Customer Reviews for

Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

    Hard-hitting and Educational

    If you want something insipid, this is not the book for you.

    Instead, this book is lovingly confrontational and direct; Mr. MacArthur does not disappoint in this updated version of the book he wrote 15 years ago. It's more relevant today and it's what today's churches and pastors need to hear (and read).

    Instead of catering to what the world wants to see, churches are to cater to what God demands from His people; Mr. MacArthur clearly points this out time and time again with each chapter.

    It is hard to read, not due to difficult words, but because it's disciplining you while reading it; it is worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    A review of the updated edition...

    How do you call attention to concerns you have about the church? About how churches have become like the world? How business philosophies have taken over and churches run themselves not like churches, but like businesses?

    If you're John MacArthur, you write a book and you preach sermons to call attention to what is burdening your heart. Ashamed of the Gospel is a book that he wrote over 15 years ago. A new, updated edition has been published this year.

    Ashamed of the Gospel is a call to churches that are appealing to what people want to hear rather than preaching the Gospel. MacArthur did not update the bulk of the book. He wrote a new preface and an updated ending that does address the emergent church/the emerging church movement.

    There are many people in and outside Christian churches who believe that the church should be more culturally relevant and should give people what they want--meet their needs socially, emotionally, and physically. In this book, MacArthur is calling people to trust God. He wants people to remember that it is God who calls people to Himself--not us and our efforts. He is not saying that the church has no responsibility to evangelize, but he calls people to do it biblically by preaching the gospel to one another--both the believers and nonbelievers that they know. When we turn to the business world for advice, we begin to take a marketing approach to evangelism--an approach which is about pleasing people first of all (the buyer and the seller), not about glorifying God.

    The book starts out by explaining how modernist philosophy permeated our culture and then how that progressed to a postmodern and then pragmatic philosophy about life. From there, MacArthur addresses the foundations of what the seeker-sensitive movement called for the mainline Christian churches to change. The crux of what they called for in the 1990s was for churches to become culturally relevant. That has a lot of implications for church doctrine and ecclesiology--how church is done. Interestingly, it is now the Emergent Church/Emerging Church Movement that is now calling for the seeker-sensitive churches and other mainline protestant churches to change. It seems to be expressing a similar concern to the seeker sensitive church movement of the 1990s--that the church needs to be more culturally relevant.

    I would use the word "thick" to describe this book. It is a biblical and strong defense that might be especially useful for pastors and lay people who are in leadership in their churches. This book is a thorough examination of why the church should not function the way the business world would recommend. At the same time, it is also a defense of why, above all else, we need to trust God and seek Him when we are sharing the Gospel with our neighbors in church and out of church.

    If you enjoy MacArthur's books, then you will be encouraged by this one. If you haven't read one before, I would recommend that you preview it beforehand to make sure that it is what you are looking for.

    Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Biblical truth

    If you read this book you will get stung. But the truth hurts sometimes. Today christians refuse to take a stand for the truth under the banner of being "loving". We are in a war. Fight! Read this book. You'll thank God later.

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  • Posted December 24, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Going back to good old basics

    "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." (Romans 1:16). This is the biblical command for every Christian to faithfully portray the gospel message. We are not to shy away from the offense of the cross, but to represent God's word faithfully in the church. Unfortunately in the last century, and even more so in this last decade, church leaders and evangelists have strayed away from this central command and began to employ controversial methods to attract unbelievers into the church and into "faith." Such tactics prove unbiblical and promote a sort of carnal Christianity that leaves the seekers with nothing but false hopes of eternal security.

    Author John MacArthur explores this timely theme with great skill in his book Ashamed of the Gospel. Widely known for his candid wars against false teachings, heresies, and distorted views of Scripture, MacArthur engages the good fight once again as he debunks the practice of using unbiblical methods to bring people into the church.

    The book possesses great strength in identifying the problem of the market driven philosophy and illustrating its progressive movement throughout the century. The author defends his case against the erroneous nature of the budding trend by using solid bible verses, accounts, and observations from such scholars as Charles Spurgeon and AW Tozer to show that the pragmatic approach is flawed. MacArthur highlights these themes to ultimately drive the lesson home, which is that churches simply need to get back to the Word of God when dealing with leadership and ecclesiological issues. They must be faithful to do God's work and allow God to build the church, not the pastor.

    Ashamed of the Gospel is a book that I highly recommend, whether for a layman or a leader. It is one of John's best books, and one of his most important ones as well. The message contained within its pages is so significant, especially in our day and age. It is a wake-up, one that we need to take heed to before our churches become progressively waterdowned and maybe not even Christian anymore.

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