John MacArthur

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    A poster who cannot participate in baptist-only segment asked me "Is John MacArthur a fundamentalist or a new evangelical?"

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Major B

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    He is a dispensationalist-calvinist-eldership-baptistic guy. Back when Criswell was still himself, he had Mac preach at this church and proclaimed that MAC was indeed a Baptist.

    Given his strong stands on social issues, his steadfast opposition to antinomianism and charismania, and his conservative views on every issue of which I am aware, he is definitely not a new evangelical.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    He is an enigma, but more of a new evangelical than a fundamentalist by virtue of his inconsistent practice of separation.
     
  4. donnA

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    What is new evangelical?
     
  5. Greg Linscott

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    In The Dividing Line: Understanding And Applying Biblical Separation by Mark Sidwell (published in 1998 by BJU Press), he presents the position of the "Neo-Fundamentalist." Another term that has been applied is "Open Fundamentalism," in contrast to the closed fundamentalism of the militant separatists.

    Sidwell writes (pp. 124-125, italics added for clarity):
    While Sidwell does not directly identify MacArthur with this group (instead identifying it with Jerry Falwell and Jack Van Impe), I believe one could make the argument- although I don't think that MacArthur is going to end up where Van Impe and Falwell are today. Sidwell himself calls MacArthur an Evangelical, but mentions him in generally positive terms , in the same breath with Francis Schaeffer, Harold Lindsell, and R.C. Sproul.
     
  6. aefting

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    MacArthur was in the same class at Bob Jones as my mom. I believe he was Sophomore class chaplain his last year at BJU. He left in 1959 and his father resigned from the Bob Jones board shortly thereafter, both over the Billy Graham issue. The history is that John MacArthur left fundamentalism. It would be great if he came back.

    Andy
     
  7. Major B

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    Bob Jones U may claim to be the arbiter of what is fundamentalism and what is not, but they aren't. Having read MacArthur and used his reference materials as I have, he is a fundamentalist. He is not a raving, foaming at the mouth, hate everyone fundamentalist--amen--and he is not an ultra arminian. He is what he says he is, a preacher who unleashes the Bible one verse at a time.
     
  8. Major B

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    </font>[/QUOTE]Well, I've read significant portions of "The Fundamentals," which, of course, were the root of the term "Fundamentalism." They sound a lot more like Mac than like the fightin' fundies.
     
  9. bjonson

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    John MacArthur's church, Grace Community, is listed as a member of the Independant Fundamental Churches of America, International. Here is what that group believes:

    http://www.ifca.org/Constitution/doc.htm

    A highlight:

    "d. New Evangelicalism

    (Neo­Evangelicalism, New Conservatism)

    These terms refer to that movement within evangelicalism characterized by a toleration of and a dialogue with theological liberalism. Its essence is seen in an emphasis upon the social application of the gospel and weak or unclear doctrines of: the inspiration of Scripture, biblical creationism, eschatology, dispensationalism, and separation. It is further characterized by an attempt to accommodate biblical Christianity and make it acceptable to the modern mind.

    We believe that these movements are out of harmony with the Word of God and the official doctrine and position of IFCA International and are inimical to the work of God. "

    He must not be a new evangelical.
     
  10. Greg Linscott

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    Okay, but BJU is not exactly Hyles-Anderson, either. I'm not a BJ alum, but I have found their attitude to be very gracious and accomodating.

    Much of the "militant fundamental" wing is stereotyped as the foaming-mouth type, and from what I have seen, undeservedly so. We have our standards, we hold to them, and support and cooperate with those who are in agreement. It's not as if we are protesting a la Fred Phelps in front of any and every non-fundamentalist event.

    I attended a conference at a church pastored by an FBF leader, where BJIII was a featured speaker. He actually had very complementary things to say from the pulpit about John MacArthur (although he didn't name him outright). He did point out an area of inconsistency in a speaking engagement (from BJIII's point of view), but mentioned that they had active correspondence between them.

    Whether you agree with BJIII or not, that sure doesn't sound like hateful action or attitude.

    But hey, what do I know? [​IMG]
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Major, The issue with MacArthur is his inconsistent practice of separation. It is one thing to believe the right things and say the right things. It is a completely different thing to practice it and that is where the rub comes in. A fundamentalist does not just believe five things. He practices his faith consistently.
     
  12. aefting

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    And many at BJU appreciate him for the very reasons you state. They even sell some of his books in the BJU bookstore. But the fact of the matter is that he left BJU over the watershed issue of Billy Graham's ecumenical evangelism. He turned his back on fundamentalism and the fact that his church belongs to the IFCA reflects more on the IFCA, I think, than it does him.

    Andy
     
  13. Siegfried

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    I think it's unfair to judge whether he's a fundamentalist or not based on why he left BJU when he was a 20 year old kid. I would much rather hear how he has cooperated in ministry with those who compromise the gospel. Can anyone offer any solid facts, not just generalities?
     
  14. aefting

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    Siegfried, I think your objection is fair, although I don't know what MacArthur has done since he left to give people the idea that he has since re-embraced fundamentalism. I'm not sure he wants to be identified as a fundamentalist.

    Andy
     
  15. Siegfried

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    Sure, but I don't know whether I want to be identified as a fundamentalist or not either. That doesn't mean I'm not one. I certainly am by any historical definition.
     
  16. PackerBacker

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    Just curious in which fundamental of the faith he has been inconsistent in practice?
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Just curious, why would you ask that question? I didn't say anything about being inconsistent in a "fundamental of the faith." To my knowledge, apart from a few wierd views, some of which later changed, he has not been inconsistent in the fundamentals of the faith. So, you will have to ask someone who thinks he is inconsistent in a fundamental of the faith in order to get an answer to that.
     
  18. PackerBacker

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    Pastor Larry.

    Sorry if I misrepresented your views in my question. The thread is about him being a Fundamentalist, your note starts by saying he is inconsistent in his practice of separation, and it finishes by saying a fundamentalist practices his faith consistently. I got the impression that separation was one of the fundamentals of the faith by your comments.

    Let me try to rephrase the question. How does he not practice his faith consistently? What should he be separated from, on a consistent basis, to be a real fundamentalist?
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    What I mean by "practicing his faith" consistently means that he practices separation based on his faith. Many examples from Mac could be adduced here for support, but one "for instance" is his preaching for Jack Hayford. To me, that illustrated everything that is wrong with his position. It sends the wrong message. While Mac meant well in doing that, as a result of his (by his own testimony), he was invited by the charismatic businessmen's luncheon to speak on teh baptism of the Holy Spirit. You see, Mac's speaking for Hayford sent the message to the charismatic group that Mac was one of them. That is one of the dangers of lack of separation.

    To his credit, Mac said it was the only time he had ever been forcibly removed from the pulpit, but the question was, Why was he there in teh first place? If the charismatic group had invited him knowing what he believed, that would have been fine. But he sent a mixed message.
     
  20. Siegfried

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    Larry,

    So how is MacArthur speaking for Hayford any different from BJU partnering in an accrediting agency with Hayford's school? If anything, BJU partnering with Hayford's school (King's College and Seminary) is worse because when MacArthur speaks in Hayford's pulpit, he is at worst tacitly endorsing his ministry by his presence in the pulpit. When BJU joins in the accrediting agency, they are directly endorsing his ministry through the very structure of the accreditation arrangement.

    If you want to say both MacArthur and BJU are wrong, then I would agree that you are consistent and respect your position even though I see separation differently. I just think it's horrendously hypocritical for BJU and their defenders to strain out gnats when they're swallowing--well, maybe not a camel, but at least a healthy fruit fly.
     

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