DR. GREGORY: A number of years ago when I was pastoring here, we had Dr. MacArthur scheduled for a prophetic conference and remember sitting in my office when I got a call from him and he said, “Brother Gregory, I just was talking to my elders the other night and they said that I needed to cut back a little bit on my schedule. Could I ask you if I could please be excused from coming for this Round Rock prophetic conference?” That’s the closest I ever got to having you come here, John.
I have had the opportunity to get to know Dr. MacArthur personally on several occasions when I visited Southern California. He is a member of the IFCA, not by convenience, but by conviction. He is one of our brothers. He is one of our family. He has had a very high exposure in terms of his radio ministry, his tape ministry, and his writing ministry. I would hate, personally, to have everybody picking apart everything I said. But then again I’d be in a lot more trouble than anyone might say you are, John, across the country. But because he is one of our number, one of our family, and because there have been part of our family who have had certain questions about certain things that Dr. MacArthur has written or said, we have opted for the proper way of dealing with that kind of situation. See, we’re seeking for oneness. We’re seeking for solutions, not for winning of one side over another – for understanding. And so we’ve invited him here today in order that you might be able to receive individual and personal answers.
And I trust today that as we listen, that we’ll listen with ears that are eager to hear rather than to block out. And I pray that the Holy Spirit of God – this is my prayer – that the Holy Spirit of God will enable us to come to a clear understanding. I don’t ask you all to agree. Heaven knows, this many independents together, we’d never agree on a lot of things. Someone said if you get three of them together you’ve got five opinions. But we are asking to understand, so that we might really be able to say, “I know what he believes,” or, “I know what I believe.” And then we can make decisions and make them in a proper Godly way.
Dr. MacArthur is serving in the Grace Community Church in California. This is the site of the convention next year, according to the action of the committee in November, as we have been told. If there is going to be any change, it’s going to be because we understand and not because we have reacted. And so I’ve asked Dr. MacArthur to come. We as a committee have asked him to come, and he has graciously agreed to come. He is not on trial. He is here as our brother. So John, come and share with us. I told him he has to come across the auditorium to get up this way. He’s going to come and –
JOHN: I think I’m glad to be here. I’ll know for sure in a little while. The last time I stood like this before a rather large and erudite group of IFCA people was at my ordination. I was ordained into the IFCA, having graduated at Talbot Seminary, and that was a very imposing ordination process. And the ordination process that we now use at our church is a child of the IFCA process and I trust equally as thorough. I, even to this day, remember some of the questions, like, “Name and date all of the post-exilic, pre-exilic, and exilic Minor Prophets,” which I’ve had tremendous occasion to use in my radio ministry through the years. I keep it fresh, if for no other reason, the devotional value of such information. But I was ready on that day, perhaps more ready than I am today. But I’m very glad to be here and I just want you to know it’s a joy to share in fellowship with you.
My father was, for a number of years, very involved with the IFCA. I have maintained my interest and my passion for the things that you hold true. And I do count myself as your brother in Christ and in terms of where we stand doctrinally. And I want to do anything I can to clarify the things that I believe the Bible teaches. I am not going to stand here and say there are no errors in my theology. The problem is I don’t know where they are. If I knew where they were I’d change them, and so would you. You’d change yours. But none of us is claiming infallibility. But over the years of teaching the Word of God, without a lot of presuppositions, I tend to conclude whatever I believe the sort of the exegetical process yields, and that’s why I’ve arrived where I have.
Unfortunately, everything I say is spread all over the place. It’s a very serious responsibility. Somebody said to me one time, “We’re going to record your message. It’s not that we want to hear it again. We want to hold it against you when you’re wrong.” There’s a sense in which that kind of overexposure does leave some questions, so I certainly would want to clarify anything I possibly could. And I’d want you to help me to better understand the Word of God. I have no personal agenda. I want to understand God’s Word and all its truth. And I think, till the day I die, I trust I’ll be a learner and open to whatever input can give me a better understanding. So thank you for giving me this opportunity.
SPEAKER: Before we begin, want to ask Dr. Gregory to lead us in prayer.
DR. GREGORY: Thou art our Father, who are God, and we want to thank You for the privilege of being able to say that You are our Father. To know Thee, to Walk with Thee. And we pray that in these next few moments and perhaps hours, that as we stand before Thee, that we might remember that we stand before a God who knows the thoughts and the intents of our heart. And we thank Thee for this, because we know the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. And so we pray, Lord, that in these next few moments that You will give us all a desire to know the truth, and not only to know it, but to commit ourselves to live by it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
SPEAKER: Okay, the first category will be concerning the blood of Christ. Question number one, Dr. MacArthur, what do you believe is the shedding of Jesus’ blood in the redemptive process?
JOHN: Let me address the question of the blood of Christ in a direct way, because this is such an important issue, such a potentially volatile issue. First of all, let me say, the blood of Christ is precious. And I would not equivocate on that. It is precious blood. And I believe that blood, the blood of Christ, the term blood, is the chief New Testament term to describe the atonement. I think it is a comprehensive term, and I think when it is indicated in the New Testament, it is indicated as a term encompassing the atoning work. I do not believe that the New Testament teaches that the blood of Christ – in the epistles, when it’s used – simply refers to the fluid in the body of Christ. I believe that it embraces the atoning work. For we have been redeemed by the shedding of His blood. That encompasses all of the atonement.
It is interesting to note that though Jesus shed His blood at the cross, He didn’t bleed to death. It’s very clear that He yielded up His life at least three hours before His heart was pierced, His side was pierced. And when He died and there rushed forth blood, it indicates that He had not bled to death. There was plenty of blood still there, apparently, to have sustained His life. He died not because he bled to death, but because He yielded up His spirit.
Now what are people teaching about the blood? There are some teaching today that it was not human, but it was the blood of God. And typically they use one obscure interpretation of one verse, Acts 20:28, which talks about the church, which has been purchased with His blood. And they make the antecedent of His God. That is an arbitrary use of the Greek. The antecedent of the blood could equally be Christ in that context. But even more importantly there is no reference in the New Testament to the blood as the blood of God ever. Every mention of the blood connected with a personality is connected with Christ. It is always the blood of Christ, the blood of His cross. Never does it say the blood of God. That is a rather new interpretation, by the way, of Acts 20:28, that I have never been able to find in any commentary.
Secondly, some are teaching today that it was eternal and incorruptible. And they use 1 Peter 1:18, and I’m sure you’re familiar with that. They try to push the parallel there, “Knowing that you are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers but with precious blood.” And so they want to say that since you are not redeemed with perishable things you were redeemed with precious blood, the precious blood must be imperishable. But that’s not the parallel. The parallel is between perishable things and precious blood. And nothing in this text says that it is eternal and incorruptible fluid.
Others are teaching that this eternal incorruptible blood of God – following this line of thought – is now preserved forever in heaven. In other words, it was somehow collected at the foot of the cross, carried in some kind of receptacle into the presence of God, and now occupies a place in heaven. That particular viewpoint basically they draw from Hebrews 9, “When Christ appeared as high priest of good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood” – they would translate the preposition there with His own blood, which again is an arbitrary translation. And better translation is through as noted in the New American Standard. He entered into the holy place through His own blood, not with His own blood. But again, there are those who choose to identify it as with and say Jesus blood somehow was collected, given back to Him, and transported by Him into heaven.
Furthermore, this new view of the blood that is becoming quite popular says that it is still being poured out on the heavenly mercy seat even today. That when a person is saved there is some kind of a pouring out and re-gathering of that blood. I’ve had that conversation with a number of people who have taken issue with what I have said. They use Hebrews 12:24, – the sprinkled blood, that statement regarding the sprinkled blood – to indicate that it is constantly being sprinkled in heaven as an ongoing incessant offering for sin. And then they say further that the blood is never a symbol for death in the New Testament. It always is the fluid. In fact, there was a group of Baptists that met sometime back, and they voted on that in their statement, that whenever the blood of Christ is mentioned in the New Testament it is always referring to the fluid and blood is never a symbol for death. Unfortunately they again turn to Hebrews chapter 9 to try to proof text that, verses 13 and 14 where it just says, “The blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself” – and so forth – “without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?” So they say it’s the actual fluid that somehow cleanses you. One person said to me, “I don’t know how and I don’t where and I don’t know what it involves but somehow the real fluid is poured out on my sins.”
Furthermore, this view has also held that it was in the body of Christ a blood form that was not derived from Mary. Have you heard that? And since Jesus had no human father – I remember DeHaan used to teach that the blood of the father comes into the son or the child and the blood of the mother never does. And thus the sin nature was never passed onto Jesus because He had no earthly father. My brother-in-law is the head of anesthesiology for one of the largest hospitals in Los Angeles – Cedars-Sinai. He says that is medically not true. The blood of the mother does pass through the fetus. It has been tracked, because they can tag blood cells. They know that as a fact.
Now where does all of this come from? Let me give you a little bit of history. This all comes basically from a man named J.A. Bengel, who lived from 1687 to 1752. And what we’re having today is an echo of a Bengelian heresy, that the church rejected in the eighteenth century, that held this very mystical view of the blood of Christ. First of all let me just briefly answer these things, and I think we can put the whole issue to rest. Number one, they say it was not human blood – not human blood. You cannot base that on Acts 20:28. That is a completely arbitrary statement, to say that because it says, “The church of God which He purchased,” that therefore the He must modify God and therefore the blood is the blood of God. As I said before, there’s no biblical reference to the blood of God at all. That is an arbitrary choice of antecedents in that passage.
Furthermore, we know that Jesus produced His own blood like every other human being produces his own blood. The blood of a mother that passes through the fetus in the womb is minimal. The blood of any human being is produced by that human being and any medical doctor can give you the background. The largest single portion of whole blood is comprised of erythrocytes, or red blood cells, derived from the liver and later the bone marrow. A smaller portion is made of white cells manufactured in lymphoid tissue, also in the bone marrow. The red cells, as you know, sustain life and the white cells fight infection. More portions of blood, platelets, clotting factors, and immunoglobulins and albumin and those kinds of things are also produced in the liver and the lymph system and the bone marrow. The point is this, every human being, every fetus, produces, generates its own blood system, every embryo. Jesus had blood that developed in Him just like it developed in any other human being.
I want to say at this point I reject the Apollinarian error. I reject the view of Apollinaris who said that Jesus Christ was the combination of God-Man, only in the sense that God entered a human body and nothing more. I believe that Jesus was fully man, not only in body but in personality and in nature. He was man, 100 percent fully man. And in order to be fully man, which you remember the councils affirmed that He was back as early as 381, He had to be all that a man is, not some kind of human – some bloodless human with some infused divine substance. There are so many problems with that particular viewpoint, not the least of which is where was this blood of God before Jesus? Where was it floating around? Because if it was the blood of God, we’re going to have to answer that question and then we’re going to have to answer the question, how can a spirit have blood? Jesus said a spirit has not – what? – flesh and bones.
The second thing that they say is it was eternal and incorruptible. But nothing indicates that in the New Testament either. The parallel, as I said, is between perishable things and precious blood. Nothing says it was imperishable or eternal. What the atonement accomplished was eternal. And these people who say that His blood was eternal might have to also deal with the fact that what about the rest of His bodily fluids and what about His fingernails and His – you don’t even want to get into that kind of fantasy. The Bible says nothing about that – absolutely nothing.
Thirdly, they say it was preserved in heaven. I pointed out that it’s He entered into heaven through His blood not with His blood. Furthermore, they say it is being poured out on a heavenly mercy seat, the sprinkled blood being continually poured out. I just warn you against this error. I’ll tell you why. That is nothing but Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic theology of the perpetual offering of the blood of Christ. That is not a Protestant viewpoint. That is heresy. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is not repeatable. It cannot be repeated. You can’t have some mystical dumping of blood going on incessantly in heaven without somehow convoluting the statement, the clear statement that, “He has by one offering perfected forever them that are sanctified.” There is no repeatable characteristic in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And then for people to say blood is not a symbol for the atonement. It is a symbol for the atonement. It has to be. It is not the fluid that can save, or Jesus could have bled into a chalice, taken the thing to heaven, and poured that out if it was in the fluid. His atoning work demanded that He die.
Now let me add at this particular point, I do not believe for one moment that Jesus Christ could have died any other way than the way He died. I’ve heard people say, “Well He could have been beaten to death. He could have been stoned.” Not on your life, He had to be lifted up. That’s exactly what He predicted who happen. He had to be put upon a cross, because it said that way back on the Old Testament, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” There was no other way then that Jesus would be crucified. And He had to pour out His blood. He had to have those great wounds where blood was shed because He was the fulfillment of all Old Testament sacrificial imagery. There was no other way that He could have died than the way in which He died. I have never said anything to the contrary, never would. But at the same time it was not the fluid that saved us; it was the death of Christ. See Roman Catholic theology teaches that you take a cup of wine, the priest somehow transubstantiates that into blood, you drink that blood, and it minister’s saving grace. We reject that heresy. It is not the fluid. That by the way – that strange view is elaborated by a man named Hicks in a book written in 1930 called The Fullness of Sacrifice. It’s another Anglo-Catholic book. We want to be very careful we’re not delving into some of these things.
Now blood does refer to death. Check Kittel. It says in there, “Blood stands for death.” That’s a quote. Alan Stibbs has written the most significant journal article on haima, which is the Greek word for blood, that I’ve ever read. And he says, “Blood is the symbol of sacrificial death.” So wherever you see the blood of Christ, it embodies the whole atoning work. And I can give you a list as long as your arm of scriptures that indicate that. Now all of this, I’m just trying to point out to you, indicates to me that those people who are saying Jesus had the blood of God are on the one hand denying His full humanity. Secondly, they’re confusing the issue of God as a spiritual being. Those who say the blood is eternal and incorruptible and that it goes on existing forever and ever have taken that right out of the air, because the Bible does not teach that and what about the rest of that sinless Christ? What is the rest of the residue of His humanness doing? Is it still floating around somewhere? And that it is preserved in heaven is strictly a choice of theology based upon the implication of a selected translation of a preposition. And that it is still being poured out on the heavenly mercy seat, again, twists and perverts the single character of sacrifice.
Finally, to say that blood is not a symbol for atonement is to confuse things. Blood is a symbol for death, to be sure. You can go all the way back to Genesis. And when it talks about it in Genesis it says, “Whoever sheds man’s” – what? – “blood, by man shall His blood be shed.” What does that mean? If you make somebody bleed they get to make you bleed? It means if you do what? If you kill someone. Blood has always been the symbol of death. It is just a graphic way to describe death, and in reference to Christ, the fullness of His atoning death.
So I just want to affirm to you that I believe Jesus Christ was fully man and that He had the body of a man and He had the nature of humanity. And as the councils have said throughout the history of the church, they were not mixed and they were not confused, fully man, fully God. And because He was fully man, He had the blood that every man has, because it’s produced in Him. And I believe that when He died on the cross, He died as a sacrifice in the only way that He ever could have died – crucified. And I believe that in being crucified He shed His literal blood, and He was a literal sacrifice for the sins of the world, but that the atoning work needed more than bleeding, it required death. And so whenever you talk about the blood of Christ you must embrace the whole sacrificial death of Christ. Otherwise, He could have covered our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and avoided the cross altogether.
SPEAKER: Okay, are there any questions from the panel? I have just one other question. There were several questions, but you pretty well covered that in answering.
JOHN: I tried to.
SPEAKER: This question had quoted you, and you cleared up much of what was said. But here is the question that was added to this. How are you different in this issue than Bob Thieme?
JOHN: I’m not sure that that matters. I’m not sure what he believes about that. The only issue would be whether it’s biblical. I certainly am very different than Bob Thieme in a lot of – almost everything I can think of. I certainly don’t want to identify at that point. You know there may be times in the past when I’ve said something that left something unclear. But you know, the man who doesn’t offend with his tongue is the perfect man. You know, there may be things that would make someone assume something like that. Somebody asked me – in fact I get asked all the time, do I ever listen to my own tapes? And my answer is, “Only when I want to find out what I believe.” Because I teach constantly, you know, and I have for all these years and I forget what I believe about something. But I don’t think I hold the same view as Bob Thieme. I’ll leave it at that. I’m not sure what his view is.
SPEAKER: All right, there’s a question. Mr. Parson?
MR. PARSON: You mentioned the death comprises the atoning. The blood relates to death, to the atoning work, as in Leviticus 17:11. My question is, does death only comprise the whole redemptive atoning work? And my thought is along this line: The death – the blood points to life, a life poured out, pointing always to the perfect Lamb of God. Blood presents – the blood presented because the blood shed isn’t enough. The blood is presented and the blood is the life received and the blood is precious. It is life possessed. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ went as the Lamb of God. He is the perfect priest, the perfect sacrifice. He perfectly satisfies God. And my question, I guess, is when death is spoken of in your tapes or that which you – you sent us a master tape. You may not, have but it came as the official tape. In there it is said – nothing is said of this other, that death would be the beginning and end of blood, blood equals death by metonymy, metonymy – period – done. That’s my question. Is it finished in your mind then? In other words, would I represent you properly if I said blood equals death – period – a big one?
JOHN: I’m not sure how to answer that, believe it or not, even though you clarified it a couple of times. What I am saying is that the atonement for our sins necessitated a death. It necessitated the death that Jesus died in the very way that He died and in no other way. And what I am simply saying is that while blood does not equal death totally, because the blood shedding of Christ and the sacrificial element of that was a part of the death of Christ, yet, when the New Testament writer refers to blood, he is equating it with the whole atoning work, which embraces the blood and the death. A parallel to that would be the blood of His cross. Now there’s no blood in the cross. You also have – talking about that we’ve been saved by the cross of Christ. Well what does that mean? The wood didn’t save us. The wood didn’t bleed for us. But whether you’re talking about the death of Christ, the blood of Christ, the cross of Christ, you are simply using terms which embrace, in one graphic way or another, the whole atoning work of Christ. That’s the only way I can explain it. I don’t know.
MR. PARSON: Just a point that may help. If I was left with listening to the tape that was sent and we played that for the regional men, it would have been very difficult for us to go beyond, from the tape, beyond blood equals death period. I think all these others – and I’m not saying you don’t say them – you just did not say them. And I think that may trigger –
JOHN: Sure. I understand that.
MR. PARSON: A great deal of reaction.
JOHN: And that’s the difficulty, you know, in being taped. That’s why Martin Lloyd Jones, in his book on preachers and preaching, said, “Those infernal tapes.” Because you can’t say everything about every theological issue every time you bring it up. So what happens is you get a point here and there. You just kind of don’t cover the full thing. But I hope that clarifies what I believe. I’m not necessarily asking you to believe it. I’m not mandating that. But I think it’s consistent with Scripture and that’s where I stand.
SPEAKER: All right, we’ll move on to the next category of dispensationalism. And here’s first question. In view of some statements that seem to cast doubt on your position of being a dispensationalist, please clarify what your true position is. Are you mixing reform covenant views with dispensationalism? Elaborate your views by reviewing the number and characteristics of dispensations.
JOHN: Now we’re back to the pre-exilic kings and the –
SPEAKER: In three minutes.
JOHN: I just want you to say – I want you to know that I am a – I am a historical dispensationalist, pretribulational, premillennialist. I believe that from the Scripture – please note – from the Scripture, not the notes at the bottom of the page, emerges a dispensational hermeneutic. I believe that dispensationalism is a hermeneutic. It is a hermeneutic. But I believe – I don’t believe it’s a presuppositional hermeneutic. I believe it is a hermeneutic that rises out of an understanding of the text. So I am a historic dispensationalist. I have never wavered on that. I have never moved from that position. What do you mean by that? What I mean primarily by that is that you must distinguish in the way in which God rules in this world or the economy by which He mediates His rule in this world at different points in time.
Obviously there was a point in time in which God mediated His rule through an innocent man. I have no problem with that at all. God walked and talked directly with Adam, and Adam did what God him to do without any interruption or hindrance whatsoever and God mediated His rule on the earth through man who had become king of the earth. When man fell God had to mediate His rule in a different way. And God then began to mediate His rule in the world through a fallen man and He had to use the revelation of Himself, which He did first of all to the patriarchs, which He did by then giving the Law. I believe that God’s mediated rule on the earth is much more sophisticated after the Law. There were obviously times and seasons which God overlooked pre-law, as there are times and seasons which He was gracious with pre-grace, if you want to make that distinction.
So I see a difference before the fall, after the fall; before the Law, after the Law; before the cross, after the cross; before Christ comes and after He comes then in the eternal state. Now I don’t know how many of those there are. I haven’t counted them all up. I’m not sure I want to dot all the I’s and T’s on human government and conscience and all of that. But I do know that once man fell, God had to mediate His rule on the earth through His Spirit. And His Spirit worked through conscience and His Spirit worked through the patriarchs, and then His Spirit worked through the prophets and the priests, and His Spirit, of course, brought the Law and God mediated in that way. And then, of course, once you come to the new covenant, God mediates His rule on the earth by the Spirit of God and dwelling the church. The day will come when the church is raptured out, and God will mediate His will on the earth in a direct way as He pours out judgment on the earth, takes the earth back, and then mediates His rule on the millennial kingdom for a thousand years, with Christ reigning on the throne until the eternal state, in which everything falls into the blending of God’s sovereignty in the final form of our existence. So I would be a very historic dispensationalist.
People ask me all the time, “Are you reformed?” The reformed people don’t know what to do with me, because they hear things that sound thrilling to them and then somewhere down the page they get confused again, because I don’t buy the whole ball of wax. To be honest with you, all I’m doing is going in my church every week and preaching the next passage. That’s all I’ve done for 20 years. And so I just try to understand what it says. And somebody will say, “Oh, that sounds reformed.” Somebody will say, “Oh, that’s really dispensational.” I’m just trying to be biblical. I really am and I’m not trying to build a system or advocate a system. I really do believe in a biblical theology, more than that, an exegetical theology. I’m just trying to hammer that thing through and refine myself. And I know that maybe there are times when it’s contradictory.
I spoke one Sunday night on why the antichrist will be a Jew. And somebody came and said, “You’re wrong. He’ll be a Gentile.” So I studied all week and the next Sunday night I preached on why the antichrist would be a Gentile. I don’t know. For all I know He might come from Pennsylvania. I don’t know. I put my pants on just like you, go down to my little study, get out my books and do the best I can and have at it. And I’m not trying to develop some sort of secret hidden agenda. I’m just trying to understand the Word of God. But I do believe – and the major dispensational issue for today is, I believe with all my heart and soul that you cannot come up with a covenant view of theology and maintain any kind of coherent hermeneutics. If you come up with covenant theology, which assumes then that the church is the new Israel and all the promised blessings to Israel are now fulfilled in the church, if you come up with that view, you have violated the basic premise of biblical interpretation. Because what you have said is this, all of the curses of the Old Testament were on Israel, were fulfilled literally. Is that not true? Nobody argues that. It’s a question I ask every covenant theologian, amillennialist I ever meet and we have a discussion. You tell me, were the curses promised to Israel for their sin fulfilled literally? They all say the same, “Yes.” Then answer this. The promises given by the prophets in the same breath, you’re telling me are all to be fulfilled figuratively? That is an impossible hermeneutic. That is a divided hermeneutic. You can’t have it both ways. They are either all literal or they’re all figurative, but not one or the other. So I believe that you literally confound the Scripture.
And since I also believe in a literal, historical, grammatical, contextual rule of interpretation, I’m stuck with a literal interpretation. So I have to have a literal Israel in a literal kingdom with a literal Christ reigning in a literal Jerusalem for a literal thousand years. And the best part is I’m going to be there. And so are you and we’ll all get along perfect. I tell my church this, you know, I say, “Look, some of you people are very difficult to work with, but if you think you’re going to give me ulcers or get me upset or make my life miserable, you’re wrong. Because I know something, and what I know is someday you’re going to be perfect, and I’m not going to lose my sanity trying to get you where you’re going to get any way.”
SPEAKER: Okay. This will be the final question on dispensationalism. It has to do with your book The Gospel According to Jesus. The question states, “It is heavily footnoted with reform theologians as well as including two prefaces by reformed men. Could you find no one from the dispensational pre-mil, pre-trib position to write support for your views?”
JOHN: I’m sure we could. The publisher made the choices. We had a number of people write those forewords. Part of the reason for that is to show – and I quoted a lot of people. Because I think through the years the reformed theology that has come out of the reformation, or the doctrine of salvation, has been most carefully and thoughtfully preserved in reform circles. I think their soteriology and even their pneumatology has really been a very strong backbone for the church. I do not hold to a reformed view, say, of ecclesiology or eschatology, but I think they have in many ways been the preservers. And doesn’t that seem right? I mean, if Martin Luther got everything else wrong, he got one thing right, and that was the heart of it. And he just about did get everything else wrong, by the way. But he got the part right about the just shall live by faith. He got the part of salvation by grace through faith plus and minus nothing. Right. And that is the backbone of reform theology, has maintained that strength. And that’s why I quote those people, because through the centuries they have been the most articulate proponents of the doctrines of salvation. So they stand in good stead. And I think as far as I know isn’t James Boice dispensational?
JOHN: And from my viewpoint he was a premillennial dispensationalist with reform soteriology and was – the other reason we chose those two forewords was because they were really positive, and we thought it might sort of get the people in the book and not think that I was coming off the wall with some new view, as many have thought. So I tried to mainstream myself a little bit in that way.
This article is also available and sold as a booklet.