Book Review: Why Believe the Bible? By John MacArthur

Book Review: Why Believe the Bible? By John MacArthur
The cover image for this book was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Why Believe the Bible by John MacArthur, MacArthur uses a debate format, asking questions and then providing answers.

I liked the format. One can skip straight to a question they have or want a better answer (apologetic) for. A lot of the content is information you could find in other parts of MacArthur’s work. That’s mostly because there are really only two necessary arguments in apologetics.

There is a God.

The Bible is the authoritative word of God.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t more questions to ask or moments of satisfaction when archeological studies continuously prove the Biblical record. What I’ve come to see as a trend in any apologetic writings is that those two main points are the lynchpins of any apologetics. If one comes to believe those two assertions, he may wonder how things align or how things worked, but he can’t do less than fall to his knees in worship.

This writing does build off the above premise. Some of the questions I hear a lot are covered in this book. Who “decided” which books were part of the Bible? The answer isn’t just some group of people. There was a process that relied on specific criteria, and that started with the authority of God and Jesus, who then granted authority to His apostles. Naturally the next question that comes is how can we trust the words of men (those very same apostles)? For me, it was enough that Jesus granted them authority, but the more important answer is the distinction between mortal author and inspired word, which this book also covers.

While I continue to look for more archeological books to sate my curiosity, this book is absolutely valuable for those who are new to the faith or those who just have questions about Christianity.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: The Truth War by John MacArthur

Book Review: The Truth War by John MacArthur
Image taken from the book’s buy page on Goodreads for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

The Truth War by John MacArthur is essentially a call for the defense of Biblical truth.

Dr. MacArthur was in an interestingly difficult position, not because he wanted to take a stance for the truth of Biblical doctrine, but in that he wanted to also distinguish between righteous defense of the truth and needless contention or even disagreements among brothers on smaller, less-clear issues.

This book does have some repudiation of other religious texts, but it’s much more necessary here in the context of discernment, which is another major topic of the book.

This book was actually a motivating call to action for me. And it starts with the most important truth. Jesus Christ, God in flesh, came down to Earth to free mankind from its sin by dying on the cross and being resurrected on the third day.

MacArthur spent a significant amount of time seeming to shift from a firm declaration of truth, and justification of why the truth must be defended. The book spends the bulk of it’s time explaining that one can not stand for truth by avoiding possibly contentious doctrine.

This is the great challenge facing Christianity today in my thinking. I imagine many Christians such as myself feel torn between wanting to stand for Biblical truth but not being lashed out at simply for stating my beliefs and standing by them. The big take away is, so long as you lovingly and patiently defend the truth, you can actually rejoice in persecution as it sets you apart. I certainly don’t mean to say one can stand on a street corner shouting at people with megaphones, and I don’t believe that’s what MacArthur is stating either. I believe he advocates for the patient but firm contribution to discussions without sidestepping culturally charged issues. It is here I always find myself conflicted.

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This image of Dr. MacArthur was taken from his church’s website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

If I were to post a blog on how I feel that chicken was best and listed my reasons, I might receive some response and even some polite discourse. If I then post that I don’t eat pork, and I don’t like the food, I may have some people shrug and call me weird. I might have some disagree, but in this we allow a person to have their point of view. But point at a sin that the Bible clearly speaks against, and watch how many people call me narrow minded even as they narrow-mindedly call me any sort of name they can think of.

The simple truth is anyone willing to stand up for what he or she believes in must also be willing to endure anger, hostility, or even down-right hate. Christianity demands even more foreknowledge because it takes such a clear stand on several issues. This book explains that refusal to avoid these uncomfortable conversations only contribute to the degradation of the faith. If Biblical truth is to be upheld, it must start at the pulpit and extend through the congregation, and Christians should never compromise or alter God’s word for the sake of political correctness or inclusion.

That statement alone could lead to a lengthy debate, so I just state that once more everyone has a right to their own decisions, but they are also subject to the consequences of those decisions.

Once more, neither I nor MacArthur endorse needless argument for the sake of argument. Neither does MacArthur endorse resentful arguments over issues on which scripture isn’t clear.

What I wish this book had was more actionable information on how to go about it. I wish there was a section on social media. I wish there was more direction in those areas, and I hope MacArthur speaks to that in other books.

This book was a motivating call to action even though I wish it had more actionable information. I always enjoy MacArthur’s exegetical insight, especially because it is (almost) always based in scripture.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur

Book Review: The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur
Image taken from the book’s buy page on Goodreads for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

The Glory of Heaven by John MacArthur offers a Biblical perspective on what Heaven is really like.

I’m not happy with how the book started. It’s got nothing to do with MacArthur or his wonderful work. Instead, it has more to do with the fact that the first portion of the book devotes a ton of time to refuting near-death-experience books published today. I can appreciate that this book may have been written to offer a Biblical counter to these stories, but I’m not personally invested in mortal perspectives anyway, so investing time on points of view I’m not interested in at all just felt in the way to me.

Once MacArthur finished his refutations, he then went on to offer a comprehensive look on Heaven, which is hard to do Biblically since the Bible doesn’t have a ton of references. Most of them are short, and all of them use symbology that hints at an idea that can’t be articulated or understood by a human mind.

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This image of Dr. MacArthur was taken from his church’s website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

I did appreciate the additional attention MacArthur gives to angels, as that’s an area of interest to me.

In an appendage, MacArthur then returns to his refutations of other various near-death experience books. I think I would have been more willing to spend time (even though I’m not interested in those perspectives at all) listing to those things if I had been given what I wanted (the Biblical view of Heaven) first, instead of tucked between a series of critiques of books I have no intention of reading.

As always, this is a great Biblical analysis despite the critical interjections. While some may actually appreciate the comparisons, I didn’t. Regardless, I did get the information I was looking for, and it absolutely fueled my passion to see the Kingdom of God when he sees fit to call me home.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Musings on Christianity 41

Musings on Christianity 41

Do We Have to Suffer?

In the last chapter, I talked about how we can endure suffering. But that leads to the question of our need to suffer.

I’m aware of a few viewpoints on this. Dr. John McArthur said, “God wants you to suffer,” in his book, Found, God’s Will.

I’ll admit I wanted to reject that statement, but I thought about it in a few different ways. I’m respectfully not wiling to go so far as to say what God wants is the suffering for its own sake, but I know that God wants us to follow Him, and in this world of sin and judgement, that path will lead to suffering.

Thus far in my reading of Acts, Paul has been stoned, beaten with rods, imprisoned, and beaten by a mob, and this was all after he was blinded by Christ’s radiance in his conversion.

Then there is our Savior Christ, who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for our sins. If we are to be like Christ, must not we pick up our cross and follow him( Matthew 16:24)? Does that not necessarily mean we must suffer?

However, this might lead people to make themselves suffer or foolishly place themselves in harm’s way in a misguided effort to please God, and that’s not the same thing.

Those who live a life dedicated to Christ are indeed going to suffer. They suffer in a fleshly way because they deny themselves temptations others may delight in. This discipline honors God because it shows we’re willing to choose Him over temptation.

Christians suffer for their faith. There are a lot of causes for this. Sometimes my faith is insulted because of something people claiming to be Christian do or say, and sometimes it’s because of some very well-known Christian views on sex, gender, abortion, and marriage. There are people who passionately disagree with these views and aren’t shy about how they express that. I personally don’t see the point in debating the issue. I think what I think, and I don’t expect I’ll change someone else’s opinion. They think what they think, and I’m not going to sow discord or anger over an issue where I’m not going to change someone’s mindset. But it hurts seeing those “witty” “Christians are stupid because” posts I see on social media every day.

To date, while I’ve absolutely suffered, I wouldn’t say I’ve suffered for the sake of Christ per-se. I haven’t been accosted or beaten. I haven’t been insulted or spat on. So does that mean I’m being disobedient to God? I think this is what causes a lot of confusion with people.

I don’t want to over think it. I’m positive that today’s troubles are sufficient for themselves (Matthew 6:34). So my theory remains. I think a person truly seeking God will inevitably suffer for their faith. How we endure that suffering is an opportunity to glorify God. I think that human beings, regardless of their faith, are going to suffer.

Twice since this book began, I’ve been exposed to COVID-19, and twice, thanks be to God and Gis mercy, I have been protected and free from that disease. For any thinking to misread that and say that no “Christians” catch COVID, that’s not what I said. If I did catch the disease, that would also be God’s sovereign will, and that would have been an opportunity to glorify Him. I’m not asserting that “Christians won’t catch COVID;” I’m only giving the glory to Him for protecting me and my family to this date.

My mother passed away. I’ve been separated from people I love for short and long periods, and periods that haven’t even ended yet. Suffering comes to us all, and this is because of sin. The curse of sin brought pain, suffering, and death to this world. All of that stems from our father Adam, who disobeyed God’s one command. His disobedience led to our curse.

It was Christ, the second Adam, who’s obedience grants us our salvation. That salvation is possible because Christ chose to lay His life down for us (John 10:18). He accepted that suffering for us, so when suffering comes in our lives, we endure it for His sake.

For our panel: Does God truly want us to suffer or is it just an inevitable part of life we face when we live as Christians? What parts of scripture prove or disprove this? If we are indeed supposed to suffer are we then supposed to seek that suffering? What is the reason for suffering (We know the cause is Sin, but for what reasons)? What do we gain from suffering?

Book Review: The Parables of Jesus by John MacArthur

Book Review: The Parables of Jesus by John MacArthur

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Image taken from the book’s buy page on Amazon for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

The Parables of Jesus by John MacArthur looks at several parables of Christ and breaks them down.

It’s been a bit since I listened to this on Audible, so it’s hard to pick out details.

What I do remember is that MacArthur spent the beginning expressing the value of parables but cautioning that it isn’t the only form of teaching. It certainly wasn’t the only method Christ used, and when he started using them, there was a specific reason.

I think this was the biggest take away for me. The reason that’s so is that I own a MacArthur study Bible, so many of his comments and thoughts are already in the notes of the study Bible. That’s not to say that his detailed analysis full of historical context isn’t great; it’s my favorite part of any of his books. I simply value new information more than information I’ve already consumed.

I do think this would make a great companion piece to one reading the Gospels though. It’s like a study guide or Cliffs Notes for a few specific parables.

This is also a good book to read for someone who wants to focus specifically on the parables. Again, one shouldn’t only obsess on the parables, but a period of study devoted to them is beneficial for anyone.

John-MacArthur-Primary-2As is usual for books by MacArthur, I always enjoy the simple, literal approach  he takes.  Even in parables, he pays close attention to what each figure or subject represented.

My favorite might be the story of Lazarus and the rich man. He provides some interesting insight I found thought provoking. Reading MacArthur’s work is always motivating. I like Biblical books that challenge me to dig back into the Bible, and his books always do that.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

Book Review: Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur

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Image taken from book’s Goodreads page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur is another book in the vein of Twelve Ordinary Men.

This story talks about 12 heroes from the Bible, but they may not all be the heroes you’re thinking of.

This didn’t have the staying power or resonance that 12 Ordinary Men had on me, but it was nice to read. Most of the stories show how people pass from fear to faith, so people who are struggling with spiritual issues of courage would certainly benefit from reading it.

The book also does a great job of showing how it is God who equips men who can then serve Him to do His will.

I think what I liked most about this book was the insight it gave regarding God’s grace and patience when calling people to action. This book talks about a few judges (from the book of Judges), and each of them had moments of extreme doubt. Honest, humble prayer always yielded results. That is an encouraging thought.

John-MacArthur-Primary-2I don’t know if there are more books from MacArthur of this sort, but I still think Ordinary Heroes was the strongest of the batch. However, this book is still a nice look into characters of the Bible. It lets us study those characters and glean insights about how God works (or can work) in our lives.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Musings on Christianity 15

Musings on Christianity 15

Am I Saved?

For an embarrassingly long time, I felt that the mere fact that I sinned meant that I wasn’t saved. I had this idea in my head that the saved don’t sin, and that’s just not true (1 John 1:8). I lacked the Biblical knowledge to understand the relationship between Christ and the redeemed.

I’d encourage any to read John MacArthur’s Saved Without a Doubt. That book is a much deeper analysis for people who ask themselves this question. For the purpose of this work, I’m going to focus on issues I faced and realizations I’ve had.

I’ve been formally baptized at least three times. The first was because everyone I knew was baptized. It was the thing people did at church. The second time was (if I remember correctly) because I went to a different church. The third was when I finally understood what baptism represents.

Baptism is not the means by which one is saved. Here’s what should be the sad part. In my trials of faith and sanctification, I’ve had some sins that took a long time to turn from. If you can believe it, several, several, times I’ve gone into my own bathroom and baptized myself.

On one hand, I could say that this was extremely charming but completely unnecessary. You see, I mourned my sin. I hated it and the hold it had on me. I mistakenly thought each time, “This time will be the last.” 

On the other hand, I was just being silly. Nothing about what I did was Biblically sound. My heart may have been in a good place, but no amount of bathing was going to keep me from sinning.

It could have been the last time I committed whatever sin it was. Each time I faced temptation, I clearly remember ways the Lord provided me an escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). I imagined myself the rope in a tug of war between Christ and sin.

I think that idea is what gave sin power over me it never should have had. We are not ropes in a tug of war. If we have faith in Christ Jesus, if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

When we accept Christ as our savior, sin loses its hold on us. We become dead to sin and alive in Christ (Romans 6:11).

But over and over again I tried to free myself with my own power. I was under this impression that I had to help Christ somehow. The brain-twister is the fact that that just isn’t how it works. Christ has overcome sin (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Each time I thought I’d do something, each time I tried to stand on my own, I fell, and I fell hard. But when I turned to Christ, when I gave myself to him, sin lost its hold on me. Not all sin, but one of the larger sins in my life that I felt particularly convicted of. For some, it might be lying. For others, it might be addiction. The sin is less important than the breaker of sin’s chains.

So, the circular reasoning then says, “But that means I shouldn’t ever sin again.”

Well, we shouldn’t, and we don’t have to. Sin has no dominion over us (Romans 6:14).

However, we’re still living in the flesh. Have you ever felt that all you tend to do is what you hate about yourself? Have you ever felt that all the good things you want to do, you never seem to do? This is the war that wages in your own mind (Romans 7:16-24).

This sort of turmoil can lead one to believe they are wretched and cast out, forsaken because you persist in the sin you mourn (Romans 7:24).

This is the salvation that Christ gives! His grace covers our sin and frees us from our iniquity. He gives us comfort when we mourn our sin (Matthew 5:4).

The trick is how sin is overcome because those who believe and long to follow his law and seek his righteousness will have it (Matthew 5:6). It is Christ who overcomes (1 John 5:4).

What I think happens is we forget this. We turn from Christ seeking to defeat temptation ourselves. We can’t. We were born in sin (Psalm 51:5).

All of these thoughts led me to a statement I still sometimes think to myself: “I wish the decision to do the right thing removed the temptation to do the wrong thing.”

For those of us who live in the flesh (which is everyone), temptation isn’t removed. In the resurrection, we’ll have perfect, sinless bodies, but only after that resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:35-38). 

In the meantime, stand strong, and we stand strong not by our own power, but in the power of Christ and the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Another book by MacArthur, Standing Strong, goes over this in great detail. I’m going to focus on the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

If I had only known about that one tool, if I had only sought to study that weapon, the only weapon we use against temptation, my struggle would have been much easier. You see, we don’t deny temptation by our power or our will. We’ll lose every time. And that’s the mistake I kept making. I made promises to myself (promises I never really intended to keep because they were only deals with myself).

Our Savior taught us how to use it, but I didn’t read the Bible until just a few years ago, so I was hopeless.

Just after He was baptized, the Spirit led Christ into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights to be tempted by Satan himself. (Documented in Matthew 4.)

And so Satan attacked. Christ didn’t simply cast Satan out. Christ didn’t speak some new command or special phrase. He didn’t resist by simple refusal. What he did, was speak the Word. This is how one uses the Sword of the Spirit.

When Satan dared Christ, who hadn’t eaten in 40 days and nights, to turn rock into bread, Christ quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 (Matthew 4:4), using the Word of God the way an expert swordsman uses his sharpened blade. 

One would think that’s all there is to it. But just as someone can misinterpret the Bible, Satan can flat out manipulate it. Just look at what Satan does next:

He took Christ up to the top of the temple and quoted Psalm 91:11-12. If we don’t study, we can actually be more dangerous with the Word than if we didn’t read it, just as an untrained swordsman is especially dangerous to himself.   

Christ, however, an expert in the Word because He is the Word (John 1:14), knew how to counter that false use of the Bible. He countered that promise of Psalm 91 with a more important, and relevant verse, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16).” 


A third time he was tested, and again Christ went to the scripture, quoting Deuteronomy 6:13-14.

This, my friends, is how we defend ourselves against temptation. We turn to the Word of God. My friends, if you believe and proclaim Christ, you are saved. If you mourn sin and yearn for righteousness, you will be comforted and satisfied. These things are guaranteed. If you stumble, you will be protected because once you belong to God, nothing, nothing, can take you from him (Romans 8:38-39). 

Your salvation is assured in Christ, so this means your question is how to withstand temptation. My question was how to resist. The answer is simple: Study the word. Read it. Read it the way you’d eat healthy to grow strong. Read it the way you’d exercise to be fit.

Then, when temptation comes, seek the word. This isn’t a thing I can do as readily as Christ. Sometimes I know a verse right away. Sometimes, I have to look up parts of the Bible until I find one that helps my heart, and even the process of searching the Word for help is help in itself, and the verse you find then becomes another pass of the whetstone to sharpen your sword.

Doing so will also give you assurance in your salvation. As you read and study, you’ll learn more about Christ, and what He does for you.

For our panel: What verses can we study to learn more about salvation? What are some great, basic verses someone very young in the faith can memorize to start with? What are some verses we can turn to if we stumble? Would any of you care to speak more in-depth about the other components of the Armor of God?

Book Review: Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur

Book Review: Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur

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The cover for this book was taken from it’s Amazon buy page for review purposes. 

I picked up Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur mostly because of how much I enjoyed Twelve Ordinary Men.

This book gives insight into how God related with women in particular. He naturally discussed women like Ruth, Rahab, Mary (Jesus’s mother), Mary Magdalene, Eve, and Sarah.

I think Magdalene was of particular import. Leaving her out leaves a lot of women who saw their value in giving birth (Mary and Sarah to name the two I most readily recall).  Magdalene is a particularly interesting person in history for me. She wasn’t a famous mother. She was a redeemed woman who had a Christian love for Christ. Where a number of women trusted in God, hoping that he would bless them with a child (Heck, me and my wife are doing that right this moment. This isn’t a bad thing to want.) Magdalene had a unique role.

John-MacArthur-Primary-2The Samaritan woman was also discussed in this, and I found her chapter of particular interest as well.

I’ll honestly say this book didn’t have the same level of impact as Twelve Ordinary Men. I think the number twelve was taken because of the other study, but I was a bit worried that a theme would arise from this that MacArthur may not have intended. You’d expect Eve, Jesus’s mother and Sarah. I mentioned the Samaritan woman and Magdalene, and there are critical as well. Rahab makes sense to show how God can use a person’s sin for good and can even forgive those sins. (Rahab lied about knowing where Joshua’s spies were, which is a sin, but God used that to protect his people. He also forgave that sin and even blessed Rahab by including her in the lineage of both David and Christ.)  I guess my concern is that some may feel the emphasis on woman having children and finding husbands (in Ruth’s case), will cause interpretive issues  for someone unfamiliar with Dr. MacArthur’s work and (more importantly) scripture.

I still found it enlightening, and I still enjoyed it. Something I’ll add is that now that I’m simply reading MacArthur’s books because I find value in his theology and insight, I’m naturally not as drawn to these as previous ones. That’s not because these aren’t good or valuable books. Instead, I’m not reading to fill a need. I’m not reading to understand something I’m struggling with or learn about something I can’t quite figure out.  I’m just reading because I like it. That’s going to shade my opinion of these books in comparison others I’ve read. 

I’d recommend this book to women of faith who may be wondering more about how God choose to work in their lives.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: The Gospel According to Paul by John MacArthur

Book Review: The Gospel According to Paul by John MacArthur

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The cover to this image was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

At the time I bought The Gospel According to Paul, I was particularly enamored by that apostle (he is called one though he was untimely born and isn’t one of the 12). I still love his epistles and his story; I only give that information to explain why I bought that book.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve read it (Sept. 7, 2018). I don’t honestly remember too much. I was perhaps being unfair because I wanted the same fulfillment I get from reading one of Paul’s epistles, and it’s pretty unfair to expect that. I do know that it covers some of the constants in Paul’s writings.

The Gospel belongs to God. I assume the clarification here has something to do with Paul’s use of “my gospel.” He does this the same way us Navy folks say “my ship” or “my command.” We’re taught in the Navy to take ownership. This is to build a person to care or defend things like they’re his own. MacArthur clears that up.

Then there is that thing Paul does so well, which is (and this is my paraphrase here) the summary of how and why we are saved. Faith over works. The death and resurrection of Christ is our sole hope for salvation.

I’m positive there was more, but this study just didn’t hold me the way others from MacArthur do. I could read 12 Ordinary Men 100 times and still be satisfied. Perhaps part of the reason this story doesn’t resonate with me is I’d studied Paul’s works a lot before reading it, so the material just wasn’t particularly enlightening. Please know that I don’t mean this to imply I know everything about Paul and the Gospel. That’s not my intent at all. What I mean is that I was pretty familiar with the terms and concepts MacArthur covered, so I didn’t get that really cool jolt a person gets when particularly difficult passages or concepts finally click.

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Image of Dr. MacArthur taken from his web site for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

I’d recommend this to anyone not familiar with the Biblical explanation of salvation. This would also be particularly interesting if you’re curious about Paul, but another reason this didn’t meet my expectations is that I truly wanted to study the man  more. If anyone is aware of a good, historically-based, biography on Paul is, I’d be interested in reading it.

None of this is a nock on the book or MacArthur. I just had to note what I thought it was (a biography of Paul with narratives that demonstrate his representation of the Gospel) with what it actually was (a simple study of how Paul taught the Gospel.)

It’s still an interesting story and a great addition to MacArthur’s bibliography.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Book Review: Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong by John MacArthur

Book Review: Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong by John MacArthur

Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong: A Biblical Response to Today’s Most Controversial Issues by John MacArthur is a book that offers Biblical perspective on a great number of issues. It was compiled by MacArthur and the leadership team at Grace Community Church, according to the book’s Goodreads page. I read this because I truly desire to have a Biblical mindset in all I do.

This book was honestly hard to read. This has nothing to do with grammar or structure. It’s hard to read in some places because of the blunt nature of the story. It doesn’t belittle or demean in any way (at least not from my perspective), but it doesn’t leave any room for doubt on what the Bible says about a great number of things.

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Image of John MacArthur taken from his website for review purposes.

I honestly intend to read this again not that I’ve had some time to do more Bible study and prayer. There’s a natural instinct people have when they hear any religious leader speak on what might be earthly sensitivities. Some of the information on this book challenged me. 

To be clear, while I have a great amount of respect for Dr. MacArthur, his books are not a replacement for Scripture or doctrine.  I don’t think he’d ever want them to be. As hard as it may have been to face some of the subjects this book covered, I think any person should at the very least search his or her own heart and question the motives for their beliefs. I’d take it one step further and say that I’d like to read this book and then reference the associated (or attributed) Scripture for further understanding.

I find myself bucking at some of the stances, but that might be a result of the hardness that’s in my heart. Some of these stances are ones with which I agree fully, but that might only be out of self validation.  I feel another read-through with intense study on the associated Scripture is the best way to seek truth.

This book isn’t for people who are only curious or passingly interested in Christianity. A stance this strong on issues this hotly contested is a mirror that challenged my reflection. My perspective is that faith is something people grow in. I’m in a different place in my walk than others. The problem is, this is an argument commonly given by self-proclaimed believers who say words but don’t grow in the faith and aren’t becoming more sanctified.

As I type this, I think about the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23). Hardened hearts aren’t going read this story and find anything but frustration. Hearts enamored by the things of this world will be choked off from any wisdom one might glean from these words.

Truthfully, the only singular authority in the Bible is God. Men study it to learn His meaning for His word. A book like this for me forces a person to seek that Word and let it change his heart for the better.

What I know this book does is provide information, a stance, and a Biblical platform to guide these. I don’t have any metrics, but I would hypothesize this book has to be among Dr. MacArthur’s most contested. The truth is in the Bible, and I hope to reflect on those passages and pray on their wisdom.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt