Item description for Fool's Gold?: Discerning Truth in an Age of Error by John MacArthur, Nathan Busenitz & Scott Lang...
Overview God's Word makes it clear that not everything that glitters is gold. In this uncompromising book, John MacArthur and the contributors lay a foundation for biblical discernment and use these principles to assess several current Christian trends. Readers will find honest, biblical analyses of some of today's most popular Christian books, music, and ideas. They will be equipped with a foundation for biblical discernment that will enable them to make careful distinctions in their thinking about truth.
In an age of open-mindedness, many believers accept too much with too little discernment, resulting in great confusion and compromise. But God's Word makes it clear that not everything that glitters is gold. False teaching is at every turn, and the temptation to embrace it is great. As God's people we are called to sift through the overwhelming number of traditions and trends and use the truth of Scripture to determine which are the true treasures-and which are "fool's gold."
General editor John MacArthur and the contributors of this uncompromising book define the principles of biblical discernment and use them to address several contemporary Christian issues. They provide straightforward, biblical critiques of some popular but unfortunate Christian trends, such as watered-down preaching and doctrinally questionable best-selling books. Dr. MacArthur ends with a practical plan for cultivating discernment in the Christian life.
It is the duty of every Christian-not just pastors and elders-to follow the biblical command to cling to what is good and to reject what is not. This book will equip you with a foundation for biblical discernment that will enable you to make careful distinctions in your thinking about truth.
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2005
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 158134726X ISBN13 9781581347265
Availability 0 units.
More About John MacArthur, Nathan Busenitz & Scott Lang
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he has served since 1969. He is known around the world for his verse-by-verse expository preaching and his pulpit ministry via his daily radio program, Grace to You. He has also written or edited nearly four hundred books and study guides. MacArthur serves as the president of the Master's College and Seminary. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children.
R. C. Sproul (Drs, Free University of Amsterdam) serves as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida, and is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries. He has taught at numerous colleges and seminaries, has written over seventy books, and is featured daily on Renewing Your Mind, an international radio broadcast.
Alistair Begg serves as the senior pastor of Parkside Church near Cleveland, Ohio. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1975 and served eight years in Scotland at both Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church. He has written several books and is heard daily on the radio program Truth For Life. He and his wife, Susan, have three grown children.
Mark Dever (PhD, Cambridge University) is the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks (9Marks.org). Dever has authored over a dozen books and speaks at conferences nationwide.
Kevin DeYoung (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor at University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan. He serves as a council member at the Gospel Coalition and blogs at DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. He serves as Chancellor's Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and is a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. He is the author of several books, including Just Do Something, Crazy Busy, and The Biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children.
Sinclair B. Ferguson (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of systematic theology at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas, Texas, and the former senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of several books, the most recent being By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me. Sinclair and his wife, Dorothy, have four grown children.
Michael J. Kruger (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the president and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kruger is ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America and also serves as the pastor of teaching at Uptown PCA in Charlotte. He blogs regularly at MichaelJKruger.com and tweets at @michaeljkruger.
R. Albert Mohler Jr. (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the ninth president of Southern Seminary and as the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology. Considered a leader among American evangelicals by Time and Christianity Today magazines, Dr. Mohler hosts a daily radio program for the Salem Radio Network and also writes a popular daily commentary on moral, cultural, and theological issues. Both can be accessed at www.albertmohler.com.
Stephen J. Nichols (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the president of Reformation Bible College and chief academic officer of Ligonier Ministries. He is an editor of the Theologians on the Christian Life series and also hosts the weekly podcast 5 Minutes in Church History.
Carl R. Trueman (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the Paul Woolley Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary and pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He was editor of Themelios for nine years, has authored or edited more than a dozen books, and has contributed to multiple publications including the Dictionary of Historical Theology and The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology.
Nathan Busenitz (PhD, The Master's Seminary) is assistant professor of theology at the Master's Seminary. He previously served on the pastoral staff of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He is the author of numerous books and a regular contributor to the blog Preacher & Preaching.
Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.
Derek Thomas (PhD, University of Wales, Lampeter) is the Robert Strong Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta and minister of preaching and teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. His many books include Calvin's Teaching on Job, and he serves as the editor for reformation21, the e-zine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
John MacArthur has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Fool's Gold?
Truth entails discernment. Aug 12, 2008
MacArthur (and his team of pastors) does a great job at reemphasizing the primacy of God's Word, over all cultural fads. This book addresses many items of our church that have fallen off the side of truth and wandered into the fields of entertainment, pride and false doctrine. Written from a strong and supported Scriptural basis, this book examines even the format and focus of church worship, music and preaching - placing it at obvious odds with Warren-style mega-churches. But MacArthur is uncompromising in his allegiance to Scripture for his guiding principles, and does not simply follow the passing appetites of sinful man.
If you're tired of watered-down church ideas, read this and be guided back into God's Word. Read this and be strengthened and emboldened to stand firm against the tides of emotionalism, emergent doctrines and the host of "feel good" ideas driving much of our churches today.
This Book Is Fool's Gold Dec 18, 2007
"For a book about discerning truth in an age of error, it didn't leave much room for the reader to exercise discernment about truth because the writers were too concerned about making their own points about their own preferences. This book was mainly about the author's opinions about plexiglass preaching, music types and styles, Rick Warren, Wild at Heart, Revolve Bible Magazine, altar calls, consumerism or politics. The title was so short of delivering its intended purpose. It was nothing more than a call to study your Bible, pray every day and tell others about Jesus which I would hope was the reality of someone who is looking to "discern truth." This book was a complete waste of time."
The Need for Discernment Aug 2, 2007
How are we to distinguish gold from "fool's gold"? This is a question that perplexed many in the 1800's with the "gold rush" that swept the many hopefuls that left all behind in search for fortune. In Fool's Gold?, John MacArthur, along with other staff members from Grace Community Church, tackle a wide variety of trends in the evangelical world that seem to offer hope and answers, when in fact they might be a bit misleading. All that glitters is not gold.
There are four parts to the book. In the first part, MacArthur unabashedly calls for discernment rooted in Scripture, offering three points from 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22. Having established a foundation for biblical discernment, he then presents the negative results of "watered-down" preaching which seems to pervade the contemporary Christian community today. In the second part, four different popular books are addressed and critiqued from a biblical standpoint-in a way modeling for the reader what it looks like to employ biblical discernment: 1. Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life; 2. N.T. Wright's What Saint Paul Really Said; 3. John Eldredge's Wild at Heart; and 4. The Resolve New Testament Bible-zine for girls. The third part deals with very provocative issues such as contemporary Christian music, "altar calls" and invitations to "receive Christ into your heart," the Christian's approach to politics, and the consumeristic mind-set that many adopt within the church. And the finally, the book concludes with a doctrinal and practical framework to implement as one seeks to discern which hills are worth dying on and to live a life much like the Bereans, who Luke tells us in Acts 17 were of "noble character" because they "received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (v.11, emphasis added).
* "If the current current hunger for ecumenical compromise, pragmatic sanctification, and numerical success continues to gain a foothold within evangelicalism, it will result in an unmitigated spiritual disaster....The church will never manifest its power in society until we regain a passionate love for truth and corollary hatred for error" (pp.14,15). * "...worship is a transcendent experience. Worship should take us above the mundane and simplistic. So the only way true worship can occur is if we first come to grips with the depth of spiritual truth. Our people can only rise high in worship in the same proportion to which we have taken them deep into the profound truths of the Word. There is no way they can have lofty thoughts of God unless we have plunged them into the depths of God's self-revelation" (p.38). * "So let the man who searches for true masculinity look no further than the pages of Scripture, for there he will find the truth about himself from the mouth of his Creator. Let his ears not be tickled by the whims of men, but let his mind be trained by the Word of God. And before any man looks for his battle to fight, his beauty to rescue, and his adventure to live, let him first look to his God to glorify" (p.95). * "Our only sure defense against false doctrine is to be discerning, to distrust our own emotions, to hold our own senses suspect, to examine all things, to test every truth-claim with the yardstick of Scripture, and to handle the Word of God with great care" (p.199).
I heartily endorse this book to any Christian who seeks honor God and show discernment in what he reads and what he meditates on. I wish the authors would have tackled a few more popular books like Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now and some of the emerging church books that seem to popping up everywhere. Overall, I think the authors did a great job in laying a foundation in the Word for discernment and then demonstrating what that looks like in some books (many of which I have read have benefited from). There a few minor criticisms I have of the book, but they in no way undermine the overall flow that makes this a great read as we can expect from John MacArthur.
If we lose the ability to discern, then we lose the ability to distinguish truth from error; when this occurs, our gospel becomes vulnerable to the onslaught of false speculations and lofty ideas that present themselves against the Truth. We then become confused and apathetic to the essentials of our faith, thinking it only a matter of preference.
May we all be known for our discernment as we test everything and hold on to the good (1 Thess. 4:21) and in so doing, God will receive the glory!
Discernment in a balanced forum Jul 10, 2007
Unlike many articles written to counter political or religious differences, the ones I have read in this book are balanced, Christlike and were written in an attitude of caution and warning. I appreciate the candor that does not cross over into angry dogma, even willing to see the good side of some of the trends they caution against. Any discerning Christian should appreciate the desire of the authors to carefully analyze the thoughts and practices around us in light of Scripture. Too often we find ourselves going through the motions of typical church procedures, or following the trends of popular Christian books and leaders without stopping to think about whether our doing so is Scriptural. These authors remind us that "Sola Scriptura" or Only Scripture should be our guide, while tradition, trends and other guidelines should be carefully thought through. Like the Bereans who Paul commended, let us "search the Scriptures daily to determine whether these things are true."
This books shows the problems of modern evangelicalism Jun 8, 2007
Considering the sad state of modern evangelicalism books like these should be published more and more to combat the consumer mentality among modern-day evangelicals. The book deals with various issues with the problems of contemporary evangelicalism.
One of the key essays in the book is Nathan Busenitz's thoughtful critique of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven program. Though he does not bash Warren, he gives a careful critique of why Warren's program is unbiblical in many ways (especially Warren's use of Scripture and weak theological foundations). Those enamored with this movement should read this chapter. You'll realize just how off Warren is on many issues.
Another good essay is Phil Johnson's critique of the New Perspective on Paul. He ably provides evidence why the NPP is anti-orthodox and anti-Protestant. That it undermines sola fide and should not be accepted by orthodox evangelical Christians. I really liked how he treated Wright's understanding of justification, the law, righteousness, and imputation. Those Reformed people who embrace the NPP are nothing more than a bunch of theonomic cattle farmers who obviously need to loosen their collars a bit.
I also liked Johnson's other essay on Christians and politics. This essay is based on Matthew 5:16. Johnson rightly argues that this verse should not be used by Christians to implement some socio-political program on earth (as those theonomic corn farmers like to advocate, I can't stand those guys), but about individual Christians making a positive impact in their society by being salt and light to the world by bearing good fruit.
Other good essays include Daniel Gillespie's critique of John Eldridge's "Wild at Heart" (yes, you must stop reading his stuff because it is harmful to your masculinity and spirituality) and Rick Holland's essay on the teenage girl directed "The Revolve New Testament" (ech...how low will Christian publishing companies go just to be "cool" and "mainstream").
Other well written essays include Carey Hardy's essay on the legitimacy of modern-day alter calls, Kurt Gebhards' criticism of Western consumerism (oh yeah, did you know that excessive materialism is condemned in Scripture? Oh, who would have known!), and Dan Dumas' touching yet instructive essay on doctrinal discernment (I agree with Dumas that Christians cannot believe what THEY WANT TO BELIEVE...sheesh).
MacArthur's essay on worship songs is okay. As long as worship songs are not heretical and/or hyped up by modern instruments, I believe that it is okay (yes, it is okay to use Matt Redman's songs during Sunday service).
Overall, I highly recommend this book to all Christians - clergy or lay - who want a better understanding of the problems of modern evangelicalism. Many of you will be surprised to know that what your church promotes may be non or anti-biblical. It will be up to you, after reading this book, to stay in your stubborn disobedience to God or to truly seek God and obey his truth.