What's the majority consensus here about Alister Mcgrath?

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by Reformedfellow, Feb 13, 2012.

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  1. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    Please assist me with this.

    Dispensational theology refers to the unified teachings of Dispensationalism that address what other views teach as divergent theologies in the Old Testament and New Testament. Its name reflects a view that biblical history is best understood as a series of dispensations, or separated time-periods, in the Bible.

    I'm quoting
    "But when people try to pin me down to some kind of system all I would say this, here is the sum total of my dispensationalism. One sentence, "There is a true future for national Israel." Period, paragraph. Why do I believe that? Because that's exactly what Scripture says. Old Testament, New Testament. I'm not content to just imbibe a theology passed down through centuries, as respected as it might be. And many covenant theologians are absolutely at the very pinnacle of biblical scholarship and understanding of the great doctrines of grace and things like that and we applaud them and we affirm them and we revere them and we stand with them and love them and appreciate them for that. I just don't understand why they change the rules of the game when they get to Israel.

    What is to be gained by that? I know what is to be lost. It's the call into question the faithfulness of God and to call into question the straightforward interpretation of Scripture. The difference is not a difference in exegesis. If somebody's wondering why are some people covenant theologians and some people what's called futuristic premillennialist believing in a literal future as outlined in Scripture. For Israel including the millennial kingdom. What is the difference? It's not exegetical. That is, it's not in the words, it's not in the syntax or the grammar or the lexicography of the language. It's not a difference in what the text says. We don't disagree on what it says. We just flatly disagree at this point.

    We say it means what it says. They say it doesn't mean what it says. It means what we say it means. Now have an authority problem because you've now presupposed that it has to mean something other than what it says. Once you say it's not literal then you can't know what it is and why would you do that? Why? Why not, except a literal, historical, normal understanding of Scripture and if it yields a future for Israel, I'm not going to be sad. I'm going to be glad, because that means God keeps His what? His promises. Why would I want to come up with a system that has God voiding out His promises and then while I might have done away with the problem regarding Israel, for reason I'm not sure, I've got a problem regarding God."
  2. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    Colin Doyle:
    I am standing in AWE!! Mouth open, can't believe what I just read.(Speechless)
    This was the most inspiring and insightful advice I have ever been given.
    Thank you very much. Wow Brother, you don't know how much I appreciate the advice.
    I have never really personally met Reformed believers, Church I attend are a bit different in believe but still the closest to Reformed.
    The closest Reformed Church from me is 150KM. Financially can't make it there every Sunday.

    I knew true believers of Christ will be different from what I am use to.(Spiritual and Knowledge based seasoned with fruit of the spirit. LOL)
    That is the reason I joined the Puritanboard, I wanted to know if Reformed people are different. I reached out to many groups of people(Churches).
    Searched for Reformed Brothers to chat to, wanted to ask questions. See what they are doing for the Faith.
    Places like(gty.org, pyromaniacs and a few other places). I had so many questions. Needed some friends, even if it was just a once a month email buddy(Brother in Christ).
    Well I know everybody is busy and they probably get millions of mails like mine. Had to take a chance.
    From then on I searched and studied everything I could find on the Reformed Theology.
    I have quite a collection now but what does knowledge help me if I don't know how to apply it.(Am I showing good fruits that will last, Am I truly saved?)

    I want to thank you for the reply, It really means a lot to me.(I have always read about Good fruit, Meekness, love(agape), kindness etc.)
    But never really seen it in someone, until now.

    I heard a sermon once and the Preacher said "To become a godly man you must just observe and examine the life of a true man of GOD"
    I know the Scripture is enough to change you into Christ's likeness. I know that the Spirit will lead you.
    I can relate to what that preacher said that day, You will see how to treat your wife, children, strangers, widows, orphans, devotional time with Almighty God, Prayers, Diligence, speech, never compromising, how he deals with confrontation or people who doesn't see everything he does.
    WOW, wouldn't it be great to personally know someone like that.
  3. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    Eat the meat and spit out the bones, right?
  4. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    Keep sight of this. No one here says "don't correct the brother." NO ONE. No one is saying "don't defend the word of God." NO ONE. Some are merely saying "Learn what you can, if you can, without necessarily putting the brother on the banned list." Much like Paul, God may not be done with him yet.

  5. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    This should help get you started on seeing the incompatibility: Riddleblog - A Reply to John MacArthur

    By all means, listen to the MP3 lectures listed on that page as audio resources.

    MacAurthur is reformed in his soteriology, but he is not "Reformed." Driscoll is much the same (but has WAY more issues).
  6. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    He He. Was waiting for the Off topic comment. Sorry not yet figured the "How to post my own topics and blogs"

    ---------- Post added at 05:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:17 PM ----------

    Okay wait a minute so I can go look at the meaning of "soteriology". :oops:
    Thank you I appreciate it. Will listen to it.
  7. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    Soteriology (Greek σωτηρία sōtēria "salvation" from σωτήρ sōtēr "savior, preserver" + λόγος logos "study" or "word"[1]) is the study of religious doctrines of salvation.

    Got it.
    Okay but what does it mean to be reformed? Must your Theology etc. line up with all the confessions and creeds etc.?
    And if you differ on few point does it make you less reformed?
    Then the question will be what points hay?

    I watched a DVD called Amazing Grace, History and Theology of Calvinism.
    I loved it, It was a foundation to build on(Reformed).
    Have you seen it?
    If yes please comment on the accuracy of it.
    I saw a list of people they named as Reformed like J.Piper and a few others.
    Is he reformed?

    I guess by the sound of it you must first thoroughly(Diligently) study a authors works before you trust him.(Scary)
  8. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    I will try in my feeble way to help here. The definition of "Reformed" as used in common evangelicalism is sort of like nailing jello to a tree. In essence, "Reformed" is used to mean "Calvinistic in one's soteriology." See, for instance Challies take on the definition: What It Means To Be Reformed | Challies Dot Com

    However, on THIS board, the brothers and sisters hold to a more distinctive view. This is a "confessional" board, becaused to be Reformed IS to be confessional. You had to subscribe to a reformed confession to get in the door here. What is right, proper, and "Reformed" is governed by the Confessions. Most "Reformed" folks adhere to the Westminster, or its London 1st Cousin. I would submit that if you are on this board, "Reformed" equals "confessional" and as Joshua and Ruben so frequently point out, looking back to the Confessions and scripture proofs are the first line of defense on points of "Reformed doctrine." My poor paraphrase would be that the Scriptures tell us WHAT we believe, and the Confessions tell us how to accurately SAY what we confess the scriptures to teach.

    This is a blog post from a Reformed Baptist on the broader issue that I liked, for what its worth:
    Life in Christ: What does it Mean to be Reformed?

    I think I have that DVD, I would have to dig around. I am not sure Piper holds to a specific confession. He is a continualist, so I would grant him "very reformed in soteriology/Christology" but not "confessional" to my knowledge. Others here will surely know more. His "TULIP" series is quite good. I would avoid him on other issues.

    There is no free lunch, my friend. However, if you post on this board you want a "totally safe" author on any given subject, you will get a plethora of excellent responses. Mostly old dead guys, again. They have stood the test of time.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  9. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Ronny, questions can so easily get buried in a long thread like this one that if you don't get an answer you might be better off starting a new one. There is an area called "the Wading Pool" specifically set aside for answering questions from those who are new to the Reformed faith - that's often your best bet for a clear, non-controversial discussion.
  10. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Here's part of my worry about writing off Christians who still cling to evolution:

    Where should the debate over evolution take place? Because it can't take place with the world. You can't have a meaningful debate with Richard Dawkins over it because he doesn't accept Scripture. The debate is fundamentally over the interpretation of Scripture and thus it is inherently a debate inside the Church.
  11. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    Without reopening an old debate Dispensationalism as a whole (not necessarily MacArthur's brand) has considerable damage to the church over the last 100 or so years. I would not trust any book on old testament theology written by a dispensationalist, nor would I consider it wise to suggest a book by a dispensationalist to someone who is unaware of where they err. The denial of the covenant and law is as equal in foundation as creation.
  12. John Lanier

    John Lanier Puritan Board Junior

  13. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    Okay I read a lot of stuff today about Dispensationalism, I went through all I can find on DR J.MacArthur and "Leaky-Dispensationalist".
    He doesn't support this view fully, he doesn't deny it either.(LOL. Paradox). Bhahahahaha. :lol: :oops: Got carried away sorry.
    I need a simple explanation please. I have listened to hundreds of J.MacArthur sermons. And Hundreds of CH.Spurgeon sermons(Sometimes think Dr.J.MacArthur is copy and pasting CH.Spurgeon) They are so alike in quality.

    Obviously I don't understand Dispensationalism and the harm its doing.

    Help a brother out and explain how.

    I'm going to Post a new thread with this question.
  14. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Colin, there are two kinds of people who believe evolution: unbelievers and confused and/or ignorant believers. This isn't the trinity or a doctrine which separates the church from the world---maybe in a century or two it will be, but not at the moment. We have to accept that many who are brothers are simply in error on this point and while we may correct them, we do so by appeal to Scripture, which inherently means that this is a debate within Christianity.

    I'm not suggesting that we go liberal and start ordaining men who believe in evolution. I am saying that we ought to recognize first that many who are on the other side of the fence from you and I are genuine believers, and genuinely confused, not seeing the implications of denying a historical Adam and a historical fall. And like dispensationalists, Roman Catholics, and others with whom I have strong disagreements, I will recommend people who happen to be theistic evolutionists when they write something useful. I don't let my hangups about Eastern Orthodoxy keep me from recommending Gregory of Nazianzus; I don't let my questions about some of his positions keep me from recommending C.S. Lewis; I don't let my reservations about theistic evolution keep me from recommending Alistair McGrath.

    There's no such thing as a "safe" writer outside the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And often I find myself understanding Scripture better after reading something that I disagree with. I find I am more likely to fall into the errors of my allies than those of my opponents. Reading those with whom you disagree forces you to deepen your understanding.
  15. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    Lord Help us

    Question, Isn't He in our camp and teaching Heresies?
    Thing is that it could be harmful to NEW believers if you recommend his books.(I know you wont do that to new believers)
    Shouldn't we contend for the Faith, against Apostasy? "Jude"
    The guy is still alive, why don't we reason(contend) with him and show him out of scripture that He is wrong?
    Like our Fathers of the Faith did, and the Apostles before them.

    O Lord the Wretched man that I am give me understanding. Enlighten the eyes of my heart and make me brave as those who got martyred for the Faith.
    Father, Make the strong(Wise, Rich in Knowledge) brave, give them the courage to fight for the faith. Never compromising, Never giving up ground for
    the enemy. Bless the Lord O my soul. To YOU all the glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.:amen:
  16. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Yes. In the Church of England, he's considered an extreme conservative---McGrath is more qualified for office than the current Archbishop of Canterbury. If I were part of the Church of England, I'd have to work with him and others even more problematic for reforms that are even more fundamental.

    What do we mean by support here? If we simply mean recommending his scholarship in helpful areas, I do that with all kinds of people who aren't ordained. Again, he's one of the best in many areas of historical theology.

    Depends on the new believer. There are certain authors that I only recommend to those who are already well-grounded and need challenges of this kind in order to grow.

    He's not apostate, he's a Christian. He is just in error on his doctrine of creation.

    Nothing wrong with this. No reason to reject his real contributions to scholarship and apologetics, though.
  17. Filipe Luiz C. Machado

    Filipe Luiz C. Machado Puritan Board Freshman

    Mcgrath is evidential in his works - no good for pious students.
  18. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I think some are more tolerant of theistic evolution than other errors e.g. denial of Hell.
  19. jayce475

    jayce475 Puritan Board Freshman

  20. Zork

    Zork Puritan Board Freshman

    Thank you that was very helpful.

    "My poor paraphrase would be that the Scriptures tell us WHAT we believe, and the Confessions tell us how to accurately SAY what we confess the scriptures to teach. "

    WOW, Nicely said.

    ---------- Post added at 03:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:49 PM ----------

    Thank you, Forgive me I'm still figuring out whats what and whats where.
    Have so many things to learn, So many questions, So many loving, wise and kind Reformers here. HE HE. Couldn't help myself. :oops::oops:
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