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Posts Tagged ‘John MacArthur’

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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For some reason I did not realized until now that the Master’s Seminary’s 2017 Faculty Lectures was on the topic of “Believers, The Bible and the LGBTQIA community.”  Every year the Seminary has their faculty lectures on various topics around late January to February.

This topic would be very relevant given all the issues today.  There are six lectures total in this series below.

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biblical-doctrine-macarthur

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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Saved without a Doubt

 Purchase: Amazon

I appreciated this book by John MacArthur on the topic of the Christian assurance of salvation. This book is biblical, pastoral and practical; it will certainly help the believer understand the Gospel better and applying it to the subject of assurance. The book is divided into three parts: After establishing the biblical warrant for the Reformed doctrine of the perseverance of the Saints, part two feature 11 tests on whether or not one is a believer according to 1 John followed by part three that ties the loose ends: Dealing with doubt, adding virtue which thereby adds more assurance of one’s salvation and biblical encouragement to persevere. I particularly enjoy chapter 7, “Adding Virtue upon Virtue” which is an exposition of 2 Peter 1, with MacArthur’s insight into the Greek terms and what it means. MacArthur does a masterful job of encouraging the believer with the reality of what God has done and promise to do. I recommend it to every believer whether they are struggling with whether or saved or whether they are already assured.

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John

For those who are interested in this conference for Pastors, Elders and church leaders, visit the website by clicking HERE.  Unfortunately, this year RC Sproul won’t be able to attend.  Line ups include John MacArthur, Steve Lawson and my favorite, Al Mohler.

Al Mohler

Below is this year’s Schedule and line up:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

8:00 am Registration
10:00 am General Session 1 – John MacArthur
11:30 am Lunch*
1:30 pm Seminar Session 1

Glass Houses
Why Spiritual Leadership Must Begin at Home
Chris Hamilton
J370
Faith at Work
Equipping Your People to Be Witnesses in the Workplace
Mark Tatlock
J270
The Noble Lie
Is It Ever Right to Bend the Truth?
Michael Grisanti
Chapel
The Heart of the Matter
Getting to the Core of Effective Biblical Counseling
Carey Hardy
J360
Grace, Good Works, and the Gospel
A Biblical Response to Current Forms of Free Grace Theology
Jerry Wragg
Gym
Here I Stand
The Courageous Preaching of Martin Luther
Steve Lawson
Worship Center
Generations of Grace
Defining a Biblical Philosophy of Children’s Ministry
Matt White
Basement
Details
2:45 pm Break
3:15 pm General Session 2 – Phil Johnson
4:30 pm Dinner Break
7:00 pm General Session 3 – Steve Lawson

Thursday, March 7, 2013

9:00 am General Session 4 – John MacArthur
10:15 am Break
10:45 am General Session 5 – Keynote Q&A
Noon Lunch*
2:00 pm Seminar Session 2

Act Like Men
Promoting Biblical Masculinity in the Local Church
Austin Duncan
Basement
Letter to a Christian Nation
What Would Jesus Say about the Church in America?
Tom Patton
J370
Adam, Where Art Thou?
Rediscovering the Historical Adam in the Pages of Scripture
Bill Barrick
Chapel
On the Doorstep of Divorce
Restoring Hope to Broken Marriages
Bill Shannon
J270
An Hour to Raise the Dead
Preaching that Pierces the Heart and Assaults the Will
Alex Montoya
Worship Center
Maximizing Missions
How to Increase Your Effectiveness as a Sending Church
Michael Mahoney
J360
Details
3:15 pm Break
3:45 pm Seminar Session 3

The Effective Elder
Becoming the Leader God Calls You To Be
Dave Muxlow
J370
Stirring the Waters
Practical Thoughts on Baptism and Youth Ministry
Andrew Gutierrez
J360
Hanging on Every Word
How to Cultivate an Appetite for Solid Preaching in Your Church
Chris Mueller
Chapel
When God Gives His Word
Understanding the Promises of God Contained in the Biblical Covenants
Dick Mayhue
J270
Dealing with Difficult People
How to Shepherd Strong Personalities in Your Church
John Street
Basement
A Word from the Lord?
Examining the Charismatic Case for Modern Prophecy
Nathan Busenitz
Worship Center
Details
5:00 pm Dinner Break
7:00 pm General Session 6 – Al Mohler

Friday, March 8, 2013

9:00 am General Session 7 – Tom Pennington
10:15 am Break
10:45 am Seminar Session 4

Q & A on Leadership Austin Duncan, Chris Hamilton, Dave Muxlow, and Irv Busenitz
J370
A Few Good Men
How to Start a Vibrant Men’s Ministry in Your Church
Scott Ardavanis
Basement
Servant of the Word
Reflections on the Preaching Ministry of John MacArthur
Lance Quinn
Chapel
Heaven on Earth
Exploring the Glories of the Eternal State
Mike Vlach
J270
When God Won’t Remove the Thorn
How to Persevere with Joy through the Hardships of Ministry
Matt Waymeyer
J360
Enemies at the Gate
Four Liberalizing Trends That Threaten the Contemporary Church
Phil Johnson
Worship Center
Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
How to Organize a Music Ministry in Your Church
Clayton Erb & Bill Brandenstein
Choir Room
Details
Noon Lunch*
2:00 pm General Session 8 – Steve Lawson
4:00 pm Dinner Break
7:00 pm General Session 9 – John MacArthur

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After much debating that has been going on regarding the use of the Ten Commandments in evangelism, Dr. MacArthur has responded to Evangelist Ray Comfort in regards to Pastor Jesse Johnson’s seminar at the 2012 Shepherds’ Conference.

If you are interested in listening to the seminar Pastor Jesse gave, here is the link:

The Way (s) of the Master

Also, while Pastor Jesse was giving his seminar, Dr. Richard Mayhue also gave a seminar that covered the Ten Commandments.  Here is the link to that:

Still Written in Stone?

After reading many posts regarding this matter and seeing the different views, I am thankful to both Evangelist Ray’s and Pastor Jesse’s conversations regarding evangelism. I have learned much from both men.  I pray that anyone involved in this discussion would be teachable, humble, gracious, and not militant regarding this matter.  It would be a disaster if there was division over this matter.

As a result, it is critical that we admit where we are weak at; and be willing to receive correction when we are wrong.

Our allegiance is not to a script, man, well known ministry, or a prolific well-known Christian, but to the Word of God.

With that said, please read Dr. MacArthur’s response to Evangelist Ray and please feel free to share your thoughts on this matter.

Dr. MacArthur’s Response

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