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    By David L. Bahnsen

    As a small child I absolutely loved the game show, NAME THAT TUNE. Not only was I the son of a devout rock-n-roll music buff, but I also [unbeknownst to me, of course] had a future ahead of me in music management and promotion, a career I enjoyed for over eight years. Every now and then my father got one wrong, but he generally demonstrated from the living room couch that if he really were participating in the show, he'd be quite successful.
    I want the readers to get ready for an all-new game; only this one is apparently even harder than hearing a four-second sound bite and being expected to name the tune. In this case, you will get a full quote from a real-life person; you just have to be able to NAME THAT HERETIC.
    I have diligently taken my various examples of heresy from the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States (i.e. the June 22, 2002 'Call to Repentance" and various Resolutions from their Covenant Presbytery). The declaration from the RPCUS appears first, followed by a quote from a particular theologian. YOUR JOB is to NAME THAT HERETIC. The answers are all given below the various quotes, so do not worry that you will miss out on the opportunity to hear the correct answers, and possibly CLAIM YOUR PRIZE

    RPCUS: "That the denial of the distinction of visible and invisible church and the introduction of an historical and eschatological church, opens the door to new and mystical meanings being applied to the Lord's Supper that are sacerdotal in orientation; makes justification an eschatological process instead of a definitive legal act; obscures the reality and necessity of the new birth; and corrupts the Gospel preaching by eliminating the call to repentance and faith within the congregation"
    HERETIC #1: "Two reservations have to be made. The first is a question as to the felicity or even propriety of the term 'invisible' to give expression to such considerations. There are liabilities that can be avoided if other terms are employed. The second is more than reservation. The distinction between the church visible and the church invisible is not well-grounded in terms of Scripture, and the abuses to which the distinction has been subjected require correction." [1]
    RPCUS: "Any doctrine that denies the Covenant of Works is contrary to the Bible and the Westminster Standards"
    HERETIC #2: "The idea that any covenant God makes with man can ever be anything other than a covenant of grace is wrong and deadly wrong" [2]
    RPCUS: "Any doctrine of justification that teaches that justification is a process beginning with baptism which is contingent upon continual obedience to the Law of God, which can be lost by apostasy, and which is not completed until Judgment Day is contrary to the Bible and the Westminster Standards"
    HERETIC #3: "Perseverance in faith is, in one sense, the condition of justification; that is, the promise of acceptance is made only to a persevering sort of faith; and the proper evidence of its being that sort is actual perseverance "; "For the just shall live by faith. It seems to be because continuance in faith is necessary to continuance in justification, at least in part, that the apostle expresses himself as he does "; "Perseverance is acknowledged by Calvinian divines to be necessary to salvation. Yet it seems to me, that the manner in which it is necessary has not been sufficiently set forth. It is owned to be necessary as a sine qua non: and also, that though it is not that by which we first come to have a title to eternal life, yet it is necessary in order to the actual possession of it, as the way to it ; But we are really saved by perseverance; so that salvation has a dependence on perseverance, as that which influences in the affair, so as to render it congruous that we should be saved. Faith (on our part) is the great condition of salvation; it is that by which we are justified and saved. But in this faith, the perseverance that belongs to it is a fundamental ground of the congruity that faith gives to salvation. Perseverance indeed comes into consideration, even in the justification of a sinner, as one thing on which the fitness of acceptance to life depends." [3]
    RPCUS: "Any doctrine of justification that defines faith as faithful obedience to God is contrary to the Bible and the Westminster Standards", and "In essence, Mr. Shepherd and his followers hold forth teachings that blur the distinction between justification and sanctification and amount to a salvation by faith plus works."
    HERETIC #4: "Here faith and works are identical. Not similar, but identical. The work is faith; faith is work. We believe in Jesus Christ and in His salvation, that's why we do not tremble Well now you see that faith alone is not alone. Faith is not alone. Faith always has an object. The faith, your act of believing, is pointed definitely to God in Jesus Christ, and by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, and conversion, it's all one And that's why we have to be satisfied merely to do what the Scriptures and Confessions say that we ought to do, and that then we are on the way, and I think that Norman Shepherd is certainly in the line of direct descent on faith."[4]

    HERETIC #5: "Modern interpreters who don't like what I am suggesting and what Professor Shepherd is suggesting end up saying that to justify in James 2 really means "to demonstrate justification," not to "demonstrate righteousness." That is, they make the word to justify mean "to justify the fact that I'm justified." And the word never means that. That's utterly contrived. It means either "to declare righteous" or "to demonstrate righteous." It does not mean, "to justify that one's justified." Am I making myself clear? I'm suggesting that the reason Paul and James are not contrary to one another is because the only kind of faith that will justify us is working faith, and the only kind of justification ever presented in the Bible after the Fall is a justification by working faith, a faith that receives its merit from God and proceeds to work as a regenerated, new person"[5]
    RPCUS: "Any doctrine of baptism that teaches that all who are baptized with water are by that baptism incorporated into Christ and are recipients of all the benefits of Christ's accomplished work is contrary to the Bible and the Westminster Standards", and "Any doctrine of baptism that explains water baptism as the moment in which we are regenerated or as the point of transfer from death to life is contrary to Scripture and the Westminster Standards"
    HERETIC #6: "Almighty God, heavenly Father, we give you eternal praise and thanks that you have granted and bestowed upon this child your fellowship, that you have born him again to yourself through holy baptism, that he has been incorporated into your beloved son, and is now your child and heir " [6]

    HERETIC #7: "And so we utterly condemn the vanity of those who affirm the sacraments to be nothing else than naked and bare signs. No, we assuredly believe that by baptism we are engrafted into Christ Jesus, to be made partakers of his righteousness, by which our sins are covered and remitted." [7]

    HERETIC #8: "Grant that this child now to be baptized, may receive the fullness of thy grace and ever remain in the number of the faithful and elect children through Jesus Christ our Lord " AND "Seeing now, dearly beloved, that that this child is regenerate and grafted into the body of Christ's church, let us give thanks unto God Almighty "[8]

    HERETIC #9: "We must realize that at whatever time we are baptized, we are once for all washed and purged for our whole life. Therefore, as often as we fall away, we ought to recall the memory of our baptism and fortify our mind with it, that we may always be sure and confident of the forgiveness of sins." "It is a thing out of all controversy true, that we put on Christ in baptism, and were baptized on this very ground, that we should be one with Him."[9] AND "But as baptism is a solemn recognition by which God introduces His children in to the possession of life, a true and effectual sealing of the promise, a pledge of sacred union with Christ, it is justly said to be the entrance and reception into the Church."[10]

    Wow - Nine heretics, condemned by their own words, and their own writings. If you are up on current Reformed factions, you have likely placed your picks up and down the list of quotes as belonging to the likes of Pastors Steve Schlissel, Doug Wilson, Steve Wilkins, John Barach, and even Norman Shepherd. If you are a critic of the "New Perspective on Paul", you may think some of these quotes fit somewhere into that mindset (i.e. perhaps we have some N.T. Wright answers out there). You may even be real astute, and believe this is clearly the work of some Roman Catholic scholars (surely hell bound).
    Well, NAME THAT TUNE is a difficult game, and if you did, indeed, answer as I suspect above, NAME THAT HERETIC is apparently an even more difficult game. Consider our answer key, directly corresponding to the "number" assigned to the "heretic".

    1. John Murray
    2. R.J. Rushdoony
    3. Jonathan Edwards
    4. Cornelius Van Til
    5. Gregory L. Bahnsen
    6. Martin Bucer
    7. John Knox
    8. Thomas Cramer
    9. John Calvin
    Can you believe it? Using their own words, I have successfully branded John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and John Knox as heretics (I guess the Reformation was overrated?). Contemporary fathers in my own faith - Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, and RJ Rushdoony are also out (this is a wicked generation, huh?)
    May God have mercy on all their souls, right????
    And yet of course you know, I do not believe any of this - for none of these men are heretics, but rather Godly and faithful and committed theologians - champions of the faith - good and obedient men - on whose shoulders we all ought to stand to see further in to the truths of the Kingdom of God, and indeed His very written Word! These quotes and the teachings of these men no more make them heretics than the aforementioned heart-wrenching series of RPCUS declarations make brothers Schlissel, Wilkins, Wilson, Barach, Shepherd, et al. heretics. For further allegations, consider the various articles by John Robbins all posted on the RPCUS website, as well as The New Southern Presbyterian Review (for those Theonomists who desire to be included in the RPCUS group and John Robbins as it pertains to this issue, I encourage you to read the VERY THINGS John Robbins says about the law of God ON THE RPCUS WEBSITE; for a Theonomic group like the RPCUS, I am finding the approach of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" to be rather bizarre; but, I digress).
    How can all of these fathers in the faith say the things I have quoted above, and yet not be heretics? How can I support a man like John Calvin who dares to say [word for word], that we "put on Christ" and that we are "once for all washed and purged" of our sins in baptism? If you read the RPCUS declarations for what they are, or some of their "support materials" that have been circulated after the declaration of heresy (sans trial), you can NOT say that John Calvin is not a heretic. (For one of the very worst and insulting articles published in the aftermath of the hasty RPCUS declarations, see Mark Anthony's article on the RPCUS website, "Is Baptismal Regeneration being taught in the Reformed Community"; needless to say, the article neglected to deal with the heresy of John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Bucer, and Thomas Cramer).
    I wrote an article several months back that I stand behind today as passionately as could be imagined, in which I informed the reading audience where my late father, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, stood in the midst of the Norm Shepherd controversy, as well as what the clear implications were as to how he would feel were he here for the AAPC situation. The focus of my article today is NOT to argue how he would feel, or did feel (his quote above regarding Norm Shepherd continues and continues and continues to be ignored by everyone insistent on approaching this with eyes shut and ears closed). My focus today is not on Greg Bahnsen. It is on the AAPC issues itself, and I desperately want it to be the clearest and most impassioned plea I can give for unity, peace, and a restoration of Biblical friendship.
    I am told that unity is impossible here, because light and darkness cannot dwell together, and truth and falsehood do not coexist, and the modern heretics as proclaimed by the RPCUS have "cooked their own goose". But see, and there really is no way to get around this for the critics of the AAPC men - the other scholars and Christian fathers I quoted in our NAME THAT HERETIC game are NOT branded as heretics, because they are taken in a full context, and in a full appreciation of their broader teaching, and with a full benefit of the doubt given to anyone whose Christian life and scholarship has deserved so. The AAPC men are not, and that is the only reason why we are here, and that is the only reason why all of this happened. Do I mean this? Yes! The issue is not "semantics", or "poor choice of words", or "shocking new theology" - it is that some have consciously chosen to not extend certain graces and benefits of the doubt that they surely give to Rushdoony, Murray, and Van Til.
    The word for word quote given via direct correspondence to me by a RPCUS pastor was, "I know that you are giving these men the benefit of the doubt - that's where we differ. I have heard enough to convince me otherwise."
    You can bet that if the "these men" in his correspondence was a reference to Calvin or Knox he would no longer be ordained in the RPCUS.
    No, this man (who I believe was one of the actual authors of the RPCUS adoptions, and certainly is a vehement defender of them) has only decided to [ADMITTEDLY] fail to give a peaceful, loving, gracious, hopeful, caring, fruitful, endearing, charitable benefit of the doubt to some modern proponents of Covenant and Reformed theology; the "heretics" in my above quotes are okay; AAPC is out.
    One of the truly offensive things to me about a lot of this mess, besides the heartache, sadness, sincere tears, and at times depressed frustration, is that so many of the people who side with the RPCUS on this, were some of the most ardent and faithful defenders of my late father in the way he was treated throughout the Theonomy controversy of the late 70's (and, of course, until the end of his life). A great number of people [rightly] argued that many of Theonomy's critics were being unfair, exercising poor scholarship, mischaracterizing the position, not communicating with the advocates of Theonomy, rushing to judgment, etc., etc. BUT now, less than a decade after Greg Bahnsen's death, dear friends of the Reformed community, ardent defenders of the Christian faith, and Godly men who faithfully serve their pastorate are being treated even worse by the same people who knew so much better less than one generation earlier.
    I do not deny that some of the language used by the men whom I defend here is controversial, or at least a reflection of a "paradigm shift". A rush to judgment will likely cause some to be fearful of the teachings, and the poisoned well that is created by a trial-less declaration of heresy produces even more damage. My contention, though, is that just as we seek to interpret the teachings of men like Calvin, Bahnsen, Knox, Van Til, Rushdoony, Murray, Edwards, etc. in a positive light, and with a full and clear willingness to be teachable, to be a listener, and to be humble, so ought all who truly love the Lord do when dealing with the teachings of Shepherd, Wilson, Wilkins, Barach, Schlissel, etc. (I happen to think a little Christian charity is even a good idea when listening to dispensationalists, Arminians, and Pentecostalists, but I know to some that may sincerely make me a heretic; I hope not.) As much as I believe those who feel the way I do about the teachings of Auburn Avenue and Professor Shepherd ought to be understanding when some out there have questions or concerns, I also feel that it is simply unbelievable to watch people's reactions when they take the time to read The Call of Grace, or listen to Pastor Schlissel's lectures, or read Doug Wilson's Reformed is Not Enough. The issues that you are being told are there are NOT there. You are either being lied to, or being misled, or, as the RPCUS pastor freely admitted to me, hearing an interpretation that is consciously based on doubt, distrust, and a lack of charity.
    A thorough, open, honest, loving, and productive dialogue needs to take place on the various implications of the Auburn Avenue teachings. I even suspect that at the end of this dialogue, a lot of Godly men may have to agree to disagree. But that is nothing new in the history of Christendom; men can love one another and value their contributions even when they are a bit uncomfortable with some of the things they teach, or not content with the way in which they "phrase" a certain point, or emphasize another. Van Til used to encourage Professor Shepherd to go into print with a lot of his thoughts and ideas, KNOWING that even then the young professor was still working certain things out in his own mind and scholarship. (As an aside, he also did the same thing with my father's Theonomy work, despite the fact that Van Til was not sure himself how he specifically felt about all the theses in Theonomy in Christian Ethics). In the case of most of the aforementioned deceased "heretics", some of their quotes simply lack a fuller context needed to understand the full situation, and some are truly reflective of a real disagreement many contemporary critics would have (Van Til and Bahnsen's agreement with Shepherd, and Murray's sincere dislike of the visible/invisible distinction are immediate examples wherein a real disagreement exists). There ought not be this refusal to listen to certain ideas, or uncharitably dismiss things as "heresy". There ought to be an open and loving mindset, teachable, slow to wrath, gentle, peaceful, "reasoning together, you and I". Where have I heard all these things before? If you guessed the Word of God, you got that answer right!
    But I have heard it somewhere else as well, and I want to share one final quote in our pursuit today (please note, BOLDFACED type indicates the speaker's emphasis; italics type indicates it is my emphasis).

    Not only are these creeds and confessions used to test orthodoxy, and to keep false teachers and heretics out of the church, but these creeds and confessions are used for the basis of our Christian fellowship. You say, 'Are you saying you can't have fellowship with someone who doesn't believe the Apostles Creed, and Nicene Creed, and the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF)?' Well, I am saying I cannot have Christian fellowship with someone outside of the Apostle's Creed. Because, if you do not believe the Apostle's Creed you cannot can be a Christian. Christian fellowship with someone outside of the Apostle's Creed is an impossibility. That's the minimum someone has to believe to be a Christian. But, do I believe that you cannot have fellowship with someone who does not believe the WCF? Listen, I preach all over this world in churches that do not believe the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. I can have fellowship with anyone in this world on the basis of whatever measure of the truth that is in Jesus that we can agree on. If somebody loves the Lord Jesus Christ and rests upon Him alone for salvation and he can't stand the WCF I can have fellowship with him on that basis, regardless of what denomination he's a part of. But listen beloved, the fellowship you can have with any Christian in the world based on the fact that there's some measure of minimum unity together in the truth as it is in Jesus is nowhere near as deep, and precious, and rich, as that fellowship and unity that people can have who are agreed in the revealed doctrines of the Word of God. The more two people are agreed on the revealed teachings of the Bible reflected in our creeds, confessions, and catechisms, the deeper, the more complete their unity and fellowship is with each other. I'm going to ask you a pinching question. Most everybody in here agrees in the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. And almost everybody in here professes to believe the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. Therefore, we have the basis in this church of the sweetest, richest, most intimate unity and fellowship that anyone can experience. That makes any kind of conflict as the most heinous and wicked of sins. If there is someone in the church that you can't have fellowship with, and you both say, 'We believe in the creeds, confessions, and catechisms of the church,' something is seriously wrong in your life!! And when the world looks at us, it will laugh at us!! When we say to the world that the creeds and confessions are the basis for the deepest kind of unity possible, and that the more we're agreed together the deeper our unity can be, and then it sees feuds, and conflicts, and arguments, and hard feelings, and rivalries, the world LAUGHS AT US. And there's absolutely no excuse for it. And if there are rivalries and conflicts and bitterness between people who say they believe the same thing, it's a worse crime than not believing the catechisms and confessions at all (emphasis shared by speaker and myself), than to confess them and bring them into such a bad light before the world. You want to be a Calvinist, and then love rivalries and bitterness with each other, I would rather you be an Arminian, Pentecostalist, Dispensationalist. And for God's sake, I pray you won't tell anyone you're a Calvinist. I beg you, don't tell anyone you believe the Confessions, Creeds, and Catechisms of the Church, until you repent!! [11]
    I wish the readers of this article could possibly comprehend how much I love the teaching and preaching ministry of the man who delivered this powerful sermon over six years ago. When Pastor Morecraft says, "and for God's sake, I pray you won't tell anyone you're a Calvinist" (when you partake in rivalries and divisions), I cannot utter a more hearty AMEN! And when he reiterates that our basic unity, basic love, basic fellowship, is rooted in the Apostle's Creed itself - the historic faith of our early church fathers - I again give my most heartfelt agreement. I also believe that, to the degree that we do share unity in even more revealed truths of Scripture, our fellowship and unity becomes even stronger and beautiful. Pastor Morecraft is a powerful preacher, an inspirational orator, and a man whom I feel an immense amount of respect and Christian love for.
    But the June 22, 2002 series of resolutions were wrong, unwise, unfair, inaccurate, poorly constructed, improperly executed, and FLAT IN THE FACE OF THIS VERY SERMON THAT PASTOR MORECRAFT GAVE. No one even ACCUSES the AAPC men of denying the Apostle's Creed. Even if he feels they are inconsistent, they have all affirmed in a general sense (much more so than the lesser criteria offered in his above message) the basic underlying truth and purity in the expression of the WCF (amongst even further historical creeds and confessions). These are creedal men on all accounts. They are confessional men on a HUGE majority of accounts, EVEN according to the RPCUS (the fact that there is disagreement as to HOW confessional the men really are in certain particular issues is beside the point in this particular paragraph).
    I beg those that have played a role in this disunity, hasty judgment, and failure to properly communicate with the men of God, to humbly re-think what has been done so far, and take steps to seek a Christian unity and understanding. There may well be an awful lot of issues that will be worked out theologically. I expect there will be some that will not be (at least not for a while). But because we do have a Christian unity, and a Christian love, and because WE DO NOT WANT THE WORLD TO LAUGH AT US, let us please, please stop this folly, and at least do as Isaiah said, and "come now, let us reason together, you and I". More people are laughing (inside the church, outside the church, inside Reformedville, outside Reformedville) than you are aware. We are in a culture war right now that we are LOSING, and I might suspect that our DOMINION efforts fail because of things JUST LIKE THIS. I would do anything I could to try and get some of the individuals involved in this to sit down and talk, or to begin an open correspondence dialogue. The time for talking is NOT done, and I will do whatever I can (as I know many others would as well) to facilitate such a dialogue.
    I had originally planned to write this with a lot more of my own opinions and interpretations regarding the actual theological issues of AAPC. I am almost embarrassed when I hear a lot of "confessional" Reformed people try to dismiss the book of James in their own bizarre semantical and intellectual posturing. I am clearer about the apostasy described in Hebrews 6 than I have ever been. I feel as blessed as anyone could to be baptized, and more earnestly await the time that I have children to baptize than I ever would have before. Yes, I am deeply appreciative of the theological reminders, as well as the theological paradigm shift, of AAPC. I am a firm believer in the sovereign grace of God, and WITH THESE MEN (including Professor Shepherd), I affirm that there is nothing in me that could ever save myself. Christ, plus nothing, is my foundation for salvation. But, the various theological issues that I find in the writings and tapes and teachings of these men do not really form the true point of my writing today. The subjects of Christian unity and love and properly dealing with conflicts, and with real people, are far more important to me in this writing. These men are superbly capable of dealing with the theological issues themselves. I do encourage anyone reading this to actually listen to the tapes, and read the materials, and do their homework on the parts of this controversy that may be of interest to you (even then, I would encourage you to make your genuine interest something driven by a theological purity and a sanctifying learnedness, not idle curiosity or gossip). Nothing can escape the fact that, at the end of the day many, many men have said many things that could be made to sound "heretical", or could be interpreted in a terrible way if we fail to recognize context, emphasis, audience, focus, background, and a host of other issues.
    But, as my dear friend and mentor Jeff Ventrella has pointed out to me several times after various legal fights that his Alliance Defense Fund has been a part of, THE HUMANISTS ARE NOT DISCRIMINATORY ABOUT WHICH CHRISTIANS THEY HATE, AND WHICH ONES THEY WANT TO DESTROY. They are happy to see the Baptists, Presbyterians, Pro-AAPC, RPCUS, evangelicals, Calvinists, Dispensationalists, Charismatics, and anyone else on this side of Christendom, fight with each other. It makes their job easier. Their job is to win culture for their own religion. They do that more effectively when we take each other out of the game.
    But our job is the same - to win culture for Christ. It is the passion of my life. Let's get to work at that, and seek the "deep, and precious, and rich" fellowship and unity that comes with being united in Christ in a covenantal bond.
    It is our only hope, and it is our biggest challenge.

    The 2003 Annual Southern California Center for Christian Studies conference dealing with "Contemporary Perspectives on Covenant Theology" are now available, and highly recommended, at Our keynote speaker, Rev. Norm Shepherd, was a personal highlight, providing needed and valuable insight and clarification on the subject of justification and faith an works. There are a total of eight tapes (including a lengthy Q&A session), and I hope you will consider obtaining this for your own listening pleasure.

    [1]John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. I, pp.231-232
    [2]Rousas John Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, 1:376
    [3]Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. II, pp. 596, 598
    [4]Transcription of a speech by Cornelius Van Til at the Justification Controversy meeting of the Committee of the Whole of the OPC Philadelphia Presbytery
    [5]Greg L. Bahnsen, Calvin's Institutes, 3.12, Session 34, audio tape lecture #GB449b, 1986
    [6]Martin Bucer, 1537 Liturgy for Infant Baptism.
    [7]John Knox, 1560 Scots Confession.
    [8]Thomas Cramer, Book of Common Prayer.
    [9]John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, IV.3
    [11]Joseph Morecraft III, The Confession of our Faith in Worship, April 27, 1997, Tape #TW067

  2. #2
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    Despite Bahnsen's appeals that the reformed faith has got it all wrong regarding the FV theology and that we should all group hug and work towards a carnal , earthly victory and reconstruct this world so that when Christ comes He can reign an earthly reign, so we better get off our butts and start pulling our weight in making this earthly kingdom come to pass.

    The reformed faith is "distinct" and those of us who confess it as the Gospel truth will refute any attempt to destroy it with the vain philosophy of men. The Gospel of sovereign grace and the heartbeat of predestination will reign supreme within reformed dogma and any attempt to circumvent this will be met with a polemical resistance by that same sovereign grace of the Lord.

    Man by nature is prone to hate the Lord and his neighbour. How this is simply worked out in destroying reformed dogma one only need look back into historys light. There is nothing new under the sun here.

    "Great is Thy faithfulness" is a well known song of the saint. The FV babblers have rewritten it....... " Great is my faithfulness".

    May the Lord be pleased to make those repent, or grind to powder those who hold to this doctrine of devils, and vomit of hell. May the Lord rub this dung in their faces and make them repent and be humbled to His sovereign will. Little do they know that if they do not , not only will the Lord curse them, but their generations also will be lost who advocate this dunghill doctrine.

    There will be 4 new posts added to the Federal Vision Babble thread in the next 2 days from the OCRC churches along with a reply.
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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