Romans, The Gospel Of God, by D. Martyn-Lloyd Jones; Zondervan Publishing House, 1985; 394 pp. (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.)
From 1955 to 1968 Martyn Lloyd-Jones went through the entire epistle of Romans in his mid-week services at Westminster Chapel in London. This volume covers chapter 1 of the sermons he preached. (Six volumes, treating chapters 3-8, are already in print.)
For those who enjoy reading Lloyd-Jones’ sermons, this will be a welcome and enjoyable purchase. It is full of fine devotional reading and deals in Lloyd-Jones’ own interesting way with the beginning of this important Biblical book. We highly recommend it to our readers.
There are really only two criticisms we have of this work. One deals with the tendency of Lloyd- Jones towards subjectivism, or, if you will, Pentecostalism—although the latter term does not quite apply. In what Lloyd-Jones calls the “doctrine of guidance” he is too subjective in a fundamental respect and does not connect the work of the guidance of the Spirit to the objective standard of Scripture. An example of this may be found on pp. 199ff., where he is treating verses 10-13 of Rom. 1.
The other criticism I have is the somewhat unbalanced treatment of the material in chapter 1. As any reader of Lloyd-Jones knows, he can introduce into his discussion of a passage much extraneous material which has no direct bearing on the Scriptural passage in hand. This is true of this book as well. E.g., 7 chapters are devoted to the first 2 verses, 23 chapters to the first 17 verses, but only 6 chapters to verses 18 to the end.
Nevertheless, the book is sound reading and eminently enjoyable.
Human Rights And Human Dignity, by John Warwick Montgomery; Zondervan Publishing Co., 1986; 317 pp., $8.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.)
John Warwick Montgomery is a forceful and incisive writer—as anyone who has read anything from his pen well knows. It was with a measure of eager anticipation, therefore, that I picked up this book on human rights. I was, however, disappointed. Montgomery has not forgotten how to write: that was not the problem. But the approach he takes on the question of human rights was less than satisfactory.
Montgomery correctly takes the secularists and humanists to task for their position on human rights and shows how a secular and humanistic basis for human rights can never succeed. He also correctly turns to Scripture and argues that only on the basis of an absolute standard of right and wrong can any proper discussion of human rights take place. But his appeal to revelation is far too broad and general to be of any help. His appeal does not go beyond statements concerning God as a transcendent Creator, and he can then speak of human rights only in terms of a humanity with essential dignity and worth. The problem with this approach is that sin, guilt, atonement, and sovereign predestination do not enter into the question.
Montgomery might argue that these questions are irrelevant. I claim they are not. If Scripture is to form any basis for a discussion of human rights, one cannot appeal only to God the Creator, for Scripture is the record of the revelation of God in Christ as the God Who saves His people.