“We come now to another step in this matter of hindrances to revival … I cannot think of a better description of this than the term ‘dead’ orthodoxy … It is the greatest danger confronting the individual who is evangelical in his outlook …
There is nothing vital in the religion and in the worship of such people. They expect nothing, and they get nothing, and nothing happens to them. They go to God’s house, not with the idea of meeting with God, not with the idea of waiting upon him; it never crosses their minds or enters into their hearts that something may happen in a service. No, we always do this on Sunday morning. It is our custom. It is our habit. It is a right thing to do. But the idea that God may suddenly visit his people and descend upon them, the whole thrill of being in the presence of God, and sensing his nearness, and his power, never even enters their imaginations …Do we go to God’s house expecting something to happen? Or do we go just to listen to a sermon, and to sing our hymns, and to meet with one another? How often does this vital idea enter into our minds that we are in the presence of the living God, that the Holy Spirit is in the Church, that we may feel the touch of his power? How much do we think in terms of coming together to meet with God, and to worship him, and to stand before him, and to listen to him? Is there not this appalling danger that we are just content because we have correct beliefs? And we have lost the life, the vital thing, the power, the thing that really makes worship worship, which is in Spirit and truth.”
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1987), pp. 68-72.
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Most Mondays I take the time to raid my electronic version of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ materials, which is produced by Logos Bible Software. Today’s quote brings together two of my key topics of the year so far — revival and preaching. I have already expressed several times my concern that our preaching should not merely be dry and factual. Here the Doctor explains how dead orthodoxy is one of the most critical hindrances to revival.