tonight, you can also email me at paul@ttanc.com. That’s Tom, Tony, Alice, Nancy, cat, paul@ttanc.com. I have my email monitor right here and can add your thoughts to the lesson.

Ok, so this whole idea that is very Protestant that we must keep going back to the same gospel that saved us in order to keep ourselves saved. But, it’s all good because we are going back to the “gospel” and the “gospel” is by faith alone so going back to the gospel is a faith alone work which isn’t really a work. So, it’s ok to do something to keep ourselves saved as long as it’s a faith alone work.

As we discussed last week, here is where the home fellowship movement stands apart from the institutional church: salvation is a finished work; salvation is NOT a progression from point A to point B. The new birth is a onetime instantaneous quickening of the believer. The believer then in fact does move on to something completely different—kingdom living, or discipleship. Central to Protestantism is the idea that moving on from the gospel to doctrinal maturity is an abomination. The who’s who of Protestantism can be cited many times in stating this in no uncertain terms.

The home fellowship movement is not a mere preference over the institutional church—it is an anti-progressive justification movement. It is a return to the true gospel of Christ. All of the institutional church either embraces progressive justification or is willing to fellowship with it and is therefore altogether guilty.

Last week, we also introduced the fact that 1John must be interpreted according to its historical context. The number one nemesis of the 1st century assemblies was Gnosticism and 1John is a treatise against it. We covered John’s introduction which was a direct pushback against the Gnostic idea that the spiritual Christ did not die on the cross. We believe that John was specifically addressing the Gnostic teachings of Cerinthus. He taught that there was more than one Christ; one born naturally of human parents that will be resurrected with all other men in the last days, and the spiritual Christ who dwells in heaven. Elsewhere, John wrote:

1John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

The very definition of antichrist teachings is the denial that the true Christ (Messiah) was part of the material world, or actually came in the flesh. Gnostic systems of thought are very complex, but the cardinal principle is that material is evil and the spiritual or invisible is good.

The important distinction is that biblically, the material creation is not inherently evil, but weak. This is an important distinction because Christ coming as man makes it possible for men to be literally recreated and part of God’s literal family. The teaching that “denies Jesus is the Christ” (Messiah: 1Jn 2:22) circumvents the new birth. Throughout this epistle, John refers to the recipients as “little offsprings”(teknion; little children). I want to dig into this a little deeper; the new birth and its relationship to apostolic succession, but first, let me address the crux issue here.

John was also addressing an aspect of Gnosticism that believed the following: sin only resides in the material, and the spiritual part of man is sinless and has never sinned. In essence, it doesn’t matter what we do in the body because the spiritual part of man is sinless and has never sinned, and that is the only part of man that is eternal anyway. Many scholars concur that this was a common form of Gnosticism. Of course, this disavows any need for Christ to die on the cross and makes the knowledge of this supposed lie salvation itself. Salvation by being made into something new is out—coming to grips with the gnosis regarding man’s inner spark of divinity is in. This backdrop now explains exactly what John was getting at in 1John 1:7-10 and 2:1,2.

1John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1John 2:1 – My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

“We” in these verses should be viewed as speaking to mankind in general while including both saved and unsaved individuals. Recognizing that Christ came to deal with man’s sin problem is efficacious to the gospel.

John is NOT stating the Protestant gospel of “deep repentance” which teaches that we keep ourselves saved (or washed) via a “lifestyle of repentance.” That would be a perpetual return to the same gospel that saved us for relief from “present sin.” That flies in the face of biblical justification. This makes “if” in these verses a conditional conjunction. That would mean that our sins continue to be forgiven, or washed, or cleansed “if” we “walk in the light” and continue to repent. That’s clearly works salvation, and clearly a reapplication of Christ’s sacrifice to present sin. As actually taught in Protestant circles, the sacrifice only happened once, but the remembrance of it continues to cleanse present and future sins.

This is the whole deal behind, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day” and the vital union doctrine. Living a “lifestyle of repentance” or deep repentance “keeps us in the love of Jesus.” This is salvation by Jesus + deep repentance to keep ourselves saved. The Reformed say, “No, it’s not works because repentance is a faith alone work,” but not even a so-called faith alone work can keep you born again—you can’t unborn yourself by not doing something. Look, here is the money point on all of this: the needed present and future forgiveness can only be found in the Protestant institutional church via baptism/formal membership. And we will be addressing that a little further along.

One of the many problems with this is, in regard to believers, follows: in order for present sin to exist, there has to be a law, and the blood of Christ ended the law—it’s a onetime cleansing. To have some need to reapply the blood of Christ to present sin implies that there is still sin, and there is not because where there is no law—there is no sin, and Christ died on the cross to end the law. This fact is found in Romans 3:19,20, 4:15, 5:13, 7:8, 10:4.

Some insist that John’s context here is fellowship, and since fellowship is the context, John is writing about repentance that is necessary to keep us in proper family relationship with God, and not a repentance that keeps us in the family of God; ie., John is talking about sanctification and not justification. Frankly, that’s the view that I used to hold to as well.

But John is talking about the onetime cleansing that justifies. Note that throughout these verses that it is a forgiveness that cleanses from “all sin” and “all unrighteousness.” That has to be justification. What John is saying is that no matter who you are in humanity, you have need to be forgiven of sin by believing that Jesus is the Christ and died for you. Note the subjects of these verses: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

However, John is also saying that this fact doesn’t give us a license to sin any more than the Gnostics, “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” But watch this: “But if anyone does sin, we [everyone] have an advocate with the Father.” Ok John, an advocate for what purpose? Answer: “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” Who are the subjects? It’s obvious who the subjects are.

If this isn’t speaking to a onetime cleansing of sin, the world doesn’t need the new birth any more than Christians—they only need to ask forgiveness so the blood of Christ will be applied to the particular sin. Not only that, the new birth is also disavowed through the denial of a new creaturehood displayed by people who have passed from death to life. And John is speaking directly towards this issue as well. You see, who the “we” are and what the “if” is—is critical to interpreting these verses properly. The “we” are the “anyone.” The “if” is a cause and effect conjunction and not a conditional conjunction.

And let me tell you something, Protestant theologians rarely have any qualms about saying that God’s promises are conditional. I mean, what’s the paramount example? Replacement theology/supersessionism, right? This whole idea that Israel’s election was conditional on them holding up their end of the covenant. I just don’t know what can be more obvious, and this is their exact take on justification as well.

This is the crux. John is saying that if we walk in the light, it’s because we have been born again, not that we keep ourselves born again if we do our part by walking in the light. Walking in the light is not our part of the so-called vital union, we walk in the light because that’s what new creatures do; cows like hay and ducks like water—it’s a cause and effect conjunction not a conditional conjunction.

Now, here is where we really struggle with these verses: in verse 7, the English word in the plural strongly suggests a present continuous action. Verse 9 really isn’t that much of a problem as it’s merely saying that anyone that confesses their sin is cleansed of all unrighteousness. Note the following verse 10 that can be rendered this way: “If we say we have not [never] sinned.” The English “ed’ on the end of sin indicates past tense like, “I sinned.” That’s past tense. If John is speaking to the present continuance, why would he have not written, “if we say that we do not sin.” Right? Verse 9 simply fits into the Gnostic motif that John was arguing against.

Neither is 1John 2:1, 2 a problem. John is simply stating that anyone who recognizes their sin and wants to do something about it has an advocate in Christ who cleanses all sin. And by the way, the rest of John’s letter backs up my Pauline argument to the hilt. Just, all over the place in the rest of the letter, for example,

1John 3:3 – And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

He came to “take away sin,” not to cover it with His own righteousness and to continue to forgive it. Christ came to end sin altogether. Are we “in Christ”? Well, in Him there is NO sin. So if we are in Him, why would we need forgiveness for present or future sin in regard to justification? In 1John 2:12-14, forgiveness of sin and overcoming the evil one is spoken of in the past tense.

The only matter at hand is the word “cleanses” in verse 7.  Let me point something out to you. Most of the English translations that we have come out of the Protestant Reformation. Therefore, and there are myriads of examples of this, the translations are tainted with progressive justification presuppositions. And unfortunately, this includes the Greek word-study helps. Here is something I read in one:

Every encounter with a command to obey, is our opportunity to jettison self-reliance and to yield to the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Supernatural commands from the supernatural God can only be carried out with reliance on His supernatural power! The Spirit is called the Helper, but don’t let His Name mislead you. To say that we need His help is to imply we have some ability of our own to obey and are in need of a little “push” so to speak.

See the problem? You can know the Greek backwards and forwards, but what good does it do if “help” doesn’t mean “help”? Look, what good have all of the Protestant Greek scholars done for us? I came to realize the problem of progressive justification by my own independent study in Romans. The basic concept easily understood regardless of the language, “where there is no law there is no sin.” That statement astounded me, but was the key to unraveling the whole mystery. Once you understand that fundamental, the rest of the Bible, when taken in context, fits together perfectly in every way. How much did any knowledge of Greek aid me in this understanding? Nada. Goose egg. Zilch. Loco zippo.

Greek can be confirming, and helpful, but the Bible is written in definitive structures that mean the same thing in all languages and that is no accident. You can translate the fact that Christ died on the cross to end the law, and where there is no law there is no sin, any way you want to—it’s going to mean the same thing in any language. Then you start seeing where the concept fits together with everything else in the Bible which enables you to nail down what the anomalies are. And a lot of the anomalies are bias towards a certain worldview.

Notice in the example I gave there is no room given for an authentic colaboring between us and the Holy Spirit. It is either all us or all of the Holy Spirit. My friends, that is the Protestant redemptive-historical worldview to a T and it is fundamentally Gnostic in its premise. Hence, when you use Greek word-study helps, you are often dealing with the same bias. This is why I eventually threw away my Kenneth Wuest expanded New Testament translation. I started seeing clear bias in how he processed the Greek verbs and I was totally done with him at that point.

I spent the better part of yesterday researching 1John 1:7 and the word “cleanses” therein. We know from biblical context that this verse cannot be saying that the one sacrifice of Christ continues to rewash us IF we continue to walk in the light; ie., Protestantism. And let me give you the thumbnail: if you remain faithful to the institutional church and its sacraments/ordinances, that keeps you saved. Even if the Greek usage indicates a present continual action there is no way to distinguish that from the simple reality of being washed once and remaining clean thereafter. In other words, there is no way to definitively distinguish between two intents: a required reapplication to reinstate a status or an unchanged status that continues in the same state without any further action.

Though “cleanses” appears to be some kind of continuing action in the ESV version of 1John 1:7 as well as many other versions, we know that this same cleansing of regeneration is clearly stated as a onetime final act in many, many other Bible passages. For example,

1Corinthians 6:11- And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Ok, you have “were” in there four times with sinful lifestyles being in the past tense, and sanctified, justified, and “washed” being in the present tense. It is one event that happens one time and transforms us into an immutable state. Period. This is irrefutable. And by the way, if you do a New Testament word search on the exact form of the Greek word “cleanses” (other translations “cleanseth”) in 1John 1:7, it is almost always used as a onetime ceremonial cleansing.

Matthew 8:2 – And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, ” Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 3 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. [Here in Mathew 8:2, the same exact form of the Greek word is used for past, present, and future tense. “Ed” is added to the English word “cleansed” to indicate past tense].

Note how Young’s Literal Translation has 1John 1:7.

and if in the light we may walk, as He is in the light — we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son doth cleanse us from every sin;

Now, not only does this simply state the fact that the blood of Christ cleanses us from every sin with a much less conditional translation, it’s interesting that the YLT picks up on something that Andy related to me yesterday in regard to the word “may”:

What is interesting is that all of the examples that John uses where he says “if” are all 3rd class conditions.  All the key verbs are in the subjunctive mood.

Here is an excerpt regarding 3rd class conditions…

“The third class condition often presents the condition as uncertain of fulfillment, but still likely.  There are, however, many exceptions to this…The third class condition encompasses a broad range of potentialities in Koine Greek. It depicts what is likely to occur in the future, what could possibly occur, or even what is only hypothetical and will not occur” (Wallace, p. 696).

So John is really posing a series of future hypothetical situations. Any place where it says “if” you should read it as “if ever in the future…” or “if at any time in the future…”

It would appear that this seems to be an exercise in reason using hypothetical examples to refute the gnostics that were among them in those assemblies. Notice that the present tense verbs are present tense because they are in the conclusion (apodosis) to the proposed hypothetical conditional premise (protasis). But the verbs in the premise (protasis) are in the subjunctive mood.

Also, you cannot read verse 7 without verse 6.  Verse 7 is an antithetical conclusion of verse 6. In other words, you can’t properly interpret vs 7 without vs 6. In fact, notice how 7 contrasts 6, AND vs 9 contrasts vs 8 also!  They are parallel arguments, and then vs 10 kind of sums it up.

This bolsters my contention that John is addressing people in general regarding the ramifications of their beliefs about sin in contrast to Gnosticism. That’s the crux here: the backdrop is the Gnosticism John is addressing. If you say that you have no sin, for whatever reason, you are making God out to be a liar. But if you confess your sin, God will cleanse you from all unrightousness. And, that will have an effect on your life because you have been cleansed. John does not hone-in on the new birth right here, but does so in chapter 3 bigtime. Really, chapter 3 clarifies exactly what is being stated in the first two chapters.

In addition, John is saying that even though those who confess their sin are cleansed of all sin, that is not a different kind of license to sin without ramifications. Hence, “…I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.” But if you do recognize that you have sin, we have an advocate with the Father that is a propitiation for all sin, those who confess that they have sin, and those who may in the future confess that they have sin—this is what is going on in this passage. And by the way, this is another refutation of limited atonement as well.

Let me give another example that might help clarify all of this. One Reformed fellow (a disciple of Paul David Tripp) arguing against me in regard to all of this stated the following:

In John 4, we are to drink once, but that one drink becomes a reserve that refreshes continually. The substance that refreshes is the same (Christ’s salvation, in an ongoing manner)…For Calvin, the cleaning is ongoing, because there WILL be new sins, and 1 John tells us there are new sins. WERE IT NOT FOR the ongoing cleaning and forgiveness, we would exit the family of God, but the faithful know of a certainty that this cleansing is ongoing and present.

See the problem with not interpreting this passage in its historical context? John isn’t talking about “new sins,” he is talking about SIN period. Where is there anything stated in this passage in regard to “new sins”? What relevance does “new sins” have with the unsaved world that is one of the subjects of this passage? The unsaved have “new sins”?

Also, Christians do not have “new sins” because Christ ended the law and where there is no law there is no sin. This is exactly why the Protestant gospel keeps people under law—the whole concept of “new sin.”

In addition, notice what he states about John 4 that is a common Reformed position:

In John 4, we are to drink once, but that one drink becomes a reserve that refreshes continually.

This statement is a common smoking gun that damns Protestantism. In that passage, Jesus said that those who drink of the water will never… (what?) again? Right, they will NEVER “thirst” again. Christians may need refreshment against the weakness of the flesh, but we never need our justification to be refreshed—that’s just a blatant false gospel.

Moreover, note, “WERE IT NOT FOR the ongoing cleaning and forgiveness, we would exit the family of God, but the faithful know of a certainty that this cleansing is ongoing and present.” This is where the “if(s)” of 1John totally shoot Protestantism in its gospel foot. If you take this approach, the if(s) of 1John 1:7-2:2 are conditional upon confessing “new sins.” This clearly makes the cleansing of sin that makes us part of God’s family conditional. It makes the new birth conditional. “If” we don’t confess, we can be unborn.

Doesn’t it make much more sense if John is saying that we (people in general) have to recognize that men have sin in order to receive a cleansing from it? Sure it does. John is pushing back against a philosophy that taught the following: man is spirit and therefore without sin; only the material world has sin. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what people do in the body, it’s all just part of the material world that is passing away. This also rejects the new birth and its righteous lifestyle that walks in the light as Christ is in the light and there is no darkness in Him. Those who walk in the light are born of the light and they are of the light because they recognized the need to confess their sin in order to be cleansed. Hence…

John 3:2 – Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Next week, we are going to look at how the rest of the book of 1John fits into this Pauline soteriological schema perfectly. Why does John follow our passage at hand with a discussion of love and then the new birth? How do we get from the gospel anomaly of “new sins” to “love,” and what does that have to do with the new birth? How does all of this make walking in the light synonymous with the new birth?

See you next, and now let’s go to the phones.

The Perpetual Recrucifixion of Christ by Calvinism

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

“Therefore, Hebrews does violence to the Reformed notion of a ‘lifestyle of repentance’ (Paul David Tripp). The lifestyle of a true believer is a lifestyle of aggressive love without fear of judgment while a ‘lifestyle of repentance’ is ‘crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.’” 

Many false religions perpetually reapply the crucifixion of Christ in an atonement colaboring. They acknowledge that Christ only died once, but propagate a needed reapplication of that death and resurrection in order to keep ourselves saved by “faith alone.” Yes, the cross-work of Christ is “finished,” but the APPLICATION of the work is NOT. And since we believe in the death and resurrection by faith alone, and since our ongoing faith is a gift, the reapplication of Christ’s atonement for sin is an act of FAITH ALONE, not works.

And that’s Calvinism in a nutshell. We keep ourselves saved by faith alone which is defined by a perpetual re-visitation of the same gospel that saved us. Hence, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.” Hence, “The same gospel that saved us also sanctifies us.” Though they deny it, this makes sanctification a progression of justification. Reformed theology has a large corpus of lofty doublespeak that attempts to get around this foregone conclusion. My favorite is already, but not yet. Yes, you are already justified, IF you are justified, and you won’t know for certain until the final judgment; so, not yet. However, there is a trump card: Calvin’s power of the keys; if your local Reformed elders like you, and they say you are in, you are in.

But, more than likely, the elders are not going to proclaim you justified unless you partake in the Reformed…Vital Union. What’s that? That’s staying connected “to the vine” (Christ) by faith alone. How do you do that? Well, first, they would correct us on our use of verbs here; it’s not a doing because it’s of faith alone. The list of what you do to stay connected to the vine, what the Reformed call, “new obedience,” and “obedient faith” (obedience to faith acts is not really obedience because it focuses on the one act of faith) follows:

  1. Faithfulness to the institutional church.
  2. Regular partaking of the sacraments which “impart grace.”
  3. Sitting under the preaching of preordained elders which also “imparts grace.”
  4. Putting yourself under the authority of the institutional church.
  5. Reading the Scriptures with “an eye for all of the saving works (plural) of Jesus in all of the Scriptures” (gospel contemplationism).
  6. Partaking in “deep repentance” which results in “new obedience.” A deeper realization of how sinful we are results in a re-experience of the “joy of our salvation.” This is the Reformed doctrine of mortification and vivification which is “reliving our original baptism.”

This list is not comprehensive, and for all practical purposes would include anything added to it by the authority of local Reformed elders. Many Calvinists such as John Piper have stated on numerous occasions in no uncertain terms that the gospel did not just save us once, but continues to save us. Most stripes of Protestants would scream in protest against this idea, but the fruit doesn’t fall far from the Protestant tree; the same will often be heard saying, “Sanctification is the growing part of salvation” [salvation does NOT grow], “We are all just sinners saved by grace” etc. Others promote the idea that Christ was raised form the dead to confirm that He was the suitable sacrifice for sin which has connections to the Reformed idea of double imputation.

What’s that? In short, Jesus died for our justification and lived for our sanctification. When we “revisit the gospel afresh,” we are once again forgiven for NEW sins committed in our Christian life, and Jesus’ perfect obedience to the law is imputed to our Christian life thus keeping us justified. We keep ourselves saved by revisiting the same gospel that saved us. The Reformed get cover for this because it is assumed by many that they are merely stating that we are best sanctified by appreciating the sacrifice of Christ, and indeed, that is how it is often framed by the Reformed, but in fact, it is a construct that is a prescription for “keeping ourselves in the love of God” (CJ Mahaney). Many assume that this means, “keeping ourselves in the experience of God’s love while we grow as Christians.” No, this is keeping yourself justified by revisiting the gospel.

As an aside, let me quickly mention how the Reformed use all of this to avoid the accusation of antinomianism. They define antinomianism as rejecting all use of the law (the Bible). Because they believe the Bible has a use, viz, gospel contemplationism, they aren’t antinomians. Biblicists define antinomianism as a rejection of the Bible for instruction in righteousness and the many-faceted applications thereof in the Christian life. In short, Biblicists define antinomianism as the fusion of justification and sanctification which distorts the true application of the Bible’s  imperatives to life. Biblicists define antinomianism as any distortion of the Bible’s general application to justification and sanctification, and those specific distinctions. Biblicists object to any doctrine that obscures an aggressive obedience to Scripture without fear of condemnation, and would deem it antinomian. This is obedience unto salvation versus obedience unto love. Justification versus sanctification. Antinomianism makes obedience unto salvation the same thing as obedience unto love, and makes Christ the only one performing any act of love. Hence, a commandment to love is not really anything we do, but we only experience the love Christ performed in our stead as we contemplate His salvific acts in “all of the Bible.” ALL of the Bible is about justification, and ALL of the acts of God through Christ for that purpose. Yet, Ephesians 1:3ff. states the following:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Antinomianism denies the purpose of God that we ourselves will be righteous according to a proper understanding of the Bible’s (law) relationship to justification and sanctification. Herein is another possible definition of antinomianism:

Antinomianism misrepresents the law’s proper relationship to justification and sanctification according to God.

With all of this said, we will now examine how Calvinism, in essence, re-crucifies Christ and exposes Him to open shame. This is done by acknowledging that Christ only died once, while stating that the onetime death must now be continually re-applied to keep ourselves saved. The Bible is merely a tool for that return, and not instruction for loving God and others, and discerning good from evil and truth from error. Let us proceed:

Hebrews 5:11 – About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 6:1 – Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

There is no new thing under the sun. What the Hebrew writer was railing against is present-day Calvinism and Catholicism to a “T.”  We could spend a year examining this text, and it would be a joy to do it, but for purposes of this post, we will only address the major points that serve our subject at hand.

The Hebrews being addressed were guilty of parking on, or revisiting the basic fundamentals of justification. This resulted in them being undiscerning, and in general, spiritual infants. They didn’t leave the basics and move on to the “meat.” TANC, as an educational institution has operated fulltime for about four years, but the fact of the matter is, we are still laying doctrinal foundations—the meat of true biblical doctrine is a wide-open frontier. What the Hebrew writer explained is exactly what has been going on in Protestantism for more than 500 years, and they got it from the Catholics. We are in a Protestant Dark Age, and it will take a rising up of what the called out assembly of Christ was from the beginning: a laity movement. This doesn’t exclude academia, but they should definitely be the tail and not the head. Christ, His word, and the Spirit should be the head. Academia in our day has led to a woefully dumbed down assembly, and in Christ’s day, “sheep without a shepherd,” and backdoor “hirelings” that abandon sheep who don’t feed their gluttony.

What were the basics that they had not left?

  1. Repentance from dead works: this is a return to the original state of repenting of works that cannot please God. The works of the “believer” are still dead. It is a focus on repentance from fruits of death. The “believer” must continue to repent of the only thing they can do: dead works. This requires a continued covering of “new sins” committed by the Christian. In order to stay saved, a reapplication of Christ’s death must be applied via ongoing repentance for “new” sins committed.
  1. Faith towards God: faith without works because works in the Christian life are no different from works under the law.
  1. Instruction about washings: the idea that justification requires more than ONE washing.
  1. The laying on of hands: probably refers to rituals that transfer the sins of “believers” to something else, such as an animal that was set loose or sacrificed. It could also signify the laying on of hands by someone who supposedly has the authority to forgive sins.
  1. The resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment: fear of possible eternal judgment. The idea that “believers” will be present at one massive judgment following one massive resurrection that confirms the eternal fate of all people. Christians are not to fear a final judgment that determines one’s eternal destiny. That fate has already been determined and settled:

Ephesians 1:13 – In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

If I may have one more aside, I am slowly, but surely getting my mind around the concept of God’s purposes for a group being elected, and not individuals. Individuals become part of the elected purpose for a group or classification by believing. “Us” does not mean “you” specifically as far as election goes. If you believe on Christ, you become part of the elected group and its predetermined destiny. Hence, by believing, your destiny is predetermined. In that sense you are among the elect chosen for specific purposes. This may be so obvious that we miss it. When I became a Christian, I assumed that I was going to heaven. What would make me assume such? Because God has predetermined that all Christians go to heaven. This doesn’t mean that he chose each Christian individually; it means that he chose the means of salvation and the destiny of those who believe. Part of the “good news” is that the group you are joining has a predetermined destiny. We see a hint of this in the following passage:

Ephesians 2:11 – Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Notice that being separated from Christ is tantamount to being “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise.” The means of salvation, the purposes of salvation, and the promises (covenants) of salvation have a predetermined outcome which benefit those who believe. By believing, our fate and purpose is predetermined and sealed. In contrast, the idea that God preselects individuals for salvation and damnation creates massive confusion in regard to understanding the rest of the Bible.

These thoughts of mine are definitely transitional at this point and not dogmatic as more study is needed. But with that said, we do well to note that the source of deterministic orthodoxy; i.e., Calvinists, are definitively wrong in regard to justification and the gospel. This demands a complete rethinking of election with the complete disqualification of Christian academia as they have had 500 years to make their case and have failed. This is the sum of the matter: the gatekeepers of predeterminism have been found as propagators of a blatant false gospel and completely wanting.

Now, in regard to the Calvinist construct, I believe that we can apply the principles proposed by the Hebrew writer to refute the notion of a continued repentance and forgiveness for “new” sins committed by “believers.” Note what the Hebrew writer stated:

4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance,

If Christians fall away via “new” sins committed “in time,” it is “impossible” for them to partake in a VALID  saving repentance—that kind of repentance is impossible because…

since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Yet, this ministry has documented numerous quotations by Calvinists, and John Calvin himself that state in no uncertain terms that new sins committed by Christians must be forgiven in order to maintain salvation. The Hebrew writer stated that as “impossible” because a redundant repentance cannot save. Why? It infers that the person has not really experienced the sealing of the Holy Spirit and the power of the age to come. This particular repentance of the justification class can only happen once and must be differentiated from sonship repentance. The latter restores a sense of joy and peace when the relationship between a father and son has no unresolved issues.

Therefore, Hebrews does violence to the Reformed notion of a “lifestyle of repentance” (Paul David Tripp). The lifestyle of a true believer is a lifestyle of aggressive love without fear of judgment while a “lifestyle of repentance” is “crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”

Also stated as impossible by the Hebrew writer is the possibility that a continued return to the basics of salvation can produce life:

7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

One last point before we close this post. In verse 10, the author states the following: “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” This is an astounding statement. It is saying that God would be “unjust” to overlook our “work” and “love.” If that would make God “unjust,” that means these works are both righteous and earned by us. Our works of love in kingdom living deserve some sort of recognition by God. This could NOT be speaking to justification.

And that’s why we must move on from that which justified us to that which sanctifies us. We must move on to maturity and love.

paul

Calvinism, UFO Cults, and the Vital Union

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 22, 2014

By the same reasoning, a cat isn’t really the same thing as a cat because it starts walking.

Cognitive Dissonance is a state of anxiety caused by the tension between what someone believes and reality:

In 1956 Leon Festinger coined the term ‘cognitive dissonance’ in When Prophecy Fails. He used the idea to explain the apparently bizarre behaviour of members of a UFO doomsday cult when the leader’s end-of-the-world prophesy failed to occur and it became clear that the world was not going to end. Festinger observed cult members enter a strange state of disturbance – not knowing what to believe or do. Eventually, rather than accept that they were misled or wrong, most cult members preferred to believe it was the power of their faith that saved the world. Perversely this motivated them to recruit new members thereby increasing the membership of the cult!

By observing the sequence of incompatible cognitions leading to strange states requiring resolution – the notion of cognitive dissonance was born. In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957) Festinger defines it as:

The psychological opposition of irreconcilable ideas (cognitions) held simultaneously by one individual, created a motivated force that would lead, under proper conditions, to the adjustment of one’s belief to fit one’s behavior – instead of changing one’s behavior to fit one’s belief (the sequence conventionally assumed).

Since then, the definition has widened somewhat. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance for a useful overview:

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The “ideas” or “cognitions” in question may include attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one’s behavior, and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

Online source: http://www.cleanlanguage.co.uk/articles/articles/262/0/Cognitive-Dissonance-and-Creative-Tension/Page0.html

Hence, man will seek to reduce cognitive dissonance by one way or the other: by changing beliefs and logic, or by adding a consonant element (click on to enlarge):

CognitiveDissonanceDiagram

Online source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CognitiveDissonanceDiagram.jpg

Church historian John Immel unpacked this concept wonderfully at the 2012 TANC conference TANC 2012 Master. When people refuse to change their logic, it will produce the same actions and results over and over again. Here at PPT, this is our main complaint in regard to discernment bloggers: they seek to change behavior by exposing the behavior; this will never happen, the logic must be addressed. Inevitably, sooner or later, the same logic will reproduce said behavior.

A good example in our day is socialism. Though it has failed miserably throughout history its proponents insist that it is the right logic that has never been properly applied. This idea (and all of its derivatives) is the consonant element buffer; ie., results are meaningless, application is the problem. Hence, an endless array of new consonant buffers are proposed in order to reduce cognitive dissonance—the bad feelings and anxiety associated with a contradiction between what we believe and reality. More often than not, a perpetual clamoring about for some “new teaching” is nothing more than consonant elements seeking to reinforce a primary logic.

Another good example is John Piper’s assertion that John Calvin putting Michael Servetus to death was a moral hiccup in his life, and pointing out that Calvin petitioned for a more humane execution: beheading versus burning. This belief is a consonant element that reduces Piper’s dissonant anxiety in regard to the Calvinist element. Changing his belief about Calvin’s character would necessarily require a change of belief in regard to Calvin’s gospel. Online source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wexGQxXw0I

In regard to the Reformation’s VERY troubling history, the Resolved Conference series from 2005 to 2012 was a massive consonant buffer that sought to rewrite Reformation history.

So then, the goal of this ministry is to keep cognitive dissonance high among Calvinists. At various points, high degrees of dissonant anxiety is likely to lead to a change of logic, and thus ridding the Evangelical community of the Reformed blight as much as possible. This leads to happier lives and a better gospel presentation to the world.

This requires the arduous task of deconstructing a mass of Reformed consonants. One such duty was presented to me yesterday. As more and more Reformed minions understand the doctrine, they verbalize it in an unveiled way that many are not ready for. As spiritual monarchs like Kevin DeYoung know, this raises cognitive dissonance among those who are in process of being boiled like a frog, so there must be intervention via a consonant element. In this case, he employed a guest writer on his blog to supply the buffering.

First, the Reformed hack employed the no dissonance here folks, this is just conversation; no need to worry, all is well:

We have much to be thankful for in the recent discussion regarding justification and sanctification in the Reformed community. And it appears that this will continue to be a discussion for years ahead. First, I am thankful for the renewed zealousness and commitment to the doctrine of justification.

And the ever-handy us against them motif:

It seems every few decades this doctrine needs to be reconsidered and appreciated due to some assault upon it.

And of course, there is always good ole’ fashioned lying via, it’s ok folks, don’t worry, Reformed tradition has always held to an aggressive sanctification:

Second, I am thankful for the seriousness with which some are looking at the doctrine of sanctification. The Reformed community throughout its history has always maintained a strong teaching on the Christian life and the “working out” of our salvation by the Spirit.

“By the Spirit” should be your first clue that something is amiss, but more specifically, Calvin stated the following in regard to the verse that this guy cites:

Then, when he bids us work out our salvation with fear and trembling, all he requires is, that we accustom ourselves to think very meanly of our own strength, and confide in the strength of the Lord (CI 3.2.23).

All he requires” is our affirmation that we, as Christians are still “wretched” (sec. 22), and still deserving of condemnation (sec. 24), and unable to please God in any way (3.14.11). This statement by the guest writer is deliberate deception. Aggressive sanctification apart from justification is the clear implication, and he knows grade-A-well that’s not Calvinism.

Thus far, this guest writer on DeYoung’s blog has employed the following techniques to reduce cognitive dissonance:

1. The issue is not a truth linchpin, only a conversation about residuals.

2. Us against them.

3. Lying.

Next, the guest writer presents the cognitive element:

However, one position of the recent discussion is of concern. In some of the current conversation it has been advocated that sanctification purely flows out of our justification. With this tact the Christian is encouraged to merely look back to the reality of their justification in order to grow in sanctification or we are told that sanctification is just “getting used to our justification.”

Once again, this master cultist reminds his readers that this is merely a “discussion” of “concern” and not a linchpin of truth leading to legitimate cognitive dissonance. He also reemploys lying by stating that his rendition of the “discussion…of concern” is not the Reformed tradition. That’s a lie. Calvin advocates said description throughout the Calvin Institutes. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with the citations, but one may start with 3.14.11.

The writer then presents the consonant buffer:

But often missing in this pastoral advice or theology is the essential and necessary doctrine of union with Christ. This doctrine also has a long and robust history in the Reformed community. One only needs to think back  to Calvin to realize how important this doctrine has been in our circles. Dr. Richard Gaffin in a short article entitled, “Justification and Union with Christ” (which can be found in Theological Guides to Calvin’s Institutes edited by David Hall and Peter Lillback) states:

“…for Calvin sanctification as an ongoing, lifelong process follows justification, and in that sense justification is ‘prior’ to sanctification, and the believer’s good works can be seen as the fruits and signs of having been justified. Only those already justified are being sanctified. But this is not the same thing as saying, what Calvin does not say, that justification is the source of sanctification or that justification causes sanctification. That source, that cause is Christ by his Spirit, Christ, in whom, Calvin is clear in this passage, at the moment they are united to him by faith, sinners simultaneously receive a twofold grace (justification and sanctification) and so begins an ongoing process of being sanctified just as they are now also definitively justified” (p.256). (Made bold for our purposes)

The writer is restating the cognitive element which is the source of possible cognitive dissonance in a different way and saying it is different. This is a Reformed brainwashing technique that makes synonyms antonyms in regard to words, phrases, and concepts. If the common meaning of a word causes conflict with the doctrine resulting in cognitive dissonance, they will employ synonyms of that word and use them as consonant buffers. It’s deliberate cultic brainwashing. These are well-studied techniques that replaced the stake and the gallows after the American Revolution. In other words, manipulation replaced force. This was the beginning of cults which are predicated by control. “Cult” is an institutional concept, not an individual one.

The writer makes the “discussion…of concern” the anti-type using Gaffin’s statement, then claims that Calvin stated a contrary type, and then produces a consonant buffer that is no whit different than the anti-type; viz, the vital union: “and so begins an ongoing process of being sanctified just as they are now also definitively justified.”

The vital union is a “process” that sanctifies us “just as” (in the same way) that we are “now” (presently) “justified.” How is that any different than sanctification by justification? It isn’t. The finished work begins a progressive work that is the same work as the finished work, only it’s progressive. By the same reasoning, a cat isn’t really the same thing as a cat because it starts walking. The following chart may be helpful (click on to enlarge):

Cognative Dissonance

The writer then somewhat reinforces the original antitype causing the cognitive dissonance because he knows it is really a true depiction of the doctrine that is being stated in a way that many are not ready for:

Those encouraging us to purely “get used to our justification” or to “look back to our justification” are rightfully concerned about a “works righteousness” mindset among God’s people. They are fittingly holding up grace before the Christian’s eyes. I am thankful for that concern and share it. In no way should we diminish the centrality of grace and praise God that these voices are reminding the church. They are also rightly concerned that we acknowledge and know the freedom (Romans 6) that attends to the individual who has been justified. How essential it is that we know and dwell in this freedom of the Gospel. There is a true benefit to looking back to our justification. And yet we also want to be careful not to swallow up sanctification in the doctrine of justification (This appears to be the practical outcome for some as any exhortation or application to the Christian life which wanders outside of “look back to your justification” is met with the cry, “Legalism”)

The writer then sets this against the supposed proper type, the vital union, which he renames, “Christ”:

But of even greater importance is that in trying to safeguard grace and the Gospel it is possible that some are unknowingly diminishing the center of the Gospel: Christ. It is from our vital union with Him that not only our justification flows, but also our sanctification. It is the doctrine behind both.

So, the vital union encompasses, “both” while being the same thing as the anti-type. Justification “flows”—sanctification is therefore flowing justification; the type and anti-type are saying the same thing. The rest of the article reiterates the same premise with wordiness on steroids.

But while utilizing these kinds of communication techniques they are bound to trip on their own words. A reader at PPT made an astute observation in that regard:

At the end of DeYoungs article, he leaves the reader with this quote from Calvin.

“Not only does he cleave to us by an indivisible bond of fellowship, but with a wonderful communion, day by day, he grows more and more into one body with us, until he becomes completely one with us (Institutes, 3.2.24).”

Christ grows more and more into one body until he becomes one with us??

The scripture I read says we have been made one with him at rebirth and as we are sanctified we become more like him. I am the one who does the changing. I am already one with Him.

Right, obviously, the idea of Christ growing in some way as opposed to us growing is a serious anomaly.

paul

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