An Appreciation for Doctrine
I think I always new that doctrine was important because my dad was a pastor and I grew up listening to him preach and he was always preaching doctrine. He was always preaching truths. He wasn’t a sentimental preacher, he wasn’t an emotional preacher—in fact, his favorite thing to preach was apologetics. He was always defending Scripture and defending the doctrines of Scripture. I grew up with an appreciation that the Bible contained truth, that that truth was propositional truth, and that what the Bible yielded was truth that was completely consistent and coherent because it was single-authored and God the Holy Spirit was behind all of it. So I grew up understanding the importance of doctrine, at least to some degree.
But it was when I went to seminary and began to pour myself into nothing but the study of the Word of God that doctrine took on a completely new significance to me. It primarily began when I started reading historical theologies. I started reading all the way from Thomas Watson’s body of divinity through to Hodge, and I began to take doctrine much more seriously. I saw the systematic character and history of it. So my passion for doctrine really blossomed during my seminary days.
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he has served since 1969. He is known around the world for his verse-by-verse expository preaching and his pulpit ministry via his daily radio program, Grace to You. He has also written or edited nearly four hundred books and study guides. MacArthur serves as the president of the Master’s College and Seminary. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Southern California and have four grown children.
Richard Mayhue (ThD, Grace Theological Seminary) served at the Master’s Seminary from 1989 to 2016 as the dean of the seminary, research professor of theology, and executive vice president. He has authored or edited more than thirty books, including Biblical Doctrine.
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