Book Review- Slave by John MacArthur

There are a few words that get lost in translation. Some are figures of speech that do not fit the times and customs. And then there are some words softened to ease the impact. John MacArthur discusses one in particular doulos in his book Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ. In thirteen chapter MacArthur weaves a solid argument unpacking the manner of the first century context for this word, why it is important to see, and how the original understanding is imperative to understanding how the Christian life is not.

MacArthur explains how translators softened the word’s meaning of slave to some degree in order to keep from drawing comparisons to antebellum slavery. His perception is implications are greater: “we are under the exclusive ownership of God.” The unpacking of the scriptures, the support of the context, and the implications of what “Lord” means assists the Christian reader to understand their identity properly.

This is more than a must read. For the layman I think this book will give you a good introductory eye-opening experience to who you are because of who you belong to. I would have liked to see Pastor John spend a little more time looking at the implications of slaves belonging to one Lord as the complete picture of an identity but perhaps there will be a follow-up book.

If you read the book, please drop a comment on and tell us what you think.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


2 thoughts on “Book Review- Slave by John MacArthur

  1. This is by one of the most profound and life-altering books I’ve ever read in my life. Thank you for the summary. The key point is understanding the relationship with slave/master. We were bought with a hefty price – the very blood of Christ. What is amazing is how we find true freedom in slavery in Christ. That’s amazing. Here’s another post that complements yours. Thank you!

  2. If you check the endnotes in John MacArthur’s book, Slave, you will find that most of them reference the heretical works of Gnostic, modernist and postmodern scholars who deny the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Many of these scholars are rabidly anti-Christian and their works, which MacArthur recommends as authoritative, are filled with slander and blasphemy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    For example, John MacArthur favorably references Dale B. Martin’s book, Slavery as Salvation, on page 38 because it likens the Christian life to the abusive institution of slavery in the Roman Empire. Dale B. Martin is Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, an admitted homosexual and author of a blasphemous book titled Sex and the Single Savior which portrays Jesus as a homosexual. John MacArthur never discloses Prof. Martin’s true identity in Slave.

    Another scholar whose translation of Gnostic writings is recommended by MacArthur is Bart D. Ehrman, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prof. Ehrman is a New Testament critic who claims that he was an evangelical Christian until he discovered “errors” in the Bible. Dr. Ehrman now writes books which debunk the New Testament and advocate for Gnostic forgeries such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot to replace the New Testament canon.

    Slave is a best-seller among young Christians who are led to believe that the sources referenced therein are Christian books, or at least neutral historical sources. Theological heretics Dale Martin and Bart Ehrman are only two of many academics of the “Jesus Seminar” variety whose scholarship is recommended without an honest identification or disclaimer to warn the reader. By concealing the identity and agenda of his sources, John MacArthur is deceptively promoting Gnostic books and the Gnostic heresy to many young Christians who are not yet established in the faith.

    For documentation and detailed information on the heretical sources in Slave, please read the following expose:

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