One of my personal gripes with being Calvinist is that f0lks assume you only listen to other Calvinists. Now to a degree, that can’t be helped – a lot of preaching outside of reformed circles is, frankly, the highest grade of wack. If you want to challenge me on this…I have a looooooong list of names. Or you could watch TBN, GOD TV, The Word Network – nine times out of ten, it’s spiritual garbage.
A member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance for many years, I enjoyed reading The Knowledge of the Holy Spirit a few years ago and catching a little of Tozer’s vision of a “big God” – and if you’ve read it, you know it’s an infectious vision!
For years, the Bible teacher with Back to the Bible Radio, Dr Wiersbe is probably my favourite non-Calvinist expositor. Author of the popular BE series, Dr Wiersbe has a gift for weaving accurate handling of the text with soul-piercing application. I’ve probably learned more about how application of the text works from reading his commentary on passages as I prepare material for classes, Sunday school lessons, etc.
J. Vernon McGee
The first time I heard J. Vernon McGee, I was a new believer listening to Premier Radio, the big Christian radio station that we have out here in London. My dad practically swore by Premier Radio as a good hub for Christian material (I wouldn’t agree today) but there was something very different to this man with the most distinctive accent I had ever heard on someone speaking English with the unique proposition of just teaching through the Bible within five years. I will confess that I was curious and kept on listening as this guy did something that, years later, I would finally “get”. What was more – by the time I listened to his ministry on the radio, he’d been dead…for 16 years. He had gone home to glory that long and yet the teaching sounded as relevant as ever. There’s something to be said for that. (And yes…I’ve got back on “the Bible Bus” in the last year or so – currently in Hebrews 5 ;))
“Prof”, as he was known to his many students, authored a book which has been influential in my attempts to have the Bible faithfully. That book is called Living by the Book – and it is a book that I personally would give to every new Christian so they had a grasp on how to study the Word.
The Calvary Chapel dude, Kofi!?!?!?!? Yes, that Chuck Smith. Hear me on this. There would be areas of significant disagreement that exist between Calvinistically-oriented types and Calvary Chapels. Some would even argue those differences to be deal-breakers (“They’re Arminian”, “They’re dispensational”, “They have a jacked-up ecclesiology”, etc.)
But consider this with me for a second. Smith, for all of that, was a man committed to the preaching and teaching of the Word. He used his influences over so many to further that commitment to the Word of God. I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of Pastor Chuck’s teaching and found him to be Christ-exalting, intentional about being Biblical and (honestly speaking), a little more warmhearted in his approach than some of my reformed brothers. There’s something we can all learn from such an approach in our preaching and teaching of the Word.