Dr. John Macarthur


How to defend against his beliefs?


Reference? Link? Quote? Description? Anything?

We’ve hardly all heard of him, it would be polite to provide something.


Never heard of him.


Is there a particular topic you want to defend?

From the looks of his web site he comes off as being a Calvinist.

My recommendation would be for you to start listening to Dr. David Anders’ Called to communion show on EWTN. He is a convert from Calvinism.

Hope this helps,

God Bless




John Macarthur is a hard-core 5 point Calvinist and belligerent anti-Catholic. Think RC Sproul with about half the brain power.


Science he’s a “Dr.” & you’re not, you can’t defend against his beliefs. Sorry


I have found him (as in this article) to be intellectually dishonest. He fights the Catholic Church’s position by the building of straw men, criticizing Catholicism for something which Catholicism does not teach, twisting just a word here and there to make Catholicism into easily repudiated idolatry.

I think the best way to rebut him is, as said above, to not rebut him. If someone wants to know what the Catholic Church teaches, then the Catholic Church is where one must go, not someone like John Mac. For example, the doctrine of the Church uses Latin formulations where the “co-” part of co-redeemer has no context of equality, but only of cooperation. In the sense the Church uses, Mary co-operated in the redemption of Man. To deny this is to deny the humanity of Christ, something essential in salvation, for Jesus was not only fully God, but also fully man, that humanity coming through the cooperation of Mary.

From this one error, he goes on, without any justification, to speak of Mary as an object of goddess worship, pulling a Jack Chick fallacy of finding causation because two things look similar if you squint at them the right way. He then says:

In verse 7, she gave birth to her firstborn son. Obviously, the use of firstborn indicates that she had others. The indication that he kept her a virgin until Christ was born is also an indication that he did not keep her a virgin after Christ was born, but then was the marriage and then was the consummation. The language of Scripture is so very clear about all of this.

Here is a case of absolute dishonesty. There is no way that someone with the credentials fails to understand the language of being a “firstborn” son. This is from Matthew, you know, where the whole lineage of the line of Jesus through David is recorded. Jesus is firstborn because he is heir of that linage.

Likewise, the word “until” only means up to a point in time, without reference to what is beyond. Matthew, in writing this word here, had just finished using the same word three times, in verse 17. Twice there was something more that followed, and the third time there was. I would be that John MacArthur did not believe Jesus had children, in spite of the same word being used.

Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to (until) the Messiah. You can read other uses here.



In the end, the question must be asked is who has the authority to speak for Jesus today. Do we have a Church? Do we just have Scripture. I went to this thread because John M was partly responsible for me being Catholic. When considering the very issue of authority, I listened to his defense of sola scriptura. Darned if he didn’t pull a Martin Luther, inserting his own words in 2 Timothy to make a point that could not have been made otherwise, that Scripture alone was sufficient.


I saw him speak once at Together For The Gospel in like 2010? and have his study bible…(R.C. was there via video…his health was starting to fail )…used to listen to him a lot…also used to read Sproul and for some reason still am getting Tabletalk…


Refuting Dr. MacArthur is not really a priority anymore. He is 79, a classic fundamentalist. He represents the kind of Calvinist once very strong in the US, but fading.

Unlike the younger generation of evangelicals, non denominations, etc, he holds to definite doctrinal positions. He tries to refute doctrinal error, in Catholic and Protestant views.

People who follow him are the raw material for making good Catholics. People who follow the new generation of feel good, no specific doctrine preachers are the raw material for making good Jello.


You’re wasting your time. Is there a reason you need to defend against this?

Instead of defending the accusation I would just point out how ridiculous the accusations are. For instance, he states…

In fact, on a pragmatic basis they worship Mary far more than they worship even the Lord Jesus Christ, and far more than they worship the true and living God.

Seriously? You’ve got to be kidding me. The Catholic Church worships our Lord with the sacrifice of the Mass every hour of every day, throughout the entire world.

This guy has nothing to offer but his straw man opinions. Not worth my time.

God Bless


I kinda guessed he must be with the way he was talking on his website


Actually his teachings both emboldened me and also drove me back into the arms of the church. I did learn quite a bit from him…but like most humans, along with the good there is some bad.
God never stopped working within me while attending a church that held to Macarthur and his teachngs. God had me right where he wanted me at that time in life…

One morning at men’s bible study the Catholicism bashing finally came to a head within me. I explained how their words affected me, that their besmirching Catholics hit me personally as my parents and most my family were Catholic…I had some angry words which were truthful but could have been said better…and walked away.

I do not want to now be on the Catholic side and have to experience the bashing against those friends I made at the Protestant church…it works both ways.

God was always in control.


Things have sure changed, and not for the better, since I last listed to JM. I went back in time to 2004, when I was a recent Catholic, and saw where I used to think more of his critical skill. But then, the article post from him up top does not reflect such a mind. Anyway, just to show how far back this goes for me, here is a thread from August 2004, thread #4759!



Don’t agree, don’t let anyone claim power over your beliefs just because they have some letter after their name.

How does him having a PHD automatically make him right and everyone else wrong?

If you fall and gash open your knee and go to the doctor and say I think I need a couple of stitches? But he says nope looks like I’m going to have to amputate the entire limb. Do you say well your the doctor go ahead you must be correct or do you say, to yourself, now that seems a little excessive maybe I should walk away and say I think I’ll go get a second opinion?

That’s basically what the OP is doing here. He is here getting a second opinion.

Just because you have a Phd doesn’t automatically make you right and everyone else wrong.

God Bless


I looked MacArthur up on Wikipedia. He holds two honorary doctorates from Protestant schools: Talbot Theological Seminary and Grace Graduate School. (He got his M. Div. from Talbot as well.)

The question is, do those degrees from Protestant schools reflect a bias toward those schools’ theology? I would suspect yes.


None of this, of course, is new. Macarthur’s anti-Catholic bigotry goes back a LONG way. I remember back in the '90s he and RC Sproul had a self-congratulatory symposium where they prattled on and on about how “apostate” the Catholic Church was. It was typical Calvinist pabulum BS.


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