Posts Tagged ‘D Martyn Lloyd-Jones’
Setting Our Affections Upon Glory: Nine Sermons on the Gospel and the Church
Crossway, 2013, 176 pp., paperback and ebook, $15.99
These sermons were preached in 1969 and it is a measure of their biblical sense and substance that they still sound fresh. Indeed, at points – such as when Lloyd-Jones suggests that we are in danger of having only two or three preachers in the world and everyone else “listening to them on tapes or on television or something else” as if that is the way to evangelize the world – he sounds as if the sermons could have been preached a few months ago. Woven among some of MLJ’s familiar and often-debated emphases are other strands, more central and abidingly relevant. The hope of saints in death, the foolish reliance of many professing believers on worldly wisdom, the requirement for us to know our God and his truth experimentally, the need for all the saints of God to carry with them the savour of Christ and make him known, the narrowness of the way of life: these and other matters are handled with refreshing plainness and adroitness. Much here proves an antidote to some of the crass and even carnal patterns paraded in much of the modern church. While it is, perhaps, easy to think of certain thinkers and speakers who would benefit from taking certain chapters or pages to heart, the great concern is for every reader to learn these things for himself and apply them to his own faith and life. In that respect, I found these sermons bracing to the mind and spirit, providing a helpful measure of recalibration for the soul, and I hope others would as well.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the main task of the church, via the Old Guys:
There are other agencies in the world which can deal with many of the problems of man kind. I mean by that, things like medicine, the State, even other religions, and cults, and psychology and various other teachings and political agencies. These are all designed to help, and to relieve somewhat, the human condition, to ease the pain and the problem of life and to enable men to live more harmoniously and to enjoy life in a greater measure. They set out to do that, and it is no part of our case to say that they are of no value. We must observe the facts and grant that they can do good, and do much good. They are capable in a measure of dealing with these things. But none of them can deal with this fundamental, this primary trouble at which we have been looking.
Not only that, when they have done their all, or when even the Church coming down to that level and operating on that level alone, has done her all, the primary trouble still remains. So I would lay it down as a basic proposition that the primary task of the Church is not to educate man, is not to heal him physically or psychologically, it is not to make him happy. I will go further; it is not even to make him good. These are things that accompany salvation; and when the Church performs her true task she does incidentally educate men and give them knowledge and information, she does bring them happiness, she does make them good and better than they were. But my point is that those are not her primary objectives. Her primary purpose is not any of these; it is rather to put man into the right relationship with God, to reconcile man to God. This really does need to be emphasize at the present time, because this, it seems to me, is the essence of the modern fallacy. It has come into the Church and it is influencing the thinking of many in the Church– this notion that the business of the Church is to make people happy, or to integrate their lives, or to relieve their circumstances and improve their conditions. My whole case is that to do that is just to palliate the symptoms, to give temporary ease, and that it does not get beyond that.
“Although charismatics and Pentecostals have both claimed him as an advocate of their views, a careful reading of ML-J establishes that they have misunderstood him.” So states Dr. Eryl Davies in his Themelios article entitled, Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: An Introduction.
A quick note for those who have yet to hear: the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust have made their audio archive (some 1600 sermons) available for free download here (follow the links for Audio, where you need to register (no fee) to get access to the entire library).
Why do the godly suffer while the ungodly seem to prosper? This is a problem that has often perplexed and discouraged God’s people—from unfavorable doctor’s reports, employment troubles, to some of life’s most painful circumstances. Thankfully, the Bible does not leave us without an answer. This is the very question the Psalmist wrestles with in Psalm 73. This book, by one of the twentieth century’s most beloved pastors on one of the most beloved Psalms was a labor of love and true joy. Delivered on eleven successive Sunday mornings Lloyd-Jones opens this text, like a door of hope, and invites those whose feet are ‘almost gone’ and whose steps have ‘well nigh slipped’ to fall back again on the precious promises of God. Powerfully, biblically, pastorally, and experientially Lloyd-Jones shows how faith can triumph over the sorest trials. Reformation Heritage Books would like to offer this book at an all-time low cost of $5/copy. Click here to order the book.
What’s the scoop here? Reformation Heritage Books has arranged a special deal with Christian Focus on Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ study of Psalm 73, Faith on Trial.
HT Kevin DeYoung.
I am, apparently, something of a book nerd. I did not realise this, but it does occasionally get pointed out or exposed (for example, when someone makes a passing reference to some musty volume, and my instinctive response is, “Which edition?” or something of that order). It feels very normal to me. But there we go.
It is, perhaps, as a result of said nerdery that I have had a little involvement with the Evangelical Library (including delivering the lecture on Hugh Latimer’s preaching that is found here on this blog, as well as among others here at the Library).
You may not have heard much or anything about the library, but I wanted to take a moment to encourage you to consider using and supporting this institution, for several reasons.
First, because of its history. The nucleus of what has become the Evangelical Library had its origin in the labours of a man called Geoffrey Williams. Geoffrey Williams was, if I might put it this way, a book nerd extraordinaire. Williams not only loved certain books, he loved – most importantly – the substance of those books, being concerned for the preservation of the best in the Reformed and Puritan strain of evangelicalism. If I remember rightly, it was Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones who – among others who shared Williams’ appetite for the truth found in these tomes – urged the establishment of the library on a more formal basis in a more central location, and eventually the Beddington Free Grace Library found its way to Chiltern Street in central London and became the Evangelical Library. It remained in Chiltern Street until forced out by the gradual deterioration of the premises yoked with the spiralling costs not just of maintaining but improving a central London property. Horrible tales of desperate measures to keep intruding rainwater from damaging valuable volumes are told on stormy nights by old preachers seeking to terrify their young protégés! The history and the legacy of the library call for some interest and concern among Reformed evangelicals today: many of those from whom we learned our theology cut their teeth on Evangelical Library materials, or were themselves taught by those who shared its vision and devoured its wares.
Which brings me, neatly, and secondly, to that vision. This is given on the Library’s website as follows: “the restoration of the Word of God at the heart of the Christian community, the continuing necessity of reforming the church which teaches that Word – and, ultimately, the revival of the people brought about by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” I would hope that this trifold aim would continue to engage us today.
A third reason is its stock: the library holds about 90000 volumes and periodicals galore (a rich but often overlooked resource for researchers), including an array of older works not readily available elsewhere or vast quantities of more modern texts that might lie beyond the pocket of many readers. Its collections of church history, doctrine and devotional reading are particularly impressive. Most excitingly for the bibliophile, budding or otherwise, is that delightful assortment of older works, many of them exceedingly hard to find in their physical form and unavailable online. Most of these (except the rarer and more valuable books) are available through a mail order service, removing the need for visits to the library proper while still providing the benefits of membership.
Of course, the world has moved on since the library was first established, and – in addition to the online catalogue – there is an ongoing effort to digitise some of the library’s collection.
A fourth reason it its situation. Now, I am sure that some visitors to its present premises will shy like a startled mustang when they read that its situation might be a reason to use and support the library. After all, Chiltern Street was a genuinely central location, fairly easily accessible, not far from Baker Street. The Gateway Mews at Bounds Green – though a straightforward ten minute stroll north from the Underground station of the same name, and just off that marvel of modern travel delight, the A406, or North Circular – does not enjoy those same benefits and surroundings, but some find that its home just off the North Circular – outside the congestion zone, and with free parking available – make it more accessible than otherwise. Nevertheless, while it may not be the easiest place to drop into (hence the value of the mailing service), that relative inaccessibility make it a fine place to research or study. In particular, the reference room, known as the Robert Sheehan Puritan and Research Centre, is an especially pleasant, quiet spot, and there are a number of nooks and crannies (as opposed to crooks and nannies) where one can settle down to a spot of deliberate and focused reading (not to mention the array of computers if one is not in the mood to bring one’s own). Seriously, if you are looking for an environment with a little peace to get some serious study and thought out of the way, then the Evangelical Library is a good place to consider. Whisper it softly, but there are also bursaries available for serious scholars: contact the library to discover more.
A fifth and final reason to support the library is its events. There are at least three “Lunchtime Lectures” each year, when some fascinating topic is covered by a competent scholar, and – on at least one occasion – by me. These are usually historical-theological-literary nuggets and well worth attending, giving opportunity both for instruction and for discussion. In addition, there is an annual lecture – this year’s takes place on Monday 2nd July when Ian Hamilton will address the gathered hordes on the history and contribution of Princeton Seminary – which often has a broader theme. Furthermore, from time to time there are special study days. For example, coming up on Tuesday 27th March we will be considering the topic of the Great Ejection, under the title 1662 and All That. Dr Garry Williams of the John Owen Centre will speak on “1662 and its aftermath;” Gary Brady, chairman of the Library trustees, will speak on “1662 and the men who were ejected;” and, Dr Robert Oliver will address “1689 and the toleration of dissent.” The day begins at 10am and ends at 4pm, and costs £25 in advance (£30 on the day). More details are here.
I am sure that there are other reasons, but here are five to put before you. Might I therefore encourage you, finally, to consider supporting the Library? Membership costs a mere twenty-five of your earth pounds for a year, entitling you to a whelming – it wouldn’t be quite right to describe it as overwhelming, unless you are prepared to use it to its full potential – package of benefits. Gifts and legacies are always gratefully received. And, as charity and church secretaries up and down the land are wont to say, “Your attention is drawn to the advantages of Gift Aid.” You can get information on how to chuck your wonga at this particular good cause here.
So, please, consider supporting this noble institution. It is by no means obsolescent, and – for those who love the truth and are inheritors of a good tradition with its feet both in past centuries and in more recent decades – I think it is genuinely worthwhile.
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