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There has been considerable buzz about PCA teaching elder and leader Jason Stellman resigning from the PCA in view of his impending defection to Rome.
Douglas Wilson weighed in, and for good reason: Stellman had just recently brought charges against Wilson's friend and colleague Peter Leithart over Federal Vision-related issues that allegedly smacked of Roman [...]
Such was the case of my experience with Jason Stellman, former pastor of Exile Presbyterian Church near Seattle, WA. Over the course of many, many years, I have decided that Reformed Theology most correctly interprets the Bible.
I have also grown to love and appreciate the Regulative Principle of Worship, which has freed my conscience from bowing down to contemporary ideology regarding the worship service of the covenant body of Christ. Having reached these conclusions, my quest began for a broader, deeper understanding of various theological topics within the Reformed Faith. Jason Stellman gave all the appearances of being solidly Reformed in his teaching and he was easy on the ears. His credentials were from Westminster Seminary - CA, my very favorite seminary. He had recently published a book with Reformation Trust, another respected organization. However, the general public did not know that Jason had been battling with two key tenets of Reformed thought for several years. He continued to pastor a PCA church in Seattle while wrestling with these concepts: Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. Yet, no one knew of his personal struggle except for those who tried to help him through the struggle. I'm sure those within his counsel did a thorough job of trying to help him through this. Jason, however, was not totally honest with them about the extent of his soul searching and continued to teach a solidly Reformed Church while he was severely struggling with these doctrines. Last week, Jason finally resigned his pastorship at Exile Presbyterian. Thankfully, he did the right thing, but here's the issue for me. He waited too long. He continued to teach the covenant body of that church for many years while he was struggling with these precious, historical doctrines. Meanwhile, people like me, those of us who listened to his sermons via the internet, had no clue what was going on in his personal life. For all we knew, his credentials told us that he was a reliable source. Had I personally known of his struggle, he would have immediately become an untrustworthy source of information for me, at least for the time being. The result is that those of us who listened to his words must now line what he has said up to Scripture to be sure that we have not been adversely affected by anything he might have said incorrectly. We must be sure that we have not misled others. In addition, Jason has caused us to commit fraud with our friends and family who have wanted to learn more about the Reformed Faith. Why? Because some of us said, "Here's a great talk you can listen to if you want to learn this or that! Jason is a trustworthy source and an excellent speaker." There is no doubt in my mind that Jason had good intentions. However, in good conscience, he should have stepped down much earlier than he did. The PCA endorses the very doctrines which troubled him and he had promised to uphold them. Good intentions don't cut it when the spiritual lives of others are involved, and with Jason, it wasn't just about his local covenant church. He was an author and a blogger. His tentacles of influence reached deep into the world of the internet, possibly confusing those searching for sound answers not only within the Reformed Faith, but for those new to the Reformed Faith. So just what do we do with the well-meaning intentions of those who desire to teach us about the things of God, but who, like Jason, are not fully convinced of what they believe and why they believe it in their own hearts? Posted inThe Hard Things, Theological Ruminations| TaggedBiblical Doctrine;, God, Jason Stellman;, Parchment and Pen;| Leave a comment
The Trinity Foundation - Romans 2:13 and the Jealousy Narrative
Lusk then proceeds to reason not as a Reformer, but as a Roman Catholic, claiming that "The standard will be soft and generous" on Judgment Day, "because God is merciful" and "will judge us as a Father and Husband, not as a cold, aloof Sovereign," and "will use 'fatherly justice' in the final judgment, not 'absolute justice.'"  Because his attempts to lower God's standard of righteousness are indistinguishable from Rome's, we put Lusk in the same category as Jason Stellman.
To correct Lusk, and to correct Wright, Stellman, and Shepherd as well, we shall use Scripture to interpret Scripture, and shall not only use Paul to interpret Paul, but also use Jesus to interpret Paul, and Moses and the Prophets to interpret Paul, for it is from them that Paul learned the Gospel that he was teaching to the Gentile congregation at Rome. In the process we shall see that Lusk, Wright, Shepherd, and Stellman have all overlooked Paul's own explanation of how Romans 2:13 is to be read. Once we can see Romans 2 in the light of the groundwork Ezekiel laid, the Jealousy Narrative will then serve to contextualize other passages of Scripture that Lusk, Wright, Shepherd, and Stellman also use to support their hypothesis that our final justification will be based on our personal righteousness and our performance. Their use of these Old Testament illustrations will serve us well as we show where Lusk, Wright, Shepherd, and Stellman all went wrong. When Paul and Silas preached in Thessalonica, it was the Gentiles who believed-"the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few" ( Acts 17:4)-and it had the intended effect: "But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people" (17:5). When Paul said of the Jews that their ears, eyes and hearts were closed, he invoked the Jealousy Narrative again, and once again it had the desired effect: "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning [disputation] among themselves" (Acts28:28-29). The effectiveness of the Narrative is seen when the Jews depart from the synagogue after Paul preaches the Gospel, but the Gentiles remain and insist that he come back the following Sabbath to preach again ( Acts 13:42).  Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), "The Journey Home" with Marcus Grodi (December 9, 2013, Jason Stellman, guest).
Calvary Chapel Abuse
Pastor Michael Newnham over at Phoenixpreacher.net did a podcast recently with Jason Stellman, a former Calvary Chapel missionary who is now the pastor and teaching elder at Exile Presbyterian church in Washington state.
Calvary Chapel Abuse
Pastor Michael Newnham over at Phoenixpreacher.net did a podcast recently with Jason Stellman,Â a former Calvary Chapel missionary who is now the pastor and teaching elder at Exile Presbyterian church in Washington state.