On St David's Day, remembering "the Doctor"

Without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest influence on my thinking from a twentieth-century figure is the life and writings of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), who died thirty years ago today, on St David's Day, fittingly the day of the patron saint of Wales. He combined a rigourous determination to be fully biblical with a passion for the work of the Spirit individually and corporately. He was a Calvinist, but a warm-hearted one with an intense desire to experience God. I love all of these emphases and identify wholeheartedly with them. And he was baptistic to boot--open membeship, open communion--a Baptist of the Bunyan and Ryland type. Could he be wrong on some issues? Yes, I cannot follow him on his reading of Romans 7 or his understanding of the exegetcial basis for the sealing of the Spirit ( I do not think the sealing a distinct second experience, but oh is he right in describing this experience and our need to know the unction of the Spirit in worship). But there is so much on which he is a great guide and I strongly commend the reading of his life and works to all my readers.

I have moved long enough in Calvinistic circles to know that there is a type of Calvisnism, which has its roots all the way back to a few of the Puritans (note, I say a few, by no means all), that I find to inhabit an unduly narrow world taken up not with the great things of the faith, but lesser matters, and, as a result, their Christian ambience is not at all winsome, but very off-putting. Such I feel is not true to the joy of the New Testament church (it is noteworthy that the great Andrew Fuller saw such in his day and he wrote that marvellous tract on why the Baptists of his day did not have the joy of the New Testament saints). And the Doctor is a great tonic for all trapped in such nugatory circles.

PS In time-honoured Baptist fashion (witness Herman Witsius Ryland, the son of J.C. Ryland, and Jonathan Edwards Ryland, the son of John Ryland, Jr.),  I named my dear son after the Doctor: Nigel Martyn Graeme Haykin.