The Stark Difference Between John MacArthur and Bishop Robert Barron

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T Howard's picture

Johnny Mac misses the mark, I think, when he says the Jewish God is the same as the Christian God. Jews do not believe Yahweh is a Triune God. They would reject the Trinity just as they reject Jesus as being divine. Christians, on the other hand, believe that God is one in essence but Triune in personhood. Therefore, the Jews do not believe in the same God as Christians believe.

TylerR's picture

Editor

I'd like to see any of us, being recorded in studio with Ben Shapiro, be as nuanced and clear as MacArthur was in 60 minutes. It's easy to armchair quarterback things. When I testify at court, I often go back and wish I'd said things differently, emphasized this, or nuanced that better. But, the substance is usually fine. In the moment, with limited time to answer, you do your best.

MacArthur also mistakenly mentioned that Constantine converted in the 3rd century; it was actually the 4th, but he was certainly thinking 300s, and got confused. So what?

MacArthur did a fine job, and I doubt any of us could have done better in these circumstances. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

T Howard's picture

TylerR wrote:
MacArthur did a fine job, and I doubt any of us could have done better in these circumstances. 

Certainly, he did an admirable job. But, who God is is one of the fundamental differences between Judaism and Christianity. MacArthur quoted Genesis to Ben to assert that God is a Triune being. The Genesis text he quoted is debated even among conservative Christian scholars as to whether it refers to triunity. Certainly, Ben would not agree that it is referring to triunity. So, why quote it to support that Jews and Christians believe in the same God?

TylerR's picture

Editor

I cringed when MacArthur said this, I admit. But, I assume he was trying to build a bridge to Shapiro (an orthodox Jew), and felt it was worth saying it. If he'd said, "we're worshipping different Gods," then the whole segment would have been derailed. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in assuming he made a tactical decision to not go there. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jim's picture

http://blogs.blueletterbible.org/blb/2012/01/31/yahweh-is-salvation/

The name Jesus comes the Hebrew name Yehoshua which simply means “Yahweh is salvation,” and it was given to Christ at His birth. Well, then what was the eternal Son’s name previous? In the Old Testament, Isaiah says that His name is Wonderful. But the Hebrew word Wonderful, means “difficult to understand” or “incomprehensible”. So what are we talking about when we discuss the preexistence of Jesus Christ? We are talking about someone who has not yet received His name—Yehoshua—and whose name is beyond our ability to understand.

I took MacArthur's point to be that there is continuity. between the testaments. Jesus IS the G-d of the OT