Joan Bakewell interviews Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1970

Now this is definitely worth watching! What a clear presentation of Gospel Truth. No weasel words and nothing namby pamby about this. And, the Gospel isn’t buried under a pile of intellectual clap trap and verbiage.

Hat tip to Gary Benfold

Andrew Davies: Sermons on Job

Andrew Davies – Minister of the Gospel

A few years ago I managed to attend the Aberystwyth Conference – it could have been 3 years on the trot. Each one was a real blessing. But in 1982 Andrew Davies was preaching for the 4 morning sessions through the book of Job. It’s one of those seasons of refreshing that I look back on with great thankfulness to God. I can’t recall hearing preaching like this before or since.

As a point of contrast, I am working my through the recent ‘Strange Fire’ conference audio, and whether it’s my English sensibility or not, I find it hard to stomach the applause speakers get at Strange Fire – and often in the US full stop. It really really grates on me. Maybe it’s an American thing, but I wish they would stop doing it. How can you applaud the speaker when it’s supposed to be a conference on worshiping God – kind of undermines it doesn’t it?

But anyway here’s the thing, hoping memory serves well, Andrew preached for well over an hour and you could have heard a pin drop, with a hushed reverence through the whole sermon. No applause – but maybe the occasional Amen from our Welsh brethren. I have never been in a series of services like it – it was as if time stood still and were sitting in the vestibule of heaven itself. The series could be summed up as a ‘Theology of Suffering’. At the time I believe Andrew’s Church had been through and was still going through illness, death and a number of other issues as he preached through Job to his congregation. The conference addresses were born out of these trials. The whole series is about the Triumph of Grace!

Not sure how long they have been available, but the sermons have been converted to MP3 files and can be downloaded for free. Click on each link below to download. Unfortunately the audio is not the best quality (The people at Grace do this sort of thing excellently), it’s ok, but I think the timeless quality of the preaching will more than compensate! Left click on each link to download.

Job – Faith Facing Facts (1) Job 1:1 – 2:15

Job – Faith Facing Facts (2) Job 3:1 – 31:40

Job – Faith Facing Facts (3) Job 32:1 – 37:24

Job – Faith Facing Facts (4) Job 38:1 – 41:17

Andrew was the first real preacher I heard after becoming a Christian in 1979. He was preaching my first time in a Church where The Bible was preached and actually believed. He has been a blessing to me over the years and has been a keen supporter of the History Lectures I help organise.  All his lectures are well worth a listen (as well as lecturing for many years at London Theological Seminary). So granted, there is an element of nostalgia but not a little element of truth.

Andrew Davies brief bio.

Interview with Carl Trueman on critiquing Big names

Carl Trueman was on The Janet Mefford Radio Show yesterday. There are some excellent points made. Worth a listen.

Carl is first up so download / listen online by going to the page HERE.

Honouring Aberystwyth’s Finest Raconteur – Reformation21 Blog

Anyone that knows Geoff will appreciate this nice (and amusing) piece from the pen of Carl Trueman.

Honouring Aberystwyth’s Finest Raconteur – Reformation21 Blog.

Trevor Thomas – Water to a weary soul

My very good friend Trevor Thomas preached an excellent sermon the other week and I’ve meant to post it ever since. It was a really great sermon that deserves wider recognition. We have been friends since about 1980. Trevor is a gifted preacher and spent about 9 years as a missionary / Pastor of a church in Palma, Majorca. Sounds very exotic, but the apartment – over the church – was situated next to the main motorway ring road. You could just about see the sea if you stretched out to look over all the other flats. It also meant no escape from Pastoral duties. He has a Spanish wife and is fluent in Spanish as are the three boys. The Lord blessed his ministry there and several people were converted under it. Trevor is back in the UK and has been for a few years now. He is also a skilled carpenter and teaches at a local college. Thankfully he still preaches and preaches frequently in our church where we are both members.

Anyway, to the sermon. The reading was John 4: 1 – 26 and the text from Proverbs 25:25:

‘As cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a far country.’ (NKJV)

The sermon is a great example of Gospel preaching and how to preach from the Old Testament. I thank God for Trevor. The link is below, listen and be blessed through it.

Water to a weary soul

Church History Lectures 2013 Audio

The other two lectures from this year are equally well worth listening to. Details and links below:

Speaker: Richard Brooks. Subject: Octavius Winslow (1808-1878) Download HERE

Speaker: Dafydd Morris. Subject: Christmas Evans – “A Gentleman in Rags” Download HERE

Both excellent lectures

Van Til Lecture

Cornelius Van Til

We were treated last evening to a lecture on ‘Cornelius Van Til’ given by Geoff Thomas (Aberystwyth) in his own inimitable way. The lecture wasn’t the cerebral exercise many were expecting but was a warm lecture full of personal anecdotes and challenge by a man who knew personally Dr Van Til and Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones (You’ll get the connection when you listen to the lecture).

We were warned about the scientific method and evidentialism that hands authority over to man. It’s not for man to decide, it’s for man to repent and believe the Gospel. Preachers (and a lot were at the lecture) were encouraged to preach warmly to the conscience of man knowing there is a God and to not preach a Gospel of probability (my take) but of certainly.

Geoff said after that he should have mentioned ‘Paul at Athens’ and ‘Why I Believe in God’, two booklets by Van Til that are more accessible and available for free. Geoff wished Van Til had written more in this style.

Again as Geoff said afterwards, ‘there’s just so much to say and it’s a massive subject’. But everyone I spoke to and all the conversations I overheard were positive and appreciative of the lecture. He recommended the biography, Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman by John R. Muether and a newly released book of 9 sermons by Lloyd Jones, ‘Setting Our Affections upon Glory’.

The best recommendation of the lecture I heard came from a lady sitting in front of me when she said, ‘now I understand Van Til’.

For Van Til resources follow link to a previous post.

I’ll post links to the audio as soon as it becomes available.

John MacArthur Series on Isaiah 53 – brief Comments & Observations

I’ve been quite critical of John MacArthur and his hermeneutic as I perceive taught by the Masters Seminary but haven’t really listened to much of his preaching. To put that right I have listened to his series on Isaiah 53 in the car as I travel to and from work. There has been no note-taking so what follows is made up of what came across to be the main thrust of the ministry – how it came over.

MacArthur is a really good speaker and although I’ve not been that impressed by the overall content he nevertheless has a voice that is easy on the ear, his voice or tone, or pitch doesn’t assault my senses and is very clear and well articulated. The recording is good quality so all in all it’s really not a struggle to listen.

He hasn’t said anything much I hadn’t heard before but I was looking to hear of Christ and the Gospel. This is just a statement of fact as I have been a Christian since 1979. I’ve heard a lot of sermons! I was surprised, maybe I shouldn’t have been, how quickly he got into the nation of Israel. He ran out of time on one sermon, not finishing he decided to come back to it the next time. I know this because we were told on the following message. So with time enough to finish that section of Isaiah 53, what does he do but launch into an extended sermon on Israel and its repentance as a nation leaving the verse I thought he was coming back to for a few minutes at the end. I do not know John MacArthur, have never met him, never spoken to him, never had contact with him in any way other than through these messages – and I think one or two of his books. So, my comments are purely based on what I hear, where it seems to me his passion lies. His sermon is therefore, as it were, his shop window.

The next Sunday (next message that is) a lot of visitors were in for the graduation (so we were told) and so he quickly did a review of the previous weeks. This was fair enough so people could pick up the series as he was by now well into it. John made statement here that I fail to understand. He said the Old Testament is full of Jesus where he could be found. It was a qualified statement but couched in inclusive language because Jesus can actually be found everywhere. He doesn’t find Jesus for example in the Song of Solomon because he says so in his Study Bible. I though his qualification was a little disingenuous.

Sadly what I’ve found to be seriously lacking in this series is little if any mention of the Grace of God. I am driving so might have lost concentration on the sermon for a minute but cannot recall any mention of Grace. Doesn’t the Apostle Paul call it the Gospel of the Grace of God. And amazingly there has been no mention of the Love of God. Surely when considering such a passage of scripture such as Isaiah 53 it would have been more than appropriate to quote John 3:16 ‘God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes ion Him should not perish but have eternal life’. Another verse that should have been mentioned was in Acts 8 where Philip beginning with that very scripture preached Christ. For Philip then, the primary meaning of the passage is Jesus Christ. I found MacArthur’s’ view that the primary meaning of Isaiah 53 was the final restoration and repentance of Israel something that even a premillennial friend of mine thought was a bit weird.

His preaching is very light on application. There is no application to struggling believers, doubting believers, sinning believers.

I found the ministry to be full of the sufferings of Christ but little or nothing on why those sufferings were necessary. This is astonishing. In one place he gives a string of words and phrases from the passage about Christ being bruised, beaten, crushed, afflicted and how it’s all about judgement and wrath but doesn’t even mention how this demonstrates the love of God for poor lost sinners, and I include Christians here. I am really surprised  shocked even. I couldn’t possibly condone a book about preaching the Gospel by John MacArthur – I only wish it were possible. MacArthur is greatly admired as a preacher but I just don’t get it – and I’m really sorry. I’ve listened to this series for about two weeks now each day as I travel in the car. I remember listening to Michael Horton on Law & Gospel and had to just sit in the car when I reached work in tears thankful for The Lord Jesus and what He has done for this poor undeserving sinner. Not so with this. It’s just so factual and rigid. Perhaps someone could explain to me based on this series what it is I’m missing. Am I the only person in the evangelical world that doesn’t get it – I would like to know.

I’m listening to this because I said I would. But just to remind you, I am only going on his preaching in this series – his shop window. It’s what I see and frankly I’m less than impressed.

I’ve listened to the series now and I have to admit the last one was the best of the series. He used the term God’s ‘Marvelous Grace’ and then used the word Grace again. It took to the end of the series to mention the Grace of God.

As a check I thought it might be a good idea to listen to someone else on this passage. Stuart Olyott seemed like a good idea so I downloaded the three messages on Isaiah 53 by Stuart. To be perfectly honest there was some crossover of things said but there just seemed to be a different emphasis, a wholly different feel to the ministry – if I can put it like that. On reflection it was maybe unfair of me to expect John MacArthur to be anything other than consistent with his own theology. But I reckon if he left out his references to Israel and didn’t constantly repeat himself (I know that can be a good thing) it would have taken him three, maybe four sermons, instead of ten to say the same thing. What Stuart did especially in his third sermon on Isaiah 53 was apply it. The application was very encouraging to poor struggling believers. Not every Christian is marching across the world like a colossus.  Some Christians are really struggling with their own sin, their backsliding of heart and a constant sense of failure. What this passage tells every Christian is that regardless of their own struggles and constant failures Jesus Christ has died for them! Even these poor examples, and I count myself as one of them, Jesus Christ died for and will bring them through for His own glory and praise. What an encouragement to once again seek this Saviour afresh and to serve Him for the rest of our days in whatever way He chooses. And then one day He will bring me, even me to be with Him in heaven. Now that’s the Gospel of the Grace of God to undeserving sinners.

If you see yourself to be one – a poor undeserving sinner. Then Jesus tells you, yes even you, to come to Him and receive from Him the gift of eternal life because He and only He has died and risen for sinners. Jesus says in Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Go here and scroll down the page to find sermons by Stuart Olyott.