5 Stars Out Of 5
Thinking "slavery" in the context of the Gospel
May 1, 2013
The provocative one word title may turn some off in this politically correct age, but to judge this book by its cover is to miss an often overlooked biblical teaching. From its preface to its closing chapter, John MacArthur builds a compelling case in suggesting that translators of English versions of the Bible for centuries have mistakenly mistranslated the Greek word "doulos" and, thereby watered down it meaning. Substituting "servant" for "slave" is to miss the great truth that followers of Jesus Christ are truly those who have surrendered all rights and claims of their own to the Lordship of the Savior. The author makes a number of valid points in support of his argument, including that servants serve by choice but slaves have no choice, thus emphasizing the place of divine sovereignty. He points out that no one ever possesses "absolute freedom" because no one is ever free to do everything they want to do. We are at all times "slaves" to something...namely to sin (before Christ) or to the Lord (following conversion). He also discusses the biblical paradox that freedom is found by becoming a slave to Christ. As the reader progresses through the book, he finds MacArthur unfolding how the Master-slave relationship with Christ actually beautifully coincides with our friendship and sonship in Him. This is a powerfully encouraging book that is extremely well researched and annotated. What it lacks is a bibliography and index, but these are minor drawbacks from a work that goes a long way toward explaining the relationship of the redeemed sinner who has been bought out of the slave market of sin and become a slave of Christ. The Apostle Paul used this imagery on numerous occasions, and MacArthur has done a commendable job in shedding light on those passages.