The Truths that Dr. MacArthur’s Social Justice Series won’t Change

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I’m far from perfect. I have made many mistakes in my life, both before and after Christ. If perfection is the requirement to sound an alarm then you should stop reading now. I have not met that standard. I stand only because of the grace of God and the perfect record of the spotless lamb, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins (past, present and future).

I also want to affirm that I will never forget my time at The Master’s Seminary. The things I’m about to say, do not negate the reality that I was shaped and molded for four years of my life in this environment. I cherish many memories and the example of many individuals. By God’s grace, the dividends are numerous and the impact will have lasting effects for the years to come. I’m grateful for Dr. MacArthur, the staff of the seminary and college, the local churches my wife and I were a part of, and the multitude of friendships that were forged through the ups and downs of that season of life.

However, the presence of true and real blessings does not mean the absence of some alarming realities. Unfortunately, people who can’t wrap their mind around the previous statement will struggle with the criticisms I levy in this post. They will only see the “heads” side of the coin, unable to comprehend that “tails” even exists. They will use phrases like “how dare you speak negatively of our great president” because of all the “good” that TMUS, Grace To You, and Dr. MacArthur have done over the years.  Life should and must be examined from multiple angles from which we can appreciate elements that are helpful and reject the things that are not. We should be able to affirm both Peter’s miraculous preaching in Acts chapter 2, and his need for correction in Galatians 2 for being out of step with the gospel. As the saying goes, we have to be able to “eat the meat, but spit out the bones.” People who live among minority cultures understand this reality because much of life around us is facilitated by majority culture systems and individuals. Being a minority operating in majority culture can be like trying to build a house using the Imperial system of measurement (i.e. feet, inches, and pounds) when you have been trained your whole life with the Metric system of measurement (i.e. meters, grams).

For 11 years (4 as a student/staff at TMUS & 7 as an alumnus/church planter) I have kept my concerns mainly to myself, daring to share them with only a small group of people who’ve encouraged me to keep moving forward or whom I felt could actually bring about change. For many years I have “bitten my bottom lip” publicly, so to speak. In an attempt to honor those who have impacted my life, I have applied such force and pressure to that lip as to cause the shedding of blood. Yet quietly over the last few years, it has become increasingly difficult to keep biting that lip and wiping away the blood, and tears.

Since leaving seminary and planting a multicultural church in the inner-city of Montgomery, AL, my appreciation for the gospel and how it impacts racism and justice has only grown. As I watch the perseverance of my neighbors, live among them, and see the tangible struggles of their lives, Christ in me rises up and issues a call to action. As I see believers from various cultures and economic backgrounds forge real gospel community, deferring to one another and believing the best of one another, my appreciation for the gospel in action strengthens. To hear Dr. MacArthur and Grace To You say/write narrow-minded, inconsiderate, and frankly unbiblical things about the intersection of the gospel and racism has had a profound effect on me. It has impacted me to the point of saying, “Enough is enough.” I no longer care that I’m a low level nobody challenging a giant. I no longer care if, like others before me, I’m labeled a “black sheep” by TMUS for lovingly articulating concerns. As a matter of fact, the cavalier attitude of Phil Johnson (executive director of Grace to You), and Dr. MacArthur make it perfectly clear that even if I remain silent, I’m already a “black sheep.” Their comments/writings do nothing to consider the circumstances of anyone other than upper middle class, Republican-leaning white men (I’m neither republican nor democrat), and minorities who are accustomed to that culture. So in reality, my comments today cannot make me what I already feel like, “a black sheep”. I’m just graduating from a “black sheep” to a “blacker sheep.” It’s a promotion that I’m finally willing to accept.

Therefore, no matter what Dr. MacArthur says about the gospel and social justice in his current series hosted by Grace to You, certain truths will not change. No matter how few people hear or agree with what I have to say, the reality of the difficulties many have experienced at TMUS will remain. No matter how they try to change the subject from the real elephant in the room (probation and the potential loss of accreditation by WASC for a lack of integrity mixed with a culture of fear and intimidation) to the issue of social justice, the truth doesn’t change. It is worth noting that the vast majority of the data of the WASC report was given by my white brothers and sisters who are also hurting. I’m speaking up to encourage them, and to let them know they are not alone. I leave my thoughts with you not to change your mind, but to ensure that before God I can sleep at night knowing that I didn’t shrink back from saying hard things about beloved institutions and individuals. I write and make my thoughts public to fight for many others, who have not yet been heard or who, for a host of reasons, do not believe that they can speak up. The truth is Dr. MacArthur’s own leadership and institutions show little concern for the African American community and other minority students who grew up in a African American minority context. Every time Dr. MacArthur tells his 50 year old civil rights story about “his good friend” John Perkins and visiting the murder scene of MLK, I often wonder why those experiences have translated into very little consideration towards marginalized people. Please consider the following realities.

In the entire TMS curriculum, which is 98 credit hours and approximately between 100 – 150 required books to read, not one book is written by a person of African heritage. Additionally, very few people of African descent are even explored within the historical theology classes. We traced the history of Christianity from 100 A.D. to our present day. Of all the historical figures we studied, I only remember Athanasius being identified as someone from African origins. What majority culture Christians don’t realize is that their world is dominated by Christians of European heritage. Minorities are often looking for faces and contributions of people who share their ethnic identity. Not for the sake of being superior. We simply long to understand how people of a similar ethnicity have contributed to redemptive history. You would think that since Dr. MacArthur is such “good friends” with John Perkins we would have read at least one of Dr. Perkins books or even learned about his legacy. However, even our classes that covered the history of Christianity in the United States were void of African American contributions.

Why does this matter? It sends a not so subtle message that the only great thinkers are European thinkers. The only great thoughts are European thoughts. Thus, Christianity is inadvertently portrayed as the white man’s religion. It’s heartbreaking and hurtful. When African Americans or people of color are in fact mentioned, it’s usually in a derogatory way for having bad theology, etc.

The truth is that Christianity would have struggled to survive tremendously without Northern Africans and even African Americans. I just had to learn of them on my own time. My seminary didn’t think those contributions were worth mentioning. I was furious when I was made to write a review of my almost 700 page American Church History book. I read the book intently looking for black or brown people and their contributions. I did not find them. But I did find that Bob Jones was included in the book as a hero of the faith. Bob Jones University refused desegregation until the early 1970’s, and then only conceded at the threat of losing their tax exempt status, which occurred in 1983. They did not overturn their rule banning interracial dating until the year 2000. This was also selfishly motivated to help the then candidate (George W. Bush) win the presidency, who took heat for giving a speech at a university that had a ban on interracial dating. (I reluctantly visited Bob Jones University in April, 2018 and I was pleasantly surprised by their repentance in living out the gospel among all people).  

Again, I was furious. I noted my frustration in a blistering review of the book that could devote pages to Bob Jones’ positive contributions to Christianity and could not so much as include a couple of paragraphs on any black person with significant Christian contributions even if they were not perfect. Clearly, Bob Jones wasn’t perfect. I’m sure the professor remembers the book review because I doubt he has received many like it. You can also ask Dr. Paul Felix (the only full-time African American Professor who is now retired). I ranted in his office behind closed doors many a days with many tears. If not for him and his care for me as an African American student with a heart to one day impact the African American community, I would have surely quit. I specifically remember him telling me after ranting, “Calm down before you get kicked out of school.”

Imagine that…being in such a state of anger over how whitewashed your seminary education is that you say things that flirt with the possibility of getting you kicked out of school. I know if myself and many of my African American brothers felt this way, some of my brothers of Asian and Latino descent felt the same way or worse. I pray they will tell their stories too. Their perspectives are often left out of these conversations, but their voices are much needed.

It is hypocritical for Dr. MacArthur or anyone to say “just preach the gospel” thinking that will solve all issues. It doesn’t even work in his own church and the institutions he leads. It certainly will not work in your communities and churches. Hear me well. The true gospel is sufficient. The true gospel makes peace and destroys dividing walls of hostility. The true gospel looks racism and partiality in the face and condemns it to the pit of hell from which it came. It does not build barriers. We have a gospel that gives dignity and value and worth to all peoples. Shouldn’t our institutions that train us to take the gospel to all nations do the same? I distinctly remember when Peter, a Jew, first preached the gospel to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ home. Peter was awestruck by a divine revelation. “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34).  Then why is there so much partiality at TMUS under the leadership of Dr. MacArthur in curriculum decisions? In my next post I will continue making my argument of partiality in their preaching/worship curriculum and much more.

56 Comments on “The Truths that Dr. MacArthur’s Social Justice Series won’t Change”

  1. Victor Sholar says:

    Bless your heart brother for your boldness. I appreciate your transparency and truth speaking in love.

  2. Jane says:

    Keep speaking boldly friend. Your voice matters. Truth matters. I believe you. 🙂

  3. […] This article was originally posted at Terrance Jones’ blog, Live for Him or Die Trying. […]

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Any titles by African Americans for a seminary courses you would recommend?

  5. Seth says:

    Do I correctly understand your frustration:
    TMS did not recommend books written by blacks.

    Wouldn’t that be a fairly minor problem when you compare seminaries? What seminary would you recommend as one that takes a stand against sinful compromise in a way superior to TMS?

    • Hello. Thanks for the question. That is a part of my frustration. There are at least 3 or four more articles to come. I began here because I thought this issue speaks to a mindset. It speaks to an institution with a 30yr history that for the most part has been in a bubble when it comes through scholarship outside of their tribe, particularly when it comes to minority authors. I also think it speaks to not being intentional about training their minority students or even our white brothers who need to learn to listen and respect minority voices as well.

      I don’t know all seminaries. I can almost guarantee that TMS is not the only school standing for truth. Southern Seminary, South Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (we have two men in our church enrolled here) excellent on truth and making tremendous strides in the issues I address. RTS Jackson and Atlanta seem to also be thinking about these issues. I’m sure there are others. I’m not an authority in this area.

      My issue with TMS and their defending the truth reputation is the WASC report. Their is a link to a 2 page summary and a 59 page full report. That probation is independent of me. If you track the timeline. I declared I would write 2 days before that came out. I had know idea about it. But it shows a ton of compromise. I also take issue with it because of the experience of many minorities and white brother who simply vanished for speaking up against this institution. I’m sorry sir. I really am. But there are some serious issues before us. I pray they repent and walk humbly.

      God bless.

  6. Lee says:

    Interesting thoughts. I don’t know MacArthur personally and I have not been to TMUS. But based on your argument above, it seems to me that their racial partiality that you see is due to the following: 1) Not having at least 1 book written by an African-American out of 150 books; 2) few people of African descent are explored in historical theology; which leads to 3) subtle message that European thinkers are the only great thinkers; and lastly, 4) African-Americans are mentioned for bad theology.

    I’m not African-American, and I’m not white. I’m Asian. I, too, am a minority. But I just want to say that most church history books in print would have the same ratio. I own a thousand Christian books, and I only have a couple from Thabiti Anyabwile that I can think of on top of my head. But never did it cross my mind that European thinkers are the only great thinkers. Secondly, there must be a whole lot more criteria for choosing textbooks other than skin color. Lastly, I recall HB Charles at T4G talking about how his father separated from the black denomination because of its leanings toward liberal theology.

    Skin color or ethnicity should not be the reason one is superior or inferior to another group. I think to do so is racism. The gospel, however, flattens us all out. We are one in Christ, and let us use our unique gifts, personalities, background, and opportunities as God providentially gives them for us to use for himself.

    • Thanks for the thoughts Lee. Most history books we have been exposed to are like this, but there are plenty of boos/articles etc available. If your telling the story of Christianity in America and the only people you learn about are white, you are not telling the whole story. Many ethnic groups played a role. Its hard work. You have to have relationships with minorities to discover resources, but they are not that hard to fine. There are liberal leanings in all ethnicities. Joel Olsteen is white, Kenneth Copeland is white, etc. The presence of bad theology in an ethnic group does not mean all are bad. If we are not exposed to the good ones that becomes a suttle lie we are tempted to believe. I didn’t hear H.B.’s comments, but he interviews way to many African American preachers on his website for it to be the case that he was painting a broad brush of all African American theology.

      • Lee says:

        I appreciate the response. I also looked at the books you recommend above. While I am not fully persuaded to your position/argument, I have a better understanding as to where you are coming from.

    • jade says:

      In theory, what you said seems nice. It’s like the previous white idea: separate but equal.
      Sure, the gospel flattens everybody out. But surely you’ve come to realize that some people are more equal than others? It would be rather naive to pretend that humans don’t rank and organize and that those with power will work to ensure that they retain that power. I mean – the spirit of God is to be poured over sons AND daughters. How many women do you see in positions of authority? Why are the women always serving and not being served except on mother’s day? Do men understand what sacrifice means because it seems they want praise and comfort for working but they rarely appreciate the unpaid drudgery and toil of women.
      Not only that – the people with power get to dictate how things are interpreted or named. It is what they consider important that is emphasized. I understand the John Calvins of Christianity. A white male has absolutely no incentive to rock the power structure that enforces his authority. It’s just the way it is. Why God must have set it up just like this. (But note that Jesus said the first will be last and the last will be first. But what does a jew know? The white man knows that God put white people above all the others. The white people are first and last so they get their worldly perks and they will get their heavenly perks.)
      And we might want to discuss the doctrine of discovery because that perfectly encapsulates the white mentality. “The Doctrine of Discovery was promulgated by European monarchies in order to legitimize the colonization of lands outside of Europe. Between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, this idea allowed European entities to seize lands inhabited by indigenous peoples under the guise of discovery. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas declared that only non-Christian lands could be colonized under the Discovery Doctrine.
      In 1792, U.S. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson declared that the Doctrine of the Discovery would extend from Europe to the infant U.S. government. The Doctrine and its legacy continue to influence American imperialism and treatment of indigenous peoples.[3]”
      Chrisitanity as it is right now – is a white man’s religious. The verses that are emphasizes, the stories that are told, the common interpretations are all meant to support the white male. That’s how something like the doctrine of discovery would be considered justified. (note who can get conquered. It’s not European nations that can get conquered. It’s the nations where people of color live.)
      Not seeing color is just another ploy to shut the marginalized people up. (Of course, when it appears to impact them, we suddenly hear about “white genocide” or some other nonsense. If there is one color that white people can see, it is definitely white.) The only sensible thing to retort to anyone who claims that everyone is equal in Christian land is to ask them to swap places with minority women for one year. The whites can wash the toilets and the other people can sit in comfort in nice pews and preach the sermons.

  7. Adrianna says:

    Thank you for your boldness and transparency. I believe God is honored through this.

    I too am very concerned with racial reconciliation mainly bc of God’s character.
    So my question that I’ve been struggling with for years is what are some practical ways a single white woman can embrace diversity? I may feel called to leave my family and friends and live in a city where I will be the minority.

    Id love to hear your thoughts. Thank you!!

    • Thanks for the kind words.
      1. Diversify you personal life meet and befriend people from various walks of life especially Christians with whom you share Christ.
      2. Join a multi-ethnic church or minority church.
      3. Remember God can use anyone any where. He used Paul with people who were not like him.
      4. I have a good friend in our church named Kasey. She use to be my neighbor and moved into the hood to make a difference next to us.
      5. She is white. She is very humble. She is a servant. She didn’t think she was a savior. She didn’t live in fear. She is a learner. She was a huge blessing and I hate she moved. She is still a part of the church and very active. So you can do it. I have seen it with my own eyes.

  8. Galatians 1:8 says:

    A lot of passion and fire, but very little Bible to support the idea that Christians should become “social justice warriors.”

    This all sounds like Liberation Theology, Millennial Edition.

    • jade says:

      Your god is supposed to be a just and merciful god. If you Christians aren’t emphasizing justice and mercy, than either your god isn’t very just and merciful or you Christians are really really dumb followers.
      There are plenty of verses that claim that god hears the voices of the oppressed. The idea that the first shall be last and the last shall be first is even worse: It upturns the entire social order.
      Personally – i don’t believe your god exists. But if your god did exist, I can tell you what your god is like by what his followers are like. Their actions are the mirror that describes your god’s character: A vengeful, nasty, evil, unjust, oppressive lying a$$. I liken it to a McDonald’s ad for a burger. In the commercial, the hamburger looks delicious. But the reality falls short of that delicious promise. Christianity talks a good pr game but when it comes down to reality, the claims fall short. (I guess you could like a Mcdonald’s hamburger if that’s all you ever had or the burgers you had were worse than McDonalds’ burger. But at some point, I hope you enjoy a good juicy burger and you understand why I dislike the McDonald’s burger. But I heartily recommend the fries and the deep fried apple pie if you are lucky enough to get it.)

      • Dear sister. Thank you for posting on this conversation. I think it highlights what’s at stake. People will look at our actions and make decisions about God. I hang on to Jesus’ (who is not white no matter what history photos suggest) prayer in John 17. He prayed his disciples would be one. Not a simple unity but a Trinitarian oneness. I will elaborate this Sunday. I hope you will take another bold step and listen to that message. It can be found here: “Why we fight against racism and indifference in the church and beyond.”

        Take a listen to part one. It addresses some of your concerns and part two will be up by Wednesday.

        Lastly. I know some awesome mom’s who have some kids who have done horrible things. I bet you can think of one or two as well. Do their kids bad behavior always mean the mom is really terrible? Of course not.

        In the same way God has children who sin big-time. It doesn’t change the fact that God is all merciful, loving, long suffering, all powerful, a God of Justice, wrath, holy, and full of grace. It also doesn’t change the fact that he crushed his son for knuckle heads like me and you.

        Grace and Peace
        Stay tuned.

  9. Seth says:

    I live and minister among the Tsonga of South Africa. My children all have African names, my family worships in a church that does not use English. My first son is eager to live in Mozambique reaching the Tsonga.
    With great numbers of people needing the gospel, and TMS doing a great job helping to get the gospel out, it is out of proportion to care significantly about whether or not they attempt to honor a certain skin color. We should care much more about whether or not the least-reached are being reached. Excellent books like Up From Slavery by Booker Washington, Race and Culture by Sowell, and Family Driven Faith by Baucham will rise to the top regardless of the color of their authors.
    Wouldn’t God be honored if we guarded ourselves against vain-glory in our skin color and chose to think much more about fidelity to Scripture and hard work?

    • Hi Seth, I also am white and was a missionary – my children were born in Japan and when very young thought of Japan as home, rather than New Zealand where I was born.
      I am not sure that you have heard what Terrance is actually saying. I appreciate your cross -cultural journey, it sounds amazing. I think, however, that the only “vain glory” in skin color happening for TMS is probably in being white?

  10. Now THAT is what I call Gospel preaching. 🙂 Terrence, if you are ever in Colorado (near Denver) and need a place for you and your family to rest or get a meal, HMU. We’re down in Franktown. My door is open to you and your fam. I’m thanking God for your boldness and your precision with words. May HIS Kingdom increase. Peace.

  11. Pascual says:

    Thank you for the courage to share your experience. May God continue to give you what you need to share in hope that He will use these word to convict, and may that conviction lead to repentance, and that repentance lead to justice, for the Glory of Christ and the good of all people.

  12. Ephesians 4:15 says:

    A few comments Terrance,
    First, are you really the victim, courageously stepping out on a politically incorrect issue only to be tarred and feathered? Or is this the company line, bandwagon talk from the secular university decades ago and now popular in evangelicalism. Social justice talk is ubiquitous today.
    Second, one could argue whites are the minority at GCC. Hispanics and Asians make up a large percentage of the congregation, making your “unbiblical” racist comments less persuasive.
    Third, you’re pushing for African American authors but nothing was said about Asian authors. Why not? And what ethnic group do we stop at?
    Fourth, your argument regarding BJ was unsound: BJ made a bad rule–>a church history textbook positively referenced BJ–>TMS used the church history book–>TMS should be rebuked.
    Are you willing to keep the same standard for MLK, whose conduct disqualified him from gospel ministry and whose theology probably disqualified him from heaven? What about Martin Luther, who said racist comments about Jews? Should we be “furious” when he is positively referenced in textbooks?
    Fifth, granting that all cultures are equal in value before the cross and granting God has used servants from many tribes and nations in amazing ways, would you agree that the advancement of God’s kingdom and the history of Western civilization are intertwined?
    Finally, it is common for TMS and other seminaries to do church bios in class on great giants of the faith, e.g. DMLJ, Calvin, Luther, Judson, Carey, Knox, Edwards, Owen, Spurgeon, Tyndale etc…essentially all from Western culture. Providing there is only time for ten, which names should be removed and who would you insert instead?

  13. Anna Raven says:

    First time commenter here. This was a very different, but interesting perspective. Thank you for writing it! One of the commenters said, “I’m not African-American, and I’m not white. I’m Asian. I, too, am a minority. But I just want to say that most church history books in print would have the same ratio. I own a thousand Christian books, and I only have a couple from Thabiti Anyabwile that I can think of on top of my head. But never did it cross my mind that European thinkers are the only great thinkers.”

    I have to admit I was stunned when I read that line in your article. I am Black (of Caribbean descent) and have a graduate degree from a reputable university. In the field I studied I rarely (if ever) read of a scholar/thinker who was African American. I was in the graduate program for over 5 years! There were definitely a few random books written by Asians, but none (that I know of or remember) by Blacks. Also, most of the theories/models/research discussed in my area of study were proposed by white men (and to a lesser extent, white women). I never once thought or understood that this implied that Blacks/minorities were poor thinkers or did not contribute (meaningfully) to the/my field.

    Just to be clear, I agree that representation is important. I want my children to read, see, and hear of people who look like them doing great things. But that being said I think there’s something to be said when a lack of diversity in a curriculum/book list/whatever else leads a person to understand (or feel) that this means/implies their race or minority groups as a whole have contributed nothing (or are nothing/poor thinkers). Maybe this wasn’t your intent or I am misreading or misunderstanding what you wrote. If so, I’m deeply sorry.

    I don’t want to make assumptions about anyone here which is why I decided to comment. I want to be very respectful in asking my question. Is it possible that your reaction (or interpretation regarding TMUS’ lack of diversity in their book authors or reports of church history/leaders of the faith) reveals something about the way you were brought up? Or maybe even, the society/culture/environment/area you grew up in? I am *only* asking this question because I’ve noticed a difference between the way African Americans and Black people (of West Indian descent) interpret these types of things (for example, idk if this relates back to racism in the US, but Blacks of Caribbean descent—that I have met—appear to have positive views of themselves and their contributions regardless of whether their views are validated by the majority culture). I would welcome hearing from multiple people’s perspectives on this issue…

    • Thanks for commenting! Your question is good. I certainly know that there are many thinkers of African descent are great.

      Here is what I said:
      Why does this matter? It sends a not so subtle message that the only great thinkers are European thinkers. The only great thoughts are European thoughts. Thus, Christianity is inadvertently portrayed as the white man’s religion. It’s heartbreaking and hurtful. When African Americans or people of color are in fact mentioned, it’s usually in a derogatory way for having bad theology, etc.

      I don’t say this is my belief. I say this is the message. When no African Americans are presented in a positive light this could be the conclusion.

      We also generally don’t know African American history well. Certainly not Christian African American history. I think true stories should be told.

      I’m super encouraged by the story of George Lisle. Its tragic that I didn’t learn of him until after seminary. All I’m asking is to go where the facts lead. The facts lead to significant African American contributions in the fabric of redemptive history. To leave them out is to tell half of the truth.

      Thanks. Hope you continue to visit from time to time.

  14. Bryan Matheson says:

    God blessed you in His divine providence by sending you to a Seminary, but, what I got from the article was a whiner,”No Spiritual Affirmative Action”. Did you hear of dalit christians?. You do understand that Most Christians will never have the blessing God gave you? Count the blessings God gave you.

    • Read carefully sir. I’m pressed sure I said I was blessed to be there. But I also said the presence of blessings does not me the absence of hard realities. Is that incomprehensible?

      • Bryan Matheson. says:

        The point, God blessed you, You complained, not enough black authors. You missed the point of the blessing. Exactly WHY should it matter the colour of the author’s skin. Millions of Christians will not have the blessing you have. Millions of Christians will be slaughtered for their belief. Others can complain, “Where are the Chinese puritan Authors, where are the Japanese puritan Authors, Where are the Arabic puritan authors, Where are the Latino puritan Authors. The biggest issue from the article was, the Author is ungrateful, whining about a lack of black authors, instead of looking at the spiritual truth God has blessing you with.

  15. […] A critical response to MacArthur’s series on Social Justice posted Wednesday by TMUS alum Terr… […]

    • Wow. Thanks for posting this. I have had the audio for several days and based on what I was told I couldn’t even bribg myself to listen to it. The truth always comes to light. The chapel was purposefully not recorded so he could speak freely. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

  16. Kaylan godfrey says:

    All I can say is thank you. This took tremendous courage and vulnerability. This was cutting to the heart yet deliverd with grace and honesty. As a young African American woman pursuing sound theological training and teaching of the full church history I truly appreciate all that was said. It is in love for our leaders that we respectfully disagree if they fail to preach the whole truth and uphold the whole gospel. I’m praying that these leaders humble themselves to hear and learn from those who have respectfully challenged them to be transformed by Christ in all ways even their thinking on topics of race and social justice. So I stand with you in love truth, because the evidence of partiality ought not be so with in the body of Christ according to James 2.

  17. Kenny Jones says:

    Next time, try using Scripture to backup your points.

  18. GeoRock says:

    I would suggest you do something for the African American Christians that would leave people talking for years to come because you simply did something about this, rather than ranting about the fact that not enough is highlighted in light of color.
    I too am of color but totally disagree with the ranting because it’s not the solution to the problem. Do something worth talking about.

  19. Matthew D. says:

    Awesome stuff man!!!

  20. Christopher James says:

    In this whole entire article, you never mentioned Filipinos once. That kinda stinks.

  21. Dave W says:

    If it is righteousness to carefully represent different people groups in making compilations of books for instruction, God was unrighteous in compiling a Bible only written by Hebrew authors.

    And, Terrance, by your own standard, your article is extremely insensitive and hurtful to me. I am part Sklallam, a Native American tribe from the American North West; you mentioned nothing about the need for a Seminary Curriculum to include valuable contributions from Sklallam authors. And the reason is obvious; you hate Sklallam people.

    I love you, Brother; but you need to slow down and think before you write your next article.

    • In the infinite wisdom and righteousness of God he chose a gentiles Luke to write two of the 66 books of the bible. Lukes inclusion illustrates my simple point. God’s story belongs to all of us. Furthermore if you do a word count of Lukes two books compared to Paul’s 13; Luke actually wrote more of the new testament that Paul. Dear friend, you tried. But you are wrong. I graciously extend you an olive branch to repent if you like and listen to the stories of others. God has always been for all people’s. He never left us out. If one black author or one character for serious study is not worth including and is too high a bar to aspire too I apologize.

  22. […] evangelical church” where this is happening. One of his alums, Terrance Jones, wrote a response to one of his blog posts recently. I wonder if he read […]

  23. Mark says:

    Do you know that John Macarthur was at the Lorraine Motel on the day MLK was killed?

    • Yes I do. I also know that he believes that based on MLK’s life and doctrine there is absolutely nothing to celebrate about his life. He said this last Tuesday in an unrecorded chapel at the seminary. Are you trying to make a point or simply stating the fact that he saw MLK’s blood spilt on the ground and thinks nothing of it.

      • Mark says:

        I guess I’m trying to understand why he was there. His explanation hasn’t really made any sense. Also, he went there with a man (Charles Evers) who happened to be standing 5 ft. from RFK when he was shot. So I think this is most strange.

      • Mark says:

        By consensus, both MLK and RFK were believed to be killed by Tom Tarrants. John Perkins, who was with Macarthur at the MLK crime scene, wrote a book with Tarrants called “He’s my brother.”

  24. […] The Truths that Dr. MacArthur’s Social Justice Series won’t Change → […]

  25. George Lawson says:

    Brother, I love you, I’ve prayed for your family and your ministry but I strongly disagree with your reasoning on this one. Even if I didn’t attend TMS and have a completely different experience, your criticisms would be in violation of 1 Corinthians 4:5. I’d love the opportunity to speak with you more about this at some point but until then, I’d encourage you to check out this Friday’s post at

    • I have benefited from John’s ministry, but I don’t see him as a spiritual Father. Father to me denotes relationship and proximity. I didn’t attend Grace church so he was not my pastor. So i dont since relationship. He wouldnt know me if he passed me in a store. The next veese Paul says imitate me. How can you imitate what you dont see? Unless you consider preacing from a diatance to be enough to imitate. But scripture speaks of exhortation of older men as fathers 1 Tim 5:1. 1. I tried to talk to him in private George. 2 yrs ago I tried and before I went public I tried. My tone has been direct but not harsh. I have given honor in both post and even apologized. I’m trying bro. You didn’t seem to desire connection with me in seminary. Nor after seminary. Until now. Great. You are welcome to join the get Terrence back in line party. I hear you are much sought after in that regard. I’m sure your post is just a beginning. Keep it up my friend. I think you are well within your right to do so. I hope you can at least see this. You saw my post and concluded that you must act. You acted publically without reaching out for private dialogue. 2 yrs BEFORE John’s series I tried to act behind closed doors. A meeting was in the works and then canned. I saw John’s series and I said I must Ask! So I reached out to him through the comment section asking for a private talk. No response but my comment wasn’t posted. I said on twitter I’m going to act and respond publically. Grace to You contacted me and TMS contacted me. They encouraged me not to speak and then they tried to coach me on how to speak. Never mind the fact that Phil is unhinged much of the time. But they both also said a meeting with John is impossible. At that point I kept my word.

      What’s the big deal. The internet is full of John detractors. I’m a nobody. I have 1k Twitter followers. Grace to You has 99k. They have grace church. They have the masters seminary and college. They have reach around the world. 100’s of books. Why worry about the words of one disgruntled seminarian?

      I will tell you why. Bc the heart of what I speak is true and the brand is being tarnished. Else they could also take a scriptural page and ignore it.

      • Seth says:

        The big deal is that a theological conservative is advocating a form of cultural Marxism. That philosophy is atheistic and has resulted in over 140 million deaths in the 20th century.

      • Lord Jesus help me!! My mom tried to abort me twice!! She heard the gospel and dedicated her life and the life of in her womb to God (me). Our church volunteers with a ministry that tries to save the unborn. We have members who stand in front of abortion clinic each week pleading for the unborn. I have given money to these causes and written for this cause. If you scroll the blog back far enough it may be there.

        It’s not as simple as you would like. I’m Pro-Life. It just happens to be a pro-life that is from the womb to the tomb. Not a pro-life to mass incarceration, lack of education, poverty, fatherlessness, gangs, drugs. I live in a neighborhood 24-7 with my wife and kids as a choice we made to being the gospel to the ills.

        I want the unborn to be saved and I want to fight for justice for them when they get here.

        You can put me in a box bruh. I’m building the box as I go bc American Christinaty has forgotten it’s a both/and not either/or.

      • George Lawson says:

        I hope you hear me out as fellow brother in Christ and one who loves you and your family. If this came up in a private discussion, I would have been obligated biblically to keep it private and happy to do so. I’ve had these kinds of discussions in private many times before. I only responded publicly because it was already public. I wrote to express my convictions not in order to “get Terrence back in line” but out of concern for those who are confused and wondered if this is the common experience and view of all African-American TMS students.

        I’m not even a regular follower of social media. I wouldn’t even know about your post unless people started calling me to ask me if I agreed.

        I would love to have a private dialogue with you about this. I think it would even be beneficial and constructive to write something together and think through the concerns in a healthy and respectful way and eventually make that public. I think it would be helpful for people to see that brothers can have a different perspective and disagree over an issue and still speak respectfully and love one another. Healthy dialogue has to start somewhere. If we can’t do that I’m not sure where else we could expect it.

        It is not my intent to attack you. I hold no ill feelings towards you as a person whatsoever. As you said, you didn’t attend Grace, so we were in different circles most of the time but when I heard prayer requests for you or your ministry, I prayed for you and was encouraged by what I heard you were doing. Like I said I don’t follow social media but I am saddened to hear that some of our brothers have not treated you with love and respect. They don’t speak for me and I plan to address that as well.

        I also want to say that there are valid concerns that you have. Racism and Partiality is alive and well in the church and I plan to address some of what you mentioned in your second post in the next post that I write. There’s much more that we’ll be able to accomplish if we’re able to keep the communication open.

        I’m praying for you and I’ll try to hit you up sometime this week.

        Grace and Peace,

  26. […] if you have read Part 1, you know that cloaked within these many positives were some undeniable negatives. It was quite the […]

  27. Todd McCauley says:

    Amen my Brother, amen.

  28. ajcody says:

    A story I stumbled upon after doing some research after reading your post. I lean heavily towards Eastern Orthodoxy and I their use of icons has informed me over the years of some “corrections” on the white-washing of the images you’ve mentioned.

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