An Encouraging Word Concerning Jason L. Petersen’s Apologetics Ministry!

JLPetersenLogoIf you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that I wrote an article about a year ago warning people about the apologetics ministry of Jason L. Petersen. At the time, Jason had an article up on his website in which he stated that he did not think the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) was biblical. The article saddened me, and it gave me concern for those who perhaps thought he fully affirmed PSA.

Moving forward in time, I was asked if there were any problems with Jason’s ministry. I voiced my concern, but a friend of Jason’s told me that Jason no longer affirmed that PSA was unbiblical. He said that Jason had some issues with forms of PSA in which Jesus literally (i.e. ontologically) becomes a sinner on Calvary – a version of PSA that I believe all sound Christians reject – but the at that time, when I looked the original article up, it was still there.

Now, fast-forward to the present month. Jason personally messaged me and clarified that he doesn’t object to the doctrine of PSA, as his friend informed me some months ago, but objects to the versions of it that make Jesus into an actual sinner. Jason says that he believes, rather, that Jesus’ death was substitutionary and does not object to the label of PSA, if by that we don’t mean that Jesus actually became an actual sinner (ontologically) but only that bore the punishment due to actual sinners (i.e. he became legally guilty as opposed to ontologically guilty).

I’m glad to hear that Jason has clarified where he stands on this issue, seeing as it is of utmost importance not simply for the sake of one’s ministry, but for the sake of one’s eternal salvation. If you know anyone who is curious about Jason’s beliefs in this matter, please pass this article along to them.

Soli Deo Gloria
-h.

When It Concerns All of Us

While we can certainly make the case that not every problem facing any one denomination is a problem for all Christians, it would be foolish to not be aware of the problems that other denominations are facing. It would be foolish to state that because x is a problem that has arisen in, say, Presbyterian churches, then this means that the problem is a Presbyterian problem and not a problem for all churches who believe and teach and defend the Gospel of God. Sadly, however, this is something that I’ve heard over the years.

For instance, when the Federal Vision controversy was raging over the internet and in many publications I heard some non-confessional and confessional baptists claim that because the Federal Vision doctrine was a deviant form of Presbyterianism it was no real concern to baptists. These individuals believed that they could continue on in unbroken fellowship with Federal Visionists like Doug Wilson because the whole Federal Vision debacle was something the Presbyterians needed to hash out. Those who spoke like this apparently didn’t care enough to learn about Federal Visionism to denounce it as heresy and to warn others about it, or they were harboring a similar – but baptistic – view of justification and salvation (see, John Piper).

Years later, as I scroll through my various social media feeds, I see many confessional and non-confessional baptists citing, siding with, and defending Doug Wilson as a fellow combatant against the ensuing forces of socialism and secularism in America. Federal Vision was a problem for the Presbyterians, in other words, but one of its most notable proponents has become a favorite among baptists. This is so much the case that one baptist apologist has coined the phrase “Doug Wilson Derangement Syndrome” to describe Wilson’s many critics, be they solid Reformed brethren or not. So was the Federal Vision heresy really limited to the Presbyterians? No, it wasn’t. The Federal Vision heresy is not merely dealing with the subject of covenant theology, but essentially is undermining and attacking the doctrine of sola fide. While it is true that the Federal Vision heresy is in part a paedobaptist problem, because it affects the Gospel itself it is a problem of which all Christians should be aware.

The Present Problem

If you’ve followed my blog and articles over at BiblicalTrinitarian.com, you are likely aware of my stance against the current social justice-ism trend in evangelicalism. This brief blog post is meant to encourage you to think beyond the local source of the social justice trend, to think of its anti-Christian roots in the philosophical speculations of men and women opposed to the Scriptures and all they teach; and it is intended to urge you think of how the social justice trend will affect all Christians if it is accepted by Christians in any denomination. I’ve written quite a bit on the subject, and so have others. But it is still a problem that needs more attention. You can begin by checking out my list of resources here.

Until next time –
Soli Deo Gloria
-h.