The date was the December 14, 1926, and the national newspapers were using startling headlines concerning him: “Harley Street Doctor to Become a Minister” and “Leading Doctor Turns Pastor.” For two days, Lloyd-Jones’ family home in London was besieged by newspaper reporters who all waited in vain to interview him. Lloyd-Jones even refused to pose for a photograph. There were good reasons for his negative response. He was essentially a shy man and disliked the publicity intensely. But more to the point, he had not yet informed his employers at the hospital of his decision to leave medicine to become a church pastor—and they were not pleased to hear the news first from the newspapers.
There was a deeper reason for Lloyd-Jones’ dismay at this unexpected publicity. For him, the newspapers could not understand why he was leaving the medical profession, especially when he was set for a brilliant medical career and at only 26 years of age. The press was only interested in news, and the more sensational it was, the better. However, the living God had been dealing with Lloyd-Jones and he felt an irresistible call from heaven to preach the gospel of Christ.
“There were many times in London in the fifties and sixties when the Lord drew so near to him that he needed to leave the study and talk to his wife in the kitchen about very mundane matters like the lunch menu. He did this, he explained, in order to reassure himself that he was still on earth and not in heaven! No wonder that as he prayed and preached in the Sunday services, people were often made conscious of God’s glory and presence as well as the power and authority in his preaching.” (Page 89)
“A further observation he made on the preaching he heard was that too many men gave a ‘running commentary’ on a Bible verse or passage, which he insisted was not preaching. There must be a message arising from the principles of the verse which are to be proclaimed with authority, relevance and power.” (Page 103)
“God-ordained way of obtaining success in such preaching was prayer arising from a deep sense of dependence on the Lord for him to work through the Word.” (Page 76)
Every Christian should know more about the life and ministry of Dr.D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Whether you have a slight acquaintance or have read the official two volumes of his life there are still important insights and practical lessons to be gained from reading the observations of those who knew and loved him for many years. No other man equaled Dr. Lloyd-Jones in a recognized command of the situation. There is the fascination of the great adventure he set out on when he left his medical career in London to become a preacher in Aberavon. There are the books and the recordings of his preaching which evidence his remarkable clarity and warm cogency, his unswerving loyalty to Christ, his undaunted courage. A profitable couple of hours lie before anyone reading Dr. Eryl Davies’ study of this admirable man.
—Geoff Thomas, pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales
Eryl W. Davies is a Reader in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at Bangor University. His previous publications include Prophecy and Ethics: Isaiah and the Ethical Traditions of Israel, a commentary on Numbers in the New Century Bible Commentary Series, and The Dissenting Reader: Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible.