The Truth War

When we went to the Desiring God conference, we picked up a few books. One book that Al is reading now, is “The Truth War” by John MacArthur. It is an excellent book and a call to the church to ‘contend for the faith.’

Here are a few quotes.

The first is actually a quote by Spurgeon at the front of MacArthur’s book. Charles Spurgeon ministered mightily in the context of strong contention for the truth. If you want to know more – read ‘Spurgeon vs. Hypercalvinism’ for the battle that invaded every part of his life and ministry.

“The Church of Christ is continually represented under the figure of an army; yet its Captain is the Prince of Peace; its object is the establishment of peace, and its soldiers are men of a peaceful disposition. The spirit of war is at the extremely opposite point to the spirit of the gospel.

Yet nevertheless, the church on earth has, and until the second advent must be, the church militant, the church armed, the church warring, the church conquering. And how is this?

It is in the very order of things that so it must be. Truth could not be truth in this world if it were not a warring thing, and we should at once suspect that it were not true if error were friends with it. The spotless purity of truth must always be at war with the blackness of heresy and lies.” C.H. Spurgeon

Here is a MacArthur quote early in his book.

“As always, a war is being waged against the truth. We are on one side or the other. There is no middle ground-no safe zone for the uncommitted. Lately the question of truth itself-what it is and whether we can truly know it at all-has become one of the major points of contention.

We also happen to be living in a generation when many so-called Christians have no taste for conflict and contention. Multitudes of biblically and doctrinally malnourished Christians have come to think of controversy as something that should always be avoided, whatever the cost. Sadly, that is what many weak pastors have modeled for them.

Controversy and conflict in the church are never to be relished or engaged in without sufficient cause. But in every generation, the battle for the truth has proved ultimately unavoidable, because the enemies of truth are relentless. Truth is always under assault. And it is actually a sin not to fight when vital truths are under attack.

That is true even though fighting sometimes results in conflict within the visible community of professing Christians. In fact, whenever the enemies of gospel truth succeed in infiltrating the church, faithful believers are obliged to take the battle to them even there. That is certainly the case today, as it has been since apostolic times.”

MacArthur puts the truth war in the proper context of love for Christ.

“At the same time, we need to notice carefully that a polemical defense of the faith by no means guarantees a healthy church, much less a healthy individual Christian. Christ also rebuked the doctrinally sound Ephesians for departing from their first love. As vital as it is for us to enlist in the Truth War and do battle for our faith, it is even more important to remember why we are fighting-not merely for the thrill of vanquishing some foe or winning some argument, but out of a genuine love for Christ, who is the living, breathing embodiment of all that we hold true and worth fighting for.”

And here is the final quote for now. I like the black and white aspect of truth and discernment.

“In truth, far more issues are black and white than most people realize. Most of the truths of God’s Word are explicitly contrasted with opposing ideas. Jay Adams calls this the principle of antithesis, and he points out that it is fundamental to genuine discernment.”

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