For the past two months, I've been pretty much closeted away editing the manuscript for John's next major book (due from Thomas Nelson this fall), titled Twelve Extraordinary Women. It's not exactly a "sequel" to Twelve Ordinary Men, MacArthur's bestselling study of the Twelve Apostles. But it is very much in the same veincharacter studies of the lives of twelve of the key women in Scripture.
The project itself has been grueling, but the material has made it highly rewarding. One of my favorite chapters deals with Martha and Mary of Bethany. In one of the more poignant lines in the book, MacArthur says this:
Human instinct seems to tell us that what we do is more important than what we believe. But that is a false instinct, the product of our fallen self-righteousness. It is a totally wrong way of thinkingsinfully wrong. We must never think more highly of our works for Christ than we do of His works on our behalf.
That pretty much sums up the whole gist of my concerns about the drift of modern evangelicalismincluding evangelicals' obsession with political remedies for moral maladies, the rise of sacramentalist doctrines, the various attacks on the doctrines of imputation and the active obedience of Christ, and the general tendencies of "purpose-driven" and "seeker-sensitive" philosophies (where methodology is stressed and the content of the gospel message is neglected).
All those trends are deviations from the principle Paul spells out so clearly in 1 Cornthians 2:2: "I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."