Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #38

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which means we’d normally have two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

We do have Pastor Roger Copeland at Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana preaching on Hebrews 12:18-24 and “We’re Marching to Zion.” This sermon was preached on Sunday, June 14th.

Normally, I’d also be presenting a sermon from Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City, but Holly Springs didn’t have a sermon posted for June 14th on their website for some reason.

Pastor Roger Copeland – We’re Marching to Zion

My old neighborhood, Part 1: Be sure your sin will find you out

DNA ancestry kits have become quite the rage in our culture. For $100, or 23andMe will test your submitted saliva sample and report back with all kinds of fascinatingly detailed information about your ancestry. However, be forewarned. The DNA doesn’t lie and more than a few customers have been surprised by some very unexpected results. The names in the following example have been changed for reasons that will become fairly obvious.

Neighborhoods were much different back in the 1960s when I was growing up. Everyone knew everybody else on our cozy cul-de-sac of twenty-seven houses and there was a LOT of socialization. The house-moms had their coffee klatsches every morning and the numerous backyard barbeques always included several neighbor families. The Karros family lived almost directly across the street from us with their four children. Two houses down the street from them was the Palmeroni family with two children. Those two families socialized together regularly. The children even addressed the parents of the other family as “Uncle” and “Aunt.” Two of the girls, Kristine Karros and Marianne Palmeroni, became good friends and hung out together daily until the Palmeroni family moved out of the neighborhood in the early-1970s.

Mrs. Karros died in 2017 and one of my sisters attended the funeral. At the gathering, Kristine indiscreetly divulged to my sister that she had recently sent in a DNA sample and was shocked to discover that she and her youngest brother were half-siblings of her former childhood friend, Marianne, who had also submitted a DNA sample. Kristine’s biological father turned out to be Mr. Palmeroni. Evidently, Mr. Karros, who now has Alzheimer’s, was not even aware that his two youngest children were not his own. I googled Mr. Palmeroni and discovered he had died in 2008. His obituary states that he had been a proud member of his Roman Catholic parish and a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, and was lovingly honored for “always putting his family before his well being.”

When I heard this story,  the Bible verse below came to mind:

“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.” – Numbers 32:23

What a shock that must have been for the two Karros children to learn their biological father was Mr. Palmeroni. It’s tempting for us to condescendingly judge Mr. Palmeroni and Mrs. Karros for their transgressions, but WE ARE ALL SINNERS, in thought if not in deed. We may think we’re getting away with sin, but God Almighty sees all and knows all. All of our sins will be there to accuse us after we die, with even more accuracy than a DNA test. We all deserve eternal punishment for our sin, but God loves us so much He sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to pay the debt for our sins on the cross. Jesus conquered sin and death when He rose from the grave and offers the free gift of salvation to all those who repent of their sin and accept Him as their Savior by faith alone. Have you trusted in Jesus Christ? What are you waiting for?

On Wednesday, we’ll journey back to my old neighborhood once again for the second installment in this two-part series on how sin comes back to bite.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 6/27/20

As part of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, we’re seeing the statues of slave-owning political leaders and Confederate military heroes being vandalized, torn down, or removed. Some Roman Catholic institutions and memorials are also coming under scrutiny. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s fraternal organization is on the hot seat, first for its name (Christopher Columbus  enslaved and exploited Native Americans) and for historically “blackballing” African Americans from membership. Barred from the K of C, Black Catholic men started their own fraternal, the Knights of Peter Claver. Statues of Junipero Serra are also being targeted by Californian protesters. Serra led the Franciscan missionary effort in California, which was marked by mistreatment and abuse of Native Americans by the authoritarian friars. Putting it in a spiritual perspective, the Roman Catholic church has enslaved billions of souls over the centuries with it’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

This past month, the Roman Catholic dioceses of St. Cloud, Minnesota and Syracuse, New York became the 21st and 22nd dioceses respectively in the United States to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is used by dioceses to shield financial assets from survivors of priest sexual abuse.

Bishop Georg Bätzing has replaced retired, uber-progressive, cardinal Reinhard Marx, as head of the German Catholic bishops, but Bätzing has vowed to continue Marx’s agenda, including the demands for married priests and the ordination of women. German Catholicism’s current “synodal path” initiative will present its “conclusions” (not recommendations) to the Vatican in 2021.

In the previous two weekend roundups, we examined 1) President Trump’s staged photo op in front of the John Paul II statue at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., and 2) the contrasting reactions to the photo op from the liberal and conservative Catholic camps. Must notable were the pro-Trump sentiments of archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a vocal opponent of pope Francis. The controversy continued this past week with some conservative priests publishing Viganò’s remarks in their parish website bulletins.

The Catholic church has conferred a myriad of official titles on Mary. It would take a dedicated researcher to list them all (see here). Pope Francis has added to the catalog by conferring three new titles, including “Comfort of Migrants,” reflecting his own progressive agenda.

The Vatican Bank was involved in many dubious investments in the past, including shares in Istituto Farmacologico Serono, a pharmaceutical company that made birth control pills, and Udine, a military weapons manufacturer, along with possible investments in firearms manufacturer, Beretta, as well as in companies with activities in gambling and pornography (see here). The Vatican Bank is quite famous for its corruption.

Catholic authorities are wringing their hands over the theft of this altar tabernacle, which contained many consecrated Jesus wafers at the time it was stolen. The Roman church teaches that its priests change bread wafers into Jesus Christ during its masses, which are then consumed by communicants in order to allegedly receive graces. Excess Jesus wafers are stored in the altar tabernacle, to be administered later to shut-ins or to be recycled at the next mass. Catholics believe any mishandling or misappropriation of Jesus wafers, such as this theft, to be an unconscionable desecration.

Answering the rebuttals of a Catholic apologist, #29: “Except for Unchastity”

Today, we continue with our series responding to “Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs” (2019), written by Karlo Broussard. With this next chapter, the Catholic apologist continues his section on Sacraments and the specific topic of divorce and remarriage as he attempts to counter evangelical Protestants’ argument that divorce and remarriage is not allowable “Except for Unchastity”


The Roman Catholic church officially teaches in its catechism that its members may not remarry after a divorce:

“In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law.” – CCC 1650

A divorcee who remarries is judged by the church to be living in an ongoing state of adultery and is barred from the church’s allegedly grace-providing sacraments.

Evangelical Protestants recognize that Jesus Christ generally prohibited divorce and remarriage (see Matthew 19:3-8), but point to Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 19:9 (see also Matthew 5:32) as an “exception clause”:

“And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” 

Broussard attempts to counter this exception clause with five arguments.

(1) Broussard states that the Greek word used in Matthew 19:9 for sexual immorality, porneia, is different from the word Matthew uses elsewhere in his gospel for marital infidelity, moicheuō. Broussard concludes that Jesus wasn’t referring to spousal infidelity in Matthew 19:9.

(2) Broussard then argues that the apostles’ strong reaction in the very next verse, Matthew 19:10, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry,” would be inappropriate if Jesus’s intent was a loophole allowing for spousal infidelity as the grounds for divorce and remarriage.

(3) Broussard follows by claiming that (A) the context of Matthew 19:3-8 forbids the dissolution of a marriage for any reason, therefore (B) Jesus would have been contradicting Himself if v.9 were interpreted as an exception clause.

(4) Broussard argues there is no corroboration for this exception clause in the other gospels or any of the epistles. The Catholic apologist does mention that the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 seems to allow for divorce in the case of when an unbelieving spouse abandons their believing partner, but notes that Paul qualifies this exception as his own opinion rather than a teaching from the Lord.

(5) Broussard claims to have thoroughly refuted the “exception clause” interpretation of Matthew 19:9 with his previous four points. What then is the “correct” interpretation? According to Broussard, Jesus was referring strictly to sexual immorality by one of the partners “before and at the time of the attempted union” (p.163) as legitimate cause for divorce/dissolution. The marriage can thus be ruled unlawful/invalid/void/illicit before it starts (during the betrothal period) or at its inception. Broussard suggests Jesus was affirming the teachings in the Old Testament (e.g., Deuteronomy 22) regarding the validity/invalidity of marriages, which would have already been familiar to Matthew’s primarily Jewish readers. Broussard extrapolates from this interpretation the basis of Roman Catholicism’s practices regarding the validity/invalidity of marriages involving the granting of annulments.

Let’s now reply to Broussard.

(1) Broussard’s argument that Matthew’s use of porneia in Matthew 19:9 indicates something other than spousal infidelity is lexical subterfuge. Porneia is used interchangeably with moicheuō elsewhere in the Bible. See Charles Albright’s excellent article on the topic here.

(2) The apostles’ strong response was a reaction to Jesus’s high regard for the marriage bond, which contradicted the view popularized by rabbi Hillel (110 BC-10 AD) allowing for divorce even for decidedly frivolous reasons.

(3) Broussard is “reaching for straws” here. An exception is an exception precisely because it allows a deviation from the general principle.

(4) Broussard’s argument is specious. He is well aware there are doctrines exclusive to particular gospel accounts. While Broussard discounts Paul’s exception clause in 1 Corinthians 7:12-16, evangelicals accept the passage as inspired teaching.

(5) Theologians continue to debate the details of the exception clause presented in Matthew 19:9. Most evangelicals take Jesus’s words at face value; that remarriage after divorce is allowable in cases where the other spouse committed adultery. However, we know that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), and that the ideal responses to adultery within marriage would be repentance and forgiveness.

Broussard construes Matthew 19:9 as one of the bases for the Catholic practice of invalidating marriages and the granting of annulments. I could write a 1000-word post on the capriciousness and invalidity of the annulment process, which became the de facto Catholic substitute for divorce.

IMPORTANT: Recognizing that a large percentage of Catholics have divorced and remarried and were therefore alienated from the church, Pope Francis issued his “Amoris Laetitia” encyclical in 2016, which, via some footnotes, pragmatically allowed priests to administer the sacraments to remarried divorcees based upon their pastoral discretion. The encyclical prompted a strong backlash from conservative clergy and laity, even prompting some to label Francis a heretic. Francis has refused to address his conservative critics, allowing the controversy to wither on the vine, while moderate and progressive prelates propagate the pope’s new guidelines. Broussard understandably makes no mention of this papal controversy. Broussard’s own pope has nullified ALL of the Catholic apologist’s above arguments.

Next up: “All Have Sinned” and Mary

Throwback Thursday: Why would any evangelical admire G.K. Chesterton?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 30, 2016 and has been revised.


“I suppose it will take centuries to unwind the coil of confusion and stupidity, which began when the Reformers quite irrationally separated the Bible from the Church.” – G.K. Chesterton

In Marketing 101, one of the basic principles they teach you is the “Theory of Social Proof.” This theory posits that people will adopt the beliefs or actions of a group they like or trust. This is otherwise referred to as the “me too” effect. Even if the beliefs or actions of the admired group are not the optimal or the objectively rational choice, people desire to identify with what they perceive to be the “in” or “with-it” crowd.

In evangelical circles we see this kind of thing all the time. C.S. Lewis is widely and regularly quoted by evangelical pastors, even though he held many beliefs that were at odds with Gospel Christianity. See my critique of Lewis’ outrageously popular but disturbingly problematic “Mere Christianity” here.

Another name that increasingly pops up in evangelical circles these days is G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), who converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism in 1922. Chesterton was a Catholic writer and apologist and, as such, was obligated to believe and defend the following:

  • Salvation by sacramental grace and merit
  • Baptismal regeneration
  • Sacramental conference of grace, ex opere operato (sacraments being efficacious in and of themselves)
  • The mediation of priests, Mary, and the saints
  • The changing of bread and wine into the literal body, soul, and divinity of Christ
  • The sacrifice of the mass as an atonement for sin
  • Purgatory
  • Papal authority and infallibility
  • Church tradition equal to or superseding Scripture
  • Confession of sins to a priest

So why is Chesterton, whose beliefs and apologetics were UNABASHEDLY OPPOSED to Gospel Christianity, admired by some evangelicals? What’s that all about? Perhaps I might know at least part of the answer. Several months ago, I heard a young evangelical pastor, just out of seminary, bemoan the fact that evangelicalism had very few high-brow intellectuals of the caliber of Chesterton. What? You mean there are no William F. Buckleys preaching the Gospel down in the Bible Belt? What’s to become of us? To put it bluntly, some of the VERY misguided interest in Chesterton is intellectual snob appeal.

Praise the Lord for the evangelical saints who uphold God’s Word and salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, and aren’t seduced by the intellectual snob appeal associated with Chesterton and Lewis (and Thomas Aquinas).

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27

“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness.” – 1 Corinthians 3:19

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13

Postscript: The efforts by some Catholics to have Chesterton canonized a saint have been stymied by his documented anti-Semitism, including his clamoring for a law that would have forced Jews living in Britain to wear identifiable clothing.

Loving the brethren: Sometimes it’s difficult

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” – John 13:34

We believers are commanded to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But after being part of a church fellowship for a time or even after navigating the Christian blogging community here at WordPress for a period, we are bound to come across individuals that we don’t easily mesh with for whatever reason. Sometimes we’re put off by a person’s personality. Sometimes we don’t agree with a person’s beliefs regarding a secondary or tertiary doctrine and they keep “banging the drum” about it. Sometimes we perceive that we have somehow been wronged by an individual and refuse to forgive them. We should sacrificially love and forgive others as Christ forgave us, but sometimes it’s difficult to hang out with certain individuals. I’ve changed the names in the illustration below:

Mike and Sue Smith are a Christian married couple who live in our old neighborhood. My wife and Sue became good friends back in the day and we all socialized together occasionally. However, in 2001, during my very dumb prodigal “season” away from the Lord, my wife and I divorced, sold the house, and moved out of the neighborhood. Miraculously, the Lord brought my wife and I back together the following year. Twelve years went by, but in 2014 my wife reached out to Sue and they rekindled their friendship. We began socializing with the Smiths again and they invited us to a worship service at their church, which led to my returning to the Lord. Praise God! About every 6 or 8 weeks or so, we got together with the Smiths, either sharing a home-cooked meal or taking a short trip somewhere together. We had some good times and plenty of good conversation about the Lord and our Christian walk.

However, the Smiths (especially Sue) are very politically-minded and would regularly introduce political topics into the conversations. My wife is also very politically-minded, although she’s at the opposite end of the political spectrum from the Smiths. Me? I’m trying hard to be apolitical because I believe that politics and nationalism are a snare for Christians and this story is a good example of that. Anyway, during our get-togethers either Sue or my wife would invariably introduce a political topic into the conversation and the other would take off like a rocket. Often the discussions became tense and very uncomfortable. This happened just about every time the four of us got together. My wife realized that she and Sue were never going to agree politically, so, for the sake of the friendship, she asked that they avoid political discussions completely. But Sue wouldn’t stop. Again and again the Smiths, especially Sue, would bring up politics when we were together. Politics and nationalism were such integral parts of their beliefs and affections that they could not disengage from them.

One cold, Saturday night in January 2019 we were over at the Smiths’ for dinner and ONCE AGAIN they brought up politics. Both my wife and I kindly objected that we didn’t want to discuss politics, but they kept it up and kept it up until my wife finally responded. Things then quickly escalated to the point where Sue, the hostess, left the dinner table in a fit of rage and the three of us sat there in a very chilly and awkward silence. Should my wife and I just get up and leave? I had never been in a circumstance like that before. Things cooled down a little bit after my wife apologized for her part. After another half-hour of forced small talk, my wife and I finally extricated ourselves from that very awkward situation. When we got into our car, I turned to my wife and said something along the lines of, “THAT was the last straw. Never again.” We haven’t seen the Smiths since.

Rare is the fellow believer whose doctrinal beliefs are going to align exactly with ours. We all need to practice tolerance, patience, and forbearance when it comes to non-salvation issues. However, over the years I’ve had to disengage from/unfollow bloggers here at WordPress who were very passionate about a particular secondary or tertiary belief, turning it into their “hill to die on.” There are some believers who we are just not compatible with. We must love them and pray for them (I’ll be forever grateful to the “Smiths” for inviting us to their church in 2014), but being in their company and engaging with them is not good for them or for us.

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday sermon series, #37

It’s Two-fer-Tuesday, my friends, which normally means we would have two new sermons from the brethren down in Arkansas.

We definitely do have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana preaching on Hebrews 12:14-17 and “20/20 Vision.” This sermon was delivered on Sunday, June 7th.

Normally, I’d also be presenting a sermon from Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City, but Holly Springs didn’t have a sermon posted for June 7th on their website for some reason.

Pastor Roger Copeland – 20/20 Vision

FINALLY! The Legion of Super-Heroes, #6

The previous Legion installment, LSH #5, was published way back on March 25 and and I had to buy that issue as a smallish Kindle-download because our local comic shop was on lockdown. DC kept delaying the release of issue #6 due to complications from the quarantine. Eleven weeks later, count ’em, we finally have LSH #6.

LSH #5 ended with the news that Aquaman’s trident had been located and that all inhabitants of New Earth were ordered to evacuate. Let’s pick up the action in…

Legion of Super-Heroes #6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Pencils: Ryan Sook, Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger, Colors: Jordie Bellaire
DC Comics,  June 10, 2020

5 Stars


It’s the 31st Century and the inhabitants of New Metropolis and New Earth are scrambling to evacuate. Why? We learn that Horraz pirates had stolen Aquaman’s trident from the Legion’s vaults and are returning to the planet en masse intending to use the powerful relic as a super weapon. The Legionnaires intercept the Horraz raiders in space and a grand-scale conflict ensues. The pirates unleash the trident and a multi-ocean tsunami of galactic proportions suddenly bears down on New Earth. Gold Lantern uses his significant powers to slow the advancing cataclysm, but it’s not enough. Mon-El suddenly shows up and, contrary to Brainiac 5’s warnings, impetuously pulls the trident from the Horraz leader’s hands while the apocalyptic water mass bears down on the planet. Is this the end of New Earth?

The very next scene answers the question. The reader is taken inside the Great Hall of the United Planets where Madam President Brande attempts to assuage the anger of General Nah after his release from one of the Legion’s security cells. Madam President humbly thanks the Legion for not only saving New Earth, but also for “returning” the oceans to the artificial planet via the trident. Hurrah! Nah isn’t buying it and vows revenge.


This book concludes the newly-resuscitated Legion’s first series. I really enjoyed all of the various plotlines involved, including Jon Kent’s introduction to the Legion, the clashes with the Horraz pirates and General Nah over Aquaman’s trident, the Legion’s origin, and the team’s eroding relationship with Madam President Brande and the United Planets. Brian Michael Bendis did a fantastic job writing this series. This new Legion is definitely not a gloomy, “sad astronaut” Legion, which was the overriding characteristic of previous permutations. Penciller, Ryan Sook, has taken the Legion to new heights. What an excellent artist! I am so pleased. This particular issue has several full-page illustrations portraying the intense conflict between the Legion and the Horraz pirates and Sook does an amazing job building up to a climactic crescendo. New characters, Gold Lantern and Monster Boy, received some spotlight in this issue and it will be interesting to see how Bendis develops them in the future, along with Dr. Fate.

One of the difficulties for some Legion newbies is the incredibly lengthy cavalcade of characters, but being a “list man” myself, I enjoy the complexity. Legionnaires spotted in this issue:

  • Blok
  • Bouncing Boy
  • Brainiac 5
  • Chameleon Boy
  • Colossal Boy
  • Cosmic Boy
  • Dawnstar
  • Dr. Fate
  • Dream Girl
  • Element Lad
  • Ferro Lad – FL is not actually portrayed in this issue, but Rose Forrest makes reference to him. Neither did I see any sign of FL in issues 1-5, unless he’s the unidentified character listed farther below.
  • Gold Lantern
  • Karate Kid
  • Light Lass
  • Lightning Lad
  • Matter Eater Lad
  • Mon-El
  • Monster Boy
  • Rose Forrest
  • Saturn Girl
  • Shadow Lass
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Star Boy
  • Sunboy
  • Superboy
  • Ultra Boy
  • Triplicate Girl
  • White Witch
  • Wildfire
  • Unidentified – Skeleton in containment suit – Some online LSH fans are guessing this character to be Chemical King?

Legionnaires not featured in this issue, but referenced previously in LSH #s 1-5:

  • Invisible Kid/Gentleman (may have permanently resigned in LSH #5)
  • Phantom Girl
  • Princess Projectra
  • Timber Wolf

That makes 34 total members. I’m an old LSH fan from the Silver Age days, yet it took me six issues and a lot of additional sleuthing to identify (almost) everyone. If DC and Bendis had thought this through properly, they would devote an entire upcoming issue to brief bios of all the members to help out newbie LSH followers, otherwise they’re going to feel overwhelmed and bale for a series with a smaller roster.

Postscript: After writing the above, I came across an internet article, which said LSH #6 had sold out at the distributor level because of the keen interest among DC readers regarding the debut of Gold Lantern. That is encouraging news! DC had pulled the plug on the LSH back in 2013 because of low sales (which was the direct result of the dismal, off-putting, “sad astronaut” story lines.

J. Mac Lite

John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock
By Iain H. Murray
The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011, 246 pp.

4 Stars

When I returned to the Lord in 2014 after my long and dumb prodigal season, the Lord introduced several solid Bible teachers into my life, including Pastor John MacArthur. I’m able to listen to his daily radio broadcasts (via podcast) three or four mornings each week when I take my walks. This biography caught my eye a long time ago and I was able to purchase a used copy for my COVID-19 lockdown reading-material queue.

The writer, Iain Murray, was the ministerial assistant to Martyn Lloyd-Jones and also MLJ’s biographer. Murray makes it clear that his goal was not to produce a thorough biography, but to provide some basic details regarding J.Mac for those who have been blessed by his various ministries.

MacArthur’s father, Jack, was pastor of an independent fundamental Baptist church and young John attended Bob Jones University for two years, 1957-1959, which I was quite surprised to read. Chafing at the rigidity/legalism at BJU, J.Mac finished his studies elsewhere and was subsequently involved in various ministries until he was selected as pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California in 1969. MacArthur gradually shifted his theology from fundamental Baptist to Reformed and cites Lloyd-Jones as a major influence.

Murray describes the growth of Grace Community Church, and the creation and far-reaching impact of its media ministry, Grace to You. Also mentioned are the founding of The Master’s University in Santa Clarita, California, and The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles.

Murray examines two controversies involving MacArthur; the first being the “Lordship Salvation” brouhaha that followed the publication of “The Gospel According to Jesus” in 1988 and the second one being J.Mac’s outspoken criticism of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements with his book, “The Charismatics,” in 1978, and the 1992 revision, “Charismatic Chaos.”* I was disappointed that Murray omitted any mention of MacArthur’s strong stand, along with R.C. Sproul and D. James Kennedy, against the ecumenical initiative, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together,” unleashed by Chuck Colson in 1994.

This is a good book for learning some background information on John MacArthur, but don’t expect a lot of detail.


  • Youth in California
  • The Bible Takes First Place
  • The Early Ministry at Grace Community Church
  • Threatening Reversals
  • Scripture and Preaching
  • The Rediscovery of Old Truth
  • The 1980s
  • Across the Pacific
  • Controversy
  • Patricia MacArthur
  • A Correction and an Example from Russia
  • Grace to You
  • A Basket of Letters
  • Objections and Questions
  • The Changing Scene in the United States
  • A Visit to Grace Community Church
  • The Man

In our current era, when so many evangelical leaders are compromising with the world (e.g., church-growth marketing, ecumenism, experientialism), I’m grateful to the Lord for the leadership of John MacArthur.

*J.Mac wrote a third book on the topic, “Strange Fire,” in 2013.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 6/20/20

“And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” – Matthew 23:9. Roman Catholics look to their priests and prelates for salvation rather than to God the Father and the only way of salvation that He provided, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Last weekend, I briefly commented on President Trump’s photo op in front of the statue of pope John Paul II at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. Progressive Catholic archbishop, Wilton Gregory, responded by criticizing the president, which led to angry denunciations of Gregory by conservative Catholics, including archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. The former-papal nuncio to the United States gained fame among conservative Catholics in 2018 for accusing pope Francis of complicity in cover-ups for disgraced ex-cardinal and sexual predator, Ted McCarrick. In his June 7 letter, Viganò, praised the president for visiting the shrine and, among other things, claimed the restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were part of a Masonic plot to establish a New World Order.

Roman Catholic dioceses restrict wedding ceremonies to Catholic churches with only a few exceptions. Dispensations for outdoor weddings were granted during the pandemic lockdown. Where there’s a crack in the dam, a flood usually follows.

Two weekends ago, we saw that Austrian Catholic bishops were promoting a book that propagated full acceptance of practicing LGBTers in the RCC. Now there’s this book published by Italian Catholics pushing the same agenda. Progressive RC crusaders are systematically turning the tide to full-acceptance of practicing LGBTers.

Catholic churches are gradually reopening and many Catholics are rejoicing at the “opportunity” to once again attend the “sacrifice of the mass” and receive the alleged Jesus wafer. Catholics love their religious rituals and ceremonies, but don’t know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. I consumed the Jesus wafer for twenty years (ages 7-27) as a Roman Catholic. It was not some kind of life-changing, mystical experience as fervent Catholics describe. It was simply stale bread in my mouth. Jesus Christ must be received as Savior by faith alone.

This news article is two weeks old, but I wanted to point out pope Francis’s prayers for George Floyd’s soul. Catholic prelates teach that most souls will go to purgatory after death for the expiation of venial (minor) sins and that prayers from the living will shorten their stay. Most Protestants no linger even blink at such un-Biblical statements.