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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Publication Date: 2007
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he has served since 1969. He is known around the world for his verse-by-verse expository preaching and his pulpit ministry via his daily radio program, Grace to You. He has also written or edited nearly four hundred books and study guides. MacArthur serves as the president of the Masters University and Seminary. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children.
Nathan Busenitz (PhD, The Master's Seminary) is assistant professor of theology at the Master's Seminary. He previously served on the pastoral staff of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He is the author of numerous books and a regular contributor to the blog Preacher & Preaching.
I dont think I said the word aloud when I finished reading Fools Gold?, but it may have slipped out. John MacArthur is the general editor of this new book from Crossway, and contributing authors are several of his ministry associates.
The theme of the book is spiritual discernment; not set forth in a didactic way, but in a series of topical snapshots. Section one lays the foundation for the chapters to follow: a call for biblical discernment, and the consequences of a weak proclamation of Christianity. MacArthur makes the point that discernment is not just the responsibility of pastors and Christian leaders, but of every Christian. He covers the favorite verse of many in todays church: Judge not, lest ye be judged. (Matthew 7:1) and compares that with 1 Thessalonians 5:21: Test everything. In the second chapter he lists fifteen negative effects of superficial preaching, whittled down from an original list if sixty-one! My only reservation is with the twelfth point, and his comment about the difficulty of exercising church discipline where there is no commitment to the authority of Gods Word. Im not sure that very many churches even practice biblical church discipline, according to the teaching of Matthew 18:15-19. Perhaps a brief exposition of this passage, and an example of how this is practiced in his church is in order. The final two chapters of the book, A Doctrinal Framework for Developing Discernment and A Practical Plan for Developing Personal Discernment are excellent. I particularly appreciated the exhortation on page 201: Discernment is not enough apart from obedience.
The rest of the book is a series of chapters looking at current doctrinal trends in the church and in Christian books. The contributors cover such things as altar calls, contemporary worship music, Wild at Heart and The Purpose Driven Life, as well as politics and consumerism. This is a must-read, written in a clear, straightforward style. I have already loaned out my copy to two people, and one of my pastors is referring to it in the college Bible study he teaches. I heartily commend it to you. Pam Glass, Christian Book Previews.com