Martyn Lloyd-Jones' desire for Evangelical Fellowships

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Particular Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
Recently, I was reading a past article on Reformation 21 by John Ross, who discussed Martyn Lloyd-Jones' legacy. I found it quite interesting when he discussed Lloyd-Jones' vagueness with which he came to the issue of baptism and ecclesiology. Though he was a convinced credobaptist, Lloyd-Jones did not believe in making one's understanding of the sacraments a dividing issue when it came to the broader and, probably, even the local church. The following quote discusses the issue very well.

It stretches credulity to think that as a man who had opinions on most things -- from how often one should bathe or shower to the composer whose music was most conducive to concentration -- could possibly have been indifferent to such important issues. What we do know is his public stance. I have come to believe that it might be best to view Lloyd-Jones' public statements as in some sense interim. Acutely aware of their potential explosiveness, I believe he wanted British evangelicals to set these matters to one side and, in a spirit of cooperation, attempt to create circumstances favourable to the coming of revival. I'm not convinced either that he was looking for some settled parachurch federation, as has been suggested, but rather interim fellowships, perhaps modelled loosely on the Methodist society, itself originally a tentative arrangement.

Surely, he wanted to see fellowships formed of serious-minded Christians who were not distracted by programmes, plans and campaigns, but who rejoiced in the kind of preaching that he believed heralded revival, called on God in earnest prayer and lived in loving fellowship. These groups should advertise themselves simply as Evangelical Churches. When asked if that was sufficiently descriptive, the doctor argued that it was, adding, that when people wanted to know what you believed, you invited them to come and find out. To use an illustration he so often favoured, it seems to me that Dr. Lloyd-Jones saw the formation of such fellowships across England and Wales as laying a fire, putting together the paper, sticks and coals, ready for the ignition of revival to fall. In a revived state, and only in that state, might the Church be able properly to deal with such potentially conflict-ridden issues of ecclesiology and the sacraments.

The idea that evangelicals, in particular Reformed evangelicals, could come from their varying backgrounds and denominations (Presbyterian, Anglican, Baptist, Independent, Congregational, Sovereign Grace, etc.) and form evangelical fellowships, which I think Lloyd-Jones probably hoped would become full-fledged congregations, is something which offers hope for those of us who would like to see more doctrinal, and organizational, unity between the varying branches of the Reformed family. In particular, the idea that only when the church is revived and spirit filled will it ever rightly, and properly, deal with the issues of ecclesiology and the sacraments is one which I think deserves much thought.

Here's the article if anyone wants to read the whole thing Aspects of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones' Legacy: Some Personal Observations - Reformation21
 

goodnews

Puritan Board Freshman
That is very interesting, and somewhat surprising. I look forward to reading the article after I put my girls to bed tonight. Thanks.
 
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