Wednesday, August 24, 2005

J-Mac on Larry King Live
...a stellar performance; "ECBers" - pay attention

The big Mac-attack was on last evening. John gave a brilliant interview with the king of softball interviews... Larry King. Sitting next to existential guru Deepak Chopra, John was in true form. He was thoroughly biblical, spot on target on the issue, knew the debate at hand, was gracious, and didn't play politics with the truth. He was acting like a well-informed, biblically equipped, uncompromising Christian leader; and I am grateful to the Lord for him.

In a time where most evangelical leaders love to hear themselves spout theological dribble, think they're a player in world politics, and offer gospel-lite just to sell a few more copies of their latest tome, John MacArthur stands head and shoulders above the fray. They all should take a lesson on John's unwavering dedication to the veracity of Scripture and yet his ability to process the issues of the day through the lens of God's Word. It's called having a "biblical world-view;" and John isn't apologetic for it. He doesn't flirt with Romanism; lobby his person to Congressional meetings; promote political remedies for moral maladies; or bow the knee at the pragmatic altar of postmodernism. John is not driven by purpose... but lives only to please the Master. This is why I have said for years that John is the finest Bible expositor in the world. And it is not because he is the most eloquent, winsome or relatable of preachers; but because he actually believes the Bible to be true in all its representations and never reduces the Lord and His gospel to an infomercial just to further his own name, career, radio show or writings. He exemplifies Paul's charge to young Timothy:

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim. 4:1-5).

A few key quotes from last nights show that left them wondering between commercial breaks how to spell “erudite”:

"KING: How, John MacArthur, do you react to intelligent design as opposed to creationism, as Dr. Richards separates them?

MACARTHUR: Well, I think intelligent design is the only possible scientific position to hold, because we have intelligence in the universe. It has to come from intelligence, because we have complexity, it has to come from complexity.

The silver bullet, Larry, is DNA. Before our understanding of DNA, there was a lot of confusion and a lot of belief in evolution. It was like the emperor's new clothes. It was really naked but thought it was dressed up. DNA has, I think, spelled the end of traditional naturalistic evolution, which essentially says complexity comes out of simplicity. It can't happen. The silver bullet is not a single example of reproduction leading to an increased amount of genetic material necessary to produce a more complex organism has ever happened.

KING: As someone who learned (ph) in religion, though, you can't prove Adam and Eve, can you?

MACARTHUR: I don't think you can prove Adam and Eve, except that you know somebody was there to begin.

KING: So you believe it? You believe it?

MACARTHUR: Well, we're talking about two different things. Intelligent design is the only rational way to view the universe. Somebody intelligent made it. Religion answers who that intelligence is.

KING: Does it ponder you who made the intelligence, who created the creator?

MACARTHUR: I accept the Bible as the source, the authoritative source that tells me it was God, and something or someone has to be eternal, and the Bible says it is God who is the eternal one. "

KING: Yes. Just one second. John MacArthur, do you want Adam and Eve, taught in the public school?

MACARTHUR: I don't particularly care whether Adam and Eve is taught in a public school, because I'm not sure that the person teaching it or mandated to teach it would be able to teach it correctly or with conviction. And I don't believe that public education is to be a forum for teaching Biblical Christianity, but I do believe that individual teachers who teach in science or in any other discipline that integrates with science must admit the fact that evolution is a poor explanation for the scientific data. When it comes to origin, nobody was there. We can't reproduce it. It's not repeatable. So it's a faith base, even an evolutionist is putting faith in the eternality of matter or some natural element. It's all faith at that particular point. We choose to believe in the God who has revealed himself in scripture and his account of creation.

KING: Do you want to impose it in our schools, John?

MACARTHUR: No, I just want to say that the Bible defines and describes creation. God created the entire universe in six 24-hour days.

CHOPRA: In mythological terms.

MACARTHUR: It's not in mythological anything.

KING: What place does the Bible have in a public cool?

CHOPRA: As good as any mythology.

MACARTHUR: In a public school intended to teach education to young people, I don't expect the Bible to be taught there. This is the role of the church. This is the role of Christians to do this.

KING: Isn't that what the debate is about?

MACARTHUR: No, because if you look at science, you see intelligence. Why are the evolutionists so panicked over the fact that someone might teach that behind creation, is intelligence? Why is that so frightening to them?

This is so good, isn't it? We're having more fun than reformed believers should be allowed to!!! (You've got to read the entire transcript--it is very enlightening and entertaining.)

Thank you John for not selling out to the times and for being a lucid voice about the faith which so many evangelical leaders have abandoned to only fill the void with political, seeker-friendly, human potentiality, and positive-thinking speak. Well done… You may read the entire transcript here..


Jonathan Moorhead said...

An important point that Dr. MacArthur and Dr. Richards (ID proponent) raised, but did not press to Dr. Forrest (evolutionist) is the fact that “scientists” have their own presuppositions and faith commitments. Although she attempted to appear as the only objective scientist on the panel, she herself must admit to biases.

My question to Dr. Barbara Forrest: In our age it is becoming well recognized that all facts are interpra-facts, that everyone has presuppositions and biases when interpreting data. Do you claim to be completely objective when examining scientific evidence? If not, you cannot escape the very same objections that you are raising against proponents of creationism and ID.

littlegal_66 said...

Thanks for posting a link to the entire transcript--I only wish I had known that the good doctor was going to be on ahead of time (I'm usually tuning in to Sean Hannity or Andy Griffith during that time slot).

I loved Dr. MacArthur's response to Deepak:
MACARTHUR: It's not in mythological anything.

You go, Dr.!

I also appreciated his comment(s) on the public school system: "In a public school intended to teach education to young people, I don't expect the Bible to be taught there. This is the role of the church. This is the role of Christians to do this."
This is pretty much what I was trying to say in my comments on Tom Ascol's Citizen-kings and Political Activism article you posted; fortunately, Dr. MacArthur has the ability to articulate those sentiments more eloquently, and in a more succinct manner than I.

I agree with you: Thank the Lord for men like John MacArthur who will take full advantage of opportunities he's given before national audiences to speak the Word and take a dramatic stand for Christ--with no ulterior motives or hidden agendas of furthering his own stature.

David said...

I have to say that every time I see Macarthur being interviewed in a secular setting (and I believe I've seen him on King at least one other time) he never ceases to be gracious, yet firm. I've never seen the man lose his cool in that kind of setting.

It is a shame that more people do not look to such men as Macarthur, Sproul and Piper to represent Christianity. It is sad that at the moment, much of the world is looking at Pat Robertson as representative of the church in America instead.

Breuss Wane said...

I'm stunned. So many landmines and he dodged them all... very few could do what Mac did. Mac gave no ground both to evolution and intelligent design where needed, extolled 24-6 even in defense of intelligent design, and still made the distinction between the role of faith and intelligent *science* in the classroom.

As one who has seen and heard *many* public square discussions in the media over intelligent design, Mac's comments rank as simply the best I've seen (and that includes many 24-6ers). His answers should be used as a template for engagement in the public arena.

Oh... and thanks for posting this. :-)

Tim Wirth said...

Hey Campi: Saw John on Larry King last night as well. I think Larry has John on so much because John does not waver and waffle on his beliefs. Which are very solid. Sitting John next to Deepak Cha Cha I think is very dangerous for Deepak as well. I would have loved to have heard the comments that John and Mr. Spirituality were making to each other as they continued to chat even when going to commercial.They both seemed very animated.
One thing for Larry King-he will never be able to stand before God and state he has never heard the gospel.
Tim Wirth

GeneMBridges said...

I was impressed with the way Dr. MacArthur redefined the debate. It was painfully obvious from Dr. Forrest's first comments that she was trying the old "religion/science" bait and switch scam to make the debate about creationism vs. evolution not ID vs. evolution. As I point out to folks here when this discussion is raised, people like Forrest do this to avoid discussing ID. On one hand, they almost consistently say that naturalistic evolution is "science" because of it methodology, not its conclusion; yet on the other they say that ID is "theology" or "religion" because of its conclusion. What then constitutes "science" or "religion?" Why are they using one standard of measurement for one view but not the other. This is why they try to conflate creationism and ID, because that way they can hide what they are doing. It's a classic flim-flam scam. Forrest, by the way, is the one who originated the "Wedge Document" urban legend.

Larry King is also the clever liberal. Here he is trying to have a "debate" on this issue, but he gets six people on his panel! Obviously, this cost some money, since they were going to commercials every two or three minutes and barely getting a chance to discuss the issues. If King was actually interested in having an honest debate, he would put Forrest and William Dembski (or better yet one of Discovery Institute's agnostics...just to irk Forrest, for such a person completely disproves her "ID is theology" assertion by his mere presence) on and actually present the issues fairly.

As for Deepak Chopra, I too could tell that Dr. MacArthur and Chopra were having a rather animated discussion between commercials. When Chopra quipped, "In mythological terms," and MacArthur immediately looked at him and said, "It's not mythological anything," I nearly feel off my seat laughing. Chopra's line after MacArthur's opening, about MacArthur having to deny all of cosmology, biology, physics, etc. was typical. He tried something similar with Greg Koukl on Lee Strobel's show a few months ago and Koukl cleaned his clock big time.

Chopra is just another charlatan who thinks he knows about things about which he knows a sum total of zero. In the Koukl debate, he made several elementary apologetic blunders, like the old "the Bible is a translation of a translatin of a translation," routine and several basic relativist arguments that took Koukl all of 30 seconds to dismantle each time. By the end of that debate, Chopra was visibly angry, because literally every time he opened his mouth, Koukl uttered a refutation or posed him a question that manifested how ignorant Chopra is about the Christian worldview, which he so freely seems to criticize. He can't even articulate what his opponents believe accurately, so any opportunity I find to see this charlatan exposed is always a treat for me to watch.

Sparks said...

Wow..Dr. McArthur was un-Warren like!

Jeremy Weaver said...

We got to see through the evolutionists last night. They brought up religion and then blamed MacArthur for it. They have ignored all the evidence presented by the ID's and when Dr. Forrest said that they haven't produced any evidence shew showed her own ignorance of the issue.

GeneMBridges said...

Yes, Forrest is either ignorant or being deliberately dishonest in her presentation. Does she not realize that this is the internet age? She was on national television with a representative of the Discovery Institute saying that they in particular have no evidence and are all a bunch of religious fanatics. Any enterprising 7th grader could type "Discovery Institute" into any search engine and read exactly the opposite of Forrest's claims for themselves. Such dishonesty shows how bankrupt she and those like her have become.

Timotheos said...

Macarthur did an awesome job from my standpoint as well - I only wish I could have seen more of the interview --- and what authority does Deepak have on this subject?????

Bill said...

tim wirth said I think Larry has John on so much because John does not waver and waffle on his beliefs.

I agree with you, tim. It's pretty obvious that King always gives J-Mac the hard questions and expects to get a good answer. This was quite obvious the last time he appeared, on the "What happens when you die" discussion. King knows that Mac will be consistent, and he is. And he doesn't waffle.

Shawn L said...


For those who don't have cable. My walk didn't enjoy having cable, probably because I wasted so much time with TV that was not profitable (I know it was in my evil heart to do that, not that cable in itself is bad).

Now that I have rabbit ears I feel better because much of the time I can't watch tv because it is so hard to watch.

However I do remember missing these kinds of things without cable.

Having said that does anyone know of a way to buy an online web version of the video. Is Grace to You or CNN making it available to anyone?

To me they should be selling TV shows like this instead of waiting for the tape.

Shawn L said...

Hello brothers/sister,

I'm in the process of talking/emailing to an ex-hindu who believes in evolution and this article from Macarthur is helpful. I've been sharing scripture after scripture and he has such interest in this since I am a computer programmer as well. He's 21 in India, could you pray for him and for me that I would be bolding sharing Christ. Also my sister and family is listening and hearing the gospel alot as well. God is doing a marvelous work. May we pray for a heart for the lost.

Having said that what kind of apologetics do you normally do in your daily lives. Evidential
apologetics vs. Presuppositional school. I would say in my normal conversations I start with casting down presuppositional ideas of others and bring the scripture to light.

Could anyone expand on their thoughts about sharing the faith in the public and how that relates to you type of apologetics. I think it would be profitable. May God use us for His Glory to be displayed to the nations.

GeneMBridges said...


The method I favor actually tends to vary from person to person, though I tend to favor presuppositionalism more often than not. I tend to view things in terms of logic, and I agree with Geisler in that all unbelieving systems contain within them one or more self-refuting, contradictory statements. If you can find that and press it, then you can make your own apologetic. I tend to make a positive case using evidentialism. I make a negative case by examining others' presuppositions. That's me, in a nutshell.

I strongly suggest, if you want to hone your apologetic skills, you head over to to the discussion boards. (The link is on the left hand side). IMO, that's one ofthe best places to lurk and/or participate in discussions you will find these days.

GeneMBridges said...

Shawn, You may want to peruse Dr. MacArthur's book, The Battle for the Beginning. Tim Chailles has reviewed it here:

Also, speaking of Brother Tim, he's posted his own transript of the Larry King debate. If you ask me, this is the transcript of every debate on this issue these days:

Evolutionist: Creation is religion and has no place being taught as science.

Creationist: Intelligent Design is science and should receive equal billing.

Evolutionist: You're an irrational, religious lunatic. Get a clue.

Creationist: Intelligent Design is science. Don't you understand this? It isn't religion. It's science.

Evolutionist: Creation is religion. Evolution is science. Neener neener.


Evolutionist: You just want to indoctrinate our children.

Creationist: Perhaps you should consult an ear specialist.

Evolutionist: I'm taking my ball and going home!

Denise said...

Ever notice how scientists go about trying to find out how many millions of years old the universe is...instead of asking "just how old is it?"? I think this also reveals a presupposition most scientists have but most won't admit to.This issue was brought to my attention by a biology professor (now retired)from a Christian college in Southern California.

Bhedr said...


You bless my heart boo! I will be praying for you. You are reaching brother! Praise God!
Ther are none better than men like James White and MacArthur to pool resources. Please consider visiting Moody and Dr Lutzer's books as well. He is indeed good as well.


Bhedr said...


When I witness I always like to ask questions about the Titanic first since every one knows about it. I like to ask the question: Why do you think every body left half of the lifeboats off? They usually respond by saying: Well they didn't think the boat was going to sink and so they felt they didn't need them.

I then ask them to consider that we are all on the Titanic in one sense since we will all die one day and this world is slowly ebbing away. I then hand them a Gospel of John if I have one handy and ask them to consider Jesus being the only lifeboat and that many reject Him thinking they don't need him out of the same pride and confidence that man had thinking the Titanic wouldn't sink.

The responses vary from that point but it does open up conversation with Yeshua as the focal point and we go from there.

2Tal said...

MacArthur is the one who brought me to painfully (though now gladly) accept to truth of unconditional election. His "Gospel According to The Apostles" has also challenged me to "examine myself to see if I am in the faith".
Considering his scriptural accuracy and diligence and just his practical Christian excellence as well as the fact that I personally have seen him on Larry King Live at least four times, I'd say this a man God wants on the forefront.

John Rush said...

Excellent. I recently heard an interview with John MacArthur. The question was something like: "What do you think your most important books are?"

He responded by including his book on Creation in the list.

We do need a Christian worldview--not just isolated bits of theological thought.

Good post.

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