Friday, July 04, 2008

Lloyd-Jones: Messenger of Grace

I admit it--I'm a big Martyn Lloyd-Jones fan. As I've already noted previously, his Spiritual Depression was life-transforming, a book that God used to lead me into a deeper sense of assurance of God's love for me personally. I've also waded through Iain Murray's two-volume, authorized biography of Lloyd-Jones (hereafter MLJ), which I enjoyed thoroughly, and sundry other books. So, it was with great excitement that I bought the new Iain Murray book, Lloyd-Jones: Messenger of Grace.

Though a collection of odds and ends (including an analysis of MLJ's sermons on Ephesians and an inventory of MLJ sermons), the emphasis in this book is on MLJ as "messenger." This is particularly the case in the first four chapters, which along with chapters 7 and 8 (the one on MLJ's book Joy Unspeakable, which has been a bit of an embarrassment for some Reformed types, and the other on the 1960s fracas with John Stott and J. I. Pakcer) justify both the existence and purchase of this book.

I found the chapter on the "Lloyd-Jones Legacies" particularly insightful; Murray noted that MLJ's legacies included:
  • an example of what a Christian minister ought to be
  • the truth that Christianity is a God-centered religion
  • local churches are always the primary means of evangelism
  • true preaching of the Word has life-changing power
  • the key to the times is the state of the church
  • the growth of the church depends on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit
Pretty good legacies all. Would that all of our ministries be characterized with similar legacies! Also valuable was the chapter on "preaching and the Holy Spirit," which focused on MLJ's thoughts regarding "unction." Woven through out this and other chapters was an emphasis upon prayer as the great necessity of effectively pulpit ministry; there is a reason why the apostolic commitment and order was to "prayer and the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6:4).

All in all, this is a valuable book, especially for those who find encouragement from the ministry of MLJ. One of the most valuable parts is the inclusion of a MLJ sermon on CD, enclosed in the back cover. Hearing MLJ made me want to purchase more Lloyd-Jones sermons from the MLJ Trust and to download regularly the MLJ broadcast from

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