Coram Deo ~

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Why I Love John MacArthur

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In John Piper’s book entitled Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons he tells us about the profound impact the Apostle Paul has had on his life and ministry. In this article, I would like to do the same for John MacArthur, who has served 51 years at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Imagine that – having the same pastor for 51 years! One of his accomplishments at Grace Community Church was in preaching through the entire New Testament, which he completed in 2011.  He is currently in the news because Los Angeles County is attempting to evict Pastor MacArthur’s Grace Community Church (GCC) from a parking lot it has leased since 1975—the latest in an ongoing battle between Grace and government authorities concerning GCC’s decision to defy coronavirus restrictions.
I first saw MacArthur speak at the Ligonier Ministries’ National Conference in 1997 when the theme was “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith”, and have seen him speak at that conference many times since. In addition, I have seen him speak at the Sing! 2018 Conference and on a book tour for his book A Tale of Two Sons (later retitled The Prodigal Son), one of my favorite books. I’ve read most of his books and often listen to his popular Grace to You radio program.
Whereas Piper provided 30 reasons for his love of the Apostle Paul, I’ll just list one for my love of John MacArthur. And that is simply because of his stand for the truth. MacArthur consistently lives out Romans 1:16:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Much like my theological mentor R.C. Sproul, MacArthur over the years has consistently stood for the truth, for the sufficiency of scripture through one theological controversy after another. These controversies include, but are not limited to the “Lordship Salvation” debate, the Charismatic movement, the Seeker Sensitive movement, Open Theism, the Emergent Church movement, to more recently preaching about the trend of mixing the Gospel with social justice. Upon Dr. Sproul’s death in December, 2017, MacArthur wrote about him: “He stood by my side for decades in every major theological controversy I was engaged in. More than I could ever express, I appreciated his willingness to confront important controversies without flinching.” For his part, Sproul, while recognizing that the two did disagree on some matters (baptism, for example), would say that if he could have one person with him in a foxhole in the midst of a battle, it would be John MacArthur.
MacArthur has often represented the Evangelical Christian viewpoint on national television. I remember watching him several times on Larry King Live, and I was never disappointed with how he defended the Gospel. He built a good relationship with King, who was an atheist. And he continues to do that today, clearly communicating the Gospel with political commentator Ben Shapiro who is Jewish. You can watch that conversation here.
That’s why I love “Johnny Mac”. As much as anyone, he has clearly and consistently defended the Gospel and scripture. And as he’s over 80 years of age, he is not slowing down at all. He continues to serve as the faithful senior pastor at Grace Community Church, published three books in 2018 and speaks at conferences.
Thank you, John MacArthur!

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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