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John MacArthur Provides Health Update, Criticizes Tim Keller, Andy Stanley, Asbury Revival in First Appearance Since Heart Procedure

Pointing to a cast on his right arm, MacArthur said that he “had a run-in with an immovable object,” which he said he took on with his arm and his head, resulting in a fractured wrist. A head injury may have been the reason MacArthur was wearing a baseball cap—something uncharacteristic for a man of his age and tradition to do inside a church building. 

Going on to express that the fracture has made turning the pages of a Bible difficult, MacArthur said he had been receiving “tutorials…to help me swipe an iPad,” so that he could resume his preaching duties. 

MacArthur Criticizes Timothy Keller, Andy Stanley for Wanting To ‘Reach the Culture’

Later in the conversation, MacArthur shared his vision for ministry, which included criticism of other well-known pastors Timothy Keller and Andy Stanley

“If you’re looking for a definition of ministry: feed my sheep,” MacArthur said. “Peter got the message. He didn’t always get the message, but he got that message. And then in his epistle, he wrote, ‘Feed, shepherd the flock of God.’ And what I see missing in the church today, generally speaking, is that commitment to feed the flock of God.”

“There’s an inordinate affection—strange to say—for the culture. There’s a driving desire that’s twisted to ‘reach the culture,’” MacArthur opined. “You can go back to Tim Keller’s mandates for urban renewal, or Andy Stanley welcoming all the homosexuals because he wants to reach them.”

MacArthur continued, “Pastoral ministry is not about changing the culture. And if you define it theologically, your church will never have anyone who’s a genuine member who’s not part of the remnant. But I think ministry has been woefully lacking to the souls of the people of God.”

“And so they have struggled, and they have been wounded. They have been without biblical teaching, without solid doctrine, without nourishing truth, while everybody is worried about what the world thinks, and making sure we identify with the world…when feeding the flock of God is how we discharge our ministry, and how the Lord builds his church,” MacArthur went on to say.

MacArthur Expresses Skepticism Toward Asbury

Elsewhere in the conversation, MacArthur weighed in with his thoughts on what has been referred to as the Asbury Revival, a multi-week spontaneous event of prayer and worship that took place on the campus of Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, last month. 

“Look, that—whatever is going on [at Asbury]—can have multiple impacts,” MacArthur said. “It’s conceivable, of course, that some of the kids at Asbury and other schools confessed their sin, expressed love for Christ, have a fresh desire to read his word, to serve him.”

MacArthur continued, “But the thing that is troublesome is when you blanket it all with the word ‘revival.’ It’s everything, from people trying to cast out demons, from LGBTQ, the alphabet people as Voddie [Baucham] calls them—it’s everything, from them leading the worship and leading the music.”

“It’s Arminianism. That school has had eight revivals like this over the years. And it keeps happening there, because it’s a part of their culture,” MacArthur said. “This one, by the way, wasn’t spontaneous. It was designed to fit with [the National Collegiate Day of Prayer].”