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Lloyd-Jones: Messenger of Grace Hardcover – May 31, 2008
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I have read a number of his books - he is a good writer and his books are pretty easy to digest - this one is no different in that respect.
Having been Lloyd-Jones's assistant for some years at Westminster Chapel prior to his death in 1981, Murray is pretty well qualified to write about one of the foremost evangelicals of the last 100 years. Great Christian men seem to be particularly shy when it comes to volunteering biographical details - praise God for guys like Murray who allows us all to share his privileged insight into the life of this great man and be encouraged in our own faith as we do so.
This book is not an exhaustive read on the ministry of Lloyd-Jones (if you are after that you should read the biographies) - rather this book is a reflection by Murray on the main lessons of the ministry of Lloyd-Jones. I believe it is a timely book for a number of reasons;
Given that a number of high profile church leaders (eg: Tim Keller) have "re-discovered" Lloyd-Jones for the rest of us who were too young to remember there is, I think, a lot more interest in his ministry and the main lessons that the church today can learn today from it. Lloyd-Jones was a man whose preaching style was strongly focused on really "squeezing the juice" out of Gods word - in an era where there appears to be a strong emphasis on endearing oneself to the congregation through anecdotes and humour often at the expense of Gods word - this is a timely message indeed.
It's been almost thirty years since Lloyd-Jones died. Murray worked closely with Lloyd-Jones and his family prior to his death in collating much of the information for the biographies.Read more ›
Much of the contents of this book do not appear anywhere else, and this work reveals something more about ML-J than the biography.
You sense the immense respect Murray (who was an assitant to ML-J for three or so years) has for this man, although this is not a sugar coated account of his work, Murray does not agree with ML-J on some issues.
This book tackles ML-J's approach and views on three issues - the importance of preaching; the importance of assurance of salvation in christianity and ML-J's view of the Holy Spirit.
The book is a mixture of analysis by Murray, especially on the controversial issues, such as his distancing himself from JI Packer, the call to evangelicals to leave their denominations and the effect it had on ML-J's reputation (see the chapter entitled `The Lost leader or the Prophetic Voice'); notes taken from an address ML-J gave to pastors on preaching; quotes on various aspects of doctrine from ML-J and finally a book review written by Murray on Mark Noll's book Is The Reformation Over. Why the book review? ML-J was strongly against Roman Catholicism and his decision to stop working with JI Packer on the Puritan Conferences was because of Packer's commitment to an ecumenicalism which included Catholics.
This book looks at ML-J from a different angle and it is fascinating. One of the bonuses of the book is that comes with a CD of an evangelistic sermon ML-J preached in the early 60's. It is an amazing sermon and worth the price of the book.