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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « John Piper to Write Book in Response to N.T. Wright | Main | A Lasting Faith for the Last Days by Rev. C. R. Biggs- Part 3 »

    The Devastating Consequences of a Watered-Down Message by John MacArthur

    Those who are familiar with my ministry know that I am committed to expository preaching. It is my unshakable conviction that the proclamation of God’s Word should always be the heart and the focus of the church’s ministry (2 Tim. 4:2). And proper biblical preaching should be systematic, expositional, theological, and God-centered.

    Such preaching is in short supply these days. There are plenty of gifted communicators in the modern evangelical movement, but today’s sermons tend to be short, shallow, topical homilies that massage people’s egos and focus on fairly insipid subjects like human relationships, "successful" living, emotional issues, and other practical but worldly—and not definitively biblical—themes. Like the ubiquitous Plexiglas lecterns from which these messages are delivered, such preaching is lightweight and without substance, cheap and synthetic, leaving little more than an ephemeral impression on the minds of the hearers. More here.

    Posted by John Samson on August 6, 2006 02:06 AM

    Comments

    I hate to be the naysayer here but having attended Master's College I have heard many sermons by John MacArthur. He is right about the lack of expository preaching in our churches today, however, MacArthur's dispensational hermeneutic prevents him from preaching "the gospel" in his own sermons.

    Don't get me wrong, he is good at sticking to the text but its done in a way that prevents the good news from being a central part of his preaching. He preaches on how Christians should live and what Christians should not do but there's a lack of connection to what Christ has done for us. This is a holdover from his training of verse-by-verse preaching without reference to context or the "big picture", i.e., without a historical-redemptive perspective.

    I know MacArthur holds to the solas of the Reformation, the doctrines of grace, and justification by grace through faith on account of Christ. When forced to talk about such things, he will answer all the questions rightly. Unfortunately, the gospel is rarely heard in his weekly sermons (when the gospel should be most fervently presented).

    Doug,

    Funny you should say that. I am currently a Junior at The Master's College and have also attended MacArthur's church around 2 years now. With all due respect, I think everything you just said is ridiculous and without support. John MacArthur preaches the good news, the whole truth, every chance he gets. Don't let your anti-dispensational theology block your objectivity, not that you are necessarily doing that.

    My friends and I often leave MacArthur's sermons amazed at how he drives home the true gospel message, without apology and without backing down.

    Also, let's not forget that MacArthur doesn't use "every" message to lay out the gospel because the book of Hebrews goes against that. MacArthur wants to train his people in correct doctrine, just as the author of Hebrews instructed Christians to--after having learned the fundamentals--move on to the meat and progress in our knowledge and love for Jesus Christ. If MacArthur preached a gospel/Billy-Graham message every Sunday, the church would become weak and filled with people who know nothing about God's Word other than the fact that "Jesus saves." I think your analysis of MacAthur is without any substance, support, or reality. God bless!

    As a student of Edmund Clowney and Meredith Kline, I have long been impressed with the importance of a redemptive-historical understanding of Scripture. Geerhardus Vos's books are the best source for this, as well as Herman Ridderbos's Coming of the Kingdom and Paul. Richard Geffin's writings are also very helpful and balanced, in general, though I disagree with his contention that systematic theology must be "controlled by" biblical theology. Clowney's Preaching and Biblical Theology is pretty good, but I wish he or somebody would write companion volumes titled Preaching and Systematic Theology, Preaching and Exegetical Theology, and Preaching and Moral Theology.

    You really can't understand any biblical passage unless you understand its place in redemptive history. The obvious example: God commands Israel to slaughter the Canaanites. If someone takes this text and says that we should go out and slaughter unbelievers, we should reply that (1) this suggestion is crazy, and (2) that it ignores the redemptive-historical context of Israel's conquest.

    Christ indeed is to be found in the larger context when we preach and we can see the gospel just about anywhere in the Old and New Testaments. However, among those who appreciate redemptive history there has also developed a rather sectarian, even fanatical group, namely those associated with the publication Kerux. These folks have developed rather fanciful ways of "finding Christ" in OT texts, and they oppose any attempt to "apply" Scripture or to use biblical characters as moral examples. Their sermons are often jargon-laden. Worse, they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of "moralism," "legalism," etc. There is often legalism when preaching is not Christ-centered but we must not make RH in every sermon a test of orthodoxy.

    i am in my late twenties still unable to understand which is a sound doctrine ,but since i have been exposed to john macarthur teaching i am quiet consious about the JESUS CHRIST ,i am not actually trying to bow or glorify the man because after all he is just a sinner like and nothing without GOD those aware of total depravity and the fall of man in Genesis 3 will not feel offended ,but the truth is that he is gifted and his presentation of the Gospel is amazing and true ,i am myself am a preacher by spritual gift still undergoing training this art of preaching and john has been an increadable teacher to me ,though some doctrines i dont quiet understanding my pastor has a way of labbeling them in my vernacular

    and so many peole here in south africa found his work compelling

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