John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, president of the Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry. In more than four decades of ministry, John has written dozens of bestselling books, including The MacArthur Study Bible, The Gospel According to Jesus, and Slave. He and his wife, Patricia, have four married children and fifteen grandchildren.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent!May 8 2012
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I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a bibliophile, and I'm cheap. I love books. Especially free books. So when I saw I could get John MacArthur's new book in exchange for writing a review (this very review you're reading right now) I jumped at it. I've read a lot on forgiveness, both toward God and man, and was planning on taking an hour, skimming the 115 page book, and getting the next book in his series. My plan failed... Let me explain why. From the first page, I found myself screaming "Yes!" I assumed that this was going to be a basic book, but MacArthur hits the nail on the head when dealing with reasons we don't want forgiveness. He starts by rallying against the sin as sickness mentality in one of the best presentations I've ever read (this is coming from a Biblical Counseling student. I've read about it before.) Granted, it is a few years dated (cites the DSM III-R, DSM IV-R is current [p. 5]), but it is true none the less. He describes the ways man tries to obtain forgiveness, through the law or through Christ. He cites studies and scripture, and is poignant and eloquent in doing it. I'm in love with this book... and I haven't even started chapter two. Now chapter two: MacArthur speaks of the fact that only God can forgive sins. And Jesus forgave sins, which means that Jesus is God and forgives sins. He uses the case study of the quadriplegic lowered through the ceiling's healing to show this. He presents the story and it's meaning and implications well - he is helpful in showing the connections between healing and forgiveness, and offers a fresh (read: biblical) take on the story (not "what will you do to bring your friends to Jesus.") Chapter three then deals with God's forgiveness in spite of who we are, not because of who we are. MacArthur speaks clearly about confession and repentance as necessary. He continues in chapter 4 to show from the Prodigal Son and story of Joseph how God actually wants to forgive. MacArthur is faithful to present the full truth of the scriptures on the issue of forgiveness. I'm glad I didn't skim like I wanted too! Chapter five finishes up the story of the Prodigal Son focusing on the father's desire to forgive. Chapter six speaks of the narrow and wide paths, and speaks against Finny-esque easy believism. He does not (unfortunately) outline a doctrine of substitutionary atonement, but rather focuses on man's role in forgiveness with God. Which is the point of the book - and it is brief - which is why I'm keeping my "unfortunately" comment in parenthesis. Chapter seven concludes with our response: Seek forgiveness from God and forgive others. Final Thoughts: throughout my summary, you get some of my opinions. Here are the rest. I really do like this book. Run, don't walk, to the internet and consider buying it. It's a really good book. It's very practical and not theology heavy. You can read the book quickly, I did it in one day. This is somewhat peripheral, but the binding is a little bit cheap. I'll probably have some loose pages in it because I'm bound to be lending this book out and reading it over again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Review of ForgivenessMay 4 2012
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When I received "The Truth About Forgiveness" by John MacArthur, I wasn't expecting the volume of truth that's bound in this tiny book. Only a little more than 100 pages, this book is a quick read. It'll impact you completely with its amount of basic doctrine and the in-your-face way MacArthur places it to you. MacArthur uses plenty of scripture to back each statement made. It's biblically backed. The other weekend I heard a radio commercial for a local church which claimed it didn't use guilt in its messages. In this church they only show the love of Jesus. This book destroys the message of this commercial because without repentance there can be no salvation. MacArthur also uses stories of Jesus to back the point such as the paraplegic who He forgave then healed and the Pharisees reaction to the forgiveness. Forgiveness is laid out raw through this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably read it again. I've bragged on this book to a few friends. I've only read one other book by MacArthur, so I can't really tell if it follows in his style of writing. I can say it is incredible and I love how he speaks on the forgiveness given by Jesus. He's incredibly straightforward in a world where many weave around the truth. I plan on checking out the other two books in the series. These books will reveal truth to you concerning forgiveness. Through this book, forgiveness becomes much more real. I received this book from booksneeze.com to review, but the opinion is my own.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Forgive Me for Being Blunt with the TruthMay 21 2012
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I'll keep this review short and to the point: I liked it. I agreed with it. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone.
The message is logical: we need to be forgiven, only God can forgive, we don't deserve forgiveness but God wants to forgive, He acts to forgive, He provides the way for us to forgive others, and He wants us to forgive others. The book is brief and to the point. He supports his teaching with scriptures that are familiar to most who know their Bible and follow Christ. I found it easy to read, logical to follow, and Biblically supported.
And yet while I read there were times when I cringed. John MacArthur is not gentle in his message. He is not afraid to offend. He tells the truth, and the truth he tells is not popular nor is it easy to hear, but it is truth. In an age of tolerance and acceptance this book can easily offend. There are portions of the book where, while I firmly believed his point I wanted him to tone it down a little.
That said, I am very interested in picking up the next two book in the series. It was an edifying read that I tenuously recommend to anyone looking for a deeper understanding of the nature of forgiveness.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Strong Book, But Possibly Too StrongMay 22 2012
Dad of Divas
- Published on Amazon.com
Forgiveness is something that is not always an easy thing to do in any of our lives, and in this book the author does take a stand on his own beliefs about what forgiveness means and who really can only forgive all of us, God. The book, while short (only seven chapters) places a ton of information in those short chapters. The author is very straight-forward on his thoughts and beliefs and while they are strong to me, sometimes they came across as a bit hard handed. Also, the author really hits hard with his own opinions instead of letting the reader come up with the conclusions that he was trying to have you reach (which I believe is the mark of a strong writer). I have known many people who either need forgiveness or need to find forgiveness in their own heart for someone else, and many times these people are in a fragile state for quite some time. Reading a book like this may not be the exact words that they need to get through the time that they are going through. I will say that while this book is not for everyone, the author does a good job at laying out forgiveness for all to see. The author provides a practical approach to the topic and allows the reader to take what they can from the words and opinions that he shares.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book that deals with the core of ChristianityDec 19 2012
A. Andrew Joyce
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The Truth About Forgiveness by John MacArthur is a simple book. No wasted reading, no redundant explanation, no back-patting, feel-good nonsense: only the truth. It doesn't take up that much space: only 60 pages. But in those 60 pages MacArthur manages to teach more about forgiveness than some books would in 300 pages.
"No amount of tears can atone for sin. No number of good deeds can make amends for wrong we have done against God."
In a world where sin is written off as sickness, and psychologists advise patients not to blame themselves, MacArthur begins his book by showing how we are helpless to atone for our sin, thus also helpless to be forgiven. "In the human realm there is nothing in time or eternity that can free us from the guilt of our sin," MacArthur writes. The theme of this book is a forgiveness despite our efforts, not as a result of our efforts. This book tells of a wonderful forgiveness that is offered to us.
"The only way to find real forgiveness and freedom from our sin is through humble, contrite repentence."
MacArthur then tackles repentance, which must necessarily go hand in hand with forgiveness. We can't escape our guilt, so it is necessary to repent of it. In his own words, "we must come face-to-face with the exceeding sinfulness of our sin." He then proceeds to lay out the gospel of salvation in clear terms: Jesus Christ came to earth as a man, and died for our sins, so that those who repent may have everlasting life.
This is a fantastic book. It's short, it's sweet, and it's simple. MacArthur goes head to head against very entrenched ideas on today's society and interprets them all within the lens of the gospel. Like its predecessor, The Truth about the Lordship of Christ, this book has an incredibly Gospel-focused message that doesn't waste your time needlessly. I highly recommend this book to all readers, particularly those who want to know or be reminded of what the core of Christianity is all about.