Marks of Real Church Growth – John MacArthur

In this video, MacArthur teaches mainly from going through the Book of Acts, that the Biblical way of church growth, is through a consistent preaching of the Gospel of Lordship Salvation, from an eternity in Hell.

I have a love-hate relationship to MacArthur’s theology. I absolutely love his strong leadership in the doctrine of lordship salvation, and really leading the way, with his publication of The Gospel According to Jesus (1988). However, even in that, I’m an Arminian with regard to every point of the T.U.L.I.P. of Calvinism, and so differ with him on that. I am also strongly opposed to his cessationism expressed in Charismatic Chaos (1993) and Strange Fire (2013); but, on the other hand, I agree with his critiques of the charis-maniac, false prophet, Word of Faith/prosperity guys on TBN. So I always have my particulars with MacArthur, but I’ve really come to love the guy more than hate him. This has been and continues to be a process for me. Yet, I remain, and will continue to remain a Wesleyan, Arminian, Charismatic, Pentecostal.

In regard to my slowly developing ecclesiology, I’m coming to view John MacArthur as a primary example of a reformational, even revivalistic church planter and pastor. Yes, I know he’s a Calvinist, a cessationist, and all that (but so was Jonathan Edwards!). He’s the closest thing to a modern-day, high profile Puritan pastor. And for that, I just gotta love the guy. For more about his life and ministry, see Iain Murray’s John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock (The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011). However, as a charismatic third waver, I would suggest balancing out a study of MacArthur as a church planter, with Carol Wimber’s John Wimber: The Way It Was (Hodder & Stoughton, 1999), the man who started the Vineyard churches; both MacArthur and Wimber were/are California pastors, the first a more Scripture-centered and Reformed Calvinist–the later, a more of a Spirit-centered charismatic renewalist. I would also add to this, the study of a third John–John Wesley, and his life and ministry, who not only planted Wesley Chapel, but the entire Methodist Episcopal Church: George Hunter III’s To Spread the Power: Church Growth in the Wesleyan Spirit (Abingdon Press, 1987); and of course, the classic biography: John Telford’s The Life Story of John Wesley (Schmul Publishing, 1994).

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