Thoughts on 2013, and Goals for 2014

hand_with_reflecting_globe_by_gzertklThe end of 2013 is in sight. Here at Southern Reformation, things have been fairly quiet. I’ve spent the last eight months (more or less) buried in writing and editing my thesis, so I’ve not been posting with any regularity—which is something you have my apologies for incidentally.

I’m going to be out of town between now and the first week of 2014, so that means I won’t be posting here at all, unless the mood strikes me strongly.

Since we’re coming up on the beginning of a new year (and boy, did 2013 fly by!), there are some things I’d like to accomplish in the next year over here at Southern Reformation.

So what changes are coming, and will they effect you, Constant Reader?

But before we talk about the upcoming year, I have some unfinished business from 2013 that I need to take care of.

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Context is King

Institutes 3.14.11If you were paying attention to Friday’s post, you probably have some idea of why there’s a bee in my bonnet today, and why I chose the title “Context is King ” for this post.

Mr. Dohse has published a little booklet (which you can read here) that includes a section titled “Relevant Citations” on page 3.  He believes that these citation prove that

Instead of the new birth being a one time event in the life of the believer, making us new creatures, [the Reformers] made the new birth a continual rebirth experience only needed to maintain our salvation. “Why Calvinism is a False Gospel,” 2 (emphasis original).

So, according to Mr. Dohse, this is what both Calvin and those who call themselves Calvinists really believe, because he has been provided with some secret knowledge that only he and a few others are privy to.

So is it true?

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A Final Thought on The Truth About New Calvinism

My original intent to publish the third part of my review of The Truth About New Calvinism today, but then I stumbled across this file on the author’s blog. I’ll be responding to it on Monday, instead of continuing my review. I think doing so will demonstrate the same point, and substantiate not just that Mr. Dohse has done shoddy research into Calvinism, but that he continues to do so, and is willfully misrepresenting both Calvin and Calvinism.

The Truth About New Calvinism: A Review in Three Parts (Part 2B: The Bad)

Paul M. Dohse, Sr. The Truth About New Calvinism: Its History, Doctrine, and Character, Vol. 1. Xenia, Ohio: TANC Publishing, 2011. 146 pp. Spiral-bound. $14.95

TANC 1st edI wish that the previous post was the extent of the shoddy research in Mr. Dohse’s book The Truth About New Calvinism, but it’s not.

Before I begin interacting with Mr. Dohse’s claims regarding Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I need to begin by saying that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a student at Westminster. This is a matter I have no personal stake in whatsoever.

In Chapter 6, titled “The Westminster Connection,” Mr. Dohse writes,

Machen was infatuated with the idea that Christ’s perfect life was part of the atonement. Supposedly, Christ had to obey the law perfectly in our stead to make justification valid. this was known as Christ’s ‘active obedience’ and His death on the cross, according to this theology, was his ‘passive obedience.’ (TANC, 59.)

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The Truth About New Calvinism: A Review in Three Parts (Part 2A: The Bad)

Paul M. Dohse, Sr. The Truth About New Calvinism: Its History, Doctrine, and Character, Vol. 1. Xenia, Ohio: TANC Publishing, 2011. 146 pp. Spiral-bound. $14.95

TANC We looked last time at the one aspect of The Truth About New Calvinism that I found commendable, namely, it’s concern with the rising problem of antinomianism.

Today I have the much more distasteful job of speaking about portions of the work that are more troubling. While I appreciate Mr. Dohse’s concern for the dangers presented by antinomianism, I cannot overlook the massive problems in his work, not least of which is what I can only characterize as extremely shoddy research.

Bear with me while I substantiate my accusation.

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The Truth About New Calvinism: A Review in Three Parts (Part 1: The Good)

Paul M. Dohse, Sr. The Truth About New Calvinism: Its History, Doctrine, and Character, Vol. 1. Xenia, Ohio: TANC Publishing, 2011. 146 pp. Spiral-bound. $14.95

TANC 1st edReady or not, “new” Calvinism is spreading like wildfire, likely to a church near you. What may have had small beginnings has now blossomed into a movement complete with conferences (T4G) and a book about its beginnings (Young, Restless, and Reformed, by Colin Hansen).

As one who is a self-identified “Old Calvinist,” I have an interest in this movement, especially as it has castigated its theological forebearers in ways that I believe violate the 9th commandment. So when I saw that a gentleman had taken it upon himself to write a work about the “New Calvinists,” I thought it would be wise to purchase a copy and see what he had to say. After reading the work, I thought it would be even wiser to publish a review here at Southern Reformation, since reading this book left me with a good bit to say. In fact, there was enough information in this book to make it necessary to publish my review in three parts.

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The End Is In Sight!

For those of you who care, I’m finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m roughly 6,000 words from finishing the writing aspect of my thesis. (The editing portion is yet to be done.) God willing, I should be able to start posting again soon!