"Great Doctrines of the Bible: Volume I, God the Father, God the Son Volume II, God the Holy Spirit Volume III, The Church and the Last Things" by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Mark R. Talbot
Thursday, July 5th 2007
Sep/Oct 2000

From 1952 to 1955, the great London preacher Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones delivered a series of lectures on biblical doctrines every Friday evening in Westminster Chapel. The tapes of these lectures are still by far the most requested of all those distributed through the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust. This series of volumes, now complete, are edited transcripts of those lectures.

These are no arid, textbook lectures on topics far-removed from Christian life. Lloyd-Jones, as the editors note, "was, above all, a preacher and this shines through in all of them. He was also a pastor and wanted men and women to share his sense of wonder and his gratitude to God for the mighty facts of the Gospel; so his language is clear and not encumbered by complex academic phraseology. Like Tyndale, he wanted the truth to be in words 'understanded [sic] of the people.'" There is always application to make sure that what we have heard with our heads will be felt in our hearts and enacted in our lives.

As always, Lloyd-Jones minces no words. The dislike of some, even in the 1950s, for biblical doctrine was labeled by him as "a very pathetic and regrettable attitude," for "the Bible is particularly concerned about teaching certain truths, and nothing is more important than that we should grasp that and that we should start with it." What truths? The truths that tell "what God has done about men and women as the result of their sin," the truths in other words that highlight "the message of redemption by God and from God"-truths about the Bible, about God, about human beings, about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, about how his saving work is applied to us, about our incorporation into the Church as Christ's mystical body, and about the grand climax and consummation of all things that is still to come.

One example of Lloyd-Jones's trenchancy may whet the reader's appetite. In a chapter examining God's moral attributes, Lloyd-Jones says that

the purpose of the biblical revelation of God's holiness is to teach us how to approach Him…. [W]e are to approach God "with reverence and godly fear" (Heb. 12:28). He is always to be approached that way, wherever you are; when you are alone in a room, or when you are meeting as a family to pray, or when you are in a public service. God is always God and He is always to be approached "with reverence and godly fear." No such expression as "Dear God," for example, is to be found in the Scriptures.

As Douglas Moo has noted, it is part of Lloyd-Jones's uniqueness that his "very relevant homiletical applications grow out of insightful, theologically informed exegesis." Here are the Scriptures' great doctrinal truths, delivered at a level accessible to God's common sheep, yet with virtually no loss of accuracy and profundity. Nothing could be more welcome.

Thursday, July 5th 2007

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

Picture of J. Ligon Duncan, IIIJ. Ligon Duncan, IIISenior Minister, First Presbyterian Church
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