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Alistair Begg

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Alistair Begg is the Senior Pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church (located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio), a position he has had since 1983, and is the voice behind the Truth for Life Christian radio preaching and teaching ministry that broadcasts his sermons daily to stations across the U.S. He is also the author of several books and has played one small role as a film actor.

Begg is a strong advocate of Protestant Evangelical Reformed Theology. He stresses the importance of believing the Bible to be the completely authoritative Word of God, and the importance of using the mind to know the Bible and knowing God through repentance and faith in Jesus.

Biography

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1952, and still carries a distinctive accent after nearly 30 years of ministry in the United States. On November 2, 1972, Alistair's mother died. Regarding the incident, Alistair wrote that "more spiritual progress is made through failure and tears than success and laughter."[1] Alistair graduated from The London School of Theology in 1975 and then served eight years in Scotland at Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh and Hamilton Baptist Church in Lanarkshire. Mr. Begg was educated at Trent University and Westminster Seminary. Among Alistair's influences are: Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Stott, Derek Prime, Eric Alexander, Sinclair Ferguson, Dick Lucas, Eric Liddell, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Jim Elliot, and Hudson Taylor. He was a featured speaker at the 1998 Desiring God Conference, an organization created and led by John Piper.

He was recently awarded an honorary doctorate from Cedarville University, and had a small speaking role as a golf instructor in the film Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius.

His wife, Susan, is American by birth, and Alistair himself became a U.S. citizen in 2004. He and his wife, Susan, have been married over 30 years and have three grown children.

In January 2007, Alistair notified his congregation at Parkside Church as well as the Truth for Life family that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had surgery on April 23, 2007, and an update from the Truth for Life Web site stated it was successful and his long term prognosis is excellent. He has since had two followup operations to deal with scar tissue interfering with his bladder, and more operations may be necessary.

Theological Views

Begg believes in the inerrancy and supremacy of Scripture, and in the saving power of Christ alone. He has stated that the core belief of Parkside Church is "that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and that to know Him is to know life, both now and forever [...] Jesus Christ is the only Savior, because Jesus is the only one who is qualified to save." [2] Fellow theologian and author R.C. Sproul wrote that "Alistair Begg incarnates this Neo-Puritan movement, a humble champion who has been galvanized by a magnificent obsession with the God-centered life. [...] Begg is an anachronism. He breaks the mold of contemporary evangelicalism, the mold that has been marred by narcissism and sullied by a preoccupation with a man-centered focus on method, technique, and a virulent form of self-esteem." [3] His work has been praised by such people as John MacArthur, Max Lucado, and Joseph M. Stowell. Begg is critical of Hyper-Calvinism [4] and he also removed himself as one of the speakers at the "REiMAGINE" conference because of some of its other speakers, such as Leonard Sweet who has been criticized for New Age teachings. [5]

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