Not much to say, just didn’t think this tragic news could pass unremarked.

Is there a process for de-canonizing an Outhouse Saint?

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34 Responses to RIP OHS JJS

  1. Richard says:

    It’s a shame–I’ve enjoyed his writings and listening to his sermons.

  2. sean says:

    It’s an interesting development. You could see the equivocation going on, particularly in his posts on catholicism and sola scriptura, but I tended to chalk it up to; ‘trying to further the conversation’. Big bummer. If it turns out he’s following Murray’s recasting and Gaffin’s union restructuring of protestant soteriology, it puts in bold relief the need to start to move to have both constructions tried in the courts. Certainly as someone who follows Kline’s formulations, I’ve always had a jaundiced eye toward Murray and Gaffin’s reformulations, and this may be proof positive of the danger of those constructions. Either way, monocovenantalism and Bi-covenantalism make very uneasy partners.

  3. RubeRad says:

    Well I never saw it coming, maybe because I never followed all the discussions on his blogs with Cat’lickers about sola scriptura/fide.

    Nevertheless, my faith is not in Jason J. Stellman, so it’ll all work out in the end.

  4. sean says:

    I’m with you Rube. It certainly doesn’t shake my faith in any way, it tends to actually galvanize it and stir up some anger toward Jason, sense of betrayal in some far removed way i’m sure, and actually engenders a lot of sympathy towards those in that church who’s hearts must be truly broken. I left Rome and the arguments that Jason tended to entertain actually had no traction with me, as I had to answer them long ago.

  5. Richard says:

    Yeah, my faith is not in Jason, either, but I still feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. He has been a staunch and eloquent defender of the Reformed faith; it’s a shame he has abandoned it.

  6. David R. says:

    I’ve followed his blog for years and appreciated his book. I feel like crying now, as I’m sure many others must as well.

  7. Mike K. says:

    I sympathize with his struggle and conclusion and admire how he’s handing the situation, though I have to wonder if he’s falling ultimately to what RSC labeled as the QIRC. The uncertainties that he mentions in confessing sola scriptura are also present in any alternative, arguably moreso.

    otoh, some of the GB comments approach YouTube levels of assholishness.

  8. Bruce Settergren says:

    What kind of a gospel was his church hearing these past 3 (??) years? What kind of sacraments was he administering all this time? What kind of comfort was he able to give to the relatives of those who died clinging to sola fide?

    Regardless of how you feel about JJS personally, you gotta admit this whole story is good news for Exile Presbyterian Church.

  9. David R. says:

    No kiddin’.

  10. RubeRad says:

    Well we know that the efficacy of the sacraments does not depend on the piety or intention of him that administers it, so no worries there. And given how big a surprise this is, I doubt he taught his new unorthodox views in or out of public worship. (It’s nothing new for a minister to hold a nonconfessional view privately, without teaching or exercising it). And there are still plenty of sermons online if you want to check yourself, I don’t plan to.

    I just can’t imagine being at Exile yesterday morning, when the bomb must have been dropped.

  11. Bruce Settergren says:

    Seems impossible to me that a person could preach the gospel with a forked tongue.

  12. sean says:

    It’s certainly a big swing. I’m curious now whether he’s imbibing FV and NPP and Shepherd, or whether he’s gone or going all the way out to Rome or Constantinople. Shepherd seems more plausible than an ongoing romish re-justification. I assume he’ll post soon enough on where he’s leaning. The sola scriptura dilemma sure does sound like he’s headed to Rome.

  13. Chris Hansen says:

    Right, Leithart even now is trumpeting this as a case of Jason’s confessionalism leading him Romeward vs. Leithart’s Sola Scriptura (which incidentally seems to suggest he understands that his views are outside the Confessions), so it’s hard to believe Jason is heading towards Moscow, ID.

  14. Zrim says:

    A 2ker in theocratic Moscow would be more odd than a socialist in the Republican PCA. At least 2k allows the latter, but Moscow would likely require repentance. How 2k would fare in Christendom Rome is not a comforting thought.

  15. sean says:

    Rome only has atmospheric appeal if you’ve never been. If this is about conscience and doctrine, which I assume it is, then Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide are just the tip of the iceberg. That, or he becomes a proto-catholic, which most converts from reformed theology imbibe, or maybe he goes all the way to cafeteria style and quits “ministerial” or teaching capacities. If he goes the route of newest apologist for Patrick Madrid ministries or some same styled writing, or lecturing outfit, then I’ll know everything I ever needed to know about him.

  16. RubeRad says:

    Leithart’s Sola Scriptura (which incidentally seems to suggest he understands that his views are outside the Confessions)

    I know, I got that too! Doesn’t it seem obvious that Leithart is glorying in his nonconfessionalism?

  17. sean says:

    I blame hipsterdom and taking yourself and U2 too seriously. You drink too deeply of the well of romanticism, in any form, and suddenly you’re traveling to shows in europe, enamored with the pageantry of it all and abracadabra you’re in Rome

  18. RubeRad says:

    If there’s one good thing about this whole debacle, ironically it’s a fantastic phrase from Peter Leithart: the vertigo of unrealized eschatology. Does that not perfectly capture what 2K is about?

  19. sean says:

    Leithart is good with words. It’s hard for me to take seriously anyone who is enamored with James Jordan’s BT over Kline’s. All I can figure is someone went from a ‘Dead’ show at Irvine meadows to James Jordan’s workshop on ecclesiology and ‘it all strangely made sense’.

  20. Richard says:

    I’ve listened to many of his sermons on-line. They are very good–nothing “un-reformed” about them.

  21. matt says:

    That’s highlarious. And he’s not even a youth minister 😉

    Rube, I remember some months back when I was asking about a good Reformed church in the Seattle area and you excitedly mentioned Exile. I was about to go there to finally check it out – I’ll be passing on that plan now. Very tragic.

  22. matt says:

    Well didn’t you know, U2 is a Christian band. So it must be all good in some way. Wilken at Issues Etc is fully-convinced that Bono’s a Christian even though Bono promotes Syncretism via his “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed, all true” Credo.

  23. lee n. field says:

    Put it in perspective. I seem to recall that there was a guy a few months ago, an academic of some sort, who jumped from reformed protestantism to (gulp!) Hinduism.

  24. RubeRad says:

    I wouldn’t pass on Exile so quickly. They may be in turmoil right now, but I have no reason to believe the entire church is a hotbed of papism (the shock of yesterday’s announcement would indicate JJS took great pains to keep his own struggles from affecting others). And I’m sure they could use some outside support right now.

  25. RubeRad says:

    drink too deeply of the well of romanticism, in any form

    That may be close to the mark. See also Carl Trueman.

  26. matt says:

    I understand what you’re saying, Rube. I didn’t mean Exile’s not worth checking out but now maybe a little bit of the interest has left me. Now probably wouldn’t be a good time to go either.

  27. QIRC is exactly what Jason is after–and it’s exactly what the divisive Satanic entity known as Called to Communion caters. Unfortunately, I think WSC also somewhat fosters an expectation of doctrinal certainty, especially for guys like Jason (an myself, and many others) coming in from the outskirts. When that ideal of doctrinal certainty gets shaken (along with the idol of academic superiority), this is the result. We need to stop fighting each other so much and re-focus our attention on exposing the fallible tradition of Rome.

  28. His decision does seem rather selfish. Wouldn’t it have been better for the church to resign, citing whatever personal reason he wanted to give, take a leave of absence, and then just not come back? Why rub people’s faces in it? Reminds me of Lebron, “taking his talents to South Beach”.

  29. RubeRad says:

    I don’t see how he’s “rubbing people’s faces in it”. It would all come out in the end, better to be up front and open ASAP, I think.

  30. sean says:


    I’ve wondered the same thing to be honest. It’s not fair, and I don’t know him at all, and more importantly his session and congregation back his behavior as nothing but commendable. But, it crosses the mind. Sin is pretty nasty stuff, we don’t even know our own heart. That’s why I’m curious if he ends up an RC apologist and his blog becomes a springboard to that end. I hope not, and you have to give the benefit of the doubt to Jason. His session and congregants attest to his integrity and they know him, and I have to be content with that, until and unless he proves otherwise. (Sorry, preaching to myself)

  31. Pingback: The Gmail Effect | The Confessional Outhouse

  32. djbeilstein says:

    It seems to me there’s a lot of discussion posts which miss the mark on Mr Stellman’s possible conversion to Roman Catholicism. It seems, to me, anyway, – and I do not claim to be bright – anti-2kers are using this as an opportune time to throw combinations at 2kers-or Westminster California. On the reverse, 2ker’s (and I am a staunch 2’ker thanks) are spending undue time explaining this is not WCal’s fault or 2k theology fault. This should be obvious, for no other reason a heavy amount of Reformed and Lutheran advocates of 2k do not shed their reformed garments and doggy peddle the Tiber. Shouldn’t the uptempo beat of this discussion follow the object of the discussion: Mr Jason J Stellman. BTW, I enjoyed Mr Stellman’s preaching and blog; finding him a elequent reformed spokesmen. And my prayers are with Mr Stellman until the end of my days, God Willing. That said, Something happened to his concious and his thinking-appearing desirous to head to and across the Tiber regardless of what Seminary he went too. We could posit that if Stellman had imbibed Southern Baptist fundementalist anti-Roman Catholic talking points – this might have put off, or stopped his excursion to Rome if that indeed happens… still, logically and theologically, this does not mean fundementalism (Of the Baptist variety especially) is anywhere near the planet of good and sound biblical things.

    When someone is gone, they’re gone-whether in mind or heart or both. We believe, as confessional reformed folk, 2k or not-Scripture teaches a High Church theology. It teaches many things else, of course. Like the centrality of the Holy Gospel based upon the axis of sola fide and sola scriptura. Just because Mr Lim and apparently Mr Stellman, have ‘maybe’ used these trains of doctrine to hop, skip, and jump into the calderon of Rome does not mean confessional reformed lay and clergy are unwise to stress the importance of a Holy Gospel rooted in scripture and sola fide, nor a high church Calvinism. I stand by that dependable and opinonated heavyweight champion, Zrim’s point-a sure brunette in a blonde town if there ever was one-cannot Mr Stellman’s trajectory simply be blamed on the deceitful heart of men and our odious depravity?

    I believe I read that somewhere.

  33. gospelmuse says:

    I remember the day when I asked Jason Stellman if he thought the Gospel could be the regulative principle of faith and life. He responded honestly…”I never thought about it that way.” How unfortunate. I’m gonna guess he never did and probably never will. Shame.

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