To kick off the 2016 seminary season John MacArthur spoke to the students in chapel on two of Paul’s prayers that were instrumental in the shaping of MacAthur when he took the pastorate of his church almost 50 years ago. Tremedous lessons not only for pastors, but for Christians in general.
John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, Stephen Nichols, Nathan Busenitz and RC Sproul gathered together at Reformation Bible College to consider together the subject of our great salvation.
From the website:
As R.C. Sproul has said, the most serious problem we face as humans is that “God is holy and we are not.” During our 2015 Fall Conference at Reformation Bible College, we considered this problem and addressed the scope of the biblical gospel. Hosted in partnership with The Master’s Seminary, the conference featured Dr. John MacArthur as our special guest. In addition to those attending Fall Conference, we were joined this weekend by prospective Reformation Bible College (RBC) students as they took classes during the college’s Preview Weekend, spent time meeting with faculty and current students, toured the campus, and joined us for RBC’s fifth annual convocation service on Friday evening.
You can read highlights here. The conference is currently free to stream video or audio.
MacArthur’s sermon from this past Sunday was a look at the continued moral deterioration of the United States fueled by the Supreme Court. In this message he talks about his perception of the nation’s situation before God and then directs his attention to 2 Thessalonians 1. In his introduction he said this:
The two greatest attacks of terror on America were perpetrated by the Supreme Court. Not by any Muslim, but by the Supreme Court of the United States. The first one was the legalizing of abortion. Subsequent to that, there have been millions of babies slaughtered in the wombs of their mothers. It’s incalculable to even comprehend that. The blood of those lives cries out from the ground for divine vengeance on this nation.
The second great act of terror perpetrated by the Supreme Court was the legalization of same-sex marriage. The destruction of human life in the womb—in a sense, the destruction of motherhood—and now the destruction of the family itself. No bomb, no explosion, no attack, and no assault on people physically can come anywhere near that kind of terrorism. Our country is being terrorized by the people most responsible to protect it—those who are to uphold the law.
Just a few comments beyond that. No human court has the authority to redefine morality. But this human court has said murder is not murder; and marriage is not marriage; and family is not family. They have usurped the authority that belongs only to God, who is the creator of life, marriage, and family.
The Shepherd’s Conference has finished with a bang by MacArthur. This years conference has been titled The Inerrancy Summit, and it has assembled a stellar gathering of speakers: Alistair Begg, R. C. Sproul, Steve Nichols, Ligon Duncan, Carl Trueman, Mark Dever, Steve Lawson, Greg Beale, Derek Thomas, Al Mohler, Sinclair Ferguson, Iain Murray, Kevin DeYoung, and no I didn’t make this up.
Most of the sessions are on Vimeo, and more audio and video options will be coming later, I presume.
How do we help church members who prefer anonymity to love and open up to each other?
Audio and video is now up on the T4G website. Great conference featuring Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, John MacArthur, Thabiti Anyabwile, David Platt, Kevin DeYoung, John Piper and Matt Chandler.
The Strange Fire Conference has exploded with a brilliant fireball and started wildfires across Christendom. The blogosphere and twitter feeds have flashed with shining lights of support and burning embers of anger, frustration and sadness.
Whatever your position on the charismatic issue, this conference is initiating an important examination of doctrine and charismatic practice. It’s clear that this isn’t some pet peeve of MacArthur. This conference sold out quickly and the amount of people who have tuned in to watch the live feed appears to be enormous. MacArthur and his fellow speakers spoke to an issue that many Christians have been waiting for for a long time. MacArthur may be the face, but behind him are legions of God’s people who are immensely grateful that a group of men have taken a stand against things that have been frustrating and saddening them for decades.
The conference raised a lot of very good questions that the charismatic movement should answer. Conrad Mbewe asked why there are no healings that conform to Matthew 11:4-5. Where are the deaf who are hearing? Where are the lame who are waking? Where are the blind who are seeing? This was followed up by MacArthur posing the question that if these gifts continue why do continuationists believe they continue in a lesser degree than is found in the New Testament? Phil Johnson asks the charismatics why they aren’t policing the abuses of their own movement? Anyone under the “charismatic” brush should be more concerned about the abuses than the cessationists are, right? Some bloggers have responded to this by saying they don’t have time to address the abuses, but given the size of the movement, and the large number of churches in the movement that are bigger than MacArthur’s church somebody in the movement should be should be doing something, no?
I’ve been watching the blogosphere for how those in the line of fire are responding. So far I have been very disappointed in what I’ve seen. There has been far too much ad homonim, misrepresentation and superficial argumentation. Far too many have even jumped into the waters of criticism without having listened to the conference.
The church throughout history has seen explosive and divisive issues far greater than this conference. When the church responds with anger and juvenile mud slinging nothing is solved. But when the church gathers to examine the arguments in light of the careful exegesis of Scripture, it can produce a wise and reasoned and articulate response that is biblically clarifying, truth magnifying and God exalting.
To those in the charismatic and continuationist camps, I say you have a golden opportunity handed to you on a platter. Respond to the arguments and biblical exegesis of MacArthur and colleagues with strong, clear, well articulated biblical responses that support your position. If you do, and you’re right, the church will be stronger for it. A lot of Christians are going to be looking for a well reasoned biblical response from your camp. It’s time to step up to the plate like Christian, godly men, and give a ready defense of your position. God’s people will be watching.
There have been a number of good articles written about how Strange Fire should be responded to. Tim Challies attended the conference and has a very helpful article titled Lessons Learned at Strange Fire. Trevon Wax has written The Right and Wrong Way to Engage John MacArthur’s “Strange Fire” Conference at the Gospel Coalition website. Thabiti Anyabwile has written an article about why you should care about the discussion of the Strange Fire Conference, here. He closes his article with this exhortation:
I hope you’re following with careful concern to know the truth rather than to vindicate your party. I hope you’re listening with rapt attention because you’re eager to hear God’s voice more clearly and to walk with your Savior more closely.
If you decide to skip listening to these messages you should at the very least listen to Joni Eareckson Tada’s incredible testimony to a life of disability and suffering.
The audio for the 2013 Shepherd’s Conference is now online. Al Mohler, Steve Lawson, Phil Johnson and John MacArthur deliver the General Session messages this year. Be sure to also listen to Steve Lawson’s breakout session on Martin Luther called Here I Stand.
John MacArthur has recently given two Q&A’s where the questions centered on the church. The first Q&A deals mostly with John’s history of Grace Community Church, what he faced when he first came and how he approached ministry and how it became the church it is today.
The second Q&A covers John’s theology of the church. What is the church? What is worship? Why is the church centered around the preaching of the Word of God? What is John’s approach to application? How does John prepare for Sunday?
Ligonier’s 2012 Stand Firm West Coast Conference is now available as streaming video. MacArthur opens the conference with a look at the Authority of Scripture.
The veracity and authority of Scripture is basic to the Christian faith, but it is not a “given” in the modern world. Not only is it directly attacked by skeptics inside and outside of the church, it is undermined by claims of authority for other alleged “holy books” such as the Qur’an and the Book of Mormon. In our skeptical and multicultural world, it is necessary for Christians to draw a line in the sand when the authority of Scripture is challenged.