Drinking Deeply

Monday, November 28, 2005 at 11:42 PM

Book Review: Twelve Ordinary Men

I just finished Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur and I wanted to post a few thoughts on it:

1) It's not a typical John MacArthur book. The other books I've read by him have all been solid exegetical and biblically grounded. He would examine a problem, present Scripture to support his points, and exegete the Scripture. This book is markedly different. Though everything that he says is backed up by Scripture citations (and they're taken in context! *gasp*), he does not necessarily exegete the passages.

2) There were a few passages that I had heard differing interpretations on and was unsure which ones I agreed with (since no reasons were given for either). There are a couple passages where John MacArthur reads a bit of his own understanding into the text to make a point. While the points may be well intentioned, some of them are mere guesswork (though he does openly admit that they are guesses, which is a far cry from many other people who simply assert their opinions as fact (like I am right now! =p ) ).

3) In spite of point 2, the areas which are directly derived from Scripture (the first couple chapters on the better known Apostles), are excellent. They are filled with solid insights, demonstrating the complete failures of the Apostles, and how God used His Spirit to transform Him for His glory. It really gave me a lot of hope because I was like "wow! I have all these weaknesses, maybe God can use me too!"

4) On a personal level, I will say that this book brought me to repentance many times. Many times I saw how my own failings were just like those of the Apostles, how I doubted, had false confidence, was unrighteously angry, wanted to call down fire, lacked love, desired authority rather than desiring to be made worthy, it was just a checklist of my sins at times. Through all of it, the book constantly pointed to the steadfastness of God's grace, the depth of His transforming power, and the power of His Word. MacArthur's warnings on Judas the traitor were incredibly apt too.

My recommendation: Borrow it


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