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Alistair Begg’s Foreword to Truth Unchanged, Unchanging

Preaching and Preachers 18 part series

Still They Speak

Lessons from the Life and Ministry of Dr. Lloyd-Jones

MLJ on Creation and Evolution

Blogging on Preaching and Preachers

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Logic on Fire

There is a new documentary in the works about Dr. Lloyd-Jones. Go to logiconfire.org for more details.

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Update

As you might have noticed, I haven’t updated the MLJ Online site in some time. Some of this is due to work demands (I’m a high school teacher and preach every Sunday) and some of this is due to fact that I’ve been dealing with cancer for the past 2 or 3 months.

I was diagnosed with oral cancer on my tongue back in July and then had surgery at the end of August. The recovery from the surgery has gone very well, but I’m still looking at 6 weeks of radiation treatment. The good news is that I should be cancer-free and basically back to normal by the end of the year.

As I’ve gone through all this I’ve certainly pondered the issues of miraculous healing, as opposed to healing that is aided by doctors and technology. I do believe in immediate, divine, supernatural healing. But I also believe it is rare, as miracles by definition should be. Up to the morning of my surgery, I was still hoping for miraculous healing. However, God chose to use modern medicine, modern technology, and doctors and nurses to heal me. As a result of this, I was driven to look to Him in ways I never had before, trusting in Him like never before. Scripture became much more than just a text, it became a living Word to me. If I had been miraculously healed, I would have missed all the precious lessons of God’s love and patience and promises held out to us in His Word.

I also learned a lot about the fellowship of suffering. I had never before needed help. But now I felt (and still feel) the need of help from God’s people. Cards, letters, emails, phone calls, visits, and especially prayers – I had never really needed any of these things before from other people. But because I had to go through some major surgery, I know now how important it is for us as Christians to help others in need and how much those in need are helped by these things.

I believe Dr. Lloyd-Jones would concur with what I’ve written above. He spent a lot of his life dealing with these very issues because of his dual role of being a preacher and a medical doctor at the same time. But he understood the limits of medicine because he knew that just because you could heal a man physically, didn’t mean it would benefit him spiritually. So if we are to truly be of benefit to others, it is the spiritual healing that needs to come first, and only then will any physical healing be of any real value.

I am in the process of the physical healing, but there has been a tremendous spiritual healing (or quickening) because I have been forced by God into this position by the lack of miraculous healing. I am now much more fit to sympathize with and be of value to others who might also be going through similar incidents. And because of this, though I never would have chosen this in a million years, I’m glad that it’s happened this way.

- Sean Richardson

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Intervention of God, or evolution of man?

aberavonWhat I am concerned with is this, that this notion of gradual development and progress has taken a very firm root in our churches and is believed very extensively. And if this is so, it is then unnecessary to believe that God intervenes definitely in individual lives – it is a gradual process and we are all gradually improving. No wonder that the words ‘conversion’ and ‘re-birth’ are being heard less and less frequently. No wonder also that men and women in increasing numbers are absenting themselves from places of worship. A Christian church is a place where it is preached that God does intervene and interfere, and that, apart from Him, souls are lost; in her history that intervention has often been seen and witnessed by hundreds and thousands. And as long as the church preached that, and for ever magnified the power of God unto individual salvation, men and women came, sometimes out of fear and for other reasons, but they came because they felt that their attendance might make an eternal difference to their lives.

When the church does not preach the intervention of God, and believes instead in the gradual evolution of men, why! there is no need to go to church or chapel, you can evolve at home our out in the field or on the beach, and that is a perfectly logical position for the world to take up. But it is not Christian and any man who believes and preaches that, according to the teaching of Jesus Christ, has no right to claim the name of Christian. For according to Him men are saved, not by gradual development over millions of years but by a change of life, at times sudden and dramatic, here and now in this present life. If He did not teach that, I ask you in all seriousness, what did He teach?

- Evangelistic Sermons at Aberavon, pg 5.

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New website for MLJ sermons!

I  have received a couple of emails in the last day or two about the new site for Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s sermons. Here’s an excerpt or two:

As of today, the wonderful Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recordings Trust in the UK is ending its 30 year ministry (including the Audio Library), and we here in the United States at the MLJ Trust will be taking over responsibility for the 1,600 sermons and producing the weekly sermon broadcasts for Oneplace and other radio stations.

Before I go on to to say what this will mean, I invite all of us to pause and think what an incredible work of love the UK Recordings Trust was for our brother in Christ Tony Ruston, who was there on the first day of operations in 1982, and whose final radio introduction will be on our Christmas Oneplace sermon this coming Sunday. In the United States, those of us on the MLJ Trust Board understand completely that we are just trustees of 30 years of work by Tony to transfer reel-to-reel tape recordings from the 1950s into cassette tapes, then CDs and then into audio files that could be listened to by tens of thousands of people around the world. Tony retired from the day to day running the Recordings Trust several years ago, and his excellent successor, Paul Mitchell, did great work in continuing the mission and creating the audio library with his wonderful team in Ashford, but Tony kept producing the weekly sermons, and it was Tony who identified a young Theological student, David Lovi, as a Board member for us in 2007, and has now trained David to be the “voice” of the MLJ Trust after Christmas. Tony Ruston has been a true servant of God. Paul Mitchell and some other members of the UK Recordings Trust team will now lead the John MacArthur “Grace to You Europe” from January 1st, 2013. We wish them all well and thank God for their service to this ministry.

What this means going forward is that as of later today (I will send out a notification), our website ( http://www.mljtrust.org) will be re-launched with the 1,600 sermons, and we will now be responsible for all the costs of maintaining this new site and paying for the downloads, as the sermons will remain free. That is a major change in expense for us, and comes on top of the expense of creating the new site. We do believe that it pleases God for us to continue this work, and so it is our prayer that the Lord will lead enough of our subscribers to donate to this work that we can continue this mission of free sermons for the next 30 years.

As a result of this, there will be some policy changes for all those who will be accessing the sermons. As we are a volunteer group, we can no longer be in the business of making and shipping CDs, but we are well aware that for many of our brothers and sisters (and particularly the elderly), the internet is a challenging source for accessing sermons, so to make up for this, we are instituting the following changes as of today that we hope will please our subscribers:

  1. While all 1,600 sermons are still subject to copyright protection, as of today there is no need to ask our permission to forward a sermon to another person, burn a CD for another person (or congregation), or broadcast a sermon as long as you agree to the following three conditions
    • The sermons will never be sold or used for any commercial purpose (free is free)
    • The sermons will not be edited in any way (either for use as “clips” or edited down for length) – If the sermon is to be used or forwarded, it will be in its entirety
    • The person forwarding, passing on, or broadcasting the sermon to another party will make that the person receiving the sermon is aware of these three conditions and agrees to them
  2. There is now no limit on the number of sermons you can download each week from the sermon library. Initially, there will be no need to sign in and you will be able to download one sermon at a time as many times as you like (we will be providing a “cart”  solution in the next few weeks)

The new MLJ Trust site has been launched (  http://www.mljtrust.org ), and it is now the ONLY site for downloading sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The UK servers ( http://www.mlj-usa.com and http://www.mlj.org.uk ) have closed down.

There is no need for log-ins or passwords on the new site - Just go to the sermons and download what you want. Later on we will be providing a “cart” solution for downloading several sermons at once, but for now the sermons can be downloaded one at a time. You should also be aware, however, that although you can only download the sermons one at a time, there are no limits on how many you can download in a day or a week, so if you want to download 30 sermons today one at a time you will be able to do so!

Please visit the new site and be sure to help financially if you are able.

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Predictable reviews of predictable reviews

It seems that quite a reaction has occurred over the book, Engaging with Martyn Lloyd-Jones. And not only the book, but reviews of the book are also provoking reactions.

David Ceri Jones, who edited the book, recently took notice of several less than enthusiastic reviews on his blog. He singles out Iain Murray for his “predictably critical” review and his “customary scepticism.” Graham Harrison is also rebuked for his “fairly predictable criticism” of the book.

Mr. Jones then points us to Carl Trueman’s review that is described as having “rapier like accuracy.” Trueman, of course, comes shining through with his comments about Iain Murray’s review: “This is predictable and standard Banner fare.” I’m not that familiar with David Ceri Jones, but I can say that Carl Trueman’s review of Iain Murray’s review was rather – predictable.

But the real kicker comes at the end of the blog post where there is a link to a “more balanced review” on Amazon. I suppose the “balance” is best illustrated by the reviewer’s comment that Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s “impact is unnoticeable when placed against the impact of say Rowan Williams, Hans Kung, Karl Barth etc.” Rowan Williams? Are you serious? Maybe the reviewer really meant Rowan Atkinson?

What are we to make of this? Apparently, “predictable” is bad and “balanced” is good. And in this case, bad and good seems to be indicated by what the reviewer personally thought of Dr. Lloyd-Jones. I have no problem with Iain Murray or Graham Harrison sticking up for their friend and colleague if they think he was unfairly treated by people who weren’t there or didn’t know him. This is certainly “predictable” and forgivable.

But what is unforgivable is how Iain Murray and the Banner of Truth are dismissed as party hacks. There was no mention of a favorable review by Andrew Roycroft on the Banner of Truth website. Likewise, Iain Murray had this to say, “This book is not to be recommended to those who want an introduction to Dr. Lloyd-Jones. For those who already have some familiarity with his writings it will give some help in some areas.” This is quite different from the accusation that “Murray unfortunately feels unable to recommend the book to Banner readers…”

Carl Trueman’s comments might also have been different if he had just read what Iain Murray actually said, rather than going off half-cocked about how history is written. What Murray really said was,

“Consideration of his personality, its strengths and weaknesses, are interesting and debatable, but without what he believed there can be no real engagement… Why not? Probably the explanation lies in the statement that the contributors and a ‘team of historians’, and historians who, for the most part, are working in the university context where ‘beliefs’ are not to be judged as true or false, any more that Scripture is to be judged true or false. Today’s ‘scholarly’ standpoint has to be neutral objectivity. Certainly not all eleven contributors write from this standpoint…”

Murray then goes on to give three examples from the book in which this takes place.

Trueman, however, instead of interacting with the examples given, talks about the Holocaust and just belittles Mr. Murray’s approach as “very simplistic” and “somewhat useless”. If you’ve read Iain Murray’s introduction to his biography of Jonathan Edwards, you know exactly what he’s talking about. Modern writers tend to dismiss or diminish Edwards’s religious beliefs altogether, while still claiming to objectively write on their subject. This is what Mr. Murray is talking about.

But all of this is nothing new for Mr. Trueman – see here and here. So even Carl Trueman turns out to be (horror of horrors!) predictable, too.

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Recent Links

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the Question of Secession

Book Review of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years

Lloyd-Jones on Lay Pastors

The Curse of Political Preachers

Update on the Westminster Fellowship

The Story of the Woman who Everyone Thought was a Christian

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