John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock is a mind-shaping, heart-riveting biography by one of the best living biographers around, Iain Murray. This is familiar territory for Murray. He has written a handful of excellent biographies, most notably, The Forgotten Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography. As usual, Murray does not disappoint.
The author chronicles the life and ministry of Dr. MacArthur from his early days as a young person to the present day. The most impressive aspect of this work is Murray’s ability to surface the key components in MacArthur’s life and ministry. Key features include a love for Christ, family, the Word of God, the church, and training men for the work of the ministry.
The author is quick to draw the attention of the reader to important character qualities in MacArthur, namely, integrity, love for truth, graciousness, and uncompromising stance on matters that pertain to God’s Word.
The Gospel According to Jesus surfaces throughout this biography which is a testament to its influence. Incidentally, this book has proven to be one of the most significant books I’ve ever read. As a Bible College student, it introduced me to Reformed theology, alerted me to the dangers of traditional dispensationalism, and warned of the rampant antinomianism in the church.
Murray’s approach to MacArthur’s theological framework is impressive. While Murray is in agreement with a majority of MacArthur’s theology, he parts ways in matters that involve eschatology. However, instead of marginalizing MacArthur for his dispensational premillenialism, Murray graciously sets forth MacArthur’s position and challenges readers to explore different eschatological angles. My hope is that his graciousness in this secondary area of theology serves as an example to churchman and academicians alike.
This book is a reminder to pastors – it reminds them that faithfulness matters. It reminds them that integrity is essential. And it is a clear call to lead, feed, and train the people of God all to the glory of God.