Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Christ of Confrontation

John MacArthur is no stranger to controversy. In fact, he nearly single-handedly started the “Lordship Controversy” with his The Gospel According to Jesus some 20 years ago. As a faithful expositor of God’s Word, he will be bold enough to say what needs to be said. Though not as shocking and controversial as his earlier works, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore is no less bold and forthright.
This volume examines the ministry of Jesus particularly as He challenged the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees. It is popular to think of Jesus as the meek and mild Savior who never uttered a discouraging word to anyone. Modern people will say that Jesus was always about helping the poor, lifting up the downtrodden, establishing justice, and proclaiming peace. MacArthur shows that His words were very different. Jesus spoke of the wrath of God and eternal condemnation; He called the Pharisees snakes, blind leaders of the blind, and hypocrites. He continually confronted the religious establishment with the truth of Scripture.
One of the best titled chapters is called “Hard Preaching.” To some, it may come as a surprise that the better part of the chapter examines the Sermon on the Mount. Casual readers of this sermon do not always see that it was indeed “hard preaching” directed at the self-righteousness of the Pharisees. The “Bread of Life” discourse concludes the chapter showing that, after His hard preaching, “many turned back.”
This book is synthesized from MacArthur’s preaching ministry at Grace Community Church. The chapters seem cobbled together. Perhaps if it had been written as a book in the first place, the transitions between chapters would have been smoother. Nonetheless, for clear Bible exposition and content, John MacArthur has few rivals.

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