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Aug 23, 2011

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Tim Rogers

Brother Peter,

Dr. Dohse has charts and everything. I bet he is a pre-millenialist. :)

Great article and historical charting.

Blessings,
Tim

CASEY

PETER, You're right 'he is on to something'. I've lamented the "new Calvinists" which I call "militant Calvinists". It is a new "my way or the highway" agenda (including Al Mohler). It's not the 2 hr. talk you can have with an 'old Calvinist' over lunch, leave the table friends, and commit to go evangelize with fervor.
That along with their gross misinterpretation and misapplication of Romans 14 is frightening.
If we really care about the SBC, its future and its leadership...then NEW ORLEANS must be a priority!!!

Randy

YEP, that's what I've been trying to tell you! Paul's a genius!

boB Cleveland

When I was a Presbyterian, we even had a name for those guys: "The TR's". They thought they were the only ones who were Truly Reformed.

Jeffery

Peter, Thank you for addressing this issue. I look forward to future articles address new Calvinism. I do have a question; what's wrong with being Gospel-centered? I don't understand why you would object to that term. Can you explain it to me?

Thanks
Jeff

Scott

The language of "preaching the Gospel to yourself" comes from the way that many of the commands in the New Testament are worded. Many of the New Testament imperatives are rooted in the indicatives of who we are in Christ. (Romans 6 and Colossians 3 are the first examples that come to mind.) So the idea is that reminding yourself of the Gospel and who you are in Christ is a motivating factor in obedience to the commands of God. Therefore, my obedience flows from faith and a realization of the Gospel's work in me and not from my mustering up the intestinal fortitude to do what is right. When viewed this way, Christ is glorified by my obedience to him versus being confident in my good effort.

As an aside, I think the term "Christ-follower" came from the Seeker Driven movement, or at least those are the guys that I hear use it the most.

Aaron O'Kelley

Let's make sure that, whatever criticisms we decide to throw at those who are gospel-centered, we save a little bit for the apostle Paul too (1 Cor. 2:2). One thing we do not need in the SBC is too much gospel. It might spoil too many things we have worked for generations to build.

Max

BINGO! Or should I say AMEN! From my vantage point, Dr. Dohse has nailed it on the head regarding the influence of certain SBC leaders and non-SBC reformers on a new breed of Southern Baptist pastors. “New Calvinists” entering SBC pulpits have a strong allegiance to such influencers and their closely-connected network of reformed organizations. While most “Real” Calvinists may be opposed to the message, method, and mission of their neo-brethren, others in the old guard appear to be putting up with this new brand as long as the essential reformed message moves forward in SBC ranks and elsewhere.

There is no doubt (at least in my area) that the young, restless and reformed are attracting a generation of 20s-30s disillusioned with their parent’s way of doing church. A “culturally-relevant” message, methodology, and missiology are packing the house. Encouraged and emboldened at certain SBC seminaries, these young pastors have revolution on their mind and are intent on changing the SBC landscape. While the actual theological shift may take a while, these young pastors have a lifetime of ministry ahead of them to accomplish that task.

How can you recognize SBC churches led by “New Calvinists” in your area? Look for an abundance of English Standard Version bibles – the ESV is their sword of choice (the ESV Study Bible is packed with Calvinist commentary), John Piper books (along with a library of titles by Driscoll and Keller), few or no altar calls, gradual introduction to the Doctrines of Grace (LifeGroups are the place to make-it-happen), and a leadership set on elder-rule. As pointed out in Peter’s piece, they also carry a different vocabulary with them. “Gospel-centered” ministry implies reformed belief and practice (to them, Calvinism is the gospel). “Born again”, “personal Savior”, “accepting Jesus” are not in their vocabulary … they prefer “Christ Followers” (a predestined elect), rather than “believers”. To the un-informed, their language is close, but deceptive. Members will defend their pastors as preaching the Gospel and Christ because they occasionally drop those words.

peter lumpkins

Jeffery,

Thanks. In this particular conflict--which seems to stem from a decidedly "Reformed" context--the issue appears to me to be a fundamental confusion about the nature of sanctification. Understand: I'm just now being introduced to this cow, so it may take a bit of time to milk her.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Scott,

"The language of "preaching the Gospel to yourself" comes from the way that many of the commands in the New Testament are worded." That's funny. One is hard-pressed to find this strange phraseology "preaching the Gospel to yourself" in Christian history generally and SBC history particularly. My, what our forefathers missed! ;^)

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Dohse

Scott,

Your response comes from Sonship Theology which includes the element of "the imperative command is grounded in the indicative event." This was originally formulated by the Australian 3 (btw, Goldsworthy recently did three lectures at Southern). I will post an essay I wrote on the element in about an hour. Until then, scroll down to point 5 in this post: http://wp.me/pmd7S-Ns

Paul Dohse

Scott,

This is an unedited, unpublished excerpt on the "Indicative,Imperative" issue which is a
Gospel Sanctification/Sonship staple. But it will have to do for now: http://wp.me/pmd7S-RB
paul

Scott

Paul, your post is not helpful on this issue. You really don't have a grasp of what the proponents of this understanding of sanctification are saying and your reading of biblical texts is selective. Other times, you miss the point of a passage in order to make your point. My suggestion would be that you do some more reading on this issue before you write more posts on it.

peter lumpkins

Scott,

Please be specific, at least in one criticism you make. According to you, Paul:

--doesn't have a grasp of what the proponents are saying

--is reading biblical texts selectively

--misses the point of a passage (but makes his point anyway)


Before seriously taking your advice to "do some more reading on this issue" into consideration, it's not unreasonable to ask for a little teeth to your assertions.

With that, I am...
Peter

Scott

I would argue that the author misunderstands imputed righteousness, misunderstands the indicative/imperative formula, and ignores the massive biblical evidence that shows the imperative is rooted in the indicative.
Just as a quick example, even the Ten Commandments are rooted in an indicative. The Ten Commandments begin with a declaration of the redemptive work of God in the exodus. Many of the commands in the New Testament begin with declarations of the work of Christ before imperative statements. The book of Ephesians declares the work of God in Christ and then moves to application. It could be argued that "therefore" in Romans 12:1 appeals to all that has preceded in the book before calling us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice.
With that in mind, Christians reminding themselves of the Gospel is an important part of the Christian life. We are not saved by faith and then sentenced to a life of white knuckled obedience. Instead, the God who shed his grace who saves us through faith in Christ now beckons us to live for him in the grace that he supplies. How that is considered a subversion of sanctification is quite beyond me.

peter lumpkins

Thanks Scott. Much better! Let's wait for Paul. If he does not log back on soon, there are a few notes I'd like to make.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Dohse

Scott,
They "select" Scriptures to supposedly prove that all commands in the Bible are grounded in the finished works of Christ. As I point out in the post, our obedience is required before God will do certain things. Also, we are also encouraged to obey based on what God will do in the future which are works that aren't finished yet. I thought the contradiction is clear. If you use Ind>imp order to prove your point, that's ok. But if I point out imp>ind and imp>future to point out a contradiction, I'm being "selective." Somehow, I don't think that's sound reasoning.

paul

Paul Dohse

Scott said:

"Therefore, my obedience flows [flows? The Bible does not use that passive language in regard to our obedience] from faith [sanctification is not by faith alone] and a realization of the Gospel's work [where does the Bible say that it's the gospel that is working within us?] in me and not from my mustering up the intestinal fortitude to do what is right [it's not either us or the Spirit working-it's both]. When viewed this way, Christ is glorified by my obedience to him versus being confident in my good effort [our effort does not equal self confidence to the exclusion of glorifying God].

Paul Dohse

Jeff,

Gospel-centered regarding our "ministry of reconciliation" is good. Gospel-centered for sanctification: not good-we are not sanctified by justification.

peter lumpkins

Paul,

You hit on something significant, I think. Scott indicated our sanctification does not progress "from my mustering up the intestinal fortitude to do what is right". Classic Calvinism's view of the Spirit's work is monergistic/synergistic/monergistic in conjunction with what's often described as the "three tenses" of salvation--justified, sanctified, glorified. It seems Scott's framework collapses sanctification (the synergistic 'tense') into the other two only to leave an empty hull for "goods works" behind.

If so, I can see how the charge of "legalism" comes so easily from those in the YRR who detest "moralistic" preaching. I can also see how this could lay the groundwork for moral antinomianism.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Dohse

Scott said:

"With that in mind, Christians reminding themselves of the Gospel is an important part of the Christian life. We are not saved by faith and then sentenced to a life of white knuckled obedience. Instead, the God who shed his grace who saves us through faith in Christ now beckons us to live for him in the grace that he supplies. How that is considered a subversion of sanctification is quite beyond me."

NOTICE:the classic Sonship "either/or" hermeneutic. It's EITHER all sanctification by grace OR "white knuckled obedience." This is a classic method of communication by the GS crowd. Furthermore, it's a subversion of sanctification because it is sanctification by grace ALONE.

Paul Dohse

Peter,

Exactly. It's monergistic substitutionary sanctification. To your point, feast on this quote by Michael Horton:
"Where we land on these issues is perhaps the most significant factor in how we approach our own faith and practice and communicate it to the world. If not only the unregenerate but the regenerate are always dependent at every moment on the free grace of God disclosed in the gospel, then 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. Start with Christ (that is, the gospel) and you get sanctification in the bargain; begin with Christ and move on to something else, and you lose both.”

In fact, they teach that synergistic sanctification is a FALSE gospel.

paul

Paul Dohse

As a matter of fact, the father of the doctrine that solidifies Gospel Sanctification, Sonship, and New Covenant Theology (the centrality of the objective gospel) based the doctrine on a misrepresentation of Romans 8:30 which excludes sanctification.

paul

Scott

Peter,
I actually don't collapse one into the other two. If you look, I talked about obedience. The discussion is not abou whether or not we obey. It is about what motivates us to obey and what empowers us to obey. Keller is helpful when he points out that religion says "I obey, therefore I am accepted." The Gospel says, "I am accepted, therefore I obey."

Dustin

As a young Reformed seminary student in the SBC who has been to and been greatly encouraged by both T4G and TGC, I would like to stress that the last thing the SBC or Evangelicalism as a whole needs is a group of blind followers following the prevailing trends of the day. As a group we must be much like the noble Bereans. That being said, I appreciate those who seek to warn me of what they consider dangerous.

However, I find it strange that Dohse attributes Christian Hedonism to the Australian 3. Piper has on many occasions given credit to Jonathan Edwards and C.S. Lewis for turning him on to the emphasis of Christian Hedonism. It seems that either John Piper or Paul Dohse is confused about the origins of Christian Hedonism. Some clarification would be helpful.

Paul Dohse

Scott,
Tim Keller also said that we need to repent of our repentance and repent of our good works. Would you like to explain that? Also, "The Gospel says..." Note that you replace "Scriptures" with "gospel" because you believe every verse in the Bible is about justification.

Scott

Paul,
Nice try. Quoting Keller once does not mean that I have to defend his every statement. Secondly, your statement about the Gospel is asinine. Where have I said all of the Bible is about justification? That's right. I didn't. You're putting words in my mouth. I'm glad to talk about this issue all day, but you will not impute motives or words to me.

Paul Dohse

Ok Scott, set the record straight. Are you redemptive historical, grammatical historical, or something else?

Paul Dohse

Here Scott, let me help, here is the keller quote:

"What must we do, then, to be saved? To find God we must repent of the things we have done wrong, but if that is all you do, you may remain just an elder brother. To truly become a Christian we must also repent of the reasons we ever did anything right. Pharisees only repent of their sins, but Christians repent for the very roots of their righteousness, too. We must learn how to repent of the sin under all our other sins and under all our righteousness – the sin of seeking to be our own Savior and Lord. We must admit that we’ve put our ultimate hope in both our wrongdoing and right doing we have been seeking to get around God or get control of God in order to get hold of those things."

Paul Dohse


In regard to the Keller quote:
Why would Al Mohler even be in the same building with someone who would say such a thing?

Scott

Paul, this will be my last comment on this thread. I don't have to tell you where I stand and you are not at liberty to assign a position to me. You obviously have an axe to grind about this issue and I really wish that Peter had not given you a platform for your ranting. I cannot decide if Proverbs 26:4 or 26:5 applies to this conversation, but I'm going to choose verse 4. God bless.

peter lumpkins

Scott,

If you cannot answer without implying somebody is a fool, it is best you bow out. Your parting barb at Paul was both cheap and demeaning.

As for giving Paul a platform, are you serious? You guys are right here with him making your own case! Sheeeesh. The problem is, some of you--particularly you and Jeff--spin the conversation into personal attacks. I suggest a better method would be to show either Paul's use of the sources or his coherence or his biblical understanding is inadequate.

Have a good evening.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Dohse

Scott,

Yes, I do have an axe to grind. I prayed via Skype with a young lady three days ago while she wept bitterly. This doctrine split her family and she is devastated. Then there are spouses who are told that they are in mixed marriages (believer/unbeliever)because the other spouse believes in synergistic sanctification. Then there those who are being brought up on church discipline for non-attendance, not tithing, and questioning doctrine. The doctrine split several churches in the Northern Reformed Baptist, was behind the hostile takeover at Coral Ridge, and continues to split churches in the PCA. It is an evil, wicked doctrine--and I will contend against it till God chooses to give me my last breath.

Timotheos Patterson

Paul Dohse said:
"In regard to the Keller quote:
Why would Al Mohler even be in the same building with someone who would say such a thing?"

I say:
Such a sentiment is just as thoroughly contrary to the gospel that the learned Mr. Dohse supposes he is defending, as any of the many accusations he indiscreetly hurls at other members of the Lord's household. I would imagine a good case could be made that such an opinion might well be the voice of a proud heart. I hope I am mistaken to think so, and I also hope that someday Mr. Dohse's understanding of the gospel might furnish him with a more fitting disposition than the one under which he presently seems to labor. No doubt his view of sanctification will call him to it, sooner or later.

Shalom,

Timotheos

peter lumpkins

Timotheos,

Notwithstanding your "hope" that you're "mistaken" in thinking Dohse the bearer of a "proud heart"--not to mention closing with a peaceful "Shalom"--as I said similarly to both Jeff and Scott (above), I say to you: drop the insidious display of attacking Dohse personally.

If you are not up to showing Dohse incoherent or mistaking his sources or theologically insufficient or exegetically wrong, fine. Perhaps his case will be judged to stand. Or perhaps a more sophisticated critic will show his case is not well constructed. But don't log on only to attack Dohse.

In my view, this thread lends itself to the conventional idea that far too many "Reformed" defenders log objections which are not only intellectually vacuous but unfortunately are also mean-spirited in content.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

All,

If you'd like to challenge Dohse's position, do so with all the rigor you can muster. But I will not post another comment which questions Dohse's integrity. Period.

Good grief. Though Dohse is a Southern Baptist and offered a resolution at the 2011 SBC, I'd never heard of him until he wrote an open letter questioning my contention with Calvinism in the SBC. Yet there are "Reformed" guys here who know him no more than I but nonetheless imply he is but a fool with a proud heart who doesn't deserve a platform for his rants.

Come on. Is this really the highest level of exchange in which we are capable? If so, some of us may very well need to preach the gospel to ourselves, I'd say.

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Dohse

OR, make the same accusations towards Jay Adams and the Reformed elders who have BANNED Sonship from their PCA churches. OR, show me were my accusations differ from theirs and at least show me my wrongs based on that. No?

DUSTIN,
GOOD QUESTION. Though the AF3's *centrality of the objective gospel* is the backbone that has held the doctrine together and driven it for 40 years, others have added to it for practical purposes. The forum originally sought to develop a consistent framework in regard to COG's relationship to covenant theology and hermeneutics. That's in writing by the way, but I have to get out of town in about 5 minutes. Jon Zens was very instrumental in the covenant side which resulted in New Covenant Theology while Goldsworthy was instrumental in the hermeneutics area (with Geerhardus Vos influence mixed in for good measure). Powlison sought to form COG into a counseling philosophy and I must say, did a very good job accordingly while persecuting Adams in the process. Piper's inclusion of CH is sketchy, but there is reason to believe that he wanted to articulate how COG is EXPERIENCED in the Christian life.I have emailed Robert Brinsmead on your behalf to see if he can add anything to that. Nevertheless, it is absolutely clear that Piper is a COG proponent.

Scott

Peter,
I have never once seen you accuse Max or Casey of being mean-spirited in their rants in your comments section. You typically reserve that moniker for those with whom you disagree.

Paul,
Please show me one doctrine that has never split a family. This doctrine is not unique in that regard.

peter lumpkins

Scott,

Even if I never mentioned to another soul his or her supposed mean-spiritedness, such an overlook on my behalf--assuming it to be so--has jack squat to do with whether or not you, Scott, were definitively out of line by implying Paul was a fool. Exploiting Scripture as a guise to post despicable insults does no one any good no matter how clever they may sound when read or written.

Nor, now that you're apparently bowing back into the conversation, have I any intention of jousting with you about whether or not I am being consistent in my application of cautions to commenters.

Just stick to the ideas, and we'll get along just fine. Clear enough?

With that, I am...
Peter

Timotheos Patterson

Ok, so calling Paul on an ethically indefensible and uncharitable statement doesn't meet the intellectual rigors set down by SBC Tomorrow. One wonders how his statement failed to choke the ethical/intellectual filters of SBC Tomorrow for the same reasons as did mine. I made the observation simply because his statement seems to fly in the face of the very gospel he is so ardent to defend with his post. I assumed one good ethical check deserved another, even if in retrospect. It seems I am mistaken, so I'll kindly bow out. My use of the term Shalom reflects a genuine desire for these kinds of conversations to studiously pursue peace in our Master's house, not unnecessarily trouble it.

Timotheos

peter lumpkins

Timotheos,

Unfortunately, you may not "kindly bow out" of a conversation you have not yet entered. If you want to challenge Dohse's ideas, then by all means, do so. If not, well... have a lovely NE Georgia day!

With that, I am...
Peter

Paul Dohse

Timotheos said:

"I made the observation simply because his statement seems to fly in the face of the very gospel he is so ardent to defend with his post."

WHICH OF MY STATEMENTS IS THIS IN REFERENCE TO?

Paul Dohse

"I made the observation simply because his statement seems to fly in the face of the very gospel he is so ardent to defend with his post."

Which statement is he referring to?

Paul Dohse

Max,

In regard to your above comments concerning the ESV--thought you might like this: http://wp.me/pmd7S-Dn

Blessings,
paul

Max

Paul,

Thanks for your insight on the use of the ESV in GS ranks. It's obviously the version of choice in the neo-Calvinist movement in the SBC. The young, restless and reformed affectionately tag (ESV) to the verses they quote in their social media communications, blogs, sermons, etc. (to signal their allegiance as they network one with another).

The ESV Study Bible, with its extensive commentary, was produced by a host of leading reformed influencers. Wayne Grudem was the General Editor ... J.I. Packer, the Theological Editor. See http://www.esvstudybible.org/#contributors.

peter lumpkins

Max,

You'll love this: I really like the ESV and have used it profitably in my readings. I have the study notes in Logos but I don't refer to them since I have more information elsewhere.

Even so, I actually preach out of good old King Jimmy.

With that, I am...
Peter

Max

Peter,

King Jimmy is the version that the Apostles carried! :-)

I, too, have an ESV bible in my bookcase, along with KJV, NIV, AMP and NAS for comparative purpose to see if what my King Jimmy is saying is true.

peter lumpkins

Jeff,

I read Dr. Aaron O'Kelley's response earlier last evening. Personally, I found it far too distant from Dohse's work to be of much value. O'Kelley confesses he's about as ignorant of so much of Dohse's preliminary work as am I but instead of offering cautionary reservations, he flat out denies Dohse has any credibility:

"Looking at this chart makes me think he missed his calling. With this kind of ability to employ visual aids in order to enhance confusion, he should be developing literature for government agencies.

All kidding aside, charts like these have the effect of distorting the character of broad movements by implying that the adherents of the movement are members of a tightly knit group (cult?) who have conspired together to defend the novel teachings of their founder(s), to whom they are staunchly loyal"

Admitting he has no familiarity with so many of Dohse's sources, O'Kelley appears to assign Dohse to the dubious category of conspiracy theory. So let me get O'Kelley's implication straight: because he is unfamiliar with Dohse's sources, Dohse is a nut and therefore has no merit?

And while O'Kelley obviously had more to critique (even though simplistically dismissing Dohse as lacking credibility was his initial response), we'll wait and see if Dohse produces some of the sources about which O'Kelley complains. From my own surfing of Dohse's site, I think O'Kelley may find Dohse more well-armed with sources than he now imagines.

Hence, my initial reaction to Dr. O'Kelley's response to Dohse is, his critique prematurely dismisses Dohse in the face of his own admission he is unfamiliar with Dohse's incredible amount of sources. O'Kelley would have fared better, in my view, had he offered a wait-and-see precaution, while asking questions and doing some "checking up". Then he would not have come across as an a priori polemic who resists and dismisses unfamiliar information rather than explores and engages unfamiliar information.

All said, Dr. O'Kelley demonstrates the probability that Paul Dohse is certainly going to get under the theological skin of the up and coming Calvinist generation.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Jeff, et al,

Paul Dohse offered his first rejoinder to Aaron O’Kelley. You be the judge if Dohse cooked the beans.

With that, I am…

Peter

Jeff

I have been in the Calvinist movement for 20 years now, and I have never heard of the Australian sources at the top of the chart (with the exception of Goldsworthy). The chart looks like a typical watchblogger guilt-by-association conspiracy theory: "Hey, look! New Calvinism was created by a Seventh Day Adventist!!!" Which is kind of weird since one of the most common criticisms of New Calvinism is that many of its adherents reject the Puritan view of the Sabbath.

Jeff

A better way to look at this controversy is from the perspective of John Frame's article on "Machen's Warrior Children."

http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/2003Machen.htm

Since Westminster Seminary was founded, there has been a tendency for professors to form new movements, and being for or against that movement becomes a litmus test for orthodoxy. In the case of the present controversy, # 6, 9, 10, 11, 15, 19, and 20 in Frame's article are at stake.

Debbie Kaufman

This is the whole quote from Tim Keller in context.

Tim Keller from his book The Prodigal God on the need to repent, not simply of our unrighteousness, but our righteousness also:

What must we do, then, to be saved? To find God we must repent of the things we have done wrong, but if that is all you do, you may remain just an elder brother. To truly become a Christian we must also repent of the reasons we ever did anything right. Pharisees only repent of their sins, but Christians repent for the very roots of their righteousness, too. We must learn how to repent of the sin under all our other sins and under all our righteousness – the sin of seeking to be our own Savior and Lord. We must admit that we’ve put our ultimate hope in both our wrongdoing and right doing we have been seeking to get around God or get control of God in order to get hold of those things.

It is only when you see the desire to be your own Savior and Lord—lying beneath both your sins and your moral goodness—that you are on the verge of becoming a Christian indeed. When you realize that the antidote to being bad is not just being good, you are on the brink. If you follow through, it will change everything—how you relate to God, self, others, the world, your work, you sins, your virtue. It’s called the new birth because its so radical”

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2010/04/12/repenting-of-our-good-works/

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