Leithart Prosecutor Rejects Gospel and Leaves PCA for ….

Jason Stellman, the prosecutor in the unsuccessful trial of Federal Visionist Peter Leithart, has announced his rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and has left the PCA for . . . well, can there be any doubt where this man is headed when he says things like this:

I have come to believe that a much more biblical paradigm for understanding the gospel—and one that has much greater explanatory value for understanding Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John—is one that sets forth the New Covenant work of the Spirit, procured through the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, as internally inscribing God’s law and enabling believers to exhibit love of God and neighbor, thereby fulfilling the law in order to gain their eternal inheritance (Rom. 8:1-4). While this is all accomplished entirely by God’s grace through the merits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, it is at the same time not something that occurs through the imputation of an external and alien righteousness received through faith alone.

You can read Stellman’s pathetic and shameful farewell to the Christian faith here (although leaving the PCA if it were for the right reason is nothing to apologize for).   Wes White has a few cautionary remarks here.   John Bugay has even more to say here.  If Stellman had any moral or personal integrity at all (and I have no reason to think that he does), he would never allow himself to stand in a pulpit again, anywhere.  If he could come to reject Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide after all these years and reveal himself as a complete hypocrite, what is to stop him from doing it again if he dons a funny robe and cap while mumbling mystical babble over a loaf of bread and a glass of wine?   I do think it is terrifying that a pastor, even a prosecutor of one of the most notorious Federal Visionists and false teachers active in the PCA today, could come to such a change of heart on doctrines that are so completely non-negotiable.

These are truly dark days.  May the Lord have mercy on us.

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145 Comments on “Leithart Prosecutor Rejects Gospel and Leaves PCA for ….”


  1. I’m (almost but not quite) speechless. Reading that letter was more disturbing than reading Sudduth drooling over Hinduism. Dark days, indeed.

  2. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    “Reading that letter was more disturbing than reading Sudduth drooling over Hinduism.”

    Nah. I think Sudduth’s drooling was worse than Stellman’s rejection of Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura.

  3. Hugh Says:

    TU&D,

    Stellman seemed a defender of truth even earlier this year. His apostasy is more painful & poignant.

    Pathetic? Maybe. Shameful? Absolutely.

    Apostasy ain’t pretty.

  4. Hugh Says:

    Am reading _Far from Rome, Near to God_ alongside _Surprised by Truth_.

    Those convertED to/ by Christ vs. those convertING to a religious institution.

    “Relationship vs. religion” may seem trite, but ’tis true. A Person vs. a pontiff.

    Scripture alone vs. + tradition.

  5. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    In comparing

    (A) Reform -> Catholicism

    (B) Reform -> Hinduism

    Hinduism is worse than Catholicism.

  6. Sean Gerety Says:

    How so? At least Hinduism doesn’t pretend to be Christianity much less fool others into thinking it is.

  7. Hugh Says:

    TU&D et. al.,

    Hinduism and Catholicism are both devilish, and I suppose how devout one becomes in one’s false religion is as important as which false faith he follows. That is, prayer to the Virgin, etc. vs. a heady love of Krishna’s aphorisms.

    Since I don’t know either man, nor their devotions to their respective blasphemies of choice, I’ll simply say (risking to speak for Patrick, too) that Stellman’s comes as more of shock since he was so recently atagonistic toward a Romish false teacher.

    I don’t know if Sudduth was a defender of truth, attacking Hinduism prior to his aposatsy.

    Will Stellman “pope,” go CREC, or head East?

  8. Hugh Says:

    Stellman’s comes as more of a shock since he was so recently antagonistic toward a Romish false teacher.

  9. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Honestly, it wasn’t that much of a shock for some people who’ve interacted with Stellman over the recent years.

    Sudduth’s was more shocking because it seemingly came out of the blue.

    If you want to continue to debate which one’s more shocking, Stellman or Sudduth, and which is worse, Hinduism or Catholicism, let’s continue.

  10. Hugh Says:

    No, TUD, not biting. My comments are above.


  11. Hugh, you’ve interpreted my sentiments correctly.

    I haven’t interacted with Stellman much, so perhaps that’s why I’m so surprised. Also, the blatant hypocrisy involved in prosecuting someone for being unconfessional whilst internally rejecting two Solas (and by logical procession, at least one more, while redefining the remaining two).

    As for which is worse, it really doesn’t matter, except one claims the name of Christian while counting the blood of the covenant as an unholy thing.

  12. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    I bit on the claims that Stellman’s story is worse than Sudduth’s and that Catholicism is worse than Hinduism and spit both of them out.

  13. Hugh Says:

    Both men are apostates.

    While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

    For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

    2 Peter 2:19-21

  14. Hugh Says:

    Stellman’s more shocking b/c of his recent activity/ profession/ ordination. That is all.

    Christ will spit both of them out, too!

    Get a good Scriptural rinse going, TUD.

  15. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    For argument’s sake, let’s assume Stellman swims the Tiber and remains devoutly Catholic until the day he dies. Further, let’s also assume Sudduth remains devoutly Hindu until the day he dies.

    I think there’s a better chance that we’ll see Jason Stellman in Heaven than Michael Sudduth.


  16. So a “gospel” that denies the finished work of Christ for our justification stands “a better chance” of opening the pearly gates than Hinduism? Seriously? The shocks just keep on coming today…

  17. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    It doesn’t take much to shock unintelligent people these days.


  18. “Biblicist, liturgical, sacramental, ecumenical Protestantism is the antidote to Roman fever, not the cause”. –Peter Leithart


  19. (That was Leithart’s tweet of the day).


  20. lol Thanks for that nugget o’ wisdom, TU&D. Truth does indeed divide.

    Man, this thread descended pretty quickly. For crying out loud. Some people are just itching for a fight. Must be a sign of great intelligence. Pathetic.


  21. Holding the tradition of Westmister ABOVE Scripture (as I believe Stellman was doing) makes it easy to simply swap traditions.

  22. Hugh Says:

    Truth unites and divides, Patrick; you dummy! 😉

    Seems TUD lacks schooling as to Rome’s damnable errors. Devout Catholics are under God’s anathema, specifically those coming in from Protestantism, particularly those who were ministers, and ESPECIALLY those who prosecuted false Rome-ward Light-Hearts.

  23. Hugh Says:

    Mix putative biblicism, liturgy, sacramentalism, ecumenism, w/ ersatz Protestantism and you have the gateway drug* to Roman fever, never the cure!

    * Spiritual MDMA.

  24. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    LOL. I’ll give Patrick and Hugh the credit for degrading the comment thread with lack of critical thinking faculties.

    Here’s something to answer:

    Are there any Roman Catholics in Heaven? Or have all Roman Catholics who ever lived gone to Hell? Here are your choices:

    (A) Perhaps some.

    (B) None.

  25. Hugh Says:

    TUD ~ No devout Catholics in glory.

  26. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Thank you Hugh. Patrick? Sean Gerety?


  27. TU&D, my original comment was about the level of bile that rose in my own personal throat while reading Sudduth’s and Stellman’s farewell letters. If yours was reverse, well woop-de-doo hooray for you.

    My logic is fine. You suggested Stellman became a “devout Roman Catholic.” My assumption is that a “devout RC” would believe the official teaching of Rome (last I checked, it was an anti-christ false gospel, but maybe you know different).

    Now you’re attempting to switch up the definition of “devout RC” to include nominal RCs who don’t understand what they’re doing or what the RC synagoge of Satan is all about.

    With that definition, sure, some RCs (that is, gospel-believers who somehow find themselves in an RC body) may end up in heaven. But a “devout RC” (that is, someone who fully understands and endorses the Roman false gospel) absolutely, without doubt, will not be present in heaven.

    Sorry you’re a jerk.

  28. Sean Gerety Says:

    @TUD. Then would you say the Judiazer’s Paul cursed to hell have a better chance at gaining heaven than a Hindu? I don’t see how that follows, so I guess I don’t see how your hypothetical concerning Stellman follows either.

    Also, re Sudduth. Last I checked Sudduth was never ordained to anything. He never vowed to uphold anything. He was never called or was presumed to have preached the Gospel. So, yes, I think Stellman’s defection is worse than Sudduth’s. As far as shock value I guess I’d have to agree that Sudduth’s was more shocking just because it was so totally absurd and bizarre (albeit no more surprising than Stellman’s for those who have been following Sudduth’s trajectory over the years, particularly his ongoing fascination with the occult).

    However, I will say that I don’t think anyone will ever mistake Sudduth dancing around the Oakland airport with bells on his hands and feet while sporting a nicely cropped topknot for a Christian. Sadly, I suspect if Stellman continues to preach and teach he will continue to fool many unsuspecting souls. I have to think Satan can do a lot more with a clever counterfeit in the dying West then he could ever do with a deluded San Francisco based Hindu.

  29. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Patrick T. McWilliams: “Sorry you’re a jerk.”

    Your insult reflects your character.


  30. Yeah, it’s my nature as an unintelligent person, hypocrite.

  31. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Patrick,

    Can’t resist the continual insults, eh?

  32. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Hugh: “Devout Catholics are under God’s anathema, specifically those coming in from Protestantism, particularly those who were ministers, and ESPECIALLY those who prosecuted false Rome-ward Light-Hearts.”

    LOL! If Jason J. Stellman ever becomes a devout Catholic, Hugh says God will damn him to Hell!


  33. You mean the hypocrite comment? It’s accurate, as I pointed out. You are being a jerk for reasons unknown to me. You came on here and started picking a needless fight about which story was more sickening, Sudduth’s or Stellman’s.

    When I expressed surprise at your apparent supposition that someone who devoutly embraces a false gospel might still be in heaven, you called me unintelligent.

    I’d say that justifies me accurately calling you out on jerk-like behavior.

    Then, when you chastise me for “insulting” you, I refer back to your calling me unintelligent, and further accurately describe you as a hypocrite.

    Instead of defending yourself or apologizing as you ought, you still have the gall to whine about my “insults.”

    Of course, that serves as a nice distraction from answering Hugh’s, Sean’s, and my own arguments that someone who embraces a false gospel is damned.

    I don’t know who peed in your cornflakes this morning, dude. Back off.


  34. Meanwhile, TU&D continues to yuck it up as if LOLing constitued a thoughtful, *intelligent* reply to Scriptural citations.

  35. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Patrick T. McWilliams, I’m good.

    Take a good look in the mirror based on your comments and back off yourself.


  36. Once again, no defense, no reply, nothing of substance, just a hypocritical, holier-than-thou barb. Whatever you need to make yourself feel smart on the internet, dude.

  37. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Patrick T. McWilliams: “Once again, no defense, no reply, nothing of substance, just a hypocritical, holier-than-thou barb. Whatever you need to make yourself feel smart on the internet, dude.”

    And that comment is supposed to count as substance and without a hint of hypocrisy or holier-than-thou tinge to it?

    Pardon me for LOL!


  38. TU&D, in all sincerity, have a pleasant day. Go in the grace and peace of our Savior who shed his blood on our behalf.

  39. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    “TU&D, in all sincerity, have a pleasant day. Go in the grace and peace of our Savior who shed his blood on our behalf.”

    Same to you, Patrick, same to you.


  40. Just so nobody thinks the “in all sincerity” line was ingenuine, I really did mean it. I had/have no desire to waste time engaging in pointless arguments, or causing needless injury to another’s character. Substantive disagreements with others who glory in Christ’s gospel alone can be edifying to explore, but red herrings aren’t worth fishing for, and brick walls don’t sharpen iron. I apologize for the time I have wasted in fruitless endeavors.

  41. Lauren Says:

    MO presbytery exonerates Jeffrey Meyers, PNWP exonerates Peter Leithart, Jason Stellman the prosecutor of JL abandons the gospel – this is becoming pretty dismal for the PCA as she readies herself for the this month’s GA here in Louisville, KY. To add to this dismal scenario, Louisville and the OVP is a hotbed for Federal Vision theology. The one PCA church here in Louisville is a full blown FV church whose minister is a Louisiana Presbytery transfer who defended Steve Wilkins. This church has refused to participate in hosting the GA. The other PCA church whose pastor was the former pastor of the first church and is the stated clerk of the presbytery split off from the first church and they have been feuding ever since for years. For some reason, however, I see God at work rattling a few cages and that is a healthy thing.

    For a great resource on what is happening to the PCA, I would highly recommend that you all check out Dr. Paul Elliot’s 3-part series entitled “Presbyterian Anarchy”: http://www.teachingtheword.org/pages.asp?pageid=103955

  42. David Reece Says:

    My Lord, please save us from the destruction that falls about us. Protect your elect from the ravening wolves. Give us courage to speak forth the pure and pristine gospel of justification by mercy alone through belief alone in the work of Jesus Christ alone.

    Please, anyone who is interested in helping to form a new Scripturalist Presbyterian denomination shoot me an email through the contact page at Scripturalist.com

    There are no church for us to join in good conscience. It is our duty to gather together with the saints for the public worship of God. Let us honor God with work towards a new Reformation.

  43. Hugh Says:

    David Reece,

    RE: “a new Scripturalist Presbyterian denomination.”

    Here? ~ http://www.erpchurch.org/ {Paul Elliott’s endeavor}

  44. Hugh Says:

    If Jason doesn’t go to Rome, CREC or the East, could he possibly (perish the thoght!) become a Baptist, joining Dr Crampton of the Recovering Presbyterians Church?

    {Just kidding, y’all ~ I realize he’s renouncing sola fide, not baby baptism.}

  45. Lauren Says:

    When Jacob was sold into slavery to Egypt by his brothers, it looked like he was doomed for life. But God used the situation to bring good to His people. I can’t help but believe that God will use this event in Jason’s life for good.
    If I had to try and work with the elders in the PNWP, I think I might go a little crazy too. I think God was merciful by getting Jason out of the PCA. Now he finally has a chance to be alone with God and get his spiritual sanity back. Why is it that the PCA seems to drive so many of her members to Rome? Her day of reckoning is not far away.

  46. AZTexan Says:

    Certainly I’m just one of a minor handful of conspiracy nuts around here but, sincerely, I respect y’all enough that I wouldn’t pose this potentially embarrassing question on any other “dedicated serious religion” blog but this one: Is it possible that Stellman has been a plant all along? I smell Jesuit or something like it. Will anyone join me for a moment outside the Confessional Presby sky box and look at this from the Ecumenical Big Tent cheap seats?

    Stellman and his fantasy boyfriend Bono, Billy and Franklin Graham, Robert Schuller, Rick Warren, John Piper, Tony Blair, Newt Gingrich, Doug Wilson (& FV toadie entourage), Bene XVI …and on and on and on… They’re all mugging down with each other to this bit of “news” right about now (though obviously many saw it coming years out). As Three Dog Night strikes up “Shambala” the DJ exclaims, “All Catholic couples skate backwards across the Tiber Bridge!” And Iggy Loyola laughs his ass off.

  47. Hugh Says:

    Lauren ~ Has anyone charted the defection? Named names exhaustively?

    AZTex ~ Hilarious! Iggy and the Stooges, indeed!

  48. Lauren Says:

    There are so many hidden minefields of error in the PCA and in the OVP, and when anyone in the PCA tries to blow the whistle, the leadership is right there with their “committees” and backroom session meetings to plot ways to destroy that person. They appoint themselves as lifetime elders so noone can bring them down. I write from firsthand experience. One may think I am being a little paranoid, but how else do these wolves manage to get into the pulpits and stay there? Bill Smith an FV pastor along with his session have had no opposition from any elder in the Ohio Valley Presbytery, the host of this year’s GA. Why not?

    Look what this denomination has done to pastors like Jason Stellman. The PCA insists on calling false teachers their brothers in Christ. Jason was called on to prosecute these wolves in sheep’s clothing but to treat them as sheep not wolves. Is it any wonder this man is faltering in his faith? Wolves bite; sheep don’t. How does a sheep expect to survive in a den of wolves? Wolves destroy any satisfaction, acceptance, security, and hope we have in Christ. Yet the PCA leadership insists that these wolves be regarded as brothers in Christ. And, they expect you PCA presbyters out there to accept the “gracious” invitation of this pack of wolves in the Ohio Vallley Presbytery to be their “guests” at this year’s GA in Louisville.. They are counting on you all to be spineless and be oblivious to the fact that you are all frogs boiling in the PCA kettle.

    Wake up! Jason Stellman is only the tip of the iceberg that will sink the PCA.

  49. Hugh Says:

    Dialogue with TUD made me recall that the last Lord’s day in the Heidelberg catechism included the following (I’ll include but one proof each for space’s sake):

    Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?

    Answer: Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ;(a) so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them,(b) and am still inclined to all evil;(c) notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine,(d) but only of mere grace,(e) grants and imputes to me,(f) the perfect satisfaction,(g) righteousness and holiness of Christ;(h) even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me;(i) inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.(j)

    (a)Rom.3:21-25,28 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God…

    Question 61. Why sayest thou, that thou art righteous by faith only?

    Answer: Not that I am acceptable to God, on account of the worthiness of my faith; but because only the satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, is my righteousness before God;(a) and that I cannot receive and apply the same to myself any other way than by faith only.(b)

    …(b)1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

    {That’s why we’re not Papists, Charlie Brown.}

  50. Stephen Welch Says:

    I do not personally know Jason or ever had any discussions with him, but something does not set well with me in this entire matter. Jason is not struggling with an issue of conscience or wrestling with a doctrinal issue, but he is abandoning the faith and denying the Lord. I realize some in this blog are friends of Jason’s, but brothers we need to put aside friendships for the integrity of the gospel. The Scriptures regard him as an unbeliever who is under the judgment of God. While it grieves my heart to see Jason deny the faith and place himself and his family under the judgment of God, we need to stand firm in our defense of the truth. Just because he suddenly resigns from his ministry does not mean that he has more integrity than the Federal Visionists who continue to remain in PCA pulpits and ministries. A man who turns away from the faith is puffed up with pride and is arrogant. This is not characteristic of a man of integrity. It is becoming more clear to me that Jason was moving away from the faith long ago. By his own admission and in some of the blog discussions over the years he was shipwrecking the faith. I can appreciate a pastor struggling with understanding a particular point of doctrine and striving by prayer and study to understand it more clearly, but I cannot accept a man who clearly denies the gospel. The New Testament has strong words for men like Jason. I question the honesty of a man who is a pastor, and suddenly denies the gospel. He did not wake up yesterday and say, “oh this idea of justification by faith alone is nonsense, I better resign.” He was on the path to denial a long time ago. We should have seen the hand writing on the wall years ago with Jeff Steele, but we seem to be asleep at the helm and we will continue to see more PCA ministers reject the faith.

  51. Stephen Welch Says:

    Lauren, thank you for your entries, especially the last one. Your testimony still strikes me with terror to think that elders will attack those for exposing the truth and let false teachers run rampant. This is a sign that the PCA is entrenched with false teaching. It protects guys who are well connected; the good ole boys club. The Proverb reminds us that the fear of man is a snare. We do not fear God in the PCA and this will lead to judgment.

  52. Lauren Says:

    Thanks, Stephen. I will admit that I tend to be very outspoken and blunt on this hot button issue. And, I am very grateful to Sean for allowing me to comment freely on his blog. For, I am not allowed to comment so boldly and directly on any other blog. I am banned on Green Baggins because there is a family member of his here in Louisville that he has to protect and my comments might get both of them in trouble with the political operatives. I will give credit to his parents, however, for having the courage to stand with the gospel and leave the PCA. I also have to soften and temper my comments in order to remain on another blog. That kind of deflates the purpose.

    Don’t you think it is rather telling that a minister assigned to be the guardian of the faith – not the peon in the pew – a minister has fallen from the true faith? This Federal Vision theology is deadly poison.. It spares no one.

    The GA will carry on its business as usual, deflecting attention away from the real problem with meaningless overtures. The political operatives have already gotten rid of the whistleblowers and all that is left are FV teaching and ruling elders who have successfully intimidated and bribed the rest of you presbyters into silence and blind loyalty and buying into Satan’s unity without the truth.


  53. Eh, I wouldn’t say all PCA TEs have been bribed into silence. There are still good men fighting the good (losing) fight in the PCA.

    That being said, Lauren, you’re always welcome to comment on my blog as well 🙂

  54. Hugh Says:

    Patrick’s right, of course, Lauren. They’re not all bribed to shut up.

    As you yourself allow, some are intimidated into silence.

    And, of course
    some are complicitous,
    some are just clueless,
    some are wistful,
    etc.


  55. I’d hate to describe Wes White (as one example) as being somehow compromised by the FV.

  56. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Wes White was almost compromised by the Federal Vision. In fact, he was thinking of becoming Episcopalian at one time:

    Ecclesiology Must Be Subordinated to the Gospel.

  57. Hugh Says:

    But Wes confesses that he once “embraced Federal Vision views” ~ http://www.weswhite.net/2012/06/ecclesiology-must-be-subordinate-to-the-gospel/

    Thankfully, he pulled up in time.

  58. Hugh Says:

    Great minds think alike, TUD. {shudder!}

    Hey, any devout papists in heaven, TUD?

  59. Truth Unites... and Divides Says:

    Hugh: “Hey, any devout papists in heaven, TUD?”

    We’ll find out at the appointed time.

    Sounds like you’d be surprised, maybe even shocked, if there were.


  60. Wes has also (to my knowledge) faithfully defended the faith against FV ever since.

    Interesting how some are so quick to criticize those who are upholding the faith, yet defensive of those who deny it. Hmm.

  61. Hugh Says:

    Pope-pushers, anti-sola-fideists, and mariolaters God will destroy.

    1 Cor 6:9f, Heb 13:4.

  62. Hugh Says:

    Wes left the dark side, but was temporarily seduced thereby; that’s all I’m sayin’…


  63. But he is not silent, loyal to FV, or seeking unity with them.

  64. David Reece Says:

    Thanks Hugh. I’ll contact them.

  65. Stephen Welch Says:

    Lauren, I can’t imagine the ordeal you and your husband experienced at the hands of the FV, so it stands to reason why you are outspoken on this issue. As a PCA Teaching Elder I appreciate your willingness to stand and defend the faith. I grieve over the direction the PCA has gone, but this is what happens when we do not stand for the truth. There are many good Presbyteries that oppose the FV heresy (some will not let a candidate or pastor in who is sympathetic to or holds FV views)and many solid pastors and ruling elders standing against this. Sadly we have seen what happens when a little leaven leavens the loaf.

    I consider Wes White a friend and a good brother in the Lord. He did affirm the FV years ago for a short season before he entered the ministry, but in the Lord’s gracious mercy he studied the issue for himself and rejected it. Wes clearly stands against the FV and is a great defender of the faith. Him and several brothers in Siouxlands have been battling this issue, so I applaud them.

  66. Lauren Says:

    And, just as God was gracious to Wes in leading him out of the Federal Vision, we can pray that God will be gracious to Jason Stellman as well. Our story has a happy ending; we can now look back with grateful hearts and see how God used that experience to strengthen our faith and cause us to treasure His truth even more. I believe Jason’s story will also have a happy ending.

  67. Stephen Welch Says:

    Lauren, Amen. Only a sovereign and gracious God can change a heart of stone.

  68. David Reece Says:

    Hugh,

    Did you know Paul Elliot is no longer a part of that denomination?

  69. Stephen Welch Says:

    David, Paul Elliot was with this new denomination just a short time ago. This must be a very recent development. Do you know why he is no longer with the denominiation he started?

  70. David Reece Says:

    He went Baptist.

  71. David Reece Says:

    I heard this today from Tom J. at the Trinity Foundation.

  72. Hugh Says:

    David,

    Sorry about that; I’m not up to speed (obviously!) on the various Presby splinters.

    I thought only W. Gary Crampton had “Bunyaned.” Glad to read that Elliott’s seen this, too:

    http://spurgeonblog.com/2010/09/13/a-review-of-from-paedobaptism-to-credobaptism-by-dr-w-gary-crampton/

  73. Hugh Says:

    He fought the law, and the law won. He lost, in other words. He is still lost.

    These by J.N. Darby on John Henry Cardinal Newman are apropos for all who’ve poped (esp. from Reformed Christendom):

    The secret of the course of Dr. Newman’s mind is this — it is sensuous; and so is Romanism.

    He never possessed the truth, nor, in the process he describes, sought it: he had never found rest or peace in his own soul, nor sought it where it is to be found, according to the holiness of God.

    He sank into that system where the mind often finds quiet from restless search after repose, when wearied in judging for itself, but never peace with God.

  74. Jake Says:

    You are a complete moron.

  75. Jake Says:

    Check that. Many of you here are total morons. Your hearts are filled with such ignorance and hate that I cringe to think that I was once like many of you.


  76. “You are a complete moron.”

    The logic of your argument is truly stunning.

  77. Jake Says:

    Your inability to distinguish between “logic” and a “premise” is stunning.

  78. Hugh McCann Says:

    For those of us who believe that the tenets of sovereign grace found in the Westminster Standards & 3 Forms of Unity best outline the Christian faith (most critically, soteriology – Christ’s work on behalf of his elect), I find myself increasingly questioning Jason’s integrity. His timeline is suspicious. (And I respectfully disagree with those who say that Stellman showed laudable integrity in how he exited the PCA.)

    Substitute ‘pastor’ for ‘lawyer/ D.A.,’
    ‘presbytery’ for ‘law firm,’
    ‘R.C. doctrine’ for ‘drugs,’ and
    ‘poping’ for ‘drug use’ in the following illustration:

    If a district attorney prosecutes a drug case and loses the case, and later discloses that all the while he’d been using similar drugs, would he not rightly be just a wee bit suspect?

    How much more so, if he decides to quit practicing law to become a drug user & dealer?

    The fact that he told the bar and his law firm that he was investigating the drug trade is the least he could have done, but it is shameful that he had one foot in the courtroom prosecuting a drug dealer, while with the other was out experimenting with illegal drug use. Worse, his “investigation” into the drug world was knowingly subsidized by his law firm!

    That his superiors finally stripped him of his credentials was appropriate, but the lawyer’s/pastor’s admission of dabbling in illicit trade should have been a huge red flag that everything was wrong in his life, and that presbyterial intervention was called for, not private, personal “investigation.” (One wonders if the “investigation” included fingering beads and muttering “Ave Marias”.)

    In Stellman’s case, he’s imbibed a more deadly & addictive narcotic/ hallucinogen than crystal meth. I am not speaking sarcastically or hyperbolically, however poetically.

    These are not intellectual games we’re playing. We’re dealing with men’s very souls. Or else you don’t find Stellman’s apostate slide damned tragic. [Pun intended.]

  79. Hugh McCann Says:

    I do not question Jason’s statement[s] that his conscious intentions (conscientiousness) were not good. I do not impugn his conscious motives. But, integrity means more than well-wishing or believing we’ve done our best.

    From Merriam Webster:
    1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
    2. an unimpaired condition : soundness
    3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

    The fact of the matter is that Jason Stellman failed to keep himself pure/ unspotted from the world, to adhere, remain unimpaired/ complete toward the Faith. ~ 2 Tim. 2:21; Jas 1:27. (cf. 1 Tim. 4:1, 16; Heb. 6:4ff.)

    He dabbled in sin and has been seduced by it. He is fallen from grace; he has fallen away from Christ.

    Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. ~ C.H. Spurgeon, 1888.

  80. Hugh McCann Says:

    Deceiving and being deceived

  81. Hugh McCann Says:

    Now the Spirit expressly says that
    in latter times some will depart from the faith,
    giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
    speaking lies in hypocrisy,
    having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
    forbidding to marry, and
    commanding to abstain from foods
    which God created to be received with thanksgiving
    by those who believe and know the truth.
    For every creature of God is good,
    and nothing is to be refused
    if it is received with thanksgiving;
    for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    1 Timothy 4:1-5

  82. Hugh McCann Says:

    I do not charge Jason with consciously lying to us, or trying to throw the case of PL. My first concern is not even that the prosecution lost the case.

    Jason should serve as a warning to any and all of us who think we stand- that we take heed lest we fall. I do not believe that any of us (apart from God’s grace alone!) can withstand the tempter’s schemes.

    The elder Peter urged us to steadfastly resist Satan IN THE FAITH, and to be sober, to be vigilant; because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.

    That Jason was being misled into spiritually fatal errors while he was prosecuting another for some of those errors is beyond dispute. His discernment was adversely affected months if not years before his apostasy.

    Who could have prosecuted the case while being spiritually impaired by the enemy of our souls? Jason was under the influence of the seducing spirit of Romanism. Of course this wasn’t “completely sealed off in an airtight compartment.” How silly. He was nipping at the bottle all the while he was seeking a guilty verdict against the bootlegger.

    Again I quote Spurgeon, “Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it.”

    Jason says his “conscience is clean.” So what? Are we so naïve and gullible as to think that an apostate man -who has thrown away his testimony to Christ for the pope’s church- can reasonably analyze himself?!

    He is deceiving and being deceived.

  83. Jake Says:

    This to me is comical. Stellman is a perfect example of how your theology breaks down at some point. Stellman’s “apostacy” means one of three things is wrong: 1) the reformed doctrine of election through sola fide. 2) the reformed doctrine of perseverance of the saints. 3) the reformerd doctrine of assurance.

    At one time, stellman unquestionably espoused Sola Fide. According to you guys, this is the belief that is required in order to be saved. If you guys assert that Stellman was never really saved then what assurance can anyone have in that they “believed” to the correct degree as to give themselves assurance? I know none of you will argue that he was saved and now he is lost because that would contradict the doctrine of perseverence. I know you guys wont argue that we have assurance if our faith leads to a life that perseveres to the end because then you all would be Christ deniers and FV proponents.

    The only position you can have about Stellman while still holding your theology in tact is to assert that stellman was a liar from the get go and has been deceiving everyone around him for 20 years.

  84. Sean Gerety Says:

    Stellman is a perfect example of how your theology breaks down at some point. Stellman’s “apostacy” means one of three things is wrong: 1) the reformed doctrine of election through sola fide. 2) the reformed doctrine of perseverance of the saints. 3) the reformerd doctrine of assurance.

    This doesn’t follow (which is par for the course with you Jake). Why would anyone think Stellman was ever a Christian, let alone a Reformed Christian? It seems to me Stellman is a very religious guy who has never known the truth of the Gospel (1 John 2:19). I realize you don’t like John’s answer to those who reveal themselves as unbelievers, but who cares what you like? How else can you explain Stellman’s rejection of the liberty that comes by faith alone in the Gospel for the slavery and bondage of Rome?

    At one time, stellman unquestionably espoused Sola Fide. According to you guys, this is the belief that is required in order to be saved.

    How do I know what he espoused? Hugh pointed me to a piece by Carl Truman the other day which suggests that Stellman’s primary focus while a PCA minister was “ecclesiology and 2K.” I never really heard of Stellman before his involvement in the Leithart case.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2012/06/thoughts-on-an-impending-conve.php

    If you guys assert that Stellman was never really saved then what assurance can anyone have in that they “believed” to the correct degree as to give themselves assurance? I know none of you will argue that he was saved and now he is lost because that would contradict the doctrine of perseverence. I know you guys wont argue that we have assurance if our faith leads to a life that perseveres to the end because then you all would be Christ deniers and FV proponents.

    Perseverance is just as much a gift of God and dependent upon Him as is regeneration. For myself, I think God has purposed people like you and Stellman so that His children will have no confidence in the flesh but continually look to Jesus Christ as the author and perfecter of our faith.

    The only position you can have about Stellman while still holding your theology in tact is to assert that stellman was a liar from the get go and has been deceiving everyone around him for 20 years.

    Sounds right to me. I don’t believe Stellman has ever known Jesus Christ as his savior. If he did he wouldn’t reject him now. It could be that Stellman like you thought he was once a Reformed Christian, even a believer without ever assenting to the Gospel. After all, the Confession makes a distinction between those who assent to “the truth of the promise of the gospel” which cannot save with those who assents to “Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.”

  85. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake – the disconnect is in your thinking, in your misunderstanding of

    1) the reformed doctrine of election through sola fide. [This is wrongly worded. WHAT seminary gave you a degree?!]

    2) the reformed doctrine of perseverance of the saints.

    3) the reformerd doctrine of assurance.

    I agree with you & Sean that the only position we can have about Stellman while still holding our theology intact is to assert that Stellman was a liar from the get-go and has been deceiving everyone around him for 20 years. Amen. Deceiving and being deceived. From AWANA to Calvary Chapel to Westminster to the PCA to Rome. So much for “making decisions” for Christ! 😦

    II Peter 2 appears to apply. It closes with:

    For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

    For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

    But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

  86. Steve M Says:

    Jake
    I hope you keep posting. You sure do make Sean and Hugh look good.

  87. Hugh McCann Says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for the laugh! 😀

    In my case, that’s really an accomplishment by good old Jake.

    BTW, Jake, from where DID you get a seminary degree (or was it two)?

  88. Jake Says:

    Hugh, I’d rather not say because the last thing I’d want to do is have you guys anathamatizing the school and the professors for graduating a convert to Rome. I’m not going to give you guys the pleasure of that.

    As for Stellman, I think there is a real problem saying that a guy who preached the “true” Gospel for 20 years was never really a Christian. Whatever helps you guys sleep at night I guess.

  89. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake – your reticence in being forthcoming is not a surprise. Disappointing, but no surprise. You come on this blog and throw up all over Sean and Co., brag about your theological training, and then are not willing to prove your claims. Sounds like a papist.

    The CTC gang is at least proud to claim their training wheels for Romanism. In the ’90s, Hahn & Matatics were conned well out of their weak Protestantism. But they weren’t afraid to tell their stories.

    If your anonymous seminary couldn’t better train your in our theology, then it’s small wonder you’ve apostasized.

    But you have fallen from grace into works-righteousness.

    From the sure pardon via faith in the shed blood of Christ,

    to the possible salvation “offered” through penance, priestly absolution, saints’ merits, Marian intercession, supererogatory efforts, and purgatorial punishment. Have a nice day. 🙂

  90. Hugh McCann Says:

    As for Stellman, there is a real problem saying that a guy who preached the “true” Gospel for 20 years was really a born-again, blood-bought, saved Christian.

    He then realized that he’d been deceived? He wasn’t really saved, because no one is?

    Christ only made it possible to be saved if one cleanses himself sufficiently, but to believe that either Christ has saved him, or that he has sufficiently cleansed himself would be mere sinful presumption.

    What helps you papists sleep at night are your works. They will be cold comfort when you stand before Holy God on Judgment Day only to find that all your good deeds avail you nothing. You have left the only hope for mankind – Christ and his shed blood alone – for the greatest deception known to mankind.

    Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prayed the Rosary in Your name, honored Your Holy Mother in Your name, done penance in Your name, and taken the Mass in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’


  91. I can’t even imagine being a Roman Catholic. I would live in constant fear. There’s no way I could ever get it right.

  92. Steve M Says:

    Jake:
    “the last thing I’d want to do is have you guys anathamatizing the school and the professors”

    It seems to be a odd statement for someone headed to Rome. They specifically anathematize anyone who espouses any of the major Reformed doctrines such as justification by faith alone.

  93. Hugh McCann Says:

    And Jake, dear, you came on this blog with guns blazing, anathematizing Sean and everybody who sounds like Sean.

    I’s wager you’re lying (pardon me, I’d wagger your lieing) about seminary.

    Let’s just admit we flunked out of Fred’s College of Pentecostal Praise, and come clean, shall we?

  94. Hugh McCann Says:

    The I’s have it! 🙂

  95. Jake Says:

    Hugh, Why are you putting words in my mouth.And please, read what i say here in this post entirely before you respond to pieces. I’ve stated consistantly that we are saved 100% by the grace of God alone that was purchased for us by the active and passive obedience of Christ. The difference is, you believe that the “attaining mechanism” of salvation is by mere cognitive assent to the proposition of the gospel. I on the other hand believe that the “attaining mechanism” is a faith that works through love. In both case Hugh, The ‘attaining mechanism’ is NOT OF OUR OWN WILL but is an act of grace by God in the sinner to Justify. I do not believe in works righteousness anymore than you do. We just disagree with what faith actually is. Please hear me Hugh, Just as our “faith” is a gift of God granted to the sinner who is justified so is the “works” that accompany it. These works are not of ourselves or of our own free will but rather are a gift to us as Christ works in us through the Holy Spirit. For our justification does not mean that we are merely declared just but ALSO that we are now adopted as his sons. Apart from this free unmerited gift of Grace, our faith and our works are useless. What makes the Demon’s faith and saving faith different? At least two things; one, grace preceeds true faith and two, true faith works through love. I know you disagree with that understanding of James but i believe that is clearly what he is teaching.

    When i die, i will die trusting only in the finished work of Christ. I will not rest in my works anymore than I will not rest in my faith. Again, our works and mere cognitive assent apart from the gift of grace that God bestows upon his elect are empty acts. My works can never earn or add one thing to Christ’s work on the Cross and more than my cognitive assent to propositions can.

    So, can a man be justified if his faith is mere belief in propostions? No, thats not faith according to James. Can a man be saved by his own good works? Absolutley not!!!! A person can only be saved if he is first awakened by the grace of God and is granted the gift of faith that works through love because he is not only declared right forensically, but he is also made an adopted son of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit.

    I think the issue here is this. You assert that works are only evidence that saving faith has occured. I agree with that Hugh. However i will take it a step further. I believe that faith is evidence that regeneration has occured. That is why faith, which proceeds regeneration as a free act of grace is a faith that works and not just cognitive assent.

    Please point out the error here that leads to my damnation?

  96. Sean Gerety Says:

    Please point out the error here that leads to my damnation?

    We already have and repeatedly. You think your works done through faith contribute to your justification. In fact are necessary in order to be justified. You think James 2 is a discussion about how sinners might be justified before God. You fail to understand James and your addition of works as that which makes belief salvific is a tacit admission that Christ’s cross work was insufficient in-and-of-itself to satisfy God’s just wrath against sin. You deny Christ.

    But, given your belief in justification by faith plus works, or, if you prefer, justification by a faith that works, why haven’t you made the next logical step and join yourself with Rome? Oh, that’s right, now with false teachers like Leithart given a clean bill of health the PCA can be your new home.


  97. Now this is interesting. Jake seems to be merely providing the typical contemporary Reformed view of saving faith. However, he says this is not compatible with Sola Fide.

    Jake, have you read Clark’s book, “Faith and Saving Faith”? If so, I am interested as to what you thought of it.

  98. Jake Says:

    I can see that you skipped to the end and didnt read what i wrote carefully. You are clearly not willing to comprehend what i am saying becuase I did not or am not saying anything of the sort here,

    “You think your works done through faith contribute to your justification. In fact are necessary in order to be justified. You think James 2 is a discussion about how sinners might be justified before God. You fail to understand James and your addition of works as that which makes belief salvific is a tacit admission that Christ’s cross work was insufficient in-and-of-itself to satisfy God’s just wrath against sin. You deny Christ.”

    If your not going to read what i wrote and give my own words a far shake then this is fruitless. How can you be arrogant enough to assert that you know what I believe better than I do?

  99. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake – I want to honestly and fairly respond to you.

    Please first answer me one question.

    You say, “When i die, i will die trusting only in the finished work of Christ.”

    Then why are you leaning toward the Roman Catholic religion?

  100. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Patrick. Jake already gave us his opinion of Clark and thinks he was an “idiot.”

    @Jake. I did read exactly what you wrote. You’ve said belief alone is not enough. You deny that a man can be saved by his own good works, but big deal. I never thought you were a Pelagian. You’ve said you’re a wannabe Romanist which explains your failure to understand James. What? Next are you going to start squawking “Luther thought James was a book of straw”?

  101. Jake Says:

    @ Patrick- It is interesting that you can read what I wrote and sean can read what I wrote and you say I espouse the ‘typical contemporary reformed view of saving faith” and Sean says I am “denying Christ”.

    This is my point exactly. Some of you guys simply do not listen to the other side, at all. Patrick, what i said is exactly what i believe.


  102. Well Jake, it sure is confusing, because everyone else who espouses the view you just outlined says that IS Justification by faith alone. So which is it? Are you rejecting what you were taught at Seminary regarding Justification and Faith? Or are you simply rejecting the words “Faith Alone”?

    The reason I asked about Clark is because his book cuts to the heart of the confusion in many people’s definition of faith. I’ll ask again. Have you read this “idiot”‘s book?

  103. Jake Says:

    @ Hugh- I see no inconsistency between what the RCC teaches and the statement “when i die, i will be trusting only in the finished work of Christ.” RC teaches that is by grace alone because of Christ alone. The merits that accompany our beleif are not our merits but the merits of Christ working through us.

    For every proof text of RC doctrine that points to anything other than than that, you can find 2 that assert the above statement clearly.

  104. Jake Says:

    @ Patrick-I have not read Clark’s book. Contrary to what i said earlier (out of anger at Sean), Clark was an extremely bright man, just incredibly wrong in his epistemology IMO. Thats another debate though.

  105. Sean Gerety Says:

    The merits that accompany our beleif are not our merits but the merits of Christ working through us.

    You think God working through you (or so you imagine) is what will ultimately merit your justification before the judgement seat of God. Christ’s work completely outside of you was not enough. Got it.

  106. Sean Gerety Says:

    I have not read Clark’s book. Contrary to what i said earlier (out of anger at Sean)

    Must have been Christ working through you.


  107. Jake, I cannot recommend this book highly enough: http://www.trinitylectures.org/product_info.php?products_id=60

    Don’t swim the Tiber without at least reading this book first.

  108. Jake Says:

    Yes, the work of Christ outside of us is not only sufficent but the only means of our justificaion. Without it, faith, obedience, santification, the resurrection of the body, none of it, would be possible. It cannot be added to.

    The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us. Through justification we are not ONLY declared righteous but also adopted as sons and have the priviledge to partake in the divine nature in which Christ’s merits work through us.

  109. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake:

    “RC teaches that is by grace alone because of Christ alone.”
    > Not so, grasshopper.

    “The merits that accompany our belief are not our merits but the merits of Christ working through us.”
    > Not acc. to Rome.

    How much of the CCC have you studied? How much of Trent?
    And which Romish theologians have you personally interacted with?

  110. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake,

    In “the work of Christ outside of us,” who is the “us”? Is this

    [a] elect believers
    [b] baptized church members or,
    [c] mankind?

    Why are you leaning toward the Roman Catholic religion?

  111. Sean Gerety Says:

    The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us.

    That’s not what you said earlier, you said;

    “RC teaches that is by grace alone because of Christ alone. The merits that accompany our beleif are not our merits but the merits of Christ working through us.”

    And,

    “I on the other hand believe that the “attaining mechanism” is a faith that works through love. In both case Hugh, The ‘attaining mechanism’ is NOT OF OUR OWN WILL but is an act of grace by God in the sinner to Justify.”

    Obviously Christ working through you is what you believe will merit your salvation and is the “attaining method” in your justification. I hardly think that is “alien” in any real sense of the word as you are the one working. Christ doesn’t work for you after all any more than He believes for you. The righteousness necessary for attaining justification is something that you believe is wrought in you. Nothing alien about it.

    And lets be clear, you are the one talking out of both sides of your mouth and are even using Protestant language to mask your very un-Protestant scheme of salvation by faith plus works. I frankly have a hard time believing you aren’t a Romanist already as you seem pretty skilled at using well-worn papist debate tricks which are really shameful. I prefer you think I’m an idiot than treat me and the others here as fools.

  112. Jake Says:

    @Sean- Justification entails two very real things. One, it is the legal forensic declaration that we have been made right with God on the basis of Christ’s alien righteousness. Two, Justification entails us being adopted as sons and partaking of the divine nature. The alien righteousness of Christ becomes part of us. It is real and living and not just cognitive. In this sense Faith ceases to be a “requirement” for Justification (as is your position because God does not believe for us) but becomes the foundational act of our justification, that is, our foresnic declaration AND our participation in the divine nature as adopted sons.

    I like how instead of entertaining the idea that maybe you have misinterpreted my views and maybe Im not a heretic, you accuse me of conspiratorially playing “papist tricks” and hiding my catholic heresies in protestant language. What a joke.

    Sean, the bottom line is you havent the slightlest clue what the RCC actually teaches regarding this topic. All you know are rehashed strawmen arguements based upon proof texting Trent and other statements.

  113. Sean Gerety Says:

    Justification entails two very real things. One, it is the legal forensic declaration that we have been made right with God on the basis of Christ’s alien righteousness. Two, Justification entails us being adopted as sons and partaking of the divine nature.

    No it doesn’t. You confuse sanctification which results from justification with justification.

    The alien righteousness of Christ becomes part of us.

    No it doesn’t. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us through belief alone apart from works.

    4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.
    5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,
    6 just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:
    7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.
    8 “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”
    9 Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

    It is real and living and not just cognitive.

    Why is believing not real or living? Jesus said the very words he spoke are spirit and are life. Seems real and living to me. Further, John said; “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

    Notice the “attaining method” so that we may have life in His name; belief.

    In this sense Faith ceases to be a “requirement” for Justification (as is your position because God does not believe for us) but becomes the foundational act of our justification, that is, our foresnic declaration AND our participation in the divine nature as adopted sons.

    The clause following the “AND” you have not established from Scripture as necessary for justification. Paul said; “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” You maintain that a man is justified by works of the law as we participate in the divine nature by faith. You contradict Paul so why should anyone believe you?

    I like how instead of entertaining the idea that maybe you have misinterpreted my views and maybe Im not a heretic, you accuse me of conspiratorially playing “papist tricks” and hiding my catholic heresies in protestant language. What a joke.

    How is that a joke Jake? You are a heretic. You reject two (maybe more) of the central pillars of the Christian faith, you say you’re well on your way to becoming a Romanist, and low and behold you use tired worn-out papist debate tricks. You talk about “The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us” and then deny this very thing. You use the word “alien” knowing full well that Christians associate the word “alien” with “righteousness.” Yet, you deny that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us as our righteousness by faith. You’ve made it clear that faith alone in Christ alone is not enough to save anyone. To be justified requires we “partake it the divine nature” and do the works of love by faith.

    I don’t know why you keep playing this pathetic game that no one here understands you. Have you been taking lessons from the Federal Visionist along with their Roman mentors?

    Sean, the bottom line is you havent the slightlest clue what the RCC actually teaches regarding this topic. All you know are rehashed strawmen arguements based upon proof texting Trent and other statements.

    I’ll defer to you as the expert here on Romanism, since you clearly have very little grasp of historic Christianity.


  114. “Two, Justification entails us being adopted as sons and partaking of the divine nature. The alien righteousness of Christ becomes part of us. It is real and living and not just cognitive. In this sense Faith ceases to be a “requirement” for Justification (as is your position because God does not believe for us) but becomes the foundational act of our justification, that is, our foresnic declaration AND our participation in the divine nature as adopted sons.”

    Well that’s certainly not Protestant language. One cannot have one’s cake and eat it too.

  115. Sean Gerety Says:

    The alien righteousness of Christ becomes part of us.

    It’s not Christ’s alien righteousness outside of us that justifies, but rather it’s Christ’s righteousness in us and through us that justifies. Care to explain again how is this not a denial of Christ’s finished work on the cross? Seems to me for anyone to be saved more needs to be done.

  116. Jake Says:

    Sean, the only thing that is clear is that you cant interpret me correctly, let alone scripture. Seeing that you twist and pervert my words to say things that Im not saying, I assume that you do the same with everything you read, even the Bible.

    2 peter 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

  117. Sean Gerety Says:

    Sean, the only thing that is clear is that you cant interpret me correctly, let alone scripture.

    Clearly I’m in need of an infallible magisterium.

  118. Hugh McCann Says:

    Um, Sean, ahem… I SURE hope you mistyped here at 11:46 am:

    I on the other hand believe that the “attaining mechanism” is a faith that works through love. In both case Hugh, The ‘attaining mechanism’ is NOT OF OUR OWN WILL but is an act of grace by God in the sinner to Justify.

    I know Jake and I are pracrically interchangeable, but I think you were answering his post, not mine… 😦

  119. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake,

    Will you please answer my questions? (This will be last attempt.)

    1. In “the work of Christ outside of us,” who is the “us”? Are these
    a. elect believers
    b. baptized church members or,
    c. mankind?

    2. You say, When i die, i will die trusting only in the finished work of Christ.
    Then why are you leaning toward the Roman Catholic religion?

    3. Are you already taking RCIA classes? How much of the CCC have you covered? How much of Trent? And which Romish theologians have you personally interacted with?

    BTW: This that you wrote @ 11:29am is anti-Roman Catholic:

    The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us.

  120. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Hugh. Yes, Jake’s post.

  121. LJ Says:

    Jake wrote: The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us.

    A view like that could get you hanged, drawn, and quartered if your new church ever gains worldwide power again. As Hugh pointed out THAT’S NOT ROMISH DOCTRINE.

    Looks like some of the Protestant catechism you’ve been exposed to has sunk in and is still sticking to your bones. It’s not too late to repent and return to The Faith that was once and forever delivered to the saints.

    Really, seriously, why Rome? Pedophilia, Mariolotry, Saint veneration, Liberation theology, mysticism, the abomination of the mass, Papal infallibility (LOL!), appearances of Jesus and Mary in your breakfast omelette? C’mon!!!! Give it up …

    LJ

  122. LJ Says:

    Actually, personally, sincerely, I think the Dali Llama would make a damned fine Pope!

    LJ

  123. Jake Says:

    @Hugh- You wrote:

    “Jake,

    Will you please answer my questions? (This will be last attempt.)

    1. In “the work of Christ outside of us,” who is the “us”? Are these
    a. elect believers
    b. baptized church members or,
    c. mankind?

    2. You say, When i die, i will die trusting only in the finished work of Christ.
    Then why are you leaning toward the Roman Catholic religion?

    3. Are you already taking RCIA classes? How much of the CCC have you covered? How much of Trent? And which Romish theologians have you personally interacted with?

    BTW: This that you wrote @ 11:29am is anti-Roman Catholic:

    The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us.”

    1. Hugh, pertaining to the context of my statement, Christ work happened outside all of us (a,b,and c). Im not sure what your question is really getting at though. Clarify if you like.

    2. Im leaning toward Catholicism because I believe that Christ really did establish an actual Church and that Church was built upon the foundation of the Apostles and their successors. I reached this conclusion by first recognizing that sola scriptura was unscriptural, unhistorical, and unworkable (-Hahn).

    3. No I am not taking RCIA classes yet. Ive read most of the CCC but I am no expert. I’ve studied Trent on a number of occassions but i am no expert. Like all documents, Trent must be interpeted corrrectly and fairly, something reformed folks refuse to do. I do not “personally” know any Catholic theologians.

    As for your BTW statement, that is simply not true. If you believe that our justification only includes a legal declaration of us being right by God, then yes, this is not RC theology. RC theology teaches that our justification isnt only a legal declaration of our legal standing before God ,but also entails Christ’s alien righteousness being given to us because we now partake in his nature as adopted sons. Its is not our righteousness. It is Jesus’ alien righteousness, given to us as a gift of Grace.

  124. Jake Says:

    @ LJ- Why Rome?

    Its definitely because of the images in the omelettes

  125. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake – I’d almost lost hope… Thanks for replying.

    Per #1, for whom did Christ die?

    a. elect believers only,

    b. baptized church members or,

    c. all mankind?

  126. Sean Gerety Says:

    I believe that Christ really did establish an actual Church and that Church was built upon the foundation of the Apostles and their successors.

    I do too, but I think their successors were the ones who faithfully maintained, to one degree or another, their doctrines, which is why the Roman church-state is not a Christian church. Further, why would you think the true church is tied to even one denomination, particularly one that is so riddled with such bizarre superstitions and practices, not to mention the ostentatious displays even extending to the worship of a mere man who claims to be the personification of Christ on earth?

    If sola scriptura is unworkable, why not atheism? FWIW when I first considered predestination after first embracing Jesus Christ as my righteousness nearly a decade earlier, I was ready to toss my bible in the trash if all the pieces didn’t fit; i.e., if the Scriptures indeed contradicted themselves and predestination, election, etc., could not fit into the biblical system.

    I mean, If Scripture alone is untenable and you need some men calling themselves infallible to tell you what they mean and what to believe based on nothing more than their own say so and a fallacious appeal to a very selective reading of history, why trust them? Aren’t you just faced with the same problem only now one step removed? Wouldn’t the intellectually honest thing to do is to throw your bible in the fireplace and admit Christianity is a farce? I know if I came to the same conclusion you did, that is exactly what I would do.

  127. Jake Says:

    I would have answered yesterday but i got caught up in 3 different conversations on here.

    Ok I see what your asking. Honestly, I dont know the answer to that today anymore than I did 10 years ago as a Calvinist, because I was never convinced that scripture taught that jesus only died for the elect. I am familiar with the arguments, I just was never was 100% convinced.

  128. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake,

    My statement stands that this is anti-Roman Catholic: The only thing that merits our justification is the Work of Christ which is completely alien to us.

    You wrote: “If you believe that our justification only includes a legal declaration of us being right by God, then yes, this is not RC theology.”
    >> What else COULD the Reformed doctrine -rejected by Rome- otherwise BE?!

    You wrote: “RC theology teaches that our justification isnt only a legal declaration of our legal standing before God, but also entails Christ’s alien righteousness being given to us because we now partake in his nature as adopted sons.”
    >> Yes. That’s Trent, Vats 1 & 2, the CCC.
    Please see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08573a.htm*

    You wrote: “It is not our righteousness. It is Jesus’ alien righteousness, given to us as a gift of Grace.”
    >> No, this is Reformed, NOT Catholic, teaching. Rome teaches it is Christ’s righteousness both externally and internally, and then what you DO with that inherent righteousness that eventually either justifies you or not.

    _______________
    * This Catholic article on Justification is not impeccable, but here it rightly lays out the Protestant view of JBFA:

    . . .on the part of God, justification is, as the Formulary of Concord (1577) avows, a mere external pronouncement of justification, a forensic absolution from sin and its eternal punishments. This absolution is based on Christ’s holiness which God imputes to man’s faith. Cf. Solid. Declar. III de fide justif., sec. xi: “The term justification in this instance means the declaring just, the freeing from sin and the eternal punishment of sin in consideration of the justice of Christ imputed to faith by God.”

    What then is the part assigned to faith in justification? According to Luther (and Calvin also), the faith that justifies is not, as the Catholic Church teaches, a firm belief in God’s revealed truths and promises, but is the infallible conviction that God for the sake of Christ will no longer impute to us our sins, but will consider and treat us, as if we were really just and holy, although in our inner selves we remain the same sinners as before. Cf. Solid. Declar. III, sec. 15: “Through the obedience of Christ by faith the just are so declared and reputed, although by reason of their corrupt nature they still are and remain, sinners as long as they bear this mortal body.”

    This so-called “fiduciary faith” is not a religious-moral preparation of the soul for sanctifying grace, nor a free act of cooperation on the part of the sinner; it is merely a means or spiritual instrument granted by God to assist the sinner in laying hold of the righteousness of God, thereby to cover his sins in a purely external manner as with a mantle. For this reason the Lutheran formularies of belief lay great stress on the doctrine that our entire righteousness does not intrinsically belong to us, but is something altogether exterior. Cf. Solid. Declar., sec. 48: “It is settled beyond question that our justice is to be sought wholly outside of ourselves and that it consists entirely in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    The contrast between Protestant and Catholic doctrine here becomes very striking. For according to the teaching of the Catholic Church the righteousness and sanctity which justification confers, although given to us by God as efficient cause and merited by Christ as meritorious cause, become an interior sanctifying quality or formal cause in the soul itself, which it makes truly just and holy in the sight of God. . .

    Later, on the Catholic side:

    The Council of Trent decreed that the essence of active justification comprises not only forgiveness of sin, but also “sanctification and renovation of the interior man by means of the voluntary acceptation of sanctifying grace and other supernatural gifts” (Trent, l. c., cap. vii: “Non est sola peccatorum remissio, sed et sanctificatio et renovatio interioris hominis per voluntariam susceptionem gratiae et donorum”).

    In order to exclude the Protestant idea of a merely forensic absolution and exterior declaration of righteousness, special stress is laid on the fact that we are justified by God’s justice, not that whereby He himself is just but that whereby He makes us just, in so far as He bestows on us the gift of His grace which renovates the soul interiorly and adheres to it as the soul’s own holiness (Trent, l. c., cap. vii: “Unica formalis causa [justificationis] est justitia Dei, non qua ipse justus est, sed qua nos justos facit, qua videlicet ab eo donati, renovamur spiritu mentis nostrae: et non modo reputamur, sed vere justi nominamur et sumus, justitiam in nobis recipientes unusquisque suam”). . .
    @ http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08573a.htm

  129. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake,

    Short version of this Reformed/ anti-Catholic truth:

    The only thing that merits our justification is the work of Christ which is completely alien to us. It is not our righteousness. It is Jesus’ alien righteousness, reckoned/ imputed to us as a gift of God’s grace alone. Our justification is ONLY a legal declaration of us being right by God.

    ————————–

    Rome teaches that our justification isn’t only a legal declaration of our legal standing before God, but also entails/ includes Christ’s alien righteousness being given to (infused into) us because we now partake in his nature as adopted sons. And this is demonic doctrine.

    Rome teaches it is Christ’s righteousness both externally and internally, and then what you DO with that inherent righteousness that eventually either justifies you or not. This is anti-biblical.

  130. Hugh McCann Says:

    Jake – I appreciate your honesty.

    “I dont know the answer to that today anymore than I did 10 years ago as a Calvinist, because I was never convinced that scripture taught that jesus only died for the elect. I am familiar with the arguments, I just was never was 100% convinced.”

    Why did you call yourself a Calvinist if you were not believing a cardinal tenet of Calvinism, the limited/ efficacious/ particular atonement?

  131. Hugh McCann Says:

    BTW, Jake,

    Jesus died to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21),

    to lay down his life for the sheep (who WILL hear his voice – John 10:15f),

    not to try to save those who cooperate.

  132. Sean Gerety Says:

    I dont know the answer to that today anymore than I did 10 years ago as a Calvinist, because I was never convinced that scripture taught that jesus only died for the elect. I am familiar with the arguments, I just was never was 100% convinced.

    @Jake. Hugh raises a great question. If you were never convinced of the cardinal tenets of Calvinism, not only why would you have called yourself a Calvinist, but why on earth would you spend your money and attend a Reformed seminary even getting two M.A. degrees?

    I too appreciate your honesty, but this is a major disconnect. Did you attend Reformed seminary because of someone else? A parent perhaps?

  133. Jake Says:

    @Hugh and Sean- All I’m saying is that I was never 100% sure of limited atonement. Ever heard of a 4 point Calvinist? I was like 4.75 lol.

  134. Sean Gerety Says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard about those people. I just hope I never meet one. 😉

    But that still doesn’t explain why you would say on another thread:

    During my freshman year I was introdced to Calvinism and the the Doctrine of Sovereign election. I fought it hard for about a year and then became convinced.

  135. Steve M Says:

    Sean
    I think he both did and did not become convinced. Its one of those paradox kind of things.

  136. LJ Says:

    A 4-point Calvinist is someone who doesn’t understand Calvinism and is, really, no Calvinist at all.

    LJ

  137. Sean Gerety Says:

    @Steve M. FWIW i don’t take Charlie’s change of heart lightly. I confess when I first read the Trinity and the Incarnation I had considerable difficulty coming to terms with what Clark was arguing. Particularly in the Incarnation. Actually, I think it was Roger Mann who pointed me to Thomas Morris and that further solidified my belief that Clark was really on to something.

  138. Steve M Says:

    Sean
    I was commenting on Jake not Charlie. My first encounter with Charlie was over at reformed forum where he was valiantly defending Clark against a hatchet job that was being performed by those folks. I definitely take him seriously.

  139. Sean Gerety Says:

    Sorry Steve. I’ve been jumping between threads and got them mixed up.

  140. Hugh McCann Says:

    He’s so bored with the PCA
    He’s so bored with the PCA
    He’s so bored with the PCA
    But what could he do?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muaWt_cQ0CU

    Train in Vain, indeed…
    He didn’t stand with Christ – no way.


  141. I have to admit I’m still learning. Learning is a lifelong process. Frankly, after reading Calvin’s Calvinism and many of Clark’s books (not all, I’m still reading), I’ve come to the conclusion that the Van Tilians are not really Calvinists at all. They flip flop back and forth between neo-orthodoxy and Arminianism.

    I recently read Mike Horton’s systematic theology. In all honesty, it was not that far removed from reading Donald Bloesch’s systematic theology. I read Bloesch after college in the 1990s because my Pentecostal professor of systematic theology recommended Bloesch. Bloesch also advocates a second chance in hell and the annihilation of the souls of those who refuse to repent in hell. Barthian to the core, you might say. After that I read Carl F. H. Henry’s systematic theology because Bloesch kept saying how “bad” Henry’s doctrine of propositional truth was. And from there I became interested in Gordon H. Clark because Carl Henry was a student of Dr. Clark.

    It’s been a long, slow process. But eventually I realized that Dr. Clark’s presuppositional apologetics is the only hope there is to save Christianity, imo. When I was a student at Asbury, a Wesleyan holiness and “Evangelical” seminary, I was shocked to learn that so-called Evangelicals don’t really believe in biblical inerrancy, verbal-plenary inspiration, or creation. The prevalent view at Asbury in the early 1990s was theistic evolution, Genesis 1-11 is mythological or “inspired” myth, the documentary theories and higher critical views of both the OT and the NT, etc. Literary and canonical criticism were popular because, don’t you know that the verbal-plenary, historical grammatical method of exegesis is outdated.

    I’m just another stupid fundamentalist I guess. But I’ve found that if you actually believe the Bible and quote it as God’s Word that is controversial.

    I listen to the Lectures at the Trinity Foundation on a regular basis, particularly Dr. Clark and John Robbins.

    I’ve also found that as I have been involved in online debates at Anglican Forums and some of the Reformed Forums, Scripturalism is a superior method because no one knows how to defend empiricism, logical positivism, or rationalism when you once point out to them that these are all based on circular logic. So, as Dr. Clark liked to say, “Why not begin with the axiom that Scripture is the Word of God?” The first thing they usually say in those debates is, “Lighten up. God’s word is not a ‘chainsaw’.” No, but God’s Word IS a Hammer:) hehe Jeremiah 23:29

    I’m not perfect. But I try. As a Pentecostal they used to tell you to have “holy boldness”. Well, I just try to apply logic as best I know how with the same boldness. They don’t quite know how to handle Scripturalism. I still make mistakes.

    God’s peace be with you,

    Charlie

  142. Jon Says:

    I suspect there is more to a conversion like this than meets the eye. It could be the doctrinal dissonance he felt, though I suspect it runs deeper than that.


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