I am concious that John Macarthur and his "Strange Fire" conference has provoked me back into blogging thoughts but that I may have become guilty of becoming a "charismatic Macarthur" - i.e. I hate his absolute, judgemental and unloving language (and always have done since the days I read "Charismatic Chaos" in Dunstable).
I was determined therefore thanks to yet another sleepless night to expose myself to Macarthur's broader ministry and thoughts - of which I know not a great deal. I found this video during a conference where Phil Johnson interviews Macarthur on a few points:
Points of agreement:
1. The New International Version (in relation to Macarthur being invited to write an NIV Study Bible)
PJ: It is (NIV) not your favourite translation?
Macarthur: It is NOT my favourite translation. The question is ... does anyone reading the NIV actually care what it (the text) means?!
I wince at (again) Macarthur's broad suggestion that all NIV readers are ... less than theological (although I confess to laughing). I too dislike the NIV and prefer (and always have) the KJV or the NASB!
2. Mark Driscoll and his comments/book on marriage and sex.
I've never made any secret of being less than a fan of Mark Driscoll. I have no doubt his unique ministry is spreading the gospel and reaching the lost in his way. I just hate his macho-school-bullish-rude attitude and behaviour. His recent publicity stunt at appearing at the "Strange Fire" conference less than impressed me either. I thought it hilarious that security (he claimed) confiscated his books, but was again shocked he distorted the truth seemingly. But also his views on the Song of Solomon and marriage - disturb me.
PJ: You didn't make any recent comment about Mark Driscoll's recent book "Real Marriage" - do you want to?
Macarthur: Commercialism. There is such a beautiful dignity to the way the Scripture speaks of marriage, such a precious veiled way in which even the intimacies of marriage are alluded to in Scripture. That maintains it's intimacy and personal nature and beauty without painting it in commonly used pornographic laungage. I think these are things that shouldn't be said, don't need to be said and pander to interests in the part of people. The last thing you would ever want for the people who gather before you to hear the Word of God is to have their minds filled with your sort of uncouth, unclean speech and images that go with it.
There I COMPLETELY agree! That is the way I was brought up under Dr Stanley Jebb. That's the way I was raised to view marriage as beautifully portrayed by my parents.
Another fascinating Q and A session I found from the Shepherds Conference focuses around John Macarthur, Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan's preference for using a pen to prepare a sermon rather than a computer! As a geek - I stand convicted (not that I prepare sermons!).