The Truth About Forgiveness
on Handling the Truth
Part of why I like John MacArthur is because he doesn't pull punches. He stays pretty close to the Bible whenever he expounds topically and always provides practical insights and wisdom. I'm currently enjoying a daily dose of his thoughts with Moments of Truth: Unleashing God's Word One Day at a Time and I always have at least one of his books in my "to-read" stack. This series (The Truth about...), offers a few thematic quick reads (about 100 pages) that cut to the chase on some popular topics.
First on the docket is forgiveness. MacArthur wastes no time before stepping on some toes, implicating modern society for their efforts to remove the need for forgiveness. We already have a built-in defense mechanism, and it's as old as mankind: passing the blame. Just as Adam passed the blame on to Eve and she passed it on to the serpent, today we blame illness. It's not "the Devil made me do it" anymore, it's "the disease made me do it."
MacArthur cuts through all the excuses to get to the heart of the issue. We all sin and we all need forgiveness. And that's the essence of our lives. The hope that we have is in knowing that God wants to and has forgiven us. As we become molded more in His likeness, it is our duty (and should be our desire) to forgive others, as well.
February 28, 2013
A Worthwhile Read
Does anyone really want to forgive? Or admit that we need forgiveness? Whether weÃ¢ÂÂre giving or receiving, forgiveness is hard. It seems unfair. It feels unnatural. And as best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur demonstrates, forgiveness apart from Christ is unnatural. It is only as we understand our need, ChristÃ¢ÂÂs power and example, and what it really means to love that we can embrace two of the most liberating acts of love: forgiving and being forgiven.
I have always enjoying listening to John MacArthur's sermons and reading his books because he always tackles the issues at hand head-on. He doesn't mince words. Every sentence he writes seems very well thought out and is filled with Biblical truth. His take on the prodigal son story is a very touching and could be life-changing for many people. I'm sure many of us have heard a lot of sermons about the prodigal son. John MacArthur delves into the details of the story and brings to the surface a portion that I had always skipped over without realizing it. The prodigal son's father had been keeping an eye out for him ever since he had left. And when he spotted him coming home, he ran to him to embrace him and forgive him before his son had the chance to even say a word. MacArthur explains that the very act of running was something that would be very out of place in the Middle Eastern culture of that time. It actually would have been shocking to the Pharisees who were chomping at the bit to hear about how the prodigal son had been punished. MacArthur draws a wonderful parallel to the forgiveness offered to us in the gospel and challenges us to remember that it's not because of anything we have done that we are forgiven. He writes "God does not love us for what we are. He loves us in spite of what we are. He does not love us because we are special. Rather, it is only His love and grace that give our lives any significance at all ... God loves us because He is love; love is essential to who He is. Rather than viewing His love as proof of something worthy in us, we ought to be humbled by it."
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to learn more about God's forgiveness and what a truly amazing gift it is to us.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÃÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÃÂ®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
August 23, 2012
Well, I did it. I read all three of John MacArthur's new trilogy of books - "The Truth About...." The last one in my reading list was "The Truth About Forgiveness". And let me just start by saying, although it was the last one I read, it was not the least. This book packs a lot of theology, wisdom, and Truth. And, just like the two before I read, it is easy to read and understand.
I started this book with the preconceived notion that it was about how we should have forgiveness for one another. But this isn't as much about our forgiveness of others as it is about the deep, costly, selfless forgiveness of our sins by our Lord Jesus Christ.
This book will have you examining your faith, your forgiveness... your repentance. John MacArthur dives in and defines sin, repentance, forgiveness. I was prepared for this to be a book that covered everything I had already heard, read or knew. I wasn't prepared to walk away in a state of worship at the foot of the Cross, so incredibly thankful for my undeserved gift of salvation and constant mercy.
My favorite part is when Pastor MacArthur goes through the Prodigal Son parable in Luke. He expands on the culture and the meaning behind the meaning. I have heard that parable used so much, but I will never look at it the same way again after that.
This is a great book and I highly recommend reading all three in this series. You will want to read them again and again.
God bless ya'all!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÃÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not asked or required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are completely my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255 : Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.Ã¢ÂÂ
July 6, 2012
The Truth About Forgiveness by John MacArthur
This is a book in a series of three books by John MacArthur. I had to choose one out of The Truth About Grace, The Truth About Forgiveness, or The Truth About the Lordship of Christ to read and review. I chose the one that I would be the most interested in, as forgiveness is something I have always struggled with.
I didn't expect much from the book; nonfiction generally bores me by explaining things I already knew in five times the amount of words necessary. I do admit sometimes I thought it was a little wordyÃ¢ÂÂeven for a book only a little over a hundred pagesÃ¢ÂÂbut that is to be expected, and it didn't happen nearly as much as I thought it would.
I started the book genuinely surprised; MacArthur started at a point I wouldn't expect, and continued explaining what I had never thought of before. That, in itself, is something wonderful. I began expecting little, and what I found was more than I could have hoped for.
The first chapter made me think a lot. Sometimes I thought, "He can't say that, because it's very apparent that he's never experienced that himself," but every time as I kept reading I realized that this man truly knows what he's talking about, whether he's experienced "certain things" or not.
The Truth About Forgiveness is not a typical Christian nonfiction book, basically putting a boring sermon I've heard before into text format. It's something entirely unique, and for the first time something actually worth putting into book format. It focuses much on what Jesus said about forgiveness, through parables and stories, along with actual happenings, but it does it in a way that grabs your attention and keeps you interested. What's more, it actually uses good points that you might not have thought of.
It's extremely rare that a nonfiction book, especially about Christianity, does not disappoint me, but this one not only didn't disappoint me, it actually impressed me. When I saw the dozens of five-star ratings for the book, I inwardly chuckled and knew it would have a lot to prove if it were going to get anywhere near that rating from me. Because face it, everyone: sermons and books about forgiveness are generally just plain boring. We never truly hear what we need to hear. John MacArthur's book, however, is different.
I have never recommended a nonfiction book as highly as I recommend this one. Five stars.
June 16, 2012