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Archive for the ‘John MacArthur’ Category

I’m posting this review after my discussion with Lee Duigon in his post ‘Behold the Power’ (2016) in which we were talking about John MacArthur’s insight into the Parables in the Gospels.  As a result of that discussion I was looking for my review of MacArthur’s book A Tale of Two Sons and realized that though I read the book in 2011 I didn’t post it here before!  So here it is, with an updated and expanded review!

John MacArthur. A Tale of Two Sons by John F. MacArthur Jr..  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing Company, April 1st 2008.  221 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an excellent book by Pastor and Teacher John MacArthur.  Here in this book MacArthur gives meticulous care to the details in Jesus’ famous parable of what is often called the Prodigal Son.  MacArthur’s exposition brings out insights from the text, the context and cultural background, this is par excellence of what expository preaching should look like though this is in book form.

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Every year there is a big Pastor’s conference where pastors and church leaders who believe in faithful expository preaching and the Biblical Gospel meet in Southern California call the Shepherd’s Conference.

This would be my tenth year attending.  I plan to blog some of my notes from the various sessions in the Conference.  Anyone on here that is going?

The Conference starts tomorrow on Wednesday.  Here is the schedule:

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This is a guest review by Alf Cengia.  He is a friend who reads this blog and his website can be found at Zeteo316.  Check it out.

The Inerrant Word: Biblical Theological and pastoral Perspectives. Edited by John MacArthur and Foreword by R. C. Sproul. Published by Crossway (Hardcover 399 pages).

Purchase: Crossway | Amazon

This is another important book I picked up from our Church Bookstore. I’m particularly drawn to these apologetics because of my former Roman Catholic background, a stint in a “Christian” cult and New Age years. What connected all these experiences was a downgrade of God’s Word. As most of us understand, this has happened throughout history. Today God’s Word is being questioned by some professing Christian leaders who are capitulating to the culture. John MacArthur writes:

The Bible is treated like Silly Putty, pressed and reshaped to suit the shifting interests of popular culture. ~ The Inerrant Word (page 26)

MacArthur states that the most dangerous attacks against God’s word have come from the evangelical community. He lists: “seminary professors, mega church pastors, charismatic charlatans on television, popular evangelical authors, Christian psychologists, and bloggers on the evangelical fringe.”

Iain Murray’s contribution (How Scotland Lost Her Hold on the Bible – A Case Study of Inerrancy Compromise) is an excellent case study of how God’s word can be gradually downgraded by ambivalent language. Murray demonstrates why claiming that Scripture contains God’s Word isn’t good enough.

The problem with saying that Scripture contains the Word of God is that it doesn’t affirm that Scripture is the Word of God. You may mean that it contains God’s Word; but also items which aren’t affirmed by the church, and thus open for debate. Homosexuality and same sex marriage would be two examples.

Murray uses the example of a bag of groceries. You can tell someone that it contains potatoes. You might even mean that the bag ONLY contains potatoes. But you might also mean that it contains other items. This chapter was one of my favorites as it is especially relevant to cultural challenges in the church today.

Another favorite was Alistair Begg’s Let the Lion Out, based on 2 Tim 4:1-5 and Charles H. Spurgeon. Just preach the Word! Ferguson’s The Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures was another gem in a lost list of important contributions.

The book is comprised of four main parts:

  1. Inerrancy in the Bible: Building the Case
  2. Inerrancy in Church History: Showing the Precedent
  3. Inerrancy in Theological Perspective: Answering the Critics
  4. Inerrancy in Pastoral Practice: Applying to Life

Each section has a number of chapters by a selection of evangelical scholars and ministers including: John Frame, Matt Waymeyer, Michael Vlach, Alistair Begg, Sinclair Ferguson, G. K. Beale, Abner Chou, William Barrick and more.

The Inerrant Word highly recommended reading for all Christians.

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I’m at the Shepherd’s Conference right now where the most sold book in the conference’s history occurred this year with the new Biblical Doctrines edited by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue.  There’s talk of this book published by Crossway will be translated in many other languages.  I’m looking forward to hear what God can do with this work to equip God’s Church to know God’s truth more accurately in a systematic fashion.

Now I know with every new systematic theology the question some would immediately ask would be “What are its strengths and weaknesses and how will the book present doctrines?”  Systematic theology has also gotten more complex with works discussing or at least accounting for aspect of historical theology, biblical theology, philosophical theology, etc.  While some have criticize systematic theology as “proof texting” I think the game has actually gotten more rigorous and more inter-disciplinary (at least with the various theologies).  For example I think of Crossway’s Foundation Of Evangelical Theology Series and the most recent work I reviewed God the Son Incarnate by Stephen Wellum and how it has dimensions of apologetics, epistemology, biblical theology and historical theology.

So looking at this new work by MacArthur here’s my initial observation.  I’ll be sharing first what I see is a big plus about the book and also one constructive criticism.  I share the constructive criticism humbly, especially when I imagine the incredible amount of hard work that was put into the volume and I am just a lowly reader of theology.

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I’m looking forward to this year’s Shepherd’s Conference, a conference for Pastors and church leaders sponsored by Grace Community Church where John MacArthur is the Pastor.

They even made this neat trailer:

Seems like the theme would be on the Reformation in light of the Reformation’s 500 years anniversary.  Lord willing I’ll be blogging through the sessions on February 28th-March 3rd.

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come-thou-long-expected-jesus-experiencing-the-peace-and-promise-of-christmas

Nancy Guthrie. Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, August 1st, 2008.  142 pp.

5 out of 5!

First let me say that I have a hard time with devotional books; I prefer heavier theology books since I find most devotionals to be rather shallow.  But I enjoyed this particular collection of devotional readings for the Advent.  So if I enjoyed this book in light of my bias against devotionals, I think that this work might be something worthwhile for others too.

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I love the doctrine of Redemption.  It is a beautiful imagery of what Christ has done on the Cross to save us.

Here’s John MacArthur’s recent sermon on the Infinite Value of Redemption from Peter’s epistles.

Have a blessed Lord’s Day.

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