이안 머리가 쓴 존 맥아더 전기다른 개혁 신학자들의 글 소개 2012. 12. 28. 21:34
이안 머리가 요나단 에드워즈, 존 웨슬리, 챨스 스펄젼 등 여러 신실한 목사님들의 전기와 함께 2011년에 존 맥아더에 대한 전기를 내었습니다. 이안 머리의 책은 항상 우리에게 도전이 됩니다. 그 자신의 글도 그러하며 대상 되는 분들이 늘 신실한 하나님의 종들이기 때문입니다. 이 귀한 전기에 대한 "대인 칼빈 올트룬드" 박사(Dane Calvin Ortlund (PhD, Wheaton College)의 서평을 읽어 봅시다. 영어가 능숙한 분들은 원문을 참조하시고(http://tgcreviews.com/reviews/john-macarthur/), 그렇지 않은 분들은 밑줄친 부분을 중심으로 요지를 파악해 가시면 도움이 될 것입니다. 이 서평을 쓴 "대인 올트룬드" 박사는 커버넌트 신학교에서 목회학 석사를 하고, 휘튼 컬리쥐에서 박사 학위를 한 후 현재 일리노이즈 주 휘튼에 있는 크로스웨이 붘스 (Crossway Books) 의 성경 담당 편집자로 있고, Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology에 정기적인 컬럼을 쓴다고 합니다. 요나단 에드워즈에 대한 책인 A New Inner Relish: Christian Motivation in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards (Christian Focus, 2008) 과 예수님의 멧시지와 사명에 대한 책인 Defiant Grace: The Suprising Message and Mission of Jesus (EP Books, 2011)이 출판되었습니다.
Iain H. Murray, John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock (Banner of Truth, 2011), 246 pages.
That Iain Murray would write another biography and that John MacArthur would have a biography written of him were both near certainties as the second decade of the 21st century opened. That both would happen in the same book is unexpected. Murray is the soft-spoken Scottish author and founder of the staunchly Reformed Banner of Truth Trust. MacArthur (last name notwithstanding) is the American Dispensational trumpeteer of expositional preaching who exudes an unapologetic zeal for truth.
Yet the two share significant affinities, and their paths have crossed many times, giving Murray a friendship and rich familiarity with MacArthur. The result is a biography well worth reading.
As Murray says more than once in the book, this is not a definitive biography but a sketch designed to clear the way for a more extensive work by another biographer down the road. Murray reviews MacArthur’s life in 17 chapters, beginning with childhood and education, taking the reader up to events as recent as 2010 before concluding with a chapter outlining a few of MacArthur’s many strengths. The bulk of the book tells the story of MacArthur’s 40-plus years pastoring Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California.
The book is fascinating. Murray refuses to be tedious (with the exception of chapter 13, which reproduces letters of appreciation written by radio listeners of MacArthur that would be more at home in a family scrapbook than a biography). We learn of a horrific injury from a car accident in college (13–14), an out-of-the-blue mutiny on the part of MacArthur’s pastoral staff in 1979 (47–48), an extended lawsuit in which a suicide was blamed on bad counseling at MacArthur’s church (49–52), the “Lordship” controversy (111–19; more below), a magazine/journal that failed miserably (143–48), and another horrible car accident, this one involving MacArthur’s wife, Patricia (138–42). Amid such drama, Murray skillfully describes the more well-known aspects of MacArthur’s ministry—the emergence of Grace to You (the radio ministry), the development of the Shepherd’s Conference, the beginnings of the Master’s College in 1985 and the Master’s Seminary in 1986, and MacArthur’s many books.
Especially interesting is Murray’s handling of MacArthur’s theology. Take the Lordship controversy, for example. MacArthur argued in The Gospel According to Jesus (1988) that one cannot receive Jesus as Savior (in faith) without also receiving him as Lord (in repentance). This was a clear rebuttal of what MacArthur deemed a defective (antinomian) understanding of the gospel prevalent in evangelicalism, and especially Dispensationalism. Zane Hodges, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, would be one of MacArthur’s loudest interlocutors. Those of a more Reformed persuasion applauded MacArthur’s efforts—yet it is this same Reformed crowd who, because of MacArthur’s Dispensationalism regarding how the two Testaments relate, have tended to distance themselves from him. Murray warmly describes the bridges that have been built between Reformed thinkers such as R. C. Sproul and MacArthur, yet the odd mix of convictions in MacArthur—soteriologically Calvinistic, redemptive-historically Dispensational—has made him something of a theological maverick in contemporary evangelicalism.
Murray also writes about MacArthur’s strong critique of the charismatic movement (119–22). Here Murray’s affinity with MacArthur may have prevented the clarity needed in discussing this issue—never, for example, was “charismatic” defined, despite the significant differences that exist among those who would attach themselves to this label.
A third area of helpful theological reflection was that of grace and law (122–25). one might quibble with Murray’s treatment of “law” in Paul, but he is certainly right to highlight the relationship between law and grace as a fundamental concern to MacArthur’s ministry.
More strengths to the book can easily and happily be noted.First, Murray is a good writer—his words never require puzzling over; his transitions and structure are clear; he uses the English language skillfully. Second, Murray effectively allows MacArthur’s own voice to come through, quoting him neither too much nor too little. Third, Murray is not only a biographer (describing what has happened) but also a theologian (commending what is true) who refuses to check his theological convictions at the door when writing biography. We have already come to expect this of Murray in his works on Edwards, Wesley, Spurgeon, and Lloyd-Jones. Fourth, Murray admires without idolizing, consistently drawing the reader’s attention to God and his wise providence in MacArthur’s life.
Though drowned out by the strengths, one or two weaknesses might be identified. The heart of MacArthur’s ministry is a passion for the truth, preached and taught without any people-pleasing subtlety. Such undiluted proclamation is startling and refreshing. As is so often the case, however, one’s greatest strength often includes with it one’s greatest weakness, and it is puzzling that Murray emphasizes the former while ignoring the latter. For MacArthur’s zeal for truth, communicated with forcefulness, has at times resulted in unwise or unfair statements. It is puzzling, for instance, that Murray declines to mention a pattern of overstatements. One thinks of MacArthur’s adamant message at the 2007 Shepherd’s Conference on “Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist.” The title alone is difficult to swallow. Other examples of a zeal for God that is not according to knowledge could be brought forth, such as his wholesale dismissal of Mark Driscoll’s strategic ministry in Seattle, or his recent misguided comments about Darrin Patrick’s book on church planting.(이 점은 더 생각해 보아야 할 것입니다)
What stands out above all in closing the book, however, is MacArthur’s steely love for truth, truth as revealed supremely in the Word of God. For this let us all give thanks for John MacArthur, quick to forgive any baggage this brings and quick to rejoice in this faithful expounder of Scripture. Iain Murray is right: John MacArthur is, above all, a servant of the Word and flock.
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