Thursday, January 15, 2009
The Lordship of Christ
I confess that I am not really into John MacArthur. I find him too polemical, he canonizes his own Christian sub-culture and thinks it's normative for others, he's a pretty strong dispie, and due to the zealous reverence that some of his followers have for him I actually thought that the "Master" of "The Master's Seminary" referred to John MacArthur himself rather than to Jesus (fortunately some TMS grads have since corrected my misunderstanding - true story though!). Still, I think his sermons and books on Lordship salvation are genuinely prophetic for pockets of evangelical sub-culture that want assurance without transformation, that is committed to the point of convenience rather than to following the way of the cross, that eviscerates repentance from the gospel, that defends rather than confronts carnality and worldliness in the church, that promotes a nominal faith rather than cross shaped faith, and reduces Christianity to a what-Jesus-does-for-me consumerism.
Listen to his sermon on The Gospel according to Jesus (hosted at the Sydney Anglicans site), read the book edited by Michael Horton Christ the Lord, and the pastoral letter on the subject by John Piper if you want to get the gist of the subject. Incidentally, the first theology paper I wrote in seminary was on this topic and the whole Zane Hodges "Easy Believism" thing blew me away as it looked like an apology for a form of Christianity that was cultural, nominal, and not really interested in discipleship. Articles by Millard Erickson and (a young) Darrell Bock were most helpful in the course of my research back then.