I don’t think I said the word aloud when I finished reading Fool’s Gold?, but it may have slipped out. John MacArthur is the general editor of this new book from Crossway, and contributing authors are several of his ministry associates.
The theme of the book is spiritual discernment; not set forth in a didactic way, but in a series of topical snapshots. Section one lays the foundation for the chapters to follow: a call for biblical discernment, and the consequences of a weak proclamation of Christianity. MacArthur makes the point that discernment is not just the responsibility of pastors and Christian leaders, but of every Christian. He covers the favorite verse of many in today’s church: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) and compares that with 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Test everything.” In the second chapter he lists fifteen negative effects of superficial preaching, whittled down from an original list if sixty-one! My only reservation is with the twelfth point, and his comment about the difficulty of exercising church discipline where there is no commitment to the authority of God’s Word. I’m not sure that very many churches even practice biblical church discipline, according to the teaching of Matthew 18:15-19. Perhaps a brief exposition of this passage, and an example of how this is practiced in his church is in order. The final two chapters of the book, “A Doctrinal Framework for Developing Discernment” and “A Practical Plan for Developing Personal Discernment” are excellent. I particularly appreciated the exhortation on page 201: “Discernment is not enough apart from obedience.”
The rest of the book is a series of chapters looking at current doctrinal trends in the church and in Christian books. The contributors cover such things as altar calls, contemporary worship music, Wild at Heart and The Purpose Driven Life, as well as politics and consumerism. This is a must-read, written in a clear, straightforward style. I have already loaned out my copy to two people, and one of my pastors is referring to it in the college Bible study he teaches. I heartily commend it to you. – Pam Glass, Christian Book Previews.com
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.