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Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ

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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 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012


    Yeah u could say that ;)

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