Emil Bartos – Rolul crestinului in diaspora – partea 1.1 Recomandare de carti si Disputa dintre Martyn Lloyd-Jones si John Stott (14 Februarie, 2014)

emil-bartosCate ceva despre mine, pentru cei care nu ma cunoasteti. Sunt credincios Domnului din tinerete, la 17 ani am facut legamantul cu Domnul, ca urmare a unei lucrari de trezire spirituala in Oradea, in vremea fratelui Liviu Olah, pastor atunci la Oradea. Am facut inginerie, dar la 30 de ani, ca Domnul Isus, m-a chemat Domnul in lucrare. Am lasat ingineria si am intrat pastor in perioada comunista, 1987. Am inceput studii teologice, mi-am luat toate gradele acestea care erau necesare. Tocmai atunci, la Oradea, a inceput Universitatea Emanuel de astazi si am fost prins in echipa de profesori. Am ajuns sa studies, sa devin profesor, practic din 1981 sunt profesor de teologie. Am fost 10 ani profesor la Oradea, 11 ani la Institutul Teologic Penticostal din Bucuresti si de cativa ani sunt acum la Facultatea Teologica Baptista din Universitatea Bucuresti. Locuiesc in Timisoara,  impreuna cu a doua mea sotie, Tatiana. Prima mea sotie a murit intr-un accident de masina in anul 2005, la doua saptamani dupa ce am sarbatorit 25 de ani de casnicie. Cu ea am avut 6 copii. Unul dintre copii, un baiat de 21 de ani a murit in 2009. M-am casatorit dupa 2 ani de vaduvie cu Tatiana. Ne-am stabilit in Timisoara acum; predau cursuri modulare la nivel de masterat, dar sunt invitat la toate scolile posibile din Romania, exceptand una de la Oradea. In rest, peste tot, usa-i deschisa si slujesc cu bucurie peste tot. Salutari de la toti profesorii de la toate aceste scoli de la bisericile care le-am vizitat in ultimul timp. In ultimii 5 ani de zile am primit de la Domnul o lucrare noua: sa intaresc bisericile, sa le intaresc cu darul meu de dascal / invatator. Si asta am facut.

Dupa ce am trecut prin aceste mari incercari  in viata, nu mai puteam face anumite lucrari pe care le-am facut inainte. Si Dumnezeu mi-a aratat ca aceasta e noua lucrare, noua traiectorie a mea si am acceptat-o si sunt implinit in ceea ce fac. De aceea m-ati invitat, pentru ca… nu stiu exact de ce, dar Domnul a deschis usa. Nu trebuia sa fiu acum aici, trebuia sa fiu in Republica Moldova, dar s-a inchis acolo usa, s-a deschis la voi. A fost providential. Ma bucur sa fiu cu voi aici. N-am auzit multe despre voi dinainte, dar mi-ati produs, pana acuma, o impresie calda deosebita.

Imi place sportul, am jucat fotbal- mijlocas, fratilor (cand eram cu vreo 30 kg mai putin). Am jucat handbal vreo 3 ani, acuma joc sah. E o gluma. Imi plac cartile. Va spun hobi-urile mele, ca sa stiti ca am o parte umana, sa n-o auziti de la altii. Ce auziti la altii nu-i corect.

Photo credit si comanda aici – http://www.logos.ro/

Imi plac cartile, mai ales teologice, evident. „Preaching & Preachers”, cartea lui Martyn Lloyd-Jones- s-a tradus in Limba Romana deja? Da, s-a tradus acum.

Apropos, de Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a fost primul autor englez. A fost medic al Casei Roiale din Anglia, a parasit medicina pentru pastorala. Pe urma a devenit predicator la Westminster Chapel si a fost unul dintre cei mai mari predicatori ai secolului XX. Minunat predicator. Aceasta carte , despre predicare, cred ca e tradusa in Limba Romana. Pute-ti verifica. E una dintre cele mai bune. Am citit-o cand eram mai tanar decat tine, Adi. (Nu am gasit cartea- daca cineva o gaseste, va rog frumos sa ne anuntati si adaugam linkul) M-a hranit foarte mult aceasta carte si cartea  lui John Stott despre predicare- Puterea Predicarii. E tradusa la Editura Logos din Cluj.

Photo credit si comanda aici – http://www.clcromania.ro

Aceste doua carti sunt fundamentale, pentru ca, daca tot am inceput- John Stott a fost anglican. A murit de curand, nu s-a casatorit niciodata. Un om extrem de inteligent, Doctor in Teologie si profesor, dar mai mult s-a dedicat lucrarii cu studentii. Toate cartile pe care el le scria aveau trecere, se vindeau foarte bine. Esentialul Crestinismului a fost cea mai vanduta carte, Zeci de milioane de exemplare s-au vandut in lume, si alte carti. Toti banii primiti din drepturile de autor de la aceste edituri,el le punea intr-un fond special, se numeste Langham Partnership care sprijinea educatia in tarile mai putin dezvoltate- Africa, Europa de Rasarit. Asa, foarte multi Romani, talentati, buni,  au ajuns sa studieze masterate, doctorate,  in Vest din cauza acestui fond de bani de la John Stott. L-am cunoscut personal. Am fost chiar la el in casa, in birou. Era pasionat de pasari. A scris si doua carti din perspectiva crestina despre pasari. Da, fratilor, se poate si asa. Insa cartea despre predicare merita citita de toti.

In paralel, a trait Lloyd-Jones, mai in varsta de John Stott. El era, nu anglican, atat cat era Metodist Calvinist. O combinatie imposibila doctrinar. Dar, in el s-a putut. Foarte bun predicator, s-au certat. Cei doi s-au certat. Da, s-au certat si ei. Prin anii ’60 – ’66, parca, a avut loc o disputa si iata care era disputa. Evanghelicii din Biserica Anglicana nu erau de acord cu ce facea ‘High Anglican Church’, cum se spune- Biserica care avea legatura cu statul, care avea liturghie, care nu prea era evanghelica. O mare parte, poate o treime din biserici, din pastorii anglicani erau evanghelici. Credeau in necesitatea nasterii din nou, in sfanta Scriptura ca autoritate finala si Lloyd-Jones, la Congresul Evanghelicilor, a propus iesirea evanghelicilor din Biserica Angliei.

Citeste despre aceste conferinte in intregime aici (L. Engleza) –

Argumentul lui (Lloyd-Jones) a fost ca nu poti sta intr-o biserica care se compromite. Inca de atunci erau semne ca Biserica Angliei va fii de acord cu hirotonisirea femeilor. Si iata ca asa a fost. Plus, au inceput sa accepte si homosexualii, [au] preoti si episcopi homosexuali. La asta s-a ajuns. De atunci, Lloyd-Jones a vazut  ca directia bisericii nu era buna si a zis: „Iesim si formam o alta denominatie evanghelica.” John Stott era de partea cealalta. Era mai tanar, credea ca biserica se poate innoi din interior. El a spus: „Daca noi plecam din Biserica Angliei, nu mai este speranta pentru ei. Ramanem.” S-a supus la vot. Au votat mai multi cu John Stott- cu ideea lui, nu cu el. Ideea, sa ramana in Biserica Anglicana si sa incerce sa o schimbe din interior. NU AU REUSIT. Lloyd-Jones s-a separat; n-a reusit nici el prea multe. Erau prea putini sa formeze o alta denominatie. Si asta a fost disputa.

Ce faci cand biserica in care tu esti nu merge in directie buna, din punct de vedere doctrinar?

Nu-i vorba ca iti place sau nu de un lider. Doctrinar slabea, erau semnele compromisului. Unul a spus: „Iesim.” Celalalt a zis: „Ramanem ca s-o schimbam.” Celalalt a zis: „Iesim, nu ne compromitem.” Ce ai fii ales?

Stii cum s-au format Baptistii? Baptistii au iesit din Biserica Anglicana, pentru ca nu erau de acord cu compromisul Bisericii Anglicane si aveau alta doctrina. Deja botezul adultilor era profilat, separarea Bisericii de Stat. Astea erau doctrine de baza. Preotia tuturor credinciosilor, fara o baza ierarhica. Stiti cum s-au format penticostalii? O, vreau sa va spun ceva. In fruntea primilor penticostali in miscarea Church of God (1901) si apoi Assemblies of God  (1906) din America (in anii astia s-au format), in fruntea Bisericii Church of God au fost 2 metodisti. Si in fruntea Bisericii Assemblies of God a fost un pastor Baptist. Deci, Penticostalii s-au format iesind din Metodisti si din Baptisti pentru ca aveau alta doctrina. Nu a fost alt motiv. Nu au fost dati afara. Baptistii au ramas pana au fost alungati. Au trebuit sa fuga la Amsterdam si asa s-a format Biserica. Sa stiti, mentalitatile acestea se simt in istorie, daca te uiti. Ele sunt formate deja. Nu trebuie mult.

Sa zicem, uitati care e diferenta de gandire. Sa luam un om de afaceri Baptist. Esueaza, nu-i iese ceva. Ce face un om de afaceri Baptist cand nu reuseste? Intra in el insusi ai spune: „Eu sunt de vina. Eu am gresit ceva. Eu, eu, eu…” Ce face un om de afaceri penticostal, daca nu reuseste? „Diavolul e de vina.” Doua atitudini diferite. Mentalitati diferite. Unul introspectie, celalalt nu are asa mari probleme cu … Cauta. Ah, atacul celui rau. Astea se pastreaza in istorie, sa stiti. Acuma, sunt si amestecuri. La Crestini dupa Evanghelie nu ma pot pronunta.

Dar, vedeti? Suntem pusi in astfel de situatii. Ne tot intrebam, ca deja incep prezentarea mea despre liderul crestin in diaspora. De ce se impart asa de des bisericile in diaspora?  (1-16)

Va urma…

 

 

Reclame

Iain Murray – Understanding Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Credit amazon.com

Iain Murray speaks about Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Master’s Seminary-

Some Martyn-Lloyd-Jones quotes from Iain Murray (his biographer):

  • „To know God is life eternal. Our work is important, our work is a privilege, but brethren, you should never make it the greatest thing. I did not live for preaching.”
  • „Preaching is theology coming through a man that is on fire.”
  • Martyn Lloyd-Jones believed that the Bible contains a message about God, and that message should be foundational to all our preaching.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, born in 1899, the end of that century. When he was 14, his father’s business got into difficulties and his father went up to London to look for work. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and his family went with him and became a school boy in London. At the age of 16, he had done so well in school that he entered into St. Bartholomew’s medical college at one of the great teaching hospitals  of the world at that date, and it still is. He graduated in medicine at 21, caught the attention of Sir Thomas Horter, who was the physician to the King. Horter asked him to become his assistant, so the next 5 years, Lloyd-Jones was mixing with the men at the very top of the medical profession. He seemed on a ladder to guaranteed success. And then, to everyone’s astonishment, in 1926, he announced that he was leaving his post and he was going to a mission hall in South Wales to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He married that same month, in January 1927, when he began his ministry in South Wales. He was there for 10 years. Then, in 1938, Campbell Morgan invited him to Westminster Chapel in the heart of London. He was there for 30 years. He ended his ministry in February 1969. God had spared him some 12 years, important years because prior to that date, Lloyd-Jones had given very little attention to books. I think he never wrote a book in his life, but thankfully, sermons have been recorded, and in those next 12 years, many books were taken down, somewhat edited and brought out to the world. There were exceptions. His sermon on the mount was published earlier, in 1959-60, and to my mind, that’s a starting point. If you haven’t read Lloyd-Jones ‘Sermon on the Mount’, make that a starting point. So, that’s the outline of his life. He died March 1st, 1981.

I want to talk about understanding Lloyd-Jones. After being a preacher for more than 50 years, he could preach no more when his health was gone, close to the end. One day, a visitor came to see him, and to encourage him. They said to him, „It must be a disappointment that you are no longer able to preach. „Not at all,” he said. „I did not live for preaching.” Now, that statement is a key to understanding Lloyd-Jones, „I did not live for preaching.” What did he live for? Well, he believed that every Christian should live for something much greater than preaching or any work. He said, „A life spent in communion with God is the only life worth living.” To reconcile to God, to live in His presence,  is a far greater privilege than any work we do for Him. And he would often quote to younger men, the words of our Lord, when the disciples came back rejoicing that, indeed, the spirits are made subject to them, and our Lord told them, „In this rejoice not, but rather that your names are written in the heaven.” „To know God is life eternal. Our work is important, our work is a privilege, but brethren, you should never make it the greatest thing. I did not live for preaching.” (MLJ)

The thing with my address, really, this morning, is that to understand Lloyd-Jones, you have to start with God. And if you start with God, you have to start with theology. Theology means talking about God. There’s a quotation of Lloyd-Jones that’s often repeated. He says, „Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.: But, when that is expounded, that  statement, the emphasis is usually on the man and the fire. But that’s not where Lloyd-Jones had the emphasis. It’s theology, coming through a man that is on fire.

There are books about Lloyd-Jones and there’s a fair sized one published recently, called ‘Engaging with Martyn Lloyd-Jones’. And my great objection to it is that theology is almost without existence in the book. That’s an exaggeration, but, there’s no concentration on it. At one point, one of the writers gives a warning that Lloyd-Jones read history from a firm calvinistic basis. That’s meant to be  a warning. He doesn’t tell you whether he thinks calvinism is true or false. The question is: What was his theology? Why was it so important to him? And it was vital to him, because he believed as we ought to believe that the message is far more important than the messenger. Details about Lloyd-Jones’s life and how he prepared sermons is all very interesting. But, actually, what he believed and what his theology was, is far more important. It’s really the key to understanding the man.

When he was a medical student, he learned that elementary principle that when a doctor, first sighting a patient, has to look at not the particular details that the patient may mention, but look at the whole person, look at the whole picture. Start with that and the same with his life and the life of other Christians; look at the big picture. And with Lloyd-Jones, the big picture is what he believed about God.

He believed that the Bible contains a message about God, and that message should be foundational to all our preaching. And the message is that God, for His own glory, and for the salvation of sinners has purposed a salvation for a great multitude. He has planned it, He has determined it a success. It’s about the giving of eternal life. The God who cannot lie promised before the world began. That’s the starting point. Let me give you this quotation from Lloyd-Jones: „The sovereignty of God and God’s glory is where we must start and everything else issues from here. If it were not for Gods grace, there would be no hope for the world. Man is a fallen creature with his mind in a state of enmity toward God. He is totally unable to save himself and to reunite himself with God. Everyone would be lost if God had not elected some for salvation, and that unconditionally. It is only through Christ’s death that it is possible for these people to saved. And they would not see or accept that salvation, if God through His irresistible grace, the Holy Spirit had not opened their eyes and persuaded them, not force them, to accept the offer. Even after that, it is God who sustains them, and keeps them from falling. The church is a connection of God’s elect.

So, my argument is, if people bypass Lloyd-Jones’s theology and just begin to talk about his life, and this and that, they’re missing the big thing. This is the key. Now, it’s quite possible someone could object to this statement and say, „Well, I’ve read Lloyd-Jones and I don’t find him talking about calvinism; I don’t understand how you can say it’s a key to his thinking and his theology. And the mistake there is that Lloyd-Jones didn’t believe in using labels. And he wasn’t really happy with people that were always parading what their label was. It is true, he didn’t often use the word calvinistic. But, what those truths represent were at the very core of his life and his heart. Not long before his death, he said, „Finally, nothing matters, but the fact that we are in God’s hands. We and our works are nothing. It is His choosing us, before the foundation of the world that matters. And He will never leave us, nor forsake us.” This was the greatest thing for him.

How did he come to that theology? He didn’t come to it from his denomination, surprisingly perhaps, because he came from a Welsh Presbyterian Church, which is also called the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church. It was once soundly calvinistic. But, by the time of his youth, like other denominations in Britain, had drifted a long way from it. When Lloyd-Jones was 14 years old, a friend asked him to write in his autograph book, and he wrote these words, a verse: „For we are all like swimmers in the sea, poised on the top of a huge wave of fate, which hangs uncertain as to which side fall, and whether it will heave us up to land, or whether it will roll us out to sea, we know not.” That’s what he wrote. The words of the poet Browning. He was 23 before that belief was turned upside down. In the midst of his medical work, rubbing shoulders with these great and mighty men. St. Bartholomew’s hospital was a sort of center of rationalism, evolution. Science was king, almost worshipped, and this was the atmosphere in which he was living. But, by the time he became about 23, he confronted a problem that science couldn’t begin to answer. And that is the problem of „What do you do with guilt and selfishness, and greed, pride, envy, lust?” He could see these things in colleagues, and then, more and more, in himself. And, God convicted him of sin. At the age of 24 he became a real Christian. He loved medicine. But the thought that prevailed with him, finally, was: What’s the use of healing people’s bodies, if their whole eternity is going to be one of misery and wretchedness. He knew so little of Gospel preaching that was going on, and it was born in his heart that God was calling him to the Gospel ministry. It was a big struggle. He lost a lot of weight, before he made up his mind that God was calling him to preach. He then began to preach in South Wales, in  1927. (Transcript from the first 12:50 minutes, with 32 minutes remaining of the video)

Master’s Seminary. VIDEO by Joshua Crooch

Citate Martyn Lloyd Jones – Cel mai mare păcat al creştinului modern este păcatul de a reduce creştinismul la nivelul propriilor experienţe

LLoyd-Jones

Nu ezit să spun că cel mai mare păcat al creştinului modern este păcatul de a reduce creştinismul la nivelul propriilor experienţe şi al propriei înţelegeri.

Noi Îl limităm pe „Sfântul lui Israel”.

Lucrul acesta este unul foarte serios.Aceasta nu numai că ne lipseşte de binecuvântările vieţii creştine, dar şi face biserica slabă şi ineficace, de aceea, într-un sens, e responsabilă pentru condiţia lumii dinafară.

~~~~~~~

lloyd-jones În biserica de azi tendinţa este să privim tot timpul la lume şi să vedem tragedia lumii. Lucrul acesta este, desigur, potrivit; biserica trebuie să fie evanghelistică. Dar se pune întrebarea: în ce mod trebuie să fie biserica evanghelistică?

Şi eu doresc să afirm că Noul Testament însuşi ne spune, şi ne-o spune şi Istoria Bisericii, că Biserica are cel mai mare succes atunci când ea însăşi este ceea ce ar trebui să fie. De ce masele de oameni se află în afara bisericii? Nu ezit să afirm că motivul este că ei nu reuşesc să vadă în noi nimic care să-i atragă, nimic care să creeze în ei dorinţa de a primi ceea ce avem noi, sau nimic care să-i mustre şi să-i condamne pentru modul în care trăiesc.

~~~~~~~

Nu îngădui diavolului să te convingă că posezi tot ce poţi primi, cu atât mai puţin că ai primit atunci când ai fost convertit tot ceea ce se poate primi. Aceasta a fost o învăţătură populară chiar şi printre evanghelici. Primeşti totul la convertire, se spune, şi nimic mai mult, niciodată.

O, să nu credeţi aceasta; nu e adevărat. Nu e adevărat în lumina învăţăturii Scripturii, nu e adevărat în lumina experienţei sfinţilor din toate veacurile. Există întotdeauna această posibilitate slăvită de a te întâlni cu El într-un mod nou şi dinamic.

Martyn Lloyd Jones via Tim Dubhy – aceste citate sunt din cartea care trebuie sa apara la Perla Suferintei, “Apa Vie” (predici pe Ioan 4)

Avem o pagina de linkuri la articole Martyn Lloyd Jones in Limba Engleza aici – Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones PAGE 

Martyn Lloyd Jones documentary on George Whitefield- England’s open air preacher, friend of Wesley

Fourteen minute documentary, narrated by Martyn Lloyd Jones:

George Whitefield –  (1714-1770), Methodist  Evangelist, among first to ignite Great Awakening in England’s 18th century

George Whitefield was born on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England. The youngest of seven children, he was born in the Bell Inn where his father, Thomas, was a wine merchant and innkeeper. His father died when George was two and his widowed mother Elizabeth struggled to provide for her family. Because he thought he would never make much use of his education, at about age 15 George persuaded his mother to let him leave school and work in the inn. However, sitting up late at night, George became a diligent student of the Bible. A visit to his Mother by an Oxford student who worked his way through college encouraged George to pursue a university education. He returned to grammar school to finish his preparation to enter Oxford, losing only about one year of school.

In 1732 at age 17, George entered Pembroke College at Oxford. He was

Whitefield preached in open air

gradually drawn into a group called the „Holy Club” where he met John and Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley loaned him the book, The Life of God in the Soul of Man. The reading of this book, after a long and painful struggle which even affected him physically, finally resulted in George’s conversion in 1735. He said many years later: „I know the place…. Whenever I go to Oxford, I cannot help running to the spot where Jesus Christ first revealed himself to me and gave me the new birth.”

Forced to leave school because of poor health, George returned home for nine months of recuperation. Far from idle, his activity attracted the attention of the bishop of Gloucester, who ordained Whitefield as a deacon, and later as a priest, in the Church of England. Whitefield finished his degree at Oxford and on June 20, 1736, Bishop Benson ordained him. The Bishop, placing his hands upon George’s head, resulted in George’s later declaration that „My heart was melted down and I offered my whole spirit, soul, and body to the service of God’s sanctuary.”

Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the beginning. Though he was slender in build, he stormed in the pulpit as if he were a giant. Within a year it was said that „his voice startled England like a trumpet blast.” At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he could hold spellbound 20,000 people at a time at Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded throughout England and America. In his preaching ministry he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became known as the ‘apostle of the British empire.’

Click to read

He was a firm Calvinist in his theology (but retained a deep friendship with John Wesley, none the less)yet unrivaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated with and had a profound impact on people and churches of many traditions, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Whitefield, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as the Methodists. Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, an average of 500 a year or ten a week. Many of them were given over and over again. Fewer than 90 have survived in any form. (VIA). Click here – If you would like to read more on Whitefield.

George Whitefield’s impact in the U.S.A.

English evangelist, prominent figure in America’s Great Awakening, was born in Gloucester, England to an innkeeper’s family.  The family’s limited means led a family friend to step forward to provide Whitefield enough money to begin his education at Oxford University’s Pembroke College.  There Whitefield came into contact with a small band of pious students lampooned by their fellows as the “Holy Club.”  He was greatly influenced by the group’s leader, John Wesley, and eventually underwent a profound religious awakening that convinced him of his need to reach others with the necessity of the New Birth.  Although he would stay on friendly and supportive terms with Wesley, Whitefield remained a Calvinist on such issues as free will and predestination.

In 1737 he was ordained a preaching deacon in the Church of England and immediately took to the road as an itinerant evangelist.  What was particularly new about his methods was that he opted for preaching outside of ecclesiastical settings in the open air in town and countryside.  Another innovation was his effective use of newspapers, leaflets, and pamphlets to stimulate interest in his arrival.  And, unlike the clergy in the Anglican Church, Whitefield preached without the benefit of notes, believing that extemporaneous discourse made one more open to the Spirit’s promptings and was closer in preaching style to that used by the biblical prophets and apostles.  Observers marveled at his dramatic style and rhetorical flourish: the famous English actor David Garrick is reported to have exclaimed that he “would give a hundred guineas” if he could only “say ‘oh!’ like Mr. Whitefield.”

Whitefield took his first trip to America in 1738 and there founded his famed orphanage, “Bethesda,” just outside Savannah, Georgia–subsequent preaching tours would all raise funds for this enterprise over the years.  Whitefield’s second American preaching tour of 1739-1741 was a smash success, gaining strength as he travelled from the South northwards through Philadelphia.  As he toured the towns and cities of New England in 1740 he reaped the benefits of generations of Puritan preaching and Jonathan Edwards‘ recent revivals.  Crowds estimated at ten, twenty, and more thousand flocked from all over New England to hear him preach.

Over the next thirty years Whitefield made five more trips to America, as well as numerous excursions through the English countryside and into Wales and Scotland.  By the time of his death in 1770 Whitefield could be credited with establishing evangelical Protestantism on both sides of the Atlantic through the thousands of souls who experienced the “New Birth” under his preaching, and the legion of preachers he inspired to follow in his footsteps. (VIA)

see also

Martyn Lloyd Jones Christmas Sermon

lloyd-jones

If you were not aware, there is a wonderful website – www.oneplace.com,  where you can listen to many of Martyn Lloyd Jones sermons. Here are the last four audio sermons from the archive. And, you can also subscribe to receive the weekly link to the newest sermon available on the website.

  1. The Supernatural Power of GodChristmas SermonSunday, Dec 22, 2013
  2. The Body of Christ EphesiansSunday, Dec 15, 2013
  3. Keeping the Unity of the Spirit EphesiansSunday, Dec 8, 2013
  4. Worthy of Our Calling EphesiansSunday, Dec 1, 2013

 

Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones Newly released VIDEO interview (+transcript) from December 1970

mlj

The MLJ trust has just received permission to post this 43 year old video, of a news broadcaster named Joan Bakewell interviewing Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. I have transcribed the entire interview below, please excuse any small mistakes as the British accent is not easily discernible to me and the audio is 1970’s, not as crystal clear as you might find in our current public videos. Nonetheless, this video is a precious and rare file, which we are very thankful for, and which we highly treasure from such a faithful and forthright man of God, as Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones. Here is the transcript:

Bakewell: Dr. Jones, you are an evangelical preacher and it is your wish to bring people back to the biblical truth about man. Now, in so doing, you persuade man that the modern popular idea of what man is is on the wrong track. Could you specify where you think he’s making mistakes?

lloyd-jones Dr. Jones: Well, he makes mistake that thee essential biblical view of man is that he is a creature who has gone astray. In other words, I criticize the modern view of man on two grounds:

  1. One is that it makes too much of man.
  2. Secondly, that it doesn’t make enough of man.

He doesn’t make enough of man, in that he tends to regard him as just an animal, but that the cerebellum is more developed than most animals, but still, essentially, an animal. And I think that’s degrading man and debasing him. But then, you see on the other side, they make too much of him, in the sense that they believe that he’s got it within himself to order himself and this society, and more or less, to create a perfect world. So, I criticize on both those grounds, whereas, the biblical view to me is a consistent view  of man in this way: that it says that man is a creature created in the image and likeness of God; that he is not a mere animal. That he is the lord of creation; that the image of God, which means his reason and his power to criticize and evaluate, and to control himself. This image of God is in him, and that is man, essentially.

Well then, why is man as he is? Well, that is because he’s rebelled against this, rebelled against God and regards himself as God- and he is incapable of functioning as such. The result is you’ve got chaos. But, this is a unified view.

Bakewell: Can we talk of the elements that you find wrong in the modern image of man. Now, you say that he’s treated as less than man, but, in respect to his animal instincts, and the research that has been done into man, as the naked ape, the victim of environment and heredity. Now, you cannot presumably quarrel with the actual facts that have been scientifically ascertained about this.

Dr. Jones: I would do a little query about the ‘scientifically ascertained’ .. See, so much today is as certain as fact in the realm of science, which is nothing but theory and hypothesis. This is one of the great troubles, it seems to me today. And, I’m not only skeptical about it, I tend to ridicule it for this reason, that I know in my medical training we were told, you see, that 100 years ago we regarded the thyroid gland as a vestigial remains, no function. But, we know now that you can’t live without it; and they’re still saying that about the appendix. They said this about so much; this is the arrogance of modern man. Because his knowledge is limited, he makes these wild assertions that can’t be proved. All I’m prepared to agree with is this: That man today is behaving like an animal. But the question is, why?

Bakewell: You say in one of your books that the very essence of the problem is in the nature of sin. And you also say that in fact sin has always been part of man’s nature, but sin used to be ashamed of itself, whereas today, sin excuses itself.

Dr. Jones: Well, yes. I don’t think I’ve ever said sin is an essential part of man. Man, I would say as the Bible teaches, was originally perfect. But, since man’s original fall, sin has been a part of human nature. And that has been true, of course, throughout the centuries. I would say that the story of humanity is just a proof of this fact, that man is sinful now by nature, and this is bound to show itself.

Bakewell: What you quarrel with is that the initial assumption about man today is that he’s basically good, but he goes astray and blame must be put elsewhere. Now, indeed, there is some legitimacy in that point of view, in that poverty, and pressure, exploitation does set many problems for man in which he doesn’t always behave well. Will you not subscribe to it at all?

LLoyd-JonesDr. Jones: Yes. This is where we’ve got to start, with man as he is today. And my quarrel is, with the general outlook of today  is this: that they begin to talk about treatment before they establish a true diagnosis. Now, I can’t help putting it like this, you see; it’s a very poor doctor who medicates symptoms and isn’t aware of the disease that is producing the symptoms. Well, to me, the disease is this fallen sinful nature of man. And because that is true, none of your medication of the symptoms is going to deal with the problem. And I maintain that this is what history is teaching us, that with all our advantages today, the problem is as great as ever.

Bakewell: What then is the nature of man’s sin that you wish us to recognize?

Dr. Jones: It is this. It isn’t so much that he does things that are wrong, and thereby makes himself miserable. No, I think this is an important point, if I may say so, I’m glad you asked that question. There are some people who represent sin as a sickness.  and say that ‘man is sick’. There are a lot of Christians who would say this. Well, I agree that man is sick. But to me, that’s not the essence of the problem. The essence of the problem is that man is a rebel, and he is sick because he is a rebel. In other words, the business of Christianity, ultimately, is not simply to make us feel happier, or even to make us live a better life. It is to reconcile us to God. Man, you see, from this biblical standpoint, was never meant to be autonomous or self contained. This is my quarrel with the modern view. They regard man as autonomous- he is the master of his fate, the captain of his soul. It is so obviously ridiculous, because he isn’t. But, this is where they start.

Whereas, I start by saying, that man was not only meant not to be autonomous, and can’t be and can’t act as such, but, he only functions truly when he lives his life under God; the God who made him, and made him in a given way and has put laws in his nature. Well, man doesn’t respond to this essential law of his being and is quarreling with his maker; he’s bound to go wrong. He’s bound to be miserable in what he does. He’ll produce chaos. And he has done so throughout the centuries. This is the whole story of the human race. But, it isn’t merely that he’s sick; it’s that his attitude towards his maker is wrong. Now, the apostle Peter, for instance, puts it in a phrase like this, that Christ came into the world to bring us to God. That’s why Christianity must never be thought of of as a sort of cult which heals your body, enables you to sleep at night and stop worrying… now, that’s a cult.

The real object is to bring man to his true position, which is that he’s in communion with his maker and he’s living to the glory of his maker. Now, there’s a very well known definition of this, a Scottish confession of faith, a Presbyterian confession of faith, known as the Westminster Confession of Faith. They produced a shorter catechism, and the first question in that is about man: ‘What is the chief end of man?’ And this is the answer: ‘The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.’ But, do you see the order? You glorify God. Well, let me put it in another way to you. A clever fellow, a lawyer, I don’t know why they tackled Jesus Christ, and said, ‘Which is the first and the greatest commandment of the law?’ You see, they were dealing with about 613 commandments, and they were arguing about which one is the greatest. Well, that fellow had a great shock when Christ answered him. He said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind and all thy strength. That is the first and the chiefest commandment. The second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Now today, people start with the second and forget the first.

Bakewell: You know, this point of view is obviously held with great conviction by you. But, I would have thought it brought you into great conflict not only with people who don’t subscribe to the Christian religion, but to many other Christians too.

Dr. Jones: Well, of course it does. I’m sorry about this; this is something I deeply regret. But, you know, this isn’t the first time that my – have been right. And, in any case, we don’t decide this kind of question by counting heads. I know nothing about these things properly, except for what I find in the Bible. But, I maintain that the story of the human race, and the story of civilization is a proof of the truth of the Bible.

Bakewell: But, what I would suggest is that whereas they would tolerate  your point of view as rather different and divergent view of Christianity, you are unprepared to tolerate their view as a possible version of the truth

Dr. Jones: I am, of course I am. And I say this quite deliberately, for this reason: that Christianity is a very exclusive and dogmatic faith. Take the apostle Paul, for instance, writing- ‘Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach to you any other Gospel except that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.’ He puts it like that. Now, you may say, ‘That’s the arrogance of Paul.’ I say, ‘No, this man has been given his message, he has received it by revelation. It isn’t his point of view.’ If a man asserts his own point of view, as a result of his own thinking, in this intolerant manner, well, he’s a –, he’s not to be tolerated; he’s a hopeless fellow. But, when you are given truth, what you claim is truth from God, well, then you have no right to be anything but intolerant. When I find people insinuating their own theories and ideas, and using the name of Christ, well, I have to protest. This is dishonest, apart from anything else, in my opinion.(11)

Bakewell: But, none the less, sir, it’s a highly regarded Christian virtue these days to be both charitable and tolerant with people of different views of oneself. Do you disapprove of that?

Dr. Jones: Again, for the same reason, I am bound to. Christ Himself said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.’ He says all others have been thieves and robbers. So when I find the thieves and robbers being accepted into the church, and their views being tolerated and praised, surely I am bound to protest. The point is this, that Christ- we claim, I claim-  is unique; you mustn’t put anybody near Him. You mustn’t mention Him in the same category as Confucius, or the Buddha, or Mohammad, or anybody else. Why not? Well, because He is the only begotten Son of God. This is not my theory; this is Christianity. This is what the apostles preached.  They preached Jesus and the resurrection. Now, take a man like the apostle Paul; he, as a Pharisee, resented all this. The Pharisees regarded Christ as a blasphemer. ‘Who is this fellow? How can this man teach, never having learned Himself? Who is this man who claims to be equal with God?’ And Saul of Tarsus persecuted the church and he hated Christ. He says so. But then, he came to see that this was the Lord of glory. And he preached nothing else.

Bakewell: I must take you up on the social relevance of all the things you’ve been saying, because, if the church here on earth has a role to play in the lives of all people, whether Christian or not, and I wonder where the dogma, the dogmatic nature of the church, as you speak of it, doesn’t inhibit you from having  a role in the lives of ordinary people. A lot of people would find it, in a sense, easier to reject you, than someone who you would regard as liberal social minded regimen?

Dr. Jones: Precisely. And that’s why the world is as it is. That’s exactly the explanation. You’ve put it very perfectly. Now, I cannot accept the statement that the church is a social institution in your sense. A church, to me, consists of people  who are truly Christian. Now then, you say: What is the relevance of this to the social conditions and the problems? Well, I would say that it is the business of individual Christians to play their part in society. And, of course, historically, this is what is the most interesting.

The church has had its greatest influence upon society and social conditions when she’s been most evangelical. Now, this isn’t, again, my theory. I can establish this. I was in Scotland last week, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of John Knox. You read the accounts of the conditions in Scotland before Knox, and he’s always charged with intolerance and  all the things you were saying, but that man changed the life of the whole of Scotland. He introduced an educational system, He changed it politically, and in every respect. The Puritans did it in this country. Cromwell, don’t forget was an evangelical Christian. And then, you come on to the 18th century, you have the evangelical awakening, and the Whitley’s and the Wesley’s, that did more to improve social conditions in this country than all the dabbling of ecclesiastics in politics.

Bakewell: You know, and yet, it’s often alleged against evangelicals: They promise salvation at the end of life and don’t, in fact, apply themselves to relieving man’s lot here on earth. Now, how concerned are you with man’s lot here on earth?

Dr. Jones: Well, I’m very concerned and I’ve always criticized that particular presentation of evangelicalism. To me it wasn’t biblical. You see, the biblical view of man is that he’s to function in society. For instance, Paul’s teaching is that the powers that be are ordained of God. That magistrates, and all, are ordained by God. There are two elements in my position:

  1. Man fundamentally needs this Gospel, which can renew him and renovate him, and make a new man of him. But in the mean time, He’s a believer in law and order, because sin must be held within bounds. If you don’t have magistrates and punishment and so on, you’ll get chaos. And, I think we’re witnessing a great deal of it at the present time.
  2. But this is a part of the whole Christian position. And Christian people, in the past, have played their part in politics and in various other aspects of Christian life. Unfortunately, in the last 100 years or so, I agree, they have been somewhat guilty of the charge that you bring against them. By now, I think, that’s more or less gone. I find today that most evangelical Christians are very much concerned about the social implications and are laying a great stress upon it.

Bakewell: Can we go back to this matter on ‘man having lost his sense of sin’, and therefore not being in a situation of being able to be saved? I would say, a great many people now feel that matters of sin are less than their immediate concern. And that being so, do you see much possibility of your point of view prevailing?

Dr. Jones: I not only see the possibility, I already see it happening. I find people are turning back to this. I’m traveling about the country a great deal now. I was telling you, I was in Scotland last week, I was in Glasgow wednesday night; I preached to 2,100 people. Well, it seems to me that something’s happening. I find, politicians, have it very difficult to get 50 people to listen to them. In other words, I believe, people are beginning to realize the utter bankruptcy of most of what’s been offered them, and are turning, perhaps vaguely, and even wistfully back in the direction of this great authoritative message of the New Testament, which I maintain is only represented by the evangelical – and we’ve got to bring them to an awareness of this. Of course they’re ignorant, but that’s the business of preaching.

Bakewell: But, isn’t this need for an authoritative line, whatever it might be, in conflict with the other trend in man’s development, which is for self expression, fulfillment, self realization, which you actually disapprove of?

Dr. Jones: Well, yes, of course I do, because man as he is, the more he expresses himself, the worst things become. You see, if each man is autonomous,  and is to express himself or herself, you’re bound to get conflict, aren’t you? If each one of us is a god, and I determine I do what I think is right, well, you would think differently. Well, there’s a clashing immediately and you get chaos. You see, we must both of us, unto all others submit ourselves to God. We’ve got an authority outside of ourselves. And we have a motive and a reason and a purpose. You see, when people deny this, you must get chaos. And you’ve got it. This is the tragedy. And so, my business is to call people back to this. You’ve got, first of all, to show them why things are as they are. They’ve got to be clear about this. There’s no hope until they are. Now, I know that there are people going around today saying, ‘Jesus loves you…’ and so on. Well, if I was to be on the street, I would say, ‘Well, what about it? Who is your Jesus? I don’t want Him. I’ve got a car, I’ve got a refrigerator, I’ve got a television set; what are you bothering about? I’m not interested.’ That is my reply to them. You see, the Old Testament is the law, and as Paul puts it: the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ, to show us our need. Now, when people confront the 10 commandments, there they see their failure. And it’s only when they realize this, truly, they see their failure. And it’s only people who see their failure, who are ready to listen to the offer of salvation.

Bakewell: Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, thank you very much.

VIDEO by MLJTrust

Holy Ghost Fire

by Rev. Allen Baker – Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut. From Banner of Truth Trust, UK (11/2010)

And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:3)

If Brett McCracken’s observation is correct — that seventy per cent of those age eighteen to twenty-two, who grew up in the church, leave it never to return again,1 then surely we can agree that the evangelical church is in big trouble. Ever since the late 1970’s when evangelicalism began to suffer the loss of members, she has tried numerous schemes to stop the bleeding. First it was the church growth movement with its emphasis on homogeneity, that we ought to worship with people ‘just like us.’ Then came the seeker friendly movement with its use of drama and ‘how to’, psycho-therapeutic sermons, seeking to reach the Baby Boomer generation who was bored with church. Then came, for a brief period of time, the Emerging Church movement which sought to connect the Generation X culture with the ancient past. And now we have hipster Christianity where pastors don metro-sexual dress, sport $80 haircuts, and use shocking speech and address even more shocking topics from the pulpit in order to reach the Millennial generation.

In each of these movements there can be no doubt that some were truly converted, and surely mega-churches, for good or for ill, have come out of all these approaches. The question, however, is this — are these offerings of strange fire to the Lord? God was terribly displeased with Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, when they brought their strange fire on the altar (Num. 3:4). He killed them on the spot. There are at least three underlying false assumptions in each of these movements. Consequently the embrace of any or all of them will fail to bring the substantial, biblical growth evangelicalism wants and needs. What are they and what is the remedy? First, each of these movements assumes a semi-Pelagian view of man. Pelagius, the fourth century A.D. heretic, denied the doctrine of original sin, believing that mankind therefore was not corrupted by Adam’s fall into sin. In other words, man was completely free to choose or reject the overtures of the gospel. The semi-Pelagian (modern day Arminianism) does not go that far. It says that while man was definitely and adversely affected by Adam’s fall, he still has some ability to decide on his own free will to follow Christ. The moment one takes this position is the moment he becomes a pragmatist in gospel work. If man has the key to the jailhouse of his sin in his pocket, then we ought to use any method necessary to coerce or seduce him to use it. So, anything goes in church services with entertainment, music, sermons. If a sixty year old pastor wants to reach the Millennial and X generations then why not bring his wife on the platform, having a bed there as a prop, and talk openly and specifically about sexual intercourse, urging the married couples to engage in that activity every night for a week?2

The second false assumption is that the Word of God preached is insufficient to get the job done. No evangelical pastor will admit this of course, but this is the practical outcome. Therefore sermons are becoming shorter and shorter, more and more devoid of solid Biblical exposition and content. The emphasis in many churches seems to be on the unbeliever, ‘dumbing down’ the sermon in order to appeal to him, leaving the rest of the congregation spiritually malnourished. No wonder, then, that the problems of marital infidelity, divorce, wayward children, and varied addictions are as rampant inside the church as outside it.

And the third false assumption is that the Word of God is sufficient. ‘Al, what are you saying? Are you contradicting yourself? Didn’t you just say that many today believe the preached word is insufficient? Which is it?’ Here’s what I mean — some who hold to the sufficiency of the preached Word of God believe that is all that is required, that all a preacher needs to do is stand up, open his mouth, after studying well and preparing a good, solid Biblical sermon, and all will be well, that God will bless the simple preaching of the Word. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But this also is a faulty assumption. I hear it all the time from Reformed types. This, however, was not enough for Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, or Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Did they believe in the total inability of man to believe the gospel? Absolutely! Did they believe in the complete sufficiency of Scripture? Yes, of course. But they also believed in the preached Word energized by the Holy Spirit. Their preaching and their lives were marked by Holy Ghost fire. What is that? John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord Jesus, said that One was coming who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11). Isaiah said that an angel came and touched his depraved mouth with coals of fire from the altar (Isa. 6:6-7). The men on the road to Emmaus, after hearing Jesus open the Scriptures to them about himself said that their hearts burned within them (Luke 24:32). Malachi said that the coming of the Lord would be like a refiner’s fire (Mal. 3:2-3). Applying the words of the Psalmist, the writer to the Hebrews says that God makes his messengers a flame of fire (Heb. 1:7, Psa. 104:4) Paul tells us that we will be saved by fire (1 Cor. 3:15). Hebrews exhorts us to worship the Lord with reverence, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). And Luke says that one of the manifestations of the coming Holy Spirit was tongues that resembled fire (Acts 2:3). This was the fulfilment of John’s words (Luke 3:16).

What does this mean? Fire in the Bible is symbolic of three things — purity, power, and passion. Isaiah is purified by altar coals. Jesus’ baptism of the Spirit and fire promises the coming power of God. And God’s messengers are a flaming fire, filled with passion to take the gospel to the nations. By all means, we ought to reject semi-Pelagianism and what comes from it; but we must also reject the notion that all we need is the sufficiency of the Scripture. We need both the Scripture and the Spirit. We need to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17) but we must also pray with all perseverance and petition in the Spirit for all the saints, that the Word may go forth with boldness (Eph. 6:18-20). How do we get there? We must have Holy Ghost fire. We must have the unction of the Spirit (1 John 2:20). There is only one way, and that is earnest prayer and supplication, pouring out our hearts to God in repentance, asking for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), seeking his presence and power until we get it (James 4:8). If you are a preacher then make this your highest priority in ministry. If you support your preacher in prayer, and surely you should do so, then pray that the unction, Holy Ghost fire, will come with fulness in purity of motives, power in preaching, and passion in pursuit of ministry. I know — it looks strange, decidedly uncool in our day when hip and laid back is in — but we ought to go to church and watch our pastor burn with Holy Ghost fire as he stands to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. This is not a casual thing. This is not a ‘maybe you ought to think about it’ proposition. This is life and death (2 Cor. 3-4). Our words are a savour of life unto life or death unto death (2 Cor. 2:15-16).

Samuel Chadwick said that when the church talks a lot about its problems, when conferences increase then she is in trouble. She is looking to activities to overcome the lack of true spiritual power. ‘We are acting as though the only remedy for decline were method, organization, and compromise.’3 Surely we can do better. Surely we must do better. We must have Holy Ghost fire!

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – 2 free online books (pdf form)

The new Martyn Lloyd-Jones website has moved to this new link – http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/

However, the pdf’s provided before are no longer available, and I am in the process of searching the internet for them once again.

Robin Lane, over at the Martyn Lloyd-Jones website in the United Kingdom was kind enough to alert me to the fact that the following books are now available in pdf format here – www.mljtrust.org

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (20 December 1899 – 1 March 1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctorwho was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to Liberal Christianity, which had become a part of many Christian denominations; he regarded it as aberrant. He disagreed with the broad church approach and encouraged evangelical Christians (particularly Anglicans) to leave their existing denominations. He believed that true Christian fellowship was possible only amongst those who shared common convictions regarding the nature of the faith. (source)

The Doctor Himself- This book was originally published by the Christian Medical Fellowship. It contains a selection of papers and addresses given over many years to medical practitioners and students.

~Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones PAGE 1

~Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones PAGE 2

The biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Don’t build your life without God

For the Martyn Lloyd Jones PAGE click here

via desiringGod.org – read complete article here – http://www.desiringgod.org/

Martin Lloyd Jones:

We are all expert planners, are we not? Those people [the builders of Babel’s Tower] were planners. They drew the specifications of the city. They had it all worked out. We all do that in life, do we not? You have your plans. Your future life and career are mapped out. You know what you want to do. Where does God come in? Is the plan made under God, or is it made apart from him? The one lesson of [Genesis 11] is that if you plan your life without God at the center, it will come to nothing, nothing at all. It will be as futile and as fatuous as the Tower of Babel. God will come down and will destroy it, whether you like that or not. This is the whole history of the Bible. It is the history of the subsequent centuries after the end of the Bible. It is the history of the twentieth century. The human race is not allowed to build a civilization without God, and you are not allowed to build your life without God.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009), 141.

Uploaded by  on Feb 28, 2011

A free ebook from the Martyn LLoyd-Jones Recording Trust:

Now John Peters who (like the Doctor) is a Welsh- speaking Welshman, has written the first complete account of The Doctor’s life and achievement. It includes personal reminiscences by men and women whose lives were changed by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.


John Peters is a native of Aberdare, South Wales. He teaches English language and literature at Charterhouse School and lives in Godalming with his wife and three children.

This excellent little book is now out of print, but the text is exclusively presented here for you to freely download by kind permission of the author, John Peters. Copyright © 1986 John Peters

Links to access download of 75 page book:

PDF Format here

Rich Text Format (which will load into most wordprocessors)

Microsoft Word Format.

Related posts

The biography of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

John Piper – Preaching that is shaped by the weight of the glory of God

John Piper at Peacemakers Conference in 2006

Piper on preaching – from the 2006 Together for the Gospel Conference which was held in Louisville, Kentucky. Source for the transcript and to read the entire transcript go here- http://ru.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages/why-expositional-preaching-is-particularly-glorifying-to-god/ Please read the footnotes as well, you will also find valuable insight there.

In order to understand the weight of this message we’ll get a glimpse by beginning with the last  paragraph, of Piper’s ending with an exhortation to all preachers (all emphasis mine):

O brothers, do not lie about the value of the gospel by the dullness of your demeanor. Exposition of the most glorious reality is a glorious reality. If it is not expository exultation—authentic from the heart—something false is being said about the value of the gospel. Don’t say by your face or by your voice or by your life that the gospel is not the gospel of the all-satisfying glory of Christ. It is. And may God raise up from among you a generation of preachers whose exposition is worthy of the truth of God and whose exultation is worthy of the glory of God.

Piper begins his message by quoting Arnold Dallimore’s, George Whitefield, Vol. 1 (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1970), p. 16. about the preaching of  George Whitefield:

Yea…that we shall see the great Head of the Church once more . . . raise up unto Himself certain young men whom He may use in this glorious employ. And what manner of men will they be? Men mighty in the Scriptures, their lives dominated by a sense of the greatness, the majesty and holiness of God, and their minds and hearts aglow with the great truths of the doctrines of grace. They will be men who have learned what it is to die to self, to human aims and personal ambitions; men who are willing to be ‘fools for Christ’s sake’, who will bear reproach and falsehood, who will labor and suffer, and whose supreme desire will be, not to gain earth’s accolades, but to win the Master’s approbation when they appear before His awesome judgment seat. They will be men who will preach with broken hearts and tear-filled eyes, and upon whose ministries God will grant an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Spirit, and who will witness ‘signs and wonders following’ in the transformation of multitudes of human lives.

Piper then quotes J I Packer about the preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Note the quip about „never heard such preaching”:

In the last century no one embodied that view better than Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who served the Westminster Chapel in London for 30 years. When J. I. Packer was a twenty-two-year-old student, he heard Lloyd-Jones preach every Sunday evening in London during the school year of 1948-1949. He said that he had “never heard such preaching.” (That’s why so many people say so many minimizing and foolish things about preaching—they have never heard true preaching. They have no basis for judgment about the usefulness of true preaching.) Packer said it came to him “with the force of electric shock, bringing . . . more of a sense of God than any other man” he had known. That’s what Whitefield meant. Oh, that God would raise up young preachers who leave their hearers with a spiritual sense of shock at the sense of God—some sense of the infinite weight of the reality of God.

then Piper talks about longing for preachers like that in our day, citing that there is no ‘surplus in the church of the weight of God’s glory:

That is my longing for our day—and for you. That God would raise up thousands of broken-hearted, Bible-saturated preachers who are dominated by a sense of the greatness and the majesty and the holiness of God, revealed in the gospel of Christ crucified and risen and reigning with absolute authority over every nation and every army and every false religion and every terrorist and every tsunami and every cancer cell, and every galaxy in the universe.

God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake of fire in order to communicate the insignificance of belittling his glory. The death of the Son of God and the damnation of unrepentant human beings are the loudest shouts under heaven that God is infinitely holy, and sin is infinitely offensive, and wrath is infinitely just, and grace is infinitely precious, and our brief life—and the life of every person in your church and in your community—leads to everlasting joy or everlasting suffering. If our preaching does not carry the weight of these things to our people, what will? Veggie Tales? Radio? Television? Discussion groups? Emergent conversations?

God planned for his Son to be crucified (Revelation 13:8; 2 Timothy 1:9) and for hell to be terrible (Matthew 25:41) so that we would have the clearest witnesses possible to what is at stake when we preach. What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with the fire of hell. That’s the mantle that turns mere talkers into preachers. Yet tragically some of the most prominent evangelical voices today diminish the horror of the cross and the horror of hell—the one stripped of its power to bear our punishment, and the other demythologized into self-dehumanization and the social miseries of this world.

Oh that the rising generations would see that the world is not overrun with a sense of seriousness about God. There is no surplus in the church of a sense of God’s glory. There is no excess of earnestness in the church about heaven and hell and sin and salvation. And therefore the joy of many Christians is paper thin. By the millions people are amusing themselves to death with DVDs, and 107-inch TV screens, and games on their cell phones, and slapstick worship, while the spokesmen of a massive world religion write letters to the West in major publications saying, “The first thing we are calling you to is Islam . . . It is the religion of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with the hand, tongue and heart. It is the religion of jihad in the way of Allah so that Allah’s Word and religion reign Supreme.”And then these spokesmen publicly bless suicide bombers who blow up children in front of Falafel shops and call it the way to paradise. This is the world in which we preach.

and what is our contemporary, postmodern effort to preach? Here Piper says:

And yet incomprehensibly, in this Christ-diminishing, soul-destroying age, books and seminars and divinity schools and church growth specialists are bent on saying to young pastors, “Lighten up.” “Get funny.” “Do something amusing.” To this I ask, Where is the spirit of Jesus?

Here Piper gives a portrayal of the Glory of God:

What you believe about the necessity of preaching and the nature of preaching is governed by your sense of the greatness and the glory of God and how you believe people awaken to that glory and live for that glory. So this next section presents a portrayal of the glory of God, and the third will deal with how people awaken to that glory and are changed by it.

From beginning to end nothing in the Bible is more ultimate in the mind and heart of God than the glory of God—the beauty of God, the radiance of his manifold perfections. At every point in God’s revealed action, wherever he makes plain the ultimate goal of that action, the goal is always the same: to uphold and display his glory.

  • He predestined us for his glory (Ephesians 1:6).
  • He created us for his glory (Isaiah 43:7).
  • He elected Israel for his glory (Jeremiah 13:11).
  • He saved his people from Egypt for his glory (Psalm 106:8).
  • He rescued them from exile for his glory (Isaiah 48:9-11).
  • He sent Christ into the world so that Gentiles would praise God for his glory (Romans 15:9).
  • He commands his people, whether they eat or drink, to do all things for his glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • He will send Jesus a second time so that all the redeemed will marvel at his glory (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

Therefore the mission of the church is: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all peoples” (Psalm 96:3).

These and a hundred more places drive us back up into the ultimate allegiance of God. Nothing affects preaching more deeply than to be struck almost speechless—almost—by the passion of God for the glory of God. What is clear from the whole range of biblical revelation is that God’s ultimate allegiance is to know himself perfectly, and to love himself infinitely, and to share this experience, as much as it can be, with his people. Over every act of God flies the banner: “For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:11; cf. 42:8).

Piper concludes giving specific examples of  ‘How People Waken to This Glory And Are Changed by It’ and pleading for preachers to use ‘expository exultation’ in their preaching. His last exhortation is pretty blunt, but accurate:

O brothers, do not lie about the value of the gospel by the dullness of your demeanor. Exposition of the most glorious reality is a glorious reality. If it is not expositoryexultation—authentic from the heart—something false is being said about the value of the gospel. Don’t say by your face or by your voice or by your life that the gospel is not the gospel of the all-satisfying glory of Christ. It is. And may God raise up from among you a generation of preachers whose exposition is worthy of the truth of God and whose exultation is worthy of the glory of God.

Click here and read the entire message – http://ru.desiringgod.org/resource-library/conference-messages via DesiringGod.org

(7) Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – British Evangelical Alliance 1966 – Conclusion (Nov 1996)

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian
Read Part 1 here – a history

Read Part 2 here – 1962 Address by Lloyd-Jones

Read Part 3 here – An accounting from those who attended

Read Part 4 here – What the newspapers reported

Read Part 5 here – Lloyd-Jones on schism

Read Part 6 here – Then and now

Foundations a journal of Evangelical theology for the British Evangelical Council (18th October 1966 edition) From Affinity.org.uk

Written in 1996 by Alan Gibson at the marking of the 30 year anniversary of MLJ’s appearance at the 1966 Evangelical Alliance Conference.

The Next Five Years

Futurology is an inexact science. Any uninspired prophecy can leave the unwary with egg on his face. No wonder the Book of Proverbs counsels that, Even a fool is thought wise ifhe keeps silent (17:28). Outside a general treatment of unfulfilled Biblical promises our only possibility of providing some insight into the future is to notice the present trends and to speculate about how they might develop.

In an earlier issue ofFoundations (No 36, pp 43-47) I reviewed the Evangelical Alliance book, Together We Stand, and commented briefly on chapter 10, The Futures of Evangelicalism. The very fact that the two authors, Clive Calver and Rob Warner, felt it necessary to use the plural, Futures, shows how tentative all such speculation must be. I will now note more fully the (alliterated) sub-headings oftheir chapter. Retaining the status quo, is what they regard as an increasingly unlikely prospect Reassimilation is considered a danger if senior evangelicals become increasingly distanced from one another as their energies are poured into their denominational duties. Reform is the hope that evangelicals will act to reform the existing and historic denominations. Refragmentaion is a real but disastrous prospect, should evangelicals choose the easy and yet palpably absurd option of devoting their energies to warring with one another. Remnant is how the writers speculate that the corrosion of evangelical convictions of the majority would leave a remnant of the faithful

and orthodox. Realignment, however, is what they expect to happen to the church scene under the pressures of accelerating compromise with the moral standards of the day. They suggest that there will be four main sectors, a resurgent Catholicism, a disestablished Church o f England o f mainly evangelical Anglicans, a theologically liberal Free Church and a network of believer baptising, charismatic streams. Renewal they see as being at a cross roads, the future depending on the readiness ofolder leaders to provide opportunities for their successors to emerge. Revival is recognised to be beyond our control, although if it comes British evangelicals are seen to have a potentially pivotal contribution to make.

There is already plenty of evidence that evangelicalism today is not a unified movement and we have to speak of a spectrum of evangelical opinion, covering a range of views and having very fuzzy edges. No one, then is talking about the future of an already stable movement. Quite the opposite. A paper to be presented at the National Assembly of Evangelicals in November 1996 expresses concern that contemporary attitudes to Statements of Faith are either to use them as flags of convenience which are not enforced too seriously, or to exploit them by an appeal to hermeneutics which justifies different, yet contrasting interpretations and mental reservations.

Neither will many disagree with the assumption that the next five years will not be the same as the last five. The church does not stand still. Times chahge and people, who comprise the church, also change. Events in society around us inevitably impact upon the church. What we are also unable to forecast are the unexpected novelties of the devils schemes or the extraordinary works of the sovereign Spirit of God.

Let me suggest, however, five of the more significant theological factors which I believe will influence evangelicalism, and particularly evangelical relationships, in the foreseeable future.

I. Confusion over justification
Recent scholarship professing to be Biblical has profoundly affected evangelical perceptions of the doctrine ofjustification. The 1992 Anglican-Lutheran Porvoo Common Statement uses the concepts and the language made familiar in the reports of ARCIC 11 in failing to treat justification as a distinct and forensic act. Instead it is conflated with sanctification and reduced to being only one, and not the most important, model of salvation found in Scripture. Any reader of the epistles to the Romans and the Galatians will recognise that this is not the way the Bible treats justification and it is highly dangerous. It opens the way for a wholesale review of the Protestant Reformation. While many evangelicals had previously been ready to co-operate with the Roman Catholic Church as co-belligerents in social witness they are now being told that formal church separation from it is no longer necessary. From being the objects of evangelism Roman Catholics are being portrayed as our partners in mission. In some quarters this has already become the orthodox evangelical view and those who dissent from it are patronisingly dismissed as being stuck in a sixteenth century time-warp.

This re-appraisal ofrelationships with the Church ofRome is being fed by the vitality of the charismatic movement within that church and the emergence of the Evangelical Catholic Initiative in Dublin. The acceptance of the RC Church into the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland and the enthusiasm for evangelical involvement shown by Anglican and Baptist evangelicals are likely to further soften the former lines of separation. Added to this is the unresolved political dilemma in Northern Ireland, still being blamed on religious fundamentalists who insist on perpetuating what are perceived in the popular mind as out-of-date theological distinctives. Furthermore the British media frequently portray the Anglican establishment as woolly over ethical issues while RC morality is given an unrealistically ideal press for being so uncompromised! All of which suggests that the next five years are likely to see growing social and spiritual influence for the Roman Catholic Church and more problems for those of us who question that trend.

2. The open evangelical

Correspondents in the Church of England Newspaper in the early part of 1995 reflected on the Evangelical Leaders Conference held in January of that year, when the definition of evangelical was raised once again. Those committed to the inerrancy of Scripture were criticised and it was insisted that the true evangelical must leave room for the humanity of the Biblical writers. It was a controversy sadly reminiscent of the separation of the Inter Varsity Fellowship from the Student Christian Movement in the 1920s. The so called open evangelical is apparently ready to accept not only errors in the Bible but contradictions between Jesus and Paul, together with serious ambiguities about moral guidance. 1996 saw the publication of Strangers and Friends, written by a professing evangelical so open that he is able to grant biblical validity for homosexual practice.

Another recent and formative book has given focus to a whole movement. Since Dave Tomlinson wrote The Post-Evangelical in 1995 the concept has gained popularity and a conference was held in July 1996 on Is there life after evangelicalism? It is hard not to see here a baptised version of post-modernism, with its cultural relativism and plural concept of truths instead of truth. Mark Johnston’s review of this book (Foundations, No 36, pp 40-43) shows how the hermeneutical principles it advocates are increasingly common in evangelical institutions. This is not a domestic controversy among Anglicans for it goes to the very heart of our gospel authority. To say the least, co-operation between those wearing the same evangelical label but at loggerheads about their basic source of authority will become increasingly hard to achieve. Some suggest that these strains will prove too strong for some Anglicans, resulting in a reluctant evangelical secession. The more likely outcome, however, will be an evangelical church within the church similar to the two Anglican bodies in South Africa. Moves towards alternative episcopal oversight in the shape of Regional Advisers in the Reform group ofAnglicans certainly point in this direction.

3. Uncertainty over the lost

Hell is an emotive subject. Its character is real and awesome. Our Lord himself repeatedly spoke of it in the most solemn terms. The eternal punishment of the wicked used to be a common element in evangelical statements of faith. Todays evangelicals, however, are not so sure about hell, as more and more question hell’s unending duration and prefer to speak of some kind of annihilationism. Even highly respected evangelicals like John Stott hesitate to be dogmatic about this. The 1996 General Synod commended a report called, The Mystery ofSalvation which the popular media saw as reducing hell to nothingness, leaving evangelical critics of the report in a minority.

Then there is the question of those who have never heard the gospel. Can those in other religions be saved without having heard the name of Jesus and consciously believed on him? The principals of two leading independent Bible Colleges, Peter Cotterell (now retired from LBC) and Christopher Wright (ANCC), think that they can and have published work to promote these beliefs. The mixed reaction to these views in mission circles is interesting, since both have themselves served honourably as overseas missionaries. Quite apart from the genuine fears about the implications of their arguments for the exegesis of Scripture, many of their mission colleagues foresee that the next generation of candidates must inevitably look outside the eternal consequences of unbelief for their motivation. The growing popularity of these views has yet to be felt in some evangelical missionary organisations. But it will come.

4. Worship styles

Evangelical worship culture has gone through considerable change in the last three decades. Since they reflect the context of contemporary society these changes are unlikely to slow down. What is called post-modernism refuses to adopt one overall style. The implications of this are especially painful for the serious-minded evangelical church committed to the centrality of preaching and refusing to dispense with what has stood the test of time. Even those committed to a liturgical pattern are now permitted so many alternatives that pick and mix services are almost universal. The understandable concern to be contemporary has easily degenerated into the tyranny of novelty. Christians return from major national events with songs, tapes and ideas which they cannot wait to share with their home church. What is nothing less than an almost total breakdown in respect for ministerial leadership has created space for these innovations to take root, with all the subsequent disruptions this can feed. No wonder local church unity is everywhere under strain.

Few features of evangelical life are more likely to cause separation between local churches than forms of worship. The exercise of charismatic gifts and the accompaniment of physical phenomena are almost universal in some sectors of evangelicalism. Many reg

ard them as the new orthodoxy and, given a little time, all but the evangelical Luddites will catch up. But where does that leave those with serious biblical questions about these worship styles? Can two walk together unless they are agreed? If we cannot pray together how can we work together, since prayer is itself the essence of our work? Co- operating in evangelism, in youth work, in leadership training, all these happen in the context ofcorporate worship. Without a sense ofproportion about these very fundamental questions, further separation between gospel churches at different points on this spectrum seems inescapable.

5. Ecumenism and world faiths

Canberra was the setting for the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1991 and the evangelical responses were decidedly cool. What disappointed them was not only an absence of a real theology of the Holy Spirit at an Assembly devoted to that theme but the presence of so much overt syncretism, denying the uniqueness of Christ (Beyond Canberra, Regnum Books, 1993). As ecumenism becomes more free from its Biblical moorings we must not be surprised that the ship is sailing closer to these rocks. Domestically, Methodist discussions with the Church of England are said to be on course for a gradual integrating of ministries but full inter-communion may have to wait until Anglicans admit women bishops, since Methodists already have women in their equivalent of the episcopate. The Anglicans will vote ftrst in 1997 and, if they agree to proceed, the Methodists will consider their options in 1998. The United Reformed Church already has 200 joint congregations with Methodists and has an observer at these talks.

Contemporary theology in the secular universities reflects the dominant world-view of humanist subjectivism, where every person’s god is as good as the other and every person’s truth is as valid as the other. Ironically, that very threat to Bible absolutes has driven some evangelicals to co-operate with any who stand for an objective Christian theology and has led them into a new rapprochement with Roman Catholics in the United States. The RC Church is, however, far from the monolithic body it once was and some of its academics, like Paul Knitter, are as close to universalism as the Hindus. Herbert Pollitt has amply documented the influence of this New Age thinking on the church (The Inter- Faith Movement, Banner of Truth, 1996). If the spirit of the age remains as strong an influence on the church as it has previously been then we can expect to hear a lot more of Creation Theology, well beyond sandal-wearing seminars at the Greenbelt Festival.

May I close by disclaiming any prophetic gift. I shall feel under no obligation to answer the bell to anyone arriving at my door in November 2001 with a copy of this article in one hand and carrying a large stone in the other.

(This article expands material the author earlier contributed to For Such a Time as This: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present and Future, eds. Steve Brady & Harold Rowdon, Scripture Union, 1996, chapter 24)

(6) Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones at the Evangelical Alliance 1966 by Geoff Thomas

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Read Part 1 here – a history

Read Part 2 here – 1962 Address by Lloyd-Jones

Read Part 3 here – An accounting from those who attended

Read Part 4 here – What the newspapers reported

Read Part 5 here – Lloyd-Jones on schism

From Affinity.org.uk via Reformation 21 blog

Then and Now: 1966-1996

by Geoff Thomas

Thirty years ago at the. Second National Assembly of Evangelicals organized by the Evangelical Alliance in London on October 19th, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones spoke for the last time for the EA on the theme ofEvangelical Unity in the course of which address he asked his audience: „What reasons have we for not coming together?…My friends, we are not only the guardians and custodians of the faith of the Bible, we are the modern representatives and successors of the glorious men who fought this same fight, the good fight of faith, in centuries past. ..I believe that God is calling upon us to maintain this ancient witness, not occasionally, not haphazardly, but always, and to put it to the people of this country”.1

Have Christians grown closer and more co-operative in these past three decades? What is the social and spiritual situation in the United Kingdom at the end of the 20th century?

Social conditions in the land

There are many improvements in the world which have taken place over the past thirty years which make us glad that we are living at this time. Treatment of cancer and other diseases has vastly improved. Britain has become a more cohesive middle-class nation and the continual strikes and class divisions of the 60s are a bad dream. There is a general political consensus with little messianic hopes in the effectiveness of the Whitehall and Brussels decision-makers. Apartheid has ended in South Africa, Communism has been largely discredited and the West has won the cold war. A world war or even a European conflict seems the most distant of possibilities. Britain has become a more prosperous nation. Chicken and turkey are the cheapest meats: supermarkets the size of aeroplane hangers are filled with the highest quality and range of foods. Communications not controlled by Caesar are accessible to every man. It is cheap to call the USA and. even Australia. Missionaries have access to the Internet. It has never been so inexpensive and convenient to travel internationally.

However, other social factors make us long for thirty years ago. There has taken place an unimaginable moral decline. Family life has taken a battering. One repeated statistic is that Britain has the highest divorce rate in Europe, while crime statistics are at an all time peak: we have more men in prison per head of population than any country in the European Community. There is a widespread fear of and familiarity with violence and burglary. The National Lottery has made 75% of the nation gamblers. Great Britain is awash with drugs. Alcoholism is a cruel widespread problem. Education has become a football kicked about by trendy politicians of both parties of government, and illiteracy has become an all-time high. Never was there such ignorance of the Bible and the Christian religion. Abortion on demand has resulted in the deaths of millions of healthy unborn children. The Northern Ireland situation is as unsolvable as ever. Militant homosexuals are tireless in their demands for the state’s recognition of their so-called marriages. Feminism encourages the gender destruction of male and female roles. Sport is harsher through commercialism, and sportsmen more superficial people. Christians are being persecuted and murdered in Cuba, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Vietnam, China and North Korea.

The strengths of Reformed evangelicalism

Where do true evangelical churches stand today? Consider their strengths: a steadiness in their congregational lives. One knows of some hundreds of churches throughout the British Isles and if one entered their meeting-places on a Sunday morning, one could be at peace and be led in worship by ministers who fear God and have led congregations to honour their Lord. One would hear the Word of God opened up and dealt with responsibly. Most university towns have a free grace pulpit for students to hear the whole Counsel of God. There also has been an extraordinary explosion of publishing so that no Christian bookshop can find room on its shelves to stock all the fine commentaries, biographies, literature on the world and life view, family life, evangelism, and children’s books that are now available. Consider those writers, all of whose books one would love to purchase and read, Sproul, MacArthur, Packer, Boice, Stott, Ferguson, Morris, Adams, Carson, Clowney, Chantry and Lloyd-Jones. Systematic theologies like those written by aBrakel, Turretin, Grudem (and soon the four volumes of Bavinck) have recently appeared. Definitive books like lain Murray’s two volumes of Dr Lloyd-Jones and Revival & Revivalism have filled a hole in the Church’s understanding of men and movements. Soli Deo Gloria are reprinting Puritan works as if there were a competition to print them with a dozen other publishers, and sometimes there is. There is a fascinating range of monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly periodicals. About twenty good conservative magazines and papers are being published in Britain. Cassettes of the best preaching are available from many sources.

There is a choice of Reformed theological seminaries in which to study. For example, theEvangelical Theological College of Wales in Bryntirion has more students than the sum of all the „theologs” in every other seminary in Wales. The single Roman Catholic Seminary in Wales in Aberystwyth has closed down from lack of vocations. America, especially, displays such vigorous growth of conservative seminaries. There is also a network of conferences, stable and well attended – The Carey Ministers’ Conference (January), The Banner of Truth Conference (March), The Caister FIEC (April), The Grace Assembly (May), The Bala Conference of the EMW Ministers (June), The Metropolitan School ofTheology (June), The Aberystwyth EMW Conferences (August), and the Westminster Conference for Historical Studies (December). Ministers especially know one another, and with some of them on an international conference circuit the work of God world-wide is better known today than at any period.

About all the above there is a proper modesty and unassumedness. These churches all realise that (apart from some congregations in the Hebrides) a commitment to the Reformed Faith does not generate large numbers. Deciding whether they would have many members and much money and read about themselves in the newspaper those churches have decided to promote a growing love for the preaching and application of the whole Counsel of God. They know they could not have both, and faithfulness is valued as more important than influence. Calvinistic piety is not flashy or obvious.

 The weaknesses of Reformed evangelicalism

One obvious difference between 1966 and 1996 is the figure of Dr Lloyd-Jones, or some equivalent preacher ofpreachers. Our greatest weakness is a lack of an awakening ministry in the nation. Where we deam ourselves strongest there, as ever, our impotence lies. This shows itselfin the narrow choice ofinspirational speakers for the big occasions, in the enterprise of church-planters here and abroad. The whole missionary enterprise has been hi-jacked by missionary societies so that men who go overseas never do what they do in this country, that is, preach in one local congregation in the language of the people and build up a church in loving the whole Counsel of God. Rather, virtually every missionary today administers or teaches local men how to pastor and preach. One consequence is the absence ofexpository preachers from the entire continent ofAfrica. They have been given no r<>le models.

Then there has been in the British Isles in our circles the bringing low of congregations, Christian institutions and leaders. Churches have split, notable men have fallen into flagrant sin, congregations which once loved the whole Counsel of God have collapsed under false teaching.

The charismaticization of churches

There are three types of churches men can make choice of today – if one dares to set aside the vigour of many Roman Catholic congregations. There are the charismatic congregations with their fascination with supposedly spontaneous and body-led ministries. Then, secondly, there is the Willow Creek model of focusing worship on unchurched Harry and Sally as so using singing groups and drama spots to make the man in the street feel unthreatened. Thirdly, there is unadorned and faithful Reformed worship.

Both the charismatic and the Willow Creek models have influenced Reformed congregations. David Tomlinson writes, „There is little doubt that Spring Harvest is one of the most influential factors in the charismaticization of evangelicalism.. .it would be difficult to overstate its significance in the present positive climate”.2 He adds that the March of Jesus „contributes to the overall sense of growing self-confidence among Evangelicals”.3 The umbrella under which all such things happen is the Evangelical Alliance. Clive Calver’s appointment to its leadership in 1983 „symbolized powerfully the way that the centre ground of evangelicalism was moving, for Calver is an unashamed Charismatic with New Church connections”.4

Even those churches which have not adopted pentecostal theology in the past thirty years have been affected liturgically. Nowhere more than in hymnody and conduct in worship is the gulf between Evangelicals of 1966 and 1996 displayed. In 1966 we were longing for some new hymn-books, and we had to wait a further ten years for Grace & Christian Hymns to appear. There was an indadequacy in the smaller evangelical collections such as Christian Praise and Hymns ofFaith. There was a conviction that the treasures of hymnody found in past writers ofdeeply experiential piety would have an abiding pastoral, theological and doxological contribution to the Church ofour age, and pervasive liberalism alone had been responsible for expunging them from denominational hymnbooks. So Grace Hymns appeared saying in its Preface: „The book contains many hymns which have fallen out of use but are worthy of a restored place in the Church’s praise”. And in the Preface of Christian Hymns the editors wrote: „There is the need for the rediscovery and restoration of a considerable number of hymns from times of revival and evangelical awakening…From this treasure-house it has been our privilege to draw extensively, for many of the greatest hymns of the Church come from this period”. The motivation in the choice of the hymns in these books was pervasive God-centredness. These two fine hymn books had barely appeared when a totally new mood entered evangelicalism, claiming that what was needed was not such hymns at all but rather contemporary hymns, necessarily wed to upbeat tunes, which the man in the street could identify with. And as almost every church seems to have more hymn-writers than preachers there was no stemming the flood of new hymns, tunes, and collections that swamped us. Spring Harvest became the proselytising agency for the new style of songs. If Grace & Christian Hymns had not appeared when they did what greater liturgical chaos would world-wide evangelicalism have been in, all in the name of „creativity” and contemporaneity in worship.

The new Christian

Ian Cotton has a new book entitled The Hallelujah Revolution: The Rise ofthe New Christians.5 He characterises the new Christian of 1996 as religiously Evangelical, instinctively irrational, politically liberal, economically socialist, theologically feminine (preferring a „gentle feminine Jesus over a macho, stern Jehovah”), vocationally „post- industrial”, experientially „relational”, and socially egalitarian (the new Christian is into mutual accountability groups).

Cotton describes this charismatic mindset thus: „We have the go-with-the flow attitude which De Bono characterized as ‘water logic’. Instead of reason and order, we have instinct, vision, the Holy Ghost. Instead of step-by-step linear progression, we have the all-at- once, the miraculous. Instead o f the verbal architecture o f the sermon, we have the preverbal instinctiveness of ‘tongues’. This is the distinctively modern end of the movement, where change, fluidity, uncertainty, and flexible boundaries are paramount”.6

Most such „new Christian” churches are outside of the WCC and official ecumenical structures, despising that movement for its political agenda and cerebral ethos. Certainly something more than opposition to schemes of unity dominated by modernists is needed to unite Evangelicals in contending for the faith. Perhaps that was one weakness of evangelical beliefs in 1966 – they gave more credence to the power of the Ecumenical Movement than it merited. For true unity there must be a passionate love for the whole Counsel of God, not just a fear of the counterfeit.

The British Evangelical Council grew with a desire to strengthen its culturally and theologically marginalised member denominations, to take conservative churches out of their isolation and absorption with their own problems and perspectives and give them an opportunity to contemplate the nation-wide mission of the Church of Jesus Christ. Its member churches are separatists but not isolationists.

Men most sympathetic with the BEC feel that the Evangelical Alliance is inconsistent on modernism. How could a body that is opposed to liberalism allow its officers and member churches to retain their membership in denominations dominated by modernism? How can preachers remain in a unity of fellowship in the EA? Do they not realise that such equivocation creates deep problems of friendship and trust to other preachers? That issue has not gone away in the past thirty years. It is not likely to do so in the next millenium.

John Stott famously opposed Dr Lloyd-Jones’ exhortation for churches to come together on the basis of historic Christianity, telling that EA conference, „Scripture is against him, the remnant was within the Church not outside it”. As he walked out of the meeting with Dr Lloyd-Jones he murmured apologetically that he was afraid that some of the Anglican clergy might have left their churches the next morning had he said nothing more. Stott spoke on behalfofthe vast majority ofAnglicans. They were staying in the Church of England. Yet when the issue of the ordination of women arose the Evangelicals were mute, even though that would mean 300 ministers would resign over the issue.7 The greatest difference in the Church of England in 1996 as compared to 1966 is the presence of 1,400 women priests, and a huge irretrievable lurch to liberalism.

Other evangelical Anglicans such as those centred on St Helen’s Bishopsgate, considered that „only human traditions were holding brothers and sisters [i.e. Anglicans and Free Churchmen] at arm’s length”.8 So Dick Lucas’s answer was to start yet another conference, the Evangelical Ministry Assembly „to repair some bridges of fellowship”. So, Anglicans who never met in fellowship with their non-conformist brethren (except when they were invited to speak) at any of the well-established conferences at Leicester, Bala, BEC, Carey, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Aberystwyth, Westminster, etc. (even when they live in close proximity to those places), began yet another conference „to tackle the sad division between Anglican and Free Church Ministers”.9 In other words, non- attendance at that conference indicated one was promoting division, and the extravagant claims were made: „God’s hand was on Dick’s brainchild and the conference has proved a major part of the evangelical year”.10

The British Evangelical Council

The critics of the BEC will point to its alleged diminished influence in 1996 compared to the late 60s. They may grumble that it has assumed the position of an „isolationist porcupine”, small, circumscribed and obscure instead of a vigorous and militant group calling Britain back to the old paths. Surely its pervasively Reformed identity has meant it has become marginal to what some might envy as the mold-breakers and trend-setters of ecclesiastical life in Britain. But the Word teaches us that God does not use the magnificent and mighty to achieve its ends, rather, as the apostle Paul wrote, God uses „jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power” is from Him only. In 1996 the evidence weakness of our human efforts and the all-sufficiency of God’s grace means that the Reformed churches have a precious message and a unique task testifying to everything God has revealed. We may not judge the next thirty years in the light of our present experience.

(4) Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches at New Delhi – What the Newspapers and Books Reported 18th October 1966

Foundations a journal of Evangelical theology for the British Evangelical Council (18th October 1966 edition)
What some papers and books have said Eryl Davies

Evangelicals -Leave your denominations” was the startling headline on the front page of The Christian weekly newspaper on the 21st October 1966. While quoting extensively from the address ofDr Lloyd-Jones, the article was not strictly accurate in places. For example, part of the opening sentence of the article was: „An impassioned appeal to Evangelicals in Britain to leave the major denominations and to form a united Church was made by Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones…”.As we have seen in earlier articles, Lloyd-Jones did not suggest or desire „a united Church”; his appeal was for Evangelicals to come together in a loose fellowship or association of churches. The article states that „many people to whom our reporter spoke after the meeting thought that Dr Lloyd-Jones was right in his arguments, but that nothing would happen unless men like the Rev. JRW Stott took the lead”.

David Winter, reporting the Assembly also in The Life of Faith of 27th October emphasised how the public rally „in dramatic fashion, dragged into the open a subject normally avoided in evangelical debate- secession. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones made an eloquent plea to Evangelicals to leave their denominations and join a United Evangelical Church and the Chairman, the Rev. John Stott, publicly (firmly but politely) disagreed with him…”. The Baptist Times (27th October) was more forthright, reporting „A sharp clash of views…with Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeming to be encouraging Evangelicals to secede from their denominations and the Rev. John Stott challenging his address by claiming that division was not the way forward.. .it was clear that Evangelicals are divided theologically…”.

A more supportive and accurate report was given in the English Churchman (28th October). Lloyd-Jones, the article emphasised, „was not putting forward some negative scheme into which we are to be reluctantly forced, but rather was pointing us to the glorious opportunity of taking positive action because we realise we ought to if we are to be true to our evangelical convictions…Anglican Evangelicals would appear, on the evidence of the Assembly to be the most intransigent on this matter…But is it not a misunderstanding to look at this problem only as one of secession? Does entry into a Scriptural union with other Christians deserve that name?…Who is really giving a definite lead in the Church of England at this time? Who will define the line beyond which we will not go? We have already surrendered on a number of issues which in earlier days would never have been accepted…”. This is well said and even more true of the situation in more recent years. It was the Evangelical Times from its launch in 1967 which championed the principles which Lloyd-Jones had identified and argued.

Christianity Today! in 1990 devoted twelve full pages to the subject of The Remaking of English Evangelicalism but only four sentences to what it calls the „major public showdown” in 1966 when, after Lloyd-Jones’s address, a „surprised” John Stott „rose and rebuked Lloyd-Jones and rallied Anglican Evangelicals to their churchly duty’? Once again, the authors misunderstood the message ofLloyd-Jones by claiming that instead of addressing the subject of unity he „called instead for Evangelicals to leave the historic churches”. This is grossly misleading and inaccurate.

From this sample ofChristian newspapers which reported the 1966 meeting, I want to turn to a sample of more recent books and note how these authors regarded the significance and nature of the Doctor’s message on that occasion.

In his readable Five Evangelical Leaders, 3 Christopher Catherwood devotes nearly four pages to this event which he calls 1966: Crossing the Rubicon.4 He refers to „a change of emphasis” in his grandfather’s thinking concerning the doctrine of the Church, but, as we have documented in earlier articles, this new emphasis was not sudden or unexpected but had been apparent for some time prior to 1966. One wonders how well the author understood the background to the 1966 address. For example, he claims that the Evangelical Alliance „had no idea how explosive the Doctor intended to be…”5 and refers to Lloyd-Jones’s „vision of a United Evangelical Church”.6 Later, Catherwood sees the „tragedy ofthe split” as being divided over what was „essentially an ecclesiastical issue”.7 But the prior and major issue for Lloyd-Jones was the Gospel itself; it was from the Gospel that he insisted on the importance ofthe nature and unity ofthe Church. Soteriology and ecclesiology were inextricably bound up, not only in the thinking of Lloyd-Jones but also in the New Testament itself. Kenneth Hylson-Smith’s useful book Evangelicals in the Church of England 1734-1984 is disappointing in its treatment of 18th October 1966. Barely two pages are devoted to the subject9 and, unfortunately, it is based on secondary sources, primarily Christopher Catherwood’s Five Evangelical Leaders. 10 The author is correct in claiming that the effect of the disagreement between Stott and Lloyd-Jones „was immediate and long-standing”.11

Even less space is given to the subject by DW Bebbington in his Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s. 12 For Bebbington, this incident was „to dramatise a fracture in the evangelical world”,13 but the call for Evangelicals to leave their mixed denominational churches „was dismissed by nearly all those in the Church of England as being… ‘nothing short of hare-brained’ and in other mixed denominations Lloyd-Jones was little heeded”.

As expected, Hywel R Jones provides a detailed account of the „Doctor’s relationship with the British Evangelical Council” in Unity in Truth14 which is a collection of addresses given by Lloyd-Jones in BEC sponsored meetings between 1967-1979. This is a valuable introduction which throws light on the „Doctor’s thinking on the subject of unity as well as his decision to involve himself in the work and witness of the BEC”. One paragraph is reproduced here because of its helpful reference to the now famous 1966 address:

It is worth pointing out that not once in this address did the Doctor use the terms „separate/secede”. His call was to associate or unite. While it is granted that this necessarily involved secession, the basis of the call was the Gospel, the scope of the call was to those who professed to believe the Gospel and the purpose in view was the spread of the Gospel. It was therefore neither schismatic nor exclusivist, but truly Christian and evangelical. In addition, as the Doctor pointed out, it was timely because in the wider setting denominational attachments were being questioned and new alignments were being considered. Should not Evangelicals, of all people, take up the challenge, notwithstanding the difficulties, and seize the opportunity to stand together for God’s truth?

This address, as well known, met with an immediate negative reaction. The positive response surfaced later, most noticeably in the Luther meeting. On 1st November 1967 over 2,500 people gathered in Westminster Chapel to commemorate the 450th anniversary of Luther’s promulgation of his Ninety-Five Theses. 15

Hywel Jones concludes that „It is still the case that the BEC is the only body of churches in the United Kingdom which ‘cannot, on grounds of conscience, identify with that ecumenicity which lacks an evangelical basis’ .It takes this position because it stands for the unity of all those churches which believe the one and only Gospel which saves”.16

Who Are the Evangelicals?17 is an interesting account by Derek Tidball „tracing the roots of today’s movements” in which he also shows the varied spectrum of contemporary evangelical belief and practice. Regrettably, Tidball only devotes three brief sentences to the 1966 incident.18 He does remind us, however, that „Evangelicals in other mainline denominations have trodden a path similar to Anglican Evangelicals. Among the Baptists, Mainstream was formed; among Methodists, Headway and among the United Reformed Church, Gear. In each, Evangelicals have become more committed to their denominations”. 19

In his autobiography entitled A Man Under Authority,20 Leith Samuel provides some interesting background and insights regarding the 1966 address together with the response. 21 He describes it as „that tragic night for British evangelicalism” and „a tragic parting of the ways…We needed unity at Church level but it was torn from our grasp”.22 Leith Samuel insists that Lloyd-Jones „was not concerned primarily about changing structures. It was the purity of the Gospel that was of paramount importance to him”. What Lloyd-Jones longed to see was „an umbrella” large enough to cover Anglican and Free Church Evangelicals.

Alister McGrath also refers to the 1966 event, albeit briefly, in his Evangelicalism & the Future ofChristianity.23 McGrath claims that it „was widely seen to centre on the issue of separatism”.24 Again, McGrath is another writer who partly misunderstands the call of Lloyd-Jones in his 1966 address; for McGrath, it was a „passionate call” for Evangelicals in mixed denominations to „form a denomination of their own”.25 McGrath is correct in viewing the National Evangelical Anglican Congress at Keele in April 1967 as having „endorsed and consolidated”26 Stott’s opposition to Lloyd-Jones. He continues: „It sealed this development and marks the beginning of the positive role of evangelicalism within the Church of England”. Keele was determinative and is „widely regarded as marking the end of a numerically significant ‘separatist’ party within Anglican evangelicalism…”.

Over the past couple o f years, I have been interested to meet Christians, even academics, who have spoken disparagingly oflain Murray’s two-volumed biography ofMartyn Lloyd- Jones.27 To me, their response is a superficial and prejudiced one. Allow me to reply to their criticism. Murray’s biography is an official one, based largely on primary sources, and written by a man who knew Lloyd-Jones extremely well. He had served under and alongside the Doctor and then remained in close contact with him over the years. A competent historian and possessing an excellent grasp of the contemporary evangelical situation in the United Kingdom, Murray is eminently suited to write the biography of Lloyd-Jones. The second volume especially is „a primary text on evangelicalism in the twentieth century”.28 And this

can be easily substantiated. No other serious book, for example, examines the background, context, significance and consequences of Lloyd-Jones’s 1966 address in such detail or depth as Murray does in this second volume. Earlier chapters such as Unity: Ecumenical or Evangelical (pp. 427-450), Conversations and Journeys (pp. 453-471), Cross-Winds (pp. 472-492) and 1965:The Approaching Crisis (pp. 495-511) are well researched and they are invaluable in providing a meaningful background to the three crucial chapters dealing with 1966 and the assessment of the controversy.29

In his assessment, Murray counters the criticism that Lloyd-Jones was responsible for „dividing Evangelicals” by referring to the latter’s view that the main denominations were in an extremely serious theological and religious condition not „seen in England before”30 and that Anglican Evangelicals had „deliberately introduced a new policy on ecumenism”Y He shows how Stott had changed his position by referring to his former view expressed in his 1958 publication What Christ Thinks ofthe Church:32 „We cannot have Christian fellowship with those who deny the divinity of Christ’s person or the satisfactoriness of His work on the cross for our salvation…to preach any other gospel than the Gospel of Christ’s saving grace is to deserve Paul’s anathema…”.33 Another criticism of Lloyd-Jones’s 1966 address that Murray considers is that he was creating a „new sectarianism”34 and an exclusive form of unity. However; Murray shows effectively that Lloyd-Jones wanted „a third altemative”,35 „a way forward…more honouring to God than an acceptance of the existing conditions”. The Doctor, we are reminded, „frankly accepted the limitations of his own understanding”;36 he opted finally for a wider unity through the BEC „largely because, when he urged others to take on a more active role, none came forward with any alternative”. He himself did not want to assume the role of leader in the new wider association of churches. Was it a lack of interest in this aspect? Possibly, but „in part, also”, insists Murray, „it was because he knew that the essential need at this stage…was for on-going reformation and a true revival in all churches. Secession, as such, was no solution”_37

In Murray’s view, Lloyd-Jones was „open to some criticism”38 in this controversy. First o f all, Murray thinks that the argument in places depended over-much on the Doctor’s interpretation of the contempary situation so that it „looked more like a matter ofjudgement than ofBiblical principle”. This, however, is open to debate but Lloyd-Jones put no pressure at all on individuals to secede. In my own experience, he discouraged me initially from seceding and wanted to know precisely which Biblical principles I was seeking to honour. It is also a fact that Lloyd-Jones left it to individual ministers and churches to decide the correct and wisest time for secession.

A second criticism in Murray’s opinion is that the lack of a clear plan in which to express this wider unity of churches post-1966 „had regrettable consequences”.39 In this context, Murray sees that the question of „schism” was complex and somewhat difficult to relate to for Lloyd-Jones challenged „the adequacy”40 of an inter-denominational evangelical unity expressed through an organisation like the Evangelical Alliance. This, however, served to focus „attention upon the alternative…” envisaged with the ability to exclude or discipline those who were in error. Furthermore, Murray suggests that on the Doctor’s view of schism, those who stayed outside the BEC were thereby guilty of the charge. „Some damage might have been averted”, Murray thinks, „if the alternative unity presented…in 1967hadbeenunderstoodtobemorefluidandopen…”41 andiftheDoctor had been less „hurried than he would otherwise have been”.42

Murray’s assessment, ofcourse, is itselfopen to criticism but I want to confine myself to two observations. One, it was notthe Doctor’s Welshness orinterpretation of the situation or his understanding of the sin of schism which were at fault, but possibly his and our failure to appreciate the stranglehold of Anglican sub-culture on its leaders thus making it difficult for them to contemplate the possibility of working outside their denomination. As Alan Gibson rightly points out: „With hindsight, most of us did not fully understand how strong was the grip of the ecclesiastical sub-cultures in which we had been brought

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up. The 1967 Keele Conference showed how hard it was for Gospel men in the Church of England to contemplate working in any other context. Subsequent attempts to reduce the height of denominational walls, even between wholly evangelical free church groups, were not conspicuously successful. Some who agreed that the Doctor’s appeal was based on Scripture principles found reasons not to act upon it”.43

My second observation is that the Doctor’s 1966 appeal was rejected by Stott and other leaders, including EA officers, because they disagreed with its message. To blame Lloyd-Jones, and him alone, is to fly in the face of the facts. Again, I quote Alan Gibson who was present on the occasion and who attempted to submit a motion the following morning proposing discussion of the practical implications arising from the first meeting. „To our huge disappointment”, Gibson writes, „the organising committee had decided that no such motions would be accepted. Responsibility for closing down any real consideration of steps towards evangelical church unity does not belong to John Stott alone. It lies also with the 1966 officers of the Evangelical Alliance who changed the advertised programme and denied the Assembly, set up for that very purpose, any opportunity for practical consideration of the issues the Doctor had raised”.44

A reference to two other recent publications conclude this article. Clive Calver and Rob Warner in their Together We Stand, 45 a volume marking the 150th anniversary of the Evangelical Alliance, deal with the 1966 division in a disappointing way. Once again some of the facts are wrong: for example, the 1966 address ofLloyd-Jones is supposed to have argued for „a single united evangelical church”.46 Butthat is clearly wrong. Nor is it helpful or accurate to speak ofLloyd-Jones’s „impassioned eloquence … in the heat of the moment”.47 I am afraid that even in this book Lloyd-Jones is pictured as the culprit who shattered evangelical unity in Britain in 1966. When will those writing on this incident be at least fair to the facts? Please, please give us history and not fiction.

The second and final publication I refer to is For Such a Time as This: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present & Future48 which commemorates the founding of the Evangelical Alliance in 1846 and also serves as a tribute to Gilbert Kirby on his 80th birthday. Two chapters are immediately relevant to our theme. Peter Lewis writes on Renewal, Recovery & Growth: 1966 onwards and reports accurately the thrust of the Doctor’s message. A useful outline is provided of later developments, namely, NEAC 1967, emergence of Tear Fund in 1968, Berlin 1966 and Lausanne 1974, the Evangelical Missionary Alliance, UCCF, Spring Harvest- Keswick, Evangelical Leaders Conference, evangelical unity and co-operative evangelism. Another relevant chapter is AIan Gibson’s The Role ofSeparation. The title is misleading for it is a consideration of „principles of separation and cooperation among today’s churches”.49 The chapter deserves careful study.

This sampling of papers and books which refer to the 1966 address by Lloyd-Jones is now complete. Other books like Chosen Vessels could have been referred to but, hopefully, the sample has been adequate to stimulate you to think and read some of the primary sources. But, please, get the facts right and then wrestle prayerfully as well as Biblically with the matters raised. We all still have much to learn from the Doctor’s 1966 message.

References

  1. 1  Christianity Today, February 5, 1990, volume 34, no. 2, pp. 25-36
  2. 2  Idem, p. 33
  3. 3  Christopher Catherwood, Five Evangelical Leaders, Hodder & Stoughton, 1987 ·
  4. 4  Idem, p 83

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(3) Martyn Lloyd-Jones – The Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches at New Delhi from those that were there (Lloyd-Jones vs. John Stott)

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Read Part 1 here – a history

Read Part 2 here – 1962 Address by Lloyd-Jones

Here is a sampling of this chapter in the history of the English Churches and the debate going on between Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Stott:

Five years before, almost to the day, I had sat in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, trembling and gripping the seat, as I heard the Doctor preach for the first time, and was rescued from the emptiness of liberal theology. Now I was gripping the chair again! Oh that we had more preachers today who could make us tremble.

The chairman, John Stott, sensed that many men were being stirred to action and feared that some Anglican clergy might leave their church. Although he had already been given a ten minute slot earlier in the meeting to state his own views, he rose, at the end of the Doctor’s address not to close the meeting, but to counter what had been said. Being a young, impetuous non-conformist at the time, I secretly hoped that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones would get to his feet again and make mincemeat of the Anglican leader, but he was wiser and more gracious than I shall ever be…

Is it too late now? New factors, besides liberalism and ecumenism, have come into the religious scene, ranging from the ridiculous to the rigid. The difficulties will be enormous but should that prevent us from attempting what is right? After all, trying to live a holy life can be difficult. Am I wrong to dream that one day there might be a closeknit Fellowship or Association of Bible Churches with English, Welsh and Scottish branches, to include all who have a serious view of the Bible and a commitment to a robust evangelicalism? Dr Lloyd-Jones ended his appeal with the prayer “May God speed the day”.

Foundations a journal of Evangelical theology for the British Evangelical Council (18th October 1966 edition)
 18th October 1966: I was there…

Stan Guest, then of the Congregational Evangelical Revival Fellowship

By 1966 I had been a member for some 12 years of the Westminster Fellowship. We met monthly under Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and shared thoughts on many different subjects. From a letter I wrote to him on 2nd February, 1966, it is clear that, at the January meeting, he had spoken about „coming out” of the denominations. In my letter I said I was ready to do so but not yet persuaded that the time was „now”. I recalled his earlier advice that we should stay in as long as we can. I was preparing a statement for the Annual Assembly of the Congregational Union in May.

I was present at meetings of the National Assembly ofEvangelicals 1966 and was aware of the deep sadness and confusion felt by so many. This resulted in the Doctor closing the Westminster Fellowship for a time. My own personal position, however, had been greatly helped by the Doctor’s stand and this, no doubt, encouraged me to accept, in 1967, the position of Secretary to An Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches.

Evangelicals in congregationalism had a situation to face in 1966 that was different from their brethren in other denominations. The Congregational Union of England and Wales was changing its form in very significant ways. After several years of discussion it invited churches to covenant together as the Congregational Church of England and Wales. This commenced in 1966 and it was a clear move towards the further step of uniting with the Presbyterian Church of England to form the United Reformed Church. This took place in 1972. It was hailed as an important move towards ecumenical oneness. Though it is difficult to see it as such when one realises that over 200 more congregational churches stayed out of the URC than the number of Presbyterian churches that went in.

Not all the churches that remained congregational did so on evangelical grounds. Many saw that the URC was, in fact, really a Presbyterian body. They compared, for example, the Congregational Union declaration of 1833 with the URC constitution. The former stated that in no way was the Union to assume authority or become a court of appeal. The latter had as its closing statement: „The decision of the General Assembly on any matter which has come before it on reference or appeal shall be final and binding”.

Evangelicals recognised these changes of church policy, of course, but they believed they had even stronger grounds for separation. For decades the CUEW had been drifting away from the final authority of Scripture and the true declaration of the Gospel. This had already led, in 1947, to the forming of a Congregational Evangelical Revival Fellowship, drawing together individual members of churches. The call to covenant as the CCEW required an affirmation of oneness in doctrine with those who were fully liberal in their teachings. There were churches who could not do this and, in 1967, there was formed an Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches.

One question that had to be faced was whether or not simply to join the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Some churches did, in fact, take up joint membership. It was recognised, however, that churches would be more easily encouraged to take a stand if they could see they were continuing in a congregational denomination. One important consequence of this has been that, because an EFCC was legally recognised as a continuing congregational body, it has received substantial funds from the former national and county Congregational Unions, thus preserving their benefit for evangelical purposes.

The call for wider evangelical unity was not ignored, however. The first EFCC constitution booklet stated: „In no way is it the intention to set up a permanent body as a separate continuing denomination. We see ourselves as a ‘bridging Fellowship’ until such time as the Lord may prepare the way for a wider grouping of Bible-believing Christians from all denominational backgrounds”. Its first statement of purpose reads: „To seek the welfare and express the faith and the true unity of the whole Church of Jesus-Christ”.

Basil Howlett, then at Hesters Way BC, Cheltenham

The scene is indelibly etched on my mind. The occasion was the opening night of the Second National Assembly of Evangelicals arranged by the Evangelical Alliance which followed hard on the heels of a Commission to „study radically the various attitudes of Evangelicals to the Ecumenical Movement, denominationalism and a possible future United Church”. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones had been asked by the leaders of the Evangelical Alliance to „say in public, what he had said in private” when speaking to them. The Central Hall, Westminster was full, the platform was occupied by evangelical leaders of various persuasions – two rows of them. At first, as far as physical stature went, Dr Lloyd-Jones was dwarfed by them, but as the meeting went on he seemed to become a giant!

I felt sorry for Derek Prime that night! He gave the introductory Bible Study on Philippians 2, and it was very good, but what followed was so electrifying that nobody had a hope of remembering what he said! The Rev. A Morgan Derham’s remarks, which had eulogised the Doctor with feint praise brought forth the following response when he arose to speak: „It would be churlish of me not to thank Mr Morgan Derham for the remarks he has made, but I wish he had not done so; he has robbed me of my valuable time!”

This gathering must be seen against the background of the increasing liberalism and mounting ecumenical pressures ofthose days. Two dreadful books which undermined Gospel truth had but recently been published. Honest to God by John Robinson (the Bishop of Woolwich) closely followed by Down to Earth written by Howard Williams (then President of the Baptist Union). In most of the doctrinally mixed denominations, Evangelicals were, at best, marginalised and ignored, but often mocked and discriminated against. Many young, evangelical ministers were fighting for survival, and would often find that a denominational official was working in league with disaffected members, to get them out of their churches. Numerous good, evangelical, theological students, looking for a church, were passed over. The Ecumenical Movement was marching forward to conquer, with strident voice and big steps, but with little sympathy for those who stood in the way. Evangelical churches had little hope of getting sites for church planting; Ecumenical Centres were the talk of the day.

Against that backcloth, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones stood to make his impassioned plea for Evangelicals, who were divided up among the denominations, to come together „as a fellowship or association of evangelical churches”, and to stand together for the Gospel. In actual fact, the words „separate” and „secede” were not mentioned.lt was a positive appeal for Evangelicals to stand together, not just occasionally, but always. I went to the Central Hall, that night, disillusioned with the Baptist Union, desiring closer unity with Evangelicals, but scared about the way forward. How do you leave a major denomination and its security when you have a young family? Suppose the denomination evicts your church from its premises and throws you out of the manse! Yet as. the message drew to a close I was convinced, along with others, that to be true to Scripture and conscience I had no alternative but to ask God to give me the strength to do what was right, no matter what the cost. The preacher knew there would be a cost for many and sympathised:

There are great and grievous difficulties: I am well aware of them. I know there are men, ministers and clergy in this congregation at the moment, who, if they did what I am exhorting them to do, would have a tremendous problem before them, even a financial, an economic and a family problem. I do not want to minimize this. My heart goes out to such men. There are great problems confronting us if we act on these principles. But has the day come when we, as Evangelicals, are afraid of problems? The true Christian has always had problems. The early Christians had grievous problems, ostracized from their families and the threat of death ever facing them. They were not daunted: they went on, they believed, they knew, they would rather die than not stand for the truth.

Five years before, almost to the day, I had sat in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, trembling and gripping the seat, as I heard the Doctor preach for the first time, and was rescued from the emptiness of liberal theology. Now I was gripping the chair again! Oh that we had more preachers today who could make us tremble.

The chairman, John Stott, sensed that many men were being stirred to action and feared that some Anglican clergy might leave their church. Although he had already been given a ten minute slot earlier in the meeting to state his own views, he rose, at the end of the Doctor’s address not to close the meeting, but to counter what had been said. Being a young, impetuous non-conformist at the time, I secretly hoped that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones would get to his feet again and make mincemeat of the Anglican leader, but he was wiser and more gracious than I shall ever be…

In spite of the interjection, many of us left the Central Hall feeling that we were on the verge of something new and exciting. We honestly believed that if we left our mixed denominations it would not be a matter of going out into the wilderness, but into this new grouping of churches. We also felt, quite justifiably, that just as men were willing to make sacrifices to come out of mixed denominations, so evangelical bodies like the FIEC and the Strict Baptists, etc, would be prepared to make changes in pursuit of this greater evangelical unity. Sadly, it has not happened. Our failure to heed the appeal, in my view, is one of the greatest tragedies and disappointments of the past 30 years. I sometimes wonder whether the increased confusion and contention within evangelicalism, not to mention the comedy, is a judgement of God upon us because of our failure to take evangelical unity seriously.

Is it too late now? New factors, besides liberalism and ecumenism, have come into the religious scene, ranging from the ridiculous to the rigid. The difficulties will be enormous but should that prevent us from attempting what is right? After all, trying to live a holy life can be difficult. Am I wrong to dream that one day there might be a closeknit Fellowship or Association of Bible Churches with English, Welsh and Scottish branches, to include all who have a serious view of the Bible and a commitment to a robust evangelicalism? Dr Lloyd-Jones ended his appeal with the prayer „May God speed the day”.

I thank God for the privilege of being at the Central Hall that night and of being allowed to live through those exciting, if scaring, times. Just one small, almost trivial incident indicates how traumatic the Central Hall meeting was. Two days later, as the EA assembly continued, newspaper vendors were selling their wares outside the Central Hall. The paper they were selling was The Christian, and their sales cry was not „Late Final” or „Latest Football Results’, but „Lloyd-Jones in The Christian!”, „Lloyd-Jones in The Christian!”

Derek Prime, then at Lansdowne EFC, Norwood

My memory of the evening of Tuesday, October 18th, 1966, at the Central Hall, Westminster, is not as clear as I would wish it to be. I do not think that any person taking part imagined that it would prove to be so significant. Had we appreciated the consequences that were to follow, I for one would probably have taken greater note of the feelings and convictions I then possessed.

I have clear recollections, however, of our time in the vestry beforehand. I imagine that I had been asked to take part because I was in the middle of my year as president of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. The atmosphere was warm and friendly. After prayer together, John Stott, the chairman, suggested that we make our way to the platform, and Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones asked John Stott, where he wanted him to sit. „Sit at my side”, John Stott requested, to which the Doctor quickly responded, with a twinkle in his eye, „Which side? You have two sides, John!”

I had been asked to read the Scriptures early on in the meeting, together with some brief comment. Since the stated theme was Christian unity, I read the first half ofPhilippians 2, and commented on the passage in the light of the subject.

The address Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave is well documented, and what he said probably surprised few of us, but what took everyone by surprise, I believe, was the action of the chairman, John Stott, when, after the Doctor’s address, he proceeded to repudiate what he had said. I sensed that this was unpremeditated and certainly not on the programme for the meeting. John Stott was clearly alarmed at the action some might be prompted to take. The lesson I clearly remember from that meeting, which has remained with me, is that a chairman should not be a principal contributor to a meeting, especially if the subject is one where strong feelings are held. The sympathy of many went out to the Doctor who had no opportunity of reply, and especially the sympathy of those who already identified with the Doctor’s position or who were feeling the particular pressures of a false ecumenism in their church situations. I wonder if things would have been different- and the outcome better – if the meeting had been chaired by someone whose task had only been to chair, and not to represent a position or point of view?

It was a sad occasion because of my personal debt to and affection for both men. As a teenager, my school was adjacent to Westminster Chapel, and I was early introduced to the Friday Evening Discussion Meeting. Then as a young pastor, before moving to Edinburgh, I attended for twelve years the Westminster Fellowship. As a student, I was Mission Secretary for the first mission John Stott took for the Christian Union at Cambridge, a mission which was outstandingly fruitful as he preached the series of sermons from which came Basic Christianity. No two men, with their contrasting styles of effective expository preaching, more greatly influenced me with regard to my own understanding of preaching. I owe a great debt to God for their example.

There were many repercussions from the meeting, which others have written about. The Evangelical Alliance lost from its council godly men such as Theodore Bendor-Samuel and John Caiger, and the British Evangelical Council was seen as a preferred alternative for expressing evangelical Church unity. My personal regret was that I lost fellowship with many whose friendship I had appreciated and gained from since student days in the then IVF, particularly with evangelical Anglicans. Evangelical Anglicans and evangelical non- conformists expressed their identity and common concerns in many ways in the early years of my ministry, but that more or less ceased, and both went very much their own ways. It has perhaps only been in recent years, principally through the Proclamation Trust’s activity, that the divide has been bridged and fellowship re-established.

Leith Samuel, then at Above Bar Church, Southampton

Rev. Morgan Derham was the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance (EA) when it undertook the task of enquiring whether or not there was a widespread demand for a united evangelical Church in Britain. An Assembly open to all Evangelicals registered with or recognised by the EA was arranged to meet in the Church House, Westminster, with two evening rallies in the Central Hall. John Stott chaired the first evening rally at which the speaker was Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who had discussed with the Council everything he was going to say. A rumour has circulated since that the message he gave took the Council of EA completely by surprise. Not so! They knew, and if they wished to, could have requested him not to say what he came out with. Revelation 18:4 was the Scripture on which the Doctor based his appeal. „Everything is in the melting-pot” is freely admitted all round. „For too long we have been content to go along as the evangelical wings of doctrinally- mixed denominations. Is this not the time to come together?” He did not advocate a new denomination, but „a loose federation of evangelical churches”. When he finished, John Stott got up and, contrary to the generally understood role of a chairman, flatly contradicted

the Doctor’s thesis by saying: „The Doctor has Scripture and Church History against him”, with no reference to any Scripture or incident in Church History. My host for the night, Tim Buckley of the London Bible College, said on the way home to Tooting: „Rugby and Cambridge. I can’t understand it!”, a reference to the chairman’s behaviour.

I rang the Doctor at his home that night, and expressed my grief at the way he had been treated. I did not sleep much that night, because I had to introduce a proposition next morning in the Church House that a fund should be started to help ministers who felt their conscience, enlightened by Scripture, was telling them they ought to leave their doctrinally-mixed denominations. I mentioned in my introduction that the existence of the Church of England was an illustration from Church History of a withdrawal from an apostate Church.

Imagine my consternation when we received at the door of the Central Hall that night a copy of The Christian, containing David Winter’s report of the meeting the previous evening with a heading across the front page saying: „The Doctor had called people out of their churches to form a new denomination”. Rev. HF Stevenson was unwell on the previous night and had asked David Winter to double up for him, so the Life ofFaith came out with a similarly startling heading the next day. In company with the Rev. Roland Lamb and a few others I submitted a letter to both papers asking the editors to correct the misleading impression of the previous week’s issue. The small letter was duly printed by both journals on page 3, totally lacking the impact of the previous week’s streaming headlines.

From personal conversations with the Doctor I gathered that he (and I!, let me hasten to add) were hoping that a banner would be raised at the Central Hall that we could all (true Evangelicals) in Britain come together under. I was informed by Dr Douglas Johnson, a close friend of the Doctor’s, that John Stott apologised privately to the Doctor, but never made public that he was sorry for treating the leading Evangelical in the country in the way he had done.

The next year the Anglicans met at Keele and declared they were committing themselves to a future in the Anglican community. I wrote to John Stott asking him not to overlook his non-conformist brethren. He assured me this would not happen! But ten years later at Nottingham they proceeded further in an Anglican direction. „This was not my scene said the leading Anglican Evangelical to me straight after Nottingham!

On the non-conformist side, the BEC gathering in Westminster Chapel, October 3rd 1967, was a significant moment, 450 years after Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Church ofWittenberg, though the impetus of that great gathering was never maintained, alas!

Derek Swann, then at Ash(ord Congregational Church

I began my ministry at Ashford in January 1963. My predecessor, but one, the Rev. Gilbert Kirby had left to become General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance in 1957. Consequently, the Church had strong links with the EA. It was natural, therefore, that I should be present at the October 1966 meeting at the Westminster Central Hall as a Church delegate, and at the various public meetings of the EA prior to that.

All that Dr Lloyd-Jones said that night in October is now well documented. To some, his message came like a thunderbolt, but to those of us who regularly attended the monthly meetings of the Westminster Fellowship of Ministers over which the Doctor presided, it was not. For many months the question of the Doctrine of the Church, unity and schism had been thoroughly discussed, so we were familiar with the Doctor’s position.

As Congregationalists we were forced in the early 60s, in way others were not, to consider, and face up to, the subject of Church unity. The Congregational Union of England & Wales was actively working for the formation of the Congregational Church in England and Wales (this came into being in 1966), which was a spring-board for union with the Presbyterian Church of England, which would result in the formation of the United Reformed Church in 1972. The majority of Evangelical Congregationalists were clear about what action they should take, but the discussions under Dr Lloyd-Jones were both strengthening and encouraging. At Ashford, as in many of our churches, the main issue was the Doctrine of Scripture. How could we possibly work with ministers and churches who held the view that „the Bible is not wholly free from error, confusion and contradiction, it must be read with fully critical attention if the Church is to discern the truth which is binding, and not to be in bondage to what is not binding”.1

A colleague had lunch with one of the leading men in the CUEW at the time, and warned that if loose views of Scripture continued to be embraced then Evangelicals could have no part in the proposed EC in England and Wales. His reply was: „We’re ready to lose you, for the sake of wider unity”. Not surprisingly the bulk of Evangelical Congregational Churches did not enter the new body. I must point out, as a matter of fact, that we did not come out of a body, rather we refused to join one.

To go back to the October 1966 meeting. When the Doctor finished his reasoned and passionate address, the behaviour of the Chairman, the Rev. John Stott, came as a shock. That otherwise calm and reasonable Anglican seemed to be visibly shaken by what had been said, and perhaps, fearful lest there should be a flood ofAnglican ministers prematurely leaving the Anglican Church, spoke briefly, but strongly that both Scripture and History were against the position the Doctor had outlined. The atmosphere was electric and one had the sense that from that night onwards a division in evangelicalism was highlighted that would dominate the scene for years to come.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Why Do Unbelievers Reject Christ

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(2) Addresses by Dr Lloyd-Jones on Christian Unity at The Third Assembly of the World Council of Churches at New Delhi, December 1962


Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

by Eryl Davies – Principal of the Evangelical Theological College of Wales and Editor for  Foundations a journal of Evangelical theology for the British Evangelical Council (18th October 1966 edition) (Note: due to length, and so it can be easier on the eyes, all emphasis -dark shading- is mine)

18th October 1966: Its context, message and significance

Eryl Davies

It is important to understand what actually happened on the 18th October 1966. Facts are my concern here, not fiction however imaginative or prejudiced. Sadly, some have misunderstood and even misrepresented the message and motives of Lloyd-Jones on this occasion. A later article briefly illustrates what religious papers at the time reported and also how more recent books view the significance of the occasion. Facts · are important and one major purpose of this article is to establish what Lloyd-Jones said and the context in which he said it. I also intend to pinpoint some areas of challenge, too, for the contemporary scene. We must continue to learn from 1966 and grapple with the questions and issues raised by Lloyd-Jones. These issues are relevant not because Lloyd-Jones articulated them, but because they involve Biblical and abiding principles which we ignore only at our peril.

I will employ a question and answer approach in this article. One reason for adopting this approach is that annually my students ask me many ofthese questions as we examine the subject of ecumenism in class. We ponder long on the subject and perhaps these questions are also your own questions. Another reason for adopting this style is that the information may be more digestible and interesting.

c> Why should we bother to mark the 30th anniversary of this date?

Well, it was, as we will see, an historic occasion which has had major implications for the nature, unity and future of evangelicalism in the United Kingdom. A major division occurred amongst British Evangelicals, especially between Anglican Evangelicals and their non-conformist brethren. It would be tragic if no-one marked this anniversary or failed to reflect seriously on its abiding significance.

c> Who arranged the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) at which Lloyd-jones spoke in 1966?

The NAE was arranged by the Evangelical Alliance (EA). When the EA arranged the first NAE in 1965, its General Secretary at the time, Rev. Gilbert Kirby, acknowledged „we had considerable doubts as to the degree to which it would be supported”. However, they were reassured of the rightness in calling that initial NAB and the EA leadership also recognised the need for a second NAB in 1966.

c> Why hold a second NAE? Was there a need?

It is appropriate to allow Gilbert Kirby to answer these two related questi()ns. In extending a welcome in the Conference Delegates’ Handbook to delegates to the second NAE, Kirby explains: „It soon became clear at the last Assembly that the question of Christian unity was uppermost in many minds. Acting on the wishes clearly expressed at the Assembly, the Alliance brought into being a Church Unity Commission, which has met on many occasions over the past months, and which is due to present a report at the forthcoming Assembly. Clearly we must give adequate time to the consideration of this vital subject…”.1

o Did the 1966 NAE spend all or most of its time discussing unity?

No, not at all. Again, Kirby writes: „…indeed the first full day of the Assembly will be very largely devoted to it. On the Tuesday evening at the opening rally .. .it is expected that Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones will also speak to this theme. We feel it would be wrong, however, to devote the whole of our time together to one particular theme, important as that may be. On the second full day of Conference, therefore, we propose to devote our attention, first of all to certain current issues relating to moral and spiritual matters, and then to the Unfinished Task of Evangelism at home and abroad”.2 However, it is fair to add that the challenge and impact of the address by Lloyd-Jones in the first meeting overshadowed the rest of the Conference.

o Who attended the NAE?

Delegates from local churches, Fellowships, Societies and Denominations affiliated to the Evangelical Alliance.3

o Tell me more about the Commission on Church Unity which was established by the 1965 NAE.

During the first NAE in 1965 it was apparent that Evangelicals of all denominations were „vitally interested”4 in the question of Christian unity. The purpose of the Commission was „to study radically the various attitudes of Evangelicals to the Ecumenical Movement, denominationalism and a possible future United Church”. The 1965 NAE insisted that those elected to serve on the Commission should be „from within the membership of the Evangelical Alliance”. The Revs Peter Johnston (CotE) and John Caiger (Baptist) shared the chairmanship of the Commission. Other Commission members included Canon Frank Colquhoun (CotE), Rev. TH Bendor- Samuel (F1EC), GCD Howley (Brethren), Rev. Godfrey Robinson (Baptist) together with the Executive secretaries, Rev. Gilbert Kirby (Congregationalist), Rev. J Hywel Davies (Elim) and David Winter (CotE).

o Is it correct that Lloyd-Jones attended the Commission? Yes, it is correct. In addition to Lloyd-Jones, several others members of the Westminster Fellowship also agreed to speak to the Commission. The following people attended in person at the request of the Commission :

  • Rev. Canon T G Mohan, CofE Evangelical Council Rev. W M D Persson, CotE Evangelical Council
  • Rev. John A Job, Methodist Revival Fellowship
  • Rev. Hon Roland Lamb, Methodist Revival Fellowship
  • Rev. Ronald S Luland, Baptist Revival Fellowship
  • Rev. Stanley J Voke, Baptist Revival Fellowship
  • Rev. Geoffrey R King, Baptist Revival Fellowship 8
  • Rev. E S Guest, Congregational Evangelical Revival Fellowship
  • Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Westminster Chapel
  • Rev. Alfred F Missen, British Pentecostal Fellowship
  • Derek Warren, Christian Brethren Rev. HJones, Free Church ofEngland
  • Rev. E Gregory, Free Church of England
  • Rev. Dr JD Douglas, Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Murdo A McLeod, Free Church of Scotland
  • Rev. Kenneth H Bell, Presbyterian Church of England Rev. lain Murray, Grove Chapel, Camberwell

c::> How did the Commission define key-terms like ‘evangelical’ and ‘ecumenical’?
The term „evangelical” was used „in its more restricted sense to denote ‘conservative evangelical”‘ while „ecumenical” was understood „primarily with reference to the World Council ofChurches”.5 The Commission in using the term „United Church” understood it as referring to „a possible United Evangelical Church mentioned in the resolution passed at the 1965” NAE.

c::> What conclusions did the Commission come to?

There were „definite conclusions”, namely:

  1. „There is no widespread demand at the present time for the setting up of a united evangelical church on denominational lines”.
  2. „There is a strong demand for the strengthening of the links between evangelical churches of varying traditions”.
  3. „This does not mean that there could not be an effective fellowship or federation of evangelical churches at both the local and nationallevel”.6

c::> Did the EA know in advance which subject Lloyd-Jones was going to speak on in 1966 and the burden of his address?

Lloyd-Jones had previously shared in private with the members of the Commission his own views of Christian unity. He was then „asked to say in public what he had said in private”.7 In his opening remarks to the Conference, Lloyd-Jones announced that „My subject is Church unity, and I am speaking on this at the request of the Commission.. .It was the members of the Commission themselves who asked me to state in public here tonight what I am now proposing to say to you. So it is really their responsibility. They have already heard it, and they asked me to repeat it to you”. John Stott also knew in outline what Lloyd-Jones would say and was given ten minutes prior to the main speaker to state his own view on unity.

c::> Can you summarize the main message of Lloyd-Jones at the second NAE?

Only with some difficulty! Obviously it is better to read and study the whole address for it is available to us in Knowing the Times.8 On the other hand, it can be helpfu(to summarize the address in order to feel its challenge and to reflect on its message again.

For convenience, I am dividing his address in three ways :

Introduction

In his introduction, Lloyd-Jones made several points. One, that the doctrine of the Church is prominent in the New Testament itself. Two, it is a „most urgent”9 and relevant subject especially because of the Church’s contemporary condition in the world. Three, the formation Of the WCC in 1948 haS Created „an entirely neW situation”,10 „such as has not been the case since the Protestant Reformation”. In 1966 he observed that Protestant denominations were „prepared to reconsider their whole position” which included a new and more favourable attitude towards Rome. Tragically for Lloyd-Jones, Evangelicals hardly ever discussed ecclesiology and always appeared negative towards ecumenism.

Questions

At the heart of the address were three major questions:

  1. „Are we content, as Evangelicals, to go on being nothing but an evangelical wing of a Church” and where the majority have liberal views of the Bible?
  2. „Where are we to start in this whole matter?” Again, he observed a cleavage in which some merely wanted to „modify” and „improve” the situation rather than reform in the light of the New Testament. This raises „the question”,12 what is the Christian Church? For Lloyd-Jones, the New Testament maintains that the Church comprises believers, „living people” who embrace the Biblical doctrines „essential to salvation”.
  3. What is the sin of schism? Arguing from 1 Corinthians, he claims that „schism is adivision among members of the true visible Church about matters which are not sufficiently important to justify division”,  „holding the same doctrines but dividing over persons”. Only Evangelicals, therefore, can be guilty of the sin of schism so that to secede from a mixed denomination is not schismatic.

Challenge

  1. A  „What reasons have we for not coming together?” Lloyd-Jones insisted that it was inconsistent to remain within a mixed denomination such as Anglican or Methodist.
  2. B  „Do we not feel the call to come together, not occasionally, but always? It is a grief to me that I spend so little of my time with some of my brethren…I am a believer in ecumenicity, evangelical ecumenicity. To me, the tragedy is that we are divided … ” Y
  3. C  „But have we a right to ask His blessing upon churches which spend most of their time in arguing about the essentials and the vitals of the faith? Surely, the Holy Spirit will only bless His own Word, and if those of us who believe it would only come together, stand together as churches, constantly together, working together, doing everything together, bearing our witness together, I believe we would then have the right to expect the Spirit of God to come upon us in mighty revival and re- awakening” .16
  4. D  „There are great problems confronting us if we act on these principles. But has the day come when we, as Evangelicals, are afraid of problems?…we are living in tremendous times…in one of the great turning points of history…there has been nothing like this since the Sixteenth Century. It is a day of glorious opportunity… And who knows but that the Ecumenical Movement may be something for which, in years to come, we shall thank God because it has made us face our problems on the Church level instead ofon the level ofmovements, and really brought us together as a fellowship, or an association, of evangelical churches. May God speed the day”.17

c::> Is it true that Lloyd-jones wanted a united evangelical Church?

No, this is a misrepresentation of his message and call. It was not one monolithic evangelical church he wanted but rather a meaningful and real „fellowship or an association of evangelical churches”. His independent approach to church government comes through here. Addressing the Westminster Fellowship in Welwyn in June 1965, he insisted: „I have not proposed a new church”.18 However, there was confusion on this point, but it was not the fault of Lloyd-Jones. For example, it was a member of the Westminster Fellowship, Don Davies, who moved the EA resolution in 1965 that a Commission should consider „a possible future United Church~’ and this in turn was interpreted by the EA to mean „a united evangelical church on denominational lines”.19

Nevertheless, it was not what Lloyd-Jones wanted. For example, in 1963 he expressed his hope for an association of churches in which there was a minimum of central control. In this context he admired Cromwell’s quest for a unity between churches which still allowed differences over church government. „That is exactly my position on these matters”, he declares, „I do not care whether a man is a Presbyterian or a Baptist or an Independent or Episcopalian or a Methodist, as long as he is agreed about the essentials of ‘the faith'”.20

c::> How did John Stott respond to the address of Lloyd-jones?

As chairman, he had already been given several minutes earlier in the meeting to express his view of Christian unity but immediately after Lloyd-Jones had spoken, Stott made an impromptu speech which included the now famous lines: „I believe history is against what Dr Lloyd-Jones has said…Scripture is against him, the remnant was within the church not outside it. I hope no-one will act precipitately…”.21 The effect was „sensational” and it „polarised”22 the meeting.

c::> What were the consequences of this meeting for evangelicalism in the United Kingdom?

One immediate consequence was a deep division both between Anglican Evangelicals and many of their non-conformist brethren, but also among non-conformist pastors and churches. The latter division over secession sadly involved, in some cases, strained and even broken relationships while the former division took the majority of evangelical Anglicans in the direction of the WCC and further away from their non- conformist brethren. Another consequence has been expressed by Hywel R Jones: „The rejection of evangelical unity in 1966 has become an adoption of ecumenical unity in 1991”.23 Anglican Evangelicals also became more committed to their denomination and in numerous ways there was a weakening on the part of some to Biblical teaching.

This is what John Gunstone had in mind when he referred to Anglican Evangelicals as the „new Evangelicals”, being „comprehensive rather than exclusive”, „more relaxed theologically” and more Anglican than evangelicai.24 For some years, too, a strongly negative attitude characterized a few of the secessionists who affiliated to the British Evangelical Council, by that time already 14 years old. Thankfully, this has given way in recent years to a more positive quest for evangelical unity.

o To what extent was Lloyd-Jones responsible for the division among post-1966 Evangelicals?

Some blame Lloyd-Jones almost completely for „rocking the boat” and dividing UK Evangelicals. They claim that he did this by introducing and pressing the ecclesiological dimension into discussions concerning Biblical ecumenism, especially the crucial question relating to the nature of the Church. This, however, is a superficial and misleading understanding of .events. For example, Lloyd-Jones was grieved by the radical departure of the historical denominations from the Bible and their willingness to commit themselves to an unbiblical ecumenism. He rightly challenged Evangelicals as to whether they should co-exist and co-operate with those in denominations who blatantly denied and opposed the essentials of the Gospel. Furthermore, Lloyd-Jones correctly perceived that evangelical Anglicans were espousing a new open policy on ecumenism which further isolated them from other Evangelicals. In other words, he insisted from Scripture that Christian unity was grounded in the truth of God’s infallible Word and was, in its essence, spiritual rather than organizational. Lloyd-Jones was „enunciating principles”, confirms lain Murray, „which could be seen to possess Biblical authority”25 and, he adds, „no-one ever attempted to answer the booklet The Basis of Christian Unity from Scripture”. Rather than attempting to divide Evangelicals, Lloyd- Jones’s aim throughout was to call them from doctrinal compromise to a working expression of evangelical unity~ Already, however, and prior to 1966, decisions had been made especially within Anglican circles and~policies adopted which were decisive and had nothing to do with Lloyd-Jones.

o What kind of evangelical unity did Lloyd-Jones envisage?

As indicated in his 1966 address, he wanted „a fellowship or an association of evangelical churches” expressed consistently according to the New Testament doctrine of the Church. To the Westminster Ministers’ Fellowship in late November 1966, he emphasised: „I am not going to organize anything…If I had wanted to start a denomination I would not have left it till now…I am not going to organize, lead or suggest anything. I trust I shall be a helper. I feel I have done what I have been called to do. The question is what are you going to do?”26 In the July 1967 meeting of the Westminster Fellowship he addressed the urgent subject of the nature of the unity sought by Evangelicals who were opposed to developments in ecumenism related to the WCC. While Ecumenists have a minimum of doctrine, he complained that Evangelicals tended to go to „the opposite extreme”.27 Lloyd-Jones then distinguished between doctrines which are essential and those which are not essential; the latter included baptism, Church polity and charismata. „I have never proposed a united evangelical church”, he concluded, „…I cannot see the impossibility of a loose fellowship including those who are Presbyterian, those who are independent, and those with varying views on baptism”.28

When pressed, it was clear that Lloyd-Jones did not have any particular plan or blueprint for the expression of a new evangelical unity. Not only was his own understanding limited at this point, but he also wanted others to pray and consider Biblically the way forward. One thing is clear, Lloyd-Jones wanted a big umbrella-type fellowship of churches, including evangelical Anglicans, but in the circumstances had to opt for the BEC as providing the next best and widest possible fellowship between churches in the post-1966 situation.

o Did Lloyd-Jones repeat and/or develop his 1966 message? Yes, he did. One example is his address in 1967 on Luther and His Messagefor Today. 29 The editor’s introduction to this address is helpful. First, the editor notes that one development is that the 1966 address was a major, positive call for Evangelicals to unite in a fellowship of evangelical churches whereas the 1967 Luther address „led up to an explicit call to them to secede from denominations which were moving towards Rome by their involvement in the ecumenical movement”.30 Second, the editor draws attention to the „Doctor’s” expression „guilt by association” in the 1967 address. He was not advocating „second degree separation”, but rather „putting an important question to those in the doctrinally mixed denominations who would be ‘content to function’ in the same church as those ‘who deny the very elements of the Christian faith”‘.

Again in 1968 Lloyd-Jones addressed the BEC conference on What is the Church? partly because it was at the time „the greatest cause of division amongst Evangelicals in this country”Y In the 1970 conference, his concern was „wrong divisions and true unity” and emphasised the crucial difference between separation and schism. In his 1977 BEC address, the „Doctor” spoke under the title of The Sword and the Song and reviewed the ten year period from 1967-1977. Unti11967, Lloyd-Jones rightly claims that they were all engaged fighting „the old liberalism and modernism”32 with the help ofEvangelicals in the mixed denominations, namely, those within the EA. Now, however, „the situation unfortunately has taken a very sad and a very tragic turn”33 and, he adds, „in my wildest moments, I never imagined that the things which have taken place in the last ten years would come to pass. It is almost incredible”. Lloyd-Jones goes on to describe this as „a real change and a definite shift in the whole position of Anglican evangelicalism”34 in their views of Scripture, salvation, the Church, and also ecclesiastical relationships;35 it represents an „extraordinary change”. And it „has become very doubtful as to what an Evangelical really is. This is a sad, a tragic story”.36

Lloyd-Jones then probes the question as to why this has happened. „To me”, he replies, „there is only one answer. It is that if your doctrine of the Church is wrong, eventually you will go wrong everywhere”.37 He went on to affirm that Evangelicals within the BEC must fight for the Bible, „the truth of the Gospel”38 as well as a „true conception ofthe Christian Church”.39 Not only then was 1966 a tragic division; it was also for some evangelical Anglicans the beginning of compromise on major doctrines.

o Finally, are you suggesting that in some way we need to go back to the 1966 situation?

Not really because the situation today has changed and we dare not live in the past. Nevertheless, although the situation has changed, the issues have not changed. As we have just seen, the post-1966 situation has deteriorated and there is considerable confusion as well as uncertainty over major Biblical doctrines. We can, and must, learn from the 1966 call.

Ce-i de facut de George W. Galis

Insufleteste-Ti lucrarea in cursul anilor, Doamne Fa-Te cunoscut in trecerea anilor. Dar in minia Ta adu-Ti aminte de indurarile Tale” (Habacuc 3:2).

Din scrierile taticului meu:

Ei lăudau pe Dumnezeu, şi erau plăcuţi înaintea întregului norod. Şi Domnul adăuga în fiecare zi la numărul lor pe cei ce erau mîntuiţi.” Fapte 2:47

In zilele noastre Biserica Crestina este constienta caci ii lipseste „autoritatea reala”. pe care a avut-o Biserica Apostolilor. Ca rezultat, oamenii au incetat sa mai asculte si sa dea atentia cuvenita mesajului Evangheliei. Care este de fapt „autoritatea reala a Bisericii”?

Din punct de vedere practic Biserica trebuie sa fie sub autoritatea si puterea Duhului Sfint. Pentru Biblie trebuie sa avem o veneratie profunda, caci ea are tot Cuvintul care ne duce la Dumnezeu. Dar puterea care da viata din Christos sta in trezirea pe care o face Duhul Sfint. Caci Evanghelia nu sta numai in Cuvint ci si in puterea si in convingerea pe care o da Duhul Sfint. Gresala cea mai mare este incurajata de marii invatati ai Bibliei si predicatori care afirma ca Dumnezeu nu mai comunica cu omul direct ci doar prin Cuvintul Scripturii. Ei neaga realitatea inspiratiei Duhului Sfint si in prezent, comunicarea activa in sufletul si duhul omului.

Scrierile lui William Law publicate imediat dupa anul 1700, declara cu o putere irezistibila si logica caci crestinismul este cu adevarat, intemeiat pe un adevar neschimbat. El demonstreaza cu claritate egalata de putini altii, caci Scriptura se implica ea insasi inevitabil cu realitatea, ca dependenta esentiala a omului care este neschimbata in Dumnezeu. Duhul Sfint vorbeste si lucreaza prin CUVINT si acum ca si la inceput.

Predici Chadwick

Cred ca nu este prea puternic limbajul lui Samuel Chadwick, care a spus: „Darul Duhului Sfint este cununa Milei lui Dumnezeu in Isus Christos. Intruparea si Rastignirea, Invierea si Inaltarea au fost pregatitoare pentru Rusalii. Darul Duhului Sfint este puterea esentiala si vitala, elementul central in viata si lucrarea Bisericii” (Joyful News 1911).

Afirmatiile lui Chadwick le confirma Adrio Konig, profesor de teologie sistematica la Universitatea Africii de Sud din Pretoria: „In persoana Duhului Sfint noi primim, primul dar al mintuirii depline, promise de Dumnezeu. Dindu-ne Duhul Sfint, Dumnezeu ne garanteaza o mintuire deplina.”  Cea mai mare lipsa a crestinismului de astazi este absenta puterii Duhului Sfint.

Revizuind activitatile Bisericii din ultimii treizeci de ani, vom constata ca multe milioane de dolari s-au donat ca sa se suporte lucrarea crestina organizata. Scolile si institutiile Biblice au pregatit mii de lucratori. Carti si tractate s-au tiparit si s-au pus in circulatie. Timp si munca s-au dat de un numar incalculabil de lucratori. Si care sunt rezultatele? Sint Bisericile mai putin lumesti? Sint membrii ei mai asemanatori cu Christos in umblarea lor zilnica? Sint familiile mai puternice, mai credincioase? Sint copii mai ascultatori si mai respectuosi? Standardul cinstei in afaceri s-a ridicat?

Pina nu i se da din nou Duhului Sfint, locul cuvenit in inimile noastre, in gindirea si activitatile noastre, nu poate avea loc nici o imbunatatire. Pina nu recunoastem ca noi in intregime depindem de El si de binecuvintarile Lui spirituale, nu vom avea succesul dorit (din scrierile lui Arthur W. Pink).

De ce se neglijeaza subiectul : Duhul Sfint?

Predici Whitefield

Exista si o explicatie de ce se neglijeaza acest subiect: Frica de entuziasmul si excesele care exista in unele biserici in care se pune accentul pe „lucrarea Duhului Sfint”. „Uita-te la lucrarile pe care le fac ei,” zic unii. „Uita-te la lipsa lor de control. Ei se fac vinovati de lucruri care intristeaza pe Duhul Sfint”.

Asemenea acuzatii s-au adus si  impotriva lui George Whitefield si John Wesley cu doua sute de ani in urma de catre Arhiepiscopii de atunci. Explicatia este urmatoarea: pentru George Whitefield si John Wesley prietenia si scrierile lui William Law i-au condus la grupul de rugaciune de pe strada Aldergate din Londra (1738). Acolo ei au cunoscut „Marea trezire a Duhului Sfint (dupa Websters Biographical Dictionary). Cunoastem activitatea lui John Wesley si George Whitefield. Capacitatea lor ca slujitori ai Evangheliei incepind de atunci pina la sfirsitul vietii lor, cum Dumnezeu i-a folosit la mintuirea altora. Cum Dumnezeu lucra prin Duhul Sfint in ei.

Pericolul zilelor noastre

Departe de mine de a apara excesul sau fanatismul, dar eu sint sigur ca pericolul zilelor noastre nu este frica de exces sau fanatism, ci ne facem vinovati de a stinge Duhul. In ultima analiza, desigur, constatam ca noi sintem preocupati de noi insine si de importanta personala, de aceea aproape ca ne este frica sa-i dam controlul Duhului Sfint in viata noastra, ca nu cumva El sa se manifeste prin noi in asa maniera, ca noi sa facem ceva sau sa spunem ceva sau sa aparem la infatisare cu ceva care nu ar corespunde cu educatia moderna, cu individul at it de sofisticat al zilelor noastre (din scrierile lui Martyn Lloyd-Jones, recunoscut ca unul dintre cei mai talentati predicatori si scriitori care a fost si pastor la Westminster Chapel din Londra).

Prin prezentarea de pina aici am insistat mult asupra autoritatii Duhului Sfint. Scotind in evidenta mai multe puncte de vedere comune, de la diferiti crestini cu diferite convingeri religioase, altele decit cea penticostala. Dar toti au ajuns la convingerea ca Duhul Sfint este modul prin care Isus este prezent in Biserica. Isus si Duhul Sfint lucreaza impreuna, pentru ca Duhul Sfint este cel ce prezinta lucrarea lui Christos. Christos lucreaza pe pamint prin Duhul Sfint. Este imposibil sa-L separam pe Isus de Duhul Sfint. Christos este prezent si lucreaza prin Duhul Sfint la fel cum in lucrarea Duhului Sfint este prezenta lucrarea lui Christos (Romani 8:1,9,10).

Fiecare Biserica are nevoie de o trezire spirituala, astazi mai mult ca oricind. Inima fiecarui crestin trebuie sa nazuiasca dupa o reinoire personala. Sa ajungem sa cunoastem realitatea marilor profunzimi spirituale si prezenta lui Dumnezeu in viata personala.

Insufleteste-Ti lucrarea in cursul anilor, Doamne Fa-Te cunoscut in trecerea anilor. Dar in minia Ta adu-Ti aminte de indurarile Tale” (Habacuc 3:2).

Holy Ghost Fire

by Rev. Allen Baker – Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut. From Banner of Truth Trust, UK (11/2010)

And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. (Acts 2:3)

If Brett McCracken’s observation is correct — that seventy per cent of those age eighteen to twenty-two, who grew up in the church, leave it never to return again,1 then surely we can agree that the evangelical church is in big trouble. Ever since the late 1970’s when evangelicalism began to suffer the loss of members, she has tried numerous schemes to stop the bleeding. First it was the church growth movement with its emphasis on homogeneity, that we ought to worship with people ‘just like us.’ Then came the seeker friendly movement with its use of drama and ‘how to’, psycho-therapeutic sermons, seeking to reach the Baby Boomer generation who was bored with church. Then came, for a brief period of time, the Emerging Church movement which sought to connect the Generation X culture with the ancient past. And now we have hipster Christianity where pastors don metro-sexual dress, sport $80 haircuts, and use shocking speech and address even more shocking topics from the pulpit in order to reach the Millennial generation.

In each of these movements there can be no doubt that some were truly converted, and surely mega-churches, for good or for ill, have come out of all these approaches. The question, however, is this — are these offerings of strange fire to the Lord? God was terribly displeased with Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, when they brought their strange fire on the altar (Num. 3:4). He killed them on the spot. There are at least three underlying false assumptions in each of these movements. Consequently the embrace of any or all of them will fail to bring the substantial, biblical growth evangelicalism wants and needs. What are they and what is the remedy? First, each of these movements assumes a semi-Pelagian view of man. Pelagius, the fourth century A.D. heretic, denied the doctrine of original sin, believing that mankind therefore was not corrupted by Adam’s fall into sin. In other words, man was completely free to choose or reject the overtures of the gospel. The semi-Pelagian (modern day Arminianism) does not go that far. It says that while man was definitely and adversely affected by Adam’s fall, he still has some ability to decide on his own free will to follow Christ. The moment one takes this position is the moment he becomes a pragmatist in gospel work. If man has the key to the jailhouse of his sin in his pocket, then we ought to use any method necessary to coerce or seduce him to use it. So, anything goes in church services with entertainment, music, sermons. If a sixty year old pastor wants to reach the Millennial and X generations then why not bring his wife on the platform, having a bed there as a prop, and talk openly and specifically about sexual intercourse, urging the married couples to engage in that activity every night for a week?2

The second false assumption is that the Word of God preached is insufficient to get the job done. No evangelical pastor will admit this of course, but this is the practical outcome. Therefore sermons are becoming shorter and shorter, more and more devoid of solid Biblical exposition and content. The emphasis in many churches seems to be on the unbeliever, ‘dumbing down’ the sermon in order to appeal to him, leaving the rest of the congregation spiritually malnourished. No wonder, then, that the problems of marital infidelity, divorce, wayward children, and varied addictions are as rampant inside the church as outside it.

And the third false assumption is that the Word of God is sufficient. ‘Al, what are you saying? Are you contradicting yourself? Didn’t you just say that many today believe the preached word is insufficient? Which is it?’ Here’s what I mean — some who hold to the sufficiency of the preached Word of God believe that is all that is required, that all a preacher needs to do is stand up, open his mouth, after studying well and preparing a good, solid Biblical sermon, and all will be well, that God will bless the simple preaching of the Word. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But this also is a faulty assumption. I hear it all the time from Reformed types. This, however, was not enough for Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, or Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Did they believe in the total inability of man to believe the gospel? Absolutely! Did they believe in the complete sufficiency of Scripture? Yes, of course. But they also believed in the preached Word energized by the Holy Spirit. Their preaching and their lives were marked by Holy Ghost fire. What is that? John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord Jesus, said that One was coming who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11). Isaiah said that an angel came and touched his depraved mouth with coals of fire from the altar (Isa. 6:6-7). The men on the road to Emmaus, after hearing Jesus open the Scriptures to them about himself said that their hearts burned within them (Luke 24:32). Malachi said that the coming of the Lord would be like a refiner’s fire (Mal. 3:2-3). Applying the words of the Psalmist, the writer to the Hebrews says that God makes his messengers a flame of fire (Heb. 1:7, Psa. 104:4) Paul tells us that we will be saved by fire (1 Cor. 3:15). Hebrews exhorts us to worship the Lord with reverence, for our God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). And Luke says that one of the manifestations of the coming Holy Spirit was tongues that resembled fire (Acts 2:3). This was the fulfilment of John’s words (Luke 3:16).

What does this mean? Fire in the Bible is symbolic of three things — purity, power, and passion. Isaiah is purified by altar coals. Jesus’ baptism of the Spirit and fire promises the coming power of God. And God’s messengers are a flaming fire, filled with passion to take the gospel to the nations. By all means, we ought to reject semi-Pelagianism and what comes from it; but we must also reject the notion that all we need is the sufficiency of the Scripture. We need both the Scripture and the Spirit. We need to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17) but we must also pray with all perseverance and petition in the Spirit for all the saints, that the Word may go forth with boldness (Eph. 6:18-20). How do we get there? We must have Holy Ghost fire. We must have the unction of the Spirit (1 John 2:20). There is only one way, and that is earnest prayer and supplication, pouring out our hearts to God in repentance, asking for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), seeking his presence and power until we get it (James 4:8). If you are a preacher then make this your highest priority in ministry. If you support your preacher in prayer, and surely you should do so, then pray that the unction, Holy Ghost fire, will come with fulness in purity of motives, power in preaching, and passion in pursuit of ministry. I know — it looks strange, decidedly uncool in our day when hip and laid back is in — but we ought to go to church and watch our pastor burn with Holy Ghost fire as he stands to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. This is not a casual thing. This is not a ‘maybe you ought to think about it’ proposition. This is life and death (2 Cor. 3-4). Our words are a savour of life unto life or death unto death (2 Cor. 2:15-16).

Samuel Chadwick said that when the church talks a lot about its problems, when conferences increase then she is in trouble. She is looking to activities to overcome the lack of true spiritual power. ‘We are acting as though the only remedy for decline were method, organization, and compromise.’3 Surely we can do better. Surely we must do better. We must have Holy Ghost fire!

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