D. Martyn Lloyd Jones is one of my preaching heroes. When I was in college, I started reading his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount and it not only radically changed my views of preaching, but it radically changed my views of what it means to be a Christian and to live the Christian life. I can say without exaggeration that I’ve read that book many times since then, and I’ve also read and enjoyed several of Lloyd Jones’ other books.
This morning, Chris Waye posted this little video on the Operation Europe blog. (Chris is a missionary to England, the blog is well worth adding to your RSS reader). The video is a short interview of D. Martyn Lloyd Jones. I found it fascinating, one because I’ve never seen video of Lloyd Jones and two, because of what he talked about. You can watch the video here:
Here is what struck me as I watched the video:
Seriously. If being welsh makes you do that, then all ventriloquists should come from Wales. I certainly never imagined the great preacher barely ever opening his month past a crack as he spoke, or being so soft spoken.
By scholars definition of the word. Lloyd Jones was most definitely a fundamentalist. He fought hard for the faith and separated himself from those who compromised it. But he didn’t like the term, choosing rather to be called a Conservative Evangelical. (Before you modern conservative evangelicals jump on this, I understand Evangelical and Fundamentalist are virtually synonyms in the UK today.)
Lloyd Jones wanted to distance himself from Fundamentalists because of the anti-intellectual flavor of fundamentalism in America. He said curtly “aint nobody got time for dat.” (Or some welsh variant.) I don’t know what to take from this, but it’s interesting to hear someone from across the pond reacting to this in the 60s or 70s.
When asked about why his preaching drew such crowds of young people, he mentioned the authority of the word. There is an authority in the clear teaching of God’s Word that’s hard to replicate in other forms of ministry. Lloyd Jones noticed this and stuck with it in a time when expository preaching had gone by the way side. Maybe that’s why people will probably still be reading Lloyd Jones in a hundred years when the vast majority of fundamentalist literature from the same period will have passed by the wayside.