Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Preparationism of Paul Washer

On today's program, I discussed the connection between the preparationist theology of early American Puritanism and it's connection to the theology of Paul Washer. I review of ten minute segment of a Paul Washer sermon which demonstrates his dependence on this view of Christian conversion, and discussed the danger inherent in this approach.

Here is the program

15 comments:

Tim the Baptist said...

Hi Jordan - I want to thank you for your blog and especially for your critiques of Paul Washer. I confess to being a Baptist pastor (and a regular reader of your blog), but I am just as disturbed by much of what Washer says as you are. Thank you for your thoughtful, respectful evaluation. I hope some of my fellow Baptists will take it to heart! Grace to you.

Jordan Cooper said...

Thanks Tim. It's good to know I have some Baptist listeners.

Steve Martin said...

Emotional blackmail.

That's how I would describe Washer's "preaching".

Absolutely dreadful law banging. An assurance destroyer. Almost as bad as John MacArthur.

brianbyars said...

Thank you very much for this review of Paul Washer. I once taught evangelism a la Way of the Master and they are huge Paul Washer fans. Even until recently I still had a variant on my blog of Edwards' "seeking." So this really helps a lot.
The objectivity of the atonement is such a refreshing perspective.

DavidC said...

This kind of thing simply reinforces my belief that much of the New Calvinism (Washer, Chan, MacArthur, etc) has made regeneration the gospel itself. I have to wonder if that's a good thing. Thanks for your input Jordan.

DavidC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Zittlow said...

How do they (Washer, MacArthur, etc)know they are saved? They'be been born again. How do they know they've been born again? They believe. What is it that they believed? They believed the gospel. Does the gospel they believed include the atonement? Well, the gospel is to repent and believe. But believe what?

It can't be to believe that Christ died and rose for you because in their view scripture does not speak to that issue until you repent and believe. And so begins the endless gerbil wheel of recrimination and regret. Sometimes I think they preach so ardently in order to convince themselves that they are truly believing, because they can never be sure that Christ has done anything for them in particular.

J. Dean said...

The woman's "conversion experience" that Washer described sounds no different than what Charles Finney wrote about his own professed experience, and Washer, claiming to be a Calvinist, should take alarm at the thought that his story mimicks the testimony of one of the most notorious Pelagians in the history of the church.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jordan

Like you, I went through the lordship salvation thing. Now too I'm a Lutheran. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of me. With the wonderful institutions Christ has established, Like the Eucharist, and confession and absolution, one can have rock solid assurance.

When Peter says "make your election sure", I know one thing, you won't make it sure under the Reformed doctrine. I don't know why people stay under that heavy yoke.

Chris

David Gray said...

Election isn't a yoke but a comfort unless it is misapplied. Anyone who finds it a yoke doesn't understand it and apply it properly. And there certainly are some Calvinists who don't apply it properly. But then there are Lutherans who say things like everyone is elect or election is merely foreknowledge.

Anonymous said...

@David, The "certainty" of election was what was tough, not election. the yoke was The not knowing if you are in a state of grace. And I was thinking of Washer in particular. and also I'm monergistic, The LCMS is as well, in which I'm a member. I did not want to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

CWW Walther talked about Sovereign Grace, and that for some it's wonderful, and others, it's terrifying insecurity.

Chris

Anonymous said...

OK, granted, that does make sense, but... what about "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves" (2Cor.13:5)? I may be wrong, but his messages seem to be in agreement with it? Or not?
Ingvar

Dave138 said...

I've been thinking about the "examine yourself" passages a bit more as I've moved more "high church"-- Anglicanism for me, but I really appreciate what this Lutheran blogger is saying. Both my tradition and Lutheranism believe in the need for daily repentance and confession and even allow for private confession, if necessary (Anglicans say "all may, none must, some should"). When Calvinists look at the "examine yourself" passages, they tend to read them as "examine yourself to see if you are a Christian at all. Maybe you've been fooling yourself this whole time." However, in the Anglican, probably Lutheran (I don't know enough here), and, gasp, Catholic, traditions, there are whole manuals for helping one examine his or her spiritual condition. However, this examination is intended so you can repent and "get back on the horse," so to speak. The assumption is not that you were never a Christian to begin with if you find the condition of your life to be less than pristine, but rather, that you have not been living up to your calling AS A CHRISTIAN (as we all fail to do daily), and it's time to repent and look to the cross for forgiveness. Confession manuals can be quite interesting, as the best tend to dig at the deeper issues of the soul-- pride, etc. As a low church Evangelical, the sins I tended to look for the most in my life fell more into the classic "don't drink, dance, smoke, or chew, or go with girls who do" category.

Jordan Cooper said...

Thanks Dave. I would basically agree with everything you said.

David Stembridge said...

I agree with most of what you said, and have seen this clearly, even within my local church.

I was wondering if I heard incorrectly regarding your statement about the proclamation of forgiveness of sins, is it a Lutheran teaching that a pastor can forgive a person of their sins? Hoping I heard that wrong...