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Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically (John MacArthur Pastor's Library) Hardcover – August 11, 2005
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About the Author
John MacArthur has served as the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, since 1969. His ministry of expository preaching is unparalleled in its breadth and influence. In more than four decades of ministry from the same pulpit, he has preached verse by verse through the entire New Testament (and several key sections of the Old Testament). He is president of the Master's University and Seminary and can be heard daily on the Grace to You radio broadcast (carried on hundreds of radio stations worldwide). He has authored a number of bestselling books, including Twelve Ordinary Men, and One Perfect Life. For more details about John MacArthur and his Bible-teaching resources, contact Grace to You at 800-55-GRACE or gty.org.
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Needless to say I was bothered by all of this and so researched Mr MacArthur and found the following as to his views on the Catholic faith.
According to sermons posted on his website he claims Catholics are non Christian He states that the Catholic faith is satanic in nature, that priests are 50% homosexuals, with the rest being hollow spiritually with no present, future, or past. He goes on to say that Catholic monasteries, nunnerys, and seminaries are prisons and those who attend them are inmates who are taught to prey upon the innocent.
How am I supposed to learn anything about ministry from an author who preaches such hate and deceit about a fellow Christian faith? The book also cites Calvin as a model for developing pastoral ministry, I can only assume that his research did not include reading Calvins edicts for Zurich and the surrounding villages, where he describes the roles of church elders as that of spies and enforcers and dictates imprisonment or maiming as punishments for such offenses as dancing, singing, and missing church services? If any research went into this text it is from equally biased sources that are given out of context in order to attack orthodox faiths and ignore any short comings of those that were not orthodox in nature. Basically what this text represents is biased and distorted view in which only MacArthur and his Masters Seminary are seen as having a monopoly on biblical truth. He is equally critical of many other denominations of Christianity as he is of Catholics all on issues which seem to differ from his personal theology. Although I do not recommend this book I urge prospective buyers to research the author and make their own decision.
First of all, this book is a decent book for those looking to go into ministry. It is not really good enough for a current pastor or someone a bit more mature than college-age. It's a good introduction book and covers the needed points for holding the office of pastor.
This book is very underwhelming. For a book with MacArthur's name attached to it I expected a lot more out of it. For example, when on the two chapters on prayer there are claims made to the fact of "pray for God's provision when deciding to undertake a project. Yes, very true. But there is no "and then"! And then, try and do it and see if you fail? How long do you wait for answer? Do you listen for a voice, a feeling, a "coincidental" contact from someone? Pray for God's provision when making a decision. Agreed! But if you're in a church meeting, do you wait? Make a decision that doesn't seem like sin? Bring it up only to come back in a month to see if prayer was answered? Would have loved to have some examples.
Another big area that seemed very odd was when MacArthur pretty much states that if you were chosen for ministry God would bless you by ensuring your kids would be saved. A previous chapter talked about making sure you were indeed called to the ministry and not just something you want to do. A logical conclusion is that if you become a preacher and honestly felt God's calling but your kids didn't end up being saved than you were never called and your ministry work was in vain. Again, some claims are made and Scripture is given but these questions that arise naturally from these claims go unattended.
I came away from this book thinking that while the parts talked about were good and there wasn't too much in disagreement, some questions weren't covered or answered at all and generalizations were made too easily and quickly. A very disappointing read and now I have a few more questions as a result of a MacArthur book rather than answers. Final Grade - C