MacArthur Causes a Stir

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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Mr. Brown, I want him to deal respectfully with someone else's position. I don't mind the fact that he disagrees with covenant theology, or infant baptism.

In the sermons that I have heard of MacArthur, and the services I have physically attended, he IS arrogant about some of the things he believes. To say that EVERYTHING that he believes is so black and white is quite offensive, simplistic, and arrogant.

You would feel offended if I said, infant baptism is right there in the text, its just so obvious!! (with the attitude of ANYBODY could see that, you moron!) I was not there, but my girlfriend told me that he said that the rapture of the Church is just SO clear in Scripture, you can't miss it! He went on to ridicule those who held to Post-Millenialism or Amillenialism.

I don't care if he disagree's with a position strongly. He is just bombastic and many times, does not represent the other side well because it seems that he simply assumes he is right.

Again though, much of MacArthur's ministry IS and HAS been good. I appreciate the work that he has done and it has directly impacted my growth. I do not just want to sling mud at a great man of God just because. I pray that God continue to bless MacArthur's ministry. I just feel that he needs to be more respectful of the broader Christian community.

Brandon, with all due respect, you haven't been a member of the PB that long. Read some of the threads on paedo baptism. Many of the posts have been blunt. I have no problem with that. I have sat under Dr. MacArthur's teaching, both at Grace Community and the college where I attended. I see a different man than you. I heard a confident man, convinced that the scriptures were clear. Arrogance? I didn't sense a lick of it.

Perhaps the reason that Dr. MacArthur seems arrogant to you is due to the fact that you are not as convinced in aspects of your theology? It may be offensive to you that someone is convinced in theirs. Could it be a form of jealousy? I will admit that there have been times that I was jealous of some of my Presbyterian brethren. Some are at total peace with Covenant Theology from A to Z while I found myself in flux on many points of doctrine. Things are different now, but they weren't always that way.
 

puritan lad

Puritan Board Freshman
Here's the rapture passage, in context. There's nothing "secret" about it, that's for sure:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, emphasis mine)
Note also that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 teaches a Resurrection. That is a huge problem for pre-tribbers, since their "first resurrection" includes the tribulation saint (Rev. 20:4-6). How can this be if the first resurrection takes place before the tribulation even begins?
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Lots of Amil folk have believed in the future conversion of many Jews.

If you're asking about a distinct future for national Israel, outside of Christ, as if the national covenant made at Sinai is still in effect, as if the Mosaic cultus is to be reinstated, that's much more problematic.

There's this.

rsc


As do many postmils and historic premils. It's curious that MacArthur seemed to only single out the amils for scorn.

The uniqueness of dispie theology is the nationalistic/cultic flavor of the future Jewish experience, esp. during the earthly millennium when the Levitical priesthood and temple sacrifices will be reinstituted.

Has MacArthur's uncontrolled dispensationalism driven him to misunderstand election wrt Israel, or does he really believe that the doctrine of election will logically lead a person to a dispie view of Israel and the future?

I wonder if MacArthur also believes in the Great Tribulation massacre of 2/3 of the Jews living in Palestine ala Walvoord's interpretation of Zechariah 13:8,9?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Lots of Amil folk have believed in the future conversion of many Jews.

If you're asking about a distinct future for national Israel, outside of Christ, as if the national covenant made at Sinai is still in effect, as if the Mosaic cultus is to be reinstated, that's much more problematic.

There's this.

rsc

Excellent article, Dr. Clark! (I bookmarked it)
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I always say, with regard to eschatology, that, whichever of the three main positions one holds to, he should hold it sincerely, but lightly. The fact that these three main positions (premil, postmil, and amil) have been teased out of the same biblical material by the Church over the centuries should tell us that (1) holding one's position sincerely but lightly is the way to go; and (2) none of us knows as much about eschatology as we like to think we do.

For the record, I'm historic premil (no Dispensational).

:wow: Great words of wisdom for all of us to keep in mind. Do you think the church will ever sort this issue out like she did with the doctrines of the Trinity and Salvation by Faith Alone? :candle:
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Yeah, he's pretty fearless. That's one of the things I like about him. If only we could get him totally in the Reformed camp. Despite his solid Reformed soteriology, I think there's just too much of the "independent Baptist fundy" in him (probably inherited from his dad) for him to come all the way over.

I have pondered this myself and wonder what it would take to really convince someone like J-Mac to change?

Just think what is at stake. IF MacArthur changed his dispensational views on Israel (and/or his views on baptism and church government), think of all the written works that would need to be revised, qualified, or simply eliminated. Think of all the sermons that he himself would all of a sudden not agree with. Think of the officers at Grace church who would all of a sudden be at odds with their Pastor. Think of the Masters Seminary and the curriculums and materials and such that would need revised. I know such consequences should not affect our beliefs and doctrinal positions, but deep down they must have a strong say in how far we will allow our minds to go in considering personal revisions.

For most of us, the greatest consequence we face when revising our position is simply changing churches (which don’t get me wrong, such is very stressful and sad). But to consider what a guy like J-Mac has done and continues to do, such revisions would have astronomical consequences and ripple effects. I just can’t see such taking place, or rather do not believe it will happen for such reasons. I think water changing into wine is more likely and believable than for a guy like John MacArthur to revise his positions to all of sudden align with the reformed confessions (but with God all things are indeed possible).

All this considering, it also shows the dangers of giving too much control to one man. I love Rev. MacArthur as a fellow brother and respected teacher and have benefited greatly by many of his books, sermons, and lectures, but he of all people is about as close as one gets to being a protestant version of a Pope (in company with Chuck Smith, Rick Warren, and CJ Mahaney).
 

Founded on the Rock

Puritan Board Freshman
Brandon, with all due respect, you haven't been a member of the PB that long. Read some of the threads on paedo baptism. Many of the posts have been blunt. I have no problem with that. I have sat under Dr. MacArthur's teaching, both at Grace Community and the college where I attended. I see a different man than you. I heard a confident man, convinced that the scriptures were clear. Arrogance? I didn't sense a lick of it.

Perhaps the reason that Dr. MacArthur seems arrogant to you is due to the fact that you are not as convinced in aspects of your theology? It may be offensive to you that someone is convinced in theirs. Could it be a form of jealousy? I will admit that there have been times that I was jealous of some of my Presbyterian brethren. Some are at total peace with Covenant Theology from A to Z while I found myself in flux on many points of doctrine. Things are different now, but they weren't always that way.

Mr. Brown,

I understand that being blunt is something that is not wrong or arrogant. But I believe Dr. MacArthur to be more than blunt, but ungracious many times.

Again, I don't want it to sound like I hate the man, as I have expressed before. I have no problem with him disagreeing with me. I can still hold to my position and not be jealous. I just feel that the way in which he says things is extremely arrogant. I may be wrong, but this is the way that I have heard him. Maybe the reason I get this impression is because the times I have heard him preach, it has been on the issue of children salvation/infant baptism, and eschatology. Either way, I know blunt and arrogant, I see Dr. MacArthur at times to be arrogant. I would contrast MacArthur with James White. I LOVE White and he is blunt and straightforward many times. I felt that in his debate with Dr. Shishko that he was very strong and blunt, but gracious. But I feel MacArthur is not gracious when he makes statements particularly about baptism and eschatology.

I thank you for pointing that out though, since many times jealousy and hatred can easily seep out in crticism :)

Dr. MacArthur has done many great things in his ministry. I don't wish to keep incesantly posting about someone's weak points, because I love MacArthur. I consider him a great man of God and I have a lot to learn from him! I just wanted to explain my opinion of him as a pastor. All in all, I do thank God for the ministry of John MacArthur :)
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
I like John, but I'll disregard his premillenialism. Turns out he said it in front of several amillennial preachers there.

Speaking as a Reformed person, if it were just a matter of premil vs. amil or postmil, I would not have a particular problem.

But MacArthur's problem is dispensationalism, a particularly aberrational even heretical form of premillennialism.

This is the problem I have with calling MacArthur "Reformed". He is not. His soteriology and ecclesiology as well as eschatology are plainly defective by his confessed understanding of Israel and the church, and the nature of the future millennial kingdom.
 

BlackCalvinist

Puritan Board Senior
I stand corrected (I guess it depends on who you ask). All this is done after the Holy Spirit leaves, correct?

No, only the Holy Spirit's restraining influence on evil is taken out of the way (He who restrains in 2 Thess. 2) so that the man of sin (the antiChrist) can appear.
 

ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
And he said this with Dever, Mahaney, Lig and Mohler on stage with him, with Sproul and Piper (even though Piper and Dever are premill) sitting not more than 12 feet away on the floor and 3000 pastors and other folk filling up the room.

Ah, I never knew what Piper was, I was looking for eschatology articles on his site, but couldn't find any. What is RC Sprouls end time view? Is he a full-pretorist? I have his bible, but he overviews them all, so I don't really know which one he holds to.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Asa, I think RC (Sr.) is a partial preterist, as per his book, The Last Days according to Jesus, if my memory is correct (I don't have it anymore, and it was 5 or 6 years ago I read it). A link with some of his views: http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/s/sproul-rc_last-days-Jesus.html.

Myself, I hold to the amil.

Steve
 

ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
Asa, I think RC (Sr.) is a partial preterist, as per his book, The Last Days according to Jesus, if my memory is correct (I don't have it anymore, and it was 5 or 6 years ago I read it). A link with some of his views: http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/s/sproul-rc_last-days-Jesus.html.

Myself, I hold to the amil.

Steve

Thanks!

I also hold to the amil position (as you may have noticed).
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
:wow: Great words of wisdom for all of us to keep in mind. Do you think the church will ever sort this issue out like she did with the doctrines of the Trinity and Salvation by Faith Alone? :candle:

That would be nice, but if the Church hasn't been able to figure it out in the last nearly 2,000 years, I doubt if, this side of eternity, the Church is even meant to have it figured out. That's part of what it means to live by faith, I guess.

Especially, since, as I said, the Bible contains just enough eschatological information to give the Church 3 competing views.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
But MacArthur's problem is dispensationalism, a particularly aberrational even heretical form of premillennialism.

Speaking as a historic premil myself, I'd hesitate to call dispensationalism a heretical form of premillennialism, since premillennialism can exist without dispensationalism (and does!), but not vice versa.

My personal opinion as to why most Reformed folks are against the historic premil view, by the way, is that it's difficult to separate, in their minds premillennialism from dispensationalism, in many cases.

Thanks for poisoning the premillennial well, Mr. Darby!
 

beej6

Puritan Board Sophomore
My word for a such a great man as Mr. Macarthur re: his doctrine is "Reformed-friendly." He's probably the most prominent Reformed-friendly pastor out there...

Perhaps his dispensationalism is his connection to the evangelical world at large...
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Speaking as a historic premil myself, I'd hesitate to call dispensationalism a heretical form of premillennialism, since premillennialism can exist without dispensationalism (and does!), but not vice versa.

My personal opinion as to why most Reformed folks are against the historic premil view, by the way, is that it's difficult to separate, in their minds premillennialism from dispensationalism, in many cases.

Thanks for poisoning the premillennial well, Mr. Darby!

Would you agree that dispensationalism an aberrant form of premillennialism?

I've always been curious about the nature of the millennium in the historic premil scheme.

Christ is on earth physically. Where is He located? What is He doing? Is the temple standing or no? Are there sacrifices being conducted ala Ezekiel 40-48? Who inhabits the millennial kingdom with Christ? Resurrected saints? Pre-resurrection saints? Are saints who die immediately resurrected? Are folks marrying and giving in marriage? Are there unsaved living there as well? Who does Satan muster for the final revolt in Rev. 20:8? (Forgive me if my knowledge of dispensationalism is coloring these issues.)

It take it that the attraction to the premil theory for some is the more literal interpretion of certain OT prophecies as well as Rev. 20. How does one draw the line so as to not fall in the error of dispensationalism?
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
Speaking as a historic premil myself, I'd hesitate to call dispensationalism a heretical form of premillennialism, since premillennialism can exist without dispensationalism (and does!), but not vice versa.

My personal opinion as to why most Reformed folks are against the historic premil view, by the way, is that it's difficult to separate, in their minds premillennialism from dispensationalism, in many cases.

Thanks for poisoning the premillennial well, Mr. Darby!

Here is a quote:

"While often popularly confused with 'dispensational premillennialism' with but a mere disagreement as to the timing of the 'rapture,' historic premillennialism is, in actuality, a completely different eschatological system, largely rejecting the whole dispensational understanding of redemptive history."


http://www.reformedreader.org/mchart.htm
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Scripture doesn't go into detail on them - since it's silent, you should be too. :)

Wisdom.

KJG

The dispensationalists seem to think there is plenty of detail, esp. in the OT. :D In fact since the NT nowhere has Christ reigning physically on the earth in a future kingdom, the premil view (of every stripe) seems to be wholly based on a partial literal interpretation of some OT prophecies. Perhaps the distinction betwen avrious premil schemes is just a matter of degrees.

There are significant issues with the premil scheme that need to be addressed, such as the matter of who exactly inhabits the earthly millennium, the issue of sin, it effects and resolution, etc.
 

puritan lad

Puritan Board Freshman
No, only the Holy Spirit's restraining influence on evil is taken out of the way (He who restrains in 2 Thess. 2) so that the man of sin (the antiChrist) can appear.
I'm familiar with this argument. Aside from the fact that 2 Thess. 2 makes no mention of either the "Holy Spirit" or "antichrist", it clearly says that "He" (the person) is out of the way, not merely his influence. Of course, that may be splitting hairs, but don't forget that Paul tells the Thessalonians that "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" in the First Century. Using 2 Thess. 2 as a support for premillennialism requires some creative eisogesis.
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
No, only the Holy Spirit's restraining influence on evil is taken out of the way (He who restrains in 2 Thess. 2) so that the man of sin (the antiChrist) can appear.

Our course the text does not support that concept:

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

One typically does not refer to a characteristic, "restraining influence", as "he".
 

BlackCalvinist

Puritan Board Senior
I'm familiar with this argument. Aside from the fact that 2 Thess. 2 makes no mention of either the "Holy Spirit" or "antichrist", it clearly says that "He" (the person) is out of the way, not merely his influence. Of course, that may be splitting hairs, but don't forget that Paul tells the Thessalonians that "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" in the First Century. Using 2 Thess. 2 as a support for premillennialism requires some creative eisogesis.

Not really.

2 Thess. talks about a man who is coming who will set himself up in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. No eisogesis necessary - we already know the identity from the rest of the scriptures (analogy of faith).
 
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