Monday, February 27, 2006

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Today, listened to. John Piper's biography of Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MP3). Lloyd-Jones was a pastor in London and is widely regarded as the greatest preacher of the 20th Century. He was also president of UCCF from 1939.

Piper's 1991 biography looks at theology of the Holy Spirit and God's power to transform us. It's very challenging - does my charismatic theology match my practice?

Once again I see the helpfulness of church history, and learning from those who have gone before me. I've not read much Lloyd-Jones first-hand (only one of his Romans 3v1-3v20 sermons and Habakkuk)

A Passion for Christ-exalting power - text version.


  1. Thanks for that heads-up on the lecture. I decided a while ago when I discovered those biographical talks of Piper, to treat myself to one every so often, but had since then only listened to the one on Machen. So earlier today I took a long lunchbreak to listen to that one on Lloyd-Jones and it was well worth it. Ta for reminding me.

    It was interesting to me as I found his Joy Unspeakable (the combined version) disappointingly illogical (shakey) exegetically, and thought on the other hand that Murray was unfair to him biographically on the issue. Although I'd say that his passion for unity (see his talks to BEC published under the title "Unity in Truth") contributed more to any inconsistency in ministry than did his fear of losing friends (which Piper claimed was a factor along with personality).

    Now slightly related: Dave, on charismata, I've read the doctor (see above), O.Palmer Robertson (not buying it), Stott ('nice and gracious' as usual), Fergusson (great to have a broader theology of the person and work of the Spirit), Deere x2 (horrendously ungracious, caricaturing and divisive, theologising from experience where he accuses others of theologising from the lack thereof), Grudem (good but I don't really get how there can be a case for redefinition of prophecy if there isn't a case for cessationism?), glanced through Packer. When I emailed my Dad Poythress' article, my Mum quoted Hamlet to me: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy", and more to the point, my Dad commended him as balanced and spoke of his experiences but has me reading Herbie Carson for the exegesis (due to start tomorrow). I'm as yet undecided. The whole online discussion seemed exasperatingly unproductive. So, at the end of that rambling, is there anything in particular you recommend?!

  2. Good question.... Deere on Cessationism is a bit like Grudem on Arminianism!! Rather brutal. Both defend the truth (Biblical is surely Charismatic/Calvinism) but neither are great models of doing so.... though Grudem is fairer.

    Not sure I've read anything particularly helpful - Piper's sermons on Compassion, Power and the Kingdom of God are helpful:
    Sermons from Jan-April 1990.

    Really I think we have to just study the text ourselves - the last month preparing Cell Notes for 1 Cor 12-14 have been the most eye opening for me.

  3. Thanks. I realised as I was typing that although I've studied through books I've never really over a good period of time sat down without the books and with the Book to study the passages more than the topic. Takes more time and effort than reading a book does! So thanks for faithfully nudging me in that direction.

  4. Always best to set to the text itself. And 1 Cor 12-14 are awesome when you get into them.

    I gather Carson's Showing the Spirit is helpful on that - though I've not managed to get hold of it.... still best to at least take some time on the text itself.