Thursday, August 25, 2005

Book Review: Fool's Gold

Okay, so maybe I'm not the best person to do a review of a John MacArthur book. I find him to be close-minded, divisive, hurtful, legalistic, and at times dangerous, so you might say I'm a little biased. Also, I have a good friend who walked away from the church as an adult because her dad continually espoused MacArthur's teachings to her and drove her away - she never thought she could be "a good enough Christian." That being said, the topics in his latest book, Fool's Gold, intrigued me just enough to take it for a quick read to find out what he has to say about some of the various topics in Christendom - particularly in Christian publishing - my profession.

In this book, MacArthur edits and contributes a series of essays on topics ranging from books to music to politics. Some of the more intriguing chapters:

A Sense of Purpose: Evaluating the Claims of The Purpose Driven Life
Roaming Wild: Investigating the Message of Wild at Heart
When the Truth Becomes a Tabloid: A Closer Look at the Revolve New Testament
Solid Rock? What the Bible says about Contemporary Worship Music
Just As I Am: A Closer Look at Invitations and Alter Calls
Let Your Light So Shine: Examining the American-Christian Approach to Politics
Choking on Choices: Combating Consumerism with a Biblical Mind-set

I find it difficult to review this title because he comes down so hard on what I believe are some quality books (see my post about Rick Warren from August 7) but he also has some good things to say about consumerism and Christian political involvement. Perhaps the best comment I can make comes courtesy of a co-worker; MacArthur has some good things to say but it is the spirit in which he says them that is the problem. It seems to me he is all too willing to take shots at other Christians, pointing out their faults and weaknesses, but rarely extends grace to those who might have a different take on something than he does. It is sadly ironic that MacArthur's ministry is called Grace to You when he seems so unwilling to extend grace to anyone.

There are a lot of problems with contemporary, North-American Christianity that need to be addressed, but let's do it in a spirit of healing, not divisiveness. While this book is worth a quick read, please don't do it until you have read the books MacArthur is critiquing so you can arrive at your own conclusions. YY

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