Denomination Differences

What Denomination is John MacArthur?

John MacArthur is a prominent Christian pastor, most well-known for hosting the radio and television program Grace to You, which he has done since 1977. Since 1969 he has pastored at Grace Community Church, a non-denominational church in Sun Valley, California.

MacArthur was raised in a Baptist church where his father pastored. He then attended a Baptist, a Methodist, and a non-denominational college, and was hired as an associate pastor at a non-denominational church his father founded. Before long, he was called to pastor Grace Community Church, where he has served for over 50 years.

Theologically, MacArthur's doctrine largely mirrors his life. It is mostly Baptist, but with a few key departures. Most notably, he is a Calvinist, believing that God only gives the grace to be saved to those whom He has already chosen to do. In addition, while MacArthur, believes the Bible was plenarily and verbally inspired, he does not believe in the preservation of the Bible, as Baptists traditionally would.

However, he also does not quite align with Reformed beliefs precisely, as MacArthur rejects Paedobaptism, he believes in sola scriptura, and he calls himself a "leaky dispensationalist". He therefore resides somewhere on the spectrum between Baptist and Reformed beliefs. He would most accurately be described as a "Reformed Baptist".