MacArthur, John. Found: God’s Will. Chicago: David C. Cook, 1998. 64 pp. $2.00 at Grace To You.
John MacArthur certainly needs no introduction by me but for those who do not know John MacArthur, he well known as an expositor of the Scriptures at Grace Community Church. He has been heard through his radio program Grace To You for many years. He is president of the Master’s College as well as author of nearly a gazillion books. This particular book–Found: God’s Will–explores what the Bible says about knowing what God wants from you in your life.
At only 64 pages divided into 7 chapters, it is obvious that this book is not very long on words though it is long on practical application to one’s life. The five foundational messages regarding God’s will for your life is that you be saved by the blood of Christ. Once saved, you are to be filled with the Spirit so that you are sanctified by Him. The final two are not popular, but they are biblical. You are to be submissive to the authority of the Lord and to be a suffering servant (for more explanation you will have to read get the book). The final will of God is that if the first five are in properly in place, then by all means, do whatever you want.
I appreciate that this book is short. I appreciate that MacArthur says so much in such a confined space. The pearls of wisdom found in the pages of this book are well worth digging into and applying to your life. There was one section of the book, however, in which I completely disagreed.
On page 19, MacArthur writes, “Since we have the Spirit, we also have power, for Jesus said, ‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you’ (Acts 1:8, NASB). The word for power in the greek is dunamis, from which we got our word ‘dynamite.’ You are literally walking dynamite.” This takes place in his chapter on God’s will being that you are filled with the Spirit. He goes on to make the point that because you are filled with power (dynamite) that you should live as such.
The problem I have with this is that it is an extremely common exegetical fallacy known as semantic anachronism. Semantic Anachronism is when a later use of a word (dynamite) is read back into an earlier literature and, in this case, a change of language (dunamis). Certainly, they had no idea what dynamite was in 1st century Palestine! D.A. Carson treats this (specifically, the use of ‘dynamite’) in his book, which I highly recommend, Exegetical Fallacies if you are looking for more information on this sort of thing.
Regardless of the use of this particular fallacy, it is important to also note that the point being made is still true. The power of the Holy Spirit is far more explosive than a stick of dynamite and is something that we ought to think about as believers in Christ.
At only an hour and 25 minutes, this book can be listened to probably in one day as you tool around town or back and forth to work. Listening to it a couple times will prove beneficial to your soul and walk with the Lord. John Haag does a fine job of reading this “sermon” of sorts. His voice rises and falls with sincerity as he reads what is an answer to perhaps the most asked question by believers today–What is God’s Will for my life?
Despite the exegetical fallacy, I still found this book (and audiobook) extremely edifying to my soul. I recommend this book to anyone seeking legitimate answers to the question of God’s will for my life. You will find MacArthur fairly solid and certainly biblical in his treatment of this tough question.