On November 5, 2014 John MacArthur took to twitter for the first time to answer questions within the constraints of 140 characters. I’ve added them all here. I’ve also taken the liberty to correct any misspellings and grammar. Enjoy!
(1) Most important factor to unity in the local church? Biblical truth. One Lord. One baptism.
(2) What positives do you you see occurring in the church today? The greatest spread of sound doctrine in the history of the church.
(3) Will your Bible commentary volumes on the book of John get updated based on your new sermons? I just finished the final two volumes in Mark. The whole New Testament to complete. It’s taken me 35 years. I’m done.
(4) What’s the best advice you have for a young man in seminary? Get the tools to interpret scripture and the theology to frame your convictions. All the rest is dressing.
(5) I’m transitioning to a new (bigger) church and a bit overwhelmed. I hope to give my life there as you have at GCC. Advice? The Apostles went from 120 to over 20,000 in a few weeks. It was still Acts 2:42.
(6) What is the best way to deal with pride? Get your eyes off yourself and onto Christ. The gap between whatever you are and what he is is infinite.
(7) [B]aptized as baby, saved as adult. Baptise again? Or for first time? Or ok to leave alone? Or…??? There’s only one baptism in the New Testament. Believer’s baptism. You need to be obedient to that command.
(8) How can a young man best prepare for ministry or missions without using debt? Have a rich uncle, or marry up.
(9) Is paedobaptism a form of popery spilled into [P]rotestant churches from the [R]eformation era? It didn’t come from the New Testament.
(10) What was the most valuable counsel you received from your father regarding pastoral ministry? When I told him I felt God’s call to ministry, he gave me a Bible and in the front wrote: “Preach the Word, love Dad.”
(11) How can I know if I’m called to the ministry? When the desire is singular and you can’t do anything else and your church affirms that desire.
(12) What can the pastor do to help the church fulfill the Great Commission? Tell them that’s the only reason they’re still on earth.
(13) What have you found to be the best book(s) that helped you understand and come to a point on eschatology? Revelation. Take it as it comes.
(14) Which preacher with a sound doctrine in latin american do you recommend for listening? Luis Contreras at palabradegracia.org
(15) [C]an one hold to biblical inerrancy and reject a literal Adam or believe in death before sin? No. You’ve violate[d] John 10:35 by breaking Scripture at the beginning.
(16) [H]ow important is sticking to a particular Bible translation? Very important. One translation causes you to become familiar with your Bible.
(17) Re: Strange Fire, has the response from the Charismatic Movement surprised you in any way? No. False teachers are entrenched. I’m grateful that Strange Fire removed continuationism as the default position.
(18) Does [Grace Community Church] demand members to sign off on their whole doctrinal statement for membership? No. It’s “what we teach.” If you’re in the kingdom of God, you can join our church.
(19) What is the future for dispensationalism in the current [R]eformed surge? Old dispensationalism has already faded. A biblical understanding of God’s economies will always survive.
(20) [D]o you find the “evangelical pope” title annoying?! I have no idea who he is, so he doesn’t bother me.
(21) Do you see Easy Believism as more dangerous to the church than “Strange Fire”? Yes. Easy Believism has occupied my preaching and writing for decades, and it is rampant in the charismatic movement.
(22) [Is there] some benefit from reading Karl Barth and those who follow him? The church has suffered immeasurably from the resurrection of dead German apostates. We don’t read him at @mastersseminary.
(23) [I]s six-day literalism the only acceptable interpretation of Genesis 1? It’s exactly what Gen[esis] 1 says. Anything else is not an interpretation. @theinerrantword
(24) I see a lot of bretheren fighting over eschatological views. Mostly post-mill’ers. Is that really a hill to die on? God cares that we understand His revelation. The end matters for His glory & our worship Follow Revelation.
(25) What is one piece of advice you have for a young man preparing to go into pastoral ministry? Come to @mastersseminary. It will define the rest of your life.
(26) Is there an advantage to being single, in terms of the spreading of the Gospel? If you can bear it. See 1 Cor[inthians] 7.
(27) Has a doctrinal belief you have ever change since you started as a pastor? If so, which? Nothing has changed. Everything has been expanded, refined, and enriched by the study of Scripture. [I’ll quibble with this one. One thing MacArthur has changed on is the ‘incarnational sonship‘ of Christ: “I want to state publicly that I have abandoned the doctrine of “incarnational sonship.”]
(28) Greatest influences that shaped the way you think about teaching/preaching in your early ministry? The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge enabled me to explain Scripture with Scripture. Set it by your Bible.
(29) [T]hankful to have sat under you for 21 years. How do you combat the thought that GCC [Grace Community Church] is “too big?” I haven’t tried to grow the church, only to faithfully feed and lead the flock. The rest is up to the Lord
(30) [W]hat is the most important part of systematic theology? Prolegomena. Scripture as divine revleation inspired and inerrant. Weaken it, and everything collapses.
(31) [H]ow does same-sex attraction differ from lust, if at all? Is there room for [same-sex attraction] in the church? Same-sex Attraction is sin in the heart & Jesus says carries the same weight of guilt as the act.
(32) How important is it for the music minister of a church to be theologically trained? Trained or not trained, it’s essential that he’s theologically accurate.
(33) [A]ny advise for theology student at a secular university, with wishy-washy theology from lecturers? Transfer to @MastersCollege. Psalm 1. Don’t sit at the seat of scoffers.
(34) Is there a particular book/epistle in Scripture that you would recommend a young pastor begin preaching through? Essential place to start is Romans because it explicitly defines salvation in all its aspects and culminates with practicality.
(35) What, if any NFL team do you root for? I have a commitment to a higher level of athletics – all the sports at @MastersCollege.
(36) Do you ever deal with spiritual lethargy and if so what do you do about it? The best way is to get your eyes off yourself and pour yourself into others for the sake of the gospel.
(37) [W]hat do you think of the discipline of Biblical Theology? Exegetical Theology and Biblical Theology produce Systematic Theology.