Saturday, 3 March 2012

Lloyd-Jones' Theology Misrepresented

It was stated today that DMLJ believed in 'limited atonement.'  This is very strange indeed and downright untruthful. Just read the following paragraph from my book on DMLJ, please:

One of the things that struck me having some 40 years of reading the Doctor’s wonderful sermons, was the fact that I never found him anywhere preaching the high Calvinist doctrine of limited atonement.  If there are people reading this book who can show me where Dr Lloyd-Jones taught this idea, I’d be very interested.  But I have not found it in any of his published sermons.  I was a bit worried about this because the assumption was that he actually held this doctrine and believed it.  But nowhere have I read this in any of his published sermons.  The facts are otherwise.  For example, when Dr R. T. Kendal, one of Lloyd-Jones' successors, was minister in Westminster Chapel in London, he had contact with Dr Lloyd-Jones while the former was working on his doctorate, and sought his views on John Calvin’s theology of the atonement.  Dr Alan C Clifford, in his book on Philip Doddridge, The Good Doctor, (Charenton Reformed Publishing, Norwich, 2003:273, 274), states that when Dr Lloyd-Jones conducted his own examination of Calvin’s commentaries, he expressed surprise in finding “how frequently universalistic Calvin’s statements were.”  During a two-week period, Dr Lloyd-Jones phoned Dr Kendal repeatedly, and in excited tones, exclaimed, “I’ve found another one!”  During one such discussion with Kendal, referring to the doctrine of limited atonement, he confessed, “I never preached it, you know … only once on Rom.5:15 and I was in great difficulty when I did so.”  Mrs Bethan Lloyd-Jones was present when he said this to Kendal, and interjected, “I have never believed it and I never will.”  Dr Lloyd-Jones was quite clear on this particular theological point. 

In addition, please read these statements, in his own words, which make the opposite case, also taken from my book:

12.  “Well, what was that gospel?  Just this, that Jesus Christ, is the Son of God, that in dying He cancelled the power of sin and wiped out the sinful debt of humanity and that by the power of the His Spirit a man can be created anew and start upon a new life which is an eternal life.”  (63). 

13.  “Some appear as if they had never done any wrong, as if they had no need to repent and had no need for Christ to die for them on Calvary.”  (85). 

14.  “But look at His death for a moment and consider it as an expiation for the sin of the whole world.”  87).

15.  “Well, those sufferings were enough, according to John, for all.  Listen!  ‘He is the propitiation for our sins; but not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world,1 Jn.2:2.’  The whole world!”  (88).

16.  “But listen to the words of our Lord Himself as He calls from the cross, ‘It is finished’.  The sins of the whole world He had borne upon Himself …”  (88).

17.  “The sacrifice was completed.  It was indeed finished, once for all, world without end!”  (88). 

47.  “Yes!  God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, Jn.3:16.”  (198).  

48.  “...this great salvation that is offered to us by God is to the natural man something which is inherently incredible.”  (201. 

49.  “In view of the fact that salvation is of God and therefore supernatural, although we cannot understand it, it holds out a hope for all. … There is literally hope for all.  ...It is God’s work, and because it is God’s work, it is possible for all and can be offered to all.  ...There is literally hope for all.”  (203). 

51.  “...there He was in the house of Simon, full of power, yea more, full of love to mankind which made Him long to exercise and use that power for their welfare.”  (206).  

53.  “Listen to Him as He tells you that He has died for you, that He has reconciled you to God, that your past can be blotted out, and that your eternal future is safe.”  (221).

54.  “The great point, surely, is that there is hope for all, that God’s love extends even to the publicans and sinners.”  (227). 

55.  “What new hope for mankind appeared in Him!”  (228). 

58.  “The love of God does not merely talk about a new beginning, it makes a new beginning.  ‘God so loved the world that He gave.’”  (237).

59.  “…realise that this is the very Son of God come to earth to deliver us.”  (250).

60.  “They follow Christ solely to serve their own ends, and not because He is the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world.”  (264). 

62.  “It is there [in the Christ of the cross] that the whole of humanity is focused.  He is the representative of the whole of humankind. He died for all.”  (278).

74.  “He had met the God who was offering him pardon for his failure, who assured him that he would place his hand upon him, who gave him there a vision of his own future as the father of the nation, the father ultimately of our Lord Jesus Christ who was to be the Saviour of the world.”  (31).

75.  “…God in his infinite love had actually sent his only begotten Son into the world to live and die and rise again in order to make a way of salvation and in order that God might reconcile the world to himself.”  (47).

76.  “He came to die for our sins and to open the door of heaven for us.”  (83).

77.  “We shall not die because he has died for us and accomplished a perfect atonement in our behalf.”  (84).

78.  “The Saviour of the world was not born in Jerusalem, he was born in Bethlehem.”  (124).

79.  “They did not know it but the Saviour of the world was about to come into their very midst.”  (124).

80.  “…go to the Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and you will be cured.  He can remove your guilt because he has already taken it away.”  (127).

81.  “Go to Him, that is all you have to do, He is the all-sufficient Saviour, He is ‘the power of God unto salvation unto everyone that believeth,’ Rom.1:16.”  (127).

Now, on the basis of these statements, most of which were taken from his evangelistic sermons where he was speaking to unsaved sinners, did he believe in limited atonement as understood by Owenites?  Assuredly not.  He believed that Christ died effectually for the elect but sufficiently for the whole world.

In other words,  no matter who or what the person is, if he believes in Christ, he will be saved.

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