the weblog of Alan Knox

Martin Lloyd-Jones on the church meeting

Posted by on Jun 8, 2009 in books, edification, gathering | 4 comments

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a well respected evangelical author. Our school library includes 58 books written by Lloyd-Jones beginning in 1943 with several of his books and papers published post-humously (he died in 1981).

Arthur at “the voice of one crying out in suburbiapoints us to a post at “Deliver Detroit” called “D. Martyn Lloyd Jones on Clergy and Laity” which quotes Lloyd-Jones as writing:

Are we giving the members of the church an adequate opportunity to exercise their gifts? Are our churches corresponding to the life of the New Testament church? Or is there too much concentration in the hands of ministers and clergy? You say, “We provide opportunity for the gifts of others in week-night activities.” But I still ask, Do we manifest the freedom of the New Testament church?… When one looks at the New Testament church and contrasts the church today, even our churches, with that church, one is appalled at the difference. In the New Testament church one sees vigor and activity; one sees a living community, conscious of its glory and of its responsibility, with the whole church, as it were, an evangelistic force. The notion of people belonging to the church in order to come to sit down and fold their arms and listen, with just two or three doing everything, is quite foreign to the New Testament, and it seems to me it is foreign to what has always been the characteristic of the church in times of revival and of reawakening (Knowing the Times [Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1989] pp.195-196).

I find quotes like this often in academic works. Of course, that doesn’t mean this understanding often makes its way into the churches.


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  1. 6-8-2009


    It is rather telling that The Doctor, as he was affectionately referred to, became less popular in the circles I used to inhabit, after making statements such as this. I have used the quote a few times, whether in my blog, I can't remember.

  2. 6-8-2009

    I wonder what causes the disconnect, so many people affirm one thing intellectually and yet they practice something completely different in the church.

  3. 6-8-2009

    Aussie John,

    I don't know much about Lloyd-Jones except through his writings. If he started practicing what he wrote here, than I can believe that his popularity waned in certain circles.


    I can only tell you what I've been told. "Yes, that's what Scripture says, but that's not how we do it now."


  4. 6-10-2009

    that is a good passage.

    I found this blog entry that has nothing to do with this blog entry…. but it sorta has to do with what we were talking about the other day about community/reaching out… or maybe it doesn’t. Idk – just wanted to share it..