PHIL: So that's quite a dramatic change from when you started college until you got into seminary. Now you're serious about being a student.
JOHN: Yeah, and nobody could believe it. But when I went to seminary after all this and I knew this was the course of my life, it all changed because everything I studied was about the Word of God. Everything I studied came out of the Bible. And I just had an avaricious appetite for all of that. And so I just consumed that and my parents, you know, were justified in all their speeches they gave me about not doing my best because I started to do academically what I probably was capable of doing before. I'm not a genius, by any stretch of the imagination. There were a lot brighter guys than me in college and in seminary. But I had the appetite to dig into it because I loved it and I just had...that's where my curiosity got directed.
PHIL: Right. Yeah. Now you went to seminary here in Los Angeles.
JOHN: Yeah, I went to seminary at Talbot Theological Seminary which was associated with Biola the Bible Institute. And the reason was because the dean was a man named Charles Feinberg. Charles Feinberg was a formidable biblical scholar and a man who was passionate about the authority of Scripture, passionate about the Word of God, just a converted rabbi, basically, studied 14 years to be a rabbi. Brilliant, brilliant mind, knew 35 languages, learned Dutch in a couple of weeks. His wife was a part of the “Fiddler on the Roof” Jewish community that came out of Russia. She was also a brilliant, brilliant person and, you know, their daughter was valedictorian at UCLA. Their two sons are both double-doctorates, they have PhD's and ThDs and there was just an incredible genetic pool of brain power in that family.
Well Feinberg just knew the Bible and loved it passionately. And I wanted to be under a man who had a passion. I wanted to be under a man who was not just an academic but somebody who literally bled the Word of God and was serious about it. And somebody who was way beyond me and so I went to that seminary just for him, to be my mentor, my professor and took every course that he offered.
PHIL: And he took you under his wing.
JOHN: He did. He...he decided...in fact, my Dad brought me into his office when we first went down there and he said, “This is my son, Johnny.” I was always known as Johnny. “And I want you to make him into a Bible expositor.”
And Dr. Feinberg said, “Well what has he been up to now?”
And he said, “Well he's basically been a football player.”
And Feinberg kind of looks over his glasses like...are you kidding me? You know, some brain-dead jock I'm going to turn into a Bible expositor? So anyway, he said to my Dad, “I'll do my best.”
And you know what made it really neat was he had a son, Paul Feinberg, who teaches at Trinity Seminary, and Paul was a pitcher on the UCLA baseball team. And so...and I had pitched in college. And so we just hit it off as buddies. And so I had access to the family through Paul. And Feinberg found out, you know, we had this friendship and it just enhanced the possibilities and as time went on, he did take a personal interest in me, very personal. Until I failed him, he asked me to preach a certain sermon on a certain text in chapel, and I butchered it. And it just...he was so angry at me for doing it because I had misrepresented the intent of the text that I thought he was going to give up on me, I really did. I thought it was curtains from then on.
And he called me into his office and he just rants around. “How could you do that? How could you possibly do that? How could you completely miss the point of the passage?” And it was the greatest lesson I ever learned...greatest lesson. I guess one of the particular joys of my life is when the family invited me to preach at his funeral. So they must have gotten word from him toward the end that I had figured out how to get the point of the passage.
PHIL: That left an indelible point in your mind, I know it did because I've heard you talk about it.
PHIL: And you know...
JOHN: Look, you have one man you want to please. All right, this guy mattered to me. I wanted to please him. I wanted to show him that his time invested in my life was not wasted. I wanted to show him that I would carry the baton. I wanted to show him that I would be faithful to the heritage that he had given me and that the professors that he had surrounded himself with, Rosscup(?) and Thomas in particular, who now teach at the Master's Seminary, and were my teachers, that these guys hadn't wasted their time on me, that I was going to be faithful to this charge that they had given me. And so you've got that going and you go up to preach and the whole faculty is standing behind you and they're expecting you to deliver something that reflects the investment they've made. And then you've got the student body out there and you want to impress them that you're making it and you're doing what you're supposed to, and then you miss the whole point of the passage. And the faculty can't believe it and are beginning to wonder whether like the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, you know, your whole ministry is in vain.
PHIL: (Laughs) Now was it...
JOHN: And the student body are looking at you going...puh-puh-puh.
PHIL: So to this day when you prepare a message, you hear that voice in the back ear?
JOHN: That little Charlie Feinberg on my shoulder saying, “Don't...whispering to me...don't miss the point of the passage.” That's a great lesson.
PHIL: It is, it is.
JOHN: You know, I mean...failure is the backdoor to success. You just don't want that pain again.
PHIL: You said once that he gave you a set of books, too, when you graduated.
JOHN: Well, when I graduated, I disappointed him again because he told me I had won some award for exposition for my seminary career, you know, my grades and the classes in exposition. And he called me in to thank me and all this. And then I didn't turn a paper in because, you know, you get to your last courses, and your last deal and it was a final little paper and my grades were good enough, I was going to graduate. And Dr. Thomas whacked me down a grade and he didn't know that that was going to happen to me. And so the next day he found out that I had not won the award because I didn't turn in this little paper. And he called me in and gave me another lesson about no matter how far you go, you haven't gone all the way until you've finished. And great lessons. I mean, he just said that's not tolerable. That is not acceptable.
And then as his parting shot, he...I walk into his office, just the day of graduation, he's got this box full of Keil and Delitzsch which is a Hebrew text commentary in the Old Testament, it's about 25 volumes. And it's his own personal set. He's been marking in it all his ....all his years of teaching. And, you know, highlighting the good stuff and all this. And so he says, “This is for you, I'm giving this to you. Now you have no excuse.”
JOHN: So he gives me this. I go marching out to my car with these two big boxes full of this. I think recently I've...it was pretty worn then and it's so shattered now I took it down...I'm taking it down to the seminary library, maybe they can put it in their archives as little memorabilia.
PHIL: Wow. What other influences do you recall from seminary?
JOHN: Well, there were a number of them. I think the thing that I go back to so often in seminary is you have to learn the Greek, you have to learn the Hebrew. You need to learn the framework of theology, all those kinds of things. There are some great insights that we get in the intensity of church history and all that. But I think the thing that stands out most is the out-of-class intimate times with professors where you probe deeper than the lecture. Where they take an interest in your life. And that's something that's so very valuable to me. There were only a hundred and twenty-five guys in the seminary at that time.
One other guy I remember was a guy named Ralph Kuyper, Ralph Kuyper is a name that some people will know. The name Donald Grey Barnhouse, everybody would know, the great, great Philadelphia preacher at Tenth Presbyterian. Preached a Bible Study Hour on network radio across America. He had a secretary named Ralph Kuyper. Ralph was a little short guy, almost totally blind, could see ten percent out of one eye. But he was just the funniest guy you ever met. He was hilarious. I mean, everything he did was funny. Everything he said was funny. And yet he was a serious scholastic. He did a lot of Barnhouse's secretarial work in research, but he taught me one thing that has literally defined my ministry through the years. And that was, whenever he explained a passage, he explained it with another passage.
JOHN: I never saw anybody do that. I never heard anybody do that. My Dad never did that. Nobody I ever heard in chapel at the seminary ever did that. He would...he would take a passage and explain that verse with other verses.
JOHN: So it was Ralph Kuyper that taught me to explain the Bible with the Bible. And he said that when you do that you have authority in your illustrations and people learn the Bible and you see the cohesiveness of Scripture. And he taught me to do that and I have followed that to the letter through all these years.
PHIL: Interesting because that's one of the things I would say you taught me to do.
JOHN: Yeah, that's really an inimitable characteristic of what I do.
PHIL: Well you started after seminary, you started to get more education, right? Didn't you begin a doctoral program?
JOHN: Yeah, I decided...well, they wanted me to think about coming back and taking a position in the seminary, you know...
PHIL: At Talbot.
JOHN: Yeah, becoming whatever at Talbot or Biola in those days, would I consider going on to get a doctorate so I could come back. And so, I thought...well, I don't know what the Lord has for me. At the time I was serving at the seminary and so I thought, “Well maybe I ought to get a doctorate.” So I went to Claremont School of Theology which is the only place you could go to get a doctorate and it was liberal, as liberal can be. But I thought maybe I've got enough seminary units that they'll leap-frog me into something I can just sort of wrap up and get their doctoral program over with. And they gave me 200 books to read, they were in French and German. So I went off to a local junior college for a couple of semesters and learned German. And then they started to assign me my first classes and the first class was, “Jesus and the Cinema.” And the other class was, “The Jesus Hermeneutic.” And as soon as I saw the class descriptions I said, “I'm done.” There's no reason for me to have my convictions, you know, attacked and assaulted by this kind of nonsense.
JOHN: And so I dropped out of the program.
PHIL: But you did...you did work for Talbot, you were on their staff.
JOHN: Oh I was on there for almost three years and I was there at the seminary and most of the time I was traveling and preaching. They wanted me to represent the school by kind of being the demonstration of what they did when they trained a guy. I would go out and do expositional preaching and I was...I was Youth For Christ, Campus Crusade, Young Life, every camp, every youth convention, churches, colleges, universities. I preached about 35 times a month for nearly three years. And that was like cramming ten years experience into three.
PHIL: Is that where you really honed your preaching skills?
JOHN: I think so.
PHIL: So it was during those years while you were speaking for Talbot that you met your wife. Is that right?
JOHN: Actually, I met Patricia before I worked for Talbot. I met Patricia when I was still a seminary student. We were married at the end of my second year in seminary. I...I remember taking Patricia to my football games because I wanted her to see me play. I wanted to take her to the games. I thought if there's no other way to win this girl, you know, I'll wow her on the football field. And thought I could get her to...so I remember her standing on the sidelines in a few games, we have some fun little pictures of her standing beside me when I'm in a football uniform at the end of a football game. So it was actually at the end of my college career that we met. She was a friend of my sister's and her dad was Sunday-school superintendent in my Dad's church.
JOHN: Precious guy and great family.
PHIL: So tell us how you came together. It's an interesting story there, I know.
JOHN: Well, yeah, she was a friend of my sister and so she was around the house. Even when I was gone away in those first two years of college at Bob Jones in the east, she was a friend of Jeanette's and so she would be at the house. I can't remember exactly when I first started recognizing her, but she was the cutest girl I had ever seen, fun, loved the Lord. I always say, and it's true, she could cook. She just...she was just the best, the...
PHIL: Yes, I've heard you say that one of the things that attracted you to her from the beginning was she made great sandwiches.
JOHN: Yeah, you know I never had a sandwich like she would give me. She'd make me a sandwich and it was just...it was one of these Dagwood things, you know, and I was always hungry when I was playing ball and things. But anyway, she just seemed generous. I saw it in her sandwiches. She just did more than, you know, the sort of basic thing.
JOHN: That was her. So anyway, she, however, at the time was engaged to another guy. And they were preparing to get married. So I just didn't do anything. Well then it was time for her to get married, she had the wedding invitations addressed in the trunk of the car but she couldn't bring herself to mail them. Well this is pretty strange. And everybody is saying, “You've got to mail those things, you know, the wedding's coming and you've got to send...” She couldn't bring herself to do it...to mail them. And I wasn't really a factor. It was God, just restrained that whole thing. And she gave them...she pitched the wedding invitations, gave the guy his ring back. And at that point I knew she was in significant struggle and that's when I thought, “Well, there's no harm in trying.”
So I said, “Hey, maybe that all happened because you're supposed to marry me.” I didn't know, I figured, why not go for the moon and see what happens. And that was kind of hard for her to swallow at the time, but I said, “I don't know if this is true, but...” So I took her home after church one night, I was her teacher. When I was playing football in those last couple of years I would, on Sunday mornings, come in and teach the college Sunday-school class and she was there. So I for a couple of years had been her Bible teacher, so I had a little bit of influence in her life from teaching. And so we were drawn together as friends, and we started to date in that little time and eventually it became very clear that God had brought us together and August of 1963 we got married.
PHIL: So when you were doing itinerant ministry for Talbot Seminary, you were practically newlyweds.
JOHN: Yep, I was married.
JOHN: Yeah. I went to...I went to the seminary really from 1967 to 1969 when I came to Grace, ‘66 to ‘69, so I had been married three years. And we already had Matt twelve months after we were married. And another two years later, little Marcy. So our little family when I went to Talbot, we had a little family. It was hard on her. I mean, I was all over the place, preaching those years. But she was great about all that. She understood that that's what God had given me to do and we tried to make some compensations and the kids were young enough, we took them.
JOHN: We went together.
PHIL: Did you at the time enjoy itinerant ministry? Cause I know you're not real fond of traveling now.
JOHN: No at the time I...I mean, I do what I've always just done what I needed to do. At the time I just...I wanted to be used by God. And so I wanted to go wherever He wanted me to go. And in those years, as I said, a lot of it was camp ministry. We'd do weekend camps, week-long camps. For nine years I was at Hume Lake Summer Camp for like two months. And I would preach to junior high and high schoolers every single day for two months. They just keep changing kids every week. So we could go as a family and stay together there. We did that nine summers in a row. I could take my little family on weekend things that I did, you know, whether it was Campus Crusade or Youth For Christ, or some conference or some deal, here, there. I could take them and in the summers we used to go on the conference trek, the camp tour as a family. And those were wonderful times as family. So those were good times.
I look...I think it's harder when it kind of becomes...get on a plane, and go over here and go over there, and come back and go. As long as, in those early years, I didn't do any air travel, I was basically driving everywhere and most of the time took the family with us.
PHIL: Through those years when you were in itinerant ministry, was it your desire to become a pastor?
JOHN: Always to be a pastor. I never wanted to be
Charles Lee Feinberg is one of the well-known authorities in the United States on the Jewish history, languages and customs of the Old Testament and Biblical Prophecies. He grew up in a Jewish home, and studied hebrew and others related themes. For 14 years he prepared himself and graduated a lawyer of science, with high honors from the University of Pittsburgh. He also received his master's degree in theology from the Theologoy Seminary of Dallas. Dr. Feinberg has participated in many research organizations that include Society of Exegesis Biblicals, the American Institue of Research, Oriental of Jerusalem and Bagdad. He recently retired from his position as a dean, and professor of the Old Testament and languages of Seminary Theology of Talbot California.
Bob, I'm sorry to hear that Pastor John is also a Calvinist.
And he said that he and JMac both went to the same school and studied under Feinberg! Oh my, that is sad news.
Coleman certainly seems to understand the gospel much better than Mac, and he knows that one must repent of sins and ask forgiveness of God.
Sadly, Calvinist's like JMac who believe they were elected and predestined would not even think they had to repent of sins to be saved, even though this is a very scriptural part of salvation.
I have to wonder if JMac has ever preached a sermon or written a book on repentance?
I'm no expert on their TULIP belief, but when you think about it, you can see why the jew, Calvin would promote this idea of election and predestination. This is what the jews believe.
Without repentance and asking for forgiveness of sins, is anyone ever truly saved?
The jews don't want anyone to be saved. They don't believe in Jesus Christ or salvation at all, and this belief would cause many to believe they are saved, and are not.
I hope this made some kind of sense.
Barb has a wonderful idea of adding these new things to the report. I pray you will be able to do this.
I also pray that Pastor John does not take offense to you sending him the email I sent you, Bob. I really did not know he too was a Calvinist. I was happy to hear him call you a "dear friend" on his program. We know he hasn't always felt that way about you, but he was willing to read and study your report, and he is seeing the truth about Macarther.
Normally, I wouldn't care one bit if the Truth offended someone, but I sure don't want you to get into a war of words over Coleman's calvinist beliefs.
Calvinism is Dominionism and Recontructionism, and is one of the most powerful and dangerous Heresy's out there today. It is leading Many down the path of destruction.
This is just from someone's blog. I don't have time right now to look further, but this person states that Feinberg was a Calvinist. Donna
"...or the treasury of notes in the New Scofield Bible written by an elite group of Bible scholars which included Charles Feinberg, who incidently, was a Calvinist."
Bob and Donna,
Tim and I attended Reformed/Calvinist Reformed Baptist churches for a few
years in New Jersey and Florida. That was before I had done any research
on the Reformed churches or Calvin. The pastors we heard did preach
repentance and the new birth. Pastor Al Martin of Trinity Baptist Church
in Montville, NJ actually wrote a booklet, "You Must Be Born Again." The
Reformed Baptists believe the 1689 London Baptist Confession:
I should have caught this last night but it was late here and I didn't
know you were going to send Donna's message to Colman. He will probably
counter that he doesn't believe that election means one isn't required to
repent or become a new creation in Christ. Personally, I believe the Bible
does speak of election, however, as I Peter states, "elect according to
foreknowledge." In other words, God knew us before we were formed in the
womb and chose us knowing that we would believe the Gospel, repent and
receive his Son as Lord and Savior. The Reformed confession goes further
than this, however, as you will see, and denies free will in the equation,
which I do not. One finds both election and free will in Scripture, so
they are not mutually exclusive, imho.
Anyway, I believe there are born again Christians in the Reformed churches
and have heard their testimonies of repentance and deliverance from their
bondge to sin, as John Coleman testified about his conversion. So we must
be careful not to lump everyone who attend these churches in with
Macarthur and Phil Johnson, who are wolves in sheep's clothing. However,
Jesus did warn his disciples to beware of such wolves/false teachers lest
they end up on the broad road to destruction. I found that although the
Reformed/Calvinist pastors boast that they teach the "doctrines of grace,"
for the most part they are very legalistic, just like Calvin.
By the way, in my research on the Reformed movement, Dana and I found very
definite connections to Freemasonry in the highest levels of the
leadership, which is located in Edinburgh, Scotland!
It does seem that the Lord is waking John Coleman up to the fact that
these Calvinist leaders are false teachers so perhaps he'll begin to
reevaluate Calvinist theology. But we need to be careful you have the
facts so he doesn't turn you off. I think that is why the Lord had me in
Reformed churches because I now know what they teach and believe and the
dialectic that is going on between Reformed theology vs. Dispensationalism
does distort both belief systems.
Well, I have family coming to visit this weekend, but I'll be checking
e-mail even if I don't have time to respond. Barbara
I should have added that the pastor and elders at the NJ Reformed Baptist
church fellowshiped with John Macarthur and he attended their conferences.
But they were critical of him because he was a dispensationalist, and not
a Calvinist. If you read J Mac's Bible commentaries, he is dispensational
in his eschatology. He teaches the 7 year Tribulation period, the pre-Trib
rapture, the Millennial reign of Christ, etc. I never heard that Mac was a
Calvinist until you said it, Bob, and I think we talked about that. So I
think that J Mac wears many hats, depending on the occasion. Or maybe he
has switched over to Calvinism since 2000 when we left the Reformed
church, on not very good terms I might add. Barbara
John Macarthur's Teacher and Spiritual Mentor was a Jewish Rabbi
John Macarthur's father, Dr. "Jack" Macarthur, in addition to being the director of Charles E. Fuller Evangelistic Foundation which started Fuller Seminary, was in Henrietta Mears' inner circle and was involved at the highest level of the world ecumenical movement. (The goal of the ecumenical movement is to create a one-world religion for the worship of Lucifer. Ecumenists (bridge-builders) in the leadership of the various denominations direct the churches to set aside their differences, find common ground, and unify. John Macarthur preaches against ecumenism, however, his family and ministry are firmly rooted in the ecumenical movement.) (See John Macarthur's Ecumenical Roots.)
According to an interview with Grace Community Church elder, Phil Johnson, John Macarthur stated that at his father's request he went to seminary "just because of him [Dr. Charles Feinberg], to be my mentor, my professor and [to take] every course that he offered."
The seminary to which John Macarthur is referring is Talbot Theological Seminary (now known as Talbot School of Theology), the seminary for Biola University (formerly Biola College). Of interest, the chairman of the board of Biola from 1928-1932 was Charles Fuller. (By 1928, Biola had apostatized, according to Charles Trumbull, the editor of the most influential periodical of the fundamentalist movement, The Sunday School Times.) (Give the Wind a Mighty Voice)
Charles Fuller, the founder of the Fuller Evangelistic Foundation, also cofounded Fuller Theological Seminary and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Fuller Seminary and the NAE have spearheaded the global ecumenical movement which is a Masonic enterprise.
Talbot Seminary's first dean was Charles L Feinberg. John Macarthur attended Talbot Seminary because his father had requested that Dr. Feinberg be his personal mentor. (quote page 3 or 4).
Who was Dr. Feinberg? According to John Macarthur, in addition to being the first dean of Talbot Theological Seminary, Dr. Feinberg was a rabbi who had been through fourteen years of rabbinical study. In reference to his attending Talbot, John Macarthur stated: "Charles Feinberg..., just a converted rabbi, basically, studied fourteen years to be a rabbi." I believe John Macarthur attended Talbot in the early 1960's and so Macarthur is stating that Feinberg was "just a converted
rabbi" implying that he had just become a rabbi at about this time.
According to the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (p.170), "Charles Lee Feinberg was born on June 12, 1909... He was reared in an orthodox Jewish home and prepared for the rabbinate for fourteen years prior to his conversion to Christ in the fall of 1930. He graduated from the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburg in 1927 and received his A.B. from the University of Pittsburg in 1929."
John Macarthur's earlier statement implies that Dr. Feinberg was just a converted rabbi in the 1960's after fourteen years of study. The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society states that Feinberg "prepared for the rabbinate for fourteen years prior to his conversion to Christ in the fall of 1930." For thelatter account to be true, Feinberg would have converted to Christ at the age of 21 after studying for the rabbinate for 14 years starting at the age of 7. Is it believable that Dr. Feinberg from the age of 7 to 21 studied for the rabbinate? If not, then why did the Evangelical Theological Society make this statement? One plausible reason is that they don't want to admit that Feinberg must have spent 14 years studying for the rabbinate after his supposed conversion to Christ as John Macarthur states in his interview with Phil Johnson.
Why wouldn't the Evangelical Theological Society want readers knowing that Feinberg studied 14 years for the rabbinate and became a rabbi after his conversion to Christ? Is it because they know that studying for the rabbinate involves affirming the tenets of orthodox Judaism which are anti-thetical to Biblical Christianity?
The Wikipedia bio of Charles Feinberg also states that he converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1930. "In 1930, he converted from Judaism to Christianity through the ministry of Chosen People Ministries." The bio also states: "Feinberg...graduat [ed] from the Hebrew Institute of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburg in preparation to be a rabbi." According to this account, it seems that he may have received some rabbinical preparation prior to 1930, but did he receive 14 years of rabbinical training prior to 1930 beginning at age 7? This notion is not only unbelievable, but contradicts Macarthur's statement.
John Macarthur states that Feinberg had just become a rabbi in the early 1960's after 14 years of training. Even conceding that some of this training could have occurred prior to his conversion to Christ in 1930, I conclude that the majority of his rabbinical studies and his conversion to Rabbi occurred after 1930 when he states he was converted to Christ. Since most of his rabbinical studies as well as his conversion to being a rabbi occurred after his stated conversion to Christ and even after being named dean of a supposed Christian seminary, then these facts and this timeline certainly would make one question the authenticity of his conversion to Christ. Why?
(From here I mention the curriculum for being a Rabbi and what goes into 14 years of study. I show proof for the Rabbinical colleges that each quarter the Talmud has to be studied. A rabbi must have read the Talmud and possibly things like the Zohar as well. Afterall, according to them God's word, The Torah, is interpreted through the Talmud.)
(then from there I mention many of the ant-Christ teachings in the Talmud pointing out that he must at least read and affirm these things prior to conversion to rabbi. Then I mention how a born again Christian in reading these things would have to keep his conversion to Christ secret to even be allowed in the same room with other Talmudic scholars or to even be considered for rabbi--though I don't know where I can prove this off hand. )
(Then I will mention that even if a true Christian could study these things and become a rabbi, then he would most certainly expose these practices and warn his fellow saints of this evil in there midst. Did Feinberg as dean at Biola ever start a class called The Talmud Exposed? And who would know its contents better than him??
(I would then say that Feinberg can't be a Christian even though head of a seminary because no man can serve 2 masters. Can you serve the God of the Bible and the demons of the Talmud at the same time??)
(then I have a posthumous article his son, who is also a bigwig in a seminary, stated referring to his father as an orthodox Jew and never a Christian)
(then I can mention evidence that Feinberg is a Calvinist and mention Judaism, freemasonry and GAOTU, etc.)
(Then I can mention that feinberg, according to Lockman Foundation was the original translator of the NASB--and I can go int the false versions).
Does this have the making of a good report?