The international influence of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Thirty years after the death of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones it is impossible to describe adequately his extensive influence on churches, individuals and preachers outside the United Kingdom. My aim here, therefore, is only to provide a few examples of his international influence.
From his first preaching trip to North America in 1932 then his frequent trips within Europe and North America during 1946-1948, and afterwards, on behalf of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, his influence upon students and leaders in these countries was considerable. Churches and mission work were also helped theologically as well as spiritually through his ministry.
His Westminster Chapel preaching ministry attracted many people from overseas as well as from the UK who were either converted or established in the faith through Lloyd-Jones’s preaching. Some of these went on to serve the Lord in different countries.
Lloyd-Jones’s influence increased after his death, thirty years ago, in 1981 when more of his books, cassettes and DVDs became available and were widely distributed through various publishing houses and the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recording Trust.
Widely available resources
And there is the broadcasting of the Doctor’s sermons. For example, there is a weekly thirty minute radio programme of Lloyd-Jones’s messages, varying from his evangelistic sermons to those providing clear Bible teaching. These programmes are available on the internet (24/7) at www.oneplace.com which claims to be the world’s largest internet radio station. Why not take advantage of this? You can listen online, download as an mp3 or sign up for a weekly Podcast. The programme is also available on Trans World Radio on Sky Digital Network Channel 0138.
Many books authored by Lloyd-Jones are translated now into other languages. The Banner of Truth have translated some of his works into Spanish and these are available, especially his Sermon on the Mount, yes available even from Amazon but you can buy it in your local Christian bookshop!
But what about Lloyd-Jones’s books in Portuguese? Let me introduce you to Bill and Mary Barkley. Bill is from Ballymena in Northern Ireland and Mary is from Kentucky. After missionary work in the Amazon interior, they moved to Sao Paulo and in 1974 founded the first registered public evangelical library in Brazil which was to serve pastors, theology students and the public till 1996 when it was transferred to two seminaries.
In 1977, Bill and Mary established an Evangelical Publishing company in order to translate and publish quality Christian literature into Portuguese. By September 2004, they had completed the translation of the entire set of Lloyd-Jones’s Romans then the six volumes of his Ephesians. His sermons on John 17 have been published in four volumes as well as six volumes of his evangelistic sermons on Acts and the three-volume set on Great Doctrines.
Not only are these books being sold extensively in Brazil and devoured by preachers and students there, but they are also being exported to many countries, including Mozambique, Portugal and Angola. Can you imagine how helpful these books will be to Christians in those countries?
A help in Korea
But Lloyd-Jones is also popular in South Korea. His Preaching and Preachers, Sermon on the Mount, thirteen volumes of Romans as well as other titles have all been translated into Korean. They sell well there. The translator is Rev Kang, minister of Joonsin Presbyterian Church in Seoul. He himself had been helped through reading Lloyd-Jones’s books and felt a burden to translate his works into Korean. His preaching ministry was also modelled on that of Lloyd-Jones.
Rev Kang is a gracious, humble man; his church of 300 members is located in a poor area of Seoul. In 2001, I preached in his Sunday evening service. It was unforgettable. The small building was full and I felt freedom in preaching to a congregation consisting mostly of young couples with their children. They listened intently. But imagine my shock when Rev Kang told me after my sermon that the congregation wanted me to preach a second message immediately! Then even afterwards, about 10:15pm, it was difficult to break away from the informal fellowship as believers wanted to share with me and hear more from the word. Lloyd-Jones would have felt at home there!
- Eryl Davies is the former principal of WEST.