Sunday, March 29, 2015

Experiencing the New Birth

Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3 by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Martin Lloyd-Jones is considered, by many, one of the greatest preachers of the 20th century.  Maybe even the greatest.  This new volume from Crossway makes accessible previously unpublished sermons on John 3.  300+ pages of “The Doctor” preaching over John 3 is exactly what you would expect it to be-encouraging, challenging, and edifying.

This is a great, evangelical preacher pleading and prodding his congregation to consider Jesus, to consider their sinful state, to consider the Gospel, to repent and believe.  There is much to be praise about this volume, but the greatest commendation I can give started out as a gripe about the sermons.

Reading the sermons you could feel Lloyd-Jones’ passion.  As he encouraged his congregation to repent and believe, there was a multitude of times where he would make absolute statements.  Many of the statements could lead weaker brethren to unnecessarily struggle with their faith.  I was beginning to be troubled by these statements but then I became overwhelmingly encouraged.

I highlight that these were sermons delivered to his congregation and Lloyd-Jones as pastor comes through clearly.  As the sermons progressed, there were statements made that backed off of the implications of some of his earlier absolutes.  Or, at the very least, he clarified his position and offered qualifications on his earlier absolutes.  It is hard not to believe that a troubled congregant approached his pastor and “The Doctor” saw the need to offer treatment from the pulpit.  This is an assumption, of course, but it is not outside the realm of possibility or even probability.

Lloyd-Jones’ influence on many modern preachers can be seen in this volume.  The Lord used him in mighty ways and this volume is a treasure.

I received a review copy of this book from Crossway’s Beyond the Page program.

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