Paul’s Passing Thoughts: The 2007 John MacArthur Controversy “It’s the Judgments, Stupid”

Reblogged From: Paul’s Passing Thoughts

“Here is what many are missing: you can’t separate the gospel from eschatology [End Times]. Your eschatology [End Times view] will be consistent with your gospel or inconsistent [with your view of life].”

Who can forget James Carville’s motto to keep people focused in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign? “The economy, stupid.” Carville didn’t want Clinton’s campaign workers to expend energy on matters that would not ultimately persuade people to vote one way or the other. Likewise, Christians love to pile-up Bible verses in a heap that doesn’t serve change in the least. Carville knew how to get change; Bush’s 90% approval rating could not keep him in office.

At the 2007 “Shepherds” Conference held annually at John MacArthur’s church in California, he opened the conference with a devastating, complete undressing of amillennialism [a false doctrine that there is no 1,000 year Kingdom reign on earth of Christ in Jerusalem]. The controversy among the Reformed raged for several months. The often touted “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity” was taken out with the morning trash. Per the usual, most of the Reformed gang who had spent their parishioner’s money to go to the conference moaned and screamed like alley cats in the night that MacArthur dissed “Reformed orthodoxy.” In the debate, also per the usual, Scriptural arguments were replaced with the endless droning of dead mystics and rabid Puritans.

But what’s the real issue? The real issue is sanctification by justification. That’s the authentic Reformed gospel; i.e., progressive justification. Bottom line: if there is a literal Millennial Kingdom [Thousand year reign in Jerusalem (i.e. Revelation 20:3-7)] before the new heavens and new earth, there must also be two resurrections and two judgments [one eternal judgment (one judgment in two steps but the results stay the same) and one eternal resurrection per person – there are eternal judgments for several different Biblical groups of people i.e. Pre-Flood, Old Testament Saints, New Testament Christian Saints, Martyred Saints of Revelation, Millennial Saints and again for the unsaved of ALL DISPENSATIONS and the one eternal resurrection for ALL Saints (Revelation 20:6,14)]. That strongly insinuates two different groups and two different purposes in regard to the types of judgments. In the Reformed construct, there must be one judgment that determines everybody’s just state. MacArthur, even with all of his education doesn’t get that; his gospel of progressive justification doesn’t fit the eschatology that he dragged into his partial conversion to the authentic Reformed gospel.

This brings us to the four types of pastors in our day:

1. Authentic Calvinist: Luther and Calvin’s Gnostic progressive justification. These are the Neo-Calvinists wreaking havoc on the church in our day. Progressive justification (justification and sanctification are both monergistic because sanctification finishes justiifcation)/amil. Examples are Al Mohler, David Powlison et al.

2. Sanctified Calvinist: Leftovers from the periods in church history when authentic Calvinism dies a social death because of the tyranny that comes part and parcel with it. They change their soteriology but retain the eschatology of progressive justification. Monergistic justification/synergistic sanctification/amil. Examples are Jay Adams, and many other Presbyterians, and Baptist acadmiacs.

3. Inverted Calvinist: Converts to progressive justification that retain their former eschatology that is some form of dispensationalism. The best example is John MacArthur.

4. Biblicist: The Bible is their authority; not orthodoxy. This breed is an endangered species in our day.

Here is what many are missing: you can’t separate the gospel from eschatology. Your eschatology will be consistent with your gospel or inconsistent.

paul (Paul Dohse)