I am reminded by this post by Justin Taylor that it is 50 years ago today – Tuesday, October 18, 1966 – that an event took place that shook British evangelicalism to the core. The after-shocks can still be felt today.
That event was a meeting of the National Assembly of Evangelicals, held at Westminster Central Hall, London. At that meeting, Martyn Lloyd-Jones was understood by many to be appealing for evangelicals to secede from doctrinally mixed denominations, and should come together in a ‘fellowship, or an association, of evangelical churches’.…
Chris Green, Vice Principal of Oak Hill Theological College, has noted that among the 35 contributors to John Stott: a portrait by his friends, there is none from ‘the other side’ of the 1966 debate with Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones. ‘Perhaps,’ Green suggests, ‘some issues are still too raw.’
It seems extraordinary that such a situation should pertain nearly half a century after the event. I would like to revisit the momentous events of that 1996 debate and its consequences.…
Laughter has not always been prized as a wholly positive phenomenon. In the 18th century Lord Chesterfield wrote to his son: ‘there is nothing so illiberal, and so ill-bred, as audible laughter.’ John Ray called laughter ‘the hiccup of a fool’, and Oliver Goldsmith thought that it spoke of ‘the vacant mind’. As recently as 1964 a specialist psychology dictionary characterised laughter as an ‘emotional response, expressive normally of joy, in the child and the unsophisticated adult.’ Recent writers have confirmed that that humour and laughter have become important only in recent times. …
‘Christ,’ says Paul in his Letter to the Ephesians (Eph 4:11f), ‘gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.’
Most Christian teachers would agree that the office of apostle was limited to those who were the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection. On the other hand, they would take it for granted that evangelists and pastor-teachers are found in every era and place.…
Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was one of the most influential British preachers of the 20th century. His impact on the revival of reformed evangelicalism was incalculable. He stood firmly within the Puritan tradition: he modelled in his preaching both their painstaking analytical expository method and also shared their commitment to what might be called ‘experientialism’ – a passionate desire that through preaching men and women might be brought into vital contact with the living God.
As is well-known, Lloyd-Jones would spend months – sometimes years – preaching through a book of the Bible. …
I acquired John Peter’s excellent book on Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Preacher when it was first published in 1986.
Peters gives a succinct account of Lloyd-Jones’ life. But the emphasis is, of course, on the preaching ministry. This is characterised as:-
Other aspects discussed are MLJ’s pastoral ministry, and his ministry to students.
In discussing areas of controversy, reference is made to MLJ’s view of large-scale evangelistic crusades, the work of the Holy Spirit, the basis of Christian unity, and relations within evangelicalism.…