Friday, July 8, 2011

Book Review: Ashamed of the Gospel - When the Church Becomes Like the World

By John MacArthur
3rd edition, 304 pages

I have been chipping away at this book for about six months now. I originally intended to read it last year when I received it from Grace To You, but ended up giving that copy to my dad. So I had to borrow a copy, and it has been quite a difficult book to get through. This isn't a book for casual thinkers, and it isn't a book to try and read in a day.

The main theme of Ashamed of the Gospel is to issue a call to return to the biblical gospel. MacArthur parallels what is happening on the scene of evangelicalism today with what happened in Charles H. Spurgeon's day in the down-grade controversy. He points out that the same shifts in the church that happened in Spurgeon's day are happening now. The church is becoming increasingly like the world in philosophy, practice, and purpose. John MacArthur faithfully declares the words of the Apostle Paul: "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" -2 Timothy 4:2-5

I enjoyed reading this book even though there were days when I hated how long it was taking me. MacArthur does a great job chronicling the rise of pragmatism in the church and its marriage with post-modernism. This book will help you understand what is happening on the scene of American Christianity. What I find the most shocking, is how many people within the church are caught up in the teachings of pragmatism, post-modernism, and emergent thinking. Too many people I know read books by proponents of these schools of thought, and declare their words to be authoritative.

The lack of discernment in the church is killing the church. Consumerism in the church has trained the average church-goer to accept whatever is given them from the pulpit and swallow it. Churches need men and women who, like the Bereans of Acts 17, will search the Scriptures daily to see if what they are learning is true. Ashamed of the Gospel will help you understand the dangers of post-modern thinking that is permeating the church. This book will arm you with a defense against it, and it will point you to the Scripture to show the error being taught today.

No comments:

Post a Comment