A Challenge for Christian Communicators

John MacArthur | May 19, 2010

Clarity and accuracy in communicating divine truth is more important for Christian communicators than anyone else. The availability of mass communications further enhances the preacher’s job in this day and time because of the vast audiences he can reach, which were not nearly as large in earlier days. Mass media opportunities can be abused, however, as they have been in so many cases. Television, for example, helped to usher out the “age of exposition” and usher in the age of “sound bites” when image became more important than substance in the message being communicated. As an entertainment medium, television has lowered appetites for serious thought as it has raised expectations for trivia and brevity. That is especially true of sermons in the mass media. Christian publishing has gone in the same direction in catering to people’s “felt needs” and giving them something they want rather than the doctrinal truths of the Bible. That is the very thing that Paul warned Timothy against and that Jeremiah refrained from doing. As Christ’s ambassadors, Christian communicators must make the message, not the medium, the heart of what they give their listeners, viewers, and readers.

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John MacArthur President Professor of Pastoral Ministry B.A., Los Angeles Pacific College M.Div., Talbot Theological Seminary Litt.D., Grace Graduate School D.D., Talbot Theological Seminary John MacArthur is pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, author, conference speaker, president of The Master's College and Seminary, and featured teacher with Grace to You. From 1964 to 1966 Dr. MacArthur served as an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, California and from 1966 to 1969 as a faculty representative for Talbot Theological Seminary, where he graduated with honors. In 1969, John came to Grace Community Church. The emphasis of his pulpit ministry is the careful study and verse-by-verse exposition of the Bible, with special attention devoted to the historical and grammatical background behind each passage. Under John's leadership, Grace Community Church's two morning worship services fill the 3,000-seat auditorium to capacity. Several thousand members also participate each week in dozens of fellowship groups and training programs, led by members of the pastoral staff and lay leaders. These groups are dedicated to equipping members for ministry on local, national, and international levels. In 1985, John became president of The Master's College (formerly Los Angeles Baptist College), an accredited, four-year, liberal arts Christian college in Santa Clarita, California. In 1986, John founded The Master's Seminary, a graduate school dedicated to training men for full-time pastoral roles and missionary work. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, John regularly teaches Expository Preaching at the seminary and frequently speaks in chapel. John is also president and featured teacher with Grace to You. Founded in 1969, Grace to You is the nonprofit organization responsible for developing, producing, and distributing John's books, audiocassettes, and the Grace to You, Portraits of Grace, and Grace to You Weekend radio programs. Grace to You airs more than 1,500 times daily throughout the English speaking world reaching all major population centers in the United States, as well as Australia, Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Africa, It also airs more than 450 times daily in Spanish reaching 23 countries, including Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia. In its three-decade history, Grace to You has also distributed more than 12 million audiocassette tapes and more than one hundred study guide titles. Since completing his first best-selling book The Gospel According to Jesus, in 1988, John has written over 150 books and, through Grace to You and retail bookstores, distributed millions of copies worldwide.Many of John's books are available on CD-ROM and over 80 titles have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and several other major languages. John and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children: Matt, Marcy, Mark, and Melinda.They also enjoy the enthusiastic company of their thirteen grandchildren--Johnny, Ty, Jessy, KD, Olivia, Susannah, Gracie, Kylee, Andrew, Brooke, Elizabeth, Calvin, and Audrey.

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