Recommended Reading and Reviews
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)
ML-J’s Romans series has been revered for decades as superlative in it’s faithful exegesis of God’s holy word and its practical accessibility to the average reader or listener. The sermons, given on Friday evenings in Westminster Chapel (London), stretch over fourteen volumes and can be downloaded and listened to for free at MLJtrust.org. Although the recordings aren’t always perfectly clear and his Welsh accent requires attention, the sermons accomplish nothing short of the purpose of preaching–to instruct, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and exhort Christ’s flock to glory in and marvel at the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, calling all men everywhere to repentance and belief followed by the bearing of the fruit of the Spirit out of gratitude of God’s gift of salvation by faith alone.
Reading the sermons affords the student time to carefully consider and meditate on the unsearchable riches of Christ ML-J so readily and unashamedly heralds from the pulpit.
It was true in the day of the Apostles and has been throughout the ages, that many false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing are roaming about. ML-J was a true shepherd of his flock as he zealously preached the whole counsel of God, fearing God and not man. To those frustrated by the flimsiness of many ‘preachers’ today that attempt to synchronize worldly philosophies or paradigms with the Bible in order to be culturally relevant, they will find ML-J a breath of fresh, uncompromising, orthodox air. Surely he was not perfect–no man, woman or child is or ever will be besides the Lord Jesus Christ–but he was a man like Job, who feared God and turned away from evil and by God’s grace endured to the end, kept the faith and rested in the finished work of Christ.
JC Ryle (1816-1900)
Though Ryle had nothing short of a tumultuous and difficult early adulthood, the Lord providentially directed him to a role that has been producing fruit since long after his death––A minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who wrote prolifically.
Ryle is perhaps best known for his book entitled Holiness. Although a longer read than many endeavor to take on, the nearly 450 pages are worth the diligent reader’s time and effort. I will be the first to say that many books, long or short, are not worth spending the time to read. The opposite, however, is true of Ryle’s work. Eminently pastoral, Ryle often strikes hard blows in his faithful exposition and quotation of scripture only to paint the canvas black that Christ and the Gospel of God may shine all the brighter. Holiness contains chapters on practical doctrines such as ‘Holiness’, ‘Sin’, ‘The Fight’, ‘Sanctification’, ‘Assurance’ Christ’s work and accomplishments, etc but also offers teaching and study on characters such as Moses, Lot and Lot’s wife that are as heart searching as they are interesting.
Other works by Ryle worth reading are Practical Religion, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, etc. Iain Murray’s biography of Ryle Prepared to Stand Alone is excellent as well.