Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
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EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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JOHN MAC ARTHUR
BOOK REVIEW
TWELVE UNLIKELY HEROES

By Jackie Kaulitz

 

Twelve Unlikely Heroes

A sovereign grace baptist non-denominational pastor, John MacArthur, spends a lot of time delving into indepth profiles of 12 biblical characters in this book.

He expounds on each character, dedicating one full chapter for each biography: Enoch, Joseph, Miriam (sister of Moses), Gideon and Samson, Jonathan (King Saul's son), Jonah, Esther, John the Baptist, James (Jesus' brother), and Mark and Onesimus.

This book serves as expanded biographies on each of these characters and concentrates more on making heroes out of men than on focusing our eyes on the Lord. It would have been most beneficial to have more of a God-related and gospel-related focus. The book is a long, expanded, drawn out look into biblical characters.

The biblical material for some of these characters is quite limited, so the author does not always stay on main character as the topic. For example, Enoch is only mentioned in a couple of bible passages. So, how does MacArthur dedicate an entire chapter (about 10% of the book) to Enoch, when very little is written about Enoch? He fills in the paragraphs with extra material having only a light correlation to Enoch. This extra filler material has little relevance to Enoch. The author spends an entire section telling us that Enoch has a nature like ours. But this is a given, because Enoch was also a man. Every single human being shares a similar "human nature".

Why do we need 6 lengthy paragraphs on Enoch being a man like us? This is not relevant material and without all this "filler material" this chapter would be a short page or two.

Next, MacArthur launches into the fact that Enoch walked with God. Since this is all the Bible says, MacArthur expands about 30 long paragraphs to tell us what walking with God is about. It may be beneficial to hear about walking with God, but it has no direct relevance to Enoch's biography. All the author's additional "filler material" really makes this more of "sermons on Enoch" rather than "a biography."

Reading this book was like reading a term paper where the student took a subject that rendered only 2 paragraphs and blew it up and filled it with extraneous material to expand those 2 paragraphs into a 15 page paper, except the author continuously loses the main subject - the characters of Enoch, Miriam, etc.

My disclaimer - I received this book from the publisher but I am not required to give a positive review. I always give brutally honest reviews and attempt to critically point out parts of the book that may not agree with the Bible and so not appeal to others. I want you readers to be able to confidently choose a book based on the stars I give it, because I know you have limited money, time and energy to read. So let's make the most of our lives and discern and choose the very best books wisely.

By Jackie Kaulitz

 

I highly recommend Jackie's blog site online.

 

 

So, why do men like MacArthur write such books?

I have a few suggestions:

1. They are driven by the lust to be the abundant guru. They feel obligated to come up with unique and clever twists on biblical truth. Most of their books are not heresy, but they are, at best, fluff. The problem is, they end up adding mythological notions into the minds of their followers, and they end up being quoted as authority equal with the Bible. It matters not whether this is their goal-- it happens, and for that we must hold them accountable.

2. These sort of writers, that is, Sovereign Grace writers, have an elevated view of their own intellect. They claim humility, but they are held in higher esteem by their intellectual peers, and they feel the urge to keep the high octane brain fuel flowing to their followers. Their books, by virtue of their volume of flow, keep those who question them intimidated because these intellectual beggars are not producing.

3. Books are a great memorial. They keep the guru's image fresh while he is alive and moving about among the masses, and books keep his peers fawning over him. Then, the happy thought is that all those books will keep the masses thinking kind thoughts about him after his death.

4. Finally-- cash flow. All these Christian writers, with only a few exceptions, will insist that they do not need the money. They may claim to donate all the proceeds to their local church or some other nonprofit entity. The curious thing is, these donation of the royalties from the books relieves the church budget in one column so that the church leaders can vote a raise for the pastor in another book keeping column. Gotcha, guys.

Are these MacArthur's motives? I do not know, but there they are. Four common motives that explain the rubbish on the shelves of the Christian Bookstores of America, indeed, of the whole world. When the Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to study to show himself approved of God, there was no Zondervan's Bookstore in downtown Ephesus. All he needed to be approved of God was THE WORD OF GOD plus nothing.

Stop being awe struck by the clever editorial of any writer other than the writers of the Bible. And, for the record, that includes me.

 

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