Pleasure mania, spiritual poverty – M. Lloyd-Jones on our affluent society

Having commented on the biography of the great preacher, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, I thought it fitting to follow-up today with a quote from him. It’s an observation on modern cultures, who, in their affluence, do not perceive their true spiritual need.

This ‘affluent society’ in which we are living [c. 1972, no less true today] is drugging people and making them feel that all is well with them. They have better wages, better houses, better cars, every gadget desireable in the home; life is satisfactory and all seems to be well; and because of that people have ceased to think and to face the real problems. They are content with this superficial ease and satisfaction, and that militates against a true and a radical understanding of their actual condition. And, of course, this is aggravated at the present time by many other agencies. There is the pleasure mania, and television and radio [cf: internet and social media] bringing their influence into the home. All these things persuade man that all is well; they give him temporary feelings of happiness; and so he assume that all is well and stops thinking. The result is that he does not realize his true position and then face it.

[from the first lecture in his classic, PREACHING AND PREACHERS]

He points this out to rally churches and preachers back to the preaching of the gospel, which alone can waken men from their spiritual stupor. As he goes on to state, The business of the Church, and the business of preaching — and she alone can do this — is to isolate the radical problems and to deal with them in a radical manner.

Amen.
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From Wales to Westminster, the story of Martyn Lloyd-Jones

A book review of Christopher Catherwood’s Martyn Lloyd-Jones: From Wales to Westminster (Kindle edition). Christian Focus Publications Ltd.

With the opening line, ‘Fire! Fire!’ this biography of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins introducing a youth audience to the famous preacher. Written by Lloyd-Jones’ oldest grandson, Christopher Catherwood, in a simple, homespun-story fashion, it contains lots of wonderful, personal anecdotes and some eye-witness accounts not found in the more substantial biographies of the Doctor done by others. It follows young Martyn from his family and school days in Wales, through his education and work experiences in London, marking the major turning points of his conversion, his marriage and his call to preach the gospel.

The language is clearly aimed at younger readers, and the length of the chapters is just right. Although the overall writing style (or perhaps the editing) is sometimes rough or repetitive, the story-line and pace definitely engage the reader making it hard to put down. You cannot help but sense the warm, personal touch of a grandson writing about his beloved “Dacu” throughout the book.

The book clearly shares the hand of the Lord in the life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and makes the need for all boys and girls to likewise come to know Jesus Christ as savior and Lord. There are several passages which not only describe Martyn’s spiritual life, but which directly address the reader about their spiritual needs.

My review is based on the newly released e-reader edition which I read on my Kindle [NB: this was provided free in exchange for posting my review of the book]. I had first read this little book when I gave a printed copy to my own children years ago. Perhaps the formatting made me a bit more critical in this second read through? I love books and reading them in print, but have come to enjoy using my Kindle for reading history, biographies and the like. With many young readers gravitating to e-reading, the availability of this book, and the whole series, to these formats is most welcome news!

Additional material is included at the end of the book about the writings of Lloyd-Jones, as well as some brief subject driven comments under the title Thinking Further Topics.

Christian Focus Publications publishes books for adults and children under its four main imprints: Christian Focus, Christian Heritage, CF4K and Mentor. Their books clearly reflect that God’s word is reliable and Jesus is the way to know him, and live for ever with him. Their TRAILBLAZER SERIES, also includes books on Gladys Aylward, Corrie ten Boom, Bill Bright, Adoniram Judson, Amy Carmichael, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Isobel Kuhn, C.S. Lewis, and George Müller.

Their web page is: http://www.christianfocus.com
The Kindle edition is available from Amazon.