Paul's Passing Thoughts

Bible as Story? Have We Lost Our Minds?

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on March 6, 2015

PPT HandleOriginally published February 6, 2013

Here at The Potter’s House we do family readings. Right now, we are reading through the novel The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. The book is what we call a historical novel. These are fictional books that attempt to convey the experience of historical facts. Historical novels attempt to put you into the historical event experientially.  So, historical novels aren’t “just facts,” but attempt to enable you to understand how people in said historical event experienced it.

This is done well in Speare’s Blackbird Pond. You feel Kit’s angst as she peruses the Puritan shoreline of America for the first time. She senses the abysmal aura as set against the colorful structures in Barbados. And for anybody who knows Puritan history, Kit’s suspicions that something is culturally array in the new land is truly chilling. You want to say, “Run!” But, of course, it’s just a story. Historical novels “put you in the story.” The counterpart is academic history which focuses on facts and is not concerned with personal experience.

Vestiges of the concept can be found in mythology and Plato’s concept of Genre which Aristotle and others helped him develop. The concept was integrated into biblical hermeneutics circa 180AD. The idea of Bible as historical narrative was eventually dubbed Biblical Theology by Johann Philipp Gabler (circa 1785) and further developed by Geerhardus Vos in the 19th century. It was known as Redemptive Historical Hermeneutics in the Dutch Reformed churches during the 1940’s. In the secular realm the debate rages as to which approach educates more effectively (

And here we are today. The propagation of Bible as a history narrative is in Blitzkrieg mode. The Bible is not to be researched grammatically, but is to be approached like a novel; our goal is to enter into the “unfolding drama of God’s redemptive story.” Those are the words that are actually used. With any novel, it is the writer’s burden to draw the reader into the plot; in this case, the Holy Spirit. All that is necessary is to approach the Bible as gospel narrative, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. In fact, many Reformed teachers assert that the Holy Spirit will not teach unless you are reading your Bible as a gospel narrative:

That which makes the Bible the Bible is the gospel. That which makes the Bible the Word of God is its witness to Christ. When the Spirit bears witness to our hearts of the truth of the Bible, this is an internal witness concerning the truth of the gospel. We need to be apprehended by the Spirit, who lives in the gospel, and then judge all things by that Spirit even the letter of Scripture.

I want you to feel the truth and depth and wonder that awaits your lifelong labor of love in pondering the inexhaustible portraits of Jesus given us by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Nothing can raise those who are spiritually dead or continually give life to Christ’s flock but the Spirit working through the gospel. When this happens (not just once, but every time we encounter the gospel afresh), the Spirit progressively transforms us into Christ’s image (Quotations noted by Paul M. Dohse: The Truth About New Calvinism pp. 99, 100).

Recently, I made some observations  about Wade Burleson’s blog Istoria Ministries:

“If the Bible is God’s revelation to man, and it is, be sure that he will also reveal how he wants his word to be interpreted. Fact is, the Bible has built-in rules for interpretation throughout. ANY rules of interpretation for a text must be validated by the Bible itself. So, what about Bible as story or narrative? After an exhaustive study on what the Bible would state about this interpretive model, it begs the question: where is it?”

On that note, let’s start with a blog named “Istoria Ministries” by Reformed teacher/pastor Wade Burleson. The subtitle reads as follows:

Istoria is a Greek word that can be translated as both story and history. Istoria Ministries, led by Wade and Rachelle Burleson, helps people experience the life transforming power of Jesus Christ so that their story may become part of His story.

Burleson is right, it is a Greek word, but is it in the Greek New Testament? After hours of research, I cannot find it anywhere. In fact, Hebrew or Greek canon words that project the English idea of history, narrative, or story are either extremely scarce or nonexistent. The closest idea is the word “parable” which is a story that helps define truth. It’s a teaching tool. But in every case where a parable is implemented as a teaching method, the Bible plainly introduces it as such beforehand. It doesn’t appear that parables in the Bible are meant to be stories that explain the story.”

The next day, Burleson changed the subtitle to the blog as follows:

“I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Greek: istoria) with Cephas.” Paul’s words in Galatians 1:18.

Only thing is, the word is not “istoria,” it is “historeo.” Istoria seems to be a word that, in fact, can be interpreted as story and history both, but is primarily a Greek word of contemporary origin. Not only that, according to Spiros Zodhiates, historeo appears in the Greek New Testament ONCE; specifically, the verse Burleson cites in his revised subtitle. A Strongs number search with Olive Tree software confirms such as well.

We don’t obey novels. We don’t obey narratives. We don’t obey stories. And the Lord wants us to experience what we learn in the Bible by applying it to our lives (James 1:25). Parables in the Bible are teaching tools that aid us in understanding the primary points—a history parable is not the sole interpretive genre that makes the Bible what it is.

You do not build a life on a rock by reading novels—you do it by putting what the Lord teaches into practice (Matthew 7:24). If Christ wanted us to read “these words of mine” as a story why would He have not plainly said so? If we live by the redemption story, why wouldn’t Christ plainly state that instead of, “every word that comes from the mouth of God?” If it’s a story, why would Christ call it “all that I have commanded”?

Have we lost our minds?


The Utter Folly and Anti-Gospel of Bible as Story/Narrative: Christian Academia is Making Fools of the Laity

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on September 30, 2014

PPT HandleOriginally posted February 3, 2013

All of the rage in our day is Bible as redemptive narrative. Yes, the story, or narrative that gives us the “big picture” of God’s redemptive story. This concept is packaged in feel-good truisms like “History is ‘His story.’” The Bible is about a person, Jesus Christ; so, would you make an instruction manual out of a person’s life story? Would you systematize a person’s life story? The idea is to be wowed by who God is personally, and He invites you into His story. “It’s a person—not a precept.”

This is all disingenuous because we are still dealing with hermeneutics. We are still dealing with exegesis verses eisegesis. The question of the day is still epistemology: how we know what we know. For you who want to romanticize our faith—it doesn’t work.

If the Bible is God’s revelation to man, and it is, be sure that he will also reveal how he wants his word to be interpreted. Fact is, the Bible has built-in rules for interpretation throughout. ANY rules of interpretation for a text must be validated by the Bible itself. So, what about Bible as story or narrative? After an exhaustive study on what the Bible would state about this interpretive model, it begs the question: where is it?

On that note, let’s start with a blog named “Istoria Ministries” by Reformed teacher/pastor Wade Burleson. The subtitle reads as follows:

Istoria is a Greek word that can be translated as both story and history. Istoria Ministries, led by Wade and Rachelle Burleson, helps people experience the life transforming power of Jesus Christ so that their story may become part of His story.

Burleson is right, it is a Greek word, but is it in the Greek New Testament? After hours of research, I cannot find it anywhere. In fact, Hebrew or Greek canon words that project the English idea of history, narrative, or story are either extremely scarce or nonexistent. The closest idea is the word “parable” which is a story that helps define truth. It’s a teaching tool. But in every case where a parable is implemented as a teaching method, the Bible plainly introduces it as such beforehand. It doesn’t appear that parables in the Bible are meant to be stories that explain the story.

The Greek word historia came about around 500 BC and means, “Inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation.” Prior to that, mythology ruled the day. Mythology is “Ideology in narrative form.” The word, “historia” was introduced into the English language as “story” in 1390 AD and had the same meaning as its Greek origin. But prior to that between 180 AD and 553 AD, particularly among European theologians, the concept of mythology as sacred narrative/novel was integrated into the concept of historia for the purposes of interpreting the Bible:

Melitios of Sardis who died in 180AD read the Old Testament as a typology – it is a preparation for the Messiah in a similar way that a sketch or a model is the preparation that an artist, sculpture or architect does before making the reality represented in the preliminary sketch or work. Theodore of Mopsuestia who died in 428AD gives us some sense about how Christians in the 5th Century approached the Scriptures.  For though Theodore was condemned for his teachings long after his death by the 5th Ecumenical Council in 553, his methods in interpreting Scriptures were shared by St. John Chrysostom and others in the Antiochian tradition of interpretation.

“In this work (Commentary on the Psalms) it is evident, first, that Theodore  is almost entirely concerned with the istoria of the biblical text rather than its theoria.  By istoria I mean the narrative meaning of the text, not its literal or historical meaning.  On the other hand, theoria refers to the spiritual meaning of the Scripture in Antiochene theological circles.  Thus the istoria of any given text may also provide the theoria, since the narrative meaning on occasion can and does supply the spiritual sense.” (Harry Pappas in SACRED TEXT AND INTERPRETATION, Ed. Theodore Stylianopoulos, p 59-60).

Later in history, istoria became a term that referred to story painting or history painting:

History paintings usually depict a moment in a narrative story, rather than a specific and static subject, such as a portrait. The term is derived from the wider senses of the word historia in Latin and Italian, and essentially means “story painting”, rather than the painting of scenes from history in its narrower sense in modern English, for which the term historical painting may be used, especially for 19th century art. Paintings almost always contain a number of figures, often a large number. The genre includes depictions of moments in religious narratives, above all the Life of Christ, as well as narrative scenes from mythology, and also allegorical scenes. These groups were for long the most frequently painted; works such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling are therefore history paintings, as are most very large paintings before the 19th century. The term covers large paintings in oil on canvas or fresco produced between the Renaissance and the late 19th century, after which the term is generally not used even for the many works that still meet the basic definition.

All in all, istoria is the integration of mythology and history as a way to interpret and communicate truth.

At the very least, to accept istoria in our day, one must assert that a Greek hermeneutic was accepted into an interpretive method grounded in Hebraic roots: this is extremely unlikely. But beyond that, the notion that the Bible should be interpreted in narrative form, even partially, eradicates the significance of the gospel. Throughout Scripture, the Bible is presented as LAW, and this is critical to the gospel. “Law,” “gospel,” “word,” “law and the prophets,” “Scripture,” “holy writ,” etc. are all used interchangeably to refer to the full counsel of God; ie., His full philosophical statement to man including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics.

The objective law of God is intrinsic to gospel and eternal life. This is because eternal life and death are defined by being under the law or under grace. The linchpin of this is obedience. In an Old Testament passage that Peter alludes to (1Peter1:1, 2 → Exodus 24:7, 8) we read the following:

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Based on a commitment to understand and obey God’s law, they were sprinkled (splattered) with blood. The apostle Paul then explains what the results of that are:

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

Throughout the book of Romans, Paul describes two relationships to the law: under the law in regard to those who are hostile to it, but while under it see their need for Christ constantly. They see objectively where they fall short of the law. On the other hand, those who are under grace delight in the law and are able to please God by obeying it.

To take away from this construct by making the Bible a narrative rather than objective law is to drive a stake through the essence of the gospel. To put ourselves into a narrative rather than a seeking to understand God’s word for life application, and to beckon the lost to enter into a narrative rather than to repent and obey the gospel is antithetical to the true gospel.


The Protestant Culture of Death and the Folly of Discernment Blogging

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on July 31, 2014

Begging“So, anti-spiritual abuse blogs are confronting a religion that they remain a part of while that religion looks to suffering as a means of properly understand reality itself. Good luck with that.” 

“This should also be instructive for discernment bloggers; even if you succeed in making the Calvinist abusers feel guilty what is going to be the result? A return to the foot of the cross and nothing else.”               

When Protestants started rediscovering their real roots in 1970, many “gospel recovery movements” started a “quiet revolution” to take the church back from modern-day “legalistic Pharisees.” Few knew anything was going on until 2006, and even then it was the realization that something was going on, but nobody knew exactly what it was. In 2009 discernment blogs exploded in response to the spiritual abuse tsunami sweeping across the evangelical church.

2014 has ushered in the realization that discernment blogs are pointless because they confront Protestantism and Calvinism in particular about its bad behavior while remaining in the institutional church, and in many cases, Calvinism itself.

The cat is out of the bag. The rabbit is out of the hat. The elephant is out of the barn. However you want to state it, spiritual abuse is happening in the church; and if not abuse, rampant sin, and if not sin; boredom, because Protestantism is the same old ancient doctrine of death ideology as Islam or anything else. There is only one historical difference between Protestantism and Islam in regard to degree of abuse: American rule of law, and the separation of force and faith. Calvinists in our day state plainly that they would “go Old Testament” on dissenters if they were allowed. What is our first clue that something isn’t right? Presently, they are limited to character assignation and having your name removed from the book of life. Openly, they bemoan the loss of days gone by when burning stakes were as common as road signs while the average pew sitter makes no correlation between history and ideology whatsoever. Calvinists like Wade Burleson can actually brag about being a modern-day Puritan while at the same time claiming to be an advocate for the spiritually abused. The disconnect in logic is stunning.

It is extremely important to make a distinction between doctrine and ideology. The same ideology can take on many different expressions of doctrine; biblical or secular. Doctrine is the stated ethic of the ideology which usually comes from what we believe about the state of being. A lot of the debate noise on the internet, if not most of it, is from people with the same ideology either aware or unaware, debating doctrine. They think they have relevant differences because they disagree on doctrine. No, doctrine is the tentacles of the ideological octopus.

Epistemology is the “how” we know the state of being (what is), and perhaps why it is. For original Protestantism, reality is perceived through suffering. Christ came to die on the cross so man could obtain life. That’s true in respect to salvation, but Luther (following the lead of Augustine) made that an ongoing need for understanding reality and experiencing the wellbeing of the invisible. This led to the false doctrine of progressive justification and made understanding reality part and parcel with salvation. This drives a lot of the mentality behind the evangelical homeschool movement. The public schools are evil because unbelieving teachers do not have a proper grasp of reality.

So, anti-spiritual abuse blogs are confronting a religion that they remain part of while that religion looks to suffering as a means of properly understand reality itself. Good luck with that. They have been blogging their guts out for five years now, and where are the results? You are dealing with people who will never be appalled at suffering because it is key to understanding reality.

Let’s look at an example:

The ugly reality of crucifixion looms over the lives of Christ’s followers today, as it did Peter’s life. In the gospel, we are confronted with the unvarnished horror of ourselves—damned and cursed and exiled. We find ourselves ensnared in the curse itself—in Jesus, writhing in torture on a stake (John 3:14).

Gathering each week, we reenact the horror of Jesus’ sacrificial death. In baptism, we see the flood of God’s judgment against sin (1 Pet. 3:20-21). At the Lord’s Table, we swallow and digest the sign of our Lord’s torn skin and spattered blood (Justin Taylor: The Gospel Coalition .org blog; The Gospel at Ground Zero | Sept. 9, 2011).

So, when you go to church every week, for all practical purposes, it is really a celebration of death. And what to do when your conscience bothers you?

And whenever our consciences accuse, the gospel takes us away from denial or preoccupation and right back to Ground Zero—to the Cross (Ibid).

This should also be instructive for discernment bloggers; even if you succeed in making the Calvinist abusers feel guilty what is going to be the result? A return to the foot of the cross and nothing else. One does not keep a clear conscience before God through obedience, that would be, “trying to be the gospel rather than preaching the gospel.” Hence, the often espoused, “I have no problem with Christ, it’s His followers I disdain” has unfortunate merit. Classic Protestantism is unabashed in promoting a talk instead of a walk—a walk is works salvation—we must let Jesus do the walking for us. “It’s not about what we do—it’s about what Jesus has done.” This mindset is unsalvageable—come out from among them. Unfortunately, once someone experiences a way of life that answers every question with the fatalistic easy-button while vanquishing real responsibly for the sum and substance of their own life, repentance is extremely unlikely unless God intervenes.

What’s the solution? Abandon the institutional church and return to church as it was meant to be. Believers at large are the priesthood, not Protestant academia. There needs to be an exodus to explore the real truth marred by 500 years of the traditions of men.

Why are we begging the institutional church to do what’s right? Why have we been begging since 2009, and to no avail? Why are toothless tigers like Boz Tchividjian heroes for merely crying foul on behalf of victims? Have you noticed how discernment bloggers are constantly clamoring at the doors of the institutional church with bated breath for some notable evangelical to throw them a verbal breadcrumb? It goes viral because some stuffed shirt orthodox lackey states something along the lines of God’s displeasure with pedophilia. It’s pathetic.

Victims need to understand that their suffering is a Protestant epistemology that is deemed not only a necessary evil, but the only gateway to spiritual wellbeing. Hold out your begging cup named justice till the second coming if you must, but you have been doing so since 2009, and you will continue to do so with the same results. Stop suing them and being sued by them, stop begging them, and for crying out loud, stop giving them your money!

Come out from among them and be separate.  Only truth sanctifies. Be honest; what is your real goal in life? Retool and start blogging about the solution; that’s the new spiritual frontier. Stop being enslaved to a spiritual caste system, Christ came to set you free.


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Musings on TANC 2014: Why The Wartburg Watch is Not a Solution, But a Source of Spiritual Tyranny

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on June 23, 2014

TANC LOGOPreface: I have heard from most of our strong supporters on the spirited discussion between John and Bo, and the feedback seems to be…good discussion in the Coliseum. That was very encouraging to me as a sign that our supporters understand that TANC is about rethinking churchianity. More on that later in this post.

Dee Parsons is the co-author of The Wartburg Watch blog which reports on cultural trends within the Neo-Calvinist movement. Some Neo-Calvinists get it and have a cordial relationship with “Deb and Dee.” Others see them as arch enemies and the verbiage gets personal. This is disappointing as I prefer to see the masses deceived by clever politics rather than politics of the schoolyard variety. I have become fond of humanity and like to think the best of us. I would like to think that most Neo-Calvinists follow the leadership that plays well with Deb and Dee for a maximum deceptive benefit.

Let me set the table for the case against Deb and Dee.

This is why I no longer watch American Greed on cable television: it’s so disappointing to see all of those intelligent people duped by unimpressive Ponzi schemes. But, I also feel bad for the victims as many lost their entire life savings and have no way to get it back.

Yes, I feel bad for them, which makes me part of the problem as well. More table-setting ahead.

I have grown immensely as a person and Christian via my relationship with John Immel. We consider John our resident church historian and philosopher, not our theologian; that’s my department. John knows where Susan and I stand on Scripture as truth for life and godliness. Where does he stand exactly on that? I’m not sure, but that has nothing to do with TANC. We are a think tank, and our observers expect thinking to take place, not a solidifying of every element that we have believed all of our Christian lives as told to us by others.

TANC is trying to do something about the dichotomy between common sense and Christianity; viz, common sense is “not of faith,” but rather “of the material world.” When it gets right down to the nitty gritty, Christians may assent to the idea that the humanity part of us finds practical nourishment from the same material world, but we don’t function that way.

This is where it is difficult to read John, it would seem that he refuses to discuss the gospel until Christians come to grip with philosophy. Let’s say for sake of conversation that John has a different definition of the new birth than “Christians,” A; look around, few Christians among us can define the new birth biblically. Is the new birth a realm, or new creaturehood? “New creaturehood” you say. Well, that’s strange because easily 75% of evangelical pastors believe the new birth is a realm. B; if our “Christianity” is driven by philosophy that most don’t understand, why would John want to discuss it? Also, the spat was really my fault because even though I have a kinship with Bo’s view of Scripture, I forgot to tell him the following: you never use the word, “authority” when talking with John about truth. Christians by and large give assent to the idea that God owns truth, but clearly function as though God’s anointed own it by proxy.

This is the bottom line and a matter of irrefutable history: Western theological debate, when stripped naked, is a debate between Plato and Aristotle. If you don’t understand that debate, your local evangelical pastor can hang a Bible verse on anything he says and you will believe it. Augustine is the father of Western Christianity, and the fact that he integrated Platonism with the Bible is no big secret. Yet, there are discernment ministries that bemoan the integration of Psychology with… their interpretation of the Bible, which is a Platonist interpretation. Yes, I have read the unwitting treatises of a Platonist interpretation of the Bible, and its indignity against psychological integration which comes mostly from Socrates.

Also, when Jesus arrives on the world scene, Judaism was saturated with the theology of Philo who integrated the Old Testament with Platonism. Do you really think that is unnecessary knowledge for understanding the New Testament? Christ was the personification of the physical and good—this was an in-your-face pushback to the philosophy that has always dominated humankind from the very beginning of time.

What am I talking about? and why do Christians drive John Immel nuts? Well, a test: do you think that creation was representative of the gospel in that God brought light out of darkness? I have heard John MacArthur posit that idea more than once. That’s a Platonist interpretation. And…

…No, I am not going to tell you why that is a Platonist view of the Bible. For the first time in your Christian life, you need to study for yourself, and stop thinking the thoughts of other men. Like thoughts are different from your thoughts, and your faith should be your own, and faith is not separate from intellect.

No, I do not feel sorry for you. You fell into the trap of abuse because you were guided into a place of danger by thinking other people’s thoughts and not your own informed by good information. You are a lazy thinker who is guided by the chemical reactions in your brain ignited by the words of others. You are a vice, not a victim.

No, I am not obligated to recognize facts that lead to the tragedy of untruth. No, I am not obligated to say something good about facts used in the commission of a third degree theological felony leading to first degree bad fruit. No, your “story,” or “experience,” is not useful to me unless you have pinpointed the errant logic borrowed from others that led to your victimization. Yes, you are not much different from the man who attempted to rectify fuel line freeze up by heating a can of gasoline on his stove because his neighbor said it was a good idea. No, regardless of what happened, I am not obligated to discuss the goodness of gas cans and stoves. The goodness of gas cans and stoves does not partially sanctify the bad result. Yes, I will discuss the bad logic that led to the misuse of the gas can and the stove as a way to prevent the explosion of apartment buildings. No, I am not sorry that the man who had fuel line freeze up is dead. No, I will not discuss the fact that many who followed the same logic didn’t die, and were given a new home by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Yes, you are right, you were wrong, and you do owe me an apology. This is why God refuses to cure Stupid with an Apology pill. I do not accept apologies from those who do not fear bad ideas. There is no antidote for stupid, only you can prevent apartment fires.

No, Susan will not apologize for having nothing good to say about the Puritans in her three sessions. No, I no longer feel sorry for those who are led to the slaughter like the dumb oxen.

Yes, I will lay down my life for you if you say the following: “I was formally a mindless fool thinking the thoughts of others and dishonoring God by wasting my mind. I now see that studying to show myself approved is a moral obligation.”

I might even feel sorry for you.

Yet another example: Let’s say that the thousands presently being slaughtered by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in Iraq could come back from the dead and tell their stories on the Wartburg Watch. These poor souls, they were lined up in large number and summarily executed with AK 47’s. They would post about that awful experience, and then many would wait with bated breath for Deb and Dee’s profound words of comfort.

I will embellish this motif a bit further: Deb and Dee host an online Echurch and the pastor is a Muslim cleric (actually, it’s the New Calvinist Wade Burleson). But he is a good Muslim cleric who thinks the mass executions are absolutely horrible. Hence, since all Muslims don’t condone mass executions of those who are other than Muslim, also known as infidels, NO connection can be made between the doctrinal logic and the behavior. And here is the crux of their argument:

“We don’t agree with everything they teach.”

If logic is not connected with behavior, no one can be held accountable, or accountability is selective which is the exact case with the Wartburg Watch. And as I will demonstrate, this actually facilitates tyranny. As I will demonstrate, Deb and Dee facilitate tyranny in a way that is as old as the world itself.

And this fact answers the following objective: “But Paul, you and John Immel don’t agree on everything either.” Precisely, and thanks for bringing that up.According to what John and I disagree on, we connect the logic of those elements to probable outcomes, and the probable outcomes are acceptable in context of the endeavor.

Now back to Deb and Dee and my ISIS motif. I want to feel sorry for the victims lined up in front of a row of AK 47’s, but I can’t because too many more lives are at stake. You see, the victims lived in a society accepting of soft Islam with different applications. Obviously, beforehand, mass slaughter wasn’t an application, but another tenet of the same logic was: laws banning the right for the people to keep and bear arms. If you have an armed public, bullies can’t just march in and slaughter people at will. When a logic is bad, many of its tenets can lead to your death. In a spiritual caste system, all of the tentacles lead back to the brain of the octopus. Even if an octopus doesn’t use all of his tentacles, it’s still an octopus, and a lazy octopus can be motivated to full octopusness at any time. The problem is the octopus, not the tentacles unless he doesn’t have any.

“By their fruits you will know them.”

Bad fruit is caused by false doctrine; therefore, bad doctrine will eventually cause bad fruit. In Africa presently, Muslims are killing Christians, but in many areas of Africa, presently, the Christians still burn witches. Why? Both are spiritual caste systems. The same basic logic that drives Christians to burn witches in Africa is the exact same logic that caused Calvin to burn witches in Geneva. Ideology is timeless, you can be sure of that.

This brings me to a discussion that I had with John at the conference. God’s design in regard to the balance of power is this: the people outnumber the government. If the people rise up in unison, the government is toast. This is why dictatorships are so afraid of ideas. Throughout human history, man has typically not connected logic with behavior. The logic eventually leads to fruit that incites the masses to take drastic action. This is a vicious cycle that has repeated itself throughout human history, until America happened.

For the first time in human history, a group of men got together and decided to form a nation that addresses the logic and not the symptoms. The results sometimes referred to as the American dream speak for themselves. There is a reason why there has never been a religious war in the United States. The founding fathers of America grew up under the tyranny of the Puritans, and when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they had the Puritans on their mind. The unseparation of Puritan and state on America’s east coast was duplicating the exact same tyranny that saturated human history up to that point. The framers were adamant in regard to separation of Puritan and state.

In defense of not making logic accountable to fruit,

Dee Parsons referred me to an article written by Roger Olson. Notice that her defense is the thoughts of someone else rather than her own. You can also add this attribute to her propensity for making lazy thinkers and mindless followers victims. At any rate, Olsen attempts to make a case for separating doctrine from behavior. Unlike what Jesus plainly stated, Olson argues for the following: those who teach without adding right practice should yet be regarded highly in the kingdom of heaven. This advocates the irrelevance of fruit in discerning doctrine. This makes a separation between doctrine and behavior. This is not eliminating the stagnant pool of water that will likely breed a disease.

I once knew of a pastor who had some sort of acid poured in his swimming pool by somebody. Every time for a week that his children wanted to go swimming, it rained, eventually resulting in a colored film floating on the surface of the pool. Experts say that the acid would have caused severe burning of the children’s skin and blindness. According to many, the logic of those who poured the acid in the pool is not all that bad because the children didn’t jump in. I disagree. The application of bad logic, for many reasons, does not always come to full volition.

Likewise, soft Calvinism is like cancer that is in remission, or a landmine that has not yet been stepped on. The attributes of the logic are present, and set the stage for a full expression to happen at any time. The tenet that disarms the public sets the stage that makes the full expression possible. In the same way, Deb and Dee proclaim that soft Calvinists provide safe haven for people while these same soft Calvinists remain conspicuously silent in regard to other Calvinists that express a more explicit tyranny.

Brigitte Gabriel of the American Congress for Truth is fighting the exact same problem in Muslim circles in regard to “moderate Islam” versus “radical Islam.” She points out that the ideology of Islam is the problem, and calls out the “moderates” for not speaking out against the fruits of the “radicals.” Political commentator Sean Hannity has said that the silence of those who have supposedly had their religion “hijacked” is…”deafening.”

This same debate is all too familiar in Evangelical circles regarding Calvinism. In addition, the fact that Islam and Calvinism both find their roots in Platonism is far from being obscure and the idea is promoted by renowned scholars past and present. Islam’s threat will continue to grow if the ideology is not rejected wholesale, and spiritual tyranny in the church will continue through Calvinism aided by those who claim to be the cure.

Another tenet:  

In this year’s TANC conference, John Immel explained another tenet of Reformed ideology: socialism and the socialist disdain for capitalism. This is the idea that man doesn’t have the right to own property. John explained how this ideology bred class envy beginning with Luther’s On the Jews and Their Lies, and found strong footing in Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Even during the time of Luther, Jews were prosperous, and were referred to as the “greedy Jews.” Oh my, how many times did I hear in the Reformed church that everything I owned didn’t belong to me—it belonged to God (being interpreted: the church by proxy). Per the usual, and without a second thought, I nodded like the Calvinist Bobblehead that I was.

Understand, this tenet of Reformed thought laid dormant under the auspices of mere economic theory for about 400 years, but was the seed that gave full bloom to the holocaust. According to the NSGWP platform, “profiteering” was a crime against humanity and punishable by death. Per the usual, John’s sessions sink in slowly over time with periodic, “Oh my Gosh.”

There is a solution for spiritual tyranny in the church. When you see bad fruit—find the ideology behind it and reject the ideology wholesale. Do not think that some tenets are harmless and therefore worthy of praise, because, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump,” and “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” A note to Roger Olson: that’s Jesus again.

Calvinist elder-despots have a mantra that they use to deflect all accountability: “All the elders do not agree on that point.” Because one of them might be right, the lot of them cannot be rejected. If ideology is not connected to behavior, no one is accountable. The ONLY hope for justice is the secular courts. And let’s talk about that word “secular.” At this year’s conference, the baggage associated with the word “secular” was examined. Even though our founding fathers believed in God, the Constitution of the United States is primarily a secular document that prohibits the promotion of any particular religion. So, the first secular nation on earth also happens to be the greatest. And by the way, look around in our day, justice is only being found for victims of religious tyranny in the secular courts. “Secular” does not equal, “evil,” it just means the separation from any particular religion, and if something has to be religious to be good, which religion? “In God We Trust” doesn’t mean that God thinks practical governing is a bad idea.

Ok, so I could go on and on with this. There are lots of tentacles. The Calvinist idea that “secular” is antithetical to God’s authority has made the high tide of spiritual tyranny a virtual tsunami in the American church. But yet, Deb and Dee are hell-bent on advocating a moderate Calvinism. Their association with Wade Burleson gives the green light to thousands of followers to taste and see if any given Calvinist church is of the moderate form. I have direct association with people who have been double and triple victimized by this mindset. In other words, three churches later…the lightbulb turns on: “It’s the doctrine. It’s the fruit of a bad tree.”

Moreover, Wade Burleson is closely associated with the very forefathers of the New Calvinist movement that is the primary target of Wartburg and dubbed the “Calvinistas” by Deb and Dee. The irony and pure ignorance of it all is stunning.

Frankly, Deb and Dee ministering to the spiritually abused is like Dr. Kevorkian caring for someone who has a 50% chance of surviving some horrible disease. Deb and Dee, giving credence to a moderate Calvinism themselves, have bought into the whole sanctification by justification idea. That’s a slow spiritual death.

Moderate Calvinism will continue to pave the way for more and more misery—it must be rejected in totality.




The Problem with Wartburg

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 11, 2014

ppt-jpeg4“Deb and Dee” author one of the more popular discernment blogs in our day. They have always seemed fairly cognizant to me and I have always found their newsreel informative. They report and comment on Christian trends, primarily in regard to the Neo-Calvinist movement.

I began having problems with Wartburg when they selected Wade Burleson as the pastor of their online Echurch. Burleson, as I have often documented on PPT, is a rabid follower of Jon Zens who is a forefather of the Neo-Calvinist movement. While referring to the leaders of said movement as the Calvinistas, they embrace and give credence to the most rabid advocates of the movement. This has also resulted in the ignoring of the very victim-blaming by Burleson that they claim to disdain.

Hence, they have been called “hypocrites” by some. But don’t forget merciful either as they continue to give Burleson a stage when he is arguably the Barney Fife of pastors. PPT has documented his embarrassing teaching snafus such as drawing biblical principles from word analysis using words with 17th and 19th century etymology.

This post is about the definitive problem with Wartburg. I didn’t really know what it was until someone brought it to my attention a week ago. And that problem is their gospel. And that gospel is the same EXACT gospel that drives New Calvinism. It is antinomian, Platonist, and a doctrine of control. The first step of controlling a culture anyway you want to is gun confiscation. The first step of controlling people in the church is self-esteem confiscation. What I mean by self-esteem is biblical self-esteem which is simply a truthful assessment of oneself.

And total depravity is not a biblical assessment of man. Even a child can see this from Romans 2:14 ff.

For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

Even unbelievers at times clearly do what the law requires, a fact that Calvin denied. Calvin insisted that no man, lost or saved, has ever done any deed that was acceptable to God (CI 3.14.10,11).  Augustine, Luther and Calvin were avowed Platonists, and total depravity finds its philosophical foundation there. It later became Gnosticism which was the primary ideology that wreaked havoc on the first century church.

Before I address the source of my conclusion in regard to Deb and Dee, let me first state what they are in league with while priding themselves as victim advocates: Burleson often brags about his admiration for the Puritans; some of their activities included executing people who reduced the pain of those bearing children. The Puritans were also the framers of the genocidal attempt to eradicate the American Indians from the face of the earth. International Religious Freedom Day was founded on the remembrance of three Quakers executed in Boston by the Puritans for believing in the new birth. Indeed, the ignorant hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Now the source of my conclusion. In the midst of the present-day tyranny tsunami in the church, Dee chose to criticize a virtually extinct rendition of biblical obedience. The post can be read here and is one of the best posts I have ever read since the conception of my blogstration. The piece practically shell-shocked me. This slice of steroidal sanity also came from a teacher of women which is also extremely rare in our day. I think the author is a member of The Village Church. Isn’t that Matt Chandler’s gig? Well, if it is, she needs to get out of there with what she has in her cranium case.

I find Dee’s commentary on this piece most telling. First of all, it would take a book to unravel Dee’s fundamental misunderstanding of the gospel as revealed by her commentary, so I am only going to hit the points that make her nothing less than a pure authentic New Calvinist. I will begin by using a slight criticism of the aforementioned post. In it, the author states:

The gospel sets us free from sin, but it does more than that. It sets us free to obey (Rom 6:16).

She uses Romans 6:16 to make her point and her point is a good one among MANY in the post, but that verse doesn’t say that we have been freed to obey, it in fact states that we are enslaved to obedience.

As TANC has been discussing lately, there must be three exchanges in true salvation:

1. An exchange of the old us for the new us.

2. An exchange of law.

3. An exchange of slavery.

Shockingly, the author actually touched on one and two, but gets three slightly wrong. ALL people on the earth are slaves. They are either slaves to unrighteousness or slaves to righteousness. AND, all people upon the earth are also free, and the freedom corresponds to the slavery. The unregenerate are enslaved to disobedience and free to obey (Romans 6:20)—the regenerate are enslaved to obedience and free to sin. No unbeliever sins perfectly, and no believer obeys perfectly. The author got it right: it’s not the perfection—it’s the direction.

That brings us to the necessary exchange of law which the author also gets right via other words. It is the exchange of the law of condemnation for the law of love, or the motives issue that the author spoke of. Before salvation when we are “under law,” yes, perfection is the standard that we would be judged by and it determines eternal destiny.  But those “under grace” love the law, and therefore perfection is not the standard, but it is the goal. Yes, when Christ stated, “be ye perfect,” He was stating the goal of the Christian life, not a standard for salvation.

Also, this could be a play on words in regard to “be ye saved” as demonstrated by a change of life direction. Why? Because the saved are NOT “under law” and “where there is no law there is no sin” and “we know that the law has nothing to say to us” etc. The Deeian New Calvinist gospel will not even get a contractor hired if he states, “Well, no job is ever perfect,” and it will not impress the world either unless they want to be saved with their sin. Like all New Calvinists, Dee uses the following well-traveled argument:

She is correct when she says that we should not live a life of ecstatic disobedience. But, she also failed to discuss Paul who viewed his sins in this way in Romans 7:19 (NIV-Gateway)

For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing.

Paul got it. We will continue to sin and we will continue to seek forgiveness. I do not believe that most Christians are ecstatic over their sin and disobedience. They are ecstatic over the great grace which has resulted in the forgiveness of sins. We do not need to live like many people in certain ministries loved by Calvinistas. Such people live in constant condemnation. Their sins are dissected and pointed out by both pastors and sin hounds who relish “making observations.”

In context, the passage that Dee uses makes the original point of the aforementioned author. In Romans 7:13-25, Paul addresses all three exchanges and states that he is persevering against his old nature that was under the law. The way that law formally provoked him to sin is still free to do so (Rom 7:5, 9). But the word for “wretched” in verse 24 is a Greek word that carries the idea of persevering or overcoming affliction. Paul is crying out to God to be saved from his mortal body so that he will no longer have to fight against sin that is presently part of his being. Unfortunately, until Christ comes for us, we have to carry the old us that is dead. We carry around with us the “death of Christ”; ie., those things imputed to Christ that He put to death. The old us died with Christ, but we were also resurrected with Him to new life. So, there is still a salvation left for the believer—salvation from our mortality and its sin. This is not to be confused with the salvation that is a finished work. New Calvinists make the finished salvation and progressive sanctification, and glorification the same thing.

And so does Dee; albeit, perhaps unwittingly.

In her misguided and out-of-school argument against the truthful post, she states:

We will continue to sin and we will continue to seek forgiveness. I do not believe that most Christians are ecstatic over their sin and disobedience. They are ecstatic over the great grace which has resulted in the forgiveness of sins.

That is the very doctrine that is a hallmark of New Calvinism known as mortification and vivification. Dee’s argument is classic Neo-Calvinism: we don’t rejoice over the sin, only the forgiveness that we experience when we are forgiven. Conspicuously missing is any kind of joy that we receive through obedience because there isn’t any—the New Calvinist’s life is a “lifestyle of repentance” and exemplified by being “repenters.” My point is made by adding Dee’s statements to the following well-traveled New Calvinist illustration.

DEE (2)

To further the point, consider this statement by New Calvinist Paul Washer:

At conversion, a person begins to see God and himself as never before. This greater revelation of God’s holiness and righteousness leads to a greater revelation of self, which, in return, results in a repentance or brokenness over sin. Nevertheless, the believer is not left in despair, for he is also afforded a greater revelation of the grace of God in the face of Christ, which leads to joy unspeakable. This cycle simply repeats itself throughout the Christian life. As the years pass, the Christian sees more of God and more of self, resulting in a greater and deeper brokenness. Yet, all the while, the Christian’s joy grows in equal measure because he is privy to greater and greater revelations of the love, grace, and mercy of God in the person and work of Christ. Not only this, but a greater interchange occurs in that the Christian learns to rest less and less in his own performance and more and more in the perfect work of Christ. Thus, his joy is not only increased, but it also becomes more consistent and stable. He has left off putting confidence in the flesh, which is idolatry, and is resting in the virtue and merits of Christ, which is true Christian piety” (Paul Washer: The Gospel Call and True Conversion; Part 1, Chapter 1, heading – The Essential Characteristics Of Genuine Repentance, subheading – Continuing and Deepening Work of Repentance).

Moreover, Dee’s confusion regarding the fact she is a New Calvinist and doesn’t know it is reflected in this statement:

We do not need to live like many people in certain ministries loved by Calvinistas. Such people live in constant condemnation. Their sins are dissected and pointed out by both pastors and sin hounds who relish “making observations.”

Her argument regards the idea that “grace” makes all of that unnecessary, but where is her argument for untruthful assessment; viz, biblical self-esteem which circumvents tyranny and control? In Calvinism, the root of all sin is the refusal to recognize our sin ONLY. The express purpose of sin sniffing is to bring more joy to people through “deep repentance.” Dee is criticizing a method that enhances the very construct she endorses.

“Calvinistas” my…uh, foot Dee—look in the mirror.