Customer Reviews for

Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ

Average Rating 4.5
( 83 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A must read!

Don't pay any attention to the bad reviews! This is an excellent book! John Macarthur shows the truth about Christianity! The truth is we are slaves to Christ. Sound heretical? Read the book. It will change your life! It did mine!

posted by Lee72 on December 13, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not bad - not amazing

john macarthur's Slave (a review)

To begin, I must say that I usually enter into these types of works with a very critical eye. So, I need to address the good feature of the book before I become too critical. First, it makes a great study group book. In a culture ...
john macarthur's Slave (a review)

To begin, I must say that I usually enter into these types of works with a very critical eye. So, I need to address the good feature of the book before I become too critical. First, it makes a great study group book. In a culture that doesn't know limits or boundaries when it comes to self indulgence and consumption, Slave addresses again the humble state we have in light of grand mercy of God. I would recommend it for church study groups, home groups etc. It the book is not complicated in its nature and hold several helpful insights for the Christian church.

Now, two points of frustration. First, I was quite surprised that there were no sections devoted to the exposition of clear passages dealing with slavery and ownership. Why wasn't Philemon discussed? Why not an exposition of the way slavery set out in the OT [I can only remember at this late point, that they address the redemption of Israel and don't get into the messy-but-interesting stories of slavery of the OT]? There was a lot of depth missed out on because the authors felt it necessary to repeat the same information about slavery in Roman culture over and over again.

Second, and I say this as a trained Reformed theologian. They spent too much time twisting the narrative of the book to explicate the doctrine of election. Reading it, it felt unnatural, and I am of the belief that such doctrines are to be addressed in their proper context. In Slave, a very elaborate discussion of election arose in a moment that felt well out of place. Almost as if election and slavery are synonymous. There was no need to force Calvinism into the story line, and it was clear from the outset.

Slave is certainly useful for groups lead by layleaders and for personal reading.

posted by 8429949 on June 1, 2011

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read!

    Don't pay any attention to the bad reviews! This is an excellent book! John Macarthur shows the truth about Christianity! The truth is we are slaves to Christ. Sound heretical? Read the book. It will change your life! It did mine!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    Not bad - not amazing

    john macarthur's Slave (a review)

    To begin, I must say that I usually enter into these types of works with a very critical eye. So, I need to address the good feature of the book before I become too critical. First, it makes a great study group book. In a culture that doesn't know limits or boundaries when it comes to self indulgence and consumption, Slave addresses again the humble state we have in light of grand mercy of God. I would recommend it for church study groups, home groups etc. It the book is not complicated in its nature and hold several helpful insights for the Christian church.

    Now, two points of frustration. First, I was quite surprised that there were no sections devoted to the exposition of clear passages dealing with slavery and ownership. Why wasn't Philemon discussed? Why not an exposition of the way slavery set out in the OT [I can only remember at this late point, that they address the redemption of Israel and don't get into the messy-but-interesting stories of slavery of the OT]? There was a lot of depth missed out on because the authors felt it necessary to repeat the same information about slavery in Roman culture over and over again.

    Second, and I say this as a trained Reformed theologian. They spent too much time twisting the narrative of the book to explicate the doctrine of election. Reading it, it felt unnatural, and I am of the belief that such doctrines are to be addressed in their proper context. In Slave, a very elaborate discussion of election arose in a moment that felt well out of place. Almost as if election and slavery are synonymous. There was no need to force Calvinism into the story line, and it was clear from the outset.

    Slave is certainly useful for groups lead by layleaders and for personal reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Classic MacArthur: Dissecting the leaves, while missing the field completely.

    As I was reading this book I once again found myself placed in the proverbial straight-jacket and the legalistic dog leash that comes from much of MacArthur's writings. To be fair to MacArthur, much of the book is filled with scripture and HIS theological lense by which he interprets scripture. This probably has much to do with the Fundamentalism through which he was raised. The main reason I do not like the book is MacArthur's overuse of word studies. Time and time again there is an obsession with quoting some scholars over others to build his theological case. I do not see how this is a fair evaluation. I think this violates several fallacies of logic such as: the fallacy of an appeal to an unqualified authority and the fallacy of composition. The fallacy of an unqualified authority is shown in how MacArthur relies on certain scholars at the expense of others and relies heavily on the book from Murray Harris. This is common mistake that authors make when wanting to sound definitive on any subject.This is a traditional MacArthur method for writing books. The fallacy of composition occurs when MacArthur applies the definition of one word (doulos, or krios, etc.) to apply the whole person of a Christian. Though a Christian may be dependent on Christ for food, shelter, sustenance and vocation, we are not his positional slaves, rather Paul says we are only slaves metaphorically. Be that as it may, MacArthur insists only those who have the desire to produce good works perfectly all the time all true Christians. This is the point where I disagree.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You are a slave!

    You are a slave! Many people in modern America don't like to think about slavery, much less being a slave. I mean the last slave in America was in the 1860s right? Wrong! Everyone you see today is still a slave, either a slave of sin or a slave of Christ.
    Dr. MacArthur helps us unlock a word and certainly the divine, wonderful truth of the word in Greek, doulos, or slave. Lost in translation in all but a few translations over the centuries could this be a cover up for a conspiracy? Why would this word that is used at least 40 times in the Bible to describe Christians be translated on purpose as the word "servant" or "bondservant" instead of "slave"? Could it be theological? Political? Cultural? Could it be that Arminians and Pelagians, who hate the doctrines of grace supported by Calvinists, controlled Bible translating and didn't like the God centered, God controlling aspects of Christians described as slaves, deciding to use a more man-centric, man's 'free will' determined word like servant? This book clearly proves why 'slave' is the correct word and 'servant' is error.
    What are the implications that the word Christian didn't mean "little Christ" like I was always taught but "Slaves of Christ"? The Bible paints this picture very clearly for us if we are willing to admit and believe that God has us as His slaves. Read this excellent book to find out how a simple little word can change your life.
    The book is a great read especially with the thrill of a cover-up in the mix. Dr. MacArthur takes on the role of Sherlock Holmes as he discovers truth that has been hidden for a very long time. Anyone serious about a God-centric Gospel needs to read and understand the implications found in this study.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    Standard Lordship Salvation Theology Newly Packaged!

    The back paper jacket to the book caught my attention: "A COVER-UP OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS: Centuries ago, English translators perpetrated a fraud in the New Testament, and it's been purposely hidden and covered up ever since. Your own Bible is probably included in the cover-up!" WHAT? Are we to understand that Bible translators for centuries, hundreds if not thousands of highly-trained knowledgeable men of God, have kept a well-guarded secret about the true meaning of the Bible that only NOW Dr. MacArthur will be the one scholar who will bring us the real scoop? Yes, this is exactly what the book would have us to believe, that the common Greek term "doulos" has been mistranslated in every major version of the Bible since the earliest of printed Bible translations. According to MacArthur, "doulos" should be translated primarily if not exclusively as "slave." Most modern translators (NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV, ESV)as well as common Greek-English lexicons interpret the term in a variety of ways as, "servant," "slave," "bond servant," "bondman," or "attendant." MacArthur also states on pp. 29-30 that the proper meaning of the Old Testament's nearest equivalent term, "'ebed" has also been hidden by modern translators: "The King James Version, for example, never translates 'ebed as 'slave'---opting for 'servant' or 'manservant' the vast majority of the time. But contrast that with the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament from before the time of Christ. It translates 'ebed with forms of 'doulos,' or 'slave' more than 400 times!" WHAT?? The LXX translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek, NOT to English! So MacArthur is leaping to an inappropriate conclusion about the meaning of the Hebrew in this case. In fairness to MacArthur, whom I consider to be a scholar, I did appreciate his copious use of footnotes which were easy to find at the bottom of each page (although he quoted one source heavily---Murray J. Harris, "Slave of Christ"---23 times). And I thought that his historical look at ancient Near-Eastern slavery was interesting and informative. My greatest problem with the book was that the author, MacArthur, took the ancient images of slavery and superimposed them onto modern Christianity with the intent to create the notion that our normative relationship with God and our service to God should be that of a slave to a master, instead of that of a child of God responding out of love and gratitude to an omnibenevolent (all loving) Father God. With this slave to master representation set into place, the author proceeded to promote his standard lordship salvation doctrine dressed in new clothes, slave garb. He even used much of the same argumentation as he used in "The Gospel According to Jesus." And, once again, he freely denigrated and caricaturized Free Grace theology, especially in chapter five. For a further look at how lordship faith advocates often mischaracterize free grace theology, see the article "Grace Baiting" on the Free Grace Alliance web site.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    Slave

    In John MacArthur's latest book, "Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ", he takes the reader back to the first-century concept of slavery. Through detailed research throughout the Scriptures and outside sources, MacArthur shows that in his studies the word for "slave" in the original Greek language has been incorrectly translated down through the centuries. With the word "slave" being translated as "servant" most of the time, MacArthur argues that the intent and meaning has lost its intended meaning. He argues that our concept and understanding of being a Christian and, as a result, a "slave of Christ" does not even come close to the unflattering reality of slave life. Throughout his book, Mac Arthur goes into great detail about the life and circumstances of slavery in first century Rome. He points out the relationship between slaves toward their masters and slaves toward other slaves and how these relationships mirror those of the believer and Jesus Christ. These portraits are both enlightening and sobering. I enjoyed this book to a point. It is well researched and well written as all of John MacArthur's books are. I was with MacArthur until he made the stretch to tie together his affirmation of the Doctrines of Grace, most notably particular redemption, with how first-century slave masters only paid for the slaves they wanted. He wrote, "The doctrine of particular redemption is also brought out by the marketplace language of the Scripture, where a business transaction or ransom is pictured. Christ's death on the cross actually pays the penalty for the elect sinner, redeeming him from sin and rescuing him from God's wrath. In Roman times, the master paid only for the slave he was purchasing. So also, the saving benefits of Christ's redemptive work are applied only to those whom God has chosen for Himself Although I don't agree with MacArthur theologically on this point, he has still written a thought-provoking book worthy of your time. I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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