Last month, I posted a link to a short article by Sam Waldron on John MacArthur and his commitment to dispensational premillennialism. It seems as if MacArthur responded to critics like Waldron and others in the opening message of this year's shepherd's conference. Tim Challies posted a summary of his lecture here: "Shepherd's Conference (I)." I can only imagine how controversial this is going to get!
Jason Robertson over at the Fide-O blog has already begun responding: "The Mocked Shepherd." In any case, I appreciate the wise words of Kim Riddlebarger ("With All Due Respect to Dr. MacArthur . . ."):
All I can say is, "calm down." OK, MacArthur fired a shot across the bow. But until I've read the transcript of his talk, I won't respond to any specific points, other than to say, if (and that's a big "if") he's been accurately quoted, then it really is too bad that someone of his stature would say the ill-informed things that he did.
From what Tim Challies reports, I don't recognize my own position in MacArthur's critique. I am certainly self-respecting (to a fault), and I am a Calvinist, who is well known for my advocacy and defense of the Reformed faith. I am also amillennial and think dispensational premillennialism defaults at a number of points.
If you wish to be "fair and balanced" about these things, then I'd plead with you to first read Horton's God of Promise (Click here: Amazon.com: God of Promise: Introducing Covenant Theology: Books: Michael Horton), Hoekema's Bible and the Future (Click here: Amazon.com: The Bible and the Future: Books: Anthony A. Hoekema), and my A Case for Amillennialism (Click here: Amazon.com: A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times: Books: Kim Riddlebarger), and then see if MacArthur's arguments still hold water. It would be a shame if he gave such a talk and yet was not at all conversant with the major (Calvinistic) writers who set forth and defend the other side! Sounds like he is not.
More on this to come, I am sure!
I look forward to it! I also look forward to the response from Reformed Baptist stalwarts like Sam Waldron and Richard Barcellos over at the Illumination blog (see "Wise words from Riddlebarger on MacArthur’s message on Premillennialism").