Pragmatism measured by practical consequences

John MacArthur writes about the parallel between today's pragmatism in the church, comparing it to what was happening in CH Spurgeon's day. While Spurgeon stood alone in opposing the movement, others derided him for "digging in his heels" against the latest winds of change. History and time proved that Spurgeon was the wiser.

Here are a few quotes from "Ashamed of the Gospel:"
"Pragmatism is the notion that meaning or worth is determined by practical consequences. It is closely akin to utilitarianism, the belief that usefulness is the standard of what is good. To a pragmatist/utilitarian, if a technique or course of action has the desired effect, it is good. If it doesn’t seem to work, it must be wrong." John MacArthur, "Ashamed of the Gospel," Chapter 2.

"He (Paul) never adopted the spirit of his age… He never conformed himself—and more importantly he never tried to conform the God he declared—to the tastes and expectations of his audience. He was content—as we must be—to allow the power of the gospel to speak for itself." John MacArthur, "Ashamed of the Gospel," Chapter 7.

And in Chapter 9: "I Will Build My Church," MacArthur discusses how it is God who does the building of the church, not our efforts, innovations, and church schemes. When the church observes the sacraments (preaching, the Lords supper) and the ordinances of the means of grace -- prayer, collective study and reading of the Word, and teaching of sound doctrine -- and evangelizism/ sharing the Gospel with the lost, then God will grow His church in His way.


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