Episode: John MacArthur Is No Stranger to Controversy


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John MacArthur Is No Stranger to Controversy

Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries.

Last week, John MacArthur celebrated 50 years in the pastorate at a conference at his congregation Grace Community Church. During the event, MacArthur accused the Southern Baptist Convention of taking a “headlong plunge” toward allowing women preachers after women spoke at the SBC’s 2019 annual meeting.

That, he said, was a sign the denomination no longer believed in biblical authority.“When you literally overturn the teaching of Scripture to empower people who want power, you have given up biblical authority,” said MacArthur, as a Religious News Service story reported.

A moderator also asked MacArthur and his fellow panelists to offer their gut reactions to one- or two-word phrases.

When the moderator said “Beth Moore,” MacArthur replied, “Go home.”

MacArthur has never shied away from controversy. Last year, he helped organize a controversial statement responding to social justice. He has frequently spoken out against the modern Charismatic movement.

Part of the impetus behind MacArthur’s tendency to speak out comes from how he understands his belief in a high authority of Scripture, says Jonathan Holmes, a pastor and counselor who graduated from the Master’s College and worked there for several years.

“There are a lot of things many evangelicals would say are non-essentials, for instance, a woman's role in the church, or drinking, or dancing, or creation or the end times,” said Holmes. “But those all become major touchpoints for MacArthur because his view of Scripture is such that if you budge on the grammatical, literal interpretation of the Bible in any of these areas, the whole thing begins to fall apart.”

Holmes joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss whether MacArthur is a fundamentalist or evangelical, whether he has ever changed his mind with regards to his own theological convictions, and what to make of a Master’s Seminary grad preaching at one of Kanye West’s Sunday Services.

Today's episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, where Kingdom-minded women and men are equipped to follow their callings. By learning to think theologically, developing ministry skills, cultivating a community of support, and engaging in spiritual formation, Truett students are uniquely prepared to make an impact in the Church and the world. Learn more at baylor.edu/truett.

This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Christianbook.com. With over 500,000 products to choose from, Christianbook.com brings everything Christian right to your fingertips. Go to Christianbook.com.

This episode is also brought to you by the Wheaton College Graduate School. Respected and represented the world over, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Wheaton College Graduate School will inspire, challenge, and equip you to be a servant scholar for Christ and His Kingdom. Learn more at wheaton.edu/QTL.



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