Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 12:1 (Spring 1991)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Iain H. Murray. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones—The Fight of Faith, 1939–1981. Banner of Truth, 1990. 831 pp., $36.95.

Rarely is the publication of the biography of a twentieth century minister a significant event. But rarely is the biographee a minister who influenced an entire era the way the late David Martyn Lloyd-Jones did his, from 1940–1980. Continental neo-orthodox theologian Emil Brunner referred to him as the greatest preacher in Christendom. The American conservative, Wilbur M. Smith, believed him to be, “the greatest Bible expositor in the English speaking world,” and wrote in Moody Monthly, “I wish every minister of the Word in America could have heard [him] …” Dr. James I. Packer, who personally sat under his ministry for a season, wrote of him as, “The greatest man I have ever known.”

Iain H. Murray, author of several other significant biographies, committed over ten years of his life to give an accurate presentation of the identity and importance of this man. This long awaited work is a worthy conclusion to the first volume published in 1982.

Murray is an exceptional biographer. Consistent in style, thorough in content, and stimulating in interaction with his subject, he at times gives a needed corrective of popular misconceptions. His abilities at positive revisionism have been demonstrated fully in both The Forgotten Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards. This volume on Lloyd-Jones is equally effective and perhaps more important!

With a two volume biography of 1,231 pages, Murray would seem to ignore Spurgeon’s warning that “too many biographies are as weighty as tombstones and as effective in burying their subjects from the attention of posterity.” Two reasons are given to justify the length. First, he writes,

For almost all the years covered by this volume there was little happening of an important Christian character with which he was not in some way related. The decline of the English Free Churches, the waning of the era of evangelical agencies and missionary societies, the rise of the ecumenical movement, the new attention to the Third World (as in the work of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), the heyday of Crusade evangelism in the fifties, the recovery of Calvinistic belief and then the very different movement for charismatic renewal—in all these things the minister of Westminster Chapel was no mere onlooker … as Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ life and work cannot be

understood without the larger context, I have felt compelled to include some spiritual history of his times.

This reviewer is convinced that this volume adequately supports...

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