Today on Facebook, someone posed this question in the Reformed Baptist Fellowship & Theology Forum:
“Help me guys on preacher and teacher
A) R.C. Sproul
B) J.F. MacArthur
C) J Piper
Who do you prefer? And Why?”
While this kind of question is like having to choose between Mexican, Italian or Chinese food (another conundrum if you ask me!), it did spark my thought processes and so here they are.
I have a deep respect for all three of these Men of God and choosing one of them in no way diminishes my respect for the other two.
That being said, my choice is John MacArthur. His expository method gets to the heart of every text on which he preaches and I have a deep respect for one who loves the church with such passion.
The slight disagreements that I have with R. C. Sproul and John Piper are certainly secondary, maybe even tertiary differences on issues that do not adversely impact the clear Biblical teaching of Salvation.
First of all, my main disagreement with R. C. Sproul is on the issue of baptism. Baptism is a picture of what has taken place in the heart of one who is elect and from the examples in Scripture was done as an outward sign after one's conversion to illustrate what God has done in that person's life.
Next, my main disagreement with John Piper is Non-Cessationism. He believes that the signs and wonders gifts are still operational today, even though he has not personally experienced them. Once again, the examples in Scripture illustrate that the purpose for the signs and wonders gifts was to validate to their world that the Apostles indeed were called by God and given authority to speak on His behalf. Since we now have the completed Canon of Scripture, there is no need for the message to be validated in the same manner.
Christ spoke in Mark 8 and Luke 11 that an evil generation seeks a sign. Seeking a sign can indicate a lack of faith. I pray that in my own life I can exhibit the kind of faith Christ spoke of in John 20:29:
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”
But even with these disagreements, all three of these men are being used by God to build His kingdom and I thank the Lord for such giants of the Faith and I pray for His continued blessing on their efforts to bring honor to the Lord's Name and that the Lord continues to draw his elect to Himself in the process.