Reading about Martyn Lloyd-Jones during lockdown

Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life: Doctrine and Life as Fuel and Fire
By Jason Meyer
Crossway, 2018, 274 pp.

4 Stars

During the COVID-19 lockdown, I was determined to read something written by or about Martyn Lloyd-Jones so I downloaded this book to my Kindle.

Welsh-English pastor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), is still widely admired as one of the most influential evangelical ministers of the 20th century. Pastor and author, Jason Meyer, does a nice job of summarizing MLJ’s teaching in regards to the major doctrines of Christianity and their significance and practical application in the life of a believer. The Doctor (MLJ was a licensed physician prior to becoming a pastor) was an exponent of strong, solid doctrine, but also believed that right doctrine and belief should lead to obedience to the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit and to subjective love, joy, and peace in the Lord. Loyd-Jones asked, what good is it having a head full of doctrine, but not knowing the joy of the Lord?

MLJ was involved in some controversy. In the first appendice, the author briefly touches upon Loyd-Jones’ teaching on a baptism of the Holy Spirit after conversion, which some mistakenly assume was akin to Pentecostal practices, but was actually a type of subjective experience from the Spirit whereby the believer understood/experienced the assurance of salvation. Author, Jason Meyer, presents his objections to MLJ’s teaching on this point. In the second appendice, Meyer briefly examines the Secession Controversy of 1966 in which MLJ challenged evangelical pastors in Great Britain to separate from ecumenical compromise. As an ex-Catholic who observes many of today’s evangelical theologians, pastors, and para-church leaders bending the knee to Rome, I admire Lloyd-Jones for his strong stand in defense of the Gospel of grace and against ecumenism.

It’s ironic that respected evangelical theologian and pastor, Sinclair Ferguson, in the introduction to this book, inappropriately included a very complimentary reference to Roman Catholic author and apologist, G.K. Chesterton, and his “Father Brown” series. Also, I noticed that the editor of this “Theologians on the Christian Life” series for Crossway Publishing is Stephen J. Nichols who wrote a children’s book, which included Jesuit co-founder and counter-Reformer, Francis Xavier, as one of “heroes of the Christian faith” (see here). MLJ would not have been pleased with either of those accommodations to error.

Contents:

Part 1 – The Doctor

  • The Life and Times of Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Part 2 – The Doctor’s Doctrine

  • God the Father Almighty: The Person and Work of the Father
  • Christ and Him Crucified: The Person and Work of Christ
  • Power from on High: The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
  • Redemption Applied: Justification and Sanctification
  • The Church: The Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ
  • The Last Thing: Death and the Glory

Part 3 – The Christian Life

  • The Word
  • Prayer
  • Faith Working through Love
  • Life in the Spirit at Home and Work
  • Why Are You So Downcast? Spiritual Depression
  • The Acid Test: The Hope of Glory

Part 4 – The Doctor’s Legacy

  • The Legacy of Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Appendix 1: The Charismatic Controversy

Appendix 2: The Secession Controversy

19 thoughts on “Reading about Martyn Lloyd-Jones during lockdown

      1. Yesterday’s 90F was a record. Hard to believe it was snowing here just 18 days ago! What a rapid change. I think the daily long walks helped me to acclimate quickly. We turned on the AC yesterday and have it on again today. It’s cooling off considerably starting tomorrow. Average temp is 71F the next nine days. I’m going to guess that we normally turn on the AC maybe only 30 days from June 1 to August 31.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 30 AC days is definitely a high estimate. I’ll keep track throughout the Summer and give a full report on Sept. 22. 🤓📋🖋
        I have to keep my wife in check throughout the Summer because she enjoys cranking the AC at night while she “snuggles” under two blankets. Keep those sermons on marriage coming, pastor! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I need to read and listen more to MLJ sometime. That first sermon I heard from your blog was good. Someone once visited my church and said he wants to be a pastor but doesn’t need to go to seminary because MLJ and Spurgeon both didn’t go to seminary; for the record I think some people can be pastors without seminary. But this guy was prideful and unteachable but still want to be a pastor is why he doesn’t want to go to seminary. I pointed out to him that its true both men didn’t go to seminary but both started schools preparing people for ministry. Both men saw it was important for people to be trained to be grounded. Both men also were well read with both Scriptures and theology. And MLJ’s medicinal practice is quite impressive worldly wise. But it shows he was diligent to do all things well for the Glory of God. Also I’m sadden to hear Sinclair Ferguson referring to Chesterton favorably. He’s one of the more solid guys I know to…

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    1. MLJ and Spurgeon were the 1% exceptions. I imagine MLJ put the same amount of effort AND MORE into studying Scripture and solid theologians as he did into his medical studies.
      We’ve definitely been binging on MLJ at our house recently between this book, the Romans sermon series, and the DVD package. That church-state series is excellent but dry because of the historical emphasis. I hope you get a chance to listen to some of his more inspirational preaching. Yeah, it was sad to read Ferguson give props to Chesterton. The person who succeeded Ferguson as pastor, David Robertson, is an out-an-out ecumenist as we discussed a long time ago.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Crissy! I am blessed to “hear” that. My wife and I are enjoying listening to half of a MLJ sermon every evening after dinner, as I mentioned previously. However, that has created a “problem” for us in that we are very cognizant of the differences between MLJ’s preaching and the preaching at our current church. And it’s not just the preaching, but several other issues are involved as well.

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