Weekly Dose of Lloyd-Jones

First here is a short bit from a book I am reading about his life:

The only other London churches which could approach such numbers were the Methodist Central Hall and All Souls, Langham Place, where John Stott attracted about a thousand people. As the decade progressed, however, Lloyd-Jones’ preaching received less attention from the newspapers and even references in The British Weekly became rare. Increasingly ‘the great divide’ between Lloyd-Jones and other Christians became more evident. He had grave misgivings about what he saw as doctrinal indifferentism and alternative views of Christian truth which, in his opinion, did not reflect the ‘fundamentals of evangelicalism’. These were the issues that opened up the gap between Christians in the 1960s and came to occupy much of his time and attention…

The expository approach of Lloyd-Jones was intellectually demanding and required the fullest attention of those who listened. Yet it was precisely this kind of preaching that he made a touchstone: ‘Does exposition of the Truth in preaching appeal to you? Do you like it? Do you enjoy it? Would you like to know more about it? If you can say “Yes” to these questions you possess good presumptive evidence that you have new life in you.’ Certainly, none could fail to be impressed by the expository commitment to exposition of Lloyd-Jones. Thirteen years on the Epistle to the Romans, eight years on the Epistle to the Ephesians, six years on the early chapters of the Gospel of John, three years on the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, two years on the Sermon on the Mount, besides which there were many shorter series such as twenty-one sermons on Spiritual Depression in 1954, twenty-four on Revival in 1959 and twenty-four on Baptism with the Spirit in 1964. For those who had ‘good presumptive evidence’ of new life sermons such as these were a theological education and a comprehensive syllabus of evangelicalism.*

Now here is the “Good Doctor” on preaching:

What is preaching? Logic on fire! Eloquent reason! Are these contradictions? Of course not. Reason concerning this Truth ought to be mightily eloquent, as you can see in the case of the Apostle Paul and others. It is theology on fire. And a theology which does not take fire, I maintain, is a defective theology; or at least the man’s understanding of it is defective. Preaching theology coming through a man who is on fire. A true understanding and experience of the Truth must lead to this. I say again that a man who can speak about these things dispassionately has no right whatsoever to be in a pulpit; and should never be allowed to enter one.

What is the chief end of preaching? I like to think it is this. It is to give men and women a sense of God and His presence. As I have said already, during this last year I have been ill, and so have had the opportunity, and the privilege, of listening to others, instead of preaching myself. As I have listened in physical weakness this is the thing I have looked for and longed for and desired. I can forgive a man for a bad sermon, I can forgive the preacher almost anything if he gives me a sense of God, if he gives me something for my soul, if he gives me the sense that, though he is inadequate himself, he is handling something which is very great and very glorious, if he gives me some dim glimpse of the majesty and the glory of God, the love of Christ my Saviour, and the magnificence of the Gospel. If he does this I am his debtor, and I am profoundly grateful to him. Preaching is the most amazing, and the most thrilling activity that one can ever be engaged in, because of all that it holds out for all of us in the present, and because of the glorious endless possibilities in an eternal future.”*   

Soli Deo Gloria!

For His Glory,

*Brencher, J. (2002). Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) and twentieth-century Evangelicalism. Studies in Evangelical History and Thought (26, 28-29). Carlisle: Paternoster.

* D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), p. 97-98


About lalvin1517

I'm married with two children and pastor McCall Baptist Church in McCall, Idaho.
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