The Christian in an Age of Terror is a compilation of previously unpublished sermons of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The volume is edited by Michael Eaton and was recently published by Kregel. My thanks go out to Leslie Paladino at Kregel, for furnishing me with this review copy.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a master of the pulpit. In reading this book, I learned that for a while he shared preaching duties with his predecessor G. Campbell Morgan, so he stood linked to England’s puritan past in some sense. The sermons in this volume betray Lloyd-Jones’ pastoral warmth and his spiritual vibrancy.
The theme of the book is “the Christian in an age of terror”. For us we think of September 11th, but for the doctor’s London churchgoers, that age of terror was life in and following World War II. His pastoral sermons for the London congregation speak equally to today’s chaotic age.
While chronologically the sermons address terror, the sermons themselves are on other themes. These are the topics Lloyd-Jones felt were important for Christians in such a time. And indeed they are exceedingly relevant. Michael Eaton arranged them thematically picking from series of sermons Lloyd-Jones preached from the years 1941-1950. The book starts out with sermons on Acts 12, the Christian facing danger. It moves to a summary of the Gospel found in a few sermons focusing on Hebrews 1:1-3. Then a series on “What is a Christian?” covers Romans 8. A series on Rev. 4 gives us a “preview of history”, and 1 Cor. 16:13-14 provide a few sermons on how to be strong in such an age as this. The final sermon is one preached at the half-way point of the last century. In January 1950, Lloyd-Jones reminded his flock that the Lord is the only One who can build the house.
Lloyd-Jones presents some wise insights and has a refreshing knack for gaining jewels from simple texts. The best way to show this will be to quote from the end of his series on Acts 12. I’ll leave you with the quote and an encouragement to pick up this excellent book.
If ever I have thanked God for the fact that I belong to the church it is as I read a text like this. If we are truly Christians, and truly members of the church, we are on the winning side. We are on the side of the church militant, the church triumphant. Our victory is certain and assured, come what may. There may be times of difficulty and distress; we are promised such things; but, and there is always that “but”, the Word of God will grow and multiply, until the Lord, in His own good time, comes to wind this earth and all its affairs, and hands over the kingdom to God the Father. God grant that we all may know for certain that we belong as living members to the invincible church. (pg. 56)