For this issue we shall take a break from our discussion of evolutionism. For several months I have had on hand the May 1987 issue of The Free Presbyterian Magazine, which contains an enlightening article on the teaching of Dr. D. M. Lloyd-Jones on Pentecostalism and on his attitude toward the charismatic movement. This was sent to me by a reader-friend in England and was occasioned by Prof. Hanko’s review of the Lloyd-Jones book, Joy Unspeakable (Standard Bearer, May 15, 1987). The article is from the pen of Roy Middleton.
Evidently in 1986 the Synod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland adopted a resolution warning against Pentecostal Theology. This resolution stated “that it is quite impossible for adherents to the Theology of the Westminster Standards to embrace the distinctive doctrines of Pentecostal Theology.” It also “warned about one of these distinctive doctrines of Pentecostalism, namely the concept of a ‘second work of Grace’ distinct from, and subsequent to, Effectual Calling. The Synod stated that such a concept is contrary to the Word of God. This latter warning was especially relevant as such views are now being widely disseminated in Reformed circles due to the fact that a ‘Second Blessing’ concept, the ‘Baptism with the Holy Spirit,’ is taught in many of the books of the late Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and that these volumes circulate widely among adherents of the Reformed Faith.”
The warning is probably equally relevant for the U.S., since also in our country Lloyd-Jones’s books enjoy a rather wide circulation among Reformed people. This is not to say, of course, that Lloyd-Jones should not be read (though personally I never counted myself among his fans); but it is to say that he should be read with discretion and discernment.
It is rather well-known—and Prof. Hanko also called attention to this in his review—that the Rev. Iain Murray (Banner of Truth) takes sharp exception to this criticism of Dr. Lloyd-Jones, and interprets Lloyd-Jones’s teaching “as being little more than the Westminster Doctrine of Assurance,” according to Middleton’s article. All of this became the occasion of some observations by Mr. Middleton in the article referred to.
What follows is a quotation of the first part of Mr. Middleton’s observations. The sub-title of this section is “Dr. D.M. Lloyd-Jones’ Teaching.”
“In 1984 a volume of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ sermons called ‘Joy Unspeakable’, edited by his grandson Christopher Catherwood, and containing a foreword by the Rev. P. Lewis of Nottingham, was published by the Charismatic Publisher ‘Kingsway Publications.’ The sub-title of the book is ‘The Baptism with the Holy Spirit.’
“The significance of this volume is highlighted by the words of the Rev. Graham Harrison, a Welsh minister in full sympathy with Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ position. Mr. Harrison writes, “On more than one occasion the present writer urged the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones to publish something explicitly on his view of the doctrine of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. The answer given each time was, “Yes, someday I must do so. And when I do I know what it will be. I have about two dozen sermons on John 1:26, 33 which I preached at Westminster in the 60s. They represent my definitive teaching on the subject.” (The Evangelical Magazine of Wales Vol. 24:3, June-July 1985, p. 10).
“That Mr. Harrison’s assertion is correct is put beyond doubt by a letter from Mrs. Lloyd-Jones, and her two daughters Ann and Elizabeth, to the Editor of “Reformation Today”, who had queried the motivation in publishing ‘Joy Unspeakable’.
“They write, ‘soon after Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ death many people, yourself included, gave, in articles and books what they considered to be his true position with regard to the baptism of the spirit. We felt it was right, therefore, that the doctor should be allowed to speak for himself on the subject. We were helped in this by the fact that he himself had said that these sermons on John 1 were his definitive statement on the subject (though of course he had preached and published in similar vein in both his Romans and Ephesians series) so those were our motives in publishing them.’ (Reformation Today No. 94—Nov.-Dec. 1986 p. ii).
“This definitive teaching is contained in ‘Joy Unspeakable’, and its companion volume ‘Prove all things’ (Kingsway Publications 1985). With regard to these volumes, Catherwood informs us that in many chapters the bulk of the editorial work had been carried out by his grandfather, who fully intended that these sermons be published (‘Prove all things’ p. 6).
“Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ grandson summarizes the content of the volumes in his introduction to ‘Joy Unspeakable’. ‘My grandfather . . . believed passionately in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as a second post conversion experience. But he equally realized that it has a filling with power that made those who had received it into better witnesses for Christ. His indeed was a Christ centered message, emphasizing that a deeper knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ was at the heart of baptism with the Spirit. Similarly as will be made clear from the forthcoming volume of his sermons on the gifts of the Spirit, while he believed that all the gifts existed today, he refused to hold, on the basis of scripture, that any one gift was necessary as proof of baptism with the Spirit.” (p. 13)
“In ‘Joy Unspeakable’ Dr. Lloyd-Jones defends his second blessing teaching by appeal to the same texts that pentecostalists use to defend their doctrine. (i.e. Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17, 9:17, 10:44-46, and 19:6). The Reformed Baptist, the Rev. Errol Hulse of Liverpool, reviewing this volume says ‘The doctor builds his case on these texts in typical Pentecostal fashion’ (Reformation Today No. 84, p. 13-14).
“As is made clear from the summary of his teaching by Mr. Catherwood, Dr. Lloyd-Jones rejected the Reformed Doctrine of the ‘Cessation of the Charismata’ so carefully enunciated by B.B. Warfield of Princeton (see B.B. Warfield—Miracles Yesterday and Today p. 3-31, 233-247 and the more recent statement by Richard B. Gaffin Jr.—Perspectives on Pentecost—Baker Book House 1979). Errol Hulse writing just after Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ death said of him, ‘he could not tolerate nor abide what he called the B.B. Warfield position’ (Reformation Today No. 62 p. 13).
“In the mid-60s Lloyd-Jones wrote a commendatory note of a book called ‘I believe in the Holy Ghost’ by Holiness teacher and editor of ‘Flame’ Magazine, Maynard James. Lloyd-Jones’ comment printed on the back of the book is as follows, ‘I think the way you have handled the question of tongues is quite perfect—I cannot imagine a better statement.’
“As to what these views were that Lloyd-Jones regarded as a perfect statement, they can best be summarized as being practically identical to the two British Pentecostal denominations that grew directly out of the so-called Welsh Revival of 1904. This is all the more significant in that these two denominations differ slightly from the larger Assemblies of God on their Theology of Tongues. The Assemblies of God hold that speaking in Tongues is the initial evidence of Spirit Baptism, whilst the two smaller groups deny Tongues speaking to be essential to Spirit Baptism.
“It is evident that Dr. Lloyd-Jones held the view on Tongues that was the prevailing view in the Wales of his youth and early manhood.”
Mr. Middleton then presents a brief historical analysis from which we shall quote some pertinent passages. After criticizing the Rev. Iain Murray for historical inaccuracy with respect to the teachings of Dr. Lloyd- Jones in relation to the development of Pentecostalism, Mr. Middleton sets the record straight as follows:
“Dr. Lloyd-Jones preached these sermons (in Joy Unspeakable, HCH) in 1964-65 just three years before his retirement in 1968. Hence they were surely expressive of his most mature thought and were preached at just the time when they would have the maximum impact.
“The early 60s witnessed the birth of the Modern Charismatic Movement. The London of the mid-60s saw its two leading Evangelical Ministers differing over the doctrine of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Anglican John Stott of All Souls Langham Place (in whose church one of the leading British Charismatics Michael Harper was Curate) was writing against the second blessing doctrine (cf. his “The Baptism and Fullness of the Holy Spirit,” I.V.F. 1964). Dr. Lloyd-Jones, who had already preached a series of sermons on Ephesians 1 in 1954-55, and on Romans 8during 1960-61, that enunciated his ‘second blessing teaching,’ was, at the very time Stott was opposing his curate, preaching the sermons that now form ‘Joy Unspeakable.'”
The writer next refers to an account by a David Watson, as follows:
“In these critical early days of the Charismatic Movement, a person who would eventually be one of its leaders, was himself going through a crisis experience and did not understand what was happening to him. That person was the Anglican, David Watson, who would in later days introduce dance-drama into his church, and call the Reformation one of the greatest tragedies that ever occurred in the church. Let Watson himself explain what happened next. ‘With three friends I went to see a man whose ministry we immensely respected . . . Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. As we spent the day with him at Westminster Chapel, he began by asking us to share our testimonies with him, since we had all known a fresh working of the Spirit of God in our lives over the last few months. The testimonies had obvious personal variations, but were significantly the same. To our surprise Dr. Lloyd-Jones then shared a very similar testimony of his own, when the Spirit had come upon him shortly after the Hebrides Revival in 1949, through the ministry of Duncan Campbell. He said that it had given him a new authority in his preaching ministry. As we walked a little further he said, ‘Gentlemen, I believe that you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit’.’ (D. Watson—You are my God. Hodder Stoughton, 1983 p. 56-57).”
Mr. Middleton then comments on the above account and concludes this section of his article with a quotation from Lloyd- Jones’s grandson:
“This quotation from David Watson provides a most interesting side light on Lloyd-Jones’ own ‘baptism with the Spirit’, which apparently took place under Duncan Campbell who belonged to the Arminian-Holiness organization—the Faith Mission . . . .
“As histories of the present Charismatic Movement and sketches of Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ life are now being written it is becoming clear that Dr. Lloyd-Jones played a part in encouraging those early charismatics.
“Christopher Catherwood in a sketch of his grandfather’s life has written, ‘The doctor was always willing to encourage those involved in the Renewal movement. Many of the early meetings of the Fountain Trust took place in Westminster Chapel and leading charismatic Anglicans such as Michael Harper have paid warm tribute to all the help and encouragement he gave them in the early years.’ (Five Evangelical Leaders, Hodder and Stoughton, 1984 p. 93).”
There appears to be little doubt, therefore, concerning the charismatic tendencies of Dr. Lloyd-Jones.