In the late 1800s, Spurgeon warned that the Church was drifting away from the purity of the Gospel. Instead of boldly proclaiming the truths of Scripture, Christians were candy-coating the Word, being careful not to offend anyone. As a result, Christianity's influence in nineteenth-century England was severely weakened. Now, a full century later, John MacArthur is sounding the alarm to warn discerning believers that the crisis the Church faced in the late 19th Century has come to the modern-day Church.Publishers Description
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of the God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 // With this verse, John MacArthur begins to remind us of C.H. Spurgeon's warning in 1800's England. "Everywhere there is apathy. Nobody cares whether that which is preached is true or false. A sermon is a sermon whatever the subject; only, the shorter it is the better." Charles Haddon Spurgeon // Until all that changes, until we return to our calling to go into all the world and preach the Gospel without shame, the Church is in danger of losing its impact on society. And that would be our generation's greatest loss.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.2" Width: 5.16" Height: 0.76"
Weight: 0.41 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2006
Publisher Hovel Audio
Availability 2 units.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Good background, Poor Solution Jun 17, 2008|
|Since we have been Christians for many years, both my wife and I have been distressed over the "Show Time" type of Christianity that now exists in many churches. We have attended services in a church which has "Broadway Style" (words taken from the church bulletin) presentations. One Christmas, this same church had a "Rock around the Christmas Tree" presentation (including the music, tree, and dancing). |
I bought MacArthur's book with the hope that it would provide us with some insights and solutions to this problem of worldliness in the church. The first seven chapters give good insight into the pragmatic, "market-driven" church so common in our day. They are worthwhile reading.
The problem I had with his book comes in chapter eight. I'm expecting some insight into the root of this problem. However, the only answer I get is, "The very reason many contemporary churches embrace pragmatic methodology is they lack understanding of God's sovereignty in the salvation of the elect." He spends a whole chapter discussing his Calvinistic view.
The classic statement he makes is, ". . . those who reject the biblical doctrine of sovereignty. . ." It isn't a question of rejecting sovereignty (Who in their right mind would doubt that the God of the Bible is sovereign in all that He does?). There are many godly Christians, missionaries, and churches who believe that God in his sovereignty has given to man the power of genuine choice. Giving man choice does not take away from God's glory or sovereignty.
His solution, it seems, is that "many contemporary churches" should get more "understanding of God's sovereignty in the salvation of the elect." He seems to say that accepting his Calvinistic belief regarding "salvation of the elect" would solve the problem of pragmatism in today's churches. If he means to say that, how does one account for worldliness in strongly Calvinistic churches? Frankly, I don't think that worldliness (or un-worldliness) in a church is determined by the churches view on Calvinism. The eighth chapter left me disappointed; otherwise, it is a very good book.
|Spot On Apr 9, 2008|
|First MacArthur book I read, which changed my life. Well studied and saturated in The Word of God. Thank you, Sir!|
|What the Church should look like today! May 13, 2007|
|I find this to be one of MacArthur's more compelling book. His awareness of the threats to the pure gospel is sharp; his use of Scripture to expose the dangers is on target; his exegesis is truly admirable; the relevancy of this book speaks volume.|
I told a pastor friend of mine that he MUST read this book. Everyone who is in ministry or getting ready to answer God's call to ministry ought to read this book. It will safeguard you from a lot of dangers that lurk, wearing the robe of evangelicalism or falsely so-called.
I especiall like the last few chapters that emphasize the sovereignty of God in salvation and the building of his church. The church belongs to the Lord. He purchased it with his own blood. He is its rightful head. He knows how to build it and what it should look like. He has commissioned us to preach the pure gospel. Thank Lord, for the likes of Spurgeon and MacArthur.
|Better than most in this genre May 12, 2007|
|I was looking for books that would explain some of the criticisms aimed at CGM churches, such as Willow Creek and Saddleback. This book, published in 1993 doesn't name either of these by name and I thought it would give a relatively objective view having been written earlier than most others of this type.|
MacArther takes aim at CGM churches and may be one of the first authors to do so. Of special interest to me is the appendix that gives some insight into Charles Spurgeon and the Downgrade Controversy. This is probably the best part of the entire book, and takes up a substantial portion of it. This is a good commentary and brief biographical treatment of Spurgeon for those of us who are not very familiar with him but only through some very good quotations.
However, MacArther's treatment of CGM churches begins to wear thin about midway through the second chapter. Some of his arguments start to make him sound more like a pharisee than someone bringing in the light. He objects to the forms of worship, the subject of worship, the absence of substance, the user-friendly message, the seeker-friendly concept...and these are all well and fine, but most of these arguments can be found for free all over the internet. He seems to go on a bit long in order to flesh out chapters that could be shorter, but of course this is sort of par for the course with most preachers!
MacArther makes his point but as a champion of institutional churchianity, he must draw up short of pointing out that these megachurches are merely the next logical steps for an institution where the clergy is always more exhalted, more revered and more siognificant than the laity "sheep." So while the reader may be freed from a downgraded institution, the person will still be in bondage to MacArther's brand of institution which puts them in a pew, staring at the back of the heads of others and viewing things going on at the front. As long as the preacher and the Sunday preaching remain the staple diet of people who call themselves Christians, it will continue to be a movement that is in decline, no matter the size or flavor.
|MacArthur: Today's Charles Spurgeon Apr 16, 2007|
|The brilliance of John MacArthur's book, "Ashamed of the Gospel" is that it was written long before Rick Warren and Bill Hybels were household names. MacArthur, like Spurgeon a century ago, is one of our generation's leading apologist for defending the faith and the intregrity of biblical doctrines.|
The evangelical church that I knew (until about 1995) was a place where the gospel was upheld and the bible was looked at as the infallible, inspired Word of God. This evangelical church largely arose because of the apostasy that invaded the mainline denominations some 80-100 years ago. Now that same apostasy has invaded Evangelicalism and the term "evangelical" no longer has any firm meaning in my mind.
Blame it on many factors. One key factor are pastors who figured out they could obtain larger churches, prominence, and prestige by preaching a "partial Christianity" that contains bits and pieces of the truth, and downplays or ignores the other doctrines that don't appeal to the masses. Rick Warren is especially dangerous as he surveyed his potential audience to discover what they wanted preached. Of course, that model works in today's consumer mentality. Rick has placed man's needs above God's words.
Another blame is on people themselves. They don't want to hear truth and the marketplace has rewarded pastors who placate people's needs to be "churched" but not taught anything controversial or difficult to believe. Mixed together, [heathen pagans plus limp-willed pastors] and you get a pretty good understanding of what evangelicalism has become.
God will never be denied a witness in any generation and John MacArthur is one of a diminishing number of sound bible teachers today who dares to take an unpopular and difficult stand when communicating God's message.
Especially powerful in this book was beginning on page 121 and Paul's exposition of the gospel in the Book of Romans. Paul's approach to the gospel begins with the bad news of man's sin and God's wrath. It is hard to appreciate the good news of the gospel unless one fully understands just how wicked and needing of a savior we are. The seeker-sensitive movement always ignores this point and immediately jumps to the good news. Consequently we have many people in today's seeker-sensitive church who are getting "saved", but they have no idea from what.
Another chapter of note is Chapter 7 on Paul preaching on Mars Hill in Acts Ch. 17. MacArthur makes the case that many church leaders read more into the text about pragmatism than is there. Paul did not compromise his message while preaching in the open marketplace of the day; today's preachers are compromising right and left. Paul was direct; he didn't win many converts. Look at the seeker-sensitive movement today attracting millions. One thing we know about biblical truth is that if the masses are running to some book or teaching, be cautious. That is a flashing warning sign that deception is nearby.
I can't wait to read MacArthur's new book, "The Truth War."
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