I read “Servant of the Word and Flock” a couple of months ago but this book still sticks out in my mind. I have long associated with John MacArthur with a kind of spiritual father: it was through his ministry at Grace to You that led to my belated salvation. So I’m very grateful for him and his ministry but also incredibly impacted by his teaching. I took up this book with interest to understand why this man has become so influential in modern day Evangelical Christianity.
That being said, several things stick out right away. Something about reading biographies of great Christian men help spurn on enthusiasm for radically altering your own life’s routine. What struck me about Dr. MacArthur was his personal study. Before becoming the pastor of Grace Community Church, he told the elders he needed at least 30 hours a week of preparation time for his sermons. One of the most stunning moments of his career, I think, was the completion of his sermon series on Mark where he preached through the entire New Testament in a 30+ year time period. Obviously this man knows his bible.
Another defining moment in the book was the vast maturation of his radio ministry. Admittedly, this resonates particularly strong with me because I was impacted by the huge resource library available at Grace to You. Apparently, Dr. MacArthur was receiving letters from all over the world about how his sermons helped them in their spiritual life.
There are really many topics I could choose to talk about that make John MacArthur a great man: the building up his church from a few dozen people to over a thousand; the inception of Masters Seminary and it’s growth; the focus on international missions, where John took an extended survey of South East Asian Churches in the 70’s, among others.
When observing the massive legacy John MacArthur has imprinted on Evangelical Christianity in America, I believe he will be remembered as one of the great theologians of our time. For years he has faithfully built a reputation that is based on the inerrant word of God, the Bible, and has never caved to the pressures of modernity in our ever changing world. I definitely recommend Iain Murray’s book to everyone interested in reading about this great man of the faith!