Archive for September 12th, 2013

Slave The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ  by John MacArthur

How does your favorite Bible version translate doulos?  Does it translate the Greek term doulos as “servants” or “slave?”  In this book by John MacArthur rightfully argues that doulos has been often mistranslated as servant rather than slave and how this has huge implications for our understanding of the Gospel and our relationship with God.  “Slave” is an important motif in the pages of Scripture.  The book does a good job expositing the passages referring to our relationship with God as slaves and God as our Master.  Like other works by MacArthur, he does a good job drawing out implications from the passages of Scripture.  The book shares insights concerning the institution of slavery during the Roman Empire (since it is the backdrop of New Testament) and also slavery in light of the Old Testament as antecedent theology.  No doubt today the term “slave” has a lot of cultural baggage today in America, with imagery of the American enslavement of Blacks prior to the Civil War.  John MacArthur condemns the racial slavery of the U.S. while making the distinction between slavery during the days of the New Testament and slavery in the U.S.  In thirteen chapters, MacArthur demonstrate biblically that the slavery motif in Scripture points us to the Gospel (we are once slave of sin, now purchased to be a slave of Christ), Lordship salvation (as opposed to cheap grace theology) and also the doctrine of Sovereign grace.  I was pleasantly surprised to see MacArthur connecting the dots to Calvinism.  While the New Testament teaches the idea that it is a joy and a privilege to be a slave to Christ, towards the end of the book MacArthur also notes how God extends His grace and mercy further: our identity in Christ as believers include being adopted as sons, and also citizens of heaven.  A marvelous devotional read.  I have only one minor concern:  At times throughout the book, especially in the beginning MacArthur makes it sounds like there’s a large conspiracy of people intentionally trying to hide the concept of “slave” with “servant.”  I don’t think much of it is intentional; moreover, the extent of the conspiracy seems over-stretched and it left me perplexed seeing how his footnotes and an appendix titled “Voices from Church History” suggests others throughout church have seen “slave” in the New Testament and rightfully understood it’s implication.

Purchase: Amazon

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