02
Jan
15

More of Dohse’s Delusions

I have never encountered an individual who wished to be called an evangelical Christian who was more confused and confusing than Paul Dohse. I have followed his posts for better than three years now and observed that he has gone from bad to worse. Some time ago, I gave up on my efforts to coax him into telling the truth about his theological opponents. As I have stated before, perhaps he is so biblically and theologically inept that he can’t comprehend truth. It could be he has been so blinded by his bitterness over perceived injustices he has suffered at the hands of Calvinists that he can’t reason clearly. To me it seems more likely that he is deliberately distorting other’s views in an effort to turn his readers against them.

A new-found internet friend has recently sent me a few comments from his blog, Paul’s Passing Thoughts. Prior to receiving those quotations I had not visited his blog for months. Today, I visited his blog again and read his latest article. It quickly became apparent that not much had changed. He was still beating the same outworn drum he has been beating for years.
As I read his article I noted several reasons for his confusion and thought it might be helpful to share them here. The following are a few of them:

1. He refuses to accept people’s statements of their beliefs. In his infinite wisdom, he is always able to discern what they really meant as opposed to what they stated. Example: “Protestants say that, [that justification is finished] but that’s not how we function. . . ; the doctrine is really about a justification that is not finished.” At that point he continues to blather about his warped perception of protestant doctrine. In Paul’s world, a person never believes what he claims; he only believes what Paul thinks he believes.

2. He fails to understand the difference between redemption accomplished and redemption applied. Another way to state this is that he fails to understand the two-fold work of Jesus, our Great Priest. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that Jesus fulfills the office of priest “by his once offering himself as a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God and in his making continual intercession for us. His intercession for us corresponds to the high priest’s appearance in the holiest of all to sprinkle the blood of the slain sacrifice on the mercy seat. Jesus’ appearance for believer’s in God’s presence adds nothing to the efficacy of his once for all, finished sacrifice. Paul D. wrote as a supposed representation of what Calvinists believe, “They say justification is a finished work but. . .Jesus’ work is really not finished , He must keep working to KEEP us in that position where we are covered by Hs righteousness.” His implication is that we believe Jesus must keep working to secure our justification. What we really believe is that Jesus’ perpetually presents the efficacy of his once for all sacrifice on behalf of his people. He is able to save us completely because he ever lives to make intercession for us (See Heb. 7:25). This in no way implies that our justification is not complete or that Jesus must continue to do something more in terms of accomplishment to keep us justified. We do believe that once for all accomplishment has fresh application to our souls daily. If any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ , the righteous one, and he is [not was] the propitiation for our sins. Believers are never more righteous in God’s sight than they are the moment we first believe the gospel. We believe in perpetual justification but not in progressive justification.

3. He seems to impute to Calvinists a belief in a three-fold justification—positional justification, practical justification and final justification. Since he does not actually cite a Calvinist who holds such a view, I must confess I don’t know what he is talking about. Justification is positional and only positional in the sense that God makes no believer actually righteous in justification. He accounts believers to be just before the law by imputing to them an alien righteousness. Perhaps by “practical justification” he means that in progressive sanctification God brings believers into greater conformity to his righteous standard, but to my knowledge the Scriptures never refer to this divine work as practical justification. The concern of justification is a righteous standing before God; The concern of sanctification is the holiness of a believer’s state in the world.

4. He distorts the Calvinists’ teaching about the active and passive obedience of Christ. He states that Calvinists believe Jesus died [passive obedience] for our justification and lived a perfect life [active obedience] for our sanctification. This is an absolute perversion of the Calvinistic position. Both the active or perceptive obedience and the passive or penal obedience of Christ were for our justification. It is the believer’s union with Christ in his death and resurrection that effects sanctification. The believer is finished with the reign of death and sin because he has died with Christ.

5. He fails to understand and distinguish properly the different uses of the word nomos [law] in Scripture. Additionally, he fails to distinguish between “sin” and “transgression.” When God established the covenant of Sinai with the people of Israel, sin took on the character of transgression. He believes he can no longer sin because he is a believer and is not under the law. He fails to understand that people sinned before God made the law covenant at Sinai. Hupo nomon [under law] in the Bible always refers to the covenant relationship between God and the Israelites under the Mosaic law. Gentiles were never Hupo nomon, yet they still sinned. Paul thinks of under law or not under law as an existential distinction concerning a person prior to conversion and after. Biblically speaking, it is a covenantal distinction.
Additionally, he fails to recognize that there is a perpetual, universal standard of righteousness that exists simply because God exists. God’s highest demand on which every other righteous demand depends is that we love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. How that love is to be expressed depends on the rules that are prescribed under a given covenant. A husband who fails to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her is no less a sinner than the man who committed adultery in violation of the Old Covenant. Both have demonstrated a failure to love God.

Would Paul D. have us think that believers are no longer under this perpetual universal, standard of righteousness? This would clearly contradict the apostle Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor. 9. He tells us he is not without law to God, but en nomos to Christ.
6. He denies that God’s law is the standard of righteousness [justification]. He argues that the law cannot justify no matter who keeps it. There are many passages one could cite to show that he is in error but one should suffice. In Luke 10, a legal expert asked Jesus what he needed to do to obtain eternal life and Jesus referred him to the law. Read it for yourself.

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live” (Luke 10:25-28).

If law is not God’s standard of justification, what is the standard? How are we to define righteousness apart from the law? If guilt is defined in terms of law, and guilt (condemnation) is the opposite of justification or righteousness, must we not define righteousness in terms of law as well? Paul Dohse offers no answer to these questions.

When we read about the law’s inability to justify sinners, we must not understand this to mean it cannot declare behavior that conforms to it to be righteous. Paul clearly stated that “the doers of the law will be justified” (Rom. 2: 13).

7. Finally, he fails to understand that the believer is free from the condemnation of the law not because God’s righteous demands have ceased to exist, but because Jesus has answered and fulfilled those demands completely. When the apostle Paul wrote “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. . .” he is writing about the purpose of the old covenant [law] finding its fulfillment in Christ. The word translated “end” [telos] means goal in the sense that Jesus is the one to whom the law pointed and in whom it found its fulfillment. It is true that he brought the law as covenant to an end, but he did so by fulfilling it.
There are far too many errors in Paul Dohse’s twisted reasoning on which to comment in a brief article, but perhaps these comments will help you navigate the treacherous waters of Dohse’s world.

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25 Responses to “More of Dohse’s Delusions”


  1. January 2, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Always glad to read a post from you, my brother. Can’t blame you for not visiting Dohse’s blog – he is rather belligerent. Must be something to think you can read the minds of people that post comments on a blog. Simple concepts such as the meaning of Christ’s obedience are too much for some minds. God save us from being wise in our own eyes.

    • January 2, 2015 at 2:59 am

      Good to hear from you my brother. I want to wish you all the best for the year ahead.

      • January 2, 2015 at 3:06 am

        Many thanks! We are well, learning to cope with our aging bodies and the eroding strength and endurance that accompanies this process. Also getting accustomed to the colder environment here and the demands of working for a small firm, where there is no insulation from errors as in large corporations.

        I have just finished typing out both parts of Benjamin Keach’s Ax Laid to the Root of the Trees so Free Grace Press can include it in an upcoming paperback of old Baptist work being brought to the light.

        We have been visiting a church that is more focused on the Lord than any other local body, but there are still myriad concerns. I plan on having lunch with the pastor tomorrow to see if we can join in good conscience.

        For the glory of our God,

  2. January 2, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Gentlemen, Greetings!

    As we are studying Romans on Sunday mornings at Chapel, the truthful comments here concerning justification are especially poignant. Perhaps God would open Mr. Dohse’s hard heart. I must be difficult to harbor so much discontent, hatred and deception.

    • January 2, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Dan,

      It is good to hear from you. If you are studying Romans, you are feasting on fat things. Would that more church-goers had a thorough and accurate understanding of the apostle’s teachings there. I wish you and yours all the best for the new year.

  3. 6 Peace and Grace
    January 2, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Mr. Dohse’s current post is an open letter to the Board of Trustees of Southern Seminary. They are identified as “those people who do not tolerate sound doctrine”.

    “Our organization researches the Calvin Institutes, and the trustees of Southern Seminary would do well in following our example rather than the opinions of men like Albert Mohler”.

    “We are presently in the fifth resurgence since Calvin’s Geneva, and the trustees of Southern are mindless participants accordingly”.

    Mr. Dohse ends his open letter : “Meanwhile, as stated by the apostle Paul, let those who teach another gospel be accursed whether they be angels or men of renown”.

    For a man whose life was a train wreck before “new calvinism” showed up at his church, how can he blame the reformed doctrine he claims he followed for 20 years? If Dr. Jay Adams’ “learn and do” made such an impact on his life, why was his life still a train wreck? Perhaps this is another person who made a “decision for Christ” and assumes he is regenerated because of the sinner’s prayer?

    I am presently reading “John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life” ( Herman J. Selderhuis). It’s a biography based on a careful reading of Calvin’s letters and other sources, written by one of Europe’s leading Reformation scholars. On the other side of the equation is Paul Dohse. His research relies on Wikipedia, and he has stated during his youtube Sunday morning studies, people should financially support Wikipedia. He mocks theologians and academics, but has referred to himself as a bonafide teacher.

    Paul D. has belittled “there but for the grace of God, go I” as a reformed platitude, but personally I acknowledge God could have left me with ears that do not hear. We all could be like Paul Dohse, and it’s a sobering thought.

    Any recommendations of books on Calvin, Luther, and the other Reformers which present the truth of their lives would be appreciated.

    • January 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      ALL the Reformers – and every mortal who came before them or follows them – have errors and must be read carefully. Calvin invented his own view of how the word, “This is body” could be taken literally, differing from what he learned from Rome and not the same as what Luther invented. We can learn from these men, as we learn from the narratives in Scripture. At the same time, I spend my time learning from men who show they had learned some key bits, such as believers’ baptism and regenerate church membership. These me spur me on to dig into the Bible with an attitude of thanksgiving to our God.

    • January 3, 2015 at 12:56 am

      Carmen,

      I must have missed that part of Paul’s [the Apostle] quote in which he talks about “men of renown.” His double standard is amazing. He overprices his useless books, then trashes “men of renown” who have been published by real publishers and have been rightly compensated. Seems a lot like jealousy to me. I agree with you that we should all be humbled by the thought that we have nothing and know nothing apart from grace.

      I have found Leonard Verduin’s book The Reformers and Their Stepchildren very helpful in understanding the differences between Baptist theology and Reformed theology.

      • January 3, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        And would someone please inform Paul D. that the works of Calvin to which he refers are The Institutes of the Christian Religion, not “The Calvin Institutes.” It is a crying shame that ignorance isn’t painful.

      • January 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm

        Randy, Dohse is merely displaying his presupposed hatred for the man and everything connected, even tangentially, with John Calvin. He could call that work “Calvin’s Institutes” and be within the pale. By calling it “The Calvin Institutes” he communicates the notion that the work is a testimony to Calvin rather than Calvin’s testimony of Christ and His Word and people. That’s simply the way Dohse thinks. It’s the old mind trick of dehumanizing your enemy so you can treat him as badly as possible and not feel badly having done so.

  4. 11 Peace and Grace
    January 2, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Greetings Manfred,

    I’m an Orthodox Presbyterian, and not because I was born to believing parents, and raised in the denomination.

    Am I still welcome? 🙂 I do not “follow” Calvin or Luther, but along with Huss and Tyndall, where would we be without them?

    • January 2, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      This is Randy’s blog – he determines who is welcome. I do not consider OPC a cult, simply grossly misled on some very clear-cut teachings in Scripture. Many good Christians have been compromised in this fashion, and none of us have perfect theology, so all should walk in humility before God and man. I’ve just read (and transcribed for re-printing) Benjamin Keach’s 2 part “The Ax Laid to the Root” and it is a very well written defense of believer’s baptism as is a more modern book – The Fatal Flaw of the Theology Behind Infant Baptism, by Jeffrey Johnson. And there’s an excellent book of parables I recommend – The Rickety Bridge and the Broken Mirror, by Hal Brunson. For the record, I’ve read many books by paedo-baptists and don’t hate them. Simply wonder at what they don’t see.

      • January 3, 2015 at 12:32 am

        Stuart,

        I have not read Keach’s book but would love to. As you know I agree with your views on this subject and I share your wonder that all don’t agree with us. That said, I have good friends with whom I disagree on these and other issues. I have found that I profit from those who challenge my beliefs because they cause me to sharpen my views. This is true even of those I regard as false teachers. We will be praying for you and your wife as you seek a church where your excellent gifts and you understanding of the Scriptures will be appreciated.

      • January 3, 2015 at 1:31 am

        Randy – I sent you an email with a link to Keach’s book. I met for lunch today with the pastor of the church we’ve been meeting with and had a good conversation with him. While we have myriad things we differ on, he is not dogmatic about secondary issues and shows a man who is still learning and willing to learn. He does not seem to understand Calvinism (which he claims to disagree with) nor Arminianism (which he does not seem to understand). He enjoyed our talk, would like to have them from time-to-time and thinks we would be a welcome addition to the church. A few years ago, he repented of a seeker friendly message and began preaching truth from the Word. Many people left the church and he remains on the path of equipping the saints – though he is a dispensationalist. We will likely join this church and continue to prayerfully consider starting a church in the future.

        Press on, my brother and grow not weary.

    • January 3, 2015 at 12:03 am

      Everyone is welcome as long as they follow the rules for commenting. I encourage the statement honest differences among believers. What I do not tolerate are comments from any who question the full, verbal inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures. Though I appreciate creeds and confessions, I do not regard them as authoritative.

      It is my view that we should put every man’s teaching to the test and only follow him as he follows Christ. I expect everyone who visits here to hold me to that standard.

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

  5. 16 Peace and Grace
    January 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Stuart, your comment would be supportive of Randy’s deduction this is deliberate behavior on Dohse’s part. I find it unfathomable he would overlook reviews in regard to his published “research”. Benjamin Palmer at Southern Reformation has noted Dohse’s penchant for ignoring context, along with improper citation.

    http://www.southernreformation.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/context-is-king-#more-1276

    Paul Dohse desires to be what he charges the reformers of being…..a philosopher king ( minus academic credentials) with hidden gnostic knowledge.

    • January 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Peace and Grace, Your comment, “Paul Dohse desires to be what he charges the reformers of being…..a philosopher king ( minus academic credentials) with hidden gnostic knowledge.” is priceless! Thanks for the link to Palmer’s blog. Even reading the extract of Calvin’s work that “King Dohse” quoted, it’s clear that what Calvin is saying is that the efficacy of Christ’s work is (temporarily) perpetual – meaning all the elect that are born and live during the age of grace will have His perfect work applied to them, to justify them and present them to the Father as His redeemed children. Dohse is blinded by his hatred of Calvinism to the degree that he wraps his gnostic self worship around what he reads so it doesn’t conflict with what he believes. It’s the extreme version of what psychologists call “the ladder of inference”.

  6. 18 Peace and Grace
    January 3, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    This video was made prior to Dohse’s upcoming 2013 conference. In it the missing last sentence Benjamin Palmer mentioned is included, to no avail. Paul D. considers it “shocking”. It’s clear that Dohse reads his personal meaning into material, and also struggles with the English language. This alone would limit comprehension and promote the tendency towards confusion. Couple that with an emotion-based crusade against Calvinism and the reformed faith for personal reasons and you can see what has resulted in Paul Dohse’s life.

    • January 4, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Carmen,

      I watched the Paul and Susan show on youtube. If it weren’t so sad, it would be hilarious. I especially liked the part about the perpetual efficacy of Jesus “ovulation.” I may be changing my mind about deliberate deception. It could be Paul is as stupid as he seems. “He is right. Words mean things.” It is just that he doesn’t have a clue what the meaning is and has trouble even finding the meaning in the dictionary.

      I have also come to the conclusion that he is perhaps not worth the fuss. No one with two brain cells to rub together could take him seriously.

  7. January 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Perhaps Mrs. Dohse bought a degree online or found it at a Blue Light special at K-Mart. It’s not even necessary to read the discussed section of the institutes in the larger context to bust those two for reading into it that Calvin believed in ‘progressive justification’. Perhaps the conference challenged people to actually read Calvin for themselves. Not that Calvin had everything right (none of us do), but There in no way, even for a mentally retarded cabbage, that Calvin believed and taught what the delusional duo above asserts that he did.

    • January 4, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      Dan,

      You are right. This one is so clear that no context is needed. It does help to understand that Calvin is arguing against the Schoolmen who believed in progressive justification. He is not at all concerned with the question whether God is pleased with the believer’s works in sanctification or whether there is an inward change [and consequent outward change] in believers in the process of sanctification. The following is the issue about which he wrote,

      We must strongly insist on these two things: That no believer ever performed one work which, if tested by the strict judgment of God, could escape condemnation; and, moreover, that were this granted to be possible (though it is not), yet the act being vitiated and polluted by the sins of which it is certain that the author of it is guilty, it is deprived of its merit. This is the cardinal point of the present discussion. There is no controversy between us and the sounder Schoolmen as to the beginning of justification. They admit that the sinner, freely delivered from condemnation, obtains justification, and that by forgiveness of sins; but under the term justification they comprehend the renovation by which the Spirit forms us anew to the obedience of the Law; and in describing the righteousness of the regenerate man, maintain that being once reconciled to God by means of Christ, he is afterwards deemed righteous by his good works, and is accepted in consideration of them.

      (C.I. Book 3, Chapter 14, section 11).

      When he wrote that no believer “ever performed one work which, if tested by the strict judgment of God, could escape condemnation;” we must understand him in the context of the basis of justification before God.

      It appears that for Paul D., justification is a matter of getting one’s ticket punched for eternity by making a decision. Afterward, Jesus and his work are expendable. For him, Jesus did not fulfill the law; he merely ended the law so that whatever the believer does now cannot be held against him. No more need for a high priest to make intercession for us. I would like to know from him why it was necessary for Jesus to end the law since he contends that the law is not the standard for justification before God.

      • January 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

        Thank you Randy, for the context. I had considered including it, but thought it unnecessary given Mr. Dohse’s ridiculous assertions. I decided to do some ‘heavy reading this year and am hnearing the halfway point of William Cunningham’s ‘The Reformation and the Theology of the Reformers’. One thing that is impossible to miss that Mr. Dohse’s tactics & techniques are nothing new. Nothing new under the sun, although some would probably like to believe that they have actually invented something in regards to attacking something/someone they don’t like.

        Have a great day and even greater week, my friend!

      • January 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        In my opinion, Calvin wrote and did things that were clearly wrong. We do not believe the man, although brilliant, was infallible. Still it is unconscionable to impute to him a belief in the very doctrine against which he was arguing. Any statement or action taken out of context can be used to damage another person. Since Paul has determined to crusade against a system of doctrine he clearly does not understand, he will be able to find such statements to use in bearing false witness against his neighbor.

  8. 24 Peace and Grace
    January 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Randy, you wondered why Paul D. would think it was necessary for Jesus to end the law since he contends the law is not the standard for justification before God. This past Sunday morning taped “teaching” might provide an answer.

    “What is the gospel? It’s not the intellectual belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It’s a promise. What is the promise? That the law has been cancelled, and Jesus Christ cancelled the law for us, and we’re under no condemnation. But what comes with that promise is the gift of the Holy Spirit. You must be born again. Do you want the promise of the Holy Spirit? You have to realize the gift of the Holy Spirit comes with new creaturehood. If you want the promise without wanting the new creaturehood, you don’t want the promise.”

    “God not only declared Abraham righteous, He MADE him righteous. How do I know that? Lot. “He vexed his righteous soul”. Lot had a righteous soul. Abraham and Lot were both born again and new creatures apart from the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.”

    “Wherever you see “received the Word”, you can replace “word” with “promise”.

    Paul Dohse stated that he has known this for a long time, even if people think what he has now said is “scandalous”. I guess it’s his philosopher king gnostic knowledge on display again.

    • January 5, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      Carmen,

      I listened to it earlier, and it took me to the absolute limit of the amount of boredom I can tolerate for a while. I suspect even the dogs went to sleep. I actually agreed with a few things he said. I believe faith is counting God faithful to fulfill his promises. I think he said it is believing God’s promises which is similar. Additionally, I agree that faith is not merelyan intellectual ascent to the facts of the gospel. I am not sure he meant it that way. And, I agree that God actually makes people righteous in the process of sanctification. I think Abraham made some progress in holiness as he walked with God subsequent to the divine call. It sounded to me as if Paul was articulating [if articulating can be done by an inarticulate person] the Roman doctrine of progressive justification. It wasn’t simply that God declared Abraham righteous, but he made him righteous so that his justification to some extent rested on his personal righteousness. Perhaps that is not what he meant, but he does scoff at the idea of an alien righteousness as the ground of a believer’s justification.

      There were many other things with which I “ah, um, um, you know, Okaaaa” disagreed. Big surprise. Poor Susan had to sit there with her arms folded trying to look interested and it sounded as if some poor child was forced to sit there and listen too.

      None of what he said really answered my question about how he can believe the law is not the standard for justification. He clearly states that the law continues for the unconverted and will be the basis of their condemnation. First, if the law was not the standard for justification, then Jesus did not need to do anything with reference to it [fulfill it or end it] with reference to justification. In his view, it should have nothing to do with justification. Second, if according to his statement, it will be the basis of the unconverted sinner’s condemnation, then it must be the standard for justification since justification is the opposite of condemnation. It cannot be the standard for condemnation unless it is the standard for justification.

      As you know, I don’t refer to law in the same way many Reformed people do. For most, “Moral Law” is equivalent to the Ten Commandments. My view is that God’s universal and continuing law contains two commandments, the first and most important of which is the commandment to love God. Whether that commandment is explicated by the numerous commandments of the Mosaic covenant or by the prescriptions of the New Testament Scriptures and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, it is binding on all people, in every place, in every time. Jesus did not bring it to an end; he fulfilled it perfectly.

      The Covenant of Sinai simply set Israel apart as a microcosm of the entire race. The way in which the Israelites reacted to the most explicit and detailed expression of God’s law ever given, demonstrated the manner in which the entire race would react under the same covenant. It gave sin the nature of transgression because it set down for the first time a clearly defined and codified boundary. One can only transgress a clearly defined boundary. Prior to this law, people were sinners but they were not transgressors (See Rom. 4:15). The standard of whether we are just before God is whether we love God with all our heart etc. The tests of whether we love God are set forth defined by the covenant we are under.


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