Archive for the ‘Ashamed of the Gospel’ Category

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The first edition of this book was published in 1993, and the latest edition was published in 2010. Sometimes the benefit of a book that is warning the threat posed to Evangelical Christianity is best seen from the passage of time. From the perspective that “time will tell..” I think this book is a must read for those who are concern about the state of American Christianity departing from Biblical mooring. The message is not out of date, but has been proven to be more relevant today. The author John MacArthur is a preacher who has the reputation of being one who preaches the Bible faithfully. In the preface to the second edition, MacArthur has made it clear that he intended to leave the original content of the first edition intact. While much of the discussion in the book first tackled the seeker sensitive movement, the book in the update discusses the Emergent church movement. It is important that one does not discuss about the Emergent church movement in a vaccuum and MacArthur proposes that there is a link between the Seeker Sensitive church movement and the Emergents: both are heavily driven by “pragmaticism” of getting people in the church without regard or downplaying faithfulness to the Bible’s own principle of ministry. MacArthur does acknowledge that the foundations of both are different (one being quite modernistic and the other post-modern) but his assessment of how the leaders and the leading Seeker Sensitive Church movement going the direction of the Emergents is rather saddening. From this book, the readers will be reminded that there is nothing new under the sun, that everything has been tried before. MacArthur talks a lot of Spurgeon’s down grade controversy and the new edition of the work features an appendix of Spurgeon quotes complied by the editor Phil Johnson (as a side note, Johnson has become an authority on anything Spurgeon and this work by MacArthur was the one that first introduced him to this Victorian preacher!). When one read Spurgeon’s own words and his description of the ecclesiastical climate of his day, one is struck at how similiar things are. It is a treat to evaluate a book years down the road and see if the message rings true or if it was exaggerated…and for the readers who read the second edition nearly twenty years later, one can say that John MacArthur’s warning cannot be exaggerated and that conditions are even worst than he can make up in 1993. The book however is not just a doom and gloom message of negativity, MacArthur is calling the readers to being repentance and renewed commitment to the gospel and doing ministry Biblically. This work demonstrates that John MacArthur’ message is prophetic–in a cessasionist’ way of course.

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