Next month it will be 30 years since The Doctor died. His influence continues to grow. The Resurgence asked if I would write a series of posts to offer an introduction to him, and to the lessons we could learn from his life. Here is the first:
From promising doctor to preacher, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (a.k.a. “The Doctor”) has a reputation that is still widely known in Evangelical circles. The Doctor was doctrinally in the same stable as Edwards, Spurgeon, the Puritans, and the Reformers. He was unafraid of controversy, and hundreds of young men were prompted by Lloyd-Jones to enter the ministry, both by his preaching and through personal conversations with him. Many claimed that reading his sermons had a greater impact on them than listening to any other preacher.
The Call to Ministry
Lloyd-Jones’ call to ministry was unusual, and made the newspapers of his day. He was a bright young medical doctor, working at one of London’s most respected hospitals with a very promising career ahead. He laid all aside to move to Wales, where he took up a role as a minister. After a few years, he moved back to London to be an assistant minister at Westminster Chapel, where he occupied the pulpit for 20 years.
The Doctor was, together with another great British Christian leader, John Stott, almost solely responsible for revitalizing a British Evangelical movement reeling after the ravages of Liberalism and two World Wars. His preaching was well known across the UK and United States and appealed to a remarkably broad spectrum of Christians. It is astonishing that almost 30 years since his death, books of his preaching are still being released and remain popular today.
The Physician Dissects
Any serious student of Romans, Ephesians, The Sermon on the Mount, and a host of other subjects interacts with his compelling and incisive expositions. Theology is well learnt through the prism of the pulpit, and few if any preachers have understood how to dissect a Bible verse like he has. One of his most memorable sermons was based on a single word of Scripture, the “but” of Ephesians 2:4.
Lloyd-Jones applied his skill as a physician to the work of preaching. He would analyze a text, often explaining first negatively what it could not mean, then positively what it did mean. He would diagnose the condition of the human soul and apply Scripture as the remedy. He never went to Bible college and even argued that examinations in theology were dangerous.
READ THE REST at The Resurgence Blog.