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The Truth War: Fighting For Certainty In An Age Of Deception (2007)

The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception (2007)

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4.16 of 5 Votes: 1
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0785262636 (ISBN13: 9780785262633)
nelson books

About book The Truth War: Fighting For Certainty In An Age Of Deception (2007)

(Composite score)Intro: 4 stars; Ch. 1: 4 stars; Ch. 2: 3 stars; Ch. 3: 3.5 stars; Ch. 4: 2 stars; Ch. 5: 2.5 stars; Ch.6: 1 star; Ch. 7: 2 stars; Ch. 8: 1.5 stars. It was difficult to rate this book. One the one hand, the sum of its composite chapters equals a moderate 2.6 stars. On the other, its effect on an erudite mind is enfeebling. I estimate that a 75-word idea constitutes two thirds of the book! MacArthur—as if continually forgetting anew that which he has penned before—proffers marginally different versions of his thesis several dozen times. To compound this numbing phenomenon, his supporting vocabulary is exemplary in its imprecision. On a mere two or three page excerpt, he uses the phrases “almost completely,” “often,” “sometimes it seems,” “very few,” “almost none,” “have nearly become,” “various,” and “many.” These ought not abound in the lexical repertoire of an accomplished writer. His general thesis states that the modern church is overrun with false or unqualified teachers. This is truth, and an uncommon one. In fact, it is disappointing that a book so needed in our time was written so sloppily. The distinctive 33% of MacArthur’s text (in which he isn’t splaying his aforementioned repetitions upon the page) is partially squandered on forays into Church History (more than is needed to paint a backdrop), one logically confused sidebar on God’s sovereignty, and several overstatements of his otherwise valid points. Three examples of the latter: on p159 he declaims the CEO-model church pastorate as “undermin[ing] the headship of Christ” and often “good for nothing eternal.” The church polity in question is not inherently wrong as long as the pastor recognizes his subordinate place (as all good pastors do). But there is little partitive force in MacArthur’s denunciation. On p166, MacArthur rightly calls out preachers who favor a narrow range of pet topics, but then oversteps in calling them “opposite” to the purpose of preachers in Acts 20:27. Inigo Montoya might comment on his word choice: “I do not think it means what you think it means;” the words “deficient” and “opposite” are not synonyms. His final, notable overstep was declaring that “Paul deliberately refused to customize his message or adjust his delivery to suit…cultural tastes.” This is patently wrong, as anyone familiar with comparative literature can attest. Not only the epistles, but a great swath of the Old Testament is filled with such cultural identification. Yahweh himself delivers suzerainty treaties to Israel which mimic the legal format of neighboring, pagan Canaanites! Again MacArthur expounds on the path of truth, then overreaches to the point of falsehood. This 184-page book could have been written in 55. I recommend reading all of the Introduction and Chapter 1, the sections on Judaizers and Gnostics (pp85-96), the sections on Sabellianism and Arianism (pp100-105), the discussion on headship (pp160-164), and the section titled “Reach” (pp177-183). Finally, his anomalously specific opposition to Brian McLaren is substantive, but individually far too scattered throughout the book to concisely reference.

This was a really great book. I highly recommend it to anyone who professes Christianity. Be forewarned that McArthur not mince word. This book is all about truth, and he is not afraid to announce it. He repeats several important themes and phrases a lot; which made me wonder why these redundancies were not edited. I came to the conclusion that the repetition was intentional and even warranted. McArthur was repeating valid truths; I believe it was his intention to repeat the truth at every opportunity in hopes that they would be truly heard by the reader. McArthur addressed his subject in a very logical manner. First he gives you a clear Biblical template of what truth is, and how truth is determined. Second, he gives you the history of Philosophy, and humanities pursuit of truth. Then, he educates the reader how the pursuit of truth shaped and shapes history; the final two subjects (Modernism & Postmodernism) bringing us to our present era. Finally McArthur puts the history humanities pursuit of truth on top of church history. This gives you a picture of why and how the American church is where it is today and what that means to doctrine.I found McArthur’s style easy to read and understand. I don’t think I have had anyone explain postmodernism as clearly as he does. In particular I was astounded by the influences of postmodernism in the American church. For me it was almost like a missing color in a black and grey painting. As soon as blue was added, the picture seemed to make sense. I have been chewing on parts of the book for days. Like his title implies, this book really is a call to arms (spiritually speaking). McArthur is clear that his call is a spiritual one and NOT a physical one. He is a passionate author who is one part historian; a mixture that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would not hesitate to pick up another book by him.

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You owe it to yourself to go through this book if you consider yourself a Christian and is weak on knowing what they believe and why. This book is a great way to show the Christian what the Bible says about knowing what you believe, why you believe it, and making a case for defending it. I have heard much of the content of this book in other books and sermons, but this is a good starting point if you have never considered it. I downloaded and listened to this for free on the Library website with my iPod. If you say that you don't have time to read a book, get a library account and download the audiobook version for free. Do you have a commute to work, do you mow the lawn, do you take walks, or do chores at home that do not require use of your ears? You can listen during any of those activities and finish the book very quickly.
—Noel Burke

Ostensibly, this is an extended commentary on the Letter of Jude and the militant advocacy for Biblical truth that he calls believers to embody. This was pretty standard MacArthur fare. While I agree with many things he says and really want to like him, his tone has a smugness and hardness of heart that I find phenomenally off-putting. The topic of this book amplifies this negative characteristic of his tone and style, making it hard for me to get through. I am pretty sure this was just a reworking of a number of his sermons. This work was highly repetitive and that's the most reasonable explanation for the use and re-use of whole phrases over and over again in each chapter. He could have reworked them a little more so that it didn't seem like bad writing. A good sermon and a good chapter of a book aren't the same thing.
—Andrew Glos

Why is the truth important, because it will determine what Jesus we embrace. One that we made in our own image or the one that is revealed in the whole word of the bible. In today's christianity especially in the U.S, Solomon's wise advice has never been more timely Proverbs 23:23...Buy the truth, and do not sell it. Truth is what which is consistent with the mind, will character, glory and being of God..truth is the self-expression of God. location 224 (kindle edition). The book goes into depth of the deception that is in christian circles and for us be in the battle of the truth. I do have to say that God has revealed to us plainly his character in his word and by history. I am in my 3rd year of reading the bible thru a year and books like John MacArthur are helpful and go alongside with what the word of God reveals. I appreciate his ministry tremendously and I think his books, teaching will minister to the saints to be firm in faith. We are living in times that our faith will be shaken and only in the truth will we hold firm. Glory to God.

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