T4G – My Response to MacArthur's Talk

I have already linked to some material from MacArthur’s sermon including quotes on expository preaching and the memorable description of the benefit of expository preaching you will get a church full of Christians. Challies live blog post of this message is also available, not to mention, of course, the mp3 of the message and the panel discussion which followed it.

Of all the speakers at T4G, I guess the author of Charismatic Chaos should have been the one to whom I would not have enjoyed listening. I don’t think I’d ever heard a talk by him before. But, in fact, I loved every minute of it, which was positively fatherly in nature. I would use the word apostolic to describe the way in which MacArthur clearly saw a need to serve the people there by simply offering his story as an example for them to emulate. He was an engaging speaker, and his passion for the truth was abundantly revealed throughout the talk. This won’t be the last time I listen to John MacArthur any MacArthur fans out there who haven’t given up on reading this blog, please tell me Where should I start?

So, while I was busy enjoying this talk, imagine my surprise to hear MacArthur favourably cite the Huss prophecy that someone would come after him who the Roman Catholic church would not be able to silence. MacArthur even called it a prophecy, and stated that Luther was the successor who fulfilled that prophecy. So it seems that maybe MacArthur is saying that the gifts only ceased after Luther?!? When he spoke of this aspect of history, he spoke of it in exactly the way the charismatics I know speak of modern day prophecy. If it’s good enough for Huss and Luther, it’s good enough for me!

Interestingly, he also spoke about the importance of Word plus Spirit, and acknowledged the assistance of the Spirit in preaching. MacArthur acknowledged the spontaneous work of God in the pulpit, bringing to mind new phrases or ideas that hadn’t appeared in the preparation of the study. Thus, it seems to me that MacArthur is a preacher operating clearly under the unction of the Spirit, even though perhaps he wouldn’t believe in it! Did I miss something, or have I misunderstood him?


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