Appreciation for John MacArthur, warts and all...

(DB) In the 1980s I couldn't take John MacArthur. Every time his voice came on WMBI in Chicago, I turned it off. My mother would say to me that he was a better man than I thought. I didn't care. Something snide and self-assured seemed to emanate from from the radio when he was preaching.

And then in 1985-86, I spent a year in Fullerton, CA, as a pastoral intern under Paul Sailhamer at the Fullerton Evangelical Free Church while Chuck Swindoll was senior pastor there. As part of the year, Paul took the two interns to visit significant California churches. We did a trip to San Diego (on which Chuck accompanied us) and a northern trip to the Bay area.

We also went to visit Grace Community Church, where Paul, Dave Butler and I had breakfast with John MacArthur. 

During breakfast I asked John if he was willing to preach on abortion. I had a private interest in the question: I had been trying to convince friends at Fullerton that Chuck should preach on abortion, something he hadn't yet done (he did the following year). Fullerton was willing to have then-surgeon-general C. Everett Koop preach on abortion, but not Chuck. So I secretly scored a point when John answered emphatically, "Yes, I'm willing. I've already preached two series on it."

I loved him for it. In a tour of the campus following breakfast John stopped by a little building outside the sanctuary and called to the ladies manning the counter inside, "Do you have any of my sermons on abortion?" I remember him tossing me two double-cassette packages and saying, "There you go. Proof I've preached on abortion."

Over the years I've come to appreciate John's certainty, to regard it as a sign of his integrity and the glory of his calling. I no longer find him snide, instead, I appreciate his certainty.

That said, I can't agree with the decision to go with the NIV2011 as the text for his study notes. Nor do I think anything we do in life is so pure that it can't be influenced by money. Do I think John is seeking to feather his own personal nest? No. I suspect he's made more than enough from his writing that this isn't a significant personal issue. 

But, like it or not, John is getting older. His ministry has handlers now. There are legacy issues to consider. The financial future of a MacArthur-less GTY, Master's College and Seminary, etc. is being weighed. And are we really to believe that finances play no role in such decisions at GTY? Really? 

I'm not sure that it wouldn't actually benefit John in the court of public opinion to admit the existence of such considerations. 

That said, Tim and I deeply respect John. It's a matter of loyalty to us to stand by a man who has borne the marks of Christ during his years as a minister. Our disagreement with him on this matter is couched in respect, even love. We would rather stand with John, despite our disagreement with him on this matter, than stand against him. And let me add, John MacArthur doesn't pay our salaries, add numbers to our churches, publish our books or do much at all to benefit us other than faithfully preach the Word of God.

John is worthy of respect. He stands as an example of faithful ministry. I disagree with him, yes. But I also honor him.

Comments

Ain't nobody perfect, as the man says. And anyone who'll ever appreciate me will have no choice but to do so "warts and all," this side of Glory.

David: "His ministry has handlers now. There are legacy issues to consider. The financial future of a MacArthur-less GTY, Master's College and Seminary, etc. is being weighed. And are we really to believe that finances play no role in such decisions at GTY? Really?"

Well, yes. Really.

You're trying too hard to justify a groundless judgment you have made.

I'm Executive Director of Grace to You. We're a donor-supported ministry, and we get zero royalties on sales of the MSB. We've given away freely, no strings attached whatsoever, at least 80,000 copies (NASB, NKJV, and ESV combined). John waives his author's royalty on all copies given away by the ministry. (He does that for all books given away by GTY, and we have literally given away millions of books). We DO sell additional copies of his books at a sizable discount, but our total sales numbers are a small fraction of what we have given away for free. Moreover, our income from book sales, when you subtract the cost of purchasing books from the publisher, is negligible.

Which is to say there is a sum total of zero financial incentive for GTY to want to see an NIV edition of the MSB published.

When the NIV-MSB was first proposed, John MacArthur said no. **I'm** the one who lobbied for it to be done--for all the reasons I listed in my blogpost about it. You may question my judgment or disagree with the decision. But given the fact that not one dime in royalties or reward will go to me personally or to the ministry I work for, you cannot righteously claim my motive was money.

But: "Handlers"? In everything you have written about this issue, that's what amuses me most of all. Next time you're in California, I'll take you to lunch and let you meet our management team. We've been called a lot of things. "Handlers" is a first, and while it's a lot nicer than we're accustomed to, I have to say: You give us way too much credit if you think we're savvy, profit-motivated "handlers."

We're basically a bunch of teachers and preachers and Sunday-school teachers--churchmen without MBAs and totally lacking in either experience or interest when it comes to marketing technique. We are stewards accountable to God for what we do with our ministry and with our gifts. And that's intimidating enough without posing as "handlers" of John MacArthur's "legacy issues."

One other thing to bear in mind: The Pyromaniacs blog is my hobby, not an extension of my job. The guys who write there, except for me, have no connection to John MacArthur or Grace Community Church. Your original accusations about this were as off-base as these revised comments.

I like you guys and I love that you are passionate about what you believe. But defending your ability to publish judgments of others' hearts and motives doesn't become you--especially when it's clear you made no real effort to investigate the facts.

Boom.

I disagree with the decision to make the MSB alongside the NIV2011 because I am convinced that it is a big step in the wrong direction from the NIV84. However,I would think that failing to retract this blogpost would probably be an even bigger mistake.

Dear Phil,

I'm sorry that my peace offering doesn't satisfy. I can't offer more and it appears you can't do less. And so here we stand, apparently estranged. But I trust you will understand in the long run that the wounds of a friend are faithful, even as we accept that of you and will consider your words in that light. In the end, Christ is all and we are one in Him.

Love in Christ,

David Bayly

Like I've heard John MacArthur say in the past: He would speak at many conferences that others would not simply to get the truth where there is darkness. Unfortunately, those types of conferences would never invite him.

I think the decision regarding the NIV, while many people don't like the translation, is according to that philosophy. If people are going to have the NIV - then give them truth to accompany it where there may be translation issues. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

Unfortunately, unfortunately men like John MacArthur have false accusations hurled at them all day long from people who are not even remotely involved in his life or ministry. Thanks to Phil for responding.

And I second Griffin: Boom! ^

Great reply, Phil. I've been out here for a while, and I'm amazed at what I've discovered: Faithful, biblical, God-honoring ministry can exist. Sadly, it isn’t always the world that is lobbing hand grenades, it’s so-called evangelicals. My guess, however, is that this was an honest mistake, and hopefully after further investigation, your respect for the ministry that God has built through His faithful servants will increase.

Dear Phil,

One further point: I will publicly retract all that I said in the paragraph you object to if you will give your word that no one associated with John MacArthur receives a penny from Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, et al, for the MacArthur Study Bible. In other words, if it was done pro bono, with no financial or other benefits for anyone or anything associated with John MacArthur, then I'm wrong and I'll acknowledge it up front. This is what your comment seems to claim. Is this the case?

Love in Christ,

David

John Mac is not about the money. I know Phil as a friend and have for many years. I also have toured grace to you and slept at masters. Many books and tapes I have been given ast no charge matter of fact most of the books and bible I did not pay for. I am grateful for John and Phil and master for the books for free that I have been given and I know they are not in it for the money in anyway.

Here's the problem, though. You said on Feb. 20 at 7:20 PM:

~I'm not insinuating, dear brother. I'm stating...Does this mean John's decision was simply financial? No, I'm sure not, but that's a far cry from claiming money or success or sales are no part of our motivations.~

So you basically accused John MacArthur of doing this for the money in your initial post. Then when Dan Phillips asked about it, you doubled down instead of clarifying. Then, in the comment above, you say that these are the 'wounds of a friend' instead of trying to clarify again (as if your statements could be misunderstood). Now you're making a "peace offering" without repenting or asking for forgiveness for your public slander of a very prominent Christian who has given his life for the Gospel.

Here's a tip for you - instead of making "peace offerings" in the future and not actually repenting for your baseless and ill-founded accusation, just take down your post and replace it with a simple "We were wrong, and we're sorry" or some other apology.

David and Tim,

How about you retract what you said AND take Phil at his word ? I've corresponded with him for years and he pretty much means what he says (letting his yes be yes and no be know). He fears God more than man and money.

Simple request and very easily fulfilled.....

"We're a donor-supported ministry"

"there is a sum total of zero financial incentive for GTY to want to see an NIV edition of the MSB published."

These statements are contradictory. Donor-supported ministries work the same way that other organizations work. The money comes in by making sure that what you produce (your product) is both in demand and widely available.

If your claim was true, somehow people would hear about your organization and give you money even though you didn't actually produce any material or distribute it anywhere. That's nonsense.

Even if GTY gave absolutely everything away completely for free, the principle would still hold true.

Just because you are giving something away for free doesn't mean you aren't making money doing so. And breaking even on a product while potentially massively growing the donor base certainly has the potential for big profit. It would even be personal profit, if one happened to be employed by that organization.

For anyone curious about how to make money by giving things away for free, you might read this article: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/16-03/ff_free?currentPage=all (or listen for free to his audio book here: http://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B002V5CUHI )

I would be lying if I claimed that money played no role in decisions I make as I shepherd the flock under me. And it's a sin for me to be influenced by money in that way. James makes that clear.

I'm guilty. Anybody else here guilty?

* * *

Joseph's Dad responds, yes. Of course. And it is sin.

I can't believe that you guys would publish this. John never talks about over-reformed infant sprinklers in the Roman manor, does he?

As Exec. Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, I dealt with precisely the same issues that Phil deals with as he leads Grace to You. Thus I understand royalties on books written by principals (officers) of the non-profit--Piper and Grudem's "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" within CBMW and John MacArthur's "MacArthur Study Bible" within Grace to You. It may seem complicated to those unfamiliar with the inner workings of non-profits and publishing houses, but everyone does things in a similar manner.

Grace to You pays John and Phil good salaries. Grace to You buys books from publishers, gives them away, and receives donations. Total gifts and grants given to Grace to you in 2011 came to $14,944,337, of which $4,653,878 went to compensation and benefits. (Figures from IRS Form 990 for 2011.)

Would I say GTY men are paid extravagantly? No. But we still don't know the figures from royalties, speaking engagements, church terms of call, etc.

So...

As I've said over and over through the years, let's have all of us put our salaries and various other income up on the web for all to see. It's good discipline for God's servants.

Love,

Joseph Bayly

"These statements are contradictory. Donor-supported ministries work the same way that other organizations work. The money comes in by making sure that what you produce (your product) is both in demand and widely available"

Maybe your organisation operates that way but I don't see why you would make the assumption that all organisations work that way unless maybe you have insight of the inner workings or operational structure at Grace to you.

"If your claim was true, somehow people would hear about your organization and give you money even though you didn't actually produce any material or distribute it anywhere. That's nonsense."

As a frequent user of grace to you, I have used dozens of resources from them and all for free and if I had to consider giving money to them it would be because of their unwavering commitment to truth and most importantly it would be by the leading of the Holy Spirit which John MacArthur and grace to you frequently advocate so whether big profits are made or not from resources or donors if people are prayerfully giving and the Holy spirit leads them to, what's it to you? its kind of wrong to insinuate that money is the motivation for GTY does.

"I would be lying if I claimed that money played no role in decisions I make as I shepherd the flock under me. And it's a sin for me to be influenced by money in that way. James makes that clear"

Many of us are influenced by many things but the many things that influence me don't necessarily influence you and it would be wrong to assume so especially since you are again insinuating that JMA and GTY could have been influenced by money.

I worked for Grace to You for eight years and can heartily confirm everything that Phil Johnson wrote in his reply. I also serve on the board of the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust, which works alongside Grace to You in the UK. In every experience I've had with John MacArthur and Grace to You before, while and after working for them, they both have proved generous to a fault and noteworthy for their absence of concern for building empire.

John has often said that if you concern yourself with the depth of your ministry, God will concern Himself with the breadth of your ministry. As best I can tell, John and Grace to You have both focused themselves on what they can do and have looked to God to see Him doing only what He can do.

Doug McMasters
Pastor
Trinity Road Chapel
London, UK

"...who has borne the marks of Christ..." I took a quick look on GTY's site and didn't see anything that approximated the things Paul had endured for Christ, so the comment really rang as hollow and unnecessary flattery...(not that there's such a thing as 'necessary flattery' Job 32:21,22) and after reading the comments as well your defenses, James wasn't what came to mind. 1 Cor 3:3 and this from Pr 26: "He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself;"

While I think it's presumptuous to create a study bible, usurping the work of the Holy Spirit, I'm wondering how are you better than he is when you feign loyalty and affection yet judge unrighteously?

I certinaly hope that your congregation isn't so demanding when they don't agree with you. Asking you to bear proof of everything before taking your word about your motives and influences in making your decisions. Do you find that maybe they take you at your word when you tell them why and how you do what you do?

Maybe good to phrase it this way; a donor-supported ministry thrives as it gets its name out to donors. MSB is a great way of getting the name out to donors. So without a penny being exchanged between Zondervan and the ministry, it's a huge financial benefit to the ministry.

In the same way, attaching MacArthur's name to the 2010 NIV gives it a shade of respectability that it otherwise would not have. It's also a great way of getting sales for Zondervan. You don't need to be writing checks from one group to another to have a financial interest in the matter, and (ahem) I'd hope that any executive director would be keenly aware of the value of good marketing.

Phil states that there was no mercenary motive behind this decision.

You then state that you'll retract your statement if Phil can promise something that (1) he has already said and (2) that sounds unreasonable to me (i.e., "with no financial or other benefits for anyone or anything associated with John MacArthur," since how can one possibly determine whether a donation over there is or is not connected to an act over here).

Then another Bayley proceeds to parse Phil's statement looking for perceived contradictions and in such as a way to make clear that requested promise can't possibly be made verified (because how can one possibly determine whether a donation over there is or is not connected to an act over here).

This sounds like Congress, or the mainstream media. If you say it enough, and twist the other guys' words enough, maybe people will eventually believe it.

It also sounds an awful lot like someone with egg on his face trying to pretend that he doesn't need a handkerchief.

You made a mistake, you spoke too soon and about something that you didn't really didn't know all the details. James 3:2 says, "If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man..." We know you're not perfect and neither are we. There's no shame in admitting you misspoke so why not just do it?

You go Phil! Go! Go! Although I appreciate the "tone" of the criticism to go criticizing (judging) without facts is well...well according to Solomon the mark of a fool.

It's good to read that John MacArthur initially opposed the NIV MSB.

>>Then another Bayley proceeds to parse Phil's statement looking for perceived contradictions and in such as a way to make clear that requested promise can't possibly be made verified (because how can one possibly determine whether a donation over there is or is not connected to an act over here).

Dear Michael,

What has been said from the beginning is that it is a betrayal of the Word of God for John MacArthur's study Bible to be licensed to Zondervan for them to promote their systematically corrupted Scripture product. And I added that I'm sure money had its part in that decision. Not the entire reason. Not one man's money. Not enough to buy the Crystal Cathedral. But money.

Then (Jesus) said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

What would be sufficient is to show that, when John issued the license to Zondervan for this promotion, there were no financial terms. And I've asked Phil and John to release their income from the past year. It is a good discipline. As a principle here at Clearnote Church, Bloomington we state the salaries of all our pastors to the congregation each year and ask the members to vote on them. And during the vote the pastors and their wives and minor children are out of the room. This is full disclosure.

But even if you men declare that financial considerations have no part in this awful decison, and maybe in any decision of Grace to You, we're still left with an awful decision, aren't we?

Love,

Dear Thapelo,

I was not trying to insinuate for the first time, much less "again" that "JMA and GTY could have been influenced by money."

In my first post, I was simply trying to point out the way that money can influence decisions even when there *is* no money directly involved. I was trying to point out that we are all influenced by money to one degree or another.

But it didn't seem clear enough to me, so in my second post, I admitted my own personal guilt to emphasize it.

If you despise me for confessing that sin, so be it, but please don't think that it was meant to be an attack.

In Christ,
-Joseph

I find the "angst" about the MSB / NIV a bit puzzling. I don't like the NIV (I refer to it class as the Not Inspired Version) and think the direction of the NIV editions is troubling (we all know why). But when I read at Pyro that this was gonna happen I . . . yawned; ah well, I have all the other MSB's and we use the MSB / NASB in my church - so there will be some "NIV'ers" who will get some excellent notes and helps. What's the big deal?

I recall S. Lewis Johnson, Jr. (who referred to the New Scofield Reference Bible as the"Approved Edition of the Authorized Version") once said that he'd read the (old) RSV and "I'm still a Christian!" He went on to say he thought someone might even "be saved" by reading the RSV! So is the NIV worse than the Old RSV? Dunno, don-think-so. I'm still going to steer folks away from the NIV--probably to the ESV; and hey, whydaya think Crossway even did the ESV -- suppose it was to make some $ (which by the way I'm not opposed to either!)

Also, for the record, Michael, I started writing my comment #12 before comments 5-11 existed, so obviously I had not read them. My comment did seem a bit incongruous to me after I read comment 8. But I wasn't trying to make a catch-22 or anything for Phil.

In Christ,
-Joseph

"You made a mistake, you spoke too soon and about something that you didn't really didn't know all the details"

I'm sorry, have I misunderstood?
Have GTY partnered with Belial or have they not?
The most concern I have seen from the MacArthur faithful to the issue is from Freida who is pleased "to read that John MacArthur initially opposed the NIV MSB".

I hear the "bleating of the sheep" and a lot of claptrap about pure motives.

To borrow from Ronald Reagan:
"Mr. Johnson, rebuild that wall."

Wow, I’m floored by this post.

I’m pretty sure your accusations do not pass the ‘smell test’ of 1 Timothy 5:19. It also seems you have been given much counsel here in the Comments section providing advice on the wisdom you used in your post and subsequent responses.

Proverbs 15:22 tells us that plans fail for a lack of counsel and succeed with many advisers. While you may not have had many counsellors involved when you originally posted, I think you have received an overwhelming one-sided response that, while not proving or disproving the substance and merit of your post, should give you some serious cause to re-evaluate what you have said and implied and hold that up to the Biblical standard on the way we are to deal with someone, especially an elder.

Comment #24 continues with the insuation with your references to scriptures talking about greed etc. You are trying to look into the heart here and you are wrong.

Just saying

"Proverbs 15:22 tells us that plans fail for a lack of counsel and succeed with many advisers."

Dear Anonymous Acronym,

Did GTY seek your counsel before marrying the MSB to the wicked bible?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Bible

David Max Curell

Thanks to Phil/Dan for responding here.

I think there is a danger of the main issue (John Macarthur aiding the egalitarian cause) being clouded by the financial motive issue.

To Griffin and others who say 'Boom' as though if the financial motive thing is fine then all is fine - you may want to be more careful that in straining out a gnat you don't swallow a camel. I appreciate financial motive is quite a large gnat though.

I personally think Dan and Phil have a fair point about the judging of motives in this case, but neither of them have dealt with the most salient objection - giving a wicked translation credence.

You've "asked Phil and John to release their income from the past year"?

That sounds like the request of a busybody. It is, quite frankly, none of your business what they earn.

>>I think there is a danger of the main issue (John Macarthur aiding the egalitarian cause) being clouded by the financial motive issue.

Spot on. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Macarthur's intentions may be pure as the driven snow but he has still made an awful decision which really can't be adequately defended. There is no good reason to chain yourself to people who wilfully misrepresent the word of God.

>>You've "asked Phil and John to release their income from the past year"?

Actually, you misread. I've asked everyone who makes their living off the Word of God to release their total income. It is not personal to Phil and John.

I've been making this request for years. All of us should do it.

I'll allow one more comment from the loyal opposition under this post, then comments will be closed. We have a pastors conference starting.

Love,

Max, sorry but my handle is what it is. My email address is attached to my blogger account but beyond that I choose not to publish too much personal info in the great wide world that is the web.

However in spirit of the post, how do I know that David Max Curell is really your name? You might have just posted some random name that I'm supposed to take at face value. So, would you mind posting a photo ID and the last 10 years of tax returns and perhaps a notorized document proving who you are?

By the way, no, I'm not affiliated with GTY in any shape or form but I'm guessing that you aren't going to believe that either.

Finally, while your post appeared to be sent with some attached flames, mine is sent in more of a light-hearted manner and I certainly wish you no ill will.

>I find the "angst" about the MSB / NIV a bit puzzling. I don't like the NIV (I refer to it class as the Not Inspired Version) and think the direction of the NIV editions is troubling (we all know why). But when I read at Pyro that this was gonna happen I . . . yawned; ah well, I have all the other MSB's and we use the MSB / NASB in my church - so there will be some "NIV'ers" who will get some excellent notes and helps. What's the big deal?

The NIV2010 revision has been clearly shown by the authors of this blog and others to be an intentional and wicked corrupting of God's holy and eternal Word. You might yawn at this, but I assure you the God of the Bible does not. The danger of perpetrating or abetting such a defilement of Scripture cannot be overstated:

"Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you" (Deuteronomy 4:2).

"Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar" (Proverbs 30:6).

"I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:18-20).

This is precisely what the NIV2010 translation is--an adding to and subtracting from God's Word. And yet, who would know it? Few Bible readers are astute enough to realize they've been shortchanged. And John MacArthur, a man as respected and trustworthy as they come, is willing to endorse the translation. So it can't be THAT bad! Right?

But it is that bad. Worse. And it seems that pastor MacArthur knows it. Why else would he oppose Thomas Nelson's and Zondervan's request at first? And what would cause him to cave on his principles except the corrupting influence of mammon?

I, as someone with great respect for pastor MacArthur, Phil Johnson, and Dan Phillips, would very much like to know...

D&T,

"all of us should do it".

Really? Because you say so? Could you provide chapter and verse for that?

Dear Anonymous Neurotic,

This "bible translation" should be given to the flames.

And so that you'll feel my easy lighthearted disinterestedness let me end with:
"Just saying"

A good friend of mine used to work at Focus on the Family (a non-profit). When I started dating the woman who is now my wife I told him that she was getting a degree in the field of Non-profit Management. "Non-profit Management?" he said, "that's an oxymoron! There is no management in non-profits, because there is no market incentive to manage well. If revenues decrease because of mismanagement, nevermind the mismanagement, just start another fundraising campaign!"

Non-profits are definitely influenced by money. Remember, as Abby Johnson, repentent former clinic manager at PP said, "Non-profit is a tax designation, not a business model."

Dan and Tim,

Brothers, you’re kidding, right? As it now stands everybody who reads 1 Tim. 2:12 in the 2011 NIV reads “assume authority” with no footnote on those words.

With the MSB all who read it will be challenged by his notes that will at the very least get them to question that quirky translation. Those notes are clearly in favor of a more faithful understanding of “authentien” as “exercise authority.”

From where I sit you are on the same team.

And if you ever make your own popular translation, my guess is that Grace to You would be willing to partner with you in order to correct your quirky translation choices on the infant baptism passages, the future kingdom passages, and the church polity passages :).

Tim Bayly: "But even if you men declare that financial considerations have no part in this awful decison, and maybe in any decision of Grace to You, we're still left with an awful decision, aren't we?"

There's the rub. Everyone is tsk-tsking pastors for calling into question the motivations of MacArthur, Inc©...but you cannot evaluate the MSB/NIV2010© decision apart from motives. Any way you slice it, the decision was bad.

To my mind, it is more gracious to assume a lesser of two evils: that money motivated the decision. Not only is it the most gracious, it is the most OBVIOUS.

When you take the motivations out of the mix, it's a lot easier to admit a mistake later on without repenting...which nobody is afraid of doing. Why? "Hey, hind-sight is 20/20...don't fault me for being human". That's the difference between admitting a mistake and repenting. Isn't that what business men like to do? Admit mere mistakes. No, not moral failure: a bad business choice. So perhaps that's what the MSB/NIV2010© is...wait, no...business is about money...it wasn't a business decision, it was about increasing the reach of the ministry.

Riiiiiggggghhht. Just so happens that this translates into a bigger donation pool...money . But it's a non-profit! You can't say a non-profit is motivated by money!

That's where those of us on the outside get mixed up. It just so happens this ignorance tends to benefit those making an income running those non-profits. Isn't that why no one profiting from ministry has taken Tim Bayly up on sharing what their income is? If incomes came to light, the explanations we've been given become openly ludicrous.

I can't help but notice Phil has not replied on this thread since Joseph Bayly's comments regarding non-profits. Nor when David Bayly offered to retract his comments if there was no money involved with the MSB/NIV2010©.

Of course there was money involved. Phil's a business man and knows enough, folksy "aw shucks, I ain't got no MBA" aside. As most know, an MBA serves one of two purposes:

• Advancement opportunities otherwise unavailable without the degree, and

• Advancement opportunities to unqualified men with a piece of paper saying otherwise.

No successful business man gets an MBA for the learning.

The MSB/NIV2010© is about brand expansion. Ministry brands often find they rely on a loyal customer base. That base is usually good until:

• Those customers start dying, and/or

• The icon of that ministry brand goes away.

Either of those are very real possibilities for GTY.

There are many who depend on the survival of the ministry brand besides the central figure, so that brand must be preserved through growth. MinistryBrand© market expansion is necessary, and that means market penetration through product offerings those untapped markets consume. The Pyro blog entry at the very least hints at market factors:

"Zondervan will license the NIV text to Nelson, and the Bible will be the latest addition to Nelson's GROWING LINE of products featuring the MSB© notes." (Caps and © are my emphasis)

"The NIV is the most WIDELY used translation in the world, with MILLIONS of users" (emphasis mine)

"Those who are using the most inadequate translations obviously need the most help to understand the Scriptures properly." (those with woefully inadequate translations are the untapped market)

"Personally, I would be delighted to see the MSB notes in every commonly-used translation—and in as many languages as possible" (Phil's future vision of MSB©)

"Zondervan and Nelson both have assured us they want to retain the full integrity of John MacArthur's explanation" (brand integrity preserved!)

"We're excited about the potential of this product for people who are already using the NIV, and we are hopeful that when the finished product is complete, even critics of the NIV will be satisfied with the result." (Increase market while retaining brand loyalists)

>>And if you ever make your own popular translation, my guess is that Grace to You would be willing to partner with you in order to correct your quirky translation choices on the infant baptism passages, the future kingdom passages, and the church polity passages :).

Chuckling.

Love,

What infant baptism texts?????

I wrote a letter to John MacArthur in Dec. of 2011 in regards to my concerns over this translation. My letter was based on months of research and not just sent on a whim. I have read most of MacArthurs books and found much good information in them (although I found him to be too wordy in many) I mainly wanted to know why so many noted christian authors quoted the NIV when its content was lacking to say the least. I didn't understand how any true believer could edify this translation, I sincerely wanted to know the answer to my questions. John MacArthur never took time to respond to my plea and now I understand why I was ignored.

I think you are making a big mistake in doing this NIV study bible John MacArthur. It will be interesting to know how you explain Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! And 2 Peter1:19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Rev 2:28 I will also give him the morning star.Rev 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." Quoted from the NIV: in your notes. Just exactly which morning star is to rise in our hearts? The one from Isaiah who laid low the nations and was cast down to earth? (My Bible Uses Lucifer in this verse) Or the one in Revelation? Jesus! How can the morning star be Lucifer and Jesus? 

Perhaps you will do well to add study notes to another popular Bible Zondervan/Harper Collins publishes and owns the copyright to The Satanic Bible. 

No one can serve two masters John MacArthur I am praying that you see the light and change your mind about doing this. If not I have to question which master you have chosen to serve?

I won't be expecting a response to this comment, I am no longer a voice in the wilderness seeking your wisdom, I no longer believe you have any scholarly advice worth listening to. It's so sad...I thought you were a Truth Warrior! You will be in my prayers.

Sincerely,

A concerned believer...God Bless

 

I think many people would do well to read and understand Paul's sermon before the Areopagus (Acts 17). If you had a chance to speak to mormons in an evangelistic manner, would you not? John Macarthur would and has done so. Does he give credence to their religion as he preaches against it? Of course not. 

GTY has had the opportunity to record my name, address, home phone number, cell phone number, and email addresses. I use tons of their resources, for free, and I have never, ever received even the smallest iota of a request for a donation. My wife purchases many resources from them and she likewise receives no request for donations. Meanwhile, I get a letter every week from Ligonier, RZIM, Bible League, World Vision, etc. requesting a partnering with them in prayer and donations, and I get twice as many emails. I'm not criticizing those organizations. I'm praising GTY. I've never known an organization more committed to Matthew 6:1-4 and 19-24. The idea that this is based on lining the pockets of anyone at GTY would be comical if it wasn't so heart-breaking. 

John has said this is an opportunity to correct many of the failings of the NIV translation. Until I see the NIV MSB for myself, I think he has well earned the benefit of the doubt.

>>The idea that this is based on lining the pockets of anyone at GTY would be comical if it wasn't so heart-breaking. 

We continue to respect John for his faithfulness to the Lord. Thank you for your comment.

Love,

I have doubts about giving benefit of the doubt over MacArthur using the NIV. Simply because he regards the NAS as a "wonderful wonderful translation". Of course I have complete disagreement with him. I need not explain why other than to state that "KJV Onlyists" have already elaborated for me.

As clear and concise as the analysis on the KJV vs. all other translations has been, there are still "credible" preachers out there promoting the evil induced modernist Bibles. Gospels have been perverted in so many ways. Not just in the NIV mind you. But also in the same book that John MacArthur reads from. And as much as he critiques a single scripture, that makes it even more likely that he may or may not create a false conclusion on a given topic of discussion of the Gospel.

I have watched and listened to many of MacArthur's sermons. And I have gained from them. But he is a human. Therefore, there are bound to be mistakes. He has good intentions I do believe. But good intentions do not always lead to sound preaching of the doctrine. The source of TRUTH is the first step of all. And the NAS is not a good source.

Its naive and irrational to feel any confidence in the rhetoric from MacArthur that claims to "correct" the NIV by bedding with it. Would he put notes in the bible for Church of Satan to correct it? He did a sermon about not being bound with non-believers. Amazingly, I watched and listened right before I found out he was putting notes in the NIV. Now I can understand his thinking. Considering that he uses the NAS. All modern bibles use the corrupted manuscripts, unlike the KJV. So he is clearly teaching from a corrupted Bible.

The TRUTH gets harder and harder to find. That is, unless you get it straight from the word of GOD Himself. Open your own KJV and do your own studying. Because more and more preachers are preaching from satanic Bibles. John, you are using your ability well. But you need to toss out the NAS and use the KJV. Because there are many scriptures that disagree with your Bible.