Kim Riddlebarger Contradicts John MacArthur

Kim Riddlebarger Contradicts John MacArthur August 26, 2007

In January 2008, the following post was identified as the 18th all-time most popular post with readers of this blog. The 19th most-read post was my interview with Justin Taylor.

At the Shepherd’s Conference earlier in the year, John MacArthur underestimated the likely fury of non-dispensational Calvinists at being told they weren’t “really reformed.” This post was an extract from Kim Riddlebarger’s response, which was written several months later. Its popularity proves either that people are still interested in eschatology or that MacArthur bating should become the next Olympic sport.


Dr. Kim Riddlebarger, senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, California, and visiting professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Seminary, California has issued an article refuting John MacArthur’s extraordinary attack on Reformed amillennialists from earlier this year. If nothing else, it should convince you that amillennialism is consistent with being Reformed and having a high view of Scripture. Kim’s article is well worth reading in detail; here is his strong conclusion:

“Along with countless others, I am very grateful for John MacArthur’s bold and vocal defense of the Gospel. I am also grateful for his years of faithful service and willingness to tackle controversy in the evangelical church. But how I wish that Dr. MacArthur had chosen not to pick this fight. Sadly, he did.

This is hard to say, but in his lecture Dr. MacArthur set up and repeatedly attacked a straw man. His was a pyrrhic victory over a phantom foe.

If you are a dispensationalist, my plea is that you don’t repeat the arguments Dr. MacArthur used in this lecture. Disagree as you will, you do have the responsibility to accurately represent the Reformed amillennial position. Dr. MacArthur did not.

My suggestion is to read the books listed here (Click here: Riddleblog: The Latest Post—A Quick List of Amillennial Resources in Light of MacArthur’s Charges), and then after doing so, make up your own mind. Interact with amillennial writers, weigh our arguments in light of Scripture, and see if we are truly guilty of the charges leveled at us by Dr. MacArthur.

While you may not be convinced of Reformed amillennialism (hopefully, you will!), at least you’ll be better informed and realize that Reformed amillenarians are not anti-Semites who don’t take the Bible literally or seriously.”

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