Sometime last year, I discovered Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MLJ). MLJ was a preacher at Westminster Chapel in London from 1939 to 1968. During this time, he established himself as one of the greatest preachers in the Christian world. The theologian Emil Brunner regarded MLJ as the “greatest preacher in Christendom”.
A couple of years ago, the minister at the church I was attending began to transition to retirement. He purged his library, and I wound up with many of his old books. One of the books of MLJ’s Spiritual Depression. I don’t even know if I flipped through it. I didn’t think anything about it.
Months later, I was listening to some talks by John Piper. Piper has a conference message he gave on MLJ, and it was through that message that I realized the influence and fame of MLJ. I decided to begin reading some of his works.
For those of you who do not know anything about MLJ, you can find out more at the following resources:
- Wikipedia: Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- John Piper’s Desiring God: “A Passion for Christ-Exalting Power”
- Rare television interview with MLJ
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust
Here are quotations from well-known ministers about the influence MLJ had upon their lives.
One of the greatest preachers of the 20th century was Martyn Lloyd-Jones, pastor of Westminster Chapel, London for 29 years until his retirement in 1968. He died March 1, 1981. But his writing and preaching continue … I think preachers need to hear this kind of preaching as a partial antidote to the relentless trivializing of preaching in our day.
J. I. Packer:
‘Martyn Lloyd-Jones was not the only faithful preacher of the gospel in the mid-twentieth-century Western world, but the sense of spiritual reality — of God, of sin, of grace, of Christ, of the individual in the hands of God – that he conveyed by the way he said things in his expositions was unique to himself, and very, very powerful. And much of this still comes through as we encounter his recorded and transcribed sermons.’
‘Martyn Lloyd-Jones was without question the finest biblical expositor of the 20th century. In fact, when the final chapter of church history is written, I believe the Doctor will stand as one of the greatest preachers of all time. His style of biblical exposition was meticulously thorough and yet full of energy. “Logic on fire,” was his famous description of preaching, and he had an amazing gift for blending passion and precision in copious measures.’
Given the respect that many had for MLJ’s preaching and printed sermons, I eventually bought Preaching and Preachers. A couple of years ago, I read it. There are some things about the book that I disagree with, but I agreed with so much of it. So I’ve decided to post a series of blog posts about the book. (Some of these were written two years ago after I read the book.)
I know that many of my readers aren’t ministers. Still, I think that you’ll enjoy the series on this book. Many topics are covered in the book. And, if you are a member of a church, you are affected by many of the topics that he addresses. Even if you end up disagreeing with him on many issues (and I disagree with him on many issues), his thoughts are worth engaging and thinking through.
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