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