Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Purchased 'Slave' on Kindle

So I've purchased John MacArthur's new book Slave on my Kindle account.


I'm going to be taking my time reading it but I'm sure I'll be posting about it soon. Here's a screenshot of the first page after the cover however:


If there is anything good, at all, about this book being published it must simply be that followers can no longer deny that MacArthur preaches a works based salvation.  In the very first paragraph of writing in the book RC Sproul praises the work and states:
"Those who would be His children, must paradoxically be willing to be His slaves." 

20 comments:

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

I have Slave on my desk and will begin reading soon. I'll let you know my impressions and would like to compare notes.


Lou

Kevl said...

Hey Lou,

I'll send you an email with some initial thoughts this evening. I've read the Preface and the first chapter.

MacArthur is as clever as ever, but my study of TGATJ has really helped me to see how he presents his opinions in this work. He's basically using exactly the same process for convincing the reader.

There is also one thing that is most clever! I don't want to give it away here because I'm not entirely sure how to properly present it yet. I'll email you later.

Kev

blessed said...

Hi Kev

I cant wait to hear a view of the book coming from someone that would not agree with Macarthur. I am probably going to read it bc I have heard soooo many say that Macarthur is wrong in translating the word to slave to start with so it would be good to see why he does it. Is it just because he wants to promote lordship or does it truly make sense to do it.

Your very first post is helpful in helping me understand precisely what you consider to be works based if you are saying that you see the WILLINGNESS to be a slave as a work?
If so, is it the willingness itself that is the work or is the objection more that if you are willing to be a slave then you think you can do something bc slaves work as opposed to saying you are willing to be a child of God or willing to be in the family or willing to be part of the bride?

Kevl said...

Hi Blessed,

Romans 4:16

Also, salvation is not receive by willingness (of any sort) it is received by Grace through Faith. Eph 2.

A willingness to do works is exactly that... works for Salvation. Even though most LS'ers will tell you that they don't say you work for Salvation but because you are saved you do works.... the result is the same. A works based salvation - take away the works and the salvation goes with it.

Salvation is based on grace accessed through faith - and that is it. It was either all finished at the Cross or it wasn't.

Kev

blessed said...

ok, I think I am getting closer to seeing what the problem is.....

Kevl said...

Lou, I've sent you a fairly lengthy email with my first impressions. It's based on the Preface and Chapter One.

Kev

Kevl said...

All,

MacAthur both sets himself above the Reformers in his bringing Christian slavery "into the sunlight" beyond anything they ever did but does also state that others have been doing so as well since as early as 1966.

There's a saying somewhere about if something's new... what is that saying again? ;)

Kev

Lou Martuneac said...

Kev:

I have your e-mail and read through it carefully.

You asked my thoughts. Well, after your description I don't even want to read it. I am very disinclined to wade through a rehash of the first 5 books. I'll probably scan it so I can do a brief review at Amazon and my blog.

My primary target and cause of greatest concern is how JMac changes the terms of the Gospel. How he has redefined the way in which a lost man is born again, justified. The post-conversion issues, while important are not my first concern. So, once I read it I'll be looking for salvation/justification sections and hone in on them.

If I understand your review above it appears he is heavily using the world's wisdom to tell us what the Bible really says.


LM

Kevl said...

Hi Lou,

Thanks for your thoughts. You're right in what you say about MacArthur's use of the world's wisdom.

While, as per usual with MacArthur, most of his language sounds like he's speaking about post conversion development - occasionally he defines Christianity as being slavery to Christ. If you are not a slave - and he describes this relationship in detail - then you are not a Christian. This is the ultimate implication of what I've read so far.

There are a couple of instances so far of rewriting the Gospel but I will save my comment on them until I'm sure I do understand what he's writing.

Kev

Look up said...

Kev/Lou

At every turn Macarthur sets himself up as a king Saul, attempting to place himself in the leadership of God's people yet himself being outside the kingdom. We are not saved by what we do/say, but we are saved by who/what we believe in, Macarthur continues to try to do/say things that he thinks saved people should do/say but in this he proves that who/what he believes is not the redemptive Christ of the Bible. It continues to baffle me how either of you can give any credibility to his profession of faith?

Lou Martuneac said...

Hi Kev:

I'd be intersted in the oage numbers where you said JMac is rewriting th gospel. Send them to me via e-mail.


Lou

PS: In a nationwide webinar that FORD put on for Finance managers yesterday they had a contest. I was one of three winners. Guess what I won- a KINDLE. No idea how to use it though. Can it do searches through a book like word searches?

Jan said...

That's neat, Lou! I got a NOOK for Christmas. (It does not and will not have Slave on it.) I don't think mine will do word searches. But you might find a Kindle primer (mine is called The NOOK Survival Guide) at Amazon that will tell you what its limits are.

JanH

Jan said...

...occasionally he defines Christianity as being slavery to Christ. If you are not a slave - and he describes this relationship in detail - then you are not a Christian.

Kev-

I realize these are your words and not MacArthur's. But I wonder what the implication is, then, for all the English reading believers (if we can call them that) who have never heard doulos defined as MacArthur is now, 400 years after the fact for us Anglos, defining it. Does this mean none of us are saved if we have a deficient understanding of this word? Does this mean MacArthur wasn't saved until 2007 when he was able to understand his relationship to Christ in this way, through understanding the word this way? We have all been led to believe the word meant bondservant. Does that mean our eternity is in jeopardy?

JanH

Kevl said...

Lou - yes the Kindle does word searches. I can't figure out how to tell you page references. I'm reading it on my iPod Touch and the pages are very small. I get "locations" not pages.

This is one drawback of the Kindle.

I'll tell you this much, he defines the Gospel in nearly every chapter at least in some fashion. I'll be posting his definitions after I offer a more complete "review" of the book.

Sorry can't help any more than that right now :(

Kev

Kevl said...

Hi Jan,

This is just more of MacArthur's double speak. He does seem to make the argument that the Gospel IS a call to slavery and that if you haven't understood this and obeyed you are not saved.

However, in Chapter 13 he writes of the Judgment Seat of Christ in much the way you and I would understand it. AFter having described the "wicked slave" in Matt 25 as a false convert who proved he was not a true believer because he didn't produce an increase for the Master - MacArthur goes on to discuss the Judgment Seat without saying those who do not produce anything of value will be cast into Hell.

The two paragraphs which he dedicates to this subject stand in SHARP contrast to the rest of the book.

So like most things... the book tells me as a whole that your question should be answered "yes - if you haven't go a slave/master understanding and relationship you are not saved" portions of it leave question.

I truly believe this book is nothing more than marketing. I truly believe this.

It is very poorly written, though cleverly conceived. It tries to be too many things. He mentions in the preface that people wanted him to write on the "Doctrines of Grace" and about 3/4 the way through the book he launches into a full on explanation of them....

I'm going to offer a short but complete review of the book - but very quickly it goes like this. Doulos = slave. Slave = the Greco-Roman slavery experience. Christianity is Greco-Roman Slavery with a good Master. The Doctrines of Grace are only understood with this realization. TULIP TULIP TULIP. The sonship of the believer is adoption. Slave owners could adopt slaves in the Greco-Roman system... The sonship of believers is that we come under the mastery of the Father we have been adopted by.

I'm reading Chapter 13 of a thirteen chapter book on how all Christians are really slaved to Christ.. and so far I simply have to take MacArthur's word for it. Because doulos really means slave and the romans had a particular system of slavery....

It's absolutely absurd. Your question about what if we didn't understand it this way.... well what if we read the wrong Roman History book? Is Roman History inspired??

Kev

Jan said...

The sonship of the believer is adoption. Slave owners could adopt slaves in the Greco-Roman system... The sonship of believers is that we come under the mastery of the Father we have been adopted by.

Hmm. So, I wonder what it does to this book to understand our sonship as pertaining to our new birth- we are sons by new birth, heirs by adoption.

JanH

Kevl said...

Well he does get into adoption a great deal. He talks about how it is permanent. He writes about Perseverance of the Saints and offers "Eternal Security of the Believer" as an alternate name for this doctrine. Of course he defines it as perseverance... not as preservation.

He covers the conflict between slavery and family by calling it a "paradox." He lists several other things that he says are paradoxal in the Scriptures. Some are commonly expressed (like election verses responsibility) but he also brings in some really wacky ones. Sorry I can't remember them right now.. and I have about 200 bookmarks of things I'd like to comment on in the book.

I shouldn't be surprised... after all I learned a big lesson about over estimating his skill when I read TGATJ and found it ridiculous... but I am surprised at how shallow this book is. I expected so much more...

I at least expected he would explore some verses using the word doulos in detail... he half quotes some but mostly spends his time stating what the writers ment by calling themselves slaves instead of what the verses say....

That will make it all the harder to review... and I think it's a wonderful marketing ploy. Followers will soak it up without having to be challenged on specific claims by the author - I can hear the pre-echos of shouts of misrepresentations even now...

Kev

Kevl said...

Something that really bothers me - because it speaks, or rather shouts, of MacArthur's insincerity - is that while he claims to be addressing a "centuries-long cover-up" of "biblical proportions" every chapter has seemingly endless pages of citations.

In some cases the citations seem to be longer than the chapters.... for something that has been so hidden there sure is a lot of sermons, books, articles, and other resources to quote about it...

Kev

Jan said...

for something that has been so hidden there sure is a lot of sermons, books, articles, and other resources to quote about it...

Gosh golly....

I'm really trying hard to find something to say about this that doesn't set off my own snark meter.

I'm not having any success.

JanH

Kevl said...

Probably better to just let me be the bad guy on this one...

I believe I could write a book as long as Slave simply reviewing it....

I'm not going to though. I'm going to do my best to write something short. I know that's not my style... lol

Kev